‘White Collar’ Recap: Will Buttle For DNA (Season 5, Episode 5)

White CollarUSA

The episode opened with Peter Burke and his wife in a very steamy bathroom, trying to be amorous. As viewers know, Burke’s a huge baseball fan, so he used some terminology like ‘extra innings’. Just as the umpire was about to yell, “PLAY BALL!”, he got a flushed face. Yup, Burke, who prided himself on never getting sick or missing a day of work…was sick. Likely the flu. Game postponed because of…um…dampness.

Cut to Neal Caffrey’s apartment. Mozzie, who was still hanging around despite his windfall from the previous episode, was trying to convince Caffrey to keep beehives. Apparently they can be profitable, and Mozzie needed them so that he could keep doing things like getting wine, which he likes drinking. Caffrey reluctantly agreed to one hive and departed for work.

Caffrey ran into Burke and Elizabeth en route and showed a newspaper with a picture of a boy, Patrick Wolcott, whom Elizabeth knew many years ago. The boy had slipped from sight in Europe decades ago and apparently had returned from hiding to see his father, a rich mogul for whom Elizabeth worked. She went to the Wolcott residence with her museum’s art portfolio and found their longtime butler, Stanton, leaving after being dismissed. Patrick had returned to be with his dad who is sick — terminally ill, apparently — news which Stanton had apparently leaked, thus leading to his firing. She sat down with Patrick while reminiscing and when thumbing through the portfolio, he pointed out a Picasso and he said that he loved it and wanted it. This set off alarm bells for Elizabeth, since he hated Picasso before when she had known him. After leaving the Wolcott home, she called Caffrey and asked for him to look into the possibility that this was an impostor. Caffrey went to Burke’s office and backed Elizabeth and convinced a clearly sick Burke that he coould go in undercover at the Wolcott residence. He was not able to convince Burke, who was already looking very ragged now, to go home, though.

After the commercial break, Stanton was in FBI office and had scoffed at first at Caffrey’s plan to be the new Wolcott butler. “I can buttle. It’s a verb.” Caffrey impressed him with his powers of observation and he nodded his assent to the plan. Caffrey went into his undercover mode and was able to pull off a very convincing butler act. Caffrey’s first plan of action, where he tried to give Patrick a glass of water to drink on a tray, figuring that he would take a few swallows and put it back on the tray (boom, easy fingerprint test), but Patrick took it upstairs to his room, to Caffrey’s consternation. In the interim, Elizabeth came back to put the art in the Wolcott residence, including the new Picasso piece.

The episode then cut to Burke in a meeting with other FBI staff in a conference, including Agent Clinton Jones. The meeting was going smoothly until Burke, in mid-sentence, realized that he was going to be very, very sick and had to go next door to his office. He grabbed a wastebasket and. tried to brave it while on conference call with the other agents in the other room and wound up barfing for his trouble. Loudly barfing, which elicited a really funny reaction from one of the other agents. This was great work by Tim DeKay. A clearly agitated Jones put down the hammer and sent him home, something that Burke did NOT appreciate.

With Patrick out of his room, Caffrey tried to dust the glass and found it it wiped. Everything in his room was sanitized and he meant everything. A sanitized room meant no evidence. Elizabeth was downstairs looking at the new painting and Patrick stood behind her and surprised her. He was then reciting a lot of memories to her, but it seemed almost like a rote description. Neal found the sister hiding in Patrick’s closet and she seemed to be harboring her own suspicions of him. Patrick came upstairs and Caffrey hid the sister in part of the closet and then managed to snag a cufflink from Patrick which had his fingerprint on it.

Since Caffrey was clearly not a live-in butler in his undercover role, he went to the Burkes, where he found Peter still sprawled on the sofa and Elizabeth bringing tea. He demonstrated how he got the cufflink by snagging Elizabeth’s watch off her wrist without her even knowing. He talked about P.D.A – Proximity, Diversion, Attention. Peter got a call that told him that the fingerprint is from someone who didn’t commit a crime. Peter then told Caffrey to use his own technique: G.A.F: Get A Fork.

