The show opened with Agent Siegel asking Neal Caffrey where to live in New York, since he's recently divorced. He then tells him a secret: he's rich. Of course there's got to be intrigue with the new handler. Caffrey pointed him towards the lower West Side.
They transitioned to the office and Caffrey learned from Peter Burke, his former handler, that Curtis Hagen is now free due to the contaminated evidence (thanks Neal!) and as a result, Hagen is out. Of course, just as he was leaving Burke's office, Caffrey got a text from Hagen. What, Hagen couldn't wait five more minutes?
They met at a museum. It wasn't a social visit. Hagen told Caffrey that he was grateful he is free. Caffrey said that's he's done, but Hagen said that he controlled when it was over and, oh, he wanted him to steal something for him.
Hagen wasn't after the most valuable piece, a painting. Instead it was a book; or part of it, rather - one chapter out out of something called the Mosconi Codex, a book that cannot be opened and supposedly has the key to wealth. (Hagen could have just gone to the self-help section of any bookstore, duh.) Caffrey's got 48 hours. Of course, he started off by flirting with the curator, who was named Rebecca.
There was comic relief, with Mozzie wearing bad wigs to conceal himself. Yeah, this is a theme this season: the costume department must love this. They hatched a plan to get Siegel to take Caffreys' tracking anklet off by having him convince him that the museum is going to be robbed by someone named Zev (a person who Mozzie had grievances against) and Neal wanted to be on stakeout, sans ankle bracelet. Siegel bit and Burke first said he would join them, but Neal reminded him that he has a Yankee commitment. Crisis averted...for now.
Caffrey met Rebecca outside the museum and managed to secretly procure her work ID,which would allow him unfettered access to the museum. Siegel then drove up and set up the stakeout. While they were sitting in the car, Siegel admitted that he got his fortune from his grandfather's making elevator buttons. Exciting. Neal sent him off on a goose chase based on a wig that Mozzie was wearing and was then about to make a move to the museum, since he only had a 10-minute window, when Burke showed up. Oops. Neal got him to leave by playing the guilt card about how Burke was the one who dumped him onto Siegel. Burke got the message and took off. Neal hastily made his way to the museum.
Disaster almost struck when Siegel was closing in on Mozzie, but Zev, who apparently was more inept of a burglar than Mozzie let on, set off the alarm, causing all the gates to shut, but not before Caffrey was able to get the chapter out of the book and replace it with dummy text. Both Caffrey and Zev were trapped in their respective spots in the museum. Caffrey shorted out the gate, climbed under and left. Siegel caught up with him outside and it turned out Zev stole the painting. Burke saw the alert that painting was stolen and brought in Rebecca for questioning, since it was her ID used to get in. Which of course made Caffrey feel guilty, since he was the one who took the ID in the first place, and he hadn't told her that he worked for the FBI. Which made the meeting in the interrogation room rather awkward.
Neal had to admit that he was doing some reconnaissance (though he shifted it by saying he was just checking to see if it might be an inside job). He tried to divert attention away from her since she was really innocent. In an attempt to figure out the stolen painting, he met Burke at the museum, where they first saw the Codex being moved, since the mysterious owner was not feeling it was safe there. Someone was opening the book and Caffrey was sweating bullets that the fake pages would be seen, but in Plot Saver, the other curator berated the guy to leave it shut. Then, focusing on the painting, Caffrey was walking through what Zev might have done to escape when he realized that he took his gloves off to short-circuit the gate below. Oops. Of course, since no one actually knows the Codex had been tampered with, no one would dust downstairs, so Caffrey was safe.
Zev was arrested with Mozzie watching the takedown while wearing yet another horrible wig. Afterwards, he crossed Zev's name off a pad. Yeah, you don't want to be on Mozzie's bad side.
Siegel and Neal were talking and Siegel is about to ask him something that seemed important and illuminating when Burke walked in. Moment lost. Neal then met up with Mozzie. They agree to try to crack the code in the chapter before Hagen could. That's part of the fun of White Collar: those two friends putting their heads together.
Much as I like Mark Sheppard, he seems to have taken a similar role like Crowley on Supernatural. Both are supremely amoral and like to hold things over people's heads. Hagen is doing the same thing the King of Hell did to the Winchester Brothers. I'm sure that White Collar fans will be rooting for Hagen to wind up someplace really, really hot by the end of this season. Hagen took the chapter and basically taunted Caffrey about when the 'favors' would cease. The only thing missing was him disappearing in a puff of sulfuric-smelling smoke.
Oops. Siegel happened to be tracking Caffrey and saw him talking with Hagen. Ruh-roh.
The episode ended with Caffrey seeing Rebecca at the museum. She had been let go, even though the painting has been returned...and then a bombshell. Caffrey came back to office to find a somber Burke and found out Siegel is dead (poor Warren Kole...I was hoping he'd get a longer run), shot on the street in what was viewed as a mugging gone wrong. My first guess is that Hagen figured out Siegel saw him and Caffrey and had him capped. We shall see as the rest of the season progresses.
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.