Discussion is on Season 1, Episode 2, entitled Threads. Hosted by Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 0:00
[Titles] This is White Collared: The Podcast. Season one, episode two, “Threads".
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 0:13
[Intro] My name is Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard, and I would like to welcome you to this episode of the podcast.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 0:19
Now, if you're listening to this shortly after it is released, I am recording several weeks in advance of the official launch of the podcast. I am trying to build up a stock of episodes so that I can get off to a good start and allow myself some time to deal with any issues that may crop up here at the beginning of the production. What this means is that if you've listened to the first episode, and have been kind enough to leave a comment somewhere or to send me an email or leave a review, I'm already several episodes ahead in my recording, so I will not be able to acknowledge your comments on the podcast for a little while. But please be certain I am tracking the comments and feedback and reviews as best I can, as they are available to me, and I certainly do appreciate the support.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 1:07
So let's get into it. This is the first regular production episode of the series. This episode first aired on October 30 2009, was written by Clifton Campbell, and was directed by Dennie Gordon.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 1:24
[Episode Summary] It's Fashion Week. The city's turned upside down when a multitude of models and buyers fled the city. Neal enjoys the presence of the beautiful women. Peter doesn't care about female scenery, he is just frustrated at the disruption to his normality. Things get worse when a model is witness to a murder apparently committed by the notorious Israeli counterfeiter Ghovat—“The Ghost”. They soon learn that the stakes are even higher than the murder.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 1:51
Meanwhile, Neal is convinced that Kate must have left him a message during their final prison meeting, and he desperately seeks a way to learn what that message might have been.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 2:01
Things begin with Peter and Neal on the street trying to catch a cab. They are supposed to be on their way to interview a witness, but they’re having trouble getting a cab. They get cabs flagged down, but every time they try to get in, models come along and get into the cab before them. So it's very frustrating to Peter, who as we previously discussed, likes things neat and orderly, and by the book. And fashion week is anything but neat, orderly, and by the book for him. Neal seems to be enjoying it but he is going to be thrown out of his element as well very quickly. At the start of the episode, he does not realize that they are going to be going after Ghovat and he certainly doesn't realize that what is the motivation for this investigation is a murder and not just a simple white collar crime. Neal states that Ghovat is notorious; he’s a counterfeiter of treasury bonds, dollars; he’s rumored to be the first person to crack the micro-printing on the euro, and these are the types of crimes that Neal was brought in to consult on, not murder. But that's where this investigation starts out.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 3:13
Now, the problem is how to identify their suspect. The FBI knows very little about Ghovat: they don't know his real identity, they have no photographs of him apparently, no fingerprints, no real information on him and their only witness can only identify him by his voice. They do have a working theory. That theory is that whatever business Ghovat is involved in is being somehow tied up into fashion week. Neal suggests that maybe the best way to learn wear him out is…
Reese Hughes 3:49
Peter Burke 3:50
The witness's confidence you can identify him by his voice.
Reese Hughes 3:53
How do you know he'll show up?
Neal Caffrey 3:54
You fill it with beautiful women.
Reese Hughes 3:56
I was addressing my case agent
Peter Burke 4:00
Looking at his M.O., he has a thing for models.
Reese Hughes 4:04
Yeah? Well, me too. Hey, Jones, do you like models?
