“White Collar” mini-cap: “Diminishing Returns” (4.03)


Here’s what you missed on White Collar: Neal went on the run with Mozzie at the end of last season. They ran all the way to Puerto Rico Cape Verde and set themselves up in a villa protected by some bad dude for the sum of $25,000 a month. Despite being told to leave it alone, Peter and his merry band of agents figured out where Neal was, Peter flew in to bring his boyfriend crime fighting convict home, and Mekhi Phifer played Agent Collins, a bounty hunter who didn’t care if Neal got back to the States dead or alive and shot Neal in the leg to drive the point home.

Peter got Neal back to the U.S. and got Neal reinstated with his old gig with the FBI because otherwise the show doesn’t work Neal helped Peter and Collins bring home an uber bad guy. Diana was mostly AWOL for the episodes but did get to tell Nealthat she always thought she would be the one to shoot him. Aww, these two have the cutest sibling rivalry around.

Important Stuff

So now you are caught up on plot. This episode opens with Papa Bear Burke finding out his punishment for disobeying orders. James Rebhorn, who I once saw in my hometown production of To Kill a Mockingbird and can now never see him as anyone but Atticus Finch, hands down the sentence: Peter is off to “the cave” or evidence cataloging and storage. Burke is super bummed because this was the week he was planning to reopen an old case and being stuck in a warehouse is going to ruin all his fun. Luckily his boyfriend Neal is excited to break the case open because he’s feeling all guilty that he got Peter in trouble by fleeing the jurisdiction and then needing to be rescued like some damsel in distress and Hallmark doesn’t cover this sort of indiscretion with a greeting card.

Bad Guy of the Week

So Neal, Diana, and Jones try to figure out how to solve the case because the Von Trapp kids are so well behaved that they do their work even when the Captain is away cataloging evidence. The case involves someone who has been committing precise robberies separated by many years. Neal visits Peter at work with lunch of French takeout. They discuss the case while Peter tries to get information from Neal about Neal’s past. Oh, Peter, sometimes it’s best to let your date open up on his own time.

One thing this show does well is giving us information about the characters a little at a time. This episode we learn that Neal grew up in witness protection, that his real name is Neal Caffrey, and that his father was a murderer. For a show that dribbles information to the audience a drop at a time it felt like a big swig from a garden hose on a hot day.

Shegull Sighting

Peter can only work on the case in his off hours so we see  him at home with Diana (Hi Diana!) and Neal and Jones are at the FBI offices and everyone is on speakerphone. They have figured out, through the magic of Neal’s beautiful mind, that the bad guy is going to be stealing from a jewelry store in the diamond district. Now, hmm, who on the show recently got engaged and might have been in one of the places recently? Oh, right Diana. So they are looking at Neal’s sketch and comparing it to floor plans of a bunch of places when Diana calmly announces that they can cross one store off the list because she and Christie went ring shopping there and its security is top notch. Peter gives her a look and asks if she scoped out their security and Diana gives a cranky look and says “ring shopping’s not really my thing.” Upon closer inspection, Diana is not wearing a ring on her left hand but is wearing something sparkly on her right hand.  

Last season, Diana was the least enthusiastic person on the team about her engagement, acting as if Christie tried to give her the Clap, not a diamond ring. The guys practically wet themselves anticipating the bachelorette party and the nuptials of the Shegulls. We have not learned much about why Diana is so hesitant about her engagement and wedding, but as the season progresses we can hope that the writers continue to pour out information a drop at a time.

End Game

Neal and Peter got to wear matching workout gear and got information from the suspect. Tracksuits are cute on you two guys. I guess it’s not just lesbians who start looking alike after a while. Neal  taught Peter a few new clever tricks so Peter could go undercover and help catch the bad guy. Since Peter skipped out before he could get the credit for the arrest we’ll have to wait at least one more week to see if he can get back to White Collar with his team. 

Next Week

Peter’s still locked in evidence, Neal is charming a widow, and we’ll have to see if Diana is still moody as a teenager over Christie having the gall to try to put a ring on it. Am I the only one who thinks that when your hot, doctor, girlfriend proposes you just say yes and get ready to reenact the scene from Sweet Home Alabama in which they have Tiffany’s to themselves?

What do you think of the episode?  What do you think Diana’s problem is with being engaged?

I will be tweeting along with the episodes using the tag #shegullsnest if you want to join in.