Sunday, November 4, 2012

Copycat Caffrey – White Collar Episode Summary 2.3

Copycat Caffrey White Collar episode summary
Synopsis: The FBI identifies the theft and forgery of a Lewis Thayer painting as a copycat of one of Neal Caffrey’s scams, and traces the crime to a professor of criminology class who uses his students to do the legwork for him.  Without proof of the crime, Agent Burke has Neal Caffrey infiltrate the group of thieves.  Meanwhile, someone connected to the music box is out to get Alex, and she reaches out to Mozzie for help.

Episode Summary: Neal Caffrey and Agent Peter Burke meet with the curator of the art gallery where Lewis Thayer’s Untitled Number Two painting that is said to be worth four million dollars was stolen.  According to Miss Jeffries, the curator of Lampson Gallery, the painting was cut out of its frame eluding the sensors in the frame.  Moreover, the heist happened during the gallery’s daily security tape swap, and despite keeping news of the theft from the press, an article surfaced on the newspaper. Continue reading...

Agent Jones learns that news of the heist came from an anonymous tip, and Caffrey suspects that the thieves called it in themselves to build up hype in the black market.  Agent Burke supposes that the thieves are planning to move the painting quickly, and orders his staff to start asking around.  Neal turns to his most trusted and efficient contact, Mozzie.  True enough Mozzie was able to find the source in less than an hour, and senses that his friend knows more than he is making him believe especially since Mozzie has asked about a reward.  Mozzie aborts his meeting with Neal, and taps his umbrella.  Knowing his friend’s ways, he hears tapping of another umbrella a few feet way, and finds Alex Hunter.  Alex was forced to keep a low profile after the explosion that claimed the life of Kate Moreau, which also meant that she has been out of work.  She reached out to Mozzie in the hopes of getting a reward for information about the missing Thayer painting.  Alex informs Neal that the painting was fenced in Dubai.

Agent Burke calls Caffrey to his office to inform him that the painting was found, but contrary to Alex’ information, Agent Burke tells him that the Thayer painting was fenced to a hotel heiress in Budapest and not to a textile magnate in Dubai.  Agent Jones and Barrigan arrive with news that Scotland Yard has retrieved the painting.  Clearly, the paintings they found are forgeries, which were leaked out of the country before the theft knowing that there is a market for them once the actual heist makes it in the news.  The truth is the real painting has never left the country for all of it is part of the scam.  A scam Neal Caffrey once created.

Miss Jeffries confirms that all three paintings are forgeries.  Caffrey inspects the paintings and notices that the shadowing in the paintings is more deliberate, which means that the person who forged the paintings did it in the gallery in front of the original as opposed to working off of a photograph.  Based on the differences in the shading, Caffrey was able to narrow down the time when the forgeries were made.  Miss Jeffries confirms that the only time the painting would have had afternoon light streaming down it was in late April during the pop art show when the Thayer painting hung below a skylight.  Looking at the logs for the show, they identify Justin Magary from Eastside University as a suspect.

Neal Caffrey and Agent Burke survey an art class looking for Justin Magary, and easily finds him thanks to his sketching skills that are far beyond the level of his classmates.  Agent Burke informs the man that there was a video of him sketching Thayer’s Untitled Number Two at the Lampson Gallery, which is perfectly legal except that his paintings were sold as forgeries.  Afraid of being implicated with the crime, Justin Magary cooperates and informs the FBI that he had answered an ad and got a job through e-mail that commissioned seven copies of Untitled Number Two.  Justin received instructions that would prevent him from seeing the person who commissioned the job, but wanting to ensure that the job he took on was legitimate, he secretly watched the pick up, and saw the girl who retrieved the reproductions he made.  An artist himself, Justin made a sketch of the face of the girl who took his paintings.

Just as Neal suspected, Alex’ return is not only about the money.  She claims that there are people connected to the music box looking for her, and in her desperation she has been fencing Krugerrands in order to get enough funds for her escape.  Regrettably, Russell Smith, her friend who was helping her sell the Krugerrands has decided to sell her out after learning that someone was out to get her.  Alex reached out to Mozzie to keep Russell from selling her out.

Agent Barrigan was able to find the identity of the girl based on Justin’s sketch.  The girl is identified as Veronica Naylon, an archaeology student taking a criminology class, which is the only class she’s been acing. Agent Burke believes that the girl must have had accomplices, and suspects that they probably are in her criminology class where Neal Caffrey is one of the criminals they have been studying.  Convinced that several players are involved in this scam, Agent Burke thinks that Veronica formed a crew in her class.  Already ecstatic at the attention he’s been getting, Neal Caffrey agrees to appear in Veronica’s criminology class.  As one would expect, Neal makes a grand entrance by sharing details about the Koechert Diamond Pearl theft that cannot be found in a textbook.  Naturally, the professor recognizes him, and introduces Neal to his class, and even asks him to answer a few questions.  Observing the professor and a few of his students, Neal Caffrey accuses the man of being his copycat, but instead of turning him in, Neal asks for a cut in their profits.  Although the professor denies his accusation, he invites him to meet with him and a few of his students at The Globe.

