About Katie Brookins

Twenty-something novelist writing from the Southern US about...not the Southern US. -writer -traveler -swing dancer -crocheter -faith rambler

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Panel OR Things I Would Have Heard at Comic Con, If I Was There

Supernatural:
“Too much love, too much love!” -Jared Padalecki

 

Captain America/Avengers Love Fest:
“I demand a most warm welcome for the man reprising the role of Bruce Banner, Mark Ruffalo!” -Robert Downey, Jr.

“I thought it [‘Inception’] was the most ambitious movie I’ve ever seen. And then I thought, “Marvel is going to put all its superheroes in one movie — that’s the most ambitious movie I’ve ever seen.’ ” -Robert Downey, Jr.

“My first movie was ‘Henry V,’ and it contained an epic battle and a man with a very
dysfunctional family.” -Kenneth Branagh defending his qualifications for directing ‘Thor.’

“I am going to blow it. I’m not up to it.” –Joss Whedon on directing ‘The Avengers’

 

Chuck (which I don’t watch, but I love the cast of “Firefly”!):
“I get beat up a lot by girls.” -Adam Baldwin

 

Fringe:
“Leonard (Nimoy) has now retired twice. He’s our Brett Favre.” –Jeff Pinkner (producer)
*By the by, anyone hear Mr. Nimoy in ‘Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon’? Spoiler Alert! A piece of my soul died when I found out his character is a traitor. I kept
thinking, “Spock would NEVER do this.”

 

Vampire Diaries:
“Paul Wesley’s hair has its own cell number on the call sheet.” -Julie Plec

“Paul’s abs are their own conversation.” -Kevin Williamson (producer)

“The nice Damon freaks me out. I was miserable, I didn’t know what to do.” -Ian Somerhalder on goodwill, which his character occasionally dabbles in

Fan: “You seem like a nice guy.”
Ian: “I’m acting.”

 

Green Lantern:
“We’re married now, but in space.” –Ryan Reynolds to the fan who won his character’s power ring

 

The Joss Whedon Experience (yes, that’s the real title, and reason enough to attend the entire conference in my book):

“If this [table I’m sitting on] falls, it will be the BEST CON EVER.” –Joss Whedon, it was his proverbial party, after all

Joss: How much trouble would I get in if I told you my favorite actor?
Fan: I won’t tell anyone.

Fan: Joss means “God” in Filipino.
Joss: Oh yeeaah. And it didn’t before me.

“It makes me throw up in fear.” –Joss Whedon about J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek reboot movie

 

Fringe:
“In the audition [for ‘Scott Pilgrim Versus the World’] he was like ‘Here are the lines you have to do, and I noticed that you’re being trained in Tae Kwon Do. Could you just throw some kicks in there while you’re reading?’ So I was practicing in the hallway and a guy walked by and he was like, ‘Wow, they’re really upping the hall monitors!'” -Ellen Wong

 

Aloha: Earth:
“I’m really happy to be on a show that has a theme song.” –Daniel Dae Kim, who went from ‘Lost’ to ‘Hawaii Five-O’ before ‘Aloha:Earth’

 

Psych:
“SPOILER NAME, Gus can’t marry you, because he’s already married to me [Shawn]. I still think we should stay here and drink all this alcohol and eat all this delicious food, but at the end of the night he’s coming home with me.” – James Roday, demonstrating what his character Shawn’s best man speech for Gus would be like

 

Dexter:
“People were a lot more concerned about the fact that my character on Six Feet Under got walked all over than Dexter killing people. Which is weird.” –Michael C. Hall

 

White Collar/Mozzie Quote of the Week:
“As you know, ‘White Collar’ is about a very suave, sophisticated, sexy white collar criminal who CHOOSES to be bald. And there’s some other characters, too.” –Willie Garson

 

Unknown:
“You were so cute. You were a little boy. And now you’re not.” -Eva Mendes to a
fan who called her “foxy” at a past Comic Con. After his question, she told him with a hug that he was “a little young….come back in five years. “ Tad-dah!
*Don’t you love the persistence of nerdy fans?

“This is a political statement about how bad ‘Star Trek’ is to its Redshirts.” –’Star Trek’ fan

Overheard at Comic Con 2010: This is a political statement about how bad Star Trek is to its Redshirts. Have you been following the news of Comic Con? Heard anything funny? Comment and share!!  (Thanks to Zap2it for quote help!)

TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY : “The New World”

Katie: So! Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Kayla: Yes!

Katie: Has Jack had work done?

Kayla: In what sense?

Katie: He seems thinner and maybe a bit, uh, stretched in the face.

Kayla: Hmm. I hadn’t noticed but it’s definitely possible.

Katie: I’m referenceing here “Utopia,” since we haven’t seen Jack in a while. But I do think he looks thinner and kind of stretched.

Kayla: I’m not the most observant when it comes to changes in appearance, but I believe you.

Kayla: Hmm. I can see it now that you mention it. Interesting.

Katie: Anyway, what’d you think overall of the episode?

Kayla: I loved it! I thought it did a really good job of not only setting up the arc for the season but also introducing Torchwood in general to American audiences.
Plus, I’m absolutely in love with the concept.

Katie: Me too! I’m SOO intrigued. And there was very little reference to aliens, which I think is important because hard-core Sci fi fans will know Torchwood, but others who might be turned off by perceived little green men, those more fans of The Walking Dead or Camelot, will be sucked in before the aliens arrive.
I also giggled quite a bit at the whole “What is Torchwood?” plotline. “No, not Touchwood. Torchwood. T-O-R-C-H-W-O-O-D.”

