White Collar Recap: Return to Sender
"White Collar" Season 6 Episode 2 “Return to Sender” aired on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. on USA Network. In this episode, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) got his first assignment as a member of the Pink Panthers. He was tasked to steal a 19th-century stamp that would be auctioned off the next night at an auction organized by Bianca Esteverena. In order to do so, FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim De Kay) had to pretend to be Neal’s father. However, the team faced an unexpected twist in their plans, as it turned out that Neal’s old nemesis, Matthew Keller (Ross McCall), had also joined the Pink Panthers. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode opened with FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) fixing the sink. He had promised his wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen), who was pregnant, that he would fix all the repairs in the house before the baby comes. His longtime criminal informant and partner, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), was surprised to see that Elizabeth was back from Washington DC.
At the FBI, Neal gave Peter a contract, which had been consulted with by his partner and friend, Mozzie (Willie Garson). It gave no room for the FBI to go back on their word on a technicality or a loophole this time. Plus, as the contract was legally binding, Neal could take them to court. The deal was simple — Neal would bring in the Pink Panthers for the FBI in exchange for his freedom. He then asked Peter to take off his anklet as his formal introduction to the Pink Panthers was in an hour.
However, when he got to the meeting, Neal was surprised to see his old rival, Matthew Keller (Ross McCall), there, as he knew that Keller was supposed to be rotting away in a Russian prison. Keller then told the rest of the crew that Neal had served his time with the FBI and was now a free man. Alan Woodford (Gavin Lee) then interrupted them and told Neal that Keller had been singing his praises ever since he mentioned him. Neal then noticed that oddly enough, Keller kept on scratching an area on his lower arm. He was then told that each member was given a particular assignment that was all part of a bigger picture. His first assignment was to steal a 19th-century Swedish stamp that was going to be auctioned off the next night by a woman named Bianca Esteverena (Paloma Guzman).
While Neal met up with the Panthers, Peter met with a colleague named David Pillar. He told him about Neal’s deal. All Peter was asking for was the Attorney General’s signature on the contract. They all knew that nabbing the Pink Panthers would be a big win for the Bureau.
At the FBI, Neal told Peter that Keller was with the Panthers, even if he was supposed to be in a Russian jail. Peter then wanted to pull the plug on the operation as they both knew that Keller was dangerous. Peter was especially worried about Elizabeth’s safety. The last time they had butted heads with Keller, he had kidnaped Elizabeth. However, Neal told him that Keller hadn’t sold him out to the rest of the Panthers. He told Peter that this was personal for him, as well as his own freedom was at stake. He also reminded Peter that this was the closest that anybody has been to the Panthers. So if they pulled the plug or went after Keller now, they would never be able to touch the Panthers again. Peter then reconsidered because of the long-term ramifications. It is also because Neal promised Keller’s head on a silver platter when they took down the Panthers.
Later that night, Keller suddenly appeared uninvited to Neal’s apartment. He revealed to Neal that he had gotten out of the Russian prison as he had a benefactor. He told Neal that he knew that he and Peter were still working together. However, Neal was able to convince Keller that he only technically worked for the FBI and told him that he and Peter were no longer partners. He also told him that he needed this score. It would allow him to finally be free of the FBI. They then shook hands as they agreed to work with each other.
Next day, Peter told Neal that there were extra guards now protecting Elizabeth. He would have Agent Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins) figure out who Keller’s mysterious benefactor was. However, Peter was the only one excited about the mission as he and his father used to collect stamps. At the conference room, Jones briefed them about the stamp and Bianca Esteverena. The stamp, a Treskilling Yellow, was printed in 1855 and was rare as its unusual yellow color had come about due to a printing error. There were only two existing Treskilling Yellow stamps. One was owned by a private collector who had bought it for $ 2.3 million. Now, Bianca Esteverena had learned from her grandfather, who raised her, how to deal in black market goods and black market auctions, as he used to launder stolen art from World War II. She had been raised by him as her father had left her family when she was five years old.
In order to get an invite, they would have to meet up with Bianca personally. She personally screens everyone she invites to her black market auctions. However, this time, they got a little bit lucky, as she was supposed to be meeting a rich playboy from an Orange County family, who did not have much pictures in social media as they were notoriously camera shy. He was Nathaniel Dietrick. Nathaniel would be arriving in New York a couple of hours before the meet up, but they decided to detain and interrogate him as soon as he landed. This gave Neal time to impersonate Nathaniel so that he could get an invite to the auction.
Meanwhile, Mozzie helped Elizabeth unpack everything. As he noticed that Elizabeth had not been drinking the wine he had brought over, he realized that Elizabeth was pregnant, which she confirmed.
In the van, they discovered that Nathaniel had been picked up by airport security with another man, a man in his '60s, who turned out to be Nathaniel’s father, Elias. Outside, Bianca almost canceled the meeting, as she told him that they had agreed that she would only be talking to his father. Peter then arrived in the nick of time as Elias and told Neal to wait at the newsstand by the corner. Afterward, Neal was impressed at the fact that Peter was able to get them an invite. However, the catch was that they wouldn’t be able to have enough time to case the place where the black market auction was going to be held, as she was going to text him the location an hour before the event.