Clinton Jones 4:08
Reese Hughes 4:09
Joness like ‘em too. Is there a plan in here somewhere? Call me when one shows up.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 4:16
Hughes is not impressed. He doesn't he doesn't see a plan in there. And quite frankly, Peter really doesn't see a plan in there either. He does try to defend the plan, he does go to bat for Neal, and tells Hughes, look, these guys are cut from the same cloth. Neal's convinced it'll work. But he's not convinced either. The only reason he is really even supporting the plan, why he’s—he's submitted it to Hughes as a possibility and he defends it is because he doesn't have anything else. He doesn't have any other plan that he can come up with, and he's just going to hope they can come up with something to flesh it out and make it actually kind of work.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 4:59
But you know, Hughes's actually correct. There isn't a plan in there. The fact that Ghovat likes parties, and glamour, and the highlife doesn't mean he's going to show up just because Neal and the FBI throw a party. I mean, it's fashion week. There are probably lots of parties being thrown all over town, all of them with a lot of models. So why would Ghovat go to this party instead of some other party? I would think that in a situation like this, somebody like Ghovat would be interested in a number of things. First of all, where's the party? If it's at a place that is beneath him, he's not going to go, no matter who's there. He's going to be interested in who is there. If it's a party that's got nobody of importance, or you know, anybody that that appeals to him, he's not going to go, and would also be concerned about who is throwing the party. Because if it's a nobody throwing the party, it doesn't matter that it's in a nice place, or it's going to have some interesting people, it’s a party being thrown by nobody, why would he go? So—why would Ghovat go to this party instead of some other party? There’s no real good answer to that because there is no answer to that and that’s because it really isn’t a plan. It’s just an excuse to have a party, I think. They’re—they’re taking a shot at it and hoping for the best; hoping that there's something about this party that will get his attention and cause him to come to this party instead of some other party.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 6:27
Despite everything, despite all the reasons why this so called plan isn't a plan, and why this so called plan isn't going to work or is very unlikely to work, Hughes authorizes the party with a minimal budget. And so to help make it work within their budget, Neal volunteers Elizabeth to help with party because she's an event planner. So they grab Elizabeth, and they go to a warehouse full of seized goods and property, and try to come up with some things that they can use at the party.
Elizabeth Burke 7:01
[Royal Ossetra Caviar] Wow, Royal Ossetra Caviar caviar.
Elizabeth Burke 7:04
[Springbank Whiskey] Oh, Neal. I just found springbank
Neal Caffrey 7:06
Neal Caffrey 7:07
['58 Garioch Scotch] Got a garioch scotch over here.
Elizabeth Burke 7:10
Neal Caffrey 7:11
Elizabeth Burke 7:13
Grab the case.
Peter Burke 7:14
Alright. Come on. We got to itemize all this.
Neal Caffrey 7:16
12 bottles of scotch…
Elizabeth Burke 7:18
…36 tins of Ossetra.
Peter Burke 7:20
Booze and fish eggs. You got that?
Unidentified Agent 7:21
Peter Burke 7:23
Whoa. Drop the watch, convict. We're not on a shopping spree.
Neal Caffrey 7:27
No, it wasn't for me, it was for you.
Peter Burke 7:28
Oh, thank you. But there's nothing wrong with my old watch.
Elizabeth Burke 7:31
Honey, actually, it looks great on you.
Peter Burke 7:34
Eh, a little out of my price range.
Elizabeth Burke 7:36
Okay, so we've got the alcohol and the food covered. Now we just need the venue.
