Monday, July 19, 2010

White Collar returns for summer heists

     Last week, USA's White Collar returned for a second season.  Considering it premiered last fall, then aired again this winter, it's gotten more episodes in the last twelve months than most USA shows.  But I'm not complaining.  The series about the partnership of an F.B.I. agent and a con-man with an electric ankle bracelet is good escapism, and the first episode back was no exception.  Called "Withdrawal", the team tried to stop a cocky bank robber who sent his business cards ahead to the banks he was thinking about robbing.  It provided plenty of action, a bit of a humor, and a few plot twists.  Plus, the villain was played by the wonderful Tim Matheson, who also directed the episode.

     But that's not what the series is really about, and the case of the week is not what sets White Collar aside from some of the other dramas on television.  No, the heart and ongoing plot is what makes the show special and worth watching.  The con-man, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) is still stinging from the apparent death of his love two months ago when her jet blew up right in front of him.  The agent, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) is meeting secretly with Neal's criminal friend Mozzie (Willie Garson) to make sure that Neal isn't going to snap.  Not only that, but Peter is in very hot water after the jet's explosion, and the other mishaps that went along with it, and Neal doesn't realize just how precarious and scrutinized their continued agreement is right now.  Which makes it all the more cringe-inducing when Neal uses less than proper means to get the information needed to catch the bad guys.

     Mystery was further deepened when it was revealed that Agent Diana Lancing (Marsha Thomason) stole the music box that the whole finale centered on.  What is she doing with it?  Is she keeping it hidden from bad elements, or intending to use it for herself?  Does the Bureau or Peter know that she has it?  And soon (presumably next week) Peter is going after shifty Fowler (Noah Emmerich), who seems to have disappeared.  I don't like or trust Fowler, and I understand why Peter has kept Neal out of the loop on that investigation aspect, but there's still so much unknown going on there as well.  Plenty to keep checking back with the show on as the summer plays out.

     White Collar airs on USA Tuesday nights at 9pm, including tomorrow.

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