Peter and Neal took on a case of prehistoric proportions on White Collar Season 5 Episode 8.
If only the suspicions Peter has about Neal, and Neal's identity crisis, were ancient history too.
Don't get me wrong, I love the dynamics of Neal and Peter's relationship, but this episode gave me the distinct feeling that we are starting to venture into territory where Peter is becoming the overbearing father.
Perhaps the first real demonstration of this was his insistence to crash Neal's date with Rebecca. While I think it was kind of cute to some extent, the fact he immediately converted it to an interrogation had me scratching my head a little bit.
Peter's not wrong to think that Neal is up to something - Hagan did finally reappear in the final moments and is an obvious threat - but something about the way he has continued to approach it seems uncharacteristic of Peter. I don't think Peter could have known that if he crashed Neal's date he would catch him in a lie, even if, in the end, that was the case.
When he threatened to out Neal in the restaurant, I couldn't help but roll my eyes. This kind of stuff needs to end. It was okay for a while, but this episode really did strike me a as a filler.
Never has a T-Rex case ever led to any deep, meaningful character growth. I suppose we did learn that Neal has the talent to recreate even the most ancient and delicate of artifacts, but I continuously expect to gripe with Neal's character flaws, not just as a function of Peter's righteous paranoia, but as a vehicle for visible growth.
The most introspective activity that took place was Neal actually bringing Peter in on the fact he really has feelings for Neal and doesn't want to be seen as a criminal anymore. The fact he even considered the thought of cutting the act was a big step. Lo and behold, the worst thing that happened did not and we are to assume Neal and Rebecca shared a very cozy evening together.
That is a red flag of its own, though. Why didn't she have any serious pause about the whole situation? To her credit, she did at least make it to the door before deciding to hear him out some more. And when she'd heard it all, she made the decision to stay. Maybe Neal didn't have as much to fear as he thought.
Overall, this episode was clearly a bit of a filler, as it appears next week's installment is when lies become truths and the actions that got Peter out of jail may be the ones that put him back for much longer, if not permanently.
What do you see happening next Thursday, Collars?
C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.