Undergoing a viewing of White Collar is not typical. Especially if one aims to then write up a review after the episode has been watched. You see, White Collar is a TV series that has intensely loyal fans. If a show were a celebrity couple, White Collar would be William and Kate. The series is beloved.

white collar checkmate

Not just intimidated by the fans, it is difficult to review White Collar without realizing the sanctity of each episode. As with the very best shows that TV can offer, here every episode feels like a miniature movie that has been condensed into a 40 minute slot. How do you begin to show honor for the contributors of an episode? What they present is a work of art. And what you give in return should not be a slack-jawed, gibberish-filled reply. Ideally. But you be the judge.

“Checkmate” picks up seconds after the previous episode. Peter (Tim DeKay) has just said the one sentence that makes everyone do a doubletake – “He took my wife.” That’s Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen.) And omgshecannotbemissing, NEAL you are in so much trouble!

In reply, Neal (Matt Bomer) says, simply: “Peter.” Because what do you say to your FBI partner friend who you’ve inadvertently doublecrossed for half of a year, only to find you’re the reason his wife is MIA? That’s not a comfortable position to be in.

Jones (Sharif Atkins)and Diana (Marsha Thomspon) are with the FBI, trying to provide reassurances to a man that isn’t hearing anything but the silence of where his wife should be. (There wasn’t a ton of Jones or Diana in this episode, huh? But every episode spotlights someone different, I know, I know.)

Loving animals has never been so easy. First there was Satchmo, who provided a major clue for the team. Later there was, Estelle, the Carrier pigeon who is the one “person” who could find Mozzie. When people fail, animals still don’t disappoint. Yay!

Keller was incredibly interested in telling Caffrey about the rules for “their kind.” When he realizes Neal is going to break the rules, he’s annoyed. No one is allowed to do something different or better. I think that’s why Keller is so damn mad and fascinated by Neal. He doesn’t want anyone to one-up him. I can’t imagine Keller will be pleased to learn what awaits Neal at the end of this episode.

Speaking of Keller. He’s  dangerous becuase he’s reckless, and not so clever. He’s brawn not brains. He kills without asking questions. He is the type to take a gun to a knife fight. This is why he’s a good villain on this show.

Seeing Elizabeth as her own heroine was fun. Sure, she’s got an FBI agent for a husband, but I think this only encourages her to know how dangerous things can be. It doesn’t make her want to wait around in a tower like Rapunzel. I was toying around with a fake tagline like, “This is a story of four guys. One woman. Guess who comes out on top.” But that sounds more like a salacious Lifetime movie about secret lovers…which, yes, I would totally watch. But. Not the point!

In three months, we learn that Neal might not have any anklet anymore. He might be free. Wow. Talk about a curveball. WHAT DOES HE WANT TO DO?

Small mention: Bomer holding the shield against skyline in suit was like a Gucci ad for modern men’s lifestyle in a city. I know you don’t need to be reminded in this White Collar review of how handsome Matt Bomer is, but oh well. The show reminds you every week!

White Collar Quotes

“Keep the FBI out of this.” – Keller
“I am FBI.” – Peter Burke
“No, now you’re just a guy who wants your wife back.” – Keller

“He knows our playbook better than we do.” – Burke

“You want a happy ending, you gotta know when to stop the story.” – Neal

“We had a falling out.” – Neal
“Why? You couldn’t agree on what island to buy?” – Burke

“So unless you have a drill kit hidden in your blouse…”- Keller

“Bye, Elizabeth Burke.” – Keller

“I’m gonna need to get in one of these cars.” – Peter
“Oh, already done.” – Mozzie

“We’ve been playing by Keller’s rules. Let’s change the game.” – Burke

“Admit it, she’s a hard city to leave.” – Neal to Mozzie about New York City

“I know just the rat.” – Mozzie

“Desperation makes for strange bedfellows.” – Mozzie Quotes

“I like to see the passion, Burke. It shows you’re motivated.” – Keller

“I’m an FBI agent.” – Burke
“Today you’re one of us.” – Keller

“He’s crazy. I respect that.” – Keller about Peter

White Collar airs on the USA Network. Matt Bomer and Tim Dekay star. Created by Jeff Eastin.