Saturday, December 25, 2010

Book of Hours – White Collar Episode Summary 1.3

Neal Caffrey saved from gun wound by the Book of HoursSynopsis: An Italian medieval book of hours with healing powers was stolen from a church in Brooklyn. The mobster Barelli who goes to this church, and holds the book dear, asks the FBI for help in recovering it. Meanwhile, Neal Caffrey continues to find the message that Kate hid in the empty bottle of wine she left him.

Episode Summary: The FBI is paying close watch at a restaurant when one of their subjects’ goons walks over to their surveillance van asking for help. Barelli, fully aware of the FBI’s presence, decides to ask for their help in recovering a medieval Bible that was stolen from his church. In return, Agent Peter Burke orders Barelli to shut down the bookmaking operations at his restaurant. Barelli, however, is adamant at guaranteeing that Masso’s is nothing else but a restaurant.  Continue reading...

Neal Caffrey is still trying to figure out the message that Kate left him. Moz, however, is not convinced that the bottle truly contains a message, but as a favor to a friend, he agrees to run tests on the bottle. Neal Caffrey receives a call from Peter Burke, and the two meets at the church where the Bible was stolen. Neal finds the theft a little unusual, but learns from Mozzie that the pre-Renaissance Bible that used to belong to the Church of St. Camillus de Lellis in Naples is thought to have healing powers. Neal theorizes that a true believer must have stolen the miraculous Bible. Although Agent Burke is a skeptic, he finds Neal’s theory logical.

Agent Burke and Caffrey return to the church to speak with Father D’Allesio who at first did not find the minor detail of the Bible’s healing powers to matter, but after hearing the theory of its theft is convinced to have stumbled upon the thief. Disobeying the orders from Barelli, Father D’Allesio let a homeless man sleep in the church the night the Bible was stolen. Steve, the homeless, dim-witted man, admits to have taken the Bible upon the orders of a man who promised to show him how to use it to heal his ailing dog, Lucy. They bring Steve to the FBI office in the hopes that he would be able to identify the man who orchestrated the theft. Unfortunately, Steve has trouble staying focused. They learn that he used to be a soldier who lost his sharpness after coming back from Iraq. His memory, however, has been jogged when FBI Director Hughes arrives with a photo of Barelli’s nephew, Paul Ignazio. Steve identifies Paul Ignazio as the man who ordered him to steal the Bible. Hughes informs them that Ignazio has been shot, and was found dead at a dock in Brooklyn.

Agent Peter Burke arrives at the crime scene only to learn that the Organized Crime Division of the FBI has taken over the case. Burke believes that the murder is related to the theft of the Bible, but the FBI is convinced that it was a mob hit. Agent Peter Burke has been sidelined. Although Neal Caffrey is the reason for the FBI’s reservations in sharing the details of the case with Burke, he will be the one to continue the investigation upon Agent Burke’s suggestion that they do it unofficially. He borrows Agent Burke’s official FBI jacket, and sends off Mozzie to Paul Ignazio’s apartment. Moz wearing Burke’s FBI windbreaker introduces himself to the police guarding the apartment as Ted Jefferson of the FBI Evidence Recovery Team. Although unable to show an ID, Mozzie after telling the police to take the urine sample in his behalf, and threatening to report him to his superior after refusing to do so, was given the permission to enter the apartment. Moz then opens the backdoor for Neal Caffrey, and the two begin their search. Neal finds it curious that mobster Paul Ignazio has been researching on medieval history, and finds that he has been reading a book by an art historian and Brooklyn State professor who also writes about the black market. Interestingly, Mozzie finds an appointment at Brooklyn State on Ignazio’s calendar.

Agent Peter Burke and Neal Caffrey meet with Professor Maria Fiametta who could not help but flirt with Caffrey whom she recognized as the talented manuscript forger. Agent Peter Burke shows Maria Fiametta a picture of the stolen Bible that she identifies as not a Bible, but rather a book of hours. Agent Burke casually drops Paul Ignazio’s name in the conversation to see Maria’s reaction. The woman, whose facial expression undeniably changed at the mention of the name, and at learning of his murder, pretends to have not known him.