Later that night, as Neal got ready for the auction, Mozzie remarked that he knew that something was definitely off with Keller. At the Burke residence, after Elizabeth fixed Peter’s bowtie, he showed her that he had managed to fix the sink disposal. As they wondered how things would be when the baby arrived, Neal entered their house and called them mom and dad. Peter then explained to Elizabeth that since he had to pose as Neal’s father for their investigation, Elizabeth was technically Neal’s mother. Neal then told her that she was a cool mom, as she told him that she was proud to have a son like him. Before they left, both of them teasingly asked Neal to take care of some household chores.
At the private residence where the auction was to be held, Neal found it strange as it seemed like everything was too easy as the guards were not heavily armed, there were plenty of escape routes, and there were no cameras. As soon as Neal saw the auction items and the stamp in a glass case in separate pedestals, he realized that there were lasers near the items. They were dealing with a highly sophisticated and advanced security system created by BraxNet that had been developed by consulting ex-thieves. He then told Peter that each system was independently powered, which meant that they could not just cut off the house’s main electric line. He also told Peter that a security cage would immediately fall once its security perimeter was broken. Much to Peter’s surprise, Neal stole two small appetizer forks and told him that the only way they would be able to get the stamp was to set off the security alarm itself.
During the bidding for the first item, a sculpture, he started to taunt the man in front of him. Neal then revealed to Peter that he was going to start a fight under the pretense of defending him. He was to draw the fight near the area of the statue so that he would be near the lasers protecting the statue. After Neal openly taunted the man once again, Peter did as he was told and started to fight the man while Neal slipped away to the side. Just as security tried to restrain Peter, the alarm sounded, and the cages descended on the auction items. However, much to Bianca’s dismay, she discovered that the stamp was gone and that its cage had been propped up by two appetizer forks.
BraxNet security then came and started to search each of them, starting with Neal, as Bianca did not like his manners at all. Neal and Peter then suggested that BraxNet should also search Bianca. It was possible that she had taken it so that she would be able to profit from it instead of getting a cut from how much the item would be paid for. After they discovered the empty glass case in Bianca’s purse, everyone was let go. As they exited the house, Neal revealed to Peter that he had slipped the stamp underneath his collar.
Next day, Jones revealed to Neal that he had discovered that the Warden and the Captain of the Russian prison Keller were supposed to be in both confirmed that Keller was still there. After bringing that information to Peter, they both started to wonder if the Panthers were capable of springing Keller from prison. Peter then revealed that Bianca’s stamp had been stolen from a private collection in Sweden that they would not be able to let Neal use it during his next meet up with the Panthers. This angered Neal, as it would mean that they would have to end the entire operation. He then took the anklet and decided that he would get his freedom by himself.
Later that night, Mozzie tried to talk Neal out of forging the stamp as they did not have enough time to be able to pull off a convincing forgery. However, Neal banked on the fact that Keller might be the one to authenticate the stamp and that he would not say anything to the Panthers. As Neal worked, he realized that the Panthers would not have that much power to be able to get Keller out of prison and make it seem like he was still there. As he glanced at his ankles, he remembered that Keller kept on scratching his arm.
Next day, Keller told the Panthers that the stamp was real as he had noticed that Neal had written a very small “ INTERPOL” on the stamp. Woodford then revealed that stealing the stamp had allowed them to test out the response time of BraxNet, which would come in handy for what they were planning to do. After Woodford asked about the man who had been working with him, Neal just told them that he, Peter, was a very discreet collaborator.
Outside, Neal revealed to Keller that he had realized that Keller was working for Interpol. He kept on scratching a particular part on one of his arms, which was the exact spot where they had put a tracking device on him. Interpol did not want to put anklets on their criminal informants. He also knew that the injection of the tracker usually caused constant itching, which was happening to Keller. Keller then revealed that he knew that Neal’s collaborator was Peter and that he had been offered the same deal as Neal — freedom in exchange for the Panthers. This meant that they each had something on each other, and it would only just be a matter of time before one revealed the other's secret. Keller then revealed that he would have no problem in finding a buyer for Neal’s fake stamp as Interpol was going to buy it.
At the Burke residence, Peter was not happy with what Neal had done but agreed that it made sense that Keller would take up that deal. Neal, on the other hand, was worried as they both knew that Keller was incapable of going clean. Peter then revealed to Neal that the Attorney General had finally signed his contract, which meant that Neal was going to get his freedom.
Peter then surprised Neal by giving him a cigar, as they celebrated the fact that Peter was going to be a father. Neal then told him that based on his stint as Neal’s father, he knew that his kid was going to be very lucky to have Peter and Elizabeth as parents.
And that was all for the recap of “White Collar” Season 6 Episode 2 “Return to Sender.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “White Collar” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “White Collar” every Thursday at 9:00 p.m. on USA Network.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Xeworlebi