Caffrey went home and found Mozzie, not wearing a bad wig again, but in something even sillier: A beekeeper outfit. Apparently he had acquired not one but three bee hives (Has Mozzie ever actually listened to Caffrey?). This actually turned out to be good, because Mozzie gave Burke a flu remedy, which contained honey and flavonoids. Burke was to drink three vials at different intervals. Caffrey had to go to the Walcotts for work and left Mozzie stays to ‘observe’…which flummoxed Burke. Having a balding, bespectacled man peering intently at you does that.

While on the job, Caffrey tries to take Patrick’s fork but was foiled when he stuck it in more food, which wiped out any saliva on it. Not one to be discouraged, Caffrey had some luck – he was able to intercept a delivery, which included an envelope with legal papers. He rerouted it to Burke’s, where Elizabeth, who had been influenced by Caffrey, opened it. It turns out the impostor was possibly after a $40 million trust fund. Elizabeth went straight to the Wolcotts to ask for a blood test to verify the son’s identity. The father was aghast, but Patrick, while indignant, drew his own blood…which made everyone on the law enforcement side wonder what his possible game plan was.

After another interlude where various companies tried to sell us viewers stuff, Peter came back to work, declaring that Mozzie’s treatment was working. They had a sting ready if the blood test came back as the son being a fake. It turned out the blood test was normal and the father then fired Elizabeth for doubting Patrick’s identity. With Elizabeth and Caffrey waiting outside to process the situation, Patrick came out with the family dog, ostensibly to take him to vet for a cough. Sensing an opportunity, Caffrey insisted on driving them both to the vet and did recon on him. By using a bike mirror, he saw the vet tech take something from his arm – so much for the sick dog. When he went to Burke’s office and told him about it, Burke sussed it out that it was a Penrose Drain, which could be used to beat DNA tests. Apparently this meant that the real Patrick was alive… but time was ticking, since if the fake one got the trust fund, bye-bye real Patrick.

They tried to figure out how to get leverage on the fake one and decided to have Burke play an angry Croatian… make that an angry Polish man. Burke admitted, “I can’t do Croatian.” Burke went to the Wolcott home and was able to pull off a sort-of organized crime attitude while talking to him. He accused him of something that had happened while Patrick was on the lam in Europe. The fake Patrick tried to pay him off, but Polish Burke was having none of it. He gave him a number to call and told him if no answer, he would be at the welcome-home party for Patrick, which got pushed up to the next day. Fake Patrick went for a bike ride; apparently he would go there every day to get the real Patrick to tell him the memories of Europe and other things that he could feed to the family. He was in a panic and the FBI started to tail him. They had to switch off on the tails every few block, and one of the tails slammed into a car that made an abrupt right turn. Caffrey, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of Burke’s stakeout car (they clearly had an advertising spot there: they lingered juuuuuust a little too long on the features of the car, like the pushbutton ignition and the dashboard display on the windshield) took off after him with Burke sitting next to him, white-knuckled. Caffrey reassured him, “I’m a butler. I’m trained for this.”

They managed to track him, but then they lost him. Caffrey saw water running on the sidewalk of a building and remembered that Patrick had said he had dropped his travel journal in the Aegean Sea. Maybe he had dropped it in water like this instead? Following Caffrey’s hunch, they went down to the basement to find fake Patrick interrogating real Patrick about this so-called Polish connection. They then arrested the fake Patrick, with Caffrey there and getting in the smirking last word: “I’m not a butler.” The real Patrick reunited with his family and Stanton came back. The episode actually ended on a happy note. No Caffrey moaning about Curtis Hagen. Instead, it had Burke and Elizabeth in bed, trying to start off where they left off at the beginning of the show. Elizabeth started feeling sick, but decided to gut it out and it ended with a kiss.