Although the clues lead to Maria Fiametta, Agent Burke could not fathom how a woman could successfully murder a mobster. Neal Caffrey shows Peter Burke and Elizabeth who just arrived from work, how the three suspects are related to each other. He believes that Paul Ignazio, after reading Maria’s book, learns that the book of hours is worth a lot of money. He orders Steve to steal the book of hours for him, and contacts Maria to make the deal that for some reason goes south for Paul Ignazio. Maria Fiametta, however, comes up a winner having walked away with a very expensive book without anyone suspecting her until now. Elizabeth believes that Maria would not want to keep the book of hours close to her. Peter agrees with her theory knowing that the book will link her to the murder, and so suggests that Neal Caffrey try to convince her to sell it to him with the FBI getting the word out that Caffrey is back in business. Admittedly, Peter thinks that this elaborate scheme would take a very long time to orchestrate in which case Elizabeth’s suggestion of Neal using his charm to ask Maria out on a date might just do the trick.

True enough, Maria Fiametta goes on a date with Neal Caffrey who has been given orders to keep the woman away from her house for about an hour. With the two out on a date, and the FBI having been granted a search warrant, the agents inconspicuously plant a bug at the professor’s house. They return to the surveillance van just before Neal and Maria arrive at her house. Unfortunately, Maria Fiametta is keen as a fox, and immediately notices that one of her decors has been moved. Excusing herself, Maria walks over to the room to watch recent videos taken from the surveillance cameras she set up in her house. Just as she suspected, she finds FBI Agents Cruz and Jones planting a bug. Maria Fiametta decides to play the spies game with Neal, and asks him his allegiance. Neal finds the bug that Agent Cruz planted, and drops it in the wine. He gains her trust after divulging to her that the FBI has linked Barelli’s book of hours to Paul Ignazio, and her to Paul through his visits to Brooklyn State. Neal Caffrey, though without the ears of the FBI, continues with the charade. He offers his services to Maria Fiametta, convincing her to sell the book to him. Pushed to a corner, with the FBI and the mob on her tail, Maria agrees to sell Neal the book for a price that is much lower than it is worth.

Having been vindicated, thanks to Neal Caffrey’s excellent detective work, FBI Director Hughes approves the creation of an offshore account for Neal Caffrey. Neal is to use the quarter of a million dollars to buy the book of hours from Maria. Agent Burke is not worried about Neal having the money knowing that the account is fake, but is concerned that Neal would run away with the expensive Bible especially since they have given him permission to cut his tracking anklet to make his non-allegiance to the FBI more convincing.

Neal Caffrey meets with Maria Fiametta, and gives her a very sensual pat down. She, in return, does the same to him. He warns her of the FBI van watching their every move, and prepares her for the chase as he cuts his tracking anklet. Maria drives him to a clearing not far from the city, and makes the exchange. Neal validates the book of hours as genuine, and transfers the money to her account. Unfortunately, Maria Fiametta just like Paul Ignazio wants both the money and the book. Maria fires her gun, and Neal falls down. The FBI arrives with Barelli who heard the news on his police scanner. Luckily, the book of hours acted as a shield, and caught the bullet on its cover. Barelli demands that his Bible be returned to him, but Neal informs them that he handed it over to one of the FBI agents. Moz wearing an FBI jacket walks away with the book of hours. Agent Peter Burke realizes where it is. He, Neal, and Barelli make their way down to the church in Brooklyn where the Bible was stolen. There waiting for them is Steve with the Bible and his dog Lucy. Barelli takes the Bible from Steve, and despite his brute behavior becomes quite taken by the ailing dog. He offers Steve a ride to his vet to get Lucy checked. Neal Caffrey is convinced that the Bible somehow healed Barelli of his evil ways, at least in saving a dying dog.

After a very long and eventful day, Neal Caffrey continues his search for Kate. Certain that the bottle holds the key in finding her despite Mozzie running tests on it, and not finding anything; Neal has not given up with the bottle. He puts it beside a lit candle, and there it revealed itself to him. Drawn on the label using lemon juice that served as an invisible ink is a map of the New York City subway.

Watch the White Collar episode Book of Hours
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