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S06.E04: All's Fair


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I was hoping the Elizabeth/baby scenes would satisfy Eastin's passion for cutesy filler crap, but apparently not.  Wow - an entire episode of the stuff.   Could someone tell me if Mozzie's flashback nuptials fulfilled the requirement for a wedding in the last days of a series?   Baby, wedding . . . I'm checking them off the list.   What's left?  Ah, yes, "surprise return of former true love."  I'm hoping it's Kate and not the awful Sara, but anyone will do so long as I can check her off the list.  We wouldn't want to miss even one of these precious cliches.   

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Personally, I'm still holding out for a big musical number.

 

I'm not sure what to say about this episode, and from the look of these boards, I'm not alone. I mean, if your season has been reduced to 6 episodes and you still have time for this kind of filler, then you are not plotting particularly well. But I suppose it's only filler in the Pink Panthers plot, which seems to be secondary to wildly swinging the anvil of "Can a con ever really change?" until it's bashed up the scenery, the characters and the viewers. And in that case, this episode was absolutely essential! I really wish they were setting up more varied and complex questions than "Will Neal end up going straight?" for the finale. This buildup feels like it's taking five seasons of interesting complex character work and treating it like it all boils down to a yes/no checkbox.

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I liked it, it was fun. Loved the scene where Neal  and Moz went to talk to that guy at his office and although I wouldn't like to hang around Eve, Mozzie seems to get her and I'm glad he helped her to  run away. That's the kind of relationship Neal and Alex could have had if Neal's heart wasn't so soft. 

 

It also felt like a goodbye. It's the last Mozzie-centric episode.  

 

Not really worried about the cliffhanger. 

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Is 'The Profit' good? The name's cool. 

 

re: This episode being a filler - I was resentful too, and the episode was definitely a weak one. BUT, then I realised that they've done a Mozzie centric episode every season (except the first? maybe?), so that made me feel better about this one. Don't know why it couldn't have been a better one though. 

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I was hoping that before the series ends they'd find a way to bring back some of the magic of the pilot episode -- that Neal and Peter, not the pale, twisted out of shape, gutted imitations we have now.   Remember when they felt like substantial, flesh-and-blood human beings?   Now they're just two guys spouting lines.   There was a time when there was a struggle going on inside Neal -- who to be, how to change, how to find his own artistic vision instead of only stealing from others.   He's just a con artist now.  Once a con, always a con, no happily ever after.  Heading for the life of June's old pal, Ford -- an old con still looking for that one big score. 

 

Half a billion dollars in unmarked bills.  Wow -- sounds about as meaningless and soulless as the twin to the Hope Diamond or the Nazi treasure -- or, for that matter, the island where they could live out their lives in splendor.   They never quite managed to hold onto any of those things for very long -- when they finally got their hands on them, they only managed to let them slip away -- or gave them up to save someone they cared about, which should have taught them something about what was important, but somehow it hasn't.  This seems to have been a journey to nowhere.  Nothing gained, nothing learned, just kind of sad and pathetic. 

 

Peter was always my favorite -- I was so relieved when I saw the first season and realized that though he had a ways to go, he was learning and changing, too.   He wasn't just your stereotypical agent: he had potential, he was a match for Neal, and he and Neal had this relationship that grew and seemed to mean something to both of them.   They lost all that somewhere, mostly in the need of the so-called writers to use Peter to do and say stupid, heartless things so he and Neal could be "at odds".    They destroyed that character for me.  And last night they used him to hurt Neal again -- all that stuff about how he'll lose his job if Neal doesn't get the Panthers -- such  lazy, ham-fisted writing,  

 

They should have left Peter on the steps of his house: Neal gone, Elizabeth gone, his career gone.   Neal and Mozzie are criminals and always will be; let them go off on their pathetic path, once again in pursuit of the big score.