Kayla: Haha, that was quite amusing. I think they found a balance too between introducing the show as though it’s brand new and making references for long-time fans.  Like Jack calling himself “Owen” during the autopsy part.
Which, how freaking creepy was that whole scene?! When they snipped his head from the body and he opened his eyes! I think I may have squealed a bit.
But in horror.
Not the same squealing as when Jack showed up.

Katie:  I KNOW! I screamed when he said that!!!! Well, it was sort of a high-pitched wimper. “Owen!!!!”
Very creepy, you’re right
Absolutely not the same squealing.
And I like that new Americans fans are learning about the team as the American characters are. They don’t know what it’s weird that Jack is injured and not healing– which OMGOSH, btw!!!!– but they know from his and Gwen’s reactions that it’s strange somehow. And, right at the end, Jack said he’s mortal. Not a normal reaction.

Kayla: It actually didn’t occur to me until that point at the very end that a lot of the people watching wouldn’t know that he’s immortal.  I was freaking out as soon as he saw his cut arm, obviously, but I didn’t think that most people wouldn’t be.

Katie: Me neither. But, just enough attention was drawn to it that they’ll know, probably, that something’s up.
Also, I’m now TERRIFIED! They CANNOT kill Jack, but for the first time he’s wounded!

Kayla: I KNOW!

Katie: What or Who can be powerful enough to undo what Bad-Wolf-Rose did? And, Esther and Jack both have big bruises on their sides, which won’t heal. It makes me think of how easy it is to get hurt, how fragile our bodies are. I’m starting to feel
like Wolverine just because I can heal normally.

Kayla: Haha! I have no idea who could do it, but clearly it’s no good. I almost wonder if maybe the whole thing is a plot to get at Jack specifically.  Like maybe it takes the
rest of the world being changed to undo Bad-Wolf-Rose and they just want Jack
to be mortal again. But it could just be a coincidence.
It’s not like he doesn’t have enemies who wouldn’t mind dead Jack with a side of Earth
destruction.

Katie: Haha. Too true! And it could be. If the baddies-in-black (I’m going to call them BIBs until we have another name) know that Jack can be hurt and not heal,  no wonder they’re all out in force trying to shot, maim, and blow him up! But, just because he can’t heal, like everyone else, doesn’t mean he can die any more than anyone else. I think Russell T. Davies is going to make the rules more complicated than they seem to be right now.

Kayla: That’s a good point. We won’t know if he’s immortal still until he gets hit with something fatal.

Katie: Which will absolutely terrify me! But even so, typically Jack dies, then comes back to life. It hurts, but he comes back. He could conceiveably die, then deus ex machina it turns out that he just can’t come back until after everything gets sorted out and people start dying again.

Kayla: I sincerely doubt that they’d kill him off for real so I’m not too terribly worried.  Though, anyone else on the show is fair game as far as I’m concerned. They proved that with Owen and Tosh and Ianto (IANTOOOO!!).

Katie: Sadly true. I’m thinking Gwen may be a staple now, though. Although, Rhys and the baby (did you ever catch her name?) are fair game I think.

Kayla: Her name’s Anwen, I believe. And how much do I love protective mommy Gwen?So freaking much!!

Katie: Did you notice in the 10 min preview a couple weeks ago that Gwen referred to her husband and daughter in the past tense? I’m so concerned for them it’s not even funny!

Kayla: I know! Me too!

Katie: The earmuffs!!!!

Kayla: YES!!!

Katie: I want Jack to babysit in crazy amounts! I just want him to hold her, at least, for, like, every episode. At least once an episode will be fine with me.

Kayla: Oh, at least. He also NEEDS to sing her to sleep at some point.

Katie: YES! The singing! Okay, what should he sing? Let’s brainstorm.
(Russell T! Listen up, please!)

Kayla: Hmm.  That’s probably the most important question we’ve raised yet.

Katie: Too right.
‘Castle on a Cloud’ cuz it’s be tragic.

Kayla: So true.

Katie: Maybe Nat King Cole’s “Love” because it’d be adorable and Jack does tend to like that era.

Kayla: I’m not familiar with that one but the era would fit him well.

Katie: It was the opening song in “The Parent Trap,” when Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson are dancing at their cruise wedding, if that helps.
“L is for the way you look at me.” etc

Kayla: OH! Yeah. I just never knew the name of it I guess.

Katie: I have the soundtrack. 😛
Maybe “Home” by Michael Buble, though it’s not too lullaby-esque.

Kayla: Excellent choices. I’m having trouble thinking of a suitable lullaby because I’ve got Pandora playing Britney and Bruno Mars in my ears. Although, “Just the Way You Are” could be cute and modern.

Katie: Ooo! I’d so fangirl sqee over that one.

Kayla: Haha. Now Russell has several suggestions to choose from! But he needs to make it happen. For reals.

Katie: I think it’d be cool if “Catch a Falling Star” had some nifty alternate meanings that help them fix the planet.
Yes, Russell T. Davies. Please!
OOH! Winnie the Pooh song!!!!!

Kayla: YESSSS!!

Katie: “Return to Pooh Corner”

Kayla: I have a feeling we could do this all day. 🙂

Katie: Also, even “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” could be poignant and sweet. Geez- John Barrowman could sing the alphabet and I’d want to cry.
But you’re right.
We should talk about non-cute things.

