For six episodes, and 59 minutes of the seventh, I thought White Collar was just the tops. Sure, I had questions about some of the casting (Tiffani Thiessen, you’re starting to make a little more sense), and the weekly crimes could be a bit stronger. But as a whole White Collar is thriving, and I’ve been really loving it.
Caffrey and Burke, together and apart, are interesting, engaging characters who always leave me wanting to know more about them. Mozzie is really taking shape as a factor, and supporting cast like Jones add texture and a whole lot of fun. I even think that the Kate mystery is significant, even if just as a means of allowing us to watch Neal and Mozzie work their magic.
So why do I feel like I’ve just been handed the fuzzy end of a lollipop?
As we all know, White Collar’s mid-season finale ended with the revelation that Peter not only knows where Kate is, but that he’s the man in the ring. Incidentally, it’s something that Jamie observed a month ago, after episode two. Nice catch!
Clearly this isn’t something simple like Burke’s evil and he kidnapped Kate to get something that Neal stole. Ignoring the fact that Kate seemed free to go as she pleased, episode seven of a series is the wrong timing for a revelation of that much significance, unless the writers are prepared for the rest of the series to be a battle between these two guys. No, I think something else entirely is happening here.
First of all, I still contend that Kate’s the one trying to scam Neal. But I also believe that Kate’s a pawn in a plot of Burke’s making, although I’m not convinced it’ll turn out to be of a nefarious nature. I’d like to say that Burke engineered the whole thing to get the use of Caffrey’s brain, but that might turn out to be too simplistic. Could Mozzie be a mastermind the likes of which Burke’s never seen? Or might he really need something that Caffrey has, for good purposes instead of evil?
All possible answers, and possibly all incorrect ones, as there could be countless twists coming. I’d even offer a guess that this was the first time Burke was approaching Kate, in order to bust her for using Neal, but we did see that picture, and the look on her face when she saw him sitting there…. Probably not.
But as many avenues as are available come new episodes, I was gravely disappointed in the turn of events as they currently are. It’s bad enough that Caffrey always being a suspect seems to be a staple of the show; now we need the even worse cliche of Burke being somehow associated with Kate’s disappearance? I’d even have preferred Burke grudgingly assisting Caffrey with his search, another predictable result but still a more enjoyable one than this. Because we know where this is going — Neal doesn’t know, then he finds out and fights Burke, then he finds out what Burke’s real involvement is, then they work together to defeat the real bad guy, the end.
It doesn’t ruin the show for me, but it does surprise me how easily the path can be scripted by even a casual TV watcher. USA Network has always gone in its own direction, so even the impression of predictability really leaves me confused.
And disappointed. I’m really hoping that the next installment fixes this. And fast.