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TV Review: White Collar – “The Portrait”

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What happens when a crime is committed? For those who wear a badge, everyone becomes a suspect. The only tricky part is narrowing the list down to the right person. Evidence generally helps in that arena. A good forensic technician can find the specific piece of evidence which fits one person out of the tiniest part.

However, when there is someone who has a criminal record, and easy access to the crime scene, it stands to reason to place them higher on the list. As long as one does not ignore someone else much more likely to have done the deed. Good thing Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) is wearing an ankle monitor when a painting is stolen. Why? Caffrey went to prison for fraud but was suspected of other crimes committed by the more elite class of criminals. Despite being a consultant for the FBI, he still has his movements tracked. Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), the agent Neal works with, knows immediately Neal has his hands clean. This time.

DeKay and Bomer have a nice chemistry going on this show. Each can hold his own when it comes to portraying the relationship between two men who are each good at what they do but are entirely different when it comes to technique. Bomer has the charm, which makes sense for a native Southerner. DeKay uses his brains and common sense. He's from New York, so more than likely he saw NYPD in action. The key is attitude rather than dress or looks. Think about it — some people just scream "cop" without having to say a word.

For once, Peter is proven right about Neal. A romp in a hotel room (it's gathering information, not sex) leads to Neal going back to his old ways. Granted, calling for backup might be helpful. An unforeseen consequence leads Neal to fess up, which makes Peter none too happy. Dekay has just the right amount of gravitas to not scare off viewers. The line about a tenuous probation is perfect! Neal indicates just how bad the error in judgment was along with an acknowledgment of Peter's unhappiness.

Peter has his own fessing up to do. Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen), Peter's wife, calls during the fact-gathering and Peter doesn't exactly tell her the truth. He can't without somebody possibly overhearing. The situation would be worse, but Elizabeth is one smart cookie. The decade-long marriage is presumably at least how long he's been in law enforcement, so she is wise to the dangers. She will hear as little as she gets, but wants the truth out of him when she asks.

The saga of Kate is continued with a trip to Grand Central Station. The note left behind is no deterrent to Neal stopping his search. Unfortunately. Mozzie (Willie Garson) understands just how impulsive Neal can be. Add in tunnel vision, and the combination is a dangerous one.

Alexandra Daddario is playing Kate, and this week she shows herself to viewers. There is a guy with a pinkie ring who wants something Neal has, and is using Kate as leverage. Mozzie? It's possible, but unlikely. Neal saw the ring ("Pilot") and would know if his old friend bore responsibility. This brings up a question. Kate uses Neal? I find the theory a bit more plausible.

While Jones (Sharif Atkins) returns, there is no Agent Cruz (Natalie Morales). Drat! As much as Neal cares about Kate, I think he and Lauren Cruz are delightful together.

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