Kayla: I suppose we should. And there are plenty of non-cute things to talk about. Like the creepy murderer!!

Katie: Like Oswald Danes and the corrupt state of Kentucky!

Kayla: Haha. I love that we both had the same thought.

Katie: (J/k Kentucky!) (Not your fault a child
rapist/murderer/pedophile has a cracker-jack team of attorneys in a fictional tv series!)

Kayla: The fact that they opened it with him and his failed execution (or successful, I guess they’d argue) was unexpected. And super disturbing to watch!

Katie: Very much so! And I wonder who that woman in the viewing room that he kept looking at was. The child’s mother? His wife? Or ex if she’s smart?

Kayla: I was thinking the mother of the little girl. But they never did say.

Katie: No. I wonder if she’ll come back. Regardless, I thought it was very well done that it was so hard to watch him be injected although we had just heard what he’d done and what he’d said about it

Kayla: Yeah, it was. I definitely felt guilty about feeling bad for him. And then I continued hating him the rest of the episode but it’s mixed with incredibly bad vibes. Like everytime he’s on screen I shudder.
So I’m really intrigued about where they go with him.

Still of Bill Pullman in Torchwood

Katie: Me, too. I have new respect for Bill Pullman as an actor.

Kayla: Definitely. That part could have come across as cheesy but he worked it like crazy.

Katie: I think he’s still going to be the villain, but the human villain, the one we’ll hate and distrust until we know who’s done this and how to fix it. He may even help Torchwood fix it, which would be ironic. Oh, Jack’d rip him a new one. Forget Jack– Gwen’ll shoot him just because she can!

Kayla: And I’ll cheer her on! But I don’t know where they’re going with him just because there are so many directions they could go. I doubt they’ll make it a redemption plot though, even if he does eventually help Torchwood.
Although that would be impressive if they could pull it off in 10 episodes (or in 100
for that matter).

Katie: True. I’m a bit disappointed by the 10, but I know it’s a smart move considering where it’s coming from and the new audience.

Kayla: At least it’s more than we got with “Children of Earth!” Also, what do you think about Rex so far? We haven’t talked about him at all yet or his assistant chick (Esther).

Katie: He’s smart. He’s bringing up excellent questions that are getting us thinking early about long-term consequences. Also, I kind of like his authoritative attitude. I think Esther will be given a place on the team because they need her and they’re being nice. I think Rex’ll make one for himself because he’s that strong.
Well, maybe not strong exactly. He’s that insistent, really. Esther will earn it later, but
initially I think she’ll seem to be tagging along.

Kayla: I agree about Esther. She’s a good audience surrogate for the time being, but I’m excited to see her do more. I think Rex is an interesting character because he’s clearly going to have some serious friction with Jack and particularly Gwen.

Katie: That’s what she is!! “Audience Surrogate.”

Kayla: Right. And for Rex: Dude got a POLE through him!

Katie: Several poles. I know.
So odd, too, that they were talking about Torchwood when he got in the accident.

Kayla: Yeah. He’s got either really good timing or really bad timing because “Torchwood” showed up at exactly the moment the last person died so he was one of the first to live who should have died.

Katie: True. I’m thinking that whoever sent out the “Torchwood” email is trying to blame them for what’s happening. A misdirection, maybe. But it could also be someone trying to help.

Who might that someone be? Not the Doctor. Maybe UNIT? Maybe an individual.Or two. Like Martha and Mickey. But that’s probably too old-school to be drawn in. I can
hope, though.

Also, where IS the Doctor?! This is kind of a big deal! Where was River when Melody was being snatched? Where are you when the whole planet stops DYING Doctor?
He needs to wrap this up and get home! (Well, you know. To his surrogate home planet.)
I’m not serious. Jack, Gwen, and our new friends will be able to handle it.

Jack is wicked smart with computers to launch that virus. Since when is he so talented
in the Tosh-way? And Protective!Jack is wonderful! I won’t say ‘cute,’ but when
I saw him show up at Gwen’s, my heart did a little tap dance of glee.

Kayla: I had the exact thought about the Doctor. This is the kind of thing he would be all over, but I also am glad that he won’t show up because this is about Torchwood saving the day. And yeah, they won’t bring in anyone like Martha and Mickey I’m betting but if the person who sent the message is actually trying to help it could be UNIT.
I guess Tosh taught him a few things before that whole unfortunate death thing?

Katie: I suppose.
Jack’s certainly not bringing UNIT into this, though. Once Martha left, I’m guessing he cut his last ties. He never really liked them anyway. Plus, he left the planet.

Kayla: That’s true. I’m also wondering how long he’s been back on Earth. The last we saw him was in “The End of Time” right?

Katie: Yes. When the Doctor arranged a meet with Alonso.

Kayla: Oh! Going back to the Doctor for two seconds, upon reflection I wish when Jack showed his cut arm to Gwen one of them would’ve said, “Could use a Doctor about now” or something. And then, “Nah, we can handle it.”
That is what I call a missed opportunity. 🙂

Katie: Hehe. That’d have been lovely. Maybe next week.

Kayla: Maybe. 🙂

Katie: I love it when Jack yells, “Doctor!”

Kayla: Me too! But then, who doesn’t?

Kayla: Was there anything else we needed/wanted to talk about?