Peter Burke 7:40
Don't worry. I got that covered.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 7:43
[Act 1 Continues] Now, I'm not sure how kosher it is to use seized goods, which are presumably evidence in other cases in something like this but, you know, it's the government so you never know. But they find Royal Ossetra Caviar, which as I priced it here recently is about $120 an ounce, Springbank Whiskey, which—depending on the type and age—ranges in price from about $70 to $2,000 a bottle, and the ’58 Garioch Scotch, sells for about $3,500 a bottle. And Peter flippantly calls them booze and fish eggs. Peter clearly is not impressed with the trappings of wealth.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 8:27
During this search for goods to use at the party, Neal finds a watch that he admires, and he tries to cover it by saying, ah, you know, I'm looking at it for you, Peter. Yeah, yeah, that’s—that's the story. And I'm sticking to it. But I think it's pretty obvious he was looking at it for himself. But Peter put the kibosh on that.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 8:47
Then they have to discuss the venue, and when Peter says, hey, I've got that covered, Neal and Elizabeth look at each other, and the look they give each other is sort of a, this isn't going to be good, look. There—they know that Peter isn't particularly imaginative, and has different set of standards, and his standards don't fit the stylish, high-roller attitude that they really need for this party. And when he reveals what he's got for the party, yeah, Neal's not impressed. It's a loft, a loft that was used in a crime, and may even still have the chalk outline of the deceased drawn on the floor.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 9:28
But that's not a problem because Neal comes up with something. It's actually a place that a friend of his owns. Now at this point, the only friend of Neal’s that we know of is Mozzie. I think we can probably rule out Mozzie being the owner of this property because it's out of character for a guy who is as paranoid about the government as he is, and whoever else he's paranoid about. And owning a place like this is hardly the way to keep off the radar. I think we can—we can bet that it's not Mozzie, who owns it, but it does leave a question out there as to who does own it and what Neal's relationship to them is.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 10:09
Interestingly enough, when Elizabeth sees the space that Neal has secured for the party, she thinks that Peter came up with it, because he had said he was going to, but the interesting part is that Neal lets Peter take the credit. Now, is he trying to get on Peter's good side? Is he thinking that at some point in the future, if he needs to ask a favor, such as something involving his hunt for Kate, that Peter will be more receptive if he lets him take the credit? Now this would be the type of thing that would be in character for Neal. But we know that Peter talks to Elizabeth about his cases, he probably tells her most of what happens. And I would think Neal would have a pretty good idea that that's the case as well. So wouldn't he suspect that at some point, Peter would tell Elizabeth that it was really Neal who found the venue? So I'm not sure what Neal's motivation here is for letting Peter take the credit, I'm going to think that’s in large part, simply trying to get on Peter's good side for some thing in the future.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 11:09 And it is here that Neal meets agent Lauren Cruz. Now she is not impressed with him. And he makes that even worse by going for the cheap joke about, where does she keep her gun? The joke clearly does not go down well with her.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 11:27
Later that evening, the party is going on, Neal is with Tara, and they are working the area trying to pick up something in somebody's voice that will spark her identification of that individual.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 11:40
During the course of the party, Tara does hear somebody speaking in Hebrew. And that's their first clue that they're kind of on the right path, and that Ghovat may be there somewhere.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 11:51
Now, this is where things go wrong because Neal doesn't stick to the plan. The plan was to have Tara walk around, listen to people's voices, and identify their suspect. But Neal tries to improvise; He tries to take a shortcut, and what he does is he steals the phone out of the pocket of the individual that they heard speaking, presumably to Ghovat. Now, they know that the individual that they heard talking on the phone was not their suspect. But Neal's plan seems to be, or his improvisation seems to be that if he can get the guy's phone, he can dial Ghovat’s phone from that using the redial function, and they can identify Ghovat. But Ghovat either anticipates Neal's action, or he's paranoid enough that he wants to get rid of the phone that he was using, so he dumps it into somebody else's pocket. The result is that when Neal uses the redial function on the phone that he swiped, to dial Ghovat’s phone, it does ring Ghovat’s phone but it's not in Ghovat’s pocket. And as a result of Neal's careless improvisation and failure to stick to the plan, they identify the wrong person, and Ghovat gets away.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 13:05
[Act 2] After the party and the bust goes wrong, we see Neal back at his apartment with Mozzie.
Neal Caffrey 13:12
The man with rings of Kate in California. You tell me what he wants from her, because he didn't find what he was looking for in San Diego.
How do you know what he was looking for?
Neal Caffrey 13:24
Because I told Kate I kept everything—the money, the bonds, the art—all of it in San Diego.
But clearly that's not the truth, because you told me it was all hidden in Portland, isn't it? There's nothing hidden in either place, is there? It's a test.
Neal Caffrey 14:40
Look, I just needed to know what I already knew.
What? That you can trust me?
