Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Portrait – White Collar Episode Summary 1.5

Neal Caffrey forges the painting Young Girl with LocketSynopsis: A Haustenberg painting was stolen from the residence of a well-off young woman. The FBI learns who stole it, but fails to catch the thief. During the course of the investigation, the FBI also learns that the painting was actually stolen first from the Channing Museum. Meanwhile, Neal Caffrey follows the map that Kate hid in the bottle of wine, and receives a note from her saying the he should stop looking, and should move on.

Episode Summary: Having decrypted the message Kate Moreau sent, Neal Caffrey follows the clue that leads him and Moz to Grand Central Station. He finds a note from Kate, tucked beneath a beam, telling him to stop looking for her and to move on.   Continue reading...

A stolen Haustenberg painting might just be the distraction Neal Caffrey needs at the moment. The painting Young Girl with Locket is one of the very few Haustenbergs that made it out of Hungary after the war. Agent Burke and Caffrey are surprised to learn that it was stolen from a residence of a well-off, orphaned, young woman in her twenties. After the death of both her parents, Julianna's wealthy grandmother of the same name raised her. After her grandmother’s passing, she was left the mansion, and the painting. According to her, she had come home earlier than usual from school, and caught the thief in the act. She was lucky enough not to have been fatally harmed, but nonetheless shaken with the ordeal. Neal Caffrey and Agent Peter Burke immediately smell an inside job given that the thief knew of the young woman’s schedule.

Agent Burke and Caffrey suspect Julianna’s uncle to be behind the robbery. Gary is a Wall Street stock trader who after being questioned wasted no time to refer Agent Burke to his attorney. Knowing how lawyers act as a firewall, Neal suggests that he elicit the name of the thief from Gary. Neal Caffrey waits for Gary by his car, and without explicitly lying gives out the impression that he, in reality, works for the person whom Gary helped steal the painting. Afraid to get on the bad side of the thief, Gary inadvertently confesses his involvement with the robbery, and even writes a check to the thief named Gerard Dorsett.

Gerard Dorsett is a known name with the FBI. He is a French expatriate known to be a high-end loan shark. The FBI found him with his bodyguard going from one gallery to another trying to sell the stolen Haustenberg. With the help of Taryn Vandersant, a beautiful buyer from the Lambert Gallery, Neal Caffrey is going undercover as a wealthy, and interested buyer. Dorsett with his bodyguard arrives at the Lambert Gallery with the painting in exchange for a hundred thousand dollars. All is well until he notices that the woman passer-by on the sidewalk is gesturing to the workers standing by a van. Soon after, he and his bodyguard point a gun at Caffrey and Vandersant. The two remain calm, and both had the good sense of keeping their cover. Caffrey insinuates that Dorsett himself must have flagged the FBI with him indiscreetly going around town looking for a buyer. Dorsett grabs the money and the painting, and escapes. To keep Caffrey and Vandersant’s cover, Agent Burke orders for their arrest, and even makes a show of cuffing them.

With the painting, and a hundred thousand dollars stolen, the FBI is not too pleased with Agent Burke. On top of this, the Channing Museum arrives to claim that the Haustenberg painting belongs to them. The curator declares that the Young Girl with Locket was stolen from the Channing Museum in 1967. Record of it being stolen is not in the Art Loss Registry given that the registry was not established until 1991.

Given this new development, Peter Burke and Neal Caffrey question Julianna on the manner her family acquired the painting. According to the young woman, her grandmother brought the painting with her from Hungary when she immigrated to the United States after the war. Caffrey immediately senses that Julianna is lying. With Agent Burke called away, Neal confronts the young woman. He believes that her grandmother stole the painting, which explains why she did not insure it. He informs her that unless she gives them good reason to let her family keep the painting, the FBI will hand it to the Channing Museum. Julianna hesitantly tells of a story of how her grandmother hypothetically seduced, and sedated an Irish security guard in order to steal the painting. Moreover, she gives Neal proof as to why the painting belongs to her family. The young woman shows him her grandmother’s locket. The Young Girl with Locket is actually the portrait of her grandmother.