Katie: Um. I’m sure there was….
Do you want to speculate at all about the BIBs?

Kayla: I honestly wouldn’t even know where to start.

Katie: And I don’t know that we’ve really been given any clues yet. I think this episode was all about the new characters and “What is Torchwood?”
A thought, though: could it be that humans are responsible?

Kayla: It was sort of like another pilot in that way.
I feel like it could. Or at least, humans with some outside help.

Katie: It was. And the name now officially includes “: Miracle Day”, so in that sense it is a new series.

Kayla: True.

Katie: Are you excited?

Kayla: SO EXCITED!

Katie: How’d you watch, btw? [Kayla does not have Starz.]

Kayla: Starz had it on their website. I dunno if they’re gonna do that every week but I’ve heard that it’ll be on Netflix streaming so that’s how I’ll be watching.

Katie: Gotcha. I’ve also found it on YouTube, which surprises me.
Okay, anything else?

Kayla: Nope, I think that’s it!

Katie: Everyone, remember to watch Starz next Friday at 10pm for episode number 2!

Kayla: OR, watch it the next day online like me! (This kind of goes for just about all the shows we talk about.)

Katie: Except White Collar. USA angers me in that way.

Kayla: Yes. Very sad.

WHITE COLLAR: “Veiled Threat”

In this week’s episode of White Collar, a black widow’s in town, so Neal, Jones, Peter, and Diana go undercover at a speed date and auction.

Jones flourishes under his alias. Sarah helps Neal realize what he does to drive her crazy, so he’ll “bomb” all his dates but the widow Selena’s. Unfortunately, though, it works too well and Diana has to bid on him (the only one to do so—and it’s Neal!) to save his pride. Elizabeth, in true style, tries to help Peter gain confidence, but he is hopelessly awkward. Most ladies don’t go for that, but Selena does, bidding $15,000. They go on a dinner date, they tango and, as Neal notes with awe to Diana from the surveillance van outside, “I don’t hear any screaming.”

By the end of the night, Peter gets an invite back to Selena’s place, which is vital for installing a bug. This black widow works with a partner and before Peter can quit dating her, or become her next victim, they must figure out who it is. For the next date, Peter has dinner reservations, but Selena insists on going to Peter’s place. Problems with this include Elizabeth being there and the definitely non-kosher idea of bringing a murderess to the home Peter and his wife share. Accordingly, Peter crashes Neal’s first “real” date with Sarah. Without time to get out of the apartment, Neal and Sarah hide in Neal’s closet, which contains a two-way mirror because, wouldn’t you know, Neal’s apartment used to be a speakeasy.

Selena sees Neal’s sketches and, again with the insisting, sits down to be drawn. Neal does so from the closet and Mozzie arrives in just the proper moment to be the explanation for how Peter got things set up so quickly and to smuggle the sketch behind a suit out to Peter. Selena notices the huge ring Neal’s drawn on her left hand in an attempt to speed this process along, and the engagement is on.

I was very glad to see Sarah back for this episode and, although I’ve been a little uncertain about her relationship with Neal, I noticed parallels in this first date to Neal’s first date with Kate. As Neal shares with Diana in Season 2, Episode 2: “Need to Know,” Neal and Kate conned into a hotel suite for the night on their first date, ordering six of the most expensive burgers on the room service menu among other cute exploits. He’s
refined his technique a bit, going for the romantic, home-cooked dinner for Sarah this time, but as often happens with Neal, things get complicated. After the engagement is on, Sarah tells Neal that it was the best first date they could have had, “Any guy can make a girl dinner. Only you could sketch a black widow from a hidden back room.”

Next, poor, suffering, strong, clever Elizabeth decides they need a guest list from Selena to figure out who her husband-killing partner is. Elizabeth meets with the happy couple for wedding planning and, as occurred last week with Neal and Peter’s real argument under fictional pretenses, Peter and Elizabeth have a real conversation about their wedding, including Elizabeth’s regrets that it was so big and impersonal.

After some legal savvy that reminded me how much I love her, Elizabeth wrangles a few documents from Selena that, later combined with the insistence that Selena would like Peter to  leave his money to one of her favorite charities “should anything happen to him,” leads the FBI back to the organizer of the date auction. Also, Peter is almost run over by a swiftly moving white car and may have escaped injury only by Elizabeth’s screamed warning.

Now knowing how Selena got the money from her previous late-husbands, through different dummy charities, high jinks and a bachelor party ensue. Guests include strippers, FBI agents, Neal, Mozzie, Selena’s partner, and a lot of vodka, which leads to the next morning when the FBI prod Selena and her accomplice to meet, connecting them with the money for an arrest. Finally, Peter organizes a second wedding ceremony for he and Elizabeth at Neal’s apartment. It’s intimate and beautiful, just as she originally wanted, officiated by Mozzie and witnessed by Neal.

Neal’s presence at the second wedding, although natural and logical, also highlights the close, persistent bonds between Neal and Peter. Before getting the accomplice hopelessly drunk the night before, he says “This is my best friend’s bachelor party. Let’s make it a night to remember!” The only part of his statement that struck me as odd
was “bachelor party,” because Peter is the least likely person on the show to be at, let alone enjoy, anyone’s bachelor party. I later realized that what should have struck me was not the situational context but “best friend.” I recalled in Season 1, Episode 10: “Vital Signs,” when a very drugged Neal tells Peter “Out of all the people in my life… Mozzie, even Kate, you know… you’re the only one…..The only person in my life I trust.” Neal mentally knows not to trust Peter because Peter knows not to trust him, but there may be more emotional truth to Neal’s statement than falsehoods. I personally hope that their actions will follow Neal’s words, though for drama’s sake, I rather doubt it will happen.

