In this episode, we find that Neal is in a friends-with-benefits relationship with Sarah (his old flame the Insurance Investigator). He's also consulting on her latest assignment - the security of Marie Antoinette's perfume bottle. Meanwhile, Peter and Elizabeth are planning a romantic getaway with no disturbances. In other words, if something were to happen, no one would miss them for days and days... Yeah, nothing is going to wrong with that plan. Just before they leave, Jones brings over an IRS file on Ellen - she apparently worked for a security company in the Empire State Building after she left witness protection. Recall from previous episodes that the Empire State Building is where she hid the evidence box that will (purportedly) exonerate Neal's father. Oooh, plot arc-y.
Peter and Elizabeth swing by the perfume bottle exhibit, and instantly deduce that Neal and Sarah are "back in the saddle," so to speak... God I hope there are no actual saddles involved. ANYWAY Elizabeth asks them to take care of the dog in an obvious attempt to throw them together (this will actually be important later). After they leave, a couple of amateur criminals shoot up the place and make off with the perfume bottle - running into a carjacking/kidnapping Peter and Elizabeth on their way. We find out that he's Nate "Oz" Osbourne - a petty thief who got sentenced to 15 years for assaulting a cop (except he didn't) - and she's Penny Chase - his creepy prison pen-pal who helped him escape. In his letters Oz promised her grandiose things, and seems to be delivering on his promises via daring daylight robberies. Naturally.
|In her defense, he's pretty hot when he takes off the mask.|
The fly in the proverbial ointment - if the criminals find out that Peter is an FBI agent, they are likely to do something stupid. Or rather, do something EVER STUPIDER than what they've been doing so far. Elizabeth uses her charm to distract Oz and Penny, but it's not enough and they catch Peter going for his gun. Uh-oh. This makes them desperate, and they decide to grab their last target and go out in a blaze of glory. DOUBLE UH-OH. Meanwhile, Neal and Sarah figure out their next target by reading through the badly-written romance novel that is Oz and Penny's correspondence - he says "I'll give you the moon," so OBVIOUSLY they're going after a moon rock. To the science museum! *cue original Batman TV series style screen wipe*
The FBI hasn't been sitting on its hands, either - they've found Peter and Elizabeth's car and cell phones, and realize that they've been taken by Oz and Penny. Time for a good old fashioned shoot-out, right? Wrong. Neal breaks in to the museum, steals the moon rock before Oz can get there, and uses it (successfully) to bargain for Peter's release. In the other room, Elizabeth uses psychology to disarm Penny - figuratively AND literally. In the end, she can't just leave them to die, so she drags Peter along to convince them that this whole "blaze of glory" thing is not as awesome as the other option, "grow old together." And it works - hooray!
|How cute are they?|
In other news, Neal goes over to Peter and Elizabeth's house to take care of the dog... and finds the IRS file on Ellen. Thinking he's still working under orders from Elizabeth to keep Peter out of danger, he snaps a few photos and prepares to start his search of the Empire State Building. At the end of the episode, however, Elizabeth confesses to asking Neal to lie. Peter turns around and confesses as well - his grand plan all along was to step back and let Neal do the legwork in finding the box. Gah, I can't take it anymore! Lies on top of lies! Circles within circles! When does it end?
Quite soon, actually. Only two more episodes of White Collar this season - stay tuned!