White Collar 3.16 – a review of some kind

Yes, St. George and the Dragon – again. Fitting the stars of White Collar into this masterpiece kind of completes the circle of this series of paintings and drawings. And this is alright as with Judgment Day season 3 of White Collar found its formidable, fast, tight-plotted and story consistent end last night. Neal, after being cornered, ran – while not FBI, so Peter sanctioned; but not before he returned the Raphael.

The Dragon. It stands for theRoman Empire, the state or force that oppresses and wrongs. Neal, far from an upright citizen himself, knows these oppressive forces himself. Prison or anklet – these were rightful consequences of his own lapses and as such the anklet is, as Jones stated in the hearing, maybe the best deal there is for someone like Neal. But Fowler, or Adler, or now Kramer, people in positions that enable them to use the system, are the dragon.

There Fowler and Adler stood firmly on illegal ground, Kramer does not. Neal isn’t the poster child for the effectiveness of the correction system. He is still impulsive. He still puts his own rules above those the society has established. He doesn’t listen. And because he is more gifted than the rest and his results are better than those of the rest and this and his grin and charm let him get by with a lot, he still thinks it is alright to be insubordinate and to answer only to his own standards. The skeletons which Kramer digs up are real. And the consequences he desires are in the book. It just doesn’t feel right when Kramer confronts Neal with his old self to basically enslave him for the rest of his life. But doesn’t Kramer just engage the same right to his own standards that Neal takes for granted? Yes, this dragon is a Prisoner’s Dilemma.

But the dragon stands also for the evil in all of us. Neal believes in every word he says in the commutation hearing. He found a home, a family, a best friend (another one besides the little imp on his shoulder), a meaning in life. He doesn’t want to run anymore. But he is also not past the old Neal. He is ready to accept that he would have to supplement his finances with Mozzie jobs to keep the life style he expects. He walks the grey side in his work with Peter and breaks rules while trying to fix what he had once done by breaking rules. He might want to be good – at least the Sara fashion of good – but his fight of the evil isn’t yet that forceful. The Raphael is back, but Neal is gone.

Well, the story never said that St. George ever killed the dragon. He fought him. It was interesting to watch Neal grow in his fight throughout season 3, otherwise I would never have worked my way through the paintings and drawings. Yet, there is still room for him and everyone around him to develop. And that makes it easier to part for some time with the knowledge, they will be back.

Episode 3.01 On Guard Episode 3.02 Where There’s a Will
Episode 3.04 The Dentist of Detroit Episode 3.05 Veiled Threat
Episode 3.06 Scott Free Episode 3.07 Taking Account
Episode 3.08 As You Were Episode 3.09 On the Fence
Episode 3.10 Countdown Episode 3.11 Checkmate
Episode 3.12 Upper West Side Story Episode 3.13 Neighborhood Watch
Episode 3.14 Pulling Strings Episode 3.15 Stealing Home
Episode 3.16 Judgment Day

El and Peter


Neal and Mozzie



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