Friday, January 28, 2011

What I’m Watching: White Collar

White Collar: Season 2, Episode 11 “Forging Bonds” (B+)

I very much enjoyed this hilarious episode featuring flashbacks to the days when Neal was still an operating criminal and Peter was (not so) hot on his trail, explained by Neal to Peter over beers before the sun rises. Other shows (like “NCIS” this past season) become unintentionally silly when they try to make their characters look younger. This show purposely turned its characters into caricatures of themselves, with Peter sporting a terrible mustache that even Elizabeth can’t pretend to approve of, Mozzie wearing a horrible hairpiece, and Neal boasting slightly messier hair. One of the things that’s always been terrific about this show is the cat-and-mouse dynamic between Peter and Neal that has been less prominent as they’ve started trusting each other more. Having Neal actually go up to Peter and ask him if his own money might be counterfeit was brilliant, and I love that he gave him a lollipop. Peter’s initial interactions with Jones and Diana were well-handled as well, as similar such back story revelations often inadvertently contradict their shows’ timelines, over-asserting a minor character’s importance before he or she should actually have been prominent. I’m less interested in all of the Kate business since I never really found her to be a compelling character. Casting Andrew McCarthy as the big time villain Vincent Adler was an inspired choice, and I enjoyed how he interacted with Neal when the con man pitched himself at the party. I’m eager to see what comes next in Peter and Neal’s search for answers.

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