 

I don't know how it will end and at this point don't much care.  It won't be a perfect bookend to the great pilot episode.  I wish that Peter and Neal could come back for a few scenes, though I think they'd seem like aliens from a parallel universe.  It would be nice to see them, though.

Edited by nico
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ETA: 

Three eps from the series finale, White Collar burns an hour on a Mozzie flashback. John and Sarah discuss.

http://previously.tv/white-collar/all-these-schoolhouse-rock-reject-explanations/"> Read the story

Couch Baron, I love your writing but you are scaring me here. I really hope the PTB don't listen to these calls to be "ballsy" and "complex" and kill off someone important. IMO, this show, tonally, is not one that could recover from something like that. WC is a light, cool, optimistic show. I've already inhaled the toxic fumes from burning my HIMYM DVDs - please let them not go there. Can we leave all this main character killing to the GoTs of the world and leave something that escapists like me can watch? Plus, killing someone off at the end is not ballsy, it's cheap and easy (or is that the same thing). YMMV, of course. 

Edited by romantic idiot
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ETA: 

Couch Baron, I love your writing but you are scaring me here. I really hope the PTB don't listen to these calls to be "ballsy" and "complex" and kill off someone important. IMO, this show, tonally, is not one that could recover from something like that. WC is a light, cool, optimistic show. I've already inhaled the toxic fumes from burning my HIMYM DVDs - please let them not go there. Can we leave all this main character killing to the GoTs of the world and leave something that escapists like me can watch? Plus, killing someone off at the end is not ballsy, it's cheap and easy (or is that the same thing). YMMV, of course. 

 

Oh, I hear what you're saying. I'm not calling for this at all; I'm certainly not in favor of them killing anyone off for the sake of being shocking. I just think that's how the network and producers would regard the possibility. If the show were better, I think it could maintain an overall light tone and still do the occasional death well (Chuck comes to mind as a show that walked that line well, for the most part). If they killed someone at this point, it would serve no dramatic purpose and alienate what's left of the viewership to boot.

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Here's how I see it.

 

I don't see Peter and Neal as any different as they were in the first season.  I agree that Peter has said some nasty things to Neal and I don't like that, those things seemed out of character, but in real life people do things that are "out of character; like couples getting divorced when you thought they'd be together forever.

 

I think what's different is me.  I don't feel the same way about the show, it's been on too long IMO.  I don't think this show works after six seasons, because IRL Neal and/or Peter and/or Elizabeth would get sick of all of this.  Peter would have a promotion by now and Neal would have skipped.  That's how it should have ended, Peter with a promotion and Neal and Mozzie skipping, the end.  But I feel the show is dragging and I'm bored.  

 

It reminds me of Prison Break, which to me, was a great show but it went two seasons too long and ended up sucking terribly.  

 

Oh, and "The Profit" is a reality show on CNBC that proves you can't throw money on problems and expect everything to be okay.  

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The oops I have a secret wife trope, really White Collar writers? I'm all for learning more about Mozzie but meeting some random woman that was never mentioned ever before is not something that helps with his character development. Considering that Eva is basically a poor man's Alex, you think he would've mentioned her to Neal any of the times Alex popped back up in his life. 

Edited by Sakura12
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I was actually hoping that Eva would run out to be Mozzie's ride-off-into-the-sunset opportunity, because they seemed so well suited as a couple and why else introduce her right now? So I was disappointed when the episode ended and we were back to the status quo.

 

When the fiance came on screen, Mr. Thog and I both had the nagging sense we'd seen him before. A little while later we both had epiphanies... Mr. Thog: "Justified!" Me: "Herman's Head!" That was probably the most entertaining moment of the episode.

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Why isn't the thread labeled with the episode number?

 

Why does she need a divorce from a fake wedding?

 

The marriage is actually legit. Mozzie said they had a justice of the peace. His ex wife was the "roper" for the con. They were legally married, and she [con] wanted to get married to someone else, so she tracked Mozzie down to get a legal divorce. Knowing he would flip out, which set the whole con in motion. 