Mozzie Quote of the Week: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to celebrate the union of Suit…and Mrs. Suit.”

Final Tidbits:

-Mozzie, while pretending to be Peter’s assistant on Peter and Selena’s date at Neal’s, cons money off his “boss.”

-Neal and Diana’s picnic in the surveillance van, a thank you for Diana bailing Neil out at the auction.

-Diana calling Sarah “insurance investigator Barbie.”

-Neal answering his phone on a speed date, “Oh, hey buddy! Yeah, I’m on a date—here!” he says to the woman, reaching his phone across the table, “Say ‘Hi’!” (I have SO been here. I talked to three of his friends on the phone during the course of the evening. And his mother.)

Still of Matt Bomer and Jill Zarin in White Collar

Next week’s episode of White Collar, “Scott Free,” will air Tuesday at 9pm on USA.

WHITE COLLAR: “Dentist of Detroit”

Due to my new status in life as a working stiff, I was not able to watch last week’s episode of White Collar until today. My apologies for this very late review! Also, because of my increased workload, I will have to drop my regular covering of Covert Affairs. Why, you may ask, am I continuing to cover White Collar but not Covert Affairs? Well, Covert Affairs comes on later. Yes, that’s the big reason; my apologies to our Covert Affairs fans! I will continue to watch and enjoy that show thoroughly, as I hope all of you will, too.

So, this week, we learned that Mozzie was orphaned as an infant, left at the door to an inner-city Detroit church, and found by the head of the attached children’s home, Mr. Jeffries. The only item with little Mozzie in his bassinet was a teddy bear named Mozart. Unable to pronounce “Mozart” as a child, little Mozzie called the bear “Mozzie,” a name he adopted when he left Detroit after scamming the local mob out of $500,000. Why is this important? Because the mob has tracked Mozzie down, wanting him to scam the Irish mob of NY in the same way he scammed them, or Mr. Jeffries gets it.

Mr. Jeffries, meanwhile, is on the run to NY to warn Mozzie. Mozzie, though, has Neal, who hears in the FBI’s morning meeting that a Detroit mob boss is in town and, knowing Mozzie came from Detriot, Neal starts poking around. So does the Detroit boss. Peter, knowing Neal, figures out something’s up, literally connects the dots of Neal’s and the boss’s movements. Clever, clever Peter.

Anyway, Mr. Suit gets Moz in bed with the Feds to protect him and Mr. Jeffries, and to end the next great mob war of NY before it starts. Mozzie is taken into protective custody, where he must explain to Peter that, although he is The Dentist of Detroit who stole $500,000, he is not responsible for the rap sheet which the Detroit bosses racked up to keep it under wraps that The Dentist was a twelve year old kid.

Poor Mozzie in an FBI safe house tugs on Elizabeth’s heartstrings, prompting her to bake him muffins and visit, playing gin and chatting, which is a genuinely sweet scene. Her concern for Peter touches even Mozzie, who assures her that Peter will be fine. Mr. Suit, meanwhile, is posing as professional gambler with Neal as his “Lip Man,” in a classes corner room where the rich can bet on horses. Neal has a few seconds jump on the feed and, after a bit of finagling and a very public yelling match with Peter. Here the two leading actors shone with their wit, timing, depth, and humor.

Struggling to come up with legitimate-sounding material for their argument, after insulting one another’s clothes, Neal shouts, “As soon as anything goes wrong, you always blame me first!”, and the audience knows this is a real argument.

“You’re a Con!” Peter shouts, “That’s all you’ll ever be!”

Neal glances up, seeing that the last race has started; he must end this quickly in order to save their sting. “Next time your hot wife gets lonely, tell her to call me.”
Below the belt, and not serious, but still.

The Detriot boss’s muscle and the Irish boss buy it, Neal and Peter live to fight another day. Or in the next ten minutes because…

Mozzie ingeniously ditches the safe house and changes the time and place of the money drop tot eh Detroit boss, intended to link the boss to the money scam and provide evidence for arrest. The Dentist uses a melon, silk pajamas, his Mozart teddy bear, voice recordings, an alarm clock, cords, an electric toothbrush that doubles as a screwdriver, a CD of whale songs, and a clandestine pick-up from June. Mozzie confronts his Detroit mob nemesis and encourages him to walk away from the money and drop off the grid, which the greedy heart cannot do. He picks up the briefcase, the recently arrived Feds move in for the arrest.

Peter brings Mr. Jeffries by when they find him that evening. Mozzie is overjoyed and proceeds into a quote-off with the father-figure of his childhood

In all, this episode explored Mozzie’s background and character as well as set up the emotional conflict Neal (as well as Peter, to a degree) will face when it’s time for the cons to leave New York and make new lives off the masterpieces from the Nazi sub. Mozzie, too, will suffer because of their leaving.

The manifest may well come into plot prominence again in a few episodes, but for now, Mozzie and Neal seemed content to deal with the more pressing concerns of caring for the people they love: Mozzie for Mr. Jeffries and Neal, Neal for Mozzie, Elizabeth, and Peter. If things get more serious with Sarah (not seen in this episode), she may also have a place on Neal’s list. All of this leads me to believe that Neal will, in the series finale, have to choose between staying and going.

