Wednesday, March 9, 2011

US Television, White Collar, Episode 2.16 "Under the Radar"

White Collar
Season Two, Episode Sixteen, Under the Radar
Original Air Date:  March 8, 2011

Sarah Ellis brings Neal and Peter the information about what Alder is searching for.  A sunken German U-boat off the New York coast, but no one knows why the boat is so important to Adler.  When Peter and Neal are abducted by Adler while the two men are tracing Alex Hunter's last known steps in New York City, they are given a dangerous task by Neal's nemesis.  What Adler wants Neal to do could lead them either to the greatest treasure in the world or to their deaths.

Peter and Neal are walking and Neal has his arms full of a large box full of evidence (Rolex knock-offs) and is none too happy about it.  When they arrive at the office, Neal finds Sarah Ellis standing next to his desk.  She has found something "big" in the ocean and Peter is going to get the team together in the conference room.  First, Sarah wants to speak to Neal alone.  Neal hands the box of watches off to Peter and Sarah tells him they shouldn't ignore the other night if they are to continue working together.

Jones and Diana have a look at the Rolex watches Neal and Peter brought into the office as Peter keeps an eye on Neal and Sarah.  A fence in Alphabet City is trying to move 120 boxes of the watches with each box containing 35 watches at $600 each.  All three watch Sarah and Neal and Diana asks "when did that happen?" referring to the two getting along.  Neal motions for the rest of the team to come into the conference room.

When the entire team has been assembled, Peter tells them they have the chance to take down one of the most notorious white collar criminals in New York:  Vincent Adler.  Sarah has come up with a fresh lead that Adler is looking for a sunken U-boat off the New York coast.  U-boat 869 was launched from Germany in 1945.  They don't know what makes it so valuable as the contents of the U-boats sent out by Germany toward the end of the war was unknown.  Peter does know that whatever is in that particular boat has caused one person to be shot and two others to be killed.  He tells the team that if Adler is looking for the boat off the coast he's using sonar, boats and submersibles and there is a paper trail so they can track him down.  When the rest of the team leaves, Peter tells Diana and Jones there is another lead he needs them to find.  Sarah gives them Alex Hunter's name and Peter orders them to find her.  Sarah tells Neal that she's lived a life too so he owes her nothing regarding his life with Alex.  If there's anything between them (Neal and Sarah) she doesn't want him to lie to her.  He tells her things were over a long time ago with Alex and they make a lunch date for the following day at his place at one.

At Neals' apartment, Mozzie speculates that plutonium would be an educated guess as to what is in the U-boat.  While the antenna is 'warming up', he also theorizes it could be full of "Hitler clones".  Peter sees a painting Neal has done of the Chrysler building and asks if he painted it for his "girlfriend".  Neal informs him that he's keeping up his technique as it calms his nerves.  Peter questions Mozzie as to how close they have to be for the antenna to work.  Mozzie says the SOS signal on the U-boat was designed to go into a passive mode which means they would need to be right on top of it in order to detect it.  Peter asks Neal if Alex could help them narrow down their search area if she knows as much as they think she does.  Neal feels it's worth a shot.  He's been unable to get through on her number but he tries again.  The phone rings and Adler picks up.  Neal asks where Alex is and Alder tells him the lady doesn't want to be disturbed.  Neal informs him he knows about the U-boat which comes as no surprise to Adler.  He tells Neal to call off his dog and let it go but Neal cannot do that.  Alder asks him why he keeps doing this to himself after all he's lost.  Both men vow they will not stop and Adler hangs up.

In the conference room, Diana questions if there's any chance Alex and Adler could be working together and Neal feels that isn't possible.  However, Peter warns they can't make any assumption about their relationship just yet.  If they find Alex, they find Adler.  Diana ran Alex's aliases by Interpol and Jones is checking the local fences.  Neal consults Mozzie who has learned Alex has moved around a lot.  According to Hale, she was in town two weeks ago trying to pawn off more silver through a small-time grifter, Eames.

