Monday, November 30, 2009

V 1.04: "It's Only the Beginning"

“You know, pretty soon, you’re gonna need to decide what you are. A priest or a soldier.”


The latest episode of V, while not really held together by any common theme, was a satisfying end to the first “pod” of episodes (don’t even get me started on that…I could rant for quite a while), with several serious cliffhangers. The cliffhangers were the best part of the episode, really, because of the shock value. I think this episode suffered somewhat from not having any one cohesive element to bring it all together. Other than being surprised by the final two scenes, I really didn’t have much of an emotional response to much of the rest of the episode.

I did appreciate how the story of Erica, Jack, Ryan, and George’s first attempt at fighting back against the Vs shows the large scope of what they are up against. George simply wants to cut a V open and show the world what they are, but Ryan quickly vetoes that plan. He means it too- he shoots George when George tries to put that plan into action later in the episode.

Ryan has a more concrete plan of action once he sees a disturbing report on the news. Anna is announcing that V Healing Centers will now offer vitamin shots to supercharge the immune system. Ryan remembers that some sleeper Vs were working on a drug that was part of the V plan to take over Earth, so he immediately suspects that the two are related. The group starts by targeting a V Ryan knows worked on the project in the past. This is the V that George tries to expose, and we all know what happens next. The only thing really interesting about the “George gets shot” subplot is that we get a little more Jack backstory and Jack tries to patch up George’s wounds. It turns out Jack was an Army chaplain before taking the job at St. Ignatius. Erica also discovers Ryan is a V when the V they were targeting calls Ryan a traitor before taking a suicide pill.

The uninjured members of the group make their way to the warehouse where the vitamin shots are being stored. Using some conning skills and Ryan’s knowledge of V procedure, the group manages to get the Vs to evacuate the building so they can look around. It turns out that R6, the experimental compound Ryan knew about, is being placed in flu shots, not the vitamin shots. I think this is great commentary on the extent to which our society has knee-jerk reactions to media hype. The Vs know that the media will scare people over the coming flu season, so distributing a drug via flu shots is a great way to expose a large segment of the population.

Ryan manages to set up a sort of self-destruct sequence that will blow up the warehouse and deliver the message “John Mays Lives” to Anna and the other V higher-ups. The group doesn’t escape without encountering a few Vs who didn’t evacuate, though, and a tussle between Jack and one of the Vs ensues. Jack manages to escape, but the V is still alive.

Erica isn’t having an easy time in the home life department, either. The V resistance is taking up a lot of her time, and Tyler is acting out. The message this particular plotline is sending out pretty much hits one of my pet peeves square on the nose. The message that a working mom is going to neglect her kids is extremely destructive. Women do not need television to add on to the heaping helping of guilt society places at our feet if we do not conform to traditional gender roles. My own mother took college classes and worked part time while I was growing up, and I grew up just fine. I had a shining example that I could be and do anything without limitation, and I did not feel deprived. In fact, I looked forward to going out for Chinese food with my dad when my mom was in class.

Tyler’s therapist just happens to be Valerie, Ryan’s girlfriend. She hasn’t been feeling well because of the meds she takes for her heart condition, and when Tyler mentions the V healing centers, she’s intrigued. Tyler uses his connections to get Valerie an appointment. Chad is also checking out the local healing center for a news story. Both Valerie and Chad end up getting news they didn’t expect. Chad will have a brain aneurysm in a few months if not healed by the Vs, and Valerie is pregnant. I’m not sure what this coincidence is supposed to mean. Are the Vs lying? Do they tell something unexpected to every person who shows up at a Healing Center?

Tyler, meanwhile, has his own V drama to deal with. Lisa has invited Tyler to the mothership to meet her mother, and Tyler is extremely surprised to find out that Lisa’s mother is Anna. Anna is trying to figure out if Tyler is “the one” like Lisa said he is, although we still don’t know what being “the one” entails. Knowing about his love for motorcycles and other machines, Anna shows Tyler the mothership engine room. He has fully bought into whatever the Vs are selling.

The plot I found most interesting this week was Anna’s reaction to Dale’s murder. It turns out that Joshua, the V who murdered Dale, is the lead medical officer, so Anna puts him in charge of the investigation. This puts Joshua in a very uncomfortable place. He can only delay the investigation for so long before Anna threatens to just punish somebody at random if nobody owns up. David, another Fifth Column member of the medical staff, takes the fall when he sees Joshua about to confess. Joshua, as a close adviser to Anna, is too valuable to lose. Joshua is forced to carry out the punishment- skinning David alive. Anna steps into a special chamber of the mothership to give her subjects the Bliss, figuring that they might be feeling down after hearing of the warehouse explosion and the possible return of John Mays.

