'White Collar' Recap: 'Checkmate' (3.11)
White Collar is back, and we answer the question: where is Elizabeth Burke?
"Checkmate" picks up immediately from the midseason finale, with Mrs. Burke in the hands of now very familiar bad guy Matthew Keller (Ross McCall), who wants to exchange her for the hidden treasure. "You could've walked away," Peter tells Neal angrily, and a recalcitrant Neal admits that "I should be paying for it, not Elizabeth."
Yet when Neal brings Peter to the warehouse where the treasure was, he finds that Mozzie has moved all of it on his own. This means that in order to find Elizabeth, our dynamic duo has to locate Mozzie first - and do so in less than twelve hours.
Neal tells Peter that he chose not to leave New York because he has a life here, and believes that as Mozzie hasn't caught a plane, he must also be having second thoughts. He is able to communicate with Mozzie via (what else?) carrier pigeon and bring him back into the fold. "We've been playing by Keller's rules," Peter tells them both. "Let's change the game."
And so the trio enlists the help of two of Mozzie's old contacts, before meeting with Keller to make the exchange. The two 'old friends' just so happen to get arrested as our heroes and Keller sneak out the back. This leads Keller to propose that the four of them steal back the treasure, whether Peter likes it or not. A plan is hastily devised, while Neal hopes that the FBI will find Elizabeth before they actually have to break in to the warehouse where the treasure is.
As an FBI team led by Diana and Jones hits the streets and Elizabeth does her best to give them as many hints as possible to her location, our unlikely team borrows some Army uniforms and a National Guard truck. Peter is able to get the truck into the warehouse with the help of a cop he intimidates, but the plan hits a big snag when the place is crawling with cops. Neal and Keller end up posing as NYPD, convincing the boys in blue to help them load the treasure onto the truck. Keller's ready to strangle a suspicious sergeant, but the guy's life is saved when Neal has Peter pretend to be a DA's aide to convince the man everything is kosher. Unsurprisingly, Keller turns on Neal the moment the treasure is loaded into the truck.
Elizabeth breaks out of the room where she's being held, and the guy with her is quickly shot as Diana and Jones arrive on the scene. She phones her husband and tells him to go get Neal, who wakes up in the back of the truck and gets himself into a fight with Keller. Peter saves Neal from being beaten, then gets in a few good shots himself before Neal shoots Keller. It makes him realize that he needs to put Keller away for good, even if that means offering a full confession for his own crimes.