‘White Collar’ Recap: Coloring The Truth

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When the episode open, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and Rebecca (Bridget Regan) were in his bed, entwined after a vigorous night of … ahem. She pressed him on the window and the Mosconi Codex, he said she was better off not knowing, since the other person involved was a Bad Person. She then left, clearly still smitten despite a brief awkward conversation with Mozzie (Willie Garson). Bomer and Regan clearly have chemistry and this doesn’t seem forced, like Sarah (Hilarie Burton) was.

Meanwhile, at the office, Agent Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins) showed Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) a Welsh coin found at a pawn shop – one of the coins that had been stolen before.

Caffrey and Mozzie then went to the church where the stained glass window was to determine how to steal it. Mozzie shot a pane out with some kind of pellet, which would necessitate a repair. Clever. Caffrey then went to work at the FBI office, where Burke showed Caffrey the coin. He said that he wasn’t going to stop until he found out who stole it. Caffrey tried to look unaffected, but he looked more constipated than anything.

The coin had been swiped by a nun … yes, a nun. They decide to find a fence who dealt in these things. Caffrey said he’d got on the streets, and Burke wanted to go with him. Caffrey got him off the trail by saying that if the fence was new, he’d run if the FBI was seen sniffing nearby. Burke asked if Mozzie knew anyone and Caffrey replied that he was at a lunch and it would be bad to interrupt him. Burke called his wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen), saying that he knew she had a lunch, but needed to stop by her office.

Caffrey met Andrew Dawson, the prosecutor who had taken the bribe to let Burke go free before. He presented a Mutually Assured Destruction scenario and got the fence’s name.

Mozzie was waiting for Elizabeth, having a nice picnic set up. His phone bleeped, it was a text from her phone, which Burke had taken. Before the FBI agent could sit down, Mozzie dropped about five or more cell phones in a pitcher of water. Burke asked him about possible fences and Mozzie reluctantly told him (after Burke threatened to have an old case of his re-opened) about a fence named Karl Dekker in a flower shop. Mozzie happened to be persona non grata with Dekker, though. He told Burke to look for a sign with a tulip on it.

Caffrey went to the area of the fence’s place and found Burke wandering the same area. It turned out Mozzie had left a fact out – the color of the tulip. There were three signs with tulips of different colors. While Caffrey and Burke were dithering about the color, Mozzie slipped in and warned Dekker, who thought it better to escape than to extract any revenge on Mozzie. Seconds later Burke and Caffrey found guns, since Mozzie had interrupted an arms deal. Mozzie switched shoes with someone to escape, much to Burke’s consternation.

Mozzie and Caffrey reconvened later and Rebecca joined them. She implored Caffrey to let her in on the plan … which he reluctantly agreed to.

The plan was for Caffrey and Mozzie to slip in at 9am, since the glass repair people took a coffee break then. Rebecca kept the workers occupied by ‘accidentally’ dropping an earring in a sewer grate (as a native New Yorker, I hope she later boiled that earring several times). There was a third worker inside, but Mozzie steered him away with a secret handshake. Caffrey climbed up and stole the window. The three of them slipped away, but the worker immediately discovered the theft and was standing outside, puzzled, when Burke was in the area.

Caffrey revisited the scene of the crime moments later, saying he had been buying a croissant. Skeptical, Burke told Jones, who said he was going to stake out Dekker’s shop to see if he returned, to call him later regardless of the situation. He then went to Caffrey’s and fielded the call. Jones told him that he hadn’t found Dekker, but Burke was responding as if Jones had collared the fence. He then made as if he was going to go to the office to interrogate him and told Caffrey to come alone. This painted Caffrey into a corner – he confessed that he had taken the money. Burke was furious and ready to arrest him, but Caffrey told him why he had done it (leaving out the part that Curtis Hagen played in it). Caffrey laid it out – if Burke did arrest him, Burke’s case would be re-opened and he would likely lose his job, which would devastate his family life. The FBI agent left him at home.

The next scene was an intense conversation between Burke and Elizabeth.She felt that Caffrey had done the right thing. Burke, who always viewed things in the prism of right or wrong with no gray areas for justice, felt that he had been wrongly freed on false evidence and that he couldn’t live with himself if he let that go. An angry Elizabeth said that he had better be absolutely sure that he was ready to do this act of professional suicide.

Burke was at the office the next morning, watching a clearly uncomfortable Caffrey sit at his desk. In walked Jones with Dekker – he had come back and fallen into Jones’ stakeout. Caffrey immediately realized he had been played. Upstairs in the interrogation room, Jones and Burke decided to hold the coins as leverage. Caffrey told him he realized that Burke had misdirected him and pointedly said that the ends justified the means there. Burke realized he needed to confront the dirty federal prosecutor. Caffrey offered to go, but Burke went alone. He presented his own Mutally Assured Destruction scenario – return the coins and resign or Burke would arrest him there, which would effectively end his own career.

Caffrey was still sweating the situation but pressing ahead with Mozzie. They dissembled the stained glass window and Rebecca joined them. What they found was that if they looked at one piece of glass that was one color, it could reveal a message on another. This could also be used on the manuscript, but only the original. Which was in Hagen’s possession. This did give them some leverage, though and Caffrey was mulling over how it could get him out from under Hagen’s thumb for good.

Dawson folded. He returned the money and resigned. Burke called Caffrey into his office and told him that news, but then said that it was a compromise … one that he would never do again. He also realized that Caffrey did do what he did to help him.. but he also did it because he was a criminal. The trust was shattered now. Really. Yeah, right. Over the course of five seasons, the trust between the two has apparently been shattered more times than a herd of bulls running through the finest china shop.

The next episode is in three weeks, with Hagen apparently taking Rebecca hostage. I’ll see you all in the New Year for more recaps.