“White Collar” Mini-Cap: “Vested Interest” (4.10)

When last we left our merry band of FBI Agents and their pet confidential informant, Peter and Neal were dancing around their feelings, working on the trust issues in their bromance, trying to figure out who killed Neal’s friend Ellen, and looking for mystery man Sam who Ellen claimed with her dying breath was the key to every mystery under the sun and knew the formula for Coca-Cola (not all dying declarations are created equal).

This week’s mid-season finale picks up where we left off last week with Neal flipping his hair and telling Peter that he is sooo over him and that they should just focus on their work because trying to carry on a bromance with his FBI handler (not a euphemism) is way too complicated and he really just wants to focus on himself right now.

Oh, but Peter feels bad that maybe it was his fault that Ellen got murdered and that Sam disappeared because he ran their names through the FBI database and probably got them found in witness protection.  So to make up for it he’s fixing the coffee maker at headquarters. He’s so proud of himself by the end I half expected to carry Neal the coffee along with his newspaper and slippers in his mouth.  Instead he stands in the office doorway and wags his tail as Neal ignores him.

They meet up at the FBI conference where Peter gets to show everyone his special little CI and talk about their relationship.  They sit up there and tell stories about the cases they solved together, how they met, where they like to vacation, and what they are going to name their puggle.  In the middle of it there is a security breach and Rage and JT Neal and Peter jump in the Mystery Machine and head back to HQ where Jones and Diana are waiting.

Some case related stuff happens, including the team using Jones and Diana to figure out the suspect is a guy who they think is trying to steal a super-duper bulletproof vest that is being shown to the agents the next day.  The scene is fun.  Diana screams at a bespectacled Jones, her suit jacket streaming behind her in the breeze, and her righteous indignation and aviators sending all the lesbians for the nearest fainting couch.

The team meets with the inventor of super vest and he flirts with Diana who is not interested in him but seems pretty jazzed about weapons, bulletproof vests, and generally anything you might find in Guns ‘n Ammo. 

When the inventor tries to impress her by saying she could wear the vest under her suit without any bulges, Peter quips “Diana doesn’t like bulges.”  Thank you, Tim DeKay for that line.

It turns out that the bad guys weren’t really trying for the vest and instead try to kidnap the inventor. In the midst of the shootout that follows, Neal gets shot. Gasp! Would they hurt Neal Caffrey? Nope, still 15 minutes left so the reveal is that Neal was wearing the special vest and is fine, his charm, wit, and boyish smirk are unbroken by his brush with gunfire. Peter is relieved enough to admit that he took Neal on as his CI because he liked him.  Oh Peter, I think you like him like him, but we have to start somewhere.

Peter, acting like every dad everywhere, ignores Neal’s plea to, like, butt out of his life and trust him for once and discovers that Sam isn’t Sam because the real Sam died of a heart attack. “Sam” is an imposter!  Zoinks Scoob!

Neal has his own plan with “Sam” and decides to go ahead with it despite Peter’s information so that they can try to find out who ransacked “Sam’s” place and killed Ellen. Peter finds out about the scheme and arrives just in time to help Neal and Mozzie pull “Sam” out of the beating he is getting from a dude with tattoos and a wife beater tank top. What, you think stereotypes and clichés come from thin air? Turns out this guy is a member of the mob that Neal’s dad used to work for back when he was a corrupt cop (or was he?) in Washington D.C.

Neal shows how much he loves Peter by giving him a handkerchief covered in “Sam’s” blood.  Next time Neal you want to say you’re sorry how about sending flowers or tickets to a ballgame?  The episode ends with Peter revealing to Neal that “Sam” is really Neal’s allegedly corrupt, but maybe just misunderstood, father. 

White Collar is off until January, so we’ll have to keep ourselves warm with visions of a certain hot, suited, FBI agent in her aviators until the New Year.

What did you think of the episode?  Were you surprised to find out that “Sam” is Papa Caffrey?