Sunday, July 22, 2012

Unfinished Business – White Collar Episode Summary 2.5

Unfinished Business episode summarySynopsis: Neal Caffrey is annoyed to learn that he is to work with Sara Ellis, the insurance investigator who testified against him on his trial.  Sara enlisted the help of the FBI when a hundred million dollars worth of Japanese bearer bonds her employer insured had gone missing.  Learning that the thief had enlisted a courier for the samurai bonds, the FBI recruits Neal Caffrey to take his place, but soon learns that the courier is actually an assassin.

Episode Summary: Neal Caffrey is pleasantly surprised to learn that Agent Burke is taking him to the fancy restaurant Montebello.  Imagine his dismay when he discovers that the only reason they’re visiting the restaurant known to practice molecular gastronomy is to meet the insurance investigator Sara Ellis.  It is the same insurance investigator who testified against Neal at his trial nearly five years ago when he was accused of stealing a Raphael painting her employer insured. Despite her testimony, Neal was found innocent of the crime he was accused of.  Sara meets with them to update the FBI regarding a suspect who stole a hundred million dollars in Japanese bearer bonds. Her employer, Sterling Bosch, insured the samurai bonds and believes that the bonds are in New York.  Moreover, she believes that Edgar Halbridge, a successful real estate professional, is involved for he has the means to move the bonds without alerting the authorities.Continue reading...

Sara kills two birds with one stone.  Emilio has just finished his lunch at Montebello and is about to retrieve his car from the valet when Sara takes the keys.  Sterling Bosch insured the Mercedes SLR that he stole.  Emilio changed the look of the car, the VIN numbers, but forgot to change the electronic VIN behind the steering wheel.  It was an oversight that caused him to be caught.  The man reaches inside his jacket, but Sara is quick with her stun rod.  Moreover, this all happens in front of Special Agent Burke.  And just like that, Sara retrieves a limited edition SLR, puts the thief in the hands of the FBI, and gets $9,000 for her services.

Neal and Mozzie visit the hangar that has the blown up pieces of the plane Kate Moreau was on, hoping to find answers.  The explosion originating from the door proves that a mechanical failure did not cause it.  Mozzie believes that it was supposed to explode in midair, but it went off early as if somebody had intentionally changed the time of the explosion.  Neal and Mozzie are caught by surprise when FAA Agent Roy Disson arrives.  Neal identifies himself and Mozzie as representatives of the insurance company Sterling Bosch.  This provides them the cover to explain why they are at the hangar, and also allows them to learn that the NTSB in Washington is in possession of the black box.  However, FAA did make a copy of the voice recording, and Roy is willing to send Sterling Bosch a copy.  Without proper identification to show the FAA agent, Neal instructs the man to send the copy to Sara Ellis of Sterling Bosch, and hands him her business card.

Neal Caffrey is annoyed at having to work with Sara Ellis.  Agent Burke believes that the woman is essential in their investigation given her vast knowledge of the stolen samurai bonds.  In fact, Sara already provided the FBI intelligence in the form of coded e-mails between an alias of Edgar Halbridge and the courier Mr. Black.  Mr. Black who is in Hamburg is to enter the U.S., and get the bonds out of the country.  Knowing that the bonds are transferable, Caffrey is curious as to why Halbridge is taking a risk by hiring a courier who can very well claim the hundred million dollars worth of bonds as his.  The FBI plans to intercept Mr. Black when he transfers planes in Toronto, and have Caffrey assume his identity.  This troubles Caffrey knowing that not all of the e-mails have been decrypted, but the FBI is confident that Halbridge is unaware of what Mr. Black looks like.  Halbridge is to identify him as an American expat wearing a leather jacket carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged.

With Mr. Black secretly in the custody of Canadian authorities, the FBI duplicated everything that is in his possession when he was detained down to the chocolate bar in his pocket so Neal Caffrey can successfully assume his identity.   As per his instructions, Caffrey takes a cab to Fort Greene from the airport and waits for the car that is to fetch him.  The FBI listens in through the transmitter in Caffrey’s watch.  Caffrey boards the black limousine driven by an armed chauffer who informs him that everything Mr. Black has requested is there.  Beside Caffrey is a pair of gloves, and a briefcase.  The driver presses a button that scrambles the transmitter’s signal preventing the FBI to listen in the conversation, and to know of Caffrey’s location.  Caffrey is surprised to find a silencer inside the briefcase.  He utters the statement that contains a code word for the FBI to come to his rescue, but with the signal gone no one comes.