The end of the episode certainly brings the cliffhangers. First, the V Jack tussled with at the warehouse comes to St. Ignatius. Jack only realizes his identity when it’s too late, and he gets stabbed in the gut for his trouble. His fate is unknown, although it sounds like the other priest at the church was awakened by the incident, so Jack should get medical attention quickly. The moment that really surprised me was the final shot of the episode. The camera pulls back from Anna, Lisa, and Tyler looking at the NYC skyline from the mothership to show that many more than 29 V ships are approaching Earth.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Children's Television Done Right: The Legacy of Jim Henson

While in Pennsylvania visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the opportunity to go to the James A. Michener Art Museum and see a wonderful exhibit on the work and legacy of Jim Henson, called “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World.” Today is the exhibit’s last day at the Michener, but you should check out the museum anyway if you live in the Philadelphia area- they have a fantastic permanent collection, mostly focusing on Bucks County artists. For those of you not close to Philadelphia, the exhibit is scheduled to travel to museums across the country through 2011. Check out the Smithsonian’s schedule to see if it will be at a museum near you.

Henson spent much of his early television career creating short, eight second product ID commercials in the Washington, DC market. The exhibit included video of several of these commercials. There was barely enough time to announce the name of the product and have one character blow the other up for not being familiar with the product (a running theme throughout Henson’s commercial work), but the spots were definitely memorable.

Henson would eventually apply what he learned in commercials to children’s television, ultimately creating Sesame Street. Sesame Street employs a similar philosophy to the short product ID commercials, imparting knowledge to kids in short bursts, such as the iconic counting films. The idea is to have a variety of different, short films in succession to keep kids from getting bored. As a child of the 80’s most definitely raised on Sesame Street, I can say that the technique certainly worked for me. I can probably credit first learning to count to ten (in English and Spanish) and learning the alphabet to Sesame Street.

The way Sesame Street incorporates Spanish language segments seems especially creative to me looking back on it. Segments I was familiar with, since I watched Sesame Street on an almost daily basis, especially the segments about counting, would sometimes be randomly broadcast in Spanish. Because of my familiarity with the segment, I knew what was going on, even if I didn’t completely understand the language. It was immersion in a new language with a thread of familiarity, so it all made sense.

Another one of my childhood loves was “Fraggle Rock.” Fraggle Rock was also represented at the museum exhibit, including two Fraggle puppets. There were three “races” in the world of Fraggle Rock. There were the fun-loving, carefree Fraggles, the hard-working Doozers, and the giant-like Gorgs. The idea behind the show was to teach children to accept and embrace differences between people. I mostly remember enjoying the bright colors, the singing, and the fantastical setting. I’d like to think the lessons the show sought to impart snuck in there somewhere, too!

There was also exhibit space devoted to some of Henson’s lesser known work, such as his short film called “Timepiece,” and the fantasy movie “The Dark Crystal.” One of the most interesting elements of the exhibit was a video where Timepiece was shown side-by-side with Henson’s original storyboard for the film. It was fascinating to see how his original vision translated to film. The film itself shows a very abstract, artistic sensibility, and it reminded me somewhat of Terry Gilliam’s animation work for Monty Python. I found the section of the exhibit about The Dark Crystal most notable for the beautiful visuals and puppet costumes. Several props from the movie and the costume worn by the character Kira are on display.

The exhibit was extensive, but I was left still wanting to learn and see more. That’s really to the exhibit’s credit. The videos, drawings, and puppets all provided for a fascinating look into the mind of someone truly creative. Seeing the Ernie puppet from the 80’s that was most likely in use when I was watching Sesame Street brought on a great deal of nostalgia. I would like to learn more about Henson now, and I definitely plan to try and see Henson’s darker fantasy work, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, just as soon as I can find copies of both. To the Netflix queue!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

HIMYM 5.09: "Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap"

“Life is short. I figured slape diem.”


Overall, I found “Slapsgiving 2” to be a rather lackluster sequel to one of my very favorite episodes of HIMYM and a rather anticlimactic continuation of one of my favorite running gags on the show- the Marshall/Barney Slap Bet. A hilarious comedic performance (and directorial debut in the episode’s tag) by Neil Patrick Harris and a few other isolated entertaining moments saved the episode from complete failure. I did laugh during the half-hour, although not nearly as much as I hoped to.

