Original Air Date: Feb 26, 2013
Jules – News Editor
In the season four penultimate episode, the team faces off against an amazing sculpture forger and it gives Neal a chance to show off his skills against another great artist. Are they both that great?
At the FBI, a new bureau chief is named and the team questions the move, while Neal, Mozzie and Peter continue to look for the evidence box. It’s just another solid episode, so let’s get started.
Mozzie’s selling ice cream at extraordinary high prices ($13 a scoop!), but it also doing reconnaissance at the Empire State Building when Neal and Peter stop by. Peter lets it be known that he knows what they are doing and finally, we are all back on the same track! As always, many heads are better than one, so they can find this evidence box and take down Pratt, right?
Back at the FBI, new NYC White Collar chief Amanda Callaway (Emily Procter) introduces herself to the office. Her ascension is questioned and she plans on being more “hands on” on cases and immediately, Neal says he doesn’t like her. Jones and Diana think it should be Peter running White Collar. Hells ya!
Callaway meets with Peter and Neal and they its nice all around. She hands them their first case under her purview with a caveat: she wants a quick win. She hopes this case will get their office back on track – like they were ever off track? Her niceness makes Neal question her intentions, so Peter promises to look into Callaway.
The case of the week: art forgery. Neal’s brought to a gallery to see if a recently purchased Bernini sculpture is fake (while also busting out his French skills). Neal deems the sculpture real, but there’s another piece that he deems a fake. A Dubois just purchased for $6.5 million. The gallery says it’s real – even his signature note hammered into the heart of the sculpture is there. But Neal gives a speech about chick sexers who have the amazing ability to determine the sex of a chick in a process no one quite understands. He loses me and the gallery owners, but trust Neal to know a forgery when he sees one.
Dubois’ protégé JB Bellmier (also known as Jeff Blatnick) sold the forged piece and is the leading suspect. Callaway comes to listen to Peter’s debrief and then calls him in to say she wants him off the case. What?! No conclusive evidence and wants to be efficient and this isn’t the high profile quick and easy win she wants. She can’t be good, right?
James calls Neal. Apparently Moz’s safe house is an underground bomb shelter in the middle of nowhere and it’s driving him crazy.
Neal and Peter head to Bellmier’s (Pablo Schreiber) studio. Neal learns Bellmier likes to work on his stuff alone in a private room and what he finds there are two partially completed Dubois sculptures of the rest of his collection!
Unfortunately, Bellmier could sit on them for years (he’s already made millions from the first sale), but Neal says he could encourage him if he got 500 pounds of marble. So there’s Neal, in his apartment, chipping away making his own Dubois forgery. He must work real fast! While Neal finishes up his sculpture, James returns. Neal’s not too happy about him leaving the safe house and wants him to go back, but he’s here, so we must deal, while Mozzie continues to do recon at the ESB. James review of Moz’s photos elicits a thought he and Ellen always said when looking for evidence. That walls move, but ceilings and floors don’t. So she probably hid the box in one or the other space.
Callaway isn’t too happy about Peter still on the case and spending $15k on marble, but Peter convinces her on their next plan. We also learn she’s the one that closed the Pratt case. Neal’s more suspicious of her now, while Peter suspects she might be protecting her job.
Authentication time! While his forgery is being authenticated, Bellmier unexpectedly shows up and questions the piece, but an x-ray of the sculpture shows it’s real and it’s deemed a real one. “It’s not just a Dubois, it’s the Dubois.” Bellmier notices Neal. They talk and with Bellmier’s previous fake, the one in his gallery and this one by Neal, there’s only one sculpture left of the four in Dubois’ collection. Neal says they can both work on that together and make millions. They meet, but Bellmier wishes to start fresh and destroys his work in progress piece.
With Callaway heavily involved now – micromanager anyone? – she suggests using a special scanner that can read fingerprints to prove that the Dubois Bellmier is a fake. Neal, on the other hand, also thinks the scanner would be a great tool to use to scan the ceiling and floors of the ESB to check for the box. But Peter forbids it and asks his to swear that he, Moz or James won’t use it. Neal says so, but this is Neal, he’s got to have a plan!
Stakeout time. First detour: Callaway wishes Neal to keep his anklet, but Neal’s got that covered. While Neal takes off his watch mic and puts on chipping noises to it, Moz is viewing an empty space on the 50th floor and purposely stains the marble, thus bringing in a buffer to come in.
Elsewhere, James is manning the ice cream stand where Neal’s set up something so the tracking signal won’t reach the van for the scanner and then plants the scanner in the buffer machine. Nice! So he keeps his promise to Peter since technically, he didn’t use it!
At one point, Callaway suspects something from Neal and decides to check his anklet, but can’t get it. She asks Peter to and while he stalls by messing up, it’s just enough time for Neal to get back into Bellmier’s space.
Ultimately, the scanner’s been damaged from the buffer expedition and can’t get a good read and although Peter asks him to abort the mission, Neal wants to close the case and tries to get Bellmier to confess. Instead, they fight and destroy the sculpture, which reveals the handwritten note inside is signed by Jeff Blatnick. Busted. Case closed.
Back at the apartment, Neal tells James that the scanner did find an object matching the dimensions of the box. They found it! James is excited and wants to get it, but Neal wants Peter in it. “He has been more of a father to me than you ever were. We’re doing this with Peter.” Yeah you are Neal! Neal might still be wondering who he is, but he knows who he trusts and believes in. I loved this last scene with him and his dad.
After the case has wrapped, Callaway questions Peter about Neal’s probably sneaking away time, but brushes it off for now when an Agent shows her the data they were able to recover from the scanner. It shows serial numbers from cable boxes that only were used on floors 33-61 of the ESB. And with that, she calls up Senator Pratt! Knew it! She’s in his pocket, damn it!
An episode focused on both the case of the week and the evidence box. And a lot on Agent Callaway, which made me worry a lot about her and her presence all episode long. From the beginning it was clear to me she had alternative motives and Neal is right to have suspected something. I just hope they figure it out before they get to the evidence box. At least our team knows the correct floor; they do no. So will the team find the box first? Or will Callaway and Pratt get there first? Share your TwoCents below! And see you next week for the season finale!
Next week: In the Wind