White Collar Review: Empire State of Mind

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White Collar classed it up this week, as Neal and Peter tracked down a felon selling fake taxi medallions on "Empire City."

Bill Bellamy on White Collar

I’ve never seen Mozzie in a more appropriate work setting than in a cab. It has everything he needs: mobility, anonymity and gossip. Not to mention an outlet for a slew of witty one-liners. No wonder he was so adamant that the individual impersonating him, and his supplier, were promptly put to a stop.

I’m just grateful that the investigation led to an old jazz club. I may not be an expert, but I can appreciate the old-school class that embodies the jazz era - and no one fits more perfectly into it than Neal.

In all honesty, though, his classiness paled in comparison to June’s. She’s got a great voice and Diahann Carroll killed it. I’d certainly love to see her live in concert some place for real.

Lucky for viewers, all this throwback glamour didn’t leave us without any developments on the key front. We finally know where the key leads, apparently to the Empire State Building. What could Ellen have possibly managed to hide there that Neal and company would reasonably have access to? That’s a question we’ll have to wait a little while to answer.

Other highlight’s from this episode:

  • Mozzie’s “Yellow girlfriend.”
  • Diana’s jazz knowledge.
  • Jones’ penchant for cigars.
  • Diahann Carroll’s rendition of “Harlem On My Mind."

I would be remiss to close this review without acknowledging Tim Dekay’s brilliant work behind the camera. Though we’ve already seen his work once in the White Collar season 3 episode “Stealing Home,” “Empire City” seemed a formidable follow-up for Dekay, and he certainly executed it well. Congratulations, Tim!

In other words, how many of you were celebrating the minute you found out that Hilarie Burton was going to be in the next episode! It’s been such a long time since we’ve seen Sara. I miss her! Too bad her return coincides with Peter and Elizabeth being kidnapped.

We have to wait two weeks for another episode of White Collar, but that doesn’t mean we have to watch that long to speculate what leads to Mr. and Mrs. Suit getting kidnapped. Any ideas, Collars?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 1.5 / 5.0 (785 Votes)

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


This was a terribly boring episode. I kind of liked the recent one with the Shackleton Whiskey, at least that case was somewhat interesting, this one was pointless. It has nothing to do with suspension of disbelief. Moz as a cab driver was amusing, and it was nice to see Diane Carroll sing, but otherwise zzzzzz. I'm glad that someone reviews shows that I watch, but reviewers on this site tend to give everything 4-5 stars. It is OK to be critical once in a while, the users are absolutely right on in the rating for this episode!


it's not an ensemble show, people! whenever the show tries to make it more about the entire cast and less about peter and neal, it's just plain boring.


Well THAT was almost as boring as Identity Crisis. Thy shouldn't focus on unimportant characters so much! I want more Neal.


Was a good episode........love how they most of the time seem to be a step a head of the crooks.......


Can anyone tell me anything about the Principito cigars they smoked.


The last two episodes have received very poor user ratings. Any insight into why? Sure, there may be plot holes, but really, it is a fun show, and it is TV--you kinda have to suspend your disbelief.


I really hope that Elizabeth (in the next episode, since she and Peter are in a very dangerous place, and together) tells Peter that she forced Neal to lie to him: that was still the most shocking 'out-of-character' thing that I've seen any of the WC cast do to each other....and it really made me "hurt" for both Neal and Peter.
I read that Matt said, in an extended interview, that (1) 'Neal' is a multi-faceted character and will usually keep his emotions (no matter how enormous) "muted" (such as his reaction to James Bennett's 'reveal'), Elizabeth asking him to lie to Peter, etc. and (2) that his "romances" are "very dysfunctional" (which makes me think that the writers will not bring Sara back on a regular basis, although I was hoping they would: Neal needs a strong woman in his life and one who is not out to 'get' something material from him, as Kate and awful Alex did) (but here's hoping).
If there's going to be a "cliffhanger" after the last episode of this season (at Empire State Bldg.), I hope it's not the kind that will have all us viewers hanging for 6 months, until the next season starts; I was hoping the season renewal as of Jan. 22 would be longer than 6 episodes (what happened to all the TV shows where each season had 20+ episodes??) and I don't want a "who shot JR?"-type cliffhanger for so long.
I would also like to know what happened to Neal's mother? Is she still alive? What happened to her when Neal was about 3 and she just "checked out"? (emotional breakdown? addiction? etc.?) Yes, Neal has issues because his father left, but he would have equally bad emotional reaction to a mother who had her own problems (leaving him to basically raise himself and be helped only by Ellen -- which could be a bigger cause of his romantic dysfunction).


It's official, if tim DeKay is behind the camera, it's gonna be an instant hit, I loved, loved, absolutely LOVED this episode... I'm still letting it sink, but Diahann Carroll was just too much for me not to come here and comment about it! P.S.: I know it's been only two episodes and it might be too soon to say, but I think, maybe there's a recurring theme when Tim DeKay is directing, first baseball, now old jazz... nostalgia.


One of the best WC episodes in a while.. Looking forward to seeing Sara again, and finding out what the key belongs too and IF that is the reason Peter and El are kidnapped. NOT looking forward to having to wait 2 weeks to see it


Mozzie Cab. - Lol. Thats a type of Cab service in South Africa.

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White Collar Season 4 Episode 14 Quotes

I understand. Upstanding citizen Hal Hoover has brought me a case.


I have been waiting for a TLC joke and that was a bad one.