Sunday, July 14, 2013

Forging Bonds – White Collar Episode Summary 2.11

Forging Bonds episode summary
Synopsis: Peter Burke uncovers that Neal Caffrey knew Vincent Adler, the infamous financial investor who notoriously swindled his clients of their life savings.  It was around the same time he met Mozzie who had enlisted him into stealing from Adler, and Kate Moreau who was Adler’s assistant.  As Neal worked closely with Adler, he soon became loyal to the man, and he had become comfortable with his life that he shared with Kate.  Regrettably, it was already too late when he learned the truth about Adler.

Episode Summary: Agent Peter Burke looks into Vincent Adler, a man who seven years ago ran a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, and one who groomed Neal Caffrey into a white collar criminal.  Peter beseeches Neal into telling him all that he knows about Adler, and offers him full immunity in return.  Neal begins with showing Peter the fractal that Mozzie decoded from the music box.Continue reading...

Neal came to New York City eight years ago, and has made a career of playing short cons including swindling other cons starting with Mozzie who at that time was a shill for the dealer of a Three-card Monte.  Neal comes up to the dealer betting five hundred dollars to follow the queen, and successfully does so much to the dealer and Mozzie’s disbelief.  Mozzie and his partner soon finds out that Neal had conned them after the young man shows them the queen only to learn that he had swapped the card with one of his own.  Mozzie saw talent and potential in Neal so instead of harassing the young man into giving him back his money Mozzie enlists him as his cohort.  Seeing the impeccable bond forgeries Neal has done, Mozzie becomes even more convinced that he has met the perfect person to help him defraud Vincent Adler.

Peter reveals that it was the forged bonds that led him to Neal, and as early as then Peter found admiration for the young man.  Neal’s immaculate Atlantic incorporate bonds forgery, one that has not been counterfeited before, earned him the nickname of James Bonds.  However, having met Mozzie, Neal becomes part of a bigger con where Adler is their mark.  At that time, Vincent Adler was the CEO of Adler Financial Management running the firm’s top hedge fund.  Mozzie’s plan is to reroute the wire transfer Adler sends to his account in the Cayman Islands.  This requires knowing the man’s account number and password, a role that falls on Neal, which involves befriending Adler.  With only five months to fulfill their con, Mozzie suggests that Neal introduce himself to Adler at the Antiquities Recovery Project’s charity dinner.  The dinner, however, requires a five thousand dollar charitable donation.  The large amount of cash necessitated the cashing of one of Neal’s forged bonds, an act that caught the FBI’s attention.

The day Neal cashed in one of his bonds was also the day Agent Burke dropped by the bank to speak to the bank manager.  Unlucky for Peter, Mozzie and Neal were within earshot of his conversation with the bank manager, which alerted both cons that a certain Special Agent Peter Burke is on to Neal’s forged bonds.  With Neal already in possession of the money to pay for the fundraiser, Neal pushes through with the long con.  He arrives at the benefit, and introduces himself as Nick Halden.  Neal quickly charms the man with his knowledge of commodities and art, while Adler’s assistant swiftly allures Neal for she was no other than Kate Moreau.  Sensing Neal’s intent to ingratiate himself to Adler, Kate hints of him finding a way to secure a seat next to Adler.  Neal, unfortunately, swaps his seat with Adler’s date making his appearance at his table evidently false.  Adler allows him a few minutes to present his intention, and Neal reveals wanting to be part of the acquisitions team at Adler’s firm.  Adler shows no interest in hiring him, but Neal may have convinced him with his advice to look into Cameron Singer whom Neal believes to be planning on backing out the deal he made with Adler who was set on buying his firm.  Neal explains that Singer has been avoiding Hannah Fields knowing that the woman will be buying out Singer the following week.  This turn of events, if they materialize, will not bode well for Adler’s firm.  Neal and Mozzie’s research paid off for Adler was able to verify Neal’s claims.  A month later, Neal lands a job at Adler’s firm finding for the man things for him to buy.

Working for Adler, Neal learns that the man is obsessed with the mathematical concept having seen the fractals in his office.  However, the fractal that Mozzie decoded is one he has not seen.  At about the same time he learned of Adler’s fractal obsession, Neal was assigned the job of looking into the person snooping at Adler’s recent art acquisitions, the ones from South America in particular.  The culprit turned out to be Alex Hunter whom Neal misled into coming in for a job interview with Adler.  It was the first time Neal saw Adler deviate from his usual calm and composed façade as the man forcefully confronts Alex after learning that the young woman had accessed his private database and made copies of his records.  He, however, lets Alex go.  Moreover, he gives Neal a bonus as a reward for his hard work.  Neal, in turn, invests all of his money in Adler’s fund very much aware of the profits it purportedly generates ignorant of the fact that it was a fraud.

