Episode Title: "What Happens in Burma"
Writer: Hy Conrad
Director: John Kretchmer
Neal (Matt Bomer) and Peter (Tim DeKay) meet with an American diplomat regarding a young man imprisoned in Burma, accused of stealing a precious ruby. We later learn that the man is the diplomat’s son and has thus enlisted Neal and Peter for their often unorthodox but effective tactics.
After hand signals the young man uses in a video lead the team to contact his girlfriend, they learn that he was making a controversial documentary about the political unrest in Burma, leading to the frame up.
The team learns a hard drive containing key footage from the documentary has been stolen by the Burmese diplomat involved with the case. Moz (Willie Garson) and Neal come up with a plan to place a smoking ruby in a pouch containing the device. But when the chemical reaction appears delayed, Peter stalls the diplomat by going through his parking tickets. When the pouch starts smoking, the diplomat’s assistant drops it and the hard drive falls to the ground, which Neal promptly snatches, thus exonerating the secretary’s son.
An episodic break from the "Who Killed Kate?" conspiracy, "What Happens in Burma," was yet another foray into Moz and Neal’s ridiculous yet miraculously effective tactics. Unfortunately, I found myself more interested in the plot to imprison the young documentary filmmaker, framed for stealing a precious ruby, than Neal, Moz and Peter’s plan to free him.
This hour seemed driven by Neal’s daddy issues or rather Peter’s fascination with Neal’s daddy issues. We learn that Neal’s father was a dirty cop, a legacy he feels he’s inherited. Peter points out that Neal is not his father and the issue seems to be put to bed. I’m hoping this isn’t the last we learn of Neal’s shady past, especially if it informs so much of the man he’s become.
As hair-brained schemes go, Moz and Neal’s plan to place a smoking ruby inside a diplomat’s travel pouch was bound to hit a snag. I’m glad it was paid off, as Peter stalled the diplomat with a review of his outstanding parking tickets. It was still too ridiculous to believe but it skews towards the more believable maneuvers the team has made to close a case.
It was fun to see Marsha Thomason undercover at the trunk show. She and Sharif Atkins are a bit underutilized at times. After all, why would we ever want to cut away from the impossibly good looking Matt Bomer? In all seriousness, Bomer and DeKay are great but giving the supporting cast some room to play is a good idea.
"What Happens in Burma" isn’t the strongest hour we’ve seen this season but Moz and Neal’s plan to go "Breaking Bad" on a stolen ruby caper made a watchable case for "White Collar’s" silly, seductive charm.
Crave Online Rating: 7.5 out 10.