The black limo is on the move, and the FBI is unaware of its exact location.  Caffrey repeatedly utters the code word to no avail.  Trapped he plays along with the task.  The chauffer brings him to a quiet neighborhood, and informs him that the target is on the first floor of the brownstone, and he is there to assist him if there’s any resistance.  Caffrey, however, instructs the chauffer to stay in the car, and to keep it running.   Caffrey disembarks the limousine and gives the transmitter another go, and this time the FBI hears him.  He sends another takedown signal, and informs them that his task is to kill somebody.  Neal Caffrey takes his time walking up to the house, and informs them that he is to play along until the FBI arrives, worried that the chauffer will take over the job if he fails.  Tracing his location, the FBI learns that Neal Caffrey is 8602 Second Street, Park Slope.  Neal breaks into the house of Sara Ellis.

Sara Ellis is in bed, but hears that somebody is in her house.  She sees Neal’s shadow and reaches for the gun under her mattress, and quickly points it at him.  Neal without any intention of shooting her asks her not to shoot him.  Sara believing that Neal has come to kill her because of the Raphael keeps the gun pointed at him.  Neal explains that Mr. Black is an assassin, and that the chauffer outside is armed, and would probably finish the job for him if he is unsuccessful.  Sara’s phone rings, and Neal puts his gun down to ensure that he is not there to hurt her.  Just as he thought, it is Agent Burke on the phone assuring Sara that Neal is not there to kill her, and confirms that Edgar Halbridge has put a target on her.  Seeing no other way to get to the samurai bonds, Sara proposes that they continue with the charade to convince Halbridge that she is dead.  Sara takes the silencer and fires at her floor.  Caffrey informs the chauffer that the job is done, and they leave.

Later that night, Caffrey and Agent Burke go through the night’s events.  Following Mr. Black’s plan, Caffrey leaves the gun with the chauffer for him to dispose.  Meanwhile, the FBI intercepted the EMT and NYPD, and put out reports that Sara Ellis is dead.  Sara was supposed to be in a safe house, but the feisty insurance investigator still in her lingerie barges in Agent Burke’s office and insists that she stay at the FBI New York head quarters where she is to live and work for the time being.  She wastes no time to review her files on Halbridge wondering why the man has put a hit on her knowing that with her gone, Sterling Bosch would only put another insurance investigator on the case.

Meanwhile, Neal Caffrey returns home only to find an irritable Mozzie.  He informs Neal that the FAA recording arrived at Sterling Bosch care of Sara Ellis, but since Sara is supposedly dead, the recording is put under lock and key as part of the murder investigation.  This means that their best move right now is to wait until the Halbridge case is over, and Sara Ellis is back in the world of the living.  With the recording under Sara’s name, Mozzie suggests that Neal Caffrey lose the attitude and cozy up to her.  Neal Caffrey wastes no time to befriend Sara, but she sees right through him.

Agent Burke figures that they should start to look into what Sara was investigating at the time Halbridge began corresponding with Mr. Black.  During that time, Sara Ellis was looking into an apartment complex on the West End Avenue called Ridgemont, which was the first place that Halbridge lived in when he came to New York.  Halbridge bought the building, but unlike all his other properties, he did not bother renovating it.  Neal Caffrey continues to assume Mr. Black’s identity and asks to meet with Edgar Halbridge in person.  Having filched his bodyguard’s gun, Mr. Black confidently blackmails Halbridge into transferring $2 million dollars into his account within 48 hours to keep him from informing the FBI about Halbridge and the Ridgemont apartments.

Getting the idea from Mozzie, Neal Caffrey finds a way to cozy up with Sara.  As expected, being trapped inside the FBI head quarters can cause cabin fever, Neal invites her up to the roof to have a nice pleasant meal.  Neal sees a crack on the tough insurance investigator as a result of her fake death.  Sara Ellis whose supposed death proved to be a humbling experience after realizing that the world will keep on turning even without her.  Moreover, being an only child with both parents deceased, she is a lonely woman.  Still, Sara believes that Neal wants something from her, and that his lovely gesture is part of a con.

