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TV Review: White Collar – “Under the Radar”

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With this week’s episode, the second season of White Collar comes to a close. Predictable? A little. Jeff Eastin, the showrunner (aka creator) tends to send out script pages prior to air. The two for this latest installment weren’t his best choices, at least for me. Nevertheless, various storylines were tied up and a new mythology has been opened. But first things first.

Vincent Adler (Andrew McCarthy Pretty in Pink), mentor to Neal (Matt Bomer), proved his ruthlessness a long time ago. Not only did he have Mozzie (Willie Garson) shot (“Forging Bonds”), he was ultimately responsible for the death of Kate Moreau (“Out of the Box”). I get the impression he might not be the person who pushed the button to detonate, but he would give the order without a qualm. No wonder Mozzie and Sara (Hilarie Burton) end up helping in the quest to find Adler. They have a stake in seeing the guy get caught. Sara focuses on the financial side, as she could get a whopping paycheck for returning even part of the millions Adler stole. For Mozzie, it’s more personal. He doesn’t take getting injured lightly.

McCarthy is adept at playing a villain, but goes overboard a bit for this character. The setup phone conversations work, yet the trick used to get Neal and Peter (Tim DeKay) revealing their whereabouts to the team members left behind fails in plausibility beyond the anklet demand. One good move – the reveal of what Adler seeks most. In other words, what the music box ultimately leads to. However, it might not be a complete surprise if one pays attention.

At any rate, more than a few storylines are over. Neal now understands why Kate is dead. Internet rumors have recently speculated the character might pop up again one last time next season. Personally, I hope not. Memories are fine, but it’s time to move on.

Speaking of, the final five minutes open to door for change. I’ll not spoil things by placing them here. Suffice it to say that Peter and Neal are strained in their relationship. For the latter, it has always been he who viewers know is a little shady. The anklet aka tracking device is there for a reason. Still, Peter should understand by now Neal is dependable when he needs to be.

One big question remains for fans. Two minutes before the fadeout gives a suggestion of a potential set up. The obvious suspects can also be considered red herrings. My problem stems out of a timing issue – how could Neal have pulled off everything himself?

Season Three adds Hilarie Burton, aka Sara, as a series regular. There doesn’t seem to be anyone gone as a result, but perhaps Gloria Votsis, aka Alex, could end up leaving town for good. She seems to have served her purpose.

A fresh group of episodes will return in the summer. Look for them around mid-July.

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