Neal Caffrey 13:44
That I'm the one who's been there through all of it? But Kate—Kate’s the one who kicked over your rock.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 13:50
We know that Mozzie has been a very, very good friend to Neal. We saw that in the first episode of the pilot. And so I think Mozzie is Neal's best friend and his—his partner in crime, that they have a relationship that transcends a mere partnership. And so he's offended when he—he discovers that Neal lied to him about all of this. And he says, you know, I was there, I was always the person you could trust, and Kate is the one who betrayed you. Neal comes up with an interesting, uh, let me say illogical response to that, and he says that Kate didn't betray me, he forced her to. Neal apparently doesn't understand the meaning of the word betray. Because it doesn't matter whether it's voluntary or under coercion. The fact is, she betrayed Neal. She told the man, the unidentified man, the man with the ring, the man in San Diego, who was with Kate—or who Kate was with—she told him that Neal had told her that all of the stuff that he'd stored was in San Diego. So she betrayed him. But he doesn't want to see that. Now, he does think that maybe Kate tried to warn him about what was happening—either before she betrayed him or afterwards—he thinks that she tried to warn him during her last visit to prison. Neal tries to support his contention that Kate may have warned him by showing Mozzie an old love letter, which Mozzie begins to read.
Weep for me, my love. I'll miss you…What is this?
Neal Caffrey 16:30
It’s just an old love letter? It doesn't mean anything. Okay…but the FBI was closing in on us. We started taking precautions. We started passing codes.
That could be cracked by anyone who's ever seen the back of Mad Magazine.
Neal Caffrey 15:45
You asked me why don't tell you certain things... it's that attitude right there.
I'm trying to be supportive.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 15:50
The code that Neal is referring to in this, of course, is the fold-in gag that was used in the ‘Mad Magazine’ and ‘Cracked’ and a few others in the past. And Mozzie isn't impressed. And, of course, Neal says, well, but look, this was an early attempt. But the point is, she was trying to—I think she was trying to warn me, because we were passing codes, and our codes got better as time went on, and there must have been something there. I don't know what it was, but there must have been. And so Mozzie suggests, well, you know, your friend from the FBI has a videotape of that last meeting. You could ask him for it. Which is kind of an interesting admission from Mozzie that, you know, sometimes the FBI can be useful, even for our own purposes, beyond just their regular job of enforcing the law. So it's quite a—quite a step for Mozzie to even suggest that to Neal.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 16:47
Well, presumably the next day, they're having a meeting between Peter, Lauren and Neal. Lauren brings them up to date on their identity of The Ghost, and also gives a little bit of background information on their other suspect, Dimitri. The meeting concludes, and then there's a little conversation between Neal and Lauren.
Neal Caffrey 17:10
Lauren Cruz 17:12
Neal Caffrey 17:14
You now…you pull off the whole FBI thing, too.
Lauren Cruz 17:17
Yeah, no one looks good in FBI slacks.
Neal Caffrey 17:20
Don’t sell yourself short.
Lauren Cruz 17:22
Neal Caffrey 17:23
You sure I wasn't a little too direct…
Lauren Cruz 17:25
Yeah, but I like where you're going with it.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 17:27
Now, clearly, Neal is initiating the flirtation, but Lauren does seem to respond to it, at least after her initial coolness, because she does say hey, you know, you weren't too forward. I like where you were going with that. But she doesn't seem to be all that enamored with Neal at the moment. That may change but she hasn't been impressed with him up to this point. She finishes up the conversation and leaves, Peter is in his office getting ready to meet Elizabeth for lunch, and Neal asks him about the tape.
Neal Caffrey 18:02
Hey, Peter, before we go. I need a favor.? The last time Kate visited me in prison before she disappeared. You saw that security tape?
Peter Burke 18:11
Neal Caffrey 18:14
I like to see it.
Peter Burke 18:16
You think that's a good idea?
