White Collar Review: Crossfire

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Despite the intense drama surrounding Keller's reappearance, this week's White Collar had me "On the Fence" as to whether or not it underused the ever talented Eliza Dushku.

White Collar is no stranger to high profile guest stars, but Dushku than we saw here, which made her single-episode spot leaving me wanting more. A lot more.

Eliza Dushku on White Collar

However, as the plot thickens in its trajectory towards the summer finale, the outing pulled the full weight of every episode before it forward, causing some compelling and complicated conflicts to come to a head.

Neal's solo journey to determine his own destiny in exerting control over the U-boat treasure has now led to a breakup with Sara, and emerging fallouts with both Peter an Mozzie. Not to mention that Neal was almost shot dead by Keller.

Furthermore, Neal withholding from Mozzie his findings from the Burke household had them both in a tizzy in the episode's final minutes.

Neal failed to calculate for the factors beyond his control. He can only con so many people at once, and when each one is a moving piece, it's hard to control one at any given time. I think if Neal learns that there are circumstances beyond his control, and it impacts him in a big way, he may finally get some clarity.

Sara is a good example. Not only is she a strong-minded woman who can hold her own, she is also vulnerable in that she had no idea Keller was posing as INTERPOL. Keller could have easily shot her dead right there. Neal had never shared anything about him with her.

Then, there was the back and forth between Neal and Sara, both at the beginning and the end of the hour. It's clear that Sara and Neal have something neither one is sure they want to give up, nor do they have the ability to confront and get a handle on.

With Neal unsure of what he wants in life, it's hard to see anyone being able to find a way to fit into a life that essentially doesn't exist.

Perhaps the most shocking part of this episode for me was Mozzie's plea to the priest to find a hitman to carry out his hit on Keller. I had never seen Mozzie more sober and almost... evil. It was kind of scary. His grief was understandable, but the way he fenced the painting without consulting Neal (like it would have really made a difference to consult Neal anyway) made for an intense moment.

I can't believe Keller managed to get away. At least he got shot, but the fact they almost had him in custody was heartbreaking in a sense that's he's in the wind once more. Who knows how long it will be before he shows up again - and how long before they catch him for real?

As for Dushku's performance, I was expecting more action and from her involvement. She's a bit of an action star, so I looked forward a fight scene or something. Alas, no fisticuffs. She still gets major props for being the beautiful temptress and for acting what was given her to the best of her ability.

I'm starting to wonder how I feel about all the lying that's going on. Peter doesn't lie to Elizabeth, yet he blatantly refused to tell her that Keller was back in town. It seems some of Neal's skills have rubbed off on Peter in ways he may not even realize.

Either way, with the Degas in the hands of a fence and new owner, how can Neal and Mozzie get it back, or can they? Is their relationship on the brink as well? How much farther does Neal have to fall?

With next week's episode being the summer finale, who knows if any of these questions will even be answered. What did you think of this week's episode?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (291 Votes)

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


Agreed with nearly everything VentusAstrum said (I don't mind Keller - I think he actually does make a good villain). I know Mozzie and Neal are criminals and they've always been criminals but seriously - the premise of the show was Neal being out on a work release so he could help Peter catch other criminals. I liked the first season when Neal was working with Peter but there was still a question of "will he run when the anklet comes off?" / "will he do something stupid that will land him back in jail?" This season seems to have taken that to a whole new level with turning Mozzie into this creepy evil person who needs to be kept away from Neal so Neal has a chance at having a better life. EVERYTHING that's happened is now Mozzie's fault because Mozzie thought it was a great idea to steal the treasure and thereby screwed everything up for Neal. And because apparently Neal is an idiot who doesn't realize how bad of an influence Mozzie is he hasn't turned Mozzie in to the feds like should have a long time ago. No instead he's lying to the one person who actually cares about HIM as a person instead of only caring about what Neal can do for him. At this point I wish Sara had gone right to Peter and told him about the treasure so Peter could arrest Mozzie and Neal and dump their butts in jail where they belong. I get that if Neal had suddenly gone to the right side of the law and staed there the show would have been over but seriously - couldn't they have kept the tension without completely destroying the first two seasons and making them seem like a complete waste of everyone's time? Couldn't they have done it without making it seem like neither Neal or Mozzie give a crap about anything but their own selfish and ungrateful desires? What the hell do they think they're going to do once they leave NY? The money will run out at some point! Neal has a nearly perfect life right now (other than the anklet) what the hell else does he need??????? Hell so does Mozzie really. I mean seriously - do they not care or realize how much Peter and June have done for both of them? As it is I'm probably not going to watch when the show comes back in January and I'm probably going to skip next weeks episode because I have no desire to watch Neal running around conning Peter into thinking he's helping, while trying to steal back something that he shouldn't have had in the first place.


Dushku: bland The finale is shaping up well.


