White Collar – Recap & Review – Pulling Strings

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White Collar
Pulling Strings

Original Air Date: Feb 7, 2012

Jules – News Editor

This week Peter takes a back seat in the case of the week and lets Neal take a lead, but not really because he’s working with his ex, Sara, who returns after a few episodes away. Peter gets to deal with his in-laws, Diana gets used to something new, and we see the return of Agent Kramer.

Sara’s enlisted the help of the FBI because she thinks her boss, Bryan McKenzie, is the one behind a missing expensive violin, the Stradivarius. They have only the weekend to crack the case and since Peter is busy with Elizabeth’s birthday and her parents, he hands the case off to Neal, but Sara is the boss.

Just as the case gets started, the team’s interrupted by the return of Agent Kramer, who is back to collect intel for Neal’s commutation hearing and asking a lot of questions to Diana and Jones.

Neal and Sara first look into Bryan by not breaking into his place since Sara has a key. Another thing Sara has? A secret that Neal soon figures out. Bryan was Sara’s rebound after she and Neal broke up, but she was also with him before she was with Neal. It was so serious then that they were once engaged, but she broke it off after he wanted to expand the company in a way she didn’t agree with.

Neal manages to find a tape hidden inside a globe (a very cool hiding place) in Bryan’s place when Sara is distracting him when he unexpectedly returns home early. To get out of it, Sara convinces Bryan that she wants to be together again, like they were in Beijing a few weeks ago, where the Stradivarius went missing with the symphony, and weasels her way into attending the symphony that Neal and Sara found tickets for. Neal figures it would be good to tag along to keep an eye on Bryan, so after some help from June and Mozzie, he and Diana (who’s supposed to keep an eye on Neal this weekend) go.

The tape they find is security footage from the symphony, but the pictures are broken and have been covered up. Using some high-tech technique, Jones finds there are two figures in the video, with one person handing over the Stradivarius to another. Neal and Diana figure out the second violin player is the one handing over the violin who they discover to be the instrument expert because she broke a string. But when the team goes to find him, he’s dead, with the Stradivarius in hand and no Bryan. So what gives?

Bryan wasn’t really after the violin, but instead back to expanding his company and probably stole a special carbon polymer that went missing at a convention in Beijing. And guess what? It looks like a violin string! Of course! So Bryan got through customs by hiding it in the violin. Very clever.

So we know he stole it, put it on the violin, so where is it now? We don’t exactly know, but we do know it’s close since Bryan goes back to the scene of the crime to look for it and Sara comes in holding the special polymer asking if that’s what he’s looking for. Where did she find it? Sara tries for a confession from Bryan, but he doesn’t buy it and sees that he now has to get rid of her. He pulls out the crazy knife he used to kill the instrument expert and even though Diana and Neal come to her rescue, Sara luckily carries an extendable police wand in her purse (or at least that’s what it looked like). Neal gets the pleasure of handcuffing Bryan and case closed. But for Neal and Sara, the end is not near as they consider getting back together!

So while Neal’s been dealing with the case, Peter is busy planning Elizabeth’s birthday, including flying in her parents (played by Debra Monk and Tom Skerritt). We soon learn that Peter isn’t a big fan of her parents, especially her dad, a psychiatrist who likes to have silent staring matches. When it’s time for presents, Peter thinks he has a great one, but soon learns he got the wrong video! El’s parents think they’ve done well with their present by finding and restoring an old doll, not knowing that she really hates it and its creepy stare. Peter ends up getting help from Mozzie, who is a hit with the in-laws, and his gift of a moving picture frame wins over not just Elizabeth, but her parents as well. Yay! Plus, Peter is able to get rid of the creepy doll, with some help from Satchmo.

In other news, Diana and Christie are engaged. Diana thinks things are moving too fast for her and spends the episode in kind of a funk about it, while Neal tries to make sure he’s not only invited, but wants to organize the bachelor party. And while we don’t see a ton of Kramer in this episode, he does get to Diana, who he thinks, along with Peter, have turned a blind eye to Neal sometimes during their cases and wants to talk about his commutation hearing with her. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Agent Kramer and I hope it’s true because I love Beau Bridges.

I think this episode kind of set up lots of stuff that may come down in Neal’s commutation hearing and I can’t wait to see what will happen since we keep getting glimpses of it in previews. As for Neal and Sara – I’m still not digging them together, but I do enjoy when they work a case together. Well there’s my TwoCents. Share yours below!

In Two Weeks: Stealing Home

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