A lot of things that don't normally happen on White Collar happened on tonight's episode.
Peter ropes Diana into spying on Sam (and thus Neal) ... and is completely honest and transparent about it.
Mozzie, upset about Neal's dealings with Sam, sides with Peter and tries to convince Neal not to continue to mistrust everyone for this alliance with Sam.
Peter blatantly breaks the law when he's in Alex's apartment and doesn't just allow Mozzie to find things "in plain view" -- he actually starts rifling through her things in a blatant Constitutional violation.
Peter also feuds all episode long with a police officer, when he, above everyone else, is the one who normally wants to work with authority figures. (The season premiere aside of course.)
Peter also feuds with Neal a lot in this episode. What's surprising, however, is them arguing in front of everyone else at the FBI -- enough so that Jones becomes uncomfortable and suggests everyone leave the room. (And Neal is more blatantly disrespectful of Peter than he's ever been.)
Neal gets caught and arrested! He even goes to prison, even if Peter does get him out shortly thereafter.
There's a product placement towards the end, and acknowledging this show is on the USA Network, it's not that surprising, but it is rarely this blatant and this bad. Peter, all of a sudden not only believes in horoscopes, but calls them up in their car via what I'm guessing is Ford Sync, to hear Neal's.
Neal gets played by Alex and she sneaks away with treasure--not the treasure she ultimately feels she deserves, but some amount of which she feels she's entitled to.
And finally ... we learn Mozzie has a stockpile of Betamax players?
On the one hand, you could say there were a lot of twists and turns in tonight's episode. On the other, it felt a little all over the place narratively and even from a character standpoint. Throughout this episode, I was beginning to suspect that this season was ultimately going to start from a place of incredible trust between Neal and Peter, only to end it with them at each other's throats (either figuratively or literally), as we never had ever gotten that from them during this show's entire run, even when a decision Neal made once led to Elizabeth's kidnapping.
But no, they patch everything up by the end of the episode, and even bring Mozzie along for the ride in watching the tape Ellen mails Neal all those years earlier. On that Betamax player.
It was nice to see Alex again, and to see that sub treasure rear its ugly head again--sort of White Collar's equivalent of the Money Train from The Shield.
We end the episode on a cliffhanger just as the Betamax is about to start playing, and it's likely whatever is on it will narratively drive the rest of the two episodes this summer season. Since this season has already been full of twists and turns - that were earned more than they were in tonight's episode - my odds would center on Neal's father not only being innocent, but being alive somewhere.
(Image courtesy of USA)