August 9, 2011

Quick Thoughts: WHITE COLLAR, "Countdown"

"Countdown" was proof that White Collar does not need stunt casting (I don't know if Beau Bridges counts) to give fans a great episode. The summer finale was able to give a little bit of closure to the first half of Season 3, keep the intrigue going, and pull off one heck of a cliffhanger.

While Season 3 has focused most of its time on the stolen treasure, it's really been about Neal and his relationships. So far, he's loved and lost Sara, has played cat-and-mouse with Peter, and even risked his friendship with Mozzie. That's not even taking into account all of the inner strife he's been dealing with. What made "Countdown" so good was its ability to really amplify the tension between the characters without giving away too much, which led to a pretty intense hour of television.

I usually pride myself on being able to figure out where an episode is going, but I really could not get a read on what was going on in "Countdown". For the longest time, I was convinced that Neal was going to leave town with Mozzie, but leave it to White Collar to pull a fast one on me. I still don't totally buy Neal's decision to stick around, and I think it would have been a bold move to have him leave NYC, but it was the only logical choice based on how the episode ended.

The right combination of external and internal drama, cool cons, and twists and turns was a great way to wrap up the first ten episodes. While I could've done with out seeing Neal base jump off of a skyscraper and some of the not-so-subtle dialogue, "Countdown" was a near perfect episode of White Collar. Bring on winter already!


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