Neal Caffrey 18:19
It's the last time I saw her. I just want some closure.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 18:24
Now Neal presents it very well to Peter. It comes off as a very sincere request that, you know, it's the last time he saw her, he just wants to see the tape again to—for closure. But as Peter’s walking out of the room, you see a little bit of a grin—a very slight grin cross Neal's face. And it's almost the kind of grin that says, I did it. I got away with it, he bought it. So he's definitely not in it for the closure.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 18:54
Peter has his lunch with Elizabeth. And she says, You know, I saw you looking at that watch at the warehouse the other day. Well, he really wasn't. Neal was looking at it and used Peter as a cover. And so she presents him with a watch. A very fancy watch that, you know, really isn't Peter. But she—she obviously feels that she's getting him something that he would like and appreciate. But he doesn't seem to be able to read it. He can't tell what time it is from the watch. And he—he tries to make the best of it but it’s—it's obviously—he’s not real comfortable with that watch, because it's just not his style. Because again, he's booze and fish eggs guy. He's not a Garioch scotch and caviar kind of guy. He just isn't the high end individual that that watch is designed for.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 19:44
While Peter is still at lunch, Neal meets up with Tara and discovers she's going into witness protection. Peter returns and they head out to meet with Dimitri. There's a little bit of humor between Neal and Peter is as Peter tries to pretend to be a tough guy body guard, you know, with the dark glasses and such as that and a little bit of sparring between Neal and Dimitri. Dimitri tries to warn off Neal and Neal kind of plays dumb a little bit. And then Dimitri basically ends the conversation and—and gives a signal to his body guard to come over and kind of muscle Neal and Peter out. Now, to me…the interesting little bit in this is that when he walks toward Neal and Dimitri, his motions, his actions, his movements, he looks like a model on a runway showing off the clothes that he's wearing. He doesn't look and move like a bodyguard.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 20:48
[Act 3] Now, a short time later, Dimitri is murdered, and Peter, Neal and Jones are on the scene. And they discover a slit in the dress that is there at the scene that is about the size that you would need to extract a security strip. So they've got a clue now as to what the point of interest is for Ghovat.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 21:12
After this, Peter interviews the fashion designer of the dress, who tells Peter about the kidnapping of his son, and that kidnapping being used as leverage to allow himself to be used to transport whatever this thing was inside of one of his dresses. And they also learn that the dress that was at the scene was a second dress—a copy dress, or a backup dress. And that the real dress—the dress with the whatever it was—the dress that Ghovat was actually after, was still in Avet’s possession.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 21:46
So now they have the security strip, they have the dress that Ghovat wants because of the security strip that was hidden inside of it, and so Peter comes up with the idea of using Tara as bait to daw out Ghovat.
Neal Caffrey 22:01
I recognize you from the party.
Neal Caffrey 22:06
Who is this?
I saw you steal Dimitri's phone.
Neal Caffrey 22:10
Yeah, I was trying to eliminate the competition. I guess it worked.
So you know what you have?
Neal Caffrey 22:17
I know exactly what I got.
You paid $50, 000 for the dress. I'll give you $5 million.
Neal Caffrey 22:23
Aw, my fiancée loves it so much, how about we make it 10?
Do you know who you're talking to?
Neal Caffrey 22:28
This is Steve, right?
