Friday, February 4, 2011

What I’m Watching: White Collar

White Collar: Season 2, Episode 12 “What Happens in Burma” (B+)

I’ve seen the 2009 Oscar-nominated documentary “Burma VJ,” and I know that things can be quite serious – and deadly – over there. It struck me as a bit of a strange choice for this show, which, despite being classified a drama is really a comedy, to explore as its main episodic plot point. That worked out fine, however, and what concerned me much more was the nonchalance with which Neal gives himself away to those he’s conning, and just acknowledging to Peter that he had burned a perfectly good alias seems like he’s failing to realize the gravity of letting the person he’s betraying know who betrayed him. My favorite part of the episode, and certainly the most hilarious, was Peter walking in on Neal and Mozzie and seeing Mozzie’s “smoking jacket,” as the bald guy alleged it was. I also quite enjoyed the episode’s best line: Mozzie’s quip that he hadn’t had this much fun since he tripped Noam Chomsky. Since this show often ends up being mostly just about Peter and Neal (and sometimes Mozzie), which is hardly a bad thing, for the record, it’s nice to see some of the supporting players take center stage, especially when they get to get in on the comedy, as Naomi did this episode by mocking Peter’s nickname after he had her pose as a runway model. I had thought for a moment that this might the second flashback episode in a row with all this talk of Neal’s cop father, but it ended up being a meaningful and non-distracting surprisingly dramatic subplot.

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