At Peter's home, Neal tells him about Alex's last known meeting with Eames before she disappeared.  Peter sees Eames' rap sheet and feels he can lean on him but Neal thinks there should be a different approach so he and Peter land upon the box of Rolex knock-offs they had earlier.  Neal and Mozzie meet with Eames with one of the fake Rolex watches.  Neal mentions he cannot find Alex and Eames suggests to check the Interpol website as she is apparently all over it.  Mozzie wants to get down to business, shows him the watch and talks it up.  Neal wants $300 each for the watches and, after a short haggle, Eames accepts taking the one today and will buy as many more as Neal has tomorrow.  When the exchange is made, Peter and Jones enter and Mozzie leads Jones on a chase while Neal and Peter stay behind with Eames.  When Eames puts his hands on the table as ordered by Peter, Neal lifts the watch from his pocket and turns to Peter to ask why he's hassling them.  Peter does the pat down and finds nothing.  When Neal and Eames switch places they hand off the watch so Peter, of course, doesn't find it on Neal either.  Peter orders Eames to pack up and get out within five minutes then leaves.  Since Eames now owes Neal one, Neal wants him to tell him about the last time he saw Alex.  Neal meets up with Mozzie, Peter and Jones to tell them Eames said Alex was heading to the Conservatory Garden after their meeting.  Peter orders Jones to check traffic cams to the Garden to see if they can spot Alex on them.

At the Conservatory Garden, Peter tells Neal that security tapes did show Alex arriving and entering the Garden but if she came out, it was on a side not covered by a camera.  Neal says that Eames wouldn't say what she was doing there but he admits it is a good place for a meeting or a drop.  Neal takes the left and Peter the right with an agreement to meet in the middle to retrace her steps.  They walk through the Gardens and, at the middle, Neal isn't there.  Peter calls to him then goes to the entrance looking for his friend.  All that is there is a black car.  His phone rings and it is Adler who is apparently watching him as he knows Peter has drawn his gun.  Adler tells him to holster the gun and get in the car.  The driver opens the door to the car and Peter sees that Neal is in the backseat.  A man with a gun is also in the backseat.  Adler orders Peter to hand over his gun, which he has no choice but to do.  The window lowers and Adler is sitting in the front seat.  He greets Peter and tells Neal it's good to see him again.  Neal accuses Adler of killing Kate but Alder turns it back on Neal saying he changed her and the Kate he (Adler) knew would still be alive.  When asked where Alex is, Alder tells Neal he can ask her when he sees her.  Peter asks what he wants with them and Adler tells him he wants Neal but he will bring Peter along since he can't let him go.  He orders Peter to give Neal the key to his anklet.  When he does, he orders Neal to take off his anklet.  The man with the gun has a glass containing drugged iced tea that will put the men out until they get where they are going.  Neal and Peter drink the tea.

When Neal awakens, Alex is in front of him and Peter is pacing behind her.  She slaps Neal to bring him to his senses and Peter helps him to his feet.  Alex asks if their presence there is part of the plan.  They allow themselves to get caught and the FBI runs to the rescue.  Peter can only tell her she got the first part right.  All she knows is that they are in a warehouse as she was drugged as well.  Adler enters the room and Neal asks why they are there to which Adler replies it is better if he shows them.  He opens a window and the three of them see the U-boat Alder has been looking for in a large room.

Alder walks with Neal and Peter in the room with the boat telling them that the boat was supposed to reach Argentina in the last days of the war but the German's needed to scuttle it off the U.S. coast with intentions to retrieve it after the war.  One of the crewmen survived and he was Alder's father.  Neal asks why Adler needs him and Adler tells him the crew rigged the interior with explosives to prevent enemy access.  He needs someone who can open it without setting off the charge.  Alex will be with Adler so Neal cannot refuse.  Although, Adler tells Neal that while he'll say he's doing the job to protect Alex and Peter, Neal will really be doing it because he wants to see what is inside.