I tried to be nice. I tried to give you a choice.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 22:34
So we see that Neal was offered $5 million from Ghovat for the dress, and then he doubles the price. And of course, Ghovat isn't happy. I wonder if Neal didn’t again go off script and ruin the plan by trying to improvise? Now, we don't know exactly what Peter's original plan was. But the whole point of the plan was to draw Ghovat out. I'm not sure that killing the deal by trying to double the offered price was part of the plan because that doesn't seem to be a tactic that would have a chance of succeeding. That would seem to be counterproductive. So again it seems to be a case of Neal going off script and trying to improvise…
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 23:22
…and the result is that Ghovat takes Tara hostage. Now, I think that we can surmise that this was not part of Peters original plan. Now we don't know exactly what Peter's plan was, but if Peters original plan was to have Tara kidnapped and used as a hostage—first of all, that would be a very, bad plan—and second of all, we know that he sent Tara home with agents guarding her, which suggests that it was not part of Peters plan to—to endanger her in any way by trying to get her kidnapped. Yes, using her as bait was a little bit of an endangerment, but he didn't necessarily want her to be kidnapped. So I think we can—we can safely say that Neal went off plan, and as a result, Tara was kidnapped and being held for ransom, and the ransom being the dress with the electronic security strip in it. Now Neal seems to recognize his responsibility in the kidnapping of Tara, but he's he gets his facts wrong.
Neal Caffrey 24:30
You have to let me go to the exchange. It's my fault Tara’s in trouble. I'm one paraded around town that dress.
Peter Burke 24:36
The best thing you can do is help me figure out what Ghovat's game plan is. He knows we're gonna have the place staked out.
Neal Caffrey 24:42
He knows you're running a playbook.
Peter Burke 24:43
Right, so I'm gonna toss the old one, come up with a new one.
Neal Caffrey 24:46
No. No, you don't. That's the point. See, he's counting on the FBI to have a plan.
Peter Burke 24:51
So I do nothing?
Neal Caffrey 24:52
Go with it.
Peter Burke 24:54
Like you would.
Neal Caffrey 24:55
If he expects you to have a plan, don't have one
Peter Burke 24:58
Well, that’s the worst idea ever.
Neal Caffrey 25:00
Prepare all you can just know it's all gonna change.
Peter Burke 25:04
What would you do?
Neal Caffrey 25:09
I’d go home and have dinner with my wife.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 25:13
Neal seems to take the blame for the kidnapping because he was taking Tara out, showing her around, showing her off, and using her as bait. Except that's not why she was kidnapped. She was kidnapped because he doubled the price. Had he accepted the $5 million offer, as I'm sure was the original intent and plan that Peter had, they would have just simply arranged to swap the dress for the money. Granted, they would have set something up so that they could have caught Ghovat they would not have to be out the money, but pushing Ghovat to kidnap Tara was not—couldn’t have possibly have been the original plan. So Neal's right, that he's responsible, but he's got the reason wrong.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 26:00
Now Peter asks him what he should do, because Ghovat knows they're going to be waiting for him. Neal says, don't plan it, just wing it, which is Neal solution, it seems, to everything. Now, in this particular case, there might be some validity to that, not to the extent that Neal suggests, but certainly to the extent that they need to realize that whatever their plan is, they're going to have to be flexible, and it's probably going to go a different direction than what they've planned for. So they probably want to plan for various other contingencies. Now what those are, nobody knows at this point, but at least have given some thought to all the different ways that they imagine it could go, and be prepared to go one of these alternate routes or again, maybe wing it, but not entirely.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 26:56
Next, we have seen between Peter and Elizabeth, and it's a scene that really reveals the kind of relationship that Peter and Elizabeth have.
Elizabeth Burke 27:07
You meet this guy in Central Park and you give him the dress and he gives you the girl.
Peter Burke 27:12
That's about the size of it.
Elizabeth Burke 27:14
I’m really glad you got into the white collar crime division where nothing exciting happens.
Peter Burke 27:20
Pretty dull stuff.
Elizabeth Burke 27:23
Umm, I got you another present.
Peter Burke 27:26
Honey, not another one? I'm enjoying my first one. It's my old watch. But I love my new one.
Elizabeth Burke 27:39
Come on honey. It's it's a big, it's clunky it moves around your wrist and…well, it’s beautiful but it's not you. Take this. I need you to be Agent Peter Burke tomorrow. And this—this is you. Besides, umm, when all this is over with, I need you home at six o'clock right on the dot.
