After a mini hiatus, White Collar returned and begged the question tonight: Is there any "Honor Among Thieves?"
Neal faced a serious decision regarding the trust he's struggled with constantly as of late. How would he balance it with the desperate need to uncover more information about Ellen?
In the end, we were all wondering whether or not Neal may have been playing all of us the whole time!
The episode began with Ellen's funeral. I don't know about you, but I'd like to think the show would have put a little more time into whether or not Ellen died at the scene or in between lying on a stretcher and ending up in a casket. It seemed cut a little short, skipping over the most important part: her actual death.
But if the ominous tweet from series creator Jeff Eastin is true, it seemed there were more reasons that Ellen Parker made her exit so early on in Neal's search for who he is.
Either way, her death did open some new doors for Neal, forcing him to choose between trust and treason with his colleagues at the White Collar division versus getting information that could lead Neal to the mysterious Sam.
As much as it seemed that Neal may have actually turned a corner and accepted that he can't have it all - and that sometimes in order to gain, you have to lose - we can't help but wonder if Neal really way playing Peter and company the whole time?
My first instinct, especially given his initial apprehension to follow through with Abigail and her plan, is that he's legitimately a changed man in that respect; even with stakes as high as uncovering more about Ellen, her history, WITSEC and more, he turned her down.
Did he and Mozzie launch a grand plan to get Abigail caught and the flash drive placed into FBI evidence? That's the question we'll likely continue to ask ourselves until next week, but it's worth inventorying everything that could lead us to a less unsavory conclusion.
Neal has found himself in similar situations where all was not as it appeared. Remember the U-boat treasure debacle? Neal looked too good for the theft, only to have it revealed that Mozzie was the genius behind its last minute survival. Maybe we all need to give Neal the benefit of the doubt on this one. I truly think he's making great strides towards not having to be on the run and come clean.
We are left to wonder, though, whether or not the damage has already been done. Neal and Diana seemed to have made some serious strides in their relationship, We have never had a moment quite like when Diana visited Neal to talk about her failed relationship. It was a pretty important moment, and Neal genuinely poured his heart out regarding loss and moving forward.
Unfortunately for Neal, that truth was compromised with the revelation of his participation in the heist, whether as a result of blackmail or personal gain. Then again, when it became clear that Neal was not as shady as to have participated in criminal activity to be back in the game, tensions were eased slightly. At least between Diana and Neal.
Now we've got Peter back on the defensive. It seems these two can never quite be on the same page with one another. It's a real shame, but I don't think their connection to one another would be the same without it. I mean, Peter did catch Neal twice as a cop taking out a criminal. Suspicion is at the core of thei relationship. I just hope it doesn't become the norm. We've played that out in previous seasons already.
Highlights from this episode:
- Lost alum Rebecca Mader stopping by to guest star as a provocative female art thief.
- Diana confiding in Neal in a legit way.
- Mozzie's camera blind apparatus - very innovative.
- Neal admitting that Peter's trust was the most important thing to him. About time Neal acknowledged that.
- Abigail hitting on Diana? Didn't quite see that coming.
So, Collars, do you think Neal was running a long con, or are the suspicions surrounding Neal's actions unwarranted?
C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.