They go to the top of the boat and Neal lists off the equipment he will need to perform the job, which Adler has already assembled.  Opening the hatch will be a two-man job and Adler has given that task to Peter as he (Adler) will be behind blast-proof glass.  Adler warns Neal he will be wearing a remote camera so he shouldn't try to play hero.  Adler and his guard leave Neal and Peter on top of the boat and Peter questions if Neal can do the job.

Sarah knocks on Neal's door only to find it opened by Mozzie.  Mozzie tells her the antenna is up and running but he's yet to find a signal or hear from "The Suit" about a boat.  Sarah tells Mozzie that Neal told her to meet him there and Mozzie tells her that getting involved with a con man isn't going to work out.  He paints a picture for her of the life of a con man.  She goes to get some wine but Mozzie has drank all the Lafite except for the one bottle he had hidden behind the others, which she finds.  Mozzie asks her about her meeting with Neal, which was supposed to be a half hour ago.  She tells him she's usually late but he makes a point that Neal usually isn't ever late and asks if she tried his cell phone, which she says went straight to voice mail.  Both are worried and get out their phones to call Peter.

Neal and Peter start work on getting into the submarine as Adler and Alex watch.  They feed a camera through a metal plate on the surface of the boat and Peter is able to see what looks like a typewriter but he doesn't see any explosives.  They remove the bolts from the plate as Peter asks if it's really a two-man job.  Adler orders them to stop talking and Neal tells him if he doesn't like it he can come get into the boat himself.  They raise the plate and see the machine.  It's an Enigma code breaking machine that Peter is sure is wired to blow up and warns Neal to be careful as Neal lifts it from where it rests.  Under the machine, they find a lot of TNT.

Diana tells Sarah, who has called about Neal, that thankfully her "boyfriend" is wearing a tracking anklet.  Diana calls Jones over while she's talking to Sarah.  They learn that Peter took Neal's anklet off at Conservatory Gardens, which Jones remembers to be the last place Alex Hunter was seen.  Diana says they'll check it out and since Sarah spoke to Neal last she wants her with them.  Sarah tells Diana they are still at Neal's and can be picked up on their way.

Neal and Peter are trying to figure out what they need to get past the machine and the TNT.  Adler makes note of the obvious that there are billions of possible combinations.  Neal looks to the TNT and notes that beige is usually a neutral or bluff wire but he doesn't know if they bluffed with wires sixty years ago.  He says the live wire should be the silver or black.  Peter remarks that Elle's favorite color is purple.  Neal feels it's either the silver or black and if they cut them both it should work.  He gives Peter a tool and tells him that he'll cut the black while Peter cuts the silver.  As Adler and Alex watch, on three, the two men cut the two wires.  Sparks fly but nothing blows up.  Instead, a timer starts and Neal doesn't know how to stop it.  Alex suddenly realizes what the code is.  She grabs the microphone Adler is using to communicate with Neal and tells him about the legend of Midas.  The operator who sent the U-boat's final SOS was her grandfather and told her to always remember the story of Midas.  Neal types "Midas" into the Enigma and the timer stops.  He and Peter move over to the hatch.  Peter turns the wheel and the two men raise the hatch only to find more TNT.  They look down into the submarine and Peter remarks that this better be good.

Sarah and Mozzie (who is carrying his antenna) meet up with Diana and Jones.  Mozzie reluctantly gets into the federal van.

Neal and Peter enter the submarine and move through the dark interior careful to watch for trip wires.  They enter a room full of crates with the German logo on them.  Neal pries a crate open to reveal a Van Dyck painting Neal says has to be worth millions.  Other crates contain jewels.  Nazi plunder from all over Europe worth billions.  Peter asks Neal how they get out of there.  Neal asks Adler if he's seeing this to which the reply of "yes" comes back.  Neal tells him not anymore and takes off his goggles so the feed goes dead for Adler.