Peter Burke 28:24
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 28:25
Now the thing I think this, this reveals about Elizabeth and Peter is that Elizabeth, at some level, wants to elevate Peter from where he's at. He's the meat and potatoes guy, or the meatloaf and potatoes guy. He's not the the steak and—and caviar and—the high end guy. He's not the guy that fits the watch that she gave him. There's a part of her that wants him to be that, but she realizes that it's more important for her to accept him as who he is, and for him to be who he is, which is why she gives him the watch back and says that that watch I gave you that's not you, this is you, and this is who I need you to be. And then of course, I think there's a really nice call back to the pilot episode where they were in that meeting, and he forgot to go home for dinner. And I think that's what this reference to ‘I need you to be home at six o'clock for dinner’ is—is about. That’s—I think that's a call back to that. So again, a nice scene between Peter and Elizabeth.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 29:27
Next, Hughes is holding a briefing—this would be the next day—outlining what's going to happen in this exchange with Ghovat.
Reese Hughes 29:35
And Ghovat want the dress because it's been tagged with a security device. We cracked the thread this morning. It's holding the holographic code of the latest European currencies. We're using a counterfeit code. We're hoping he won't be able to tell the difference. But if he does, this could go south fast.
Peter Burke 29:56
We're putting this girl's life at risk.
Reese Hughes 29:58
We could put the entire monetary system of Europe at risk. Guess who wins? I'll be running point. We’ve have eyes in the air, plain clothes on the ground. Cruze, Jones, you're with me Burke, you know what you got to do. Caffrey, put your hand down. Put it down.
Neal Caffrey 30:18
I'm just wondering where I'll be.
Reese Hughes 30:19
On a coffee run. You're not even supposed to be here.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 30:23
Now there's quite a few interesting things about this briefing. First of all is the fact that Neal is like an eager school kid trying to ingratiate himself with his teacher, wanting to know what important thing he's going to do. Hughes clearly has issues with Caffrey being involved in their investigations. And like a teacher scolding a nuisance student, he tells Neal to put his hand down and he's going to be on a coffee run. He's going to be out of the way doing something where he isn't going to be bothering them. So you—you—you know that Hughes just is not happy with Neal, for whatever reason. He clearly has a problem with Caffrey being involved in this investigation, or at least at this point in the investigation, and perhaps even because he is responsible for Tara being kidnapped, and them being in the situation at all. After Hughes scolds Neal, Cruze—Lauren Cruz—gives Neal a sympathetic look. It's almost as if she feels a bit sorry for Neal being shut out of the plan. And for the way Hughes is treating him. So that's interesting because earlier when she was in the office with Neal and Neal was trying to flirt with her, she was pretty resistant. She is obviously up to this point not been that impressed with Neal, but here she seems to genuinely have a feeling of sympathy for him.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 31:50
Now an interesting point that comes up during the briefing is—it’s an acknowledgement of the manner in which an operation like this can result in civilian deaths. And of course, this is highlighted after Hughes advises the team about the contents of the encoded data on the strip, and says that they've replaced the real code with a counterfeit code, and that they're hoping that Ghovat can't tell the difference, but if he does, it could go south fast. Peter says, Hey, we're putting this girl's life at risk. And Hughes says, it's that, or the entire monetary system of Europe. Guess who wins? Guess who loses? Now that seems a rather cold attitude. But first of all, Hughes did not create this situation. He's simply trying to deal with it. He's trying to deal with the best way he can. But as the person in charge, he is responsible for making a decision. And that decision is, what is the greater risk? And it's not that he's wanting Tara to be a casualty, it’s just that he's understanding that it could happen. And he's letting the team know we don't have a choice in this matter. It's out of our hands. It's bigger than us. Guess who wins?
