Entertainment Magazine

Review #3689: White Collar 4.10: “Vested Interest”

Posted on the 20 September 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Gregg Wright

Written by Jeff Eastin
Directed by Russell Lee Fine

The mid-season finales of “White Collar” always end on a dramatic cliffhanger. In the first season, it was the reveal that Peter was secretly in contact with Kate (which, considering that this was still the first season, made us wonder if Peter might be a baddie); in the second season, it was Mozzie being shot; and in the third, it was Keller’s kidnapping of Elizabeth. And as expected, the fourth season attempts to follow suit.

Review #3689: White Collar 4.10: “Vested Interest”

Despite being a genuinely interesting reveal, I can’t help but feel that the previous episode’s cliffhanger would have been a stronger mid-season finale. The problem with this reveal is that it is too heavily telegraphed. Now, I’m not the type who typically sees twists coming. But it was hinted at so heavily here that, by the time the moment came, there was a complete lack of surprise. And I suspect that this was the case with numerous other viewers. And Neal’s moment with the vest was similarly predictable.

Most of the episode is about the rebuilding of trust (or faith, rather) between Neal and Peter over the course of another case. It’s a bit unfortunate that things seem to be back to normal so quickly between the two of them after the unusually dark ending of the previous episode. I had also hoped that the rift between them would serve some greater purpose in the narrative, but that’s not really the case.

Of course, it’s nice to see Peter and Neal re-affirming their relationship, but I would have rather it had taken a while longer and perhaps even caused Peter to head further in the direction he’s been heading in since the previous season’s finale. As it is, this episode cheapens the climax of the previous episode. Still, it’s a reasonably strong stand-alone case, and in a sense, it does give Peter and Neal a chance to finally accept that, though there may always be secrets between them, they still have faith in each other.

The best way I can describe this episode is by saying that it’s above-average as a regular “White Collar” episode, but just a bit underwhelming as a mid-season finale. The case itself is plenty of fun. Jones and Diana get some much-needed involvement. Jones, in particular, gets a couple of amusing scenes. I really wish they’d utilize him this way more often. And I probably would have been happier with the reveal of Sam’s identity if it hadn’t been “the” big reveal of the first half of the season, and if it hadn’t been so heavily spelled out beforehand.

Score: 7/10

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