Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) is no stranger to using people when he wants something. The job of being a con artist requires it. Using the insurance investigator whose testimony sent him to prison, though, makes for another matter entirely. To be fair, Sara Ellis (Hilarie Burton, One Tree Hill) may not have been the main reason. Out of about 13 or so crimes Neal has been thought to have committed, the jail conviction is for securities fraud.
Burton and Bomer have some interesting cat and mouse interaction during this episode. She plays a woman who is zealous in her work, and he transforms himself into the charmer who steals for a living. The tape recorder sets up Burton as a potential blackmailer, but the scenes on them upon the bureau roof are sweet. A softer side comes out of both, which gives a special poignancy to a tension-filled story.
A two million dollar theft of Japanese bonds is the crime, but the story of Kate, Neal’s longtime love, dying (“Out of the Box”) pokes its head in and says hello. A nice heart-catching moment comes as Neal and Mozzie (Willie Garson) look at the exploded plane remnants at a nearby hangar. Neal enters and has to steel himself for the examination, which gives Bomer a chance to show a crack in Neal’s otherwise cool and calculated facade. Kudos to Mozzie, who recognizes the difficulty and reaches out in comfort. It’s an echo of the time Mozzie has to enter the FBI bureau and Neal must use persuasion to get his bespectacled pal all the way upstairs to Peter’s office (“By the Book”).
Garson and Bomer are good at portraying the friendship game, and the chemistry shows. They have no problem showing just how two people can care for one another, and often add much needed comic relief on a weekly basis. The Grease dialogue defines these two perfectly.
DeKay and Burton have a nice scene as well when they are together in the conference room. DeKay is able to prove how remembering people should be respected as human beings can make turbulent times better. Burton, for her part, shows determination in the face of a stressful time.
I like the limo gun! It goes back to a case of mistaken identity and Neal having to go undercover. Watching Bomer put together the pieces reminds me of his time on Chuck. It would be nice to have one of his costars from there appear as a guest star. Scott Bakula is perhaps more easily obtained than Brandon Routh. At some point, Eliza Dushku might be asked.
Sara is supposed to be around for five more episodes. Considering there are only four left until the midseason finale, it’s safe to say January will signal her return in the back half. Neal conned a man into sending her the cockpit recordings before the crash, but he has yet to retrieve them.
A planned disaster? More than likely. Yes, flying tin cans have been known to explode. However, a simple mechanical difficulty would probably just cause engine trouble. Who is responsible remains a mystery. Matthew Keller, Neal’s longtime rival, may have orchestrated the explosion from prison (“Bottlenecked”). This is just my guess, but any number of people could have enough of a grudge against Neal. Kate might be the intended target, but it makes a bit more sense to think of her as collateral damage when Neal gets killed. Any crew member is not essential to the overall plot.