Last night I watched "Vital Signs" again and I was thinking that what Elizabeth had then that she's missing now is her sense of humor. I guess it's understandable -- she has been through a lot -- but I hope she finds it again. It was one of the best things about her. VS also made me think about Peter visiting the chiropractor's office (Neal and Mozzie's FBI Art Crimes office) and wondering if it made Peter nostalgic for his days as Dr. "Magic Hands" Tannenbaum.
A few stray notes about one of the themes of 5.7: Neal learning new and surprising things about Peter, seeing him from a new perspective in light of all this new information. Perhaps learning things that make Neal understand himself a little better.
~It beings with Neal meeting Peter as he comes out of the "Hair Salon", having had a haircut and shave -- Peter, paying someone to shave him when he laughed at the idea in S4. And -- if that isn't enough -- in possession of a new suit. And then learning that the same man who forgot about his 10th anniversary in the Pilot is now all about birthdays and anniversaries (even their own.)
~Then he meets Jill. Just watching her and Peter together gives him an entirely new way of thinking about the man.
~Later, in the car, Jones reminds Neal of something he surely already knew, but I love the line: "Peter doesn't like people fooling with his buttons." Fooling with his buttons could be a euphemism for all sorts of thing relating to Peter Burke.
~We assume that Siegel's death eats away at Neal and that he must know it troubles Peter more than he talks about, but watching Peter interrogate the man they caught with Siegel's badge must have given him a new perspective on just how deep those feelings are, how much Siegel's death is obsessing Peter. Neal's attempt to comfort Peter, reminding him he did everything he could, must have sounded hollow even to Neal. Peter walked away, clearly too emotional to speak, not comforted by those words. Later, as he watches Peter alone in his office, Neal realizes just how deep this goes. Neal knows all too well how fierce Peter can be when he's after the truth, when he will not -- cannot -- let go of something, when he's on the trail of a crimiinal. Siegel -- as far as Neal and Peter and we know -- is an innocent (in much the same way as Rebecca) -- Neal at this point is very much not an innocent. Neal knows Peter is suspicious of him, is on his trail, too. Suppose those two trails intersect? If Peter has any reason to believe that Neal was part of whatever happened to Siegel, what then? Neal used the word "scared" about how the thief feels when the alarm goes off and the gates come down. We're not there yet . . . but just how scared is Neal right now -- not only about getting caught, but about losing Peter in the process?
~I loved this exchange with Elizabeth -- as they watch Peter and Jill together in the conference room:
Elizabeth: You fall in love with Peter, you can't imagine those feelings ever going away.
Neal: Really? Peter Burke? The man in the conference room?
Elizabeth: You have no idea.
And, yes, of course, she's talking about the love between a man and a woman, but I was thinking as she said it that it might make Neal think a little deeper about how he feels about Peter -- how much he really wants to cut the ties that bind him to Peter -- how much he'd be losing. Whatever my problems with Elizabeth, I love that once again she's making him see Peter differently -- this is almost a continuation of her S4 lecture about protecting Peter, about how attention must be paid to a relationship that means something to you. And, in a way, it's a continuation of her "Out of the Box" advice to Neal about Kate . . . about whether you love the idea of someone, or truly love the person that he/she is.
~Afterwards, Neal has a fascinating conversation with Peter -- a conversation almost too rich, too much to take in at once. Peter gives him something to think about when he talks of how Elizabeth is when she's upset -- irresistable at her most unavailable. Then there is Neal's question to Peter about why he's been so unwilling to talk to Elizabeth about the case: Is it about the case or is it about Jill? And Peter admits that he can talk to Jill about Siegel's death because she's an agent, because she lost her own partner and still can't shake the guilt and grief.
And then Peter says, El trusts me -- which evokes Neal's comment about trust: Now you see it, now you don't. A bit of a self-portrait, that line. There are so many evocative lines in this episode -- the writing at times is really very fine. It's a shame they couldn't have found a better way to resolve the case.
~There's one last bit of conversation -- this one Neal did not hear, though it (as with so much else here) brought him to mind:
Peter: You ran.
Jill: You didn't chase after me.
Peter: You would have just run faster.
Jill: You're right. Would have.
I know the situations are different, but it calls to mind a couple of things: First, the old question of whether Peter was able to catch Neal because Neal allowed it in some way, consciously or not. He didn't run faster, He needed to be caught, to be stopped -- and knew somehow that this was the man he wanted to catch him. Which also brings to mind Siegel almost laughing at the idea that Neal was being kept in custody by that anklet. If you wanted to escape, that anklet wouldn't stop you.
Also there's that phrase, "Would have." I'll never hear anyone say that in just that way without thinking of Peter Burke. It's one of his phrases. Is his use of that phrase perhaps a remnant of his time with Jill? In 2.1, when Peter and Neal finally talked about the day Kate died, about their conversation on the tarmac, Neal tells Peter he knew that if it had been within his power, Peter would have saved Kate. "Would have," Peter says softly, wanting him to know that it is true. It is also a sad, oh-so-gentle reminder that they are speaking of something that is over, done, final. No do-overs. That he regrets with all his heart that he couldn't -- that he didn't -- save her. (Just as he now regrets that he didn't somehow save David Siegel. Will Neal Caffrey be one of those "would haves", too?)
Just some thoughts . . . Seems I am way too much into this show . . .
Thank you, nyrose. As always, you say it well.
Edited by nicodelaney, Dec 8, 2013 @ 1:53 PM.