White Collar completed its debut season with the airing of Out of the Box. And it was an explosive ending for what has been a terrific new show. The story centered on the music box & its links to Kate. Neal alongside Alex & Mozzie planned to steal the music box from the Italian Consulate. To achieve this Neal gets a little help from Fowler, which triggers Peter's suspicion of the whole operation.
- The explosion of the plane that was to be used by Neal & Kate to start their new life throws up many questions. The most obvious being about the whole Kate arc. We never got to spend any real length of time with her this season, so who she is & why she is so important to Neal remains a mystery. I understand that their had to be a reason for Neal to breakout of prison just four months shy of his release but to achieve that they had to humanise Kate & make her a three dimensional character. Instead we got an almost mythical character that it was hard to develop feelings for. I suppose with Kate gone now we don't have to worry about that aspect & just put it down a bad plot hole that all shows have in some shape or form.
- I did expect an ending that would tie up the Kate storyline (though not in the way that it transpired) as well as for our resident bad guy, Agent Fowler. However this one doesn't get resolved so I'm sure will have more of OPR's lead agent in season two. Plus Fowler's indication that he was reporting to someone further up the food chain opens up a whole new set of possibilities.
- One of the questions I was wondering as I watched the episode was actually asked by Neal - "What's so special about the box?" If Neal doesn't know then it must be something that is truly hidden. And it must be something that is very valuable if whoever sanctioned it's return was willing to get Neal out of prison just to steal it.
- Peter's suspension was a surprise & clever touch to ensure he did not get in the way of the operation. We know he & Neal are equals in terms of intelligence & so having Neal steal the box without Peter acting would have been problematic. The suspension did not stop Peter from getting fully involved & in particular going after Fowler. In this storyline we also see the return of Marsha Thomason who played Agent Diana Barrigan in the Pilot. I also loved Peter's reaction after shooting Fowler & being quizzed by Diana about knowing that Fowler was wearing a vest to which his response was that he didn't.
- As I touched on last week there is growing friendship between Peter & Neal alongside there obvious respect for each other. We see Peter trying to convince Neal to stay not because he needs him but because he wants him around as a friend. At the same time Neal recognises this & thus does not tell Peter he's going fearing that he'd be talked out of leaving. There chemistry has been central to the success of the show so it will be interesting to see where the writers take that relationship. Will Neal graduate to a true consultant devoid of tracking anklet or will they try & keep the status quo.
- The exit of Kate obviously leaves potential for Neal & Alex to rekindle an old romance that has been hinted at. They actually play off each other very well though the sensation remains that neither trusts the other completely. Which means there's plenty of mileage that can be achieved from this storyline.