Sunday, July 1, 2012

Withdrawal – White Collar Episode Summary 2.1

Withdrawal White Collar episode summarySynopsis: The suspension on Agent Burke has been lifted, and Neal Caffrey is out of prison and back in his team.  Their first case back after the explosion that claimed the life of Kate Moreau is a bank heist carried on by a thief who calls himself The Architect.  The FBI believes the robber to be responsible for the heists that transpired in three other cities, and having forewarned a couple of banks in Manhattan with his signature business card, Agent Burke is sure that The Architect will strike soon.  Meanwhile, Peter and Mozz conspire to keep watch of Neal who understandably has become obsessed about learning the identity of the man who killed Kate Moreau.Continue reading...

Episode Summary: Agent Peter Burke is under an inquiry regarding the events involving Neal Caffrey where a jet carrying Kate Moreau exploded, and resulted to his suspension.  Caught without his anklet, the FBI believes that Caffrey attempted to flee the country, and also kill Kate Moreau.  Agent Burke finds the latter a ridiculous theory, and comes to Caffrey’s defense explaining that the young man was not fleeing the country for he cut a deal with the Office of Professional Responsibility that legally allowed him to leave.  So it seems to the FBI that Agent Burke suspects that somebody wants Neal Caffrey dead, but Agent Burke has no proof of this and so defers the question to Agent Garrett Fowler whom he believes could shed light to the explosion.  Unfortunately, the FBI shrugs the suggestion that Agent Fowler is involved.  The FBI, however, believes that Agent Burke is not at fault and lifts his suspension.

Agent Diana Barrigan meets Agent Burke right after the inquiry, and informs him that Agent Fowler was handed over to OPR.  There has been no trace of him since.  Moreover, although Agent Barrigan was able to hack Agent Fowler’s hard drive; the data self-corrupted.  The only piece of information she was able to retrieve is an event that is to happen in two months at 12th and Watershed.  Agent Burke plans to be there to witness the mysterious event.

Later, he meets with Neal Caffrey at the prison confused as to why he is still being detained.  Agent Burke explains that the FBI suspects him of blowing the plane, and Agent Fowler’s disappearance does not help his case for OPR has denied that Mentor ever existed.  Moreover, Caffrey’s paperwork that would prove his innocence is thought to be a forgery for he has earned the reputation of a master forger.  Agent Burke offers that they reinstate the previous deal they had where Caffrey serves the rest of his prison time working for him as a consultant to the FBI.  Mozzie posing as Neal’s lawyer interrupts their conversation.  With Agent Burke gone, Mozzie offers Neal an alternative.  He can get Neal out of the prison, but warns him that it can be costly, and could deplete his reserves.  Neal has a tough decision to make.

Two months later, Neal Caffrey wears a custodian’s jumpsuit and pushes a cart in a buildings basement.  He cuts a plastic pipe used to transport mail around the building and inserts a container holding documents for N. Halden.  He then takes a briefcase out of his cart, and changes from a workman’s jumpsuit to a tailored three-piece suit.  He approaches the front desk, and informs the woman that it is his first day at the office.  Surprised with the news, the woman informs him that she was not made aware of this.  Neal who introduced himself as Nick Halden informs the woman that Brittany from H.R. had told him that his welcome badge and packet would be ready for him.  The woman checks the mail, and finds the tube containing his welcome packet complete with an office badge with Nick Halden’s name and photo on it.  Mortified, the woman welcomes Nick to the office, and leads him through the secured doors when Nick’s badge won’t work.  The woman attributing it to first day glitches gladly swipes hers to let him inside.  Nick filches the woman’s badge without her noticing it, enters the bank’s vault, and nonchalantly steals cash enough to fill his briefcase, but careful not to take those with Dye Pack hidden inside the stash.  Nick Halden walks out of the bank carrying an enormous amount of money in his briefcase.  He walks past Agents Burke and Jones when they call his attention.  Agent Jones takes the briefcase from Neal Caffrey, and sees that all the money is accounted for.  Agent Burke welcomes Neal Caffrey back to his team, and prepares to inform the branch managers that their bank is not secure.