For the sake of drama, I believe that either something will go horribly wrong, or Neal will leave. But not for long—White Collar needs Neal and Peter together to work. Case in point, the look Neal and Peter exchanged in the last moment of the episode. Neal expresses to Peter that it’s hard for Mozzie to say goodbye, and hard to be gone. Peter knows Neal is planning to leave, Neal knows that Peter knows, and the look says it all.

I am increasingly concerned for Elizabeth’s safety. If something happens to her, Peter may never forgive Neal, nor Neal himself (any faster than Kate’s death, anyway).

However, life is valuable on White Collar and, unlike, say Lost, deaths are not inserted merely add or heighten drama, nor to shake things up. I therefore don’t believe Elizabeth has a great red X on her forehead, or a sniper’s little red dot, but her conversations and incorporation into recent plotlines lead me to believe that she will have an increased role to play. Alex, Kate, and June (and even random strangers, again mostly women) have been threatened in order to manipulate Neal in the past. Alder is still missing and Elizabeth is a strategically important woman in the lives of both male leads.

White Collar Gets Cute

Mozzie Quote of the Week:  “I need as many buyers for my slight-of-hand-me-downs as I can get.”

Final tidbits:

-Neal and Peter dressed in tuxes, having their picture taken by Elizabeth, “Prom picture!”

-The nameless Fed outside Mozzie’s hotel room learning whale from Mozzie’s blaring CD.

-Mozzie calls Peter by his name!

-Baby and young Mozzie with thick, black-rimmed glasses.

-The cast commercial encouraging adoption, starring Mozzie actor Willie Garson and his adopted son.

(http://whitecollarfixation.blogspot.com/2011/07/willie-garson-talks-about-adoption.html)

 

Tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) episode of White Collar airs at 9pm on USA.

 

P.S. See this beautiful creation of a featured quote in this episode along with photos.

WHITE COLLAR: “Deadline”

If last week’s episode of White Collar was most enjoyable because of the case, this week the case was the bits in between.

The delightful Sarah is back, being cutesy with Neal over early morning coffee and helping to work the technical aspects of one another’s cases. Also, a sleek black briefcase containing the now much coveted manifest is en route to Diana’s, where a thick German-English dictionary waits to translate the list. Diana then plans to whisk it to last week’s D.C. art crimes representative, Agent Matthews, before she leaves on Friday. Therefore, as Diana leaves the building with the case, Neal (who stole her scarf) rushes it out to her on the street. Mozzie stalks for a classic switch-a-roo but before he gets close enough, we meet Diana’s girlfriend Christie. Dr. Lady Suit, as Mozzie dubs her after the aborted mission, apparently likes to cook, so Neal cooks up a quaint double date for Thursday, the details being unknown to Diana.

WHITE COLLAR Deadline (2)

Here are the bits:
Someone is threatening Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Helen Anderson. Her  concerned boss pulls some strings and calls in los Federales, Peter and Jones. However, afraid the cover will spook her source, who is feeding her info about a bad batch of newdrugs being recalled illegally and secretly to save money, Helen refuses FBI protection. Promptly firing her assistant, who ratted to the boss, Peter gets Diana a crack resume, tells her to put on an accent, and get hired by the controlling, over-the-top, nearly ruthless journalist. Yes, I’m still talking about the case, but I do so because Marsha Thomason, who plays Diana, got to use her real northern England (Manchester) accent. For more of this, see seasons 1-4 of Las Vegas.

Diana must enlist the FBI to help her accomplish all her tasks as Helen’s assistant: Elizabeth plans a huge birthday party in two hours, Peter confiscates a robot Hedgehog toy for Helen’s son, Neal gets Mozzie to build a replacement residential door lock that cannot be picked even by them, some FBI flunky translates a bunch of Portuguese, and Diana gets to drive Helen to her meeting and save her life. And there was much rejoicing, mostly when Diana draws her weapon on an attacker later in the episode and sticks it to her pseudo-boss saying, “Agent Diana Barrigan. Damn right I’m overqualified.”

Back to the good stuff:
WHITE COLLAR Deadline (1)
Diana returns home that night to discover a dinner party in her apartment. Sarah is setting the table, Neal and Christie are getting along swimmingly (let’s face it, if you aren’t a Kate-threatening con or a hardline Fed, you are going to get along with Neal), and Diana knows why Neal is there.

Still, as with the careful tension throughout the last two episodes between Neal and Peter, nothing comes to the surface and everyone enjoys themselves including the audience. Funny stories and quick-witted banter give way to Sarah and Neal making out at Neal’s apartment, to be interrupted by Mozzie. Predictable, yes, but no less enjoyable.

WHITE COLLAR (USA) Deadline

I’d call this a ladies showcasing episode (except for Elizabeth, who came across as impressive and sweet but with almost no screen time) and sincerely hope for more of all of them in the future. Diana has not had such a character-rich episode since last season’s “Need to Know;” frankly, I’ve missed watching her work.

What I did not expect, though I probably should have, was Peter arranging for Agent Matthews to leave on an earlier flight Friday morning, meaning Mozzie was too late to switch briefcases with her. The manifest is translated and now in D.C. As White Collar fans know, Neal has a tracking anklet that prevents him from, when not with Peter, leaving his neighborhood, let alone New York. How, then, will he and Mozzie get the manifest?

