White Collar – The Original

by Alan Rapp on February 27, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: White Collar – The Original
  • tv.com: link

“I’ve had three different names, and a dozen different aliases, because of you. And to be an artist you have to know who you are.”

White Collar - The Original

Big changes are afoot as White Collar Division meets their new boss (Emily Procter) and Peter (Tim DeKay) and Neal (Matt Bomer) begin working together to find Ellen’s (Judith Ivey) evidence now that Peter knows Neal only lied to him under pressure from Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen). Visting an art gallery to test the validity of other piece brings Neal’s attention to what he  believes is an expensive forgery of a recently deceased artist. With nothing more concrete than Neal’s hunch Agent Callaway (Procter) orders Peter to move on to another case and give her “a quick, high-profile case to impress the Bureau.”

On their own time Neal and Peter continue the investigation, beginning with Peter talking with the artist’s assistant (Pablo Schreiber) who sold the piece in question to the gallery. Meanwhile Neal chats up one of the artist’s students (Ali Ahn) and has a sneak peek into the man’s work space where he discovers partially completed versions of two of the other three pieces. Unable to prove the first piece was a forgery and with nothing to charge him on until he attempts to sell one of the others, and still lacking Callaway’s support, Neal makes his own forgery of one of the remaining pieces to pressure their forger into making a move.

Unable to stay cooped up in Mozzie’s (Willie Garson) safe house, James (Treat Williams) shows up on Neal’s doorstep just in time for Mozzie (who has been casing the Empire State Building for days) to let them in on what he’s found. James’ appreciation for Neal’s forgeries leads Neal’s father to ask about his original work, of which Neal has almost none. The method Neal comes up with to prove the piece the artist sold is a forgery just so happens to be exactly what Neal and Mozzie need to search the Empire State Building, but with Callaway keeping a close eye on the operation Peter begs Neal not to do anything that could jeopardize their partnership. Of course the pleas fall on deaf ears.

Neal manages to run both operations simultaneously not only getting the evidence to take down the forger, but with the help of James, Mozzie and a friend, discover the location of Ellen’s evidence box. The extraction of the box, and all its ramifications will have to wait until next week, but the episode’s closing scene gives us a couple important pieces of information about Callaway: 1) she doesn’t trust Neal at all and 2) there’s the very real possibility that she is working for Senator Pratt (Titus Welliver).

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