Halbridge took the bait, and the FBI watches as his construction crew pulls a crate they excavated from Ridgemont.  Inside the crate is a skeleton of a man still in his suit.  With this new evidence, it won’t be long before Sara Ellis returns to the world of the living.  However, her supposed passing has already hurt her.  Thanks to Elizabeth who reminds Peter that the young woman needs comforting, he sets out to do the task.  True enough, Sara continues to feel insignificant and alone.  Peter seeing how the young woman has buried herself with work urges her to get a life.

The following morning, Agent Burke receives an official report from forensics identifying the body as Edgar Halbridge.  The Halbridge they know today is an impostor, and comparing his signatures to every Ridgemont lease up to the time the real Halbridge was murdered they identify the impostor as Steve Price.  Steve Price was a tenant at Ridgemont at the time Edgar Halbridge was living in the building.  Halbridge, an orphan, is set to get a hefty inheritance.  Price, a poor man, decides to murder him and steal his identity and the money that comes with it.  Driven crazy at knowing what lay beneath the building, Price buys the building to ensure that no one will ever find the body.  With Sara Ellis investigating Ridgemont, Price panics and hires somebody to kill her.  What the FBI needs now is evidence to prove their theory.  Neal Caffrey hatches up a plan.

Agent Peter Burke meets with Edgar Halbridge showing him a picture of the skeleton they found underneath his building.  He informs him that they have yet to identify the man.  In addition, he shows him a picture of the deceased Sara Ellis that he claims was only taken the day before.  Agent Burke tells him that Sara faked her death, and was also the one who told the FBI about the body at Ridgemont.  He shows him another picture, but this time it’s Sara talking to Neal.  Agent Burke informs Halbridge that the FBI believes that she is an accomplice of the man in the photo who goes by the name Steve Price.  The FBI thinks that the two is targeting Halbridge for some reason, and that they are willing to protect him from those two.  Having planted a bug under Halbridge’s desk, agents Jones and Burke hear him speaking with his bodyguard about being played by Sara and Mr. Black, and how they are aware of his real identity.

Sara’s coming back to life proved beneficial to Neal and Mozzie’s cause as well.  Sterling Bosch confirming that she is indeed alive has released her mail.  The cockpit voice recording from the FAA is now at Sara Ellis’ desk.  Knowing Sara as a workaholic, Neal believes that as soon as the Halbridge case is over, Sara will pass by Sterling Bosch to retrieve her mail before going home.  Neal plans on charming Sara to let him drive her home.

As soon as Halbridge steps out of the bank, Agent Barrigan confronts him and calls him by his real name, Steve Price.  The woman from the bank confirms that the man in front of them took out the contents of the safety deposit box belonging to Steve Price.  Agent Barrigan asks for an ID, and Halbridge shows him a passport confirming his identity as that of Steve Price.  Agent Burke arrives to arrest him for the murder of Edgar Halbridge.  Moreover, he retrieves the portfolio he is holding that contains the hundred million dollar Japanese bearer bonds.

With Steve Price arrested, Sara Ellis can now get back to her life, and Neal Caffrey is there to drive her.  The FBI also arrests the chauffer, and found a gun on him, but could not find the gun that was to be used to kill Sara.  Agent Burke finds a half eaten chocolate bar, the same brand they found on Mr. Black, on the backseat of the limousine.  Agent Jones learns that the Canadians already released Mr. Black.  Agent Burke convinces Halbridge’s chauffer to cut a deal with the FBI in exchange for the whereabouts of Mr. Black who came to finish the job he was hired for.

Sara Ellis arrives at her house in Park Slope with Neal Caffrey.  Immediately, he sees the FAA package, but fails to get a hold of it as Sara looks through her mail.  They hear somebody jiggle the doorknob.  Sara and Neal move to the side of the door as Neal twists the knob of the deadlock.  Shots are fired at the door, and the two hide behind a wall.  Mr. Black sees Neal’s reflection on a mirror, and goes up to him, but Sara points a gun to his head.  Moreover, the FBI barges in.  The FBI arrest Mr. Black, and Sara Ellis’ house is once again a scene of a crime preventing Neal from filching the package from the FAA.

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