Mozzie quote of the week: “That lock is so complex, it is only rivaled by my brain.”

Tidbits:

  1. Jones wants to be a cowboy!
  2. Neal and Mozzie discussing the time they broke into Fort Knox.
  3. Pottery class.
  4. Neal’s ok hand gesture to Diana, approving of Christie.
  5. Neal acting like Peter’s self-obsessed boss in an undercover mission to the pharmaceutical’s corporate headquarters
  6. Peter in black glasses.

USA’s White Collar will next delve into Mozzie’s past with the Mafia in “The Dentist of Detroit,” airing Tuesday at 9pm.

COVERT AFFAIRS: Good Advices

I apologize for the delay in this and my last White Collar post. I’ve been confine to bed since Wednesday with vertigo.

In this week’s episode of Covert Affairs, Annie heads to Paris, a union of glamour and action which helps make the show both unique and entertaining.

COVERT AFFAIRS "Good Advices" (1)

Before her assignment, Annie comes into work to find everyone missing except a hurried, harried Jai, who explains the morning meeting had been moved up half an hour. Annie grabs her two coffees, the second for Auggie, and rushes with apologies into the meeting. A “surprise!” and a chocolate cake with a single lit candle welcome her. It turns out Auggie is much closer to Joan than we’ve realized.

He knows Annie will be in Paris on a mission to turn a Syrian embassy worker, so he organized her coworkers into a party six days early.

Jai, friend that he is, got a hand in successfully delivering the surprise (he ought to be successful: he’s a CIA field agent) but Annie never questions that Auggie was the one to organize and implement her surprise. This insight into their close bond is mimicked later in the episode when Annie is in danger in France and Auggie is handling her from Langley.

Once in Paris, Annie stalks her target for a few days, looking for an “in,” unknowingly being followed herself by the deeply professional Eyal Lavine, Annie’s older, more experienced Mossad (Israeli intelligence) counterpart whom she met and worked with in Switzerland (Season 1, Episode 4: “No Quarter”) .

COVERT AFFAIRS "Good Advices" (6)Eyal, it turns out, seeks to turn the same target as Annie and, under the pseudonym George, seems to be succeeding when the target demonstrates her cleverness, thus far lacking in those Annie has attempted to turn. She calls both out on being spies intent on turning her, successfully identifying Annie as CIA but accuses Eyal of being “too Jewish” for Mossad. She starts a bidding war, finally accepting top offers from both agencies but is dead before she can seal either deal the next day. Eyal and Annie meet up accidentally at her apartment, realize they’ve been played, find her dead, and follow her killer. Eyal chases along rooftops, Annie from the street. Once cornered, the man lets go of the building ledge he dangles from rather than give up any information.

The agents separate. Annie reports in and works out a cipher to a telephone number she found during a clever purse-swap that prompted her meeting the target several days earlier. A ghost terrorist who seems to be the Covert Affairs-version of Chemical Ali is going to Paris. Annie learns where and goes to the train station in hopes of snagging a photo of the ghost. She bumps once again into Eyal, who helps her obtain the photo. They are followed to a bar where, after Eyal steals Annie’s camera memory card while intensely flirting, he is kidnapped. Annie follows in a taxi and her chic green trenchcoat and jeans, perfect for downtown Paris, is also handy for blending into the lush French countryside.

COVERT AFFAIRS "Good Advices" (7)

Back at Langley, Joan has jury duty. Certain she’ll be able to get out of it, she goes, leaving Auggie in command, to Jai’s ire. Through several comical scenes in which Joan listens to briefings on her cell in the courtroom and generally annoys the judge, she has her phone confiscated. Auggie, now alone, must decide whether or not to let his friend attempt to rescue Eyal. Annie insists that the only person looking out for the Israeli is Annie, prompting Auggie (the only person, coincidentally, watching Annie’s back at that moment) to agree to let her try to save Eyal. They “work the situation” together, resulting in a large enough explosion to draw all Eyal’s captors outside so she can get in to free Eyal. After a few chases, the slippery fellow saves Annie’s life, suggesting that he can be trusted in the most important situations, if not to steal intel from our clearly swooning protagonist.

This episode put key characters in new situations. Joan provided amusement and the fun of seeing her in a position without her job’s authority. Unable to blow her cover as a World Bank executive, Joan must suffer as the rest of us do, until she’s chosen to be on the jury and pays her fellow juror for the use of his cell phone. She texts Auggie, gets herself excused, and once again she is the Joan we know. Let’s face it: we all would love that privilege.

As Joan notes to Auggie at the end of the episode, it isn’t easy making decisions that put a friend in danger, and it “doesn’t get any easier.” Because of the open question of Arthur’s future position at the CIA, and what that will mean for Joan as current head of Clandestine Operations, Auggie could conceivably be tapped to replace Joan.

Annie’s glamorous clothes and the Parisian scenery gave a beautiful backdrop to the action of the episode. A 6000 euro handbag she switched with the targets’, the different coats she wore every day she stalked the target, and the party itself epitomized glamour. In contrast, when Annie and Eyal escape to a faded old truck parked in the yard, which Annie plans to escape in, I thought, “There’s no way they’re running out in that old thing!” It was, by far, the least glamorous vehicle seen on the show so far.

I was correct. The truck wouldn’t start. After killing the Syrians, they probably stole a Mercedes to get back to Paris.