Agent Burke meets with the Midtown Mutual Bank branch managers to inform them that they have found several flaws in their security.  This they uncovered after the bank’s head of security, Renee Simmons, reached out to the FBI to help her conduct a test on their security.  Neal Caffrey relays to the branch managers how he was able to steal cash enough to fill his briefcase, much to the men’s chagrin.  Moreover, the FBI heard information that the branch managers received a business card from a man calling himself The Architect, one they believe to be responsible for bank robberies in other parts of the country.  Agent Burke is sure that one of the Midtown Mutual Bank’s vaults will be emptied within a week.  Hearing about the robberies in Dallas, Chicago and Boston, Ms. Simmons could not help but feel apprehensive about The Architect hitting New York, but Agent Burke is confident that his team will catch this thief.  Neal Caffrey, on the other hand, is not so confident.  He even appears to be a fan of The Architect’s work.

Agent Burke follows a trail drawn on chalk at a park.  He sits at the designated park bench, and receives a phone call from a man using a voice changer.  The man is disappointed that Agent Burke has not followed the agreed protocol to the letter.  Aware of who he is meeting, Agent Burke hangs up, and dials Mozzie’s number.  Agent Burke who sees Mozzie hiding behind a tree signals for Mozzie to stop with the charades, and sit with him.  The reason for their meeting is Neal Caffrey.  Agent Burke is worried about Neal whom he observed to be distracted.  Understandably, Kate’s death hit the young man hard causing times of uncharacteristic trepidation.  Mozzie confesses that Neal is curious about finding the man who killed Kate, and how this person also plans to kill him.  Agent Burke promises to look into the young woman’s murder as well, but asks Mozzie to keep Neal’s mind away from Kate’s death.

June welcomes back Neal Caffrey to her home; the old woman kept Neal’s room exactly as he left it confessing that she missed his company.  Mozzie is already there waiting for him excited about the information he gathered about his search for Kate, Fowler, and Mentor.  Mozzie learned that Agent Barrigan logged the music box into evidence in the FBI’s New York office after Agent Burke recovered it from Fowler.  Neal would like to see to it that the music box is still in the FBI’s New York evidence locker.  He believes that the person responsible for the explosion wanted the music box, and it is this person’s identity that he is most interested in unmasking.  Seeing how the search for Kate’s murderer consumes Neal, Mozzie takes on Agent Burke’s request to distract Neal from this manhunt.  Mozzie does not even deny that his recent interest with his new case was brought on by his concern of Neal obsessing about Kate’s death.

Neal Caffrey welcomes the distraction.  He and Mozzie focus on the letter A on the business card the thief left.  They believe it to be a custom font with Cyrillic influence.  This leads Neal to profile the thief as somebody who is a fan of Russian paintings, most especially paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky.  The letter A on The Architect matches the letter A on Aivazovsky’s signature.  Working with Caffrey, Agent Barrigan quickly pulls a list of people bidding for Aivazovskys.  It is a long list, but Agent Burke believes that a cross-reference with people with business connections in the three cities The Architect hit would narrow the list down to a few suspects.  Agent Barrigan is ahead of him on that, and the list is narrowed down to one man, Edward Walker.

Special Agent Burke and Neal Caffrey pay a visit to the wealthy hedge fund manager, Edward Walker, at his posh house by the river.  The smug man hits golf balls into the Hudson River as they interview him, but soon after lets Caffrey hit a few.  Agent Burke asks the man if he recognizes the business card, which he immediately denies.  Caffrey asks the man about Aivazovsky, and Walker does not deny having a few of his paintings in his collection to which he asks whether Caffrey is planning on stealing them.  The tracking anklet gave away Neal’s status with the FBI.  Agent Burke wastes no time to ask Walker of his whereabouts on April 19th to which the man cannot recall, but does offer the help of his assistant who manages his calendar provided that they come back with a warrant that would oblige him to divulge this information.

Agent Burke asks Agent Jones to get both commercial and private flight records from the FAA.  Moreover, he wants to place Walker in the three cities during the bank robberies.  Agent Burke dismisses Agent Jones, and meets closed doors with Agent Barrigan who found more information about Fowler’s mystery meeting.  Later, Agent Burke has a late bite with his wife, and both are worried about Neal.  Unbeknownst to him, Neal Caffrey has taken the initiative to look more into Walker as he pretends to bump into Walker’s secretary Whitney at a restaurant.  As Caffrey flirts with Whitney, the young woman fails to notice that he had grabbed her phone, and passed it on to Mozzie who sits at table nearby copying the contents of the phone.

Agent Burke too is keeping secrets from him.  Peter tells Elizabeth that Neal is unaware of the gravity of their current situation that one mistake would cost Peter his job, and Neal will be sent back in prison.  Peter did notice that there was a moment of hesitation before the plane exploded.  It seemed as though Neal had for a split second thought about staying to serve the rest of his prison time working for him.  Although it does not really matter, now that Kate’s gone and Neal is back with the FBI, Elizabeth points out that it matters to Peter to learn that he somehow managed to reform Neal.