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 33:00
Well, Neal can't stand not been involved. He crashes the stakeout, he crashes the scene, and busts in uninvited into the stakeout van. Now as the situation unfolds, Ghovat of course shows up with Tara, she’s wrapped up in a bomb type of rig, which he says he can activate with his cell phone. Neal decides to improvise and in keeping with his act, first think about it later approach, he tells everybody to start calling Ghovat’s phone, jam it, and then he takes off to confront Ghovat.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 33:35
When he catches up with Ghovat, he holds up his cell phone for Ghovat see, as if to say, hey, look, I'm the one who's been jamming your phone. I've outsmarted you. And this is Neal just showing off. And of course it backfires because Ghovat pulls a gun on him. It's sort of a Rock, Paper, Scissors moment: rock breaks scissors, gun blows a hole in the cell phone, not to mention the person holding it. And it's only because Cruz comes up behind Ghovat and takes him down that that Neal manages to get out of it alive. Granted, he knew that Lauren and the other agents were nearby, and there was a chance that they would be able to take Ghovat down before things got bad for him, but there was an equal chance that it could have gone a different way; very reminiscent of his actions in the pilot where he confronted Hagen without any backup actually being there, and the hope that they would get there in time. So again, Neal, not planning, just trying to improvise, and putting a lot of things at risk.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 34:33
And then in what seems to be an attempt to impress Peter and maybe get an attaboy from Peter, especially after he sees Peter doing the whole hero thing of—of—of grabbing Tara and throwing her to the ground, and covering her with his body in case the belt that they've removed from her blows up, Neal tries to take credit for taking Ghovat down with, as he says, a leg sweep. Even though it was actually Lauren Cruz who took him down. It's generally, I wouldn't think, a good idea to alienate somebody who, at the very least seems sympathetic to your situation, by taking credit for their work. Because Lauren did seem to be sympathetic toward Neal during their briefing. But now he basically stabs her in the back by trying to take credit for for her work. And if he was going to flirt with her, and he's trying to get in good with her, or he's just trying to score some points with her, this is not the way to do it. So he took what could have been a developing—I’m not gonna say, possible romantic relationship, but or—at least a developing relationship, even if it's just a matter of building a good work relationship—he took that and put it at risk by trying to take credit for her work. Not a good move.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 35:48
Next, we see Neal and Mozzie back in Neal's apartment, watching the videotape of that final meeting between Neal and Kate in the prison.
It was nice if your FBI friend to give you this.
Neal Caffrey 36:01
There's no sound. Why you shushing me? Does she always wear her hair parted that way?
Neal Caffrey 36:08
Yeah, I'm way past that. Her scarf is forming the letter "M."
13th letter in the alphabet. 13 is a prime.
Neal Caffrey 36:16
Thanks, Rain Man.
Do you want my help?
Neal Caffrey 36:19
There it is. There it is. How's your morse code?
"B"... "O"... double "T"... "L"... “E."
Neal Caffrey 36:30
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 36:31
Wow. Mozzie just can't keep quiet. He keeps intruding on Neal's concentration. And of course, Neal shhh’s him and Mozzie takes exception to it. Mozzie really comes across here as a kid who just doesn't know what's going on but wants to help, which is kind of a reflection of Neal's behavior back there in Hughe’s briefing. And so he says things that are either completely obvious, as if they are some great revelation that only he saw, or he says things that are just pointlessly trivial, or just nonsense because he doesn't have a clue about what's actually going on, or what Neal's looking for. So it’s—it's kind of a humorous little scene, but it ends up with them discovering that Kate wants Neal to look at the bottle. There's something about the bottle that is important.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 37:21
And there is where we leave the episode. If you'd like to connect with the show, you can reach us at WhiteCollaredPC.com. I will be providing links for resources on the website, and from there you can also find the various ways to contact me. If you are at all enjoying the show—or at least you don't find it totally distasteful—please subscribe so that when new episodes come out, you will be notified. And also tell a friend.
Eric Alton-Glenn Hilliard 37:53
I want to thank you for listening and ask you to join me on the next episode as I share my thoughts on “Book of Hours”. Until then take care and God bless.