Marshall accidentally left the Thanksgiving turkey in the back of a cab, and as a token of his gratitude for going to the Port Authority to get the turkey from the Lost and Found, Marshall jointly awards Ted and Robin the long awaited Fourth Slap. Marshall has decided that this year should once again be Slapsgiving, and he has a chair, designated as the “Slapping Throne” where Barney will sit for the event. At first, Ted and Robin are both ecstatic about the idea of getting to slap Barney, and they argue over who will get to deliver the actual slap.

Meanwhile, Marshall has thrown another, quite big, wrench in Thanksgiving. He invited Lily’s dad, Mickey, a perpetually unsuccessful board game designer of such titles as “Tiajuana Slumlord,” “Car Battery,” and my personal favorite “There’s a Clown Demon Under My Bed.” Mickey is one of the few people to have been on the receiving end of Lily’s “you’re dead to me” look. Channeling another of Alyson Hannigan’s characters, Dark Willow, Lily’s eyes glow red, she breathes heavily, and the object of her ire poofs away in a cloud of smoke and sparks. It’s pretty amusing, mostly because of the pretty obvious Buffy the Vampire Slayer shout out.

Mickey in particular received the Look when he moved back in with his parents after his roommate expected him to actually pay rent. Lily’s grandparents cancelled their move to Florida, and Lily’s grandfather had to go back to work at the steel mill. I’m trying to ignore how this family backstory doesn’t really fit with the characterization of Lily, but it’s hard. Lily has never really seemed like she comes from a blue collar background (she has what seems like a long standing love of designer clothes, for instance), and in “Something Borrowed,” she specifically mentioned making a change in the wedding music plans because a harpist’s father owed her dad a favor. That doesn’t jive with Mickey not being invited to the wedding, as he claims in this episode. It makes me sad that HIMYM is getting so sloppy, when the near-flawless continuity is one of the things that really stand out about the first few seasons.

It was only mildly entertaining to find out some of the other occasions when Lily has used the Look. One was a neighbor who stole the newspaper, and the other was the proprietor of the bodega downstairs who served her regular coffee instead of decaf, keeping her up all night. It is interesting that it doesn’t take much for Lily to cut a person out of her life entirely.

The Slap Bet part of the plot did provide more laughs, mostly because of Barney’s antics. He took advantage of every possible way to delay the inevitable, provoking arguments between Robin and Ted. One of my favorite parts was when he wailed about getting crows feet from all the flinching he’s doing every time Robin or Ted move. It’s really a physical comedy master class. Another entertaining bit was when he got sinister, half channeling Hannibal Lechter and half channeling Dr. Horrible, in an attempt to throw Robin off her game, saying that all she really wanted was a man to protect her and a pretty white wedding dress.

Marshall is insistent that Mickey be invited in for Thanksgiving dinner, because he’s part of Marshall’s family now too. As Mickey enters Dowisetripla, Lily leaves. Mickey doesn’t seem especially concerned, and he gets the rest of the gang involved in a round of his newest board game, “Diseases.” As the game goes on, Marshall becomes more and more uncomfortable about the fact that Mickey could care less about where Lily has gone. Marshall ends up attempting his own version of the Look, and he kicks Mickey out before going to find Lily.

Lily is in Mr. Park’s bodega, extremely upset. She appreciates that Marshall decided to finally respect her wishes, but she’s having second thoughts about the whole “dead to me” concept. Mr. Park has actually passed away since Lily last patronized the bodega, and she’s realized that if she feels this bad about cutting someone out of her life that she barely knew, she would feel absolutely awful if she never reconciled with her dad. Marshall and Lily leave the bodega to go find Mickey and bring him back to Thanksgiving.

Once everyone is once again situated around the Thanksgiving table, it’s time to deal with Slap Four once and for all. First, Robin decides to give it to Ted as a symbol of how far he has come since getting left at the altar and losing his job. Barney looks so pathetic cowering in anticipation of the slap, however, that Ted can’t go through with it. Ted gifts the slap to Robin, rightly figuring she might have some pent-up frustration about her break-up with Barney that she needs to release. Robin can’t bring herself to slap him either. Neither can Mickey or Lily.

Marshall reveals that this was all part of his plan. He wanted Slap Four to bring the gang closer together, and he has succeeded. He unties Barney from the Slapping Throne and tells him there will be no slaps that day. Just as Barney lets out a sigh of relief, Marshall delivers Slap Four, and Neil Patrick Harris does a hilarious pratfall across the dining room. I do sort of wish Marshall had found a better occasion for Slap Four. A retread of the epic Slap Three feels sort of lazy, and surely there’s a time when, much like Slap Two, Barney has annoyed Marshall enough for Marshall to want to deliver a slap.

