Here's how I make the whole Kate/Alex thing work in my head:
Kate and Neal have been together for quite some time, hence the bottle and its significance we learned in the pilot. They honed their conning skills together, working their way up through their underground world. She was with Neal when he was nothing, and that is why he has undying faith in her.
However, they had a somewhat open relationship, specifically when it came to the cons. Kate was perfectly okay with Neal using his... charms... on a woman to get the job done. Neal and Alex were involved because they were working together on a job. It became physical, because that what Neal felt was necessary to keep the con going. Not that he was complaining about it, either.
Like Alex said in this episode, she's so distrusting because of Kate. She didn't say that Neal broke up with her for Kate. I can fully believe that Neal was still with Kate, his twu wuv forever and ever, even when he was "with" Alex.
As always, this is simply what I need to believe to suspend the disbelief that arises during this plot line. And it's working for now.
That's one of two possibilities I see. The other I see is that Neal and Alex were "partners" in crime early on, until Neal met Kate, that perhaps what attracted Neal to Kate as opposed to the other women in his life, is her innocence. I think that they became a couple, and perhaps even partners, but also had a teacher-student relationship, and I think when Neal said early on that he wanted to give Kate a better life, he did actually mean it; her personality, her perceived "innocence" motivated him to eventually making enough money by his cons, to actually give that line of work up. I think the Kate he sees, the Kate he met (the one he met right after the death of her father) symbolizes the light at the end of the tunnel, after he has what he needs, while Alex represents the status co of the women in his field. Women he can flirt with, have fun with, run a con with, but women who also bore him, because he's surrounded by them. But the question for everyone of course, is Kate still the girl he met? Was she ever that girl? I think it would be nice if that mystery was solved this season, and if we got a new...but related...mystery for the next.
I wasn't just talking about Lindsay, though. Neil was also pretty desperate in his case to save Kathy the travel agent from the sniper rifle. Wilkes made a point of noting no one would miss her ... "except her kids." What did he say? "Come on. Help the lady out."
I don't know, maybe it's just random. It just felt to me that the guy really knew how to push those buttons with Neal. Those buttons, and that need to protect, seem to be put there to differentiate Neal from the other criminals. Yea, he's a criminal, but he's also a guy who puts himself out there for others - and especially, it's seemed to me, for women in danger. He's definitely a complicated guy!
I agree with you. I do think Neal has been shown to be really sympathetic with people (especially women) in need. He had a huge soft spot for the Iraq Vet and his dog Lucy, he was extremely proud of the girl in the 5th episode when she said "I hit him again" and other instances as well. I think he's complicated, and I think he sees people, specifically women in two general frames, those he can play who is right now represented by mostly Alex, and those who he's protective of June, El and mostly of course Kate (but of course, we don't know if Kate is who Neal thinks she is, I kinda hope not...if she isn't at least the dynamic for next season will change. Plus, I hate girl friends who are represented as "pure perfection" or whatever, if that makes sense...LOL).
Edited by natyanayaki, Mar 4, 2010 @ 4:05 PM.