Finally, upon returning home, Annie tells her sister Danielle that she went to Paris, rather than Topeka as her cover story stated. She told Eyal of her confliction about her sister in the bar, which Eyal identified with. However, I wonder if Eyal will come back to hurt Annie using her sister. Since he saved Annie’s life and his wife left him because of his job, which she knew about, it looks like Danielle will be more informed of Annie’s real life to her danger. Her two daughters and husband are still barely ever seen, so trouble will probably come for Danielle alone. Annie may need to reveal her true job in order to save her sister.

Did you notice? The taxi cab had chrome door handles and all the windows, including the driver’s, was deeply tinted. Not exactly a stock vehicle in the City of Love, especially not for a taxi.

Covert Affairs, Episode 3: “Bang and Blame” airs Tuesday on USA at 10pm.

WHITE COLLAR: “Where There’s a Will”

In Tuesday night’s episode of White Collar, Neal and Peter head to the home of two estranged brothers, sons of recently deceased eccentric Mr. Rowland, to authenticate two conflicting wills. Our favorite felon determines that both are fake, unknown to the brothers’ head of security Bret Gellis, who kidnaps brother James’s daughter Savannah and holds her ransom as seen on an online kidnap cam. To track down the real will and obtain the money needed for the ransom, Neal and Peter, four-time winner of New York’s puzzlethon, decipher the clues.

They anagrammed the witness signatures to the name Tycho Brahe, a 16th century Dutch astronomer, and combined the symbol in the bottom corners of both wills to find the letters BSH at the sundial in a local garden. Peter, for once, seems the expert, using a sextant and two mirrors to mimic times of day at different times of year.

Brother Josh explains that the letters were his father’s favorite phrase, “Big Sky Hunting,” meaning the planetarium, where the last day Mr. Rowland went, he signed in as Tycho Brahe. Neal and Peter request to see the stars on the day of Brahe’s birth, when the Gemini twins are split on the horizon. Missing twin references emerge in a fake first edition book donated by Mr. Brahe and kept at the planetarium.

Elizabeth and Peter’s dog Satchmo is enlisted in a “Blind Man’s Bluff” to get Neal and soon Mozzie into the room, where the page they need to see is repeatedly skipped by the machine that turns one page at a time. After drilling a hole in the casing, the book dissolves to reveal a bookmark-like image that refers to three charms on Savannah’s anklet. Now certain of Gellis’s identity and working out where he is keeping Savannah, Neal negotiates on behalf of the FBI to obtain the anklet. Gellis delivers it to Neal and the brothers in person, forcing them to solve the charm clues and prepare to destroy a column in their home. Peter busts in, rescuing Savannah, allowing Jones to arrest the kidnapper. The brothers still destroyed the wall, finding the real will and actual first-edition book, which they later donated to the planetarium.

Meanwhile, back on the farm, Mozzie sets up a treasure cam, allowing he and Neal to monitor their fortune of art 24 hours a day. He plans to sell a painting, lines up a buyer, and is out to make the deal when Neal, wine-ing a D.C. art crimes agent he saw in Peter’s office by impersonating an Interpol agent, learns of the partial manifest and calls
Mozzie back.

I anticipate that, for the next episode or two, Neal and Mozzie will be working out a way to see the manifest, preferably to get a copy of it. Once they have one, they’ll know what they can safely sell in the U.S. I expect at least two episodes devoted to the manifest, but I can see the possibility for much more. As Neal isn’t supposed to know about the partial manifest, it will be incredibly difficult to find and even more difficult
to see.  Neal may well decide to stall for a few episodes, until something happens that makes it vital for them to get out, maybe a few pieces going missing from the treasure room? Adler is dead, but Neal has no end of enemies who’d love to steal from him. Neither are his friends above it.

This episode highlighted, to me, the writers’ ability to suggest information that will be used later. For example, Peter and Neal anagram two names to reach “Tycho Brahe.” Neal identifies him, and is corrected by Peter, but the only piece of information both state, correctly, is Brahe’s career as astronomer. Neal refers to Peter’s “astronomical puzzingly expertise” when the brothers identify the combined symbols as the sundial. At the sundial, Peter uses a sextant, invented by Tycho Brahe, to determine how the sundial would look at different times of year and times. “Big Sky Hunting” leads to the plantarium, the only place in New York to see the stars, according to Mr. Rowland. Felix, the docent at the planetarium, also identifies Brahe as an astronomer.

Astronomy literally means “the study of objects and matter outside the earth’s atmosphere,” which Neal and Peter had to do to identify the split of the Gemini twins on the horizon. The writers suggest the study of the stars enough so that the audience reaches the same conclusion as the protagonists, which makes the audience feel smart and capable. An intellectual interaction with the audience, I believe, is important to the series’ success and wide appeal. “Where There’s a Will” is a good example of that aspect of the series.

Mozzie Quote of the Week: Did you steal that from my brain?!

Final tidbits:

1. Neal ordered Jones and the FBI out of the room with his eyes (Matthew Bomer is excellent at subtle acting!).

2. Neal’s creating a new fake name to live under with the treasure, potentially Chris Gates, and Peter hasn’t heard it yet.

3. Mozzie’s tool belt is bigger than Neal’s, indicating who does most of the conning on a regular basis.

4. Satchmo is excellently trained.

White Collar’s third episode, “Deadline” will air Tuesday at 9pm on USA.