 

Though, I agree that this came out of the blue. This could have been a great running gag throughout the series, to wrap up now. 

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While watching this episode, I had the pretty much the exact same thought as watching Spike and Angel run around Italy on Angel: "Three episodes to go and this is what they do!? Seriously?!" The only difference is that if you take out the fact that this is a 3rd-to-last episode, this one wasn't as pointless and stupid as The Girl In Question (Angels.) Had this been season 2 or 3, I think I would accept this whole Mozzie story a lot easier and probably would have enjoyed it. But now? Too much time has gone by. Mozzie doesn't strike me as relationship guy in general, there was only ever that woman at the diner he talked books with that he maybe ever showed romantic interest in, and even that time I think his feelings were more just Mozzie obsessing over a mystery and him finding someone he happened to have something in common with. Plus as others have said with Alex, and Neal's various other love interests, I don't buy Mozzie never mentioning it.

 

The exchange of: "Mozzie: I was at a low point. Neal: Me too. I was in prison!" did amuse me, Bomer's delivery was perfect.

 

The thing that stood out to me the most this episode was one moment toward the end when Neal and Peter were walking up a staircase, Bomer's legs looked startlingly thin. It was almost creepy.

Edited by Gigi43
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Me: "Herman's Head!"

 

That's how I knew him too!  Awesome.  *GRIN*

 

I agree with Gigi43 - had this been an earlier season, or a season where there weren't only 6 episodes to wrap up everything, I would have enjoyed this episode more. I liked the twists, I liked the challenge for Mozzie, I liked the hints of the past (what Mozzie was up to and how alone he felt when he lost his best friend and con mate when Neal went to prison), and it's a great vehicle for Willie Garson, who deserves to have one final bit of awesomeness before the series wraps up. 

 

But... there are only TWO episodes left in the entire series!! Which means everything for this Pink Panther stuff AND to wrap up everything with Neal and Peter, and Peter and El, and Neal and Keller, and Peter and the FBI, and everything else, is going to be crammed into a two-parter. Yeah, this is going to go well...

 

*sigh*  Tim DeKay and Matt Bomer deserve so much better than this. They made these characters so wonderful and both completely charmed me. They should be getting meaty material to work with, not half-assed plot lines and empty character "development."

Edited by sinkwriter
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One thing that bummed: I'm sorry Mozzie let his "wife" get away. I'm not sure I find that believable. He's not like Neal; he's not sentimental like Neal is, for the most part. He even burned that hacker's phone number because it was a complication he didn't need and figured couldn't last - okay, it's true he has an eidetic memory, but it was a symbolic gesture that said he wasn't going to be tied down to anybody or anything. If he needed to disappear, he could do that anytime. (Which is too bad, because I loved him with that hacker chick.)

 

At any rate, he doesn't get as attached to people like Neal does. I think he likes Peter and especially El, and he'd be bummed if he never saw them again, but if he had to go across the world to live a new life, I think he'd find a way to be fine with it. So... I just think - after everything that woman did - he should have turned the tables on her and turned her in to the feds. The look on his face when he realized Peter and Neal had called it every step of the way and she really was trying to set him up again... I just think he's more hardened than Neal, he's more willing to be vindictive and seek revenge (see: the hit he put on Keller when he had their friend Hale killed). So I wish he had turned the woman in. She doesn't deserve to kiss him and run free.

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I think Mozzie's main focus in life has been to make sure he doesn't lose his partnership with Neal.  He will do anything, say anything, use all his skills as a con artist to keep Neal from changing his life. even if that might be best for Neal, even if it's what Neal really wants.  In a way, he's exactly like the directors of the FBI.   who keep changing the rules to prolong Neal's sentence.   Neal is the goose that lays the golden eggs and neither Moz nor the FBI can let go of him.

