WHITE COLLAR Season 4 “Most Wanted” Advance Review

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Where in the world is Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer)?  With nowhere else to turn when “Island Suit”, OIA Agent Kyle Collins (Mekhi Phifer), followed FBI Agent Peter Burke’s (Tim DeKay) clue to Cape Verde to hunt down the runaway conman, Neal took refuge at the house of Henry Dobbs (Gregg Henry). Despite agreeing to offer Neal and Mozzie (Willie Garson) safe haven for a neat twenty-five G a month, it turns out staying invisible from the Feds is worth more to Dobbs than any amount of money Neal could offer.

When Neal fails to meet Mozzie and Peter at their rendez-vous point after they were separated, the two try to find him.  For the man who wrote “Catching Neal Caffrey 101”, the obvious first stop in their search is to start with the girl – Maya (Mia Maestro).  Peter assures Maya that “Neal knows how to run”.  Yes, he does.

Unfortunately, it’s a little hard to run when Collins has Neal cuffed to a chair and gagged inside a cage in Dobbs’ house (though why Collins happens to have jail cell in his house is a little confusing, but hey, we know you can’t tie a good con down for long, right?).  When Peter and Mozzie finally find Neal, he is not as mobile as they expected.

Always suspicious of the Feds, Mozzie questions Peter’s motives for hunting them down, especially when the Suit reveals that his trip has not been sanctioned by the FBI.  The fact that Neal never questions why Peter risked his job and career to save him and his willingness to play along with Peter’s plan to bring him “home” to New York is something that fans will rejoice at – these two are partners who, despite the inherent mistrust between Con and Fed, will always be willing to give up everything for the other.

Like everyone else, including the network executives – according to creator Jeff Eastin, I wondered how Peter would bring Neal back to New York and working together with the FBI again after his little sojourn on the island.  The answer may be a little far-fetched but it is a lot clever and involves Peter song-bombing us with a nursery rhyme, and going undercover as a bartender.  Who doesn’t love a bartender?  With a little help from Neal’s island-love, Maya, and tips from Neal and Mozzie, whose best advice is “If you can’t nail the quality, go for quantity”, “Kevin the Bartender” leaves Tom Cruise (in “Cocktail”) for dead.

I have enjoyed island life as much as “James Maine” and “Barry Soertoro” (not to be confused with POTUS) did, but I, too, have missed New York.  The return to the 21st floor of the Federal Building in New York City is not far away.  But what fate will await our crime-fighting duo when they return?  Peter once said that Neal does what he does but never faces the consequences of his actions.  In contrast, Peter seems to accept his.  How will things change for him now?  And what will happen to Mozzie?

There have been a lot of laughs along the way and a lot of action.  As is the custom these days, the last five minutes will leave you all at once both satisfied and in shock.

WHITE COLLAR “Most Wanted”, written by Mark Goffman, airs on USA Network on 17 July at 9/8c.

Guest stars: Mekhi Phifer, Mia Maestro, Gregg Henry, Raymond Cruz, James Rebhorn, Judith Ivey

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