‘White Collar’ Recap: Racing Against Time

White CollarDavid Giesbrecht/USA Network

It felt like White Collar got back to its roots tonight in its season finale, with a real cliffhanger: Willie Garson was even telling all of us several times to “Wait For It … Wait for it …” as the end of the episode neared. Was it worth waiting for? Well, here’s the really truncated elevator recap to help decide.

Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke discovered that Mozzie had been poisoned by Rebecca Lowe/Rachel Turner. The con woman then called and said that it was a really bad poison and that the bespectacled bald man would be dead in a few hours. She did say she’d give the antidote in exchange for the diamond. (“We’re trading a $60 million diamond for a paranoid bald man,” Caffrey would quip later.) The two men wanted to send Mozzie to the hospital, but he refused, since he knew he would be more helpful and focused on the task, since his life was on the line. They used the coordinates that Mozzie had figured out in the previous episode and found the likely location: Fort Totten, Queens. After a bit of searching, with a bit of a break for a Mozzie collapse and subsequent hospital visit, Burke and Caffrey found the diamond behind the wall. Problem was Lowe/Turner had followed them there (get out of town) and she got the precious jewel from Caffrey and Burke and locked them in a prison cell, promising to give the antidote in an hour after she had escaped.

Meanwhile, Agents Clinton Jones and Diane Berrigan (who had a vested interest in helping, since Mozzie delivered her baby) figured out from footage at a pharmacy what poison Turner had given Mozzie and called for the antidote, which worked. Caffrey and Burke extricated themselves and found out that Mozzie was OK. Caffrey then went after Turner, who was about to be airlifted from the place by a helicopter and revealed that he had filched the diamond from her and Burke had it. The helicopter pilot, hearing that, skedaddled. The former M-5 agent was NOT happy at this turn of events and briefly wanted to hold Caffrey hostage, but he convinced her that it was time to stop running. They waited while the cops came to arrest her.

Things looked like they were wrapping up nicely. Burke called Caffrey to his office and told him that these recent events had made him recommend that Caffrey be freed. The only problem was, the FBI, like Lucy Van Pelt, yanked the football away and they decided to keep the confidential informant tethered because he A) had screwed up by going to Cape Verde the year before and B) was so dang good at his job that they wanted to keep him. This made Caffrey mad. Burke was mad too because he felt like someone with a cushy desk job had decided his friend’s fate without even knowing him, which made him decide not to go to Washington after all, solving the problem of possibly having Burke in another city next season. An angry Caffrey told Mozzie to figure out how to get his anklet off and as soon as Mozzie left, that’s when the “Wait for it” moment happened. Caffrey saw a man who had been following him since leaving Fort Totten and he got bold, going over to ask him why he was doing that. The man, who had been reading a newspaper, made no effort to run. He looked at Caffrey and told him that he would be the last man on Earth to know where Caffrey was. Two men swooped behind him, threw a bag over his head and took him into a van. They smashed his anklet and threw it into a moving van. End of season. Wow. Wait for it, indeed.


-This was one heck of a cliffhanger. Who kidnapped Caffrey? How long will it take Burke to figure out that he didn’t leave of his own volition? How long is it going to take for the next season to start up?

-It was a pretty fast-paced episode with not too many moving parts.

-Garson was hilarious while still making us worry for Mozzie’s survival for a while.

-Tiffani Thiessen got to do more in this episode other than being supportive of Burke. She yelled at a doctor to give Mozzie the possible antidote, even quipping later that she enjoyed going all Terms of Endearment on the doctor. Thing is, even with her hectoring the doctor, would the medicine been given with no tests, even with the short time left?

– Burke ran off to get a shotgun while Caffrey was with Rebecca. He looked a little disappointed that he didn’t get to be a badass when Turner surrendered.

– Mozzie looked like a little kid getting to hold the diamond in his hospital bed. Garson sold that  scene well.

– There was a dawwwwwwwwww moment when Burke hugged Caffrey towards the end of the episode. Too bad I didn’t entirely enjoy it because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. And drop it did. Because Neal Caffrey can’t have nice things happen to him.

– Once again, there was an in-show commercial. Burke and Elizabeth got into a car and they lingered on Burke fiddling with the controls to get Pandora Radio on the car before driving off. They might as well have shot electrodes out of the TV telling me “YOU WILL BUY THIS CAR!” Wait … um… I’ve got to go make a purchase.

– Again, waiting until the next season is going to stink.  Sigh. Well, there’s always baseball to while away the time until then.

Best Lines

“They’ll have a bar-coded tramp stamp on me before the first I.V.” — Mozzie is very suspicious of hospitals.

“FBI Agent Peter Burke. This is my associate, Neal Caffrey. This is my … Mozzie.” — Burke doesn’t quite know how to explain Mozzie to the Ranger (Think Forest Ranger, not Army Ranger) at Fort Totten.

“I’m just hours away from palming St. Peter $20 to get past the gates.” — Even while dying, Mozzie has wit.

“The Freemasons have their hand in everything: The all-seeing eye on the dollar bill, the Washington Monument, the MJ Dangerous album cover …” — One of these things doesn’t belong, Mozzie.

“Things are getting really bad. He thinks he’s someone named Marquis De Grouchy and he’s talking to Napoleon.” — Elizabeth explaining to Jones and Berrigan that Mozzie was delirious and talking in French.