White Collar Season 3 Episode 11 Review: “Checkmate”

White Collar

Emotions are running high in this episode of White Collar. As I mentioned in my review of the previous episode, Elizabeth has been kidnapped by Keller. She is now being used as a bargaining chip against Peter in effort to get him to force to Neal surrenders the treasure. If Peter can’t do that, Elizabeth will die. Peter, now running on emotional rage, confronts Neal at his house in the aftermath of Elizabeth’s kidnapping. He angrily tells Neal that Keller knows that the treasure is in Neal’s possession and that he must give it all to Keller in exchange for Elizabeth. Neal agrees, and the two head toward the warehouse where the treasure’s being kept.

I was surprised to see Elizabeth so calm after being kidnapped from her home by Keller. Usually, victims fear for their lives and will do whatever their kidnappers ask of them. I suppose that she is confident that her husband will find her and bring justice upon the evil doers. I’m glad that she was able to keep a leveled head and send Peter a clue about her whereabouts by telling him to check on their dog Satchmo, who had bitten one of the kidnappers. If it had been anyone else, they would be very emotional and would beg their loved ones to save them from certain death. Kudos to Mrs. Burke for taking a page out of the FBI Kidnapping Playbook and for using her quick thinking to scratch the glass window of the room where she was being kept with her diamond wedding ring.

Meanwhile, upon arrival at the warehouse, Neal and Peter find the place to be empty. Neal then realizes that Mozzie must have moved the treasure elsewhere after their falling out at the end of the previous episode. Peter asks Neal to call Mozzie, but it seems that Mozzie has disconnected all forms of electronic communication. However, when there is a will, there is a way. Neal goes to a dock where carrier pigeons are being kept and asks the man who cares for them to let him see Estelle, a carrier pigeon favored by Mozzie, because he has a message to send Mozzie. The man refuses, until Neal brings up a famous pigeon by the name of Cher Ami (meaning “Dear Friend” in French), who saved 200 lives during the first World War, and tells the man that another life needs to be saved. The man gives in and carefully brings Estelle out from her perch inside the large cage. Neal puts the message inside the little tube on the pigeon’s ankle and sends it off toward Mozzie, who then arrives at the FBI, profusely apologizing for what happened to Elizabeth.

Later in the episode, Peter, Neal, Mozzie and Keller work together to get the treasure back after the NYPD arrives at the warehouse and arrests two men whom Mozzie set up with a fake job. Everything goes as planned until Keller decides to take the treasure for himself, bringing an unconscious Neal with him. The two then fight, presumably over who gets the treasure, and when it looks like Neal is done for, Peter arrives and tackles Keller and then proceeds to throw punch after punch at Keller’s face. Neal then shoots Keller’s leg with the gun that got lost during their struggle to gain the upper hand, and Keller is finally apprehended along with his kidnapper for hire.

At the end of the episode, Neal is ready to turn himself in for taking the treasure and to bring Keller down once and for all, but it looks like Keller beat him to the punch (sorry for the pun) and confesses to the whole thing, which means that Neal’s off the hook with regards to the treasure. Diana then comes in and hands Peter a folder containing a letter from the U.S. Probation Office, saying that there is to be a hearing in three months’ time concerning Neal’s probation due to his outstanding service as a C.I. and for recovering the treasure and capturing Keller. Guess things are starting to look up for Neal Caffrey. Hope he doesn’t do anything to jeopardize his chances of becoming a free man.

[Photo via USA Network]

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