August 1, 2012

Quick Thoughts: WHITE COLLAR, "Parting Shots"

While I have been a little hard on White Collar for its lack of ambition, something that was once again evident during this episode, I haven't been praising the show for doing what it does so well. That's going to change (somewhat) thanks to "Parting Shots."

First off, I was so happy to have Sara back because she's been one of the few Neal love interests that I've cared about, and it doesn't hurt that Hilarie Burton's so good with the role. Plus, we got some more of her backstory, which was appreciated. What also doesn't hurt is the fact that Matt Bomer has chemistry with EVERYONE. Even though I knew that Sophie wasn't going to be a major player in the show's history, I bought the brief bond Neal established with her, and I actually want to see her come back sooner than later.

What didn't quite work for me was the show's need to constantly backtrack. The thought of having Peter removed from the white collar division had some potential, but so did Neal on the run, but both storylines were wrapped up really quickly, and it feels like there are no consequences on this show. Just when White Collar does something new, it retreats and goes back to the status quo, and it's starting to get old. That being said, I can excuse the show's return to normal because it's long term plan revolving around Neal's father has more teeth than previous season long arcs.

White Collar knows what it does best, and its strengths were on full display in "Parting Shots." Sure, I'd like for the show to commit to more paradigm shifting changes, but part of its charm is its familiarity and its ability to consistently entertain. At the end of the day, I appreciate White Collar for what it is instead of what it could be.


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