Gather round ladies and gents! It’s time for the story of Robin Hood! Or, in this case, Robin Hoodie. In this episode of White Collar, Neal and Agent Burke go after a thief who steals from the wealthy and gives to the poor in the victim’s names. The episode begins with Agents Burke, Berrigan (Diana), Neal and the rest of the FBI squad storming into an apartment building where they tracked Robin Hoodie aka Scott Rivers, a skilled forger, safe cracker and hacker. When the door is rammed open, the team finds the apartment empty, and the movement that Diana sees underneath the door is a Roomba carrying a vase. Seems like Scott has flown the coop knowing that the FBI is after him.
Agent Burke is brimming with excitement, saying that there might be a Neal Caffery 2.0 in the works. Neal, on the other hand, isn’t so impressed. I sensed a hint of jealousy on Neal’s part because there’s someone younger and more tech-savvy than him out there conning people. It certainly seems like it when Neal comes up with the nickname as a sarcastic joke, but it backfires as Agent Burke finds the name to be very fitting. Cisco Ramon, it looks like you got yourself some competition in the nicknames department!
Back to the case, Neal and Peter (taking a breather from typing Agent Burke) are at Peter’s house, trying to figure out when Robin Hoodie will strike next. I laughed out loud when Elizabeth mentioned that Peter got a high score on “Angry Bird.” I agreed with Neal 110% when he said that someone has to stand up to those green pigs (greedy oinkers), and I have a feeling that Neal was trying to hold back his laughter after he told Peter that he wasn’t going to judge Peter for playing the popular game. The two of them then figure out, with a bit of help from Elizabeth, that Robin Hoodie is going to steal a motorcycle. Enter Chad Stewart, owner of a confederate fighter (the high-end motorcycle), who is having a party to show off his fancy motorcycle.
The FBI is then invited to the party, thanks to Neal’s slight of hand when he swipes Chad’s watch off his wrist, and they go undercover as guests. Neal had wanted to go with Peter in the surveillance van, but Peter refuses given that Neal has to keep an eye out for Robin Hoodie. Diana makes the joke that since they’re going after a modern version of Robin Hood, then that makes Peter the Sheriff of Nottingham. I see the connection, but Peter’s more King Richard the Lionheart. Firm but fair. Like Harvey Specter from Suits.
Neal then spots Scott when he sees a bearded young man with headphones and sunglasses, wearing a suit hoodie (whatever that is) and standing near the motorcycle. The hooded thief then uses the distraction of Jones going after the girl who spiked Mr. Hoodie’s drink and the commotion the crowd causes to steal the motorcycle, leaving his signature donation card behind.
Turns out that someone wanted to kill Robin Hoodie after capturing him on a security camera at one of the locations that he was robbing. Peter asks Neal what he thought of Robin Hoodie/Scott Rivers, and Neal says that he’s an arrogant, impulsive kid who’s having a good time, not realizing how deeply in over his head he is. Sounds like someone we know, does it not? Maybe Robin Hoodie should be re-named Neal Caffery 2.0.
Peter then asks if it’s possible to bring Mr. Hoodie back from the dark side. Neal says that it is difficult to do because a con is like an adrenaline rush, an addiction that you can’t get enough of if you were able to pull it off. If one wants to change, they would need to hit rock bottom, something Neal has never really done given that he has been secretly pulling off various cons behind Peter’s back like the Son of Man con he pulled in the first episode.
I was a bit surprised to see later in the episode that Scott/Robin Hoodie was looking for Neal. Guess his reputation precedes him when Scott meets with Mozzie on the streets of New York. Mozzie goes on and on about how he taught Neal everything he knows about being a con-artist, to which I think he’s stretching the truth a little bit, but I can’t say for certain.
While Mozzie is busy talking to Scott, Neal stands about a block away and sees Thomas Carlisle making his way toward Mozzie and Scott. He then calls Mozzie to let him know that Carlisle is nearby and that the conspirator needs to stall him. Mozzie then pulls a Scrooge McDuck by hacking into a nearby ATM, causing it to spit out money, attracting a huge crowd of people fighting to get their hands on it while Scott makes a run for it. As he turns the corner, Neal tells him to slow down because it’s New York City; once one gains some distance, it’s better to blend in. #CrowdCamouflage!
Neal then brings Scott to his apartment, unbeknownst to Peter, with Sara and Mozzie telling him two different things. Mozzie says that they need to protect Scott since he’s one of them, while Sara says that Neal should help Scott get out of trouble and convince the young man to turn himself in to the FBI. Neal wants to do the right thing, but he’s not exactly the role model type.
Neal ends up helping Scott anyway to get Carlisle off his back by returning the expensive diamond bustier (pronounced boos-tea-ay). The plan almost works when Scott finds out that the safe has been upgraded from the last one that he had broken into. It’s Neal Caffery to the rescue as he and Scott work together to open the new safe with Peter running interference downstairs. The bustier is safely put back into the safe, and Team Caffery gets out before Peter and Carlisle come upstairs, leaving the safe door unclosed, assuming they want Peter to discover it and arrest Carlisle, which he does.
Nearing the end of the episode, Neal tries to convince Scott to turn himself in to the FBI and maybe get himself a deal aside from being locked up for a period of time. Scott is reluctant, and as soon as Neal turns his back, he disappears. The next morning, when Neal is talking with Peter about not being able to get Scott to turn himself in, the man in question suddenly turns up, in cuffs, ready to face the music.
Neal asks Scott what made him change his mind, and all Scott says is that stealing stupid things from rich people was already getting boring, or it could be that Neal’s words from before got to him. I personally think that it was the latter because there’s no way that a con-artist would give up the thrill of the hunt (so to speak) and turn themselves in to the authorities. As Scott gets re-cuffed, Neal tells Peter to give Scott some time since people don’t change overnight. Peter agrees by saying that he is working with living proof of Neal’s statement.
At the end of the episode, we see Neal trying out his new identity when Sara comes in, surprising him. When Neal goes into the bathroom, Sara notices the painting safe above Neal’s bed is opened slightly. She gives into curiosity and sees the passport that contains Neal’s new identity. I sense that Neal will have some explaining to do. Perhaps in Episode 7?
[Photo via USA Network]