Peter asks Neal if he has an idea.  Peter informs his friend that Adler could have only found the sub if the antenna was still working and Peter immediately thinks of Mozzie's antenna.  The two men continue looking through the boat, always careful of the unstable TNT, for the boats antenna.  Peter finds a box that has a symbol on it that looks like their fractal.  He opens the box and removes the antenna.  Neal tells him if they can get back to the limo he can connect it to a power source.  Alder, Alex and Adler's guards enter the boat.  Adler is pleased he's into the treasure and looks some of it over.  Adler says the three of them (Neal, Peter and Alex) are going for a ride.  Alex fights against one of Adler's guard telling him she isn't going back into the limo and orders Adler to shoot them instead.  Adler agrees and his guards raises their guns.  Peter tells Adler to hold on telling him they will get in the limo like he wants.

Mozzie complains about the ride in the FBI van saying it feels like an abduction and wanting to know if anyone has anything for motion sickness.  As they are arguing with him, Mozzie gets a signal that is moving east.  Peter, Neal and Alex awaken to find themselves tied up in a dry dock that Adler's men are now filling with water.  Mozzie leads the FBI van to where he thinks the signal is coming from.  They need to get out of the zip ties binding them and Alex has a knife.  The guard searched her but not everywhere; 'just like old times' she tells Neal.  They get out of the ties and to the top of the dock where Adler's guards see them and open fire.  As one of the guards approaches the side of the dock, Diana and Jones enter with guns drawn ordering the men to lower their weapons.  At the top of the dock, the agents take the guards into custody while Neal and Alex share a hug and kiss, which Sarah sees.  Sarah turns away.

In the conference room, Peter tells the crew that Adler's men aren't talking and it's safe to assume Adler knows Peter, Neal and Alex have escaped and they are looking for him.  Sarah wonders if he's escalating his escape plan but Alex doesn't think that's possible.  She overheard him saying he was shipping the loot to Europe by boat but cannot do that until the end of the week.  Of the warehouse, Alex remembers wooden beams, pre-war architecture, solid steel roll-up door facing west.  She also remembers hearing some kind of buoy which Jones speculates could have been a weather buoy.  Diana finds four such warehouses along the Brooklyn shoreline and three near Battery Park.  Neal wants to go to the waterfront but Peter orders him to go home as he will need him rested.

Sarah takes a moment to talk with Alex and officially introduces herself.  Jones alerts Neal to the two women talking and asks which one he's going for telling Neal he'll be his wing man.  Neal tells him he's good but if he isn't out in ten minutes send backup then goes to talk with the two women.  He asks what they are talking about and Sarah simply tells him she should let the two of them catch up and leaves, looking back once.  Alex tells Neal she thinks Sarah is great.  He asks how long she's known about the submarine.  She admits she's known about it since she was a little girl as her grandfather would take her to Coney Island when no one was around, point to the water and tell her the greatest treasure in the world was out there.  Her grandfather received the final SOS signal from the submarine and encoded the SOS antenna design into the music box thinking he'd come to America and build a receiver to find the U-boat.  She always thought his stories were just that:  stories.  On his deathbed he confirmed they were all true and gave her the key to the music box and told her to find it.  She tells him he reminds her of the treasure:  some fantasy that's just out of reach then gives him a kiss on the cheek and tells him to take care of himself.

Neal goes to see Peter who gets a call from Elle.  He leaves to see Sarah who wants to go home.  Neal wants to explain about Alex.  Peter tells Neal and Sarah they are both invited to his home for dinner as Elizabeth is "making those little chickens" Neal likes.

Neal and Sarah watch as Peter and Elizabeth set the table with a conversation about weather stripping.  After dinner, while Peter and Neal are at the table still, Elle and Sarah talk about the relationship Elle and Peter have.  She worries but she knew who he was when she fell in love with him and she wouldn't want to change any of that.  Sarah asks if Elle trusts Neal.  Elizabeth is certain that Neal is a lot of things but when it counts, he can be trusted.  Neal glances to the woman and asks Peter if he thinks he's (Neal) in trouble.  Peter assures him they're just talking about shoes but Neal knows they're talking about them.  Peter tells Neal about time spent with his wife and Satchmo over the weekend when he once again realized he was the luckiest man in the world.  Neal doesn't think that is who he is.  Peter tells him he needs to figure it out and, when he does, he'll be the luckiest guy.  Peter and Elizabeth go into the kitchen as Sarah approaches Neal telling him she should go.  He assures her he wasn't lying when he told her things were over between he and Alex.  Sarah kisses him and tells him he owes her a lunch.