Neil Patrick Harris got a chance to direct the highly amusing tag to the episode, and it helps smooth over some of the episode’s problems. It’s a commercial for Aldrin Games’ first hit board game, “Slap Bet.” It’s a great parody of the board game commercials I remember seeing as I watched Nickelodeon in the 90’s, and the best part is that the whole thing is set to a more pop, upbeat version of Marshall’s Slapsgiving song, “You Just Got Slapped.”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving “Classic” Recap: Grey’s Anatomy “Thanks for the Memories”

“The stupidity of the human race, Grey. Be thankful for that.”

-Dr. Bailey

Even though Grey’s Anatomy and I don’t really see eye to eye anymore, I chose “Thanks for the Memories” for the Thanksgiving recap because it’s a great episode of television and an exemplar of what made the first 1 2/3 seasons of the show great. There’s snappy dialogue, humor, and a sort of misanthropic worldview that gives it an edge. Each character has a unique reaction and approach to Thanksgiving that fits perfectly within their established personalities. And there’s also a lovely “found family” bit to accompany the closing voice over. Some of my favorite moments in early Grey’s were the moments where Meredith, George, and Izzie, and maybe one or two guests, were just palling around the house, enjoying each other’s company. It felt like a warm, decent place to be. Even if the characters were often unhappy or downright surly, they would find moments of joy in each other’s company.

Meredith is feeling especially down and out and miserable, mostly because of the recent break-up with Derek. This was the first break-up with Derek. The really ugly one. The “oh yeah, I kinda have a wife” one. She’s worried that if she goes to the big Thanksgiving dinner Izzie is planning, she’ll make all her friends miserable, too. She decides to keep busy by volunteering to work at the hospital on Thanksgiving, much to Dr. Bailey’s delight, since Dr. Bailey didn’t want to have to choose “which intern to torture.” Alex is at the hospital too, because he’s too embarrassed to be around Izzie. Failing his medical boards has taken its toll. Alex and Meredith share sob stories, and I guess Meredith wins. Meredith’s so miserable, in fact, that she’s jealous of Holden, a patient who appears to be in a persistent vegetative state. She thinks that sounds peaceful.

So, maybe our Meredith is being a bit overly dramatic, but Holden’s story is compelling at least. It turns out that for the sixteen years since the accident he suffered while on duty as a fireman, he’s actually been minimally conscious. His wife and son (who was less than a year old at the time of the accident) have had to move on, so the discovery that Holden is actually back leaves them, especially his wife, who is now remarried and pregnant, with a whole lot of guilt. To make things worse, Holden’s brain was injured when he fell out of bed at the facility where he was “living.” The injury is serious, and the surgery to fix it is risky. Holden doesn’t make it through the surgery, but his son at least found it within himself to visit with his father before it all went down. This plot forces Meredith and Derek to work together in their first prolonged interaction since the break-up, and it helps Meredith start to get a little closure. She acknowledges to Derek that “you wouldn’t be you if you weren’t trying to make it work,” and she is open to meeting new guys when drinking at Joe’s bar at the end of the episode. She still, however, couldn’t bring herself to go to Izzie’s Thanksgiving.

Izzie’s approach to Thanksgiving is to go all out with bubbly enthusiasm. It reminds me how, a few episodes later in “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” Meredith remarks about Izzie’s Christmas decorating, “It looks like Santa threw up in here.” Izzie is nothing if not committed. She wants to celebrate the fact that no lives will be lost on her or her friends’ watch on the holiday. She tries to cook a big Thanksgiving dinner even though she’s much more of a baker than a cook, and she’s irritated when her friends aren’t as gung-ho about helping with and partaking in the dinner as she is.

George spends much of the episode trying to make others happy, in this case, his family. George’s dad and brothers invade the house to take George on the annual O’Malley turkey hunt. George hates this tradition, and at one point, he describes it as “Deliverance.” He just doesn’t operate on the same wavelength as the other O’Malley men. They like hunting and cars, and they all have blue collar jobs. They all feel like George acts superior to them, and George feels like they all act superior to him. We get a ton of funny lines expertly delivered by TR Knight, who perfectly captures George’s exasperation, first with the turkey hunt, and then when having to treat his father when his brothers accidentally shoot their father in the ass. I love how George sums up his day when he finally arrives back at the house for Thanksgiving dinner. “Today I committed bird murder and I was forced to touch my Dad's ass. I get extra points for showing up at all.”

