White Collar Season 1 Episode 5 (11/20/09)
The show starts off with Neal finding a note under a New York bridge from Kate – the X really did mark the spot. The note is a letter asking him to leave her alone and to forget all about her. Neal is convinced this is another clue. In some way he figures it out – she wants him to meet him at the bridge Friday at noon.
Later on that day, Peter meets with Neal to talk with their new assignment. She is a young girl whose grandmother passed away and left her a painting – a painting that is worth over two million dollars. It was stolen right in front of her eyes.
Neal realizes that the young lady is only telling half the truth – so he gets her to confess that the portrait is really of her grandmother – that she stole it back after the government refused to give it to her. It was a gift from the painter and for both the grandmother and her granddaughter; it was never about the money, but the family history behind it.
Being the awesome crime fighting duo that they are – Peter and Neal realize that it is an inside job. Neal confronts the girl’s uncle, Gary, and he believes Neal to be working for the man who stole the painting. Gary tells Neal that culprits name and Peter is on the case to put together a set-up.
Neal pretends to be an interested buyer, but somehow the crook figures it out. They leave just before they are apprehended. Later that night they are on a case to find a French woman that may be holding the painting for the criminal.
Somehow Neal does just that and they get invited back to her apartment. Neal sneaks off and is able to find the hidden painting.
The next day Neal gets a call from the criminal – he wants his painting back – or else he will harm the innocent art dealer. Unsure of what to do, Neal creates a replica of the painting.
He tells Peter that he stole the painting and wants to set up another meeting with the criminal. Peter knows that Neal might not have told him the exact truth.
Neal goes to meet with the criminal to give him the portrait. The FBI swarm in and arrest the criminal. They bring the painting back to the museum owner who realizes that Neal must have known the truth behind the original painting and agrees that the replica is the real deal. Neal brings the original portrait back to the granddaughter who happily accepts it.
That Friday at noon Neal and Mozzie go back to the bridge to await Kate. She ends up calling him on a pay phone. He sees her and all she asks is to know where all the stolen goods are. He chases after her, but by the time he gets to where she is, she has vanished.