|Neal and Sophie|
Not only is he back, but we see most of the group celebrating in Neal’s apartment: Peter, Neal, Elizabeth, Diana, Jones and Sara. Hughes is absent, however. Either he was powdering his nose or—well, after warning Peter about getting too comfortable with Neal’s methods, perhaps he wasn’t quite up to partying with the ex-con.
Mozzie, alas, was also missing. I doubt he was powdering his nose with Hughes, so we can assume that he was off basking in the glory of his private investigating prowess.
But that’s enough celebrating. Considering the ending of the episode, I know that explosion of joy was inappropriate. Thank you for bearing with me—it’s out of my system now.
Onto the rest of the episode, which featured spot on character interactions, both funny and poignant. These interactions were wed to an overly complicated plot, but given the quality of this episode, I’m willing to forgive that. (Plus it looks like they shot the memorial service at Grant’s Tomb, one of my favorite spots. Definitely a plus.)
Peter and Neal bantered at their best tonight and each had the other’s back. The bromance is thriving! But Neal’s relationship with Sara grew more complicated. She was able to smile with him about his “island adventure,” but later Neal tried to explain. “The thing about fleeing suspects,” he tells her, “is they can’t say goodbye. To anyone.”
In a way, Sara understands. But, in an effort to protect herself, she makes it clear that her world kept spinning when he left. Nonetheless, she came through for Neal toward the end of this episode, risking quite a bit for him, and even opened up to him afterward. His leaving that way reminded her too much of the way her sister disappeared.
Neal had another love interest this episode: Sophie Covington. He reluctantly cons her; apparently he's choosy about his marks, and a widow is not usually among them. But this con, as Peter reminds him, is for the best of reasons: Neal is protecting her. I enjoyed her interactions with him, but I’m still rooting for Neal to settle down with Sara in the long run. (According to a TV Guide article, we may see more of Sophie eventually.)
Peter and Hughes, meanwhile, shared quiet moments of raw honesty. Hughes took risks for Peter, and, for Peter’s sake, even trusted Neal with an insane amount of money. But he’s worried about Peter. He knows how good Peter and Neal are together, but he doesn’t want Peter bending the rules too far or becoming too much like his partner.
And then there was Neal’s final interaction with Ellen. When he told the EMTs that he was family, he wasn’t lying. And she did her best by him: She gave him a name, a person to contact who knew his father and was involved in investigating the murder his father was accused of.
So the episode ended on a bleak note. Two weeks from now (White Collar is apparently off next week) we’ll see the fall out.
Now it’s your turn, Collars: what did you think of Parting Shots?