Sunday, November 11, 2012

By the Book – White Collar Episode Summary 2.4

Mozzie FBI headquarters
Synopsis: Mozzie suspects that the waitress he has become infatuated with has been kidnapped, and soon learns that her kidnapper is none other than the mobster, Cristofer Navarro.  Learning of the danger, the two has gotten themselves into, the FBI steps in to help.  However, the simple exchange becomes complicated when the woman’s boyfriend, the fellow who caused her kidnapping, backs out of the job leaving Mozzie to handle the situation.

Episode Summary: Mozzie wears an orange ascot, and Neal Caffrey immediately senses that he’s out to impress somebody.  True enough, Mozzie goes to Margo’s diner where Gina, the waitress who shares his taste in reading works.  He brings with him A.B. Tattersall’s latest book, Scoppa’s Escape, which the waitress quickly notices along with the ascot he is wearing that also happens to bear her favorite color.  Gina’s happy disposition quickly changes at the arrival of Vince and Mike, two goons that prompted the waitress to cut her shift short in order to join them.  She leaves but not without notifying Mozzie, and hinting that she needs help.  Before leaving with the goons, she tells Mozzie to read the book called Snap of the Twig.Continue reading...

Good thing Mozzie got her message, and wastes no time to act upon it.  Mozzie goes to the last place one would find him, the FBI building.  After receiving a text message to go to the 20th floor, Neal Caffrey is surprised to see Mozzie board the elevator.  The nervous man informs him of what had transpired in the diner.  Moreover, he relays to him the plot of the Snap of the Twig, a book Gina knows he already read.  In the book, a girl gets in too deep and ends up being kidnapped.  Mozzie knowing that the FBI owes him a favor urges Neal to ask for Peter’s help.

Neal Caffrey manages to get a rookie in Agent Burke’s team to run a check on Gina DeStefano, and quickly learns that she has been making calls and sending text messages to the same number everyday at the same time, but all of these stopped around the same time she left the diner.  Moreover, there hasn’t made any activity on her credit cards and bank accounts since then.  Mozzie is convinced that the waitress has been kidnapped.  Having found her unlisted address through the FBI, Neal and Mozz visit her apartment and finds that it has been trashed.  Neal and Mozz break in Gina’s apartment, but she’s nowhere in sight.  They, however, found a clue Gina left that reads “Sal’s”.  Mozzie recognizes it as one from “The Harpist’s Revenge”, while Neal identifies it as the cigar bar by Mozz’ chess club.

Meanwhile, Peter is having lunch with Elizabeth, but could not shake off the feeling that Neal is up to something.  This he supposes after he found him at the elevator that was the cause of the hold up at lunch hour.  His suspicion is justified when the rookie agent calls him to personally inform Agent Burke that Neal had him run a check on a woman named Gina DeStefano whom he found has no connection on the case they are working on.  Elizabeth recognizes the name as that of the waitress Mozzie has talked about.  Agent Burke returns to the office, and reviews the security camera footage of Neal and Mozzie on the elevator.  Moreover, he had his team look into Gina DeStefano and learns that after a lack of activity on her cell phone, the waitress made a call to Tommy Barnes.  Tommy, unlike Gina, has a record, but now works as a limo driver.  The man, however, is linked to Cristofer Navarro.  Agent Burke fears for Caffrey’s safety.

Unaware of whom they are up against, Neal and Mozz follow the clues, and are led directly to Navarro’s lair.  Neal breaks inside Sal’s, and finds Navarro speaking to his goons about how his driver stole his money.  In Agent Burke’s concern for Neal, he inadvertently puts him at risk when Neal’s cell phone vibrates as it received Agent Diana’s message.  Navarro quickly recognizes that they have an intruder in their midst, and finds Neal in one of the rooms struggling to find an escape as the goons prepare to break inside.  Lucky for Neal, Agent Burke and Agent Barrigan arrive in time.  They bring Neal and Mozzie back in the FBI’s headquarters.

Agent Burke informs the two that Cristofer Navarro was a drug dealer who moved on to trafficking weapons and racketeering, which makes him a person of interest for the FBI.  Moreover, he informs them that Gina is involved with a low-end criminal and part-time limo driver, Tommy Barnes.  Hearing of this, Neal makes the connection, and supposes that Tommy is the driver who stole a hundred thousand dollars from Navarro.  Agent Barrigan arrives to inform them that Gina has used her credit card to buy nuts near Tompkins Square Park.  Mozzie, knowing that Gina is allergic to nuts, believes that the woman is sending them a clue.  Without security cameras, but noticing people with their cameras and camcorders, Agent Burke resorts to confiscating their camcorders in an attempt to find whom Gina met at the park.  True enough, one of the home videos caught Gina sitting at a park bench, and although she is alone they can tell that she is looking at somebody.  Agent Burke suggests that they put together the footages covering all the angles around the park bench where Gina is sitting.  Thanks to Mozzie’s perfect recall, they know exactly what tapes to review.  Mozzie identifies the two goons at the diner walking towards Gina, and from another footage finds Tommy Barnes with a bouquet of flowers walking towards her, but changes his mind as Gina subtly warns him not to do so.  As Tommy walks away, Agent Burke notices the guy disposing of something in the trash.  Agent Burke believes that Navarro used Gina to draw Tommy out that explains the call she made to him to meet her at the park.