 

Mozzie's been angry with Neal at times, but he's backed away and readjusted and made concessions in order not to lose him.  Working with Peter and the FBI, being friends with Elizabeth, getting along with Sara and Rebecca and other women who have been important to Neal -- these are some of the concessions he's made.   Some of his relationship with Neal is based on affection, but Mozzie is first and always all about the next big score and Neal is his best asset (the best tool in his belt?) when it comes to achieving his goals.   Neal is also valuable in that he is willing to take the fall if the two of them get in trouble.   Mozzie needs Neal's good heart to protect him and get the FBI involved if he has a problem.  Elizabeth is also useful in that way.   I think he's fond of Elizabeth, but I don't think he gave her a thought once he and Neal got to their island.   

 

Mozzie's a user, and a much darker character than he'd like everyone to think, including Neal.  One of the reasons I have so much trouble with Mozzie's cuddly, cute persona is that I don't believe it for a minute.   Sometimes it's interesting to watch how he uses it to play everyone, to see how stupid they are about trusting him.   And I include Neal in that, Neal who ought to know Mozzie well enough to know when he's being played.  But there have been other times when Neal has been conned, so perhaps it shouldn't surprise.   The good heart, the romantic spirit, gets in the way.

 

No matter what Neal is feeling, no matter whether Neal is worried about Peter or when Neal is torn between his loyalty to Peter and the temptation of running a con, Mozzie can be counted on to use Neal's vulnerability to drive a wedge between him and Peter.   Sometimes it has seemed cruel to me, his lack of sensitivity at those moments -- but it's true to his character.  He's a con artist -- he sees vulnerability and he zeroes in on it to get what he wants.    He's rather relentless in that way.   And, yes, I realize a lot of this might be said of Peter -- but Peter has shown more sensitivity to Neal's feelings, and I still believe cares more about Neal's future, wants something better for him than a life on the run.   There's no doubt having Neal on the team has greatly enhanced Peter's career, but he's also risked his career for Neal, foolishly perhaps.   "Foolishly" is something you can't accuse Mozzie of -- he seldom makes decisions based on some foolish notion like affection.   Even when he seems to it is often part of the long con he's been running since Neal got out of prison to get him free of the FBI and back to work as his partner.  

 

A wife would have been a burden to Mozzie, someone he'd have had to discard anyway when Neal is finally free and the two of them can get back to conning full-time..   Sure, she'd be useful in their cons, but the other responsibilities of a marriage would only distract him from his quest for the big score.  Plus, she's a con -- could he ever trust her?   

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Great post, nico - and for all those reasons about Mozzie, that's why I don't think it's true to his character for him to be all sentimental about this woman and let her go. I can appreciate he might let her go in the same way that Neal helps Alex get out of jams - I do think Mozzie has a code and believes in having a code for his fellow conmen and women. He has respect for those who are very talented at it (and for those who can be an asset to him in his own pursuits). But to let this woman go, this woman who had been so cruel (all with a smiling mask) and to plan to set him up as a fall guy? Lying to him and setting him up to go to prison? That doesn't seem right to me. He should have let her be taken in by the feds. I think that would have been most true to the darker shadows of his character.

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Why isn't the thread labeled with the episode number?

 

The marriage is actually legit. Mozzie said they had a justice of the peace. His ex wife was the "roper" for the con. They were legally married, and she [con] wanted to get married to someone else, so she tracked Mozzie down to get a legal divorce. Knowing he would flip out, which set the whole con in motion. 

 

Though, I agree that this came out of the blue. This could have been a great running gag throughout the series, to wrap up now. 

 

But come to think of it, they used fake names, right? Each was conning the other and using a fake identity. Then how was the marriage legal?

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What happened to this show? I quit watching mid-season about 2 seasons ago. I tuned back in for these final episodes, thinking they would be really good, but it's like the writers just gave up.

If it's become this bad, they did right letting the show die.

Too bad, it used to be a cute and clever show.

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