The long con continued in White Collar Season 6 Episode 2 - and it just keeps getting better.
From El returning to New York to the father-son banter, I was happily reminded of the earlier days of White Collar.
However, of course, this installment had some pretty tense moments, too.
We had to know that even conning the con wasn't going to be enough to secure Neal's place among the Pink Panthers. So while his efforts in White Collar Season 6 Episode 1 were enough to attract attention, I wasn't surprised they immediately transitioned him to phase 2. That said, I was a little surprised at how small-time the stamp retrieval task seemed. Silly me for assuming.
Color me impressed that Keller has infiltrated the Pink Panther's ranks. I mean Keller was Neal's first, after all. If you'll remember from the pilot, Keller was the first guy Neal worked with the FBI to put away. If I was Keller, I probably would have started ratting Neal out before he even stepped into the building. If not to humiliate Neal, at least to eliminate my competition. I certainly wouldn't have been in the boss' office beforehand retelling his exploits like a fan-girl. Did anyone else get the image of Keller raving about Neal to Wolford? I certainly did!
Did anyone else find it surprising that Keller might have an in with Interpol? I guess it explains why the Russian government still shows him as incarcerated, but why was the revelation randomly sprung on us like that? This is one of those moments where the truncated season revealed itself a bit.
They don't have the time to explore why Keller was acting so chill about Neal joining the Panthers, so they skip directly to a tracking chip that's itchy to push the idea. I have to admit, it was pretty clever and a clean way to move things forward upon further reflection. The initial delivery was a little suspect though.
What wasn't suspect in any sense of the word was the return to Neal and Peter pulling a two-man job. It's nice that the show was able to incorporate Peter in an undercover capacity at least one more time before White Collar signs off, and as Neal's -- or at least his character's -- father no less!
The parallel wasn't lost on me. Peter really is about to become a father and there he is playing Neal's dad. As I've touched upon periodically, for all intents and purposes El and Peter have been parents to Neal in one way or another over the course of the past six seasons. I really appreciated having that implicitly referenced throughout the episode. It was also just a ton of fun to watch.
But even as I reflect on the fun moments of this episode, I still can't help but wonder: What epic con are the Pink Panthers trying to pull off?
While you Collars ponder that question, take some time to watch White Collar online! Maybe a past episode will provide some valuable clues!
C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.