TV Recaps

White Collar Recap: "Identity Crisis"

I love White Collar. I think each season gets better and better. Season 4 has been practically flawless…until now. Tonight’s episode, “Identity Crisis” was clearly a filler episode, a standalone that did nothing to further the story other than to say that Neal might have found a way to communicate with Ellen’s friend Sam through some mysterious email address.

 Mozzie took center stage and as much as I love Mozzie and Willie Garson, there’s a reason Neal Caffrey is the main character. As Neal and Peter discussed how best to approach Sam, Mozzie showed up at Neal’s doorstep, frantic, because someone was trying to kill him and had taken a shot at him. Peter wanted to hear the whole story and it all started with Mozzie and June being at a storage auction (basically, people don’t pay the bills on their storage units and they get auctioned off to the highest bidder). Mozzie and June had a system that Peter was not impressed with as he waited for Mozzie to get to the point of what he’d found (I was a little impatient myself).

Barney Bored

There were two keys that Mozzie found in a book, a modern day one and an antique one. The modern day one was to a house and Mozzie set himself up there. The first thing he did was clean (isn’t that what everyone does when they break into a house?) and that led him to finding a secret passageway behind the bookcase. A masked man appeared, referred to Mozzie as “723” and demanded to know where the flag was. Mozzie promptly ran away and the man shot at him. At this point, I was still a little invested as they traced the ownership of the house to Robert Townsend and found a book written about him that suggested he was part of some secret spy ring that was kept alive by his descendents and they were actively searching for the flag that George Washington had carried across the Delaware (Are you with me so far?).

Karen Pretend to Care

Of course Mozzie was super excited about this because he loves spy stuff and treasure hunts and he lets it slip that he believes his parents were spies. He followed the spies’ handbook (or something) and strategically placed ads in newspapers to set up a meeting with another spy. While Mozzie waited for his contact, Neal and Peter sat in the car and Peter asked questions about Mozzie’s comment about his parents being spies. Neal reminded Peter that Mozzie was an orphan and he made up stories and conspiracy theories and sometimes when he got too wrapped up in them, he fell back into the cycle (Aw, poor Mozzie).

Santana Minute alone

Anyway, the contact turned out to be a woman, who called herself ‘Tempest’ and she was the descendant of a different Revolutionary War spy. She had some letters and she gave them to Mozzie in exchange for the location of the infirmary (which turned out to be the storage unit). This is where the story started to lose me. There was a guy following Mozzie, Oliver Stringer, who pulled a gun and Peter brought him in for questioning. He claimed to be an author and a professor who was just interested in the outcome of the story or something like that, but really he was a bad dude. Peter suspected that he had killed the real professor, even though there was another guy already in an institution for the crime.

Mozzie was really sad after that. He told Neal the story he’d made up about his parents and their lives as spies and how they came to be. But he did it using puppets…? I was pretty much just sitting there shaking my head at this point. Neal was awesome though and told Mozzie that he knows what it’s like to lose faith in your family. (See, this would have been a great bromance moment if it wasn’t for the puppet theater. I’m still not over it).

Ollie - what

Neal and the FBI set up Stringer to confess his crimes by pretending that Neal is a descendant of George Washington and Jones claims to be one of Thomas Jefferson (ha!) while Peter and Diana listen in the van. Stringer admits that he killed the professor and Jones pulls out his gun to arrest him, but then Mozzie shows up and they escape through the secret passageway (really?). Naturally, Peter and the agents are not amused, but Neal figures out that Mozzie just wants the coordinates so they can find the flag. Mozzie, Stringer and Tempest (no idea where she came from. I think I zoned out) arrive and Mozzie uses the antique key to let them in. But the box where the flag should be is empty. Mozzie thinks there really was a spy ring. Of course he’s right and Tempest is shown presenting the flag to a group of people in shadows.

Stefan

I’ve never seen a bad episode of White Collar before so I’m a little confused as to what I just watched. I think a huge part of the problem was the fact that Matt Bomer had next to nothing to do. He had a few quips here and there and he got some airtime in the last scenes, but mostly, he was just kind of in the background. I’m not okay with that. Let’s never do an episode like this again, okay, show?

Did you enjoy the Mozzie centric episode or were you like me and craving more Neal? Feel free to sound off below and I’ll see you back here next week.

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About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.