As Neal gets another drink from the bar, Mozz hands him Whitney’s phone just in time for the woman wanted to show him photos of her trip from Morocco that she took with her phone.  Having charmed the woman, Whitney invites Neal back to her place.  Really not interested, Neal gives the woman reason to change her mind by showing her his tracking anklet, and the real story of how the FBI caught him with a long list of charges ranging from art theft to counterfeiting.  He confesses to having only been convicted for bond forgery.  This takes Whitney aback who thought the gorgeous young man to be an FBI agent rather than a criminal working for the FBI.  The woman politely excuses herself and leaves.

Mozz and Neal wastes no time to review Walker’s calendar to find that Walker had highlighted his calendar green on the days of the previous bank heists.  Moreover, he had marked his meeting with First Unity Bank at noon in green. Neal relays his discovery to Peter who disapproves the manner the young man had received the information.  The FBI watches First Unity Bank prepared to move in as soon as the heist commences.  An unconvinced Renee Simmons joins them curious as to how the FBI learned of the heist, and as to why The Architect would target the bank.  Neal informs her that the bank is vulnerable for they have not installed the security measures the FBI recommended.  Renee is curious for the robbers would need access to the security codes in order to successfully rob the bank, and the codes are changed daily.  Agent Burke already sees a flaw in their system seeing the northwest guard leaving his station to grab lunch.  Soon after, the alarm rings, but the FBI could not see the robbers.  The FBI moves inside the vault, and finds an old-fashioned alarm clock inside one of the safety deposit boxes under the name of Peter Burke.  Edward Walker claiming to have a meeting at a building across the street walks over to Agent Burke to ridicule him.

Neal Caffrey sees Agent Burke in a heated meeting with the FBI higher ups worried that they are going to lose the case.  Agent Barrigan informs Neal that Agent Burke stands to lose more than the case for trusting Neal’s information that he should have recognized to be a set up.  The FBI did take the case away from Agent Burke, which worries him of what else will come.  Wanting to regain Peter’s trust, Neal confesses to have thought about not boarding the plane that fateful day for he knew that his leaving would not have felt like freedom, but more of an escape.  Neal concedes to what Peter has been telling him all along, that he has a life here.  Moreover, he believes that Peter would have protected Kate if he had the means.

Neal truly believes that Peter would be able to catch Walker red-handed.  They retrace their steps figuring out what would have prompted Walker to leave a business card.  Walker is a bored, smug man who wants to know if the FBI is up to his level.  To him, robbing banks is merely a hobby, a game he wants to play against a worthy opponent.  Agent Burke thinks about the way they handled the game, and realizes that they began with running security tests on the banks revealing the weaknesses of their security measures.  Unfortunately, Walker has already stirred chaos.  News has broken out that thirty-six bank alarms were triggered throughout the city.  Neal points out that every cop in the city must have been called to attend to those alarms to which Peter agrees that those are merely misdirects.  Agent Burke remembers Renee informing them that she changed the codes of the banks that received The Architect’s business card.  Agent Burke and Caffrey rush to find Renee, but it’s too late.  The robbers had started the heist right before the bank officially closed for the night.  Two well-dressed masked men attack a security guard, and goes after Renee who tries to escape, but are accosted by two more armed, masked men.  All of these are caught on camera.

Agent Burke and Caffrey rush to Midtown Mutual Bank, and calls Agent Barrigan of their theory and plan.  With all of law enforcement preoccupied with the thirty-six banks, the two are going in without backup, and hope that Agent Barrigan could manage to get them one.  Just as they suspected, Agent Burke and Caffrey finds the armed robbers inside the bank, and the heist is underway.  Caffrey finds another way in, and Agent Burke follows him up the roof where they are to enter through the roof vent, but Walker knew about this and has a man up guarding it.  The man shoots at them, but Agent Burke manages to buy them time by shooting the radio off the man’s hand.  The man escapes surely to inform his boss of their arrival.  Agent Burke and Caffrey break into the bank through the roof vent with no backup in sight.

