Original Air Date: Feb 23, 2010
Brittany Frederick – Staff Writer
Neal’s getting random postcards from people without return addresses. Only Neal Caffrey would think this was something exciting. He brings up someone named Keller, whom he apparently has a past with and who has something to do with a burglary at a local museum. I’m pretty sure Neal has a past with a lot of people, many of whom are not that great. Case in point: Neal and Peter see the burglary’s prime suspect hit by a car in front of them, courtesy of his old buddy.
This all has something to do with a counterfeit bottle of wine that’s now being auctioned off for a ton of money. Neal goes and schmoozes with the cute blonde wine broker to see what information he can dig up. All this poking around gets him cryptic statements and a clue from Keller, telling him when and where to meet him. However, things are even worse when Peter discovers Keller is in debt to the Russian mob, hence the sale of the bottle. Always great when the mafia gets involved. Neal goes to meet Keller (played with a weird would-be New York accent by Ross McCall, alias the former Mr. Jennifer Love Hewitt), who just tries to taunt him about Kate and challenges him to come up with a better forgery in the next ten days. Peter is so not impressed, but Neal convinces him creating two fakes will force testing from the auction house – exposing both as fakes and linking Keller to the murder.
Neal enlists Mozzie to construct the FBI’s fake bottle, but Mozzie needs something that is only found in the wine broker’s vault, so Neal begs Peter to pose as his client so they can get into the vault. This involves an interesting tie and Peter making a bunch of stuff up off the top of his head. It’s good enough to get him into the vault, as he purposefully leaves the door open so Neal can sneak in later. Unfortunately, Keller decides to turn up at the exact same moment. (God, that accent is still distracting me.) Peter is still not impressed.
Peter: Spent five minutes with the guy, I want to punch him in the face.
However, Peter’s boss brings the bad news that the auction house won’t let them submit their bottle – derailing their whole plan. It’s not enough to deter them, though. Unfortunately for them, Keller’s bottle passes all the tests – which can only mean he had the real bottle all along. He set all this up to drive up the price of the bottle, and leave them empty-handed. Guessing that Keller’s plan is to pay off the Russians ASAP, Neal deduces that the Russians have somebody in town. And when Peter goes in search of Keller, he’s nowhere to be found.
Neal’s best idea is to win the bid and take possession of the bottle, as the FBI tracks a fleeing Keller. When Neal finally confronts him, he has no idea that Neal has his bottle – and therefore, he’s not getting anything. Neal says he can confess to all his crimes or spend awhile running from the Russians. Guess which option Keller picks? He goes with the feds, and Neal is left to reflect on where he is and where he’s headed.
All in all, it’s not the show’s best episode – I blame a severely overplayed bad guy for that – but it’s still worth the watch. Clearly filler for the end of the season. What did you think?