'White Collar' fall finale, 'No Good Deed': Peter's moral compromise might be the last straw

white-collar-no-good-deed-fall-finale-burke-neal.jpg "White Collar" ended its fall run Thursday (Dec. 19) with "No Good Deed," which saw Agent Burke recover one of the Welsh gold coins that Neal stole for Curtis Hagan. It set off an interesting chain reaction of events.

The gold coin came from Andrew Dawson, the U.S. Attorney who dropped the charges against Peter for killing Pratt. He was bribed with the Welsh gold and had to fence it through Decker, a flower shop owner who uses his shop as a front to run guns and other stolen goods.

The agents trace the coin back to Decker, who only just evades capture because Mozzie tips him off -- Decker can identify Neal as the gold thief.

But Burke is highly suspicious of Neal having been the thief (he has been since Neal was alone in the firehouse after the robbery) and pretends they got Decker, which forces a confession out of Neal.

Peter is put into an impossible moral dilemma -- turn Neal in, thereby outing Dawson as having taken a bribe and revealing that Neal's father's "confession" to Pratt's murder was falsified. It would mean Burke going back up on indictment and even if he's found not guilty, his FBI career is over.

Or he keeps quiet, which goes against everything he stands for.

It looks as though Peter is going to turn Neal, Dawson and himself in, but Elizabeth implores him to think about whether it's worth it, since he's an innocent man but it sure doesn't look that way. In the end, he chooses to remain quiet about it, but he and Neal's friendship has taken a huge hit.

Not only is Peter's trust in Neal once again damaged, but Neal is hurt that Peter lied to him about Decker in order to get a confession. He's also hurt that it doesn't mean more to Peter that Neal did what he did to keep Peter out of prison.

There's a side plot involving the Mosconi Codex, of course. Neal and Mozzie (with help from Rebecca) steal the stained-glass window Mosconi made and realize that one of its blue panes is a decoder for Chapter 13 of the Codex. The plan is to leverage the decoder to Hagan in exchange for the footage of Neal stealing the Welsh gold. Oh, and, Peter is suspicious of this window heist as well, since he was tracking Neal's anklet and knows he was there when it happened.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • Is anyone else suspicious of Rebecca? She seems awfully eager to jump into a life of crime with Mozzie and Neal, even if it is in pursuit of both interesting artifacts and Neal's safety.
  • Do you think the decoder for the Codex will work on getting Hagan out of Neal's life? We're not so sure.
  • It'll be interesting to see what state Neal and Peter are in by the end of Season 5. There are four episodes left when it returns in January and no word yet on a sixth season. Will the show end with them being on the outs? Is their friendship irreparably damaged? This moral compromise Peter had to make is perhaps the biggest sacrifice he's ever made for Neal (even if it was also for himself). You know it's going to eat away at him.
  • Love it that Elizabeth and Mozzie get together for lunch on the sly sometimes. More Elle and Mozz, they are the cutest!
  • Best line: "I didn't like you because you were an FBI agent. I liked you because you were smart. And marginally easy on the eyes." -- Rebecca

What did you think of "No Good Deed"?
Photo/Video credit: USA