This episode was tolerable, much like most of the episodes this season and that's the best response I can give. Jeff E. had made a comment somewhere awhile back that the bromance wasn't going to be broken for long; that he was going to get it back on track and it would still be there. Well, I've seen glimpses of the relationship here and there that used to exist between Neal & Peter, but it definitely has not returned, not in a way that is reflective of the WhiCo that I used to know & love in S1 & S2. There is still loads of tension, lying, betrayal between the two and I'm not seeing things getting any better at all for the rest of this season. I have no sympathy for Mozzie at all. And that can be blamed on the way he's being written this season. Everyone keeps saying well you knew he was a criminal, what'd you expect. Mozzie was never written as being anything more than a whipsmart, quirky, con-man conspiracy theorist who had shady non-violent past dealings. If they wanted us to believe that there was something reprehensible lurking under the surface they should have laid groundwork for that in Forging Bonds and they didn't. Even in Dentist of Detroit he was adamant about making the point that all the DoD crimes were made up by the mob and he would never mess around with those kinds of crimes. Now, all of a sudden - Hey, look! Mozzie knows assasins and is ordering a hit! This is a load of bullcrap. Mozzie is being written as an arrogant jerk this season who believes he is entitled to own a piece of Neal's life and that gives him the right to tell Neal what he can/can't should/shouldn't be doing with said life. Keller I have nothing good to say about. He's not in Neal's class at all. He's nothing more than a thug and a brute. He is not worthy of being written as an adversary of Neal's. He needs to die so there is no chance of him ever coming back. Adler was a worthy opponent of Neal's. He should have never been killed off. I would have enjoyed seeing Adler plotting behind bars, with whatever faithful followers he still had left, to bring Neal down. It would have made for some good, tense viewing to see Neal & Peter trying to stay one step ahead of him to figure out what he's trying to do and outsmart him. I have nothing against Eliza Dushku but I have a serious problem with the writers coming up with a new con woman character when we have the ever lovely Alex Hunter as played by Gloria Votsis. I cannot be the only WhiCo fan who is wondering where the heck Alex is, can I? I mean, the writer's specifically made a point of placing dialogue between Neal & Peter where Peter says even though the FBI has tried to keep the sub hush-hush, stuff tends to leak out(re: the conspiracy newspaper). And Alex hasn't heard a whisper of this? Really?? Alex has very good connections, or at least she used to in S1 & S2. Surely she is aware that the most likely candidates for who has the Nazi Loot are Neal & Mozzie. Why has she not come back to NY and gotten all up in their faces over it? I would prefer to see more of this angle of the storyline with Alex being angry over N&M hijacking what she believes to rightfully belong to her instead of creating some other vixen out of thin air that serves no purpose other than being a hood ornament. And speaking of the Nazi loot plotline.... Near the beginning of the eppy Peter says that the Eqyptian government would like their national treasure back. Oh, well, you know, I'm pretty sure that the Russian government would like THEIR national treasures/priceless antiquities back, too. That would be the pile of property that was stolen by the Nazis in their raids on Russia's museums that is sitting in the warehouse that Neal & Mozzie like to keep ogling on their BloodPlunderCam. It would not surprise me one bit to learn that the writers didn't even draw that comparison at all when they wrote that line of dialogue. It's quite obvious that the old White Collar of S1 & S2 is pretty much dead. Jeff E. wanted to do a "reset" of the show and he certainly did. Apparently Jeff's idea of a reset is to bust the show to pieces with a pickaxe and a sledgehammer and screw everything about it that the fans had come to know and love from S1 & S2. Will the S3.5 episodes that begin airing in January 2012 indicate that Jeff traded in those toys for chainsaw? I guess we'll see.


I also loved last nights ep. The end was the best! How Neal and Moz were fighting and yelling. Also I loved how Sara was mad at Neal at first but when Keller showed up she instantly took Neals side. though i disagree with she not being able to act. I thinks she plays her part perfectly and also i really like to have a stronger female character on the show and yet she showed loyalty. Also shes not too skinny, shes beautiful. Eliza dushku didnt make an impression though, Ive never really been a fan of her as an actress, yet yesterday i think she just didnt get a chance to prove herself. Her part was pointless. Keller on the other hand made a great impression, once again. He was charming and cruel, true criminal! As for Moz, the fact that he ordered a hit on Keller did surprise me, but didnt change the way i see this character. Still think hes awesome!! Cant wait for next weeks ep.!


@ LindaLovesTV - this is a difficult show to just come into in order to watch one partictular actress/actor and get what's going on. It's not one of those shows where each episode stands on it's own - each episode builds on the last, and those in the last season even. But to each his/her own - those of us who have watched from the beginning love it - and loved this episode as well.


I don't really watch this show, but had to check out this episode just to see Eliza Dushku. I wish she had been in it more. As for the actress who plays Sara, I am sorry, but that girl cannot act! I was practically cringing each time she was on the screen. I love the actor who plays Mozzie -- loved him in Sex and the City! Anyway, this one episode was definitely not enough to make me want to watch any others. Unless, of course, Eliza Dushku becomes a permanent cast member.


WOW!! How amazing an episode was that? Gasps and shocks were numerous throughout! Why did Hale get shot? Just because. Keller is so evil; he makes the show!! Ross McCall does not get enough credit in portraying this thoroughly cruel psychopath with conviction. He can never get caught; his appearances are too exciting to end. My heart went out to Mozzie over and over. First Hale's death, then Keller's involvement; next his decision to put out the hit, and the final betrayal of Neal lying to Mozzie about finding the manifest. He was excellent throughout. Eliza's role was quite small compared to all the hype that was given for her being on the show, and I'm hoping she comes back for a larger role. Sara surprised me with her thoughts about the treasure, although I still do not care for her. She is too thin; she doesn't look healthy, and her performances are bland. She did give a better performance last night, but I'm still not convinced she should be on the show full time. I love White Collar and dread the weeks after next Tuesday until they return for the remainder of the season. It's good I have the DVDs of the first two seasons to hold me over!!


WOW!! thats all i could say after watching this ep.. i gotta admit i kinda feel bad for Neal but at the same time i'd say he deserves all this trouble..he's not being honest to anyone.. i'm really looking forward to see what happens in the next episode

Terrie lynn mcdonald coleman

Have loved White Collar all season! I think this season will end with Peter on the brink of realizing Neal has the treasure. And Neal and Mozzie about to get that painting back. And I'm betting Keller shows back up....... I'm also thinking the show will return in January........but not sure.


I enjoyed this one. It had a little of everything! Eliza and Ross rocked it hard. Hope both come back.

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White Collar Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

You're secret's safe with me Neal.


I hope you don't forget about anything between us.