Neal Caffrey returns to the FBI with the recording of the class where his bravado is diminished after learning that Professor Oswald has been copying the other crimes he covered in class.  Unfortunately, the FBI has no proof of the crimes he committed, but Caffrey has not given up hope, and believes that he can draw out the Thayer out of him despite the arrest all of his fences.  Neal meets with the students at The Globe, and annoys one of the boys with his antics that charmed the other students.  Eric, an arrogant student who is full of himself, falls straight into Neal’s trap as he tricks the young man into using Alex as the mark.  Eric goes over to Alex and asks her to pick a card, put it back in the deck, and cut it for him only Alex doesn’t put it back in, and instead hides it in her purse.  Alex bets that Neal is right to believe that Eric won’t be able to identify the card she pulled from the deck.  Eric identifies the wrong card, and Alex wins the bet.  Professor Oswald arrives at the bar, and exposes the scam Alex and Neal pulled on the poor guy.  Eric leaves, and Neal introduces Professor Oswald to Alex hinting that she is a fence.  Regrettably, Alex was kept out of the loop of Neal’s plan, which included dropping her name to a stranger.  Understandably, this infuriated her.  However, Neal assures her that his plan will solve his case and her problem.  Neal’s plan is to tell the FBI that Professor Oswald and his kids plan to steal the Krugerrands, which would require the FBI to bring in Russell Smith eventually killing his reputation.  Seeing the benefits of his plan, Alex agrees to be the fence.

Caffrey informs the FBI of Professor Oswald’s operation where he uses his chosen students to do the legwork leaving him to deal only with fencing the goods.  In the event that the students get caught, Oswald only has to claim that the students acted on their own.  Unable to identify what the next job the professor and his students plan to pull, Caffrey suggests that they make the choice for them.  He suggests luring the professor and his students into stealing the Krugerrands only they not be grabbing it from Agent Jones, since Russell Smith should already be in the custody of the FBI if their plan of intercepting the buy pulls through.

Neal puts his plan in motion as Alex drops by unannounced while he, the professor and his students hash out their next heist.  The professor and his students listen in their argument where an infuriated Alex tries to convince Neal into pushing through with the job she and Neal agreed to, but Neal is backing out off since his cover has been blown.  With Alex screaming on top of her lungs, the students make it known to him of what they have heard, and he tells them about the Krugerrands.  Now, Neal and the FBI only need the Krugerrands from Russell Smith.  Knowing exactly where Russell would be, the FBI arrests Russell with a briefcase of Krugerrands.  Agent Jones assumes the role of Russell Smith, and as they expected, Eric bumps into him, drops his groceries and makes a scene.  Meanwhile, Manny switches the briefcase that Agent Jones put on the ground with his.  He then drops it at the agreed spot where Neal picks it up, and stores it in a locker.

After hours of waiting, nobody has come to retrieve the briefcase from the locker.  Meanwhile, Agent Jones arrives with a recording of Russell Smith’s phone conversation demanding somebody to post bail for him in exchange for Alex Hunter.  Neal Caffrey confesses to have used the FBI to help Alex, which infuriates Agent Burke believing that Neal has jeopardized their case.  Neal manages to get the FBI to check the locker, and finds that the briefcase is no longer there, since a hole was cut through the wall that allowed Oswald to retrieve the briefcase from the back of the locker.

Agent Burke arrives at Caffrey’s apartment hoping to meet with Alex, but finds Mozzie instead.  Agent Burke demands that Caffrey tell him why he put the FBI on Russell’s case, and learns that the same people who killed Kate were after Alex.  Unfortunately, Russell decided to sell her out, which is why Neal made sure that he was taken out of play.  Meanwhile, they have yet to catch Oswald, but Agent Burke has a plan to retrieve the Krugerrands and the Thayer painting.  Agent Burke’s plan is to have whoever should have received the Krugerrands to be on Oswald’s tail, and learns that the Detroit mob was the buyer of the stolen gold.  Agent Burke with the help of Mozzie, an expert on the Detroit mob, pretends to be a mobster.  He confronts Oswald, assuming the identity of the peacemaker, and accuses him of stealing his Krugerrands.  With a gun pointed at him, and threats made on his life, Oswald begins to negotiate.  Agent Burke demands three million dollars from Oswald.  Fearing for his life, Oswald seeks Alex’ help to fence the Krugerrands and the Thayer.  Oswald gives Alex the account and routing number where she can wire the money, and soon after the FBI arrives on the scene to make the arrest.  Oswald is in disbelief at learning that the supposed peacemaker whom he feared so much is actually Agent Burke.  Meanwhile, Alex gets a reward for working with the FBI.  She is given a ticket to a secured flight to Italy, and a public show of gratitude from the FBI to Russell Smith to ensure that the man will never be able to sell information to the underworld again.  With Professor Oswald accosted, Agent Burke is left to arrest his accomplices.  He arrives at the criminology class and identifies himself as an FBI agent looking for new recruits.  Moreover, he brought with him his team of agents including Neal Caffrey, and they go on to arrest Professor Oswald’s chosen students, one of whom could not wait to strike a deal with the FBI.

Agent Burke receives a call from Agent Diana, and leaves for her apartment.  With the music box in her custody, Diana shows Peter what she discovered.  The hole she once thought of as one belonging to a broken cherubim is actually a narrow tunnel with a slight ridge.  Meanwhile, Neal catches Alex before she leaves for Venice, and finds her with a crate.  He informs her that the FBI was able to retrieve all the goods Oswald was suspected of stealing except for Matisse’s View of Saint Tropez, the size of which matches the crate Alex is bringing with her to Venice.  Neal wishes for her safety, and her for his too.  Knowing that their troubles are rooted with the music box, Alex gives up her obsession and hands the last piece of the music box to Neal, but hopes that he moves on as well.  Peter is certain that what Diana has discovered is a keyhole, and finding the missing piece that opens it will unravel the mystery of the music box.  Little did he know, Neal Caffrey is now in possession of that missing piece.

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