White Collar Summer Finale Review: Choosing Sides

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Let the "Countdown" begin.

The clock ticked on the White Collar summer finale, as Neal and Mozzie scrambled to regain possession of a painting, and, as a result, maintain their quickly unraveling covers. Making matters worse? A visit from Peter's mentor.

Making a Con

The case? Recover a Degas recently sold on the blackmarket, not surprisingly the same one Mozzie fenced to finance the hit on Keller.

It was hard not to be on the edge of your seat for the entire hour. With Peter suspicious, and Neal giving it his all to remain collected - even as he planned an elaborate con to correct Mozzie's rash actions - who was a White Collar fan to root for?

I was proud of Neal for finally verbalizing to Mozzie that he once he "walked out the door" he "couldn't walk back in." That's one of the most obvious, yet easily missed, explanations for Neal's reservations about leaving. Forget that it would be wrong of him to depart in the first place. If Neal ran now, he would be on the run forever, a challenge that Mozzie never has to face.

It surprises me that Mozzie, being the careful and calculated person that he is, wouldn't have considered the weight or consequences of his best friend's decision. Forcing Neal to choose a side was uncalled for.

Granted, we all knew that "Choose a Side" was the tagline for this season, so Neal would eventually have to come to grips with making his best and final score... or remaining an FBI asset, yet I never thought it would be at the cost of his relationship with Mozzie.

Why is it that Mozzie wants to leave so badly? It seems every episode leading up to this midseason finale gave us more and more reasons why Neal and Mozzie should stay. They both have people that care about them. They fit well into the White Collar crime unit both as assets and as individuals (and, in Mozzie's case, this occurs with or without his explicit consent or intention).

I think a real game-changer in this realm was no doubt Elizabeth's kidnapping. Not only did it send the shock factor through the roof for me, but I have a feeling it's just the thing to reel Mozzie back in.

Elizabeth has always been the one person to respect and appreciate him. Affectionately referred to as "Mrs. Suit," she's constantly demonstrated her care for Mozzie. She made him a specialty care package when he was recovering from the gunshot wound, she kept him company when he was in protective custody from the Detroit mob. I find it hard to fathom that Mozzie might not assume some level of responsibility for Keller's actions.

Keller did give Mozzie one last chance to let him in on the treasure. While it's understandable that Mozzie would refuse, the consequences of his refusal were unknown. Question is, when it comes right down to it, would Mozzie be willing to let go of the treasure if it was the one thing that could save Elizabeth's life?

That's the topic we'll have to ponder until the show returns in the winter.

I'd let it go. That treasure has been like poison for everyone involved. Look at all the relationships it's altered or broken for Neal and Mozzie. It's even damaged the relationship they have with one another.

The real treasures aren't holed up in a storage unit waiting to be fenced. They're the relationships Neal and Mozzie have stayed in one place long enough to forge. I think Neal recognized that, and Elizabeth's kidnapping has the potential to teach Mozzie.

But, as always, there were other, perhaps lighter highlights:

  • Beau Bridges making a guest star appearance, one of the few since Stargate: SG1 ended. I missed him.
  • Neal's skydive from the 43rd floor. Epic.
  • Mozzie admiring himself in a Hawaiian shirt.
  • Learning the legend of "The Archaeologist." It certainly sounds like a fitting nickname for Peter.

Why does winter have to be so far away? Thanks for an great first half of season three, White Collar!


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (565 Votes)

C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


My all time favourite moments were:
1. When Sally asked for the "handsome one" and Neal reached for the door. Talk about modesty, lol.
2. Peter's tango with the "black widow" was magical. I didn't see that coming.
3. And ofcourse the skydive:-).
4. And Dianne's, "Is that serious enough for you, sweetheart?" after she caught Ford's partner in crime.


My thoughts: Mozzie (either on his own or with Neal's help) will broker some kind of deal with Keller: his treasure for Elizabeth's safety. Of course El will be all right, but the back door trap to catch Keller and retake the treasure will fail, leaving Keller free with the Nazi treasure, Neal and Mozzie right back where they started (no more big, walk-away secrets from Peter, just the usual middle-sized, staying-here-but-working-our-own-angles ones) and now Moz and Neal have a NEW "something to keep us busy outside the FBI" for Season 4: finding Keller, getting back the treasure, and getting him thrown into jail for a hundred million years. Of course, now Peter is on their side (kinda) since he will be watching for the stuff on the manifest, too . . . not knowing that Neal has a copy. Good stuff, good stuff . . . and Neal gets to dodge that choice that we NEVER want to see him make. (Because, honestly - your oldest friend, who taught you to survive, or the man who believes you can be better than you are? HOW do we make this choice, again? There IS no good answer!)


@Maggie What bothered me was that the FBI had a COLOUR photograph of a piece of art that hadn't been seen since 1941 ..... Colour photography has been around since the 1850s. Technically, experiments started some time during the 1840s and didn't succeed until 1854. Google 'Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii' and you'll find a lot of colour photos taken during the 1900s. Colour cameras became commercially available in 1907, with the Lumière Autochrome at the helm. Kodak took it farther in 1933 and the rest is, as they say, history.


Diana's love for guns was funny. Can't wait to see how they will deal with the kidnapping. But, the skydive was not a well made scene...


I think Mozzie would give up the treasure for Elizabeth. In fact, apart from Neal, I think she's the only person in New York for whom he would give up the treasure. I cannot wait for next year already!


It makes me so mad that Neil is the suspect. It's Mozzie who stole the treasure not Neal. Now Neal is caught in the middle, Elizabeth is gone and Keller is on the loose. Way to to Mozzie


Helen - By keeping the treasure hidden and not telling Peter he knows where it is he's been lying to Peter this whole season. Maybe not a direct lie but still living a lie. And by keeping it he's committing further crimes that by all rights should put him back in jail. Maybe you're okay with him keeping it hidden to protect Mozzie but to me betraying Peter - who has been trying to help him all this time - is far worse than betraying Mozzie who got him into this mess in the first place. Peter has given Neal plenty of opportunities to come clean about the treasure and I'm sure if he'd come to him at the beginning and said something Peter would have helped him.


for those wondering about hilarie burtonas she filming the last season of One Tree Hill as her character payton then she be back for white collar


JR - I understand what you are saying; however, Neal never lied to Peter. He lets Peter make his own conclusions or assumptions about things, but he never lies to him. Neal told the truth to Peter when he was interrogated - he didn't steal the treasure and he didn't know who did steal it. If Kramer had interrogated Neal, like I thought he would but didn't, Neal would have lied to Kramer, but never to Peter.


Great episode. I loved Mozzie with his shirts, the skydive, B Bridges guest spot, and Diana's love for guns.

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White Collar Season 3 Episode 10 Quotes

Neal: Must be nice having someone who believes in you.
Peter: Never gave him a reason not to.

Peter: Do you remember what you said to me when I first accused you of stealing the art?
Neal: Prove it.
Peter: Be careful what you wish for.