The FBI goes over to retrieve what Tommy left in the trash, and finds that it is his cell phone.  They find an unchecked message of Navarro instructing him to meet him at the east corner of Houston and Norfolk at 5pm the next day.  Navarro demands that Tommy bring the money in exchange for Gina.  Regretfully, Tommy disposed of his phone before getting this message.  It is now up to the FBI to find Tommy.  Knowing that the man has gotten rid of his cell phone and credit cards, Tommy’s only option to escape the city is through a taxi.  With Mozzie too close to the case, Agent Burke has Neal and Mozzie sidelined, and asks Agent Jones to keep watch knowing that the two will work the case on their own.  Not new in being under surveillance, the two knows very well that they are put under supervision.  At any case, they go ahead with the other angle the FBI has not considered Tommy must be planning his escape with Gina in mind.  They enlist the help of their watcher, Agent Jones, in pursuing their angle.

The two meet Devlin, a person who does fake IDs, at a food truck, and makes him believe that Agent Jones has been following them around.  Moreover, the FBI agent works for Navarro.  Having piqued Devlin’s curiosity, they continue to inform him that Navarro has learned that somebody made Tommy Barnes a fake ID, and suspects Mozzie of doing it.  As Agent Jones confronts them, Devlin throws Mozzie under the bus, identifying him as the person who gave Tommy Barnes his new identity, and to prove it, he informs Agent Jones of the man’s new identity, Sam Brennan.  Meanwhile, Agent Barrigan informs Agent Burke that she received information from a taxi driver that a man had commissioned him to drive to Chicago for $5,000, but the man seemed to have changed his mind, but not without paying him $400 for his services.  Agent Burke identifies the cash Tommy paid with as sequential bills, and Agent Barrigan believes that Tommy has been using the money he stole from Navarro.  Tommy Barnes is unaware that the cash he stole from Cristofer Navarro is part of his money-laundering scheme, which is why his employer is bent on retrieving what he stole.  The cash can be traced, and can bring down Navarro’s entire enterprise.

With Agent Jones calling in Tommy’s new identity, it took very little time for the FBI to find him.  The FBI prepares to meet with Navarro, and uses Tommy as bait.  Mozzie having no confidence in Tommy tries to scare the guy from cooperating, and is successful in doing so.  With the FBI busy trying to convince Tommy to push through with the job, they fail to restrain Mozzie who now is at the drop speaking with Navarro.  Mozzie identifies himself as Tommy’s intermediary, and hands him a band of the cash Tommy stole as proof, and informs Navarro of bringing in the rest at another time.  Moreover, he tells them that the FBI is watching and that the subway is their only way out, but not without sending a clue to the feds.  Neal gets his message, and begins to decrypt the statement Mozzie made about page seventy-three, paragraph two, line five, and paragraph four, line seven.  Learning from Agent Burke, that it’s not from the FBI manual, he turns to the book Mozzie is currently reading, and finds that his friend’s message was “perfect exchange”.  Navarro brings Mozzie to his hideout where he is relieved to find that Gina is still alive and well.

Just like Neal, Agent Burke manages to decrypt Mozzie’s message, and asks Neal about it.  Apparently, Neal and Mozzie were able to figure out a perfect exchange that will assure them that a handoff will go smoothly.  The key to the so-called perfect exchange is the location, one that has metal detectors, but not scanners.  Moreover, it requires a building with a public space on the roof.  Neal and Mozzie found the Sutherland Library to be the suitable location for the perfect exchange.  Another component is the time of the handoff, and found that business hours are preferable so they could use people as a distraction.  Moreover, the Sutherland Library has guards, which should ensure that the handoff is strictly an exchange.  However, knowing that Tommy will not be able to bring in a weapon, Navarro is going to make sure that there is one waiting for him when he gets there.  The way around this is for the FBI to stake out the place to wait for one of Navarro’s guys to plant the weapon in the meeting place, and when his job is done, all they need to do is follow the guy back to the hideout.  However, there is one thing that Neal hasn’t considered, which Agent Burke points out.  The perfect exchange when they conceived it did not involve a middleman, a role Mozzie has assumed in their current situation, and one that will soon become irrelevant once Navarro has his weapon ready for the taking at the specific time and location he needs it.  Realizing the flaw in the perfect exchange, Agent Burke has no other choice, but to force Navarro’s guy to bring him to the hideout.

Navarro’s guy returns to the hideout, and Mozzie soon realizes the flaw in the perfect exchange as Navarro informs him that he is no longer needed.  Luckily, Agent Burke barges in just as the goon prepares to shoot Mozzie.  Soon after, the rest of the FBI arrives.  Mozzie, despite his flawed exchange, manages to rescue the girl with the help of the FBI.  Moreover, Gina learning of Tommy’s cowardice with her boyfriend choosing to save his own behind breaks off with the guy.  Unfortunately, the woman has decided to move to California leaving Mozzie without the damsel he rescued from distress, but not without truly impressing the girl.

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