nyrose, are you rewatching with me? *GRIN*
Last night I watched "Flip of the Coin," and tonight (so far) I've watched "The Portrait."
I've never been a huge fan of "Flip of the Coin." I'm not sure why. There's some cute stuff with Neal and Mozzie, there's humor with Neal and Peter, and I like how Neal gets into the tv studio by pretending to be the new sports anchor and bringing coffee for everyone so the guard has to let him through since his hands are full. And it's funny how Neal digs through the journalist's desk while Peter's trying to hold her off. I like that they manage to catch that journalist for her part in all of it by staging a 'story' for her to cover, interviewing Neal who busts her. And I like that Peter officially meets Mozzie in this episode. I like the relationship stuff between Neal and Peter, the way we start to see them talking (even off hours) and slowly becoming partners.
But for some reason the case itself doesn't do much for me. I suppose I should feel invested because it's Elizabeth's friend and her husband's in trouble and he's being framed, which sucks for him, but in an overall sense I just find it kind of boring. And Elizabeth's friend is kind of annoying, especially with all the crying that freaks out Peter. Plus, just the fact that Peter can't handle her tears becomes too much of a silly 'bit' for me.
In contrast, I love "The Portrait." Maybe it's a sentimental favorite of mine, I don't know, but I love all of it. We get to see Neal and Peter on their first stakeout together, and Peter brings forth the infamous deviled ham for the first time. (LOL.) Even though the French girls flirting with Peter is way too silly, I like the conversation between El and Peter that comes from it -- Elizabeth's "I know you're a good man" is particularly sweet and endearing.
I also like the Neal and Mozzie scenes in this episode, especially how we get to see Neal being an artist (and how he and Mozzie know how to 'age' the painting, which gives us a glimpse into their unique partnership -- how many times have they created fakes like they did in this episode, I wonder?). I like them bickering over the best way to bake the painting, and how Mozzie thinks Neal's brush strokes are too sloppy (LOL). It's just a cool scene to see, like all the times we get to see Neal create something both sneaky and amazing in order to help a case, be it a painting, a sculpture, a fake ID, whatever.
And with this episode I especially love the Peter-Neal dynamic. How Peter knows that Neal stole the painting, and he's upset by it, though he keeps trying to convince El that it's fine and that's just how it is and now Neal will have to go back to prison. But underneath it all, you feel the depth of his disappointment, like he's starting to like Neal and is bummed that he didn't manage to steer Neal in a healthier direction. And when Neal comes to Peter and confesses stealing the painting, I always feel a little bad for him because this time he didn't really steal it for himself; he stole it for the young woman whose grandmother was the subject of the painting. (And because he wanted to spite that uppity museum curator, haha). I also feel bad for Neal because in that moment of confession, Peter won't let him explain why he did it. At this point in their relationship, Peter thinks he already knows why -- he thinks Neal was simply tempted. But the truth is more complex, so I like this episode because I can relate to both characters and their reasons for their behavior throughout. It's just a really interesting episode, and I always enjoy watching it.
Plus, I think it's Neal's first big taste of doing something good for someone else. He's had to before, in the previous episodes, but in this one, he made the choices all his own and I think he wanted to do it because he felt it was the right thing to do (to get the painting back where it truly belonged). Perhaps this is where a seed gets planted and starts to grow.
Okay, watched one last episode tonight before heading to bed. "All In."
It's an episode I usually want to skip when I think about it, mainly because the storyline involving Chinese mob-like characters feels a bit too cliché and stereotyped. But there are surprising riches within the episode itself.
June bonding with Mozzie over the cheesy Tiles of Fire move is pretty funny. And I like that they continue to show June as a savvy, intuitive woman -- she knows from just chatting with the Interpol agent that she's not to be trusted (and so she warns Neal to keep an eye on her). June is rarely used, but when they do, I love that she's this smart woman who's been around the block more than once and knows a thing or two about cons while still living on the legal side of the law. I enjoy that Neal lives with her and has that influence. On a side note, I wonder what would make things cross the line for June? What would be too far for her where she'd kick Neal out of her house?
Along the lines of "I like smart," I love the scene where Peter seems bumbling -- which worried me the first time I saw the episode, because I thought the writers were forgetting to make Peter as smart as Neal -- because just when you think "Oh, Peter, you doofus," he comes bouncing back over to Neal and Cruz and shows them how he's actually ahead of everyone else. He'd been playing the idiot American who doesn't speak Chinese, but really he'd been recording the Asian women to get their honest reactions (figuring Peter wouldn't know what they were saying, anyway). It's such a neat little trick, and it reminds me that Peter can be crafty too. It's marvelous.
There's a lot of excellent Peter-Neal stuff in this episode, too. The trust is still so fragile and tentative between them. Neither one really trusts the other -- Peter assumes Neal will do the wrong thing and that he's hiding stuff from him, while Neal doesn't yet feel like he can be honest with Peter, plus he's blinded from common sense as soon as the Interpol agent dangles Kate in front of him. I like that it feels realistic. They haven't been working together for very long, so neither one has full reason to trust the other, not yet. But with each case like this, they inch forward, and it's fascinating to watch. They have this amazing should-I-trust-you dance around each other, of push and pull, and you never know where they'll go or what they'll do, if they'll ruin it or strengthen their bond.
It's also the first time Peter refers to Neal as a potential 'partner,' which seems to intrigue, amuse and surprise Neal, a reaction I love.
And I like that Elizabeth wants to believe Neal and tries to help him, but will only go so far before she's got to side with her husband and tells Neal just that. (It's pretty funny watching him beg her not to leave the room, leaving him with a frustrated and suspicious Peter. Heh. Neal sitting on the sofa during that scene, he looks like a scolded child awaiting punishment. *GRIN*
Side note: I think this is the first mention of "Nick Halden," though I think I read that the writers had originally planned to call him "Nick Holden," making me wonder if they accidentally mixed things up between scripts and rewrites and didn't correct it, because some of the actors refer to him as "Halden" and some say "Holden." They even say over the walkie-talkies that "Holden is golden," when Neal makes it into the club to play the tile game.
Okay, time for bed! Hope you all are having a good night. I for one am enjoying my stroll down memory lane, revisiting these episodes.
Edited by SinkWriter72, Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:58 AM.