The next day, the Bureau is outside a warehouse.  Peter tells them they've narrowed it down to those fifteen warehouses and they will be going in one by one until the sub is found.  He warns them Adler's men are armed so they need to stay on their toes.  Peter promises Neal he will not let Adler get away.  When the agents have gone in to search, Neal hears a buoy.  He goes to the edge of the dock and sees what he heard then turns around and walks to a warehouse door.  As he's trying to open it, Adler and his men step up behind him and Adler tells him he always admired his persistence.  Adler responds to Neal's comment that the FBI is closing in that there's an 18-wheeler inside the warehouse loaded with art.  If Neal helps him get that truck past the Bureau, half of the take belongs to Neal.  Neal tells Adler if he wants his help he must tell him why Kate had to die.  Adler explains that the explosives on the plane was her idea.  She and Neal would parachute out over the ocean, the plane would blow up and the two would live happily ever after.  Kate called Adler telling him Peter had arrived and that threatened to ruin everything causing Adler to blow up the plane early. 

After Neal declines Adler's proposal, an explosion rocks the warehouse.  Peter and his team leave the warehouse they were searching and see the plume of smoke from the explosion.  Neal and Adler get the door open to the warehouse but the TNT has already taken it's toll.  The fire and smoke and another explosion knock them back and to the ground.  Peter and his team run towards the warehouse as the building continues to burn.  Adler wants to run into the building to save what he can but Neal tells him it's too late.  Adler picks up one of his guards guns and points it at Neal accusing him of causing the destruction of the art.  Adler tells Neal "you won't get away with this".  A shot is fired and when Adler drops to the ground Peter is behind him, gun raised.  Peter asks Neal what Adler meant by "you won't get away with this" but Neal says he doesn't know.  When Diana and Jones take Neal from the scene, Peter sees a burning piece of artwork land on the ground.  It is from the painting of the Chrysler building Neal had been working on.  He calls Neal aside and accuses him of stealing all the treasures from the U-boat, finally seeing the long con on Adler come to fruition.  Neal denies that saying he didn't steal the artwork.  Peter again says he believes Neal did causing Neal to order him to prove it before walking away.

At his apartment, Neal finds an envelope with a key on the table.  Inside the envelope is a card bearing an address and the message "YOU'LL THANK ME".  Neal goes to the address and finds all the treasure from the U-boat.

If there is one thing White Collar can be counted on for it is an awesome cliffhanger.  As promised, this show had it all:  explosions, bad guys, not one but two women for Neal to choose from and all the great moments of friendship between Neal and Peter that fans have come to love.

The story lines we've followed the past two seasons have come to a close.  The questions we've had have been answered and now we have new paths to go down.  In recent interviews, cast members and White Collar creator, Jeff Eastin have said that when the series starts back up in June the show will pick up right where this season has left off.  Season three will be about choices and I can most certainly see that being the case.  Neal Caffrey has an amazing choice ahead of him.  He's got more wealth than he could ever imagine sitting before him.  Does he keep it or does he turn it over to Peter?  Does he do the right thing or does he do what he does for a living?

Sarah Ellis is going to be a regular fixture next season which makes this viewer very happy.  I really like her character and I'm glad they are keeping her around.  She brings that extra something special to the show and I think she's someone Neal needs in his life.  I'm not saying she's The One for him and I'm not saying she isn't, but he needs her in his life.  It will also be nice to see if Neal and Peter's friendship suffers any from Peter being certain Neal stole the artwork and Neal demanding Peter to prove it.  Who sent the card and who took all that treasure from Adler?

The hardest part about this being the last show of the season isn't the fact it was the last show of the season.  The hardest part is knowing there is now a three month or so wait before we get to find out what happens next!

White Collar airs Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. (US Eastern time) on the USA Network.
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