The SWAT team walks out of First Unity Bank with another one of those old-fashioned clocks.  Agent Barrigan convinces them that all the commotion is just a smokescreen, and that the real heist is at Midtown Mutual Bank.  At gunpoint, Renee Simmons has no other choice but to lead the robbers to the vault.  Luckily, Neal failed to return the front desk clerk’s security badge, and uses it to enter the secured vault area.  Renee punches the security codes, and the men get access to the money.  One of the masked robbers orders his men to restrain Renee in an office as two of them fill their briefcases with money.  As the men strap Renee, Neal creates a distraction to provide Agent Burke a way to bring Renee to safety.  Neal turns off the lights one by one including the ones inside the vault.  This prompts the head robber to instruct his crew to look into it, and to check that the SWAT team has not arrived.  Neal Caffrey leaves Agent Burke’s phone on the robbers path, one he called to inform the robbers that they’ve been had.  As the sound of sirens approaches, the robbers make their escape.  All return to the vault giving Agent Burke the opportunity to free Renee.  Caffrey catches up to them at the front door when he spots the robbers making their way out the back door.  Unarmed and against Agent Burke’s instructions, Caffrey runs after them, but they have hidden in plain sight mixing in with the busy Manhattan street filled with pedestrians.  Edward Walker wins again.

A furious Agent Burke instructs Agent Jones to get Walker, but the man took the initiative to drop by the FBI office armed with his lawyer and an airtight alibi.  Moreover, Walker has decided to sue the FBI for unwarranted harassment and defamation of character to name a few.  Agent Burke warns him that the game is not over, but Walker believes that The Architect already won.  He leaves the office, but not without insulting Caffrey as well.

Agent Burke and Caffrey review the security tapes, but find nothing useful.  Agent Burke is out to nail the arrogant thief who had the nerve to walk into the FBI headquarters, and slap it with a multi-million-dollar lawsuit right after walking out of a bank with 8.2 million dollars worth of stolen money.  Agent Burke finally divulges to Caffrey of their fate for not catching Walker despite their noble attempt to catch the robber despite limited means.  Caffrey is in disbelief of the final tally.  Based on the security tapes, the brief cases the armed, masked bank robbers had could not have held 8.2 million dollars.  His calculation puts the cash the robbers carried out to less than 7 million dollars.  Agent Burke and Caffrey ask Renee Simmons to let them access the bank informing her that they speculate that the robbers had left something behind.  Renee leads them back to the vault sure to inform the two that the team who investigated the crime scene were very thorough, and is confident that they would not have missed anything.  Agent Burke’s request to have her open security deposit box 213 seem to have startled her.  She insists that the box is the property of one of their customers, which would require a warrant to search.  Agent Burke holds up a key he claims to have gotten from the bank president himself.  Moreover, they were made aware of the fact that security deposit box 213 belongs to Renee Simmons.  Technically, the box was rented to Renee’s uncle two month’s ago, one who passed away two years ago.  Renee agrees to Agent Burke opening her safety deposit box, and even hands her keys to him.  Agent Burke opens the box revealing 1.5 million dollars in cash.  While his back is turned admiring the irrefutable evidence they uncovered, Renee has pulled a gun out of her purse and has it pointed at Caffrey.  If the FBI had not figured out their plan, Renee Simmons would have walked away with the large sum of stolen money.  Edward Walker convinced her that she did not have to wait twenty years to have a mediocre pension to retire on if only she helped him carry out the heist.

As Caffrey follows Renee’s instructions to stash the money in the bag, he notices the Dye Packs inserted the reams of cash.  He makes Agent Burke aware of it, and the two engage in an argument about how Burke should stop rubbing in how Caffrey got caught.  This confuses Renee who has lost control of their captives.  Taking two reams of cash with Dye Packs, Caffrey smashes them together causing the dye to explode on Renee’s face causing her to lose her balance.  Agent Burke swiftly takes the gun from her, and their backup arrives to arrest the woman.

Whitney hands an envelope to Walker, one that contains the business card of Special Agent Burke; right behind her are Agent Burke and Caffrey.  Sure that he cannot be caught; Walker sees their arrival as fodder to his lawsuit, but Agent Burke assures him that there will not be one.  The two informs him that Renee cut a deal with the FBI, and spilled the beans on him.  The FBI arrests a now a humbled, wealthy armed robber.

Peter rendezvous with Mozz at the same park bench to do their status check on Neal.  Peter is happy to report that Neal is doing better, and appears to be returning to his old self.  He acknowledges Mozz’ hand at Neal’s recovery, and asks Mozz to steer their friend away from ruin for Peter can only help clean up a mess, but not prevent one.  Later that night, Mozz informs Neal that there’s strange activity around the music box.  After being logged in the New York office, OPR requested that it be transferred to D.C., and during that transfer the box has been swapped.  Unbeknownst to them, the real music box is in a safe at Agent Barrigan’s apartment.


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