Cristina is irritable as usual, although I find her antics funny in this particular episode. She’s concerned Burke will commit some social faux pas at Izzie’s Thanksgiving (he actually ends up being really helpful and basically cooks the dinner- there’s a fun reenactment of the George and the appendectomy scene from the pilot, only with Izzie and the turkey). She’s also horrified that there is no liquor in Meredith’s house. She has some wonderfully caustic lines when expressing that horror. Ultimately, she uses the lack of liquor as an excuse to leave (to go to the liquor store), but in actuality, she goes to the hospital and helps a patient who got a turkey bone stuck in his throat. Eventually, she arrives back at the house in time for dinner as well. I’m not exactly sure why. Cristina doesn’t usually have remorse about anything she does. I guess it was probably because she left Burke there.

The attendings (and a resident) of Seattle Grace other than Burke don’t have such a nice place to go for Thanksgiving dinner at the end of the day. They all have their own reasons for not wanting to be home. The Chief doesn’t want to be around his sister-in-law (and he never treats his family very well anyway, so I bet he’d do the same thing even if his sister-in-law wasn’t in town for the holiday). Derek is trying to avoid Addison, who thinks they should try having sex for the first time since their reconciliation. Dr. Bailey is trying to get in all the hours of training she can before she has to go on maternity leave. Of the three of them, only one isn’t miserable at the end of the episode. Derek goes home to his trailer to find Addison waiting for him with Chinese food- an homage to a Thanksgiving they spent studying together in medical school. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Here’s hoping you have a warm, loving place to spend the day, like Izzie created for her closest friends.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

White Collar 1.04: "The Portrait"

“He wrote you a personal check? To the guy who helped steal his mother’s painting?”

In “The Portrait,” Neal finds the temptation of a painting by a famous Hungarian artist too much to resist, but somehow manages to come out on top anyway. I guess Neal is using his newfound (slight) freedom to play Robin Hood a bit. What Peter, and viewers, are left wondering is just how far Neal might go- is he going to be able to stay on the side of “good” for any prolonged amount of time? I applaud this episode for starting to push at the boundaries of that question, but I still find the series overall lacking in emotional depth. It’s very ho-hum “oh Neal saves the day again…great.”

The episode opens with Neal and Mozzie at Grand Central Station, Neal having been lead there by the map on the wine bottle Kate left for him when she disappeared. He looks up towards the ceiling and sees an “X” in the rafters. Kate’s gone to the same well twice and has once again used “X marks the spot” to hide a clue. A hollow area in the rafter contains what appears to be a break-up note. Neal’s examination of the note is cut short, however by a new FBI case.

I like that the case debriefing in this episode takes place on the roof of June’s house (where Neal lives). We haven’t seen the roof set since the pilot, and it’s gorgeous. There are a number of things, such as the inclusion of the roof, the mention of June’s coffee, the return of Neal’s vintage clothing style, and the lack of Agent Cruz, that make me wonder if this might have actually been the first episode shot after White Collar was ordered to series. The case of the week is to recover a painting by a Hungarian artist named Haustenberg that was stolen from a residence.

The scene with Neal and Peter in the car on the way to the scene of the crime is probably one of the most obnoxious instances of product placement I have seen on TV to date- even worse than the scene I mentioned from Fringe yesterday. Peter is getting irritated with Neal, and he comes close to rear-ending other cars twice. Both times, a buzzer goes off and a line of red lights blinks on the windshield. When Neal admonishes Peter to be more careful, Peter even says “This is a Taurus. It practically drives itself.” Sorry, Ford, I still don’t ever intend to buy one of your cars, especially after invading my scripted TV shows.

The painting (uninsured and worth $2.3 million) in question was called “Young Girl With Locket,” and it was once in the home of a college student named Julianna and her Uncle Gary. Julianna was raised by her grandmother, and her grandmother left Julianna the house and painting in the will. Neal and Peter immediately suspect that Uncle Gary is probably jealous of this arrangement, which is pretty good thinking on their part. Neal does his thing- stretching the truth a bit but not really outright lying this time- to get Uncle Gary to admit that he was trying to use the painting to pay somebody off. Neal acts like he is a representative of the loan shark and gets Gary to write him a personal check.

The check is written out to Gerard Dorsett, and that’s a name Peter knows. He’s a big time, nasty loan shark. The type who will firebomb your office if you don’t pay up. Once again, Neal is set up as a buyer of expensive art. Frankly, this gag is getting a bit old. I know part of the draw is to watch Neal do his grifