White Collar Review: Mind Games

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Is it possible Neal Caffrey is about to lose it?

White Collar Season 5 Episode 4 certainly suggested that might be the case. Even under the influence of a specialty drug, I don't think it would be too much to say that Neal is on the verge of an epic breakdown.

Controlling Interest Scene

It kind of surprised me there wasn't more push when it came to Seigel's murder. I expected to see more of the investigation. Then again, turning it over to bring Peter back into the field is probably the way to go. Besides, it gave us a whole other side of Neal to dissect.

I would say that his lose lips was only a matter of being drugged, but it's clear that the lies he's carrying are starting to weigh on him in a way only Neal knows - and we're starting to figure out. One wonders why this isn't something we've seen before. It's not the first time Neal has lied, and his continuous struggle with his dual criminal/supercop sides is old hat.

What is new here is the addition of death. We saw him deal with Ellen's loss in White Collar Season 4, Episode 9, but I think there's something about the death of a young man not unlike yourself that has the true power to get you rethinking your life and your choices.

Dr. Summers had it straight on. Neal may be a confidence man, but he sure does hide his flaws without fail, as if failing to do so places him in an unbearably vulnerable position.

That's why I almost died when he appeared at Peter's house. All he really did was ramble about the past, closely guarding present circumstances and situations. If only Mozzie hadn't arrived when he did! It only means there's more time for the pressure to keep things quiet about his deceit to mount!

This leads me to a rather troubling prediction: that Neal will likely go down for Seigel's murder. He was in the vicinity of the place where Seigel died that night meeting with Hagan, which is a red flag if I've ever seen one, especially from an investigative perspective.

How could Neal recover from that?!?

Part of me thinks he doesn't plan to recover - he doesn't even plan to be around. What was that about having to leave everything behind? Did Dr. Summers really get that deeply into his head? It seems like a 180 flip, but it definitely worries me!

Do you think Neal Caffrey has finally lost his mind or is this just a phase?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (136 Votes)

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


I hate that Peter and Neal aren't friends any more. Their unique partnership was what made this show special. But now they don't even like each other any more. Very disappointing. Especially after last season where they meant to much to each other.

Nina kulk

The psychiatrist was obviously manipulating him when she called him a sociopath. But she did make him realize that he is trying too hard to fit into a mold. He will react a bit by going to off to the other side but will eventually come back in the middle, achieving a balance unique to him, not Peter nor Mozzie.

@ cali123

I'm done! Think the first two seasons with the straight-arrow cop with a big heart taking under wing the lovelorn misguided young criminal also with a big heart was just a nice dream. I don't like anyone anymore. I'm sick of Mozzie always being around like some mainstream sociopath instead of the quirky crook in the background; that was always more fun than this perverted lurking in Neal's apartment. Elizabeth is a self- righteous whiny hypocrite but Peter is the worst of all. Don't think the writer's have a clue about real friendship. There was plenty of friction just with the differences in age and experience. We didn't need the constant betrayal and mistrust. I can't think of another buddy show that had so much potential just washed down the drain. I won't be disappointed anymore because I won't be watching anymore.

@ Jody

Couldn't agree more. I don't know how they managed to make every character unlikeable. Worst thing is I don't like Peter or Neal anymore. Mozzie and El started irritating me in season 3-4, but in season 5 they ruined the main characters, Peter and Neal, too. So now I'm done.


Jim Campolongo, the writer of this episode, when asked about if he believes people are born one way and lack capacity for growth: "I believe everyone, even TV characters, are capable of change. Characters NEED to change. They also need to be tested."


Problem is, this time it's not the wrong thing for the right reasons, but the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. That sortof makes him the bad guy. And he doesn't need anyone to keep him on the straight way but Peter. But apparently Peter gave up on him too.


In 5 sessions, Neal's character has still not evolved; he is always doin the wrong things for the right reasons. He needs a new love interest in his life who is gonna help him get on the straight way.


Can I just say this: the scene when Neal asked Peter to pick a number was epic. :D


Interesting turn of events last night for sure. If they put Seigel's murder on Neal and he goes back to jail...the show would be over(I haven't seen anything saying this show is going to end). I think Neal and Mozzie will find a way to make sure Hagan goes down for that because it is obvious Hagan is the one that did it. Hagan is surely watching Neal and saw those two together. I think that Neal does want to have a normal life, however, I think he may be growing tired of being under the FBI's thumb. I think Peter already suspects Neal got that money. That was easy enough. All Neal had to do was go and get it as soon as he found out where it was and then tell Peter the rest. Only a matter of time before Peter realizes Neal was at the location hours before where Siegel died,

@ Terrie

"I think Peter already suspects Neal got that money. That was easy enough. All Neal had to do was go and get it as soon as he found out where it was and then tell Peter the rest." I agree. He also seemed to have known about Mozzie being the mysterious helper with the delivery last week (as well as knowing that Mozzie lost everything when his identity was revealed and his assets were stolen). Thus I can see him as seeing the money vanishing as an way of making Mozzie "whole" since he would suspect/understand what Neal did with it.


Yes Neal has finally lost his mind. I don't like it. You're supposed to like the lead character, not think he's a sociopath and root for him to get arrested and sent back to prison for life.

@ Mandy

see I don't think we are which make White Collar so different.. I could see Neal maybe blowing up telling peter everything and want to go back to jail

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