February 22, 2012

Quick Thoughts: WHITE COLLAR, "Stealing Home"

"Stealing Home" had only once scene that involved Elizabeth, and it was one of the better outings that White Collar's produced since it came back a few weeks ago. Coincidence? Probably not. Let me reiterate one thing, I like Elizabeth; I just don't care for when she's the center of the story. Now, that I got that out of the way, let's focus on the new episode.

"Home" had all of the elements that I'm looking for from White Collar. It had a neat idea for a heist, a team of rogue thieves, and witty banter between the leads. OK, so that's what I look for from an episode of Leverage, but it still applies here. What I dig about con-man shows are the cons themselves, so having Neal join a crew that's hitting Yankee Stadium was tailor made for me, and I enjoyed the ride as soon as it started because it was just fun. Sometimes I forget that Neal's a con artist which is probably why some of these latter season episodes didn't work as well for me, but "Stealing Home" was a good set up for next week's season finale.

The other elements that I liked about this one were the fact that Sara's back, and that we're not quite sure what Moz was up to at the tail end. Both of these loose threads could have major impacts on Neal's future, so it felt like an appropriate time to introduce them. I also liked the Gordon Taylor character, and I hope we see him again.

What didn't work for me was Peter's obsession with baseball. Admittedly, it gave the character some more depth and backstory, but the way he talked about was a little too sappy for my tastes, and I like baseball. It just felt like the writers were trying to remind us that Burke's the archetypal all-American to Neal's sly grifter, but even that's a minor quibble.

White Collar's had previous episodes that were stronger, but "Stealing Home" had an almost old school feel to it that I really enjoyed. At this point, I wouldn't mind a season that only focused on Neal and Mozzie pulling off jobs around the world with Peter on their trail, but I doubt this show's that brave. It's fun to think about at least.


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