While we’re back to another case of the week for Neal and Peter, there’s significant progress made as a new boss finally arrives for Peter and Neal’s father returns.

The episode opens with Mozzie conducting surveillance near the Empire State Building by manning an ice cream street cart. Peter comes by to share what he knows, as well as the fact that Elizabeth told him that she told Neal to leave him out of it.

At the FBI office, we finally meet the new boss in the White Collar Division: Amanda Callaway, who promises to take a more “involved” approach. After her speech to the troops, Callaway introduces herself to Neal and re-introduces herself to Peter. She also puts them on a new case involving art forgery of the works of someone named DuBois.

On their way out, Neal expresses his doubts with Callaway and the possibility that she could be working with Senator Pratt. Peter says he’ll look into it.

At an art gallery, Neal looks at a variety of art pieces supposedly made by DuBois to help figure out which are forgeries and which are not–one of which is a very high priced fake. The woman who purchased it doesn’t believe it, but Neal shows her how he knows it’s a fake.

Interview: Tim DeKay Talks Directing, Secrets Between Neal and Peter >>

Back at the office, Callaway comes in while Neal is briefing the rest of the team–something his old boss rarely did. She also asks for Peter to come see her in her office later, in front of all of his staff. Neal’s father, James, later calls Neal and tells him he doesn’t like that Peter is involved. But they should be more concerned about Callaway, who orders Peter off the case if he can’t close it.¬†

Neal and Peter go to the place where they think the forger, who also worked under DuBois, works. While Neal flirts with one artist, Peter meets with Bellmiere, who they think is forging his old boss, DuBois’ work. After regrouping later, Neal and Peter share their theory that he’s forging more pieces to sell later. To trap him, Neal gets 500 pounds of marble to make his own forgery when his father arrives.

Neal wants James to go back to his safehouse because he’s worried about his safety–but James insists that he’s not going anywhere.

In a meeting with his new boss, Callaway expresses her anger that Peter spent so much money on Neal to buy that marble. He explains what they’re trying to do to catch the forger (Neal’s forgery will drive down the price of the other forgeries), but she changes subjects to Pratt–she ¬†tells Peter to close the case. Neal thinks that means she’s in league with him, but Peter thinks she just might be trying to keep her new job.

Bellmiere arrives at the gallery while Neal’s piece is getting authenticated. Even though they’re worried it will be proven a fraud, it’s not. Bellmiere confronts Neal and Neal sells him in on the idea of them working together.

To help ensnare Bellmiere, Neal and Peter try to sell Callaway on using another expense, a pricey scanner, to figure out which sculptures are forgeries. But Callaway insists on being involved. Privately, Neal tells Peter they should use that same device to help find the lockbox in the Empire State Building. Peter refuses and Neal promises not to do so–a promise he keeps for about thirty seconds before filling Mozzie in on the new plan.

During the operation, Peter wants to remove Neal’s ankle bracelet, but Callaway refuses. Neal hides his bracelet near the marble he’s supposed to be working on, when in actuality he’s working on finding the lockbox.

To help get the scanner up to the Empire State Building, Mozzie injects ink on his shoe to leave footprints in the office space they want to get into. The manager showing him the space then calls for a floor buffer. Neal sneaks the scanner into the floor buffer, but they only get about 90% of the floor scanned before the scanner goes out.

Even worse, when Neal goes to use the scanner on the sculptures, the readings are inconclusive because the scanner device was damaged in the floor buffer. Even after being told to pull out and give up on ensnaring Bellmiere, Neal uses Bellmiere’s anger to get him to accidentally break one of the statues. In the course of their fight, Bellmiere comes close to hurting Neal when Peter and the team comes in. The damaged sculpture proves it’s a fake because it contains a scroll with Bellmiere’s real name on it. (The real one would have said something else.)

Neal tells his father that they think they’ve found the lockbox and he wants to go and get it. But Neal refuses to do it without Peter, saying he’s been more of a father to him than James ever has been. James, clearly hurt, leaves the apartment after Neal tells him why, like Bellmiere, he never had original work–he’s had three different names because of what James had done years earlier.

Callaway shares with Peter that she knows something fishy was going on, but she was just happy to have gotten the win. However, someone comes in after Peter leaves and shares part of what they recovered off the scanner with Callaway who knows it was used in the Empire State Building. After that woman leaves, Callaway calls Seantor Pratt’s office, confirming Neal’s earlier suspicions.

Next week is the finale where Pratt will likely make another appearance. While Peter, Neal and/or James will likely uncover that lockbox in the Empire State Building, will they be able to snag it without Pratt or Callaway catching on?

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(Image courtesy of USA)

Alan Danzis

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV