Upper West Side Story
Original Air Date: Jan 24, 2012
Jules – News Editor
I love when Peter goes undercover, but I love it more when he and Neal go undercover together, whether intentional or not. This week we get the latter and a great bad guy to boot, with some tense moments and Neal and Mozzie working together again, but this time on a love story.
As Neal and Peter work together on the case, Neal also spends the better part of the episode sucking up to Peter and showing he’s still valuable on a case. In fact, the episode opens with Neal trying to bribe Peter with a pair of amazing Yankee/Red Sox tickets. Peter immediately brings Neal back to all the lying about the treasure and such while Neal says he’s sorry about Elizabeth.
But to our case of the week. Prep student Evan (played by The Good Wife’s Graham Phillips) comes into FBI headquarters looking for a case agent because he thinks someone is embezzling scholarship money from the school’s endowment, thus taking away scholarship money from kids like himself. He believes Andy Woods (Dylan Baker, also recently seen on The Good Wife) is the culprit since the scholarship money started slowly dwindling when he took over managing the money. This happened when he was elected to the board of trustees after his daughter Chloe (Elizabeth Gillies) started at Manhattan Prep.
Andy Woods is indeed a bad guy with known ties to the Juarez cartel, but it has never been proven. With this new school case, it may be enough to get them an in and get Woods for good.
Peter goes undercover as a wealthy parent looking for a school for his son. Neal wants follow him as his assistant to make Peter more powerful, or as Neal wants to refer to himself as, Peter’s amanuensis. Learn a new word every day.
They go to the school, but Neal is made to wait outside the headmaster’s office while Peter takes a tour of the school with Woods. While waiting for Peter, Neal manages to help a kid in trouble (telling him how to make eye contact when saying sorry) and get mistaken for substitute teacher Mr. Cooper with his excellent poetry skills. Neal tries to get out of it, but when he sees that Chloe Woods is in the class, he goes with it. Neal manages to impress and awe the girls with his literature knowledge, including Chloe, who Evan – also in the class – happens to have a crush on.
Peter eventually catches Neal in the classroom and soon pulls him out since his job was to stay put, but Neal counters that he was making it about work.
In the meantime, Neal and Mozzie worry about their future since Peter has to make an official statement about the Keller case. Instead of dwelling they decide to divert their attention. Neal tells Mozzie about the case and how Evan likes Chloe and the decide to work on redirecting Chloe’s affections to Evan.
The team realizes that the school only sees the numbers Woods give them, so they must look into the headmaster. Peter decides to send Neal back to prep school – for the good of the case, not as a reward because he took matters into his own hands. The plan is to keep Headmaster Slater out of his office while Peter goes inside to look for information. While keeping watch outside his office, Neal sees Slater put an envelope in his jacket and later put it in a locker inside a book. Neal tells Peter this, who ends up pulling the fire alarm to cause a diversion away from the locker. I loved seeing Peter close his eyes while doing it and then end up with blue dye all over his hands!
Neal breaks into the locker – Chloe’s – and takes a picture of what turns out to be a quarterly report of the school finances. So Slater is giving Woods an early look to see how much he can siphon from it, but to prove it, they will need to see Woods personal accounts.
To do that, they have to get inside Woods’ home office. Neal takes on the opportunity to do this when Chloe approaches him about home tutoring. He agrees only if her dad is home and invites Evan along as well. Peter gets in on this when he invites himself over to Woods’ house for a dinner. Woods only agrees to it when he says Peter must bring his girlfriend – who Peter made up earlier while covering his cover. The rest of the team is stunned when a girlfriend is mentioned, but Diana comes to the rescue for Peter. Also, Woods’ office has an alarm, so the only way they’ll be able to get inside is if they set off another alarm at the same time and get Woods’ to turn it off.
With Evan there as well, Neal uses him as his second eye while he goes to Woods’ office and Peter gets to an outside door with an alarm. The door must be opened at the same time, but Peter hits a snag when Woods’ guard is right in front of his door. Diana comes up with an argument diversion to get the guard to leave his post, just in time for Peter to make a dash to the door and Neal to his.
Neal gets the information from Woods’ computer, but not before Chloe accidentally stumbles upon him and then accidentally pocket dials her dad at the same time. Of course! Before Woods can chew Neal off for being in his office, Evan says it’s his fault and Neal goes along with it. Chloe’s impressed and finally eyes Evan with some interest.
Jones is able to pull some account numbers from the computer and the case nears its end, but not without one last conflict. Neal finds Evan at school being yelled at by Woods, who now knows about Evan copying the quarterly reports. To show his strength, Evan tells Woods he can’t scare him because he has powerful friends of his own. Hearing this, Neal calls Diana to say their cover’s been blown and calls Mozzie (who’s also in the school undercover to plant a big romantic gesture to Chloe as Evan) saying he needs his help.
Just as Peter is about to give Slater a check for the school, Woods gets there to haul him off where they find out Peter is really FBI. Neal’s trying to figure out what he can do when he runs into Chloe and asks to use her phone to put his phone number in, but instead calls her dad so he can over hear how Chloe is heading to his classroom to meet Evan. It does the trick and gets Woods to leave. Mozzie hands Neal the diversion, which saves Peter and they all get to take down Woods in the end. And Evan gets the girl, courtesy of Neal and Mozzie’s poem and roses in the locker. Cute!
Peter has his meeting about Keller and later lets Neal in on how he told the truth, but not necessarily all of it. I love when Peter says how he believes everything that Neal did on this case says that they can make the partnership work. Yes it can, they make a great team! Oh and those great Yankees tickets? Peter gives them up, as hard as it was, but then Neal gives them to Jones, who goes back to invite Peter. Win-win for Peter!
Another solid episode. Did you enjoy Neal and Peter going undercover and Diana as well? Share your TwoCents below!
Next Week: Neighborhood Watch