January 18, 2012

Quick Thoughts: WHITE COLLAR, "Checkmate"

White Collar ended its summer run with a pretty sizable cliffhanger, and for the most part the winter premiere successfully picked up where "Countdown" left off. Now, I wouldn't say that "Checkmate" was a better episode, but it wrapped up the previous storyline nicely while starting up a whole new set of questions.

I know that the main draw of this episode was watching Peter fight to get Elizabeth back from Keller because he has that subdued charm about him that just makes you want to hug him, so watching him get angry and willing to do whatever it takes to save his wife can be quite a sight. It didn't hurt that Tim DeKay acted his butt off during this episode. I also liked the twist of having him be in on a con because I'm always a sucker for the good guys getting their hands a little dirty. Equally impressive was Elizabeth who was able to think on her feet quick enough to get away from her kidnapper.

If I had to pick a part of the episode that didn't quite work for me it would have to be Neal. While I understand that he was genuinely upset that his actions led to Elizabeth's capture, for some reason his reactions still rang a little false to me. Then again, that may have more to do with his art fight with Keller which was one of the silliest scenes this show's ever filmed, and it was hard to take much of what he did seriously after that one. Even his carrier pigeon speech was a bit much, but still poetic. I wouldn't say that Neal ruined "Checkmate," or that he was the worst thing about it, but I was a little thrown by him this time around. I am interested to see how the end of his probation will be handled though.

"Checkmate" wasn't the greatest episode of White Collar, but it was serviceable enough as a mid-season premiere. I'm kinda glad we're done with the stolen treasure for now because this show's Macguffin's tend to be the least interesting plot elements, but it was responsible for some great moments between Neal, Mozzie and Peter, so it couldn't have been all that bad.


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