Learning that Kate is moving to Chicago with her boyfriend, Neal sets his eyes on Alex after the woman surprising flirts with him in spite of him foiling her plans.  The two ends up in bed where Alex reveals that she knows Neal to be a grifter.  Moreover, she makes it known the reason for her looking into Adler’s art acquisitions.  Alex was in search of a music box, one Adler is not in possession of, but whom she heard has information about.  Alex believed that the much-coveted music box was at the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, and that she would send Neal a message in a form of an origami flower if she ever needed help.  It was a long time after before Neal saw Alex again, which proved to be providential for Kate had decided to stay in New York to be with Neal.  Neal was on top of the world; he had Kate, and he was living a good life working for Adler who had taken him under his wing.  Regrettably, Neal was still working the long con with Mozzie, and fulfilling it meant losing what he already has.  Unlucky for Neal, the FBI was closing into him as well, and they have released a sketch to the public.  Neal had no other choice but to push through with the con, which he brings into fruition with news he shared with Adler about some irregularities he found on his account in the Caymans.  This development seemed to have rattled Adler enough to share with him his password that he may further investigate.  Being with Kate, and confirming that he had won the trust of Adler, Neal foregoes with the con and lies to Mozzie in the process.

News of Vincent Adler disappearing with hundreds of millions of dollars of his clients’ money erupts, shocking everyone including Neal and Kate.  As it turned out, Adler’s investment firm never traded any shares from his clients’ accounts, and that the prominent financial investor Vincent Adler had just committed one of the greatest financial frauds of the era.  By this time, Agent Burke has climbed up the ranks, and has been in the process of putting together a special white collar task force.  Agent Clinton Jones shows interest in being part of his team, and his work on getting the Dutchman in the FBI’s radar and his insight at Agent Burke’s holding on to the sucker Neal gave him the first time they met helped Agent Burke’s decision in hiring him.

Neal learned that the password Adler gave him was an anagram for “Nice try Neal”, and that the account that it unlocked only had a dollar in it.  Neal’s perfect world crumbled soon after Adler’s disappearance.  However, he still had Kate who is all that matters to him.  Neal finds himself revealing to the woman he loves his identity, and learns that the woman loves her too for she stayed with him despite knowing the truth.  Jobless and penniless, Kate joined Neal and Mozzie in their cons, one of which involved impersonating a police officer and pretending to arrest Mozzie and supposedly taking into evidence the Falcon manuscript from the 16th century that he snatched from a deliveryman.  Neal, unfortunately, wants a better life, and he regrettably tried to con Kate into joining him in Copenhagen to help Alex steal the music box that could afford them the luxury he had always dreamed of having.  Kate becomes upset with Neal leaving him to fly to Copenhagen without her.  True enough, the music box was in the Amalienborg Palace.  However, stealing it required three people, and with only two people to do the job, their plan fell apart.  Neal barely escaped, and Alex ended up in a French hospital.  Everybody thought Neal had the music box, which earned him street credit, but when he came back to New York Kate had disappeared.

Neal ran bigger cons to get her attention, but the only attention he got was from the FBI particularly Agent Burke’s white collar division, a team Agent Jones was already part of, and Agent Barrigan had just joined.  In fact, Agent Barrigan was the one who introduced the idea of staking out Neal’s girlfriend to lure him out.  The FBI has been following her, and learned that she herself has been moving from one place to the other making Agent Burke believe that Kate is hiding from Neal.  The FBI then sends word out on the street of Kate’s whereabouts that Mozzie relays to Neal with a warning that it may be a trap.  Neal finds Kate in a storage facility making forgeries of Raphael after learning the theft of the authentic painting.  The two reunites thanks to Mozz who heard her fencing Mauritian penny stamps, information that alarmed her and Neal after she revealed that she had stopped dealing stamps.  Soon after, the FBI arrives and Agent Burke arrests Neal.

Having learned all that Neal knows about Adler, Peter becomes convinced that Adler is the key to the whole case about the music box.  Having caught Neal after going after the person he wanted most, Peter believes that they can catch Adler using the same method.  Knowing that Adler is most interested in the fractal, they must figure out what it is in order to find him.  Seeing an origami at Neal’s apartment, Peter becomes aware that Alex had been there.  Neal divulges that what Mozzie had decoded is a fractal antenna that corresponds to a specific frequency for an emergency beacon, which means that building a real antenna based on the one Mozzie uncovered would lead them to a vessel that disappeared in the 1940s.

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