White Collar Season 3 Episode 2 Review: “Where There’s a Will”

White Collar

Looks like we’re in for a treasure hunt in this episode of White Collar. The Bureau has requested Neal to authenticate the last will and testament of the late Nathaniel Roland, which he left to his two children, Josh and James Roland (guest stars Chris and Danny Masterson–on a side note, Danny played the character Steven Hyde on That 70s Show).  After finding out that the wills are forgeries, thanks to the late Mr. Roland, who was ambidextrous, meaning that he could write with both hands, Agent Burke notices that the names on both wills are very strange. Horace Byth and Hatch O’Brey? It certainly sounds like something straight out of a Salinger novel, as Neal says. The two then figure out that the two names are composed of the same letters, which means that they’re anagrams. Agent Burke and Neal then rearrange the letters of both names and get Tycho Brahe, a 16th century Danish astronomer.

Neal then notices something else about the two fake wills. He layers the two wills together and raises them toward the windows of Agent Burke’s office. The two compass insignias combine to form a compass rose, which means that there isn’t a message hidden in the wills, but a map. Let the treasure hunt begin!

After telling the brothers about the map, which is a diagram of a sundial in Le Monde Garden containing some sort of code, they do not want to go along with the hunt because it’s pointless. Neal then suggests that they take a look at the sundial code for curiosity’s sake, but James says that his father’s gone and that he doesn’t have to play by his rules anymore. Agent Burke, on the other hand, is curious as to what the map will lead to, but he can’t take part in the hunt because the FBI hasn’t authorized a treasure-hunting team, so he trusts Neal to figure out the map but to keep him updated on his progress.

I liked the scene where Agent Burke was having lunch with Elizabeth, still a bit torn about not being able to solve the sundial code after finally figuring it out. Mrs. Burke, thank goodness, reads her husband like an open book and tells him to grab some mirrors and go play with Neal. I laughed a little when I saw Agent Burke’s face light up like a kid at Christmas. Oh, Agent Burke, you and your fascination with puzzles.

I also liked the scene where Agent Burke, Elizabeth, Mozzie and Neal were in Le Monde Garden, using the two mirrors that Agent Burke brought to solve the sundial code. I didn’t even know that there was a real 4:30 aside from the Daylight Savings 4:30. Is it the 4:30 before Daylight Savings or is it something else altogether? I laughed out loud when Agent Burke called Mozzie “Mr. Conspiracy.” It’s a rather fitting nickname, is it not? Much like “Suit,” Mozzie’s nickname for Agent Burke.

The hunt then takes a turn for the worst when Josh’s daughter Savannah is kidnapped, leading Agent Burke and Neal to the planetarium where they find the first published work of Tycho Brahe preserved in a glass case that can give them information on how to get Savannah back. Agent Burke gets called back to the FBI, leaving Neal to figure out the contents of the book.

Enlisting the help of Mozzie and the Burke’s dog Satchmo, Neal is able to obtain access to the book, but when he misses the page that he is supposed to flip to, he asks Mozzie to help drill a tiny hole in the glass case. What Neal doesn’t foresee is that once oxygen is introduced into the case, the pages of the book begin to disintegrate. If it weren’t for the fact that the book was also forged, by Nathaniel Roland no doubt, there would have been huge consequences for both Neal and Agent Burke.

In the end, Savannah is found and brought back to her father safe and sound by Agent Burke. The kidnapper, Brett Gelles, who happens to be the Roland’s security technician, is arrested after Neal convinces him to bring him Savannah’s ankle bracelet, which is the next clue in the treasure hunt.

The real will and book are found in a locked case hidden between the column that ha pictures of the brothers on two of the sides. I had first thought that the last line of the two fake wills, “In the end, there should be nothing between you, which is everything,” meant that the Roland brothers should put aside their differences and start acting like a family again, which the brothers kind of do, so I suppose it all worked out for the best.

We then see Neal working on a fake Interpol badge and heading off to what I believe is a hotel bar near the airport to catch up with Agent Matthews, the Art Crimes Agent that Agent Burke spoke to. Neal introduces himself as Chris Gates, and he and Agent Matthews discussed what went on in Agent Burke’s office earlier in the episode.

Agent Matthews tells Neal that if any one of the stolen pieces of artwork is being sold, the Art Crimes Division would hear of it. Neal, upon realizing that Mozzie was going to sell off a Degas painting, excuses himself to call Mozzie, telling him to call off the sale. I wasn’t sure if Mozzie answered the phone or not, but I’m hoping that he did because it looks like they might not get the money that they need for their second escape plan.

It was nice to see Danny Masterson on television again after the end of That 70s Show. I didn’t recognize him at first due to his now short hair and without his signature sunglasses, but his voice was familiar enough to remind me of his character on the show. Next stop, Episode 3!

[Photo via USA Network]

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