Remembering Dorsett mentioning something about his girlfriend Brigitte flying in from France, the FBI follow all the Brigittes that fit the profile. Neal and Peter follow one staying at Gansevoort. Neal Caffrey using his charm managed to get himself and Peter invited up into Brigitte’s hotel room for a nightcap with her, and her friend. Unsure if they got the right woman, seeing her purposely lock her bedroom door gave them enough reason to believe that she is Dorsett’s girlfriend. Neal lifts the bedroom key from Brigitte, and enters the bedroom through the connecting door in the bathroom, leaving ill at ease Peter Burke alone with the women. To add to his uneasiness, he receives a call from his wife. The women turning on blasting music, and dancing around him did not help his cause. Meanwhile, Neal Caffrey rummages through the drawers, and finds nothing until he notices the mirror hanging on the wall. Behind it he finds the portrait. Without Peter’s knowledge, he steals the portrait with a message at the back that reads “To my Dearest Julianna, Keep this forever.”

The following morning, Dorsett arrives at Brigitte’s hotel room, and finds her with her friend asleep in the bedroom. He looks behind the mirror, and finds an origami in place of the portrait. Soon Agent Peter Burke receives word that Dorsett has escaped with the painting and the money. Later that night, Neal receives a call from Dorsett threatening the life of Taryn Vandersant if he does not return the portrait to him in two days. Neal Caffrey stole the portrait, thinking that he would return it to the rightful owner, Julianna and not the Channing Museum. It annoyed him that the curator of the Channing Museum, who knew very well whom the painting belongs to, given the engraving behind it, chose to ignore this fact. Given the threat on Taryn, Neal comes clean with Peter, and proposes that they use it to catch Dorsett. Meanwhile, Neal Caffrey with the help of Mozzie forges Haustenberg’s Young Girl with Locket.

Neal Caffrey meets with Gerard Dorsett under the bridge, and hands him the painting. Seconds later, the FBI surround Dorsett and his bodyguard while Neal just walks away. While the curator of the Channing Museum authenticates the painting, Neal Caffrey pays a visit to Julianna who shows him the locket that contains her grandmother and Haustenberg’s picture. Julianna’s grandmother is the illegitimate daughter of Haustenberg who at that time already had a family of his own. Haustenberg left the painting to Julianna’s grandmother, but the Channing Museum chose to ignore his will. Given this fact, Neal Caffrey is confident that the curator of the Channing Museum would authenticate the forged painting in order to avoid news of the museum ignoring the famous artist’s will. Neal even replaced the message at the back of the painting with “My Dearest Walter, I know what you saw here last time. NC”. With that, the curator of the Channing Museum authenticates the painting despite knowing full well that it is a forgery. The real one once again hangs on the wall of Julianna’s house.

Neal Caffrey unconvinced that Kate Moreau truly had ordered him to move on, finds in the note she left him another decrypted message. He is to meet her at the Grand Central Station on a Friday noon. Neal is surprised that Moz is there to get his back, though the man is skeptical of the note. Soon they hear a ring from a nearby payphone. The two rush to the phone. He answers the phone, and spots her above the bridge. Kate Moreau warns that the man with the ring is close, and that she needs him to tell her where he hid everything that he stole. According to Kate, the man with the ring wants something from the things he stole. Not knowing what it is exactly that the man wants, Kate pleads Neal to trust her, and to give the man everything, informing him that it is the only way that he would let her go. Neal Caffrey refuses to comply with the demand telling Kate that non-compliance is the only leverage he has. Neal, however, rushes to Kate. Moz takes over the phone call where Kate tells him to relay her message to Neal. She wants him to tell Neal that she loves him, and that her plea is the only way to get out of the mess she is in. Neal arrives at the top of the bridge, but Kate is already nowhere is sight.

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