Sara (Hilarie Burton) shows up at the FBI’s evidence warehouse to ask Peter (Tim DeKay) and Neal (Matt Bomer) for help with a young widow (Laura Vandervoort) about to come into $50 million after the accidental death of her husband. When it turns out the widow isn’t a thief but a potential victim, Neal becomes her knight in shining armor while playing the con man to the business partner (Peter Hermann) of her recently deceased husband who will stop at nothing to get his hands on her millions.
On the way to a charity gala with Sophie, Neal notices an expense watch on the wrist of her driver (J. Bernard Calloway). Realizing the man has been bought Neal to think fast, revealing himself as a con man to them both and pretending to have already stolen Sophie’s $50 million insurance payout. This allows Sophie to leave the car unharmed meaning all Neal has to do is face her husband’s murder one-on-one and hope Peter and Sara can piece together his plan before it’s too late.
Thinking quick on his feet Neal offers the murderer a deal and walks him straight into waiting arms of Peter who is able to make the arrest, recover the $50 million dollars, and earn his reinstatement as head of the Manhattan Division’s White Collar Division. With glad tides and celebration all around Peter does get a word of caution from Hughes (James Rebhorn) about the number of lines he’s willing to cross with Neal to get the job done and Neal sees the door to his past closed shut when he discovers Ellen (Judith Ivey) has been shot.
I really liked Neal and Sophie together and wouldn’t mind seeing Vandervoort return to reprise her role. The show also does a nice job of weaving in the already laid groundwork of Sara’s past and her missing sister with her reaction to Neal’s running off last summer without a word. It will be interesting to see if Hughes’ words of wisdom make any substantial change to the Neal/Peter relationship, but here’s hoping the show doesn’t immediately regress back into the more antagonistic distrusting partnership the two have already outgrown.