'White Collar: Season Two'
(Matthew Bomer, Tim Dekay, Willie Garson, Tiffani Thiessen, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2011 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Matt Bomer returns as sophisticated conman Neal Caffrey, who teams up with FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) to investigate an intriguing array of crimes ranging from extortion to murder. Now, reeling from the death of his girlfriend, Neal struggles to unlock the secret behind a mysterious music box and find Kate’s killer, even as his partnership with Peter begins to crumble.
DVD Verdict: Neal Caffrey's beloved girlfriend has been blown to bits in a plane explosion. So it's not surprising that the former gentleman thief spends "White Collar Season 2" searching for whoever killed her, even as he struggles to help Peter with even more elaborate cons, thefts and murders - as well as an ever-twisting game of trust.
Devastated by Kate's death, Neal (Matthew Bomer) goes back to working with Peter (Tim DeKay) and the FBI. But now he isn't just trying to stay out of prison - he's trying to find out who is responsible for his girlfriend's death, and why she had to die. The secret lies in the mysterious music box that the FBI has in its custody, which holds the key to a long-buried secret.
1. 'Withdrawal' - Two months after the death of Kate, Neal Caffrey is back at work with the FBI. But, with Neal's deal and Peter's job being in jeopardy, they have to go out and catch the bad guys. Which in this episode, starring the always-great Tim Matheson (who also directed the episode) as The Architect, they have to prove his is this high-profile bank robber! 2. 'Need to Know' - Neal goes undercover as a political "fixer" in order to bring down a corrupt politician. 3. 'Copycat Caffrey' - Peter sends Neal back to school after someone copycats one of his old schemes. When it turns out to be a team of students, with their teacher as the arch mastermind behind it all, Neal and company set a trap. This episode is dedicated to the late John Bolz, 39 of Mineola, he worked as a boy grip on the TV show.
4. 'By The Book' - For the first time in his life, Mozzie must turn to the FBI for help when the person of his affection, a waitress from a local diner, Gine Destefano (the lovely Diane Farr - 'Numbers'), disappears. 5. 'Unfinished Business' - A routine bond theft escalates into an attempted murder when Neal is unknowingly hired to kill the assigned insurance investigator, Sara Ellis (Hilarie Burton), the same woman who testified against him regarding his alleged theft of a Raphael painting a few years back. Meanwhile, Neal and Mozzie investigate the jet's wreckage, concluding that the jet was rigged to explode midair, but was detonated early by someone.
6. 'In the Red' - The arrest of a jewel thief leads Peter and Neal toward a much more heinous extortion case against adoptive parents. Mozzie breaks into Sara's apartment and recovers the recording, only to have it taken back by Sara and her detectives in a search of Neal's apartment. After teaming up with the mob, Peter and Neal take the adoption lawyer to custody. Trust me, this is a VERY powerful episode. 7. 'Prisoner's Dilemma' - An FBI Agent is accused of selling witness locations during criminal trials, and the U.S. Marshals ask Peter and Neal for help tracking down the suspect. But suddenly, Peter gets in the spotlight as the man they want and Neal has to clear his name for him.
8. 'Company Man' - Neal and Peter must go undercover into the world of corporate espionage after a tech company's head researcher is murdered and a Quantum Micro Processor is stolen. Stars the great Griffin Dunne ('An American Werewolf in London'). Peter skypes with his wife, Tiffani Thiessen, but it's just another lame way to get her into the episodes! Normally, thus far it's been whilst she's "traveling" and some HORRIBLE green screen shots!
9. 'Point Blank' - The gang finds Fowler (Noah Emmerich) and finds out he is innocent. He is being blackmailed by the same person Peter has a patchwork picture of. Mozzie cracks the code inside of the musicbox. Before he can tell anyone, he is shot by an unidentified man who steals the code! And what a mid-season cliff hanger that was, believe me! 10. 'Burke's Seven' - Peter is framed (again!) for a crime he did not commit, and is subsequently suspended from the FBI. Neal helps him organize a con in order to catch the real criminal, find who shot Mozzie, and clear Peter's name. This was a wonderful FUN episode and has to be the highlight of the entire season, for me.
11. 'Forging Bonds' - After Peter and Neal realize that Vincent Adler (the getting better with age actor Andrew McCarthy) is behind everything, Peter has a talk with Neal where he reveals everything from the time he met Mozzie to when he was caught by the FBI. This features some wonderful flashback scenes, inclusive of Mozzie with a wig and a chin soul patch! 12. 'What Happens in Burma' - Peter and Neal must set foot on Burmese soil in order to prove the innocence of the son of a fellow American FBI agent. 13. 'Countermeasures' - Neal is approached by an old friend of June's (the great Billy Dee Williams) and believes that he has some ulterior motives. Which is quicken proven to be correct in yet another fun episode.
14. 'Payback' - Matthew Keller (the brilliant character actor Ross McCall) returns when he contacts Neal and Peter from prison asking for a favor. Over the course of their investigation, Peter is kidnapped and must be found before he is killed. Later, Keller escapes and is now free to roam into Season Three! Also, and for no good reason than a complete sales pitch, there is a prolonged driving scene where the focus of the peice is simply on the actual car - a Ford Hybrid! 15. 'Power Play' - To uncover a collusion scheme, Neal and Peter must switch identities. Guest starring the great Richard Schiff ('The West Wing'), Mozzie also finally figures out the Fractal Cipher! In the final episode of the season, 16. 'Under The Radar,' Neal gains more insight into Kate's death through being kidnapped by Vincent Adler (McCarthy), and what the Fractal Cipher 'points to' is finally revealed ... in ALL its glory! The actual ending is a twist of major whodunnit proportions too! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
White Collar Roasts Burn Notice
Burn Notice Roasts White Collar
Slick Willie [or, ‘Who the hell is Mozzie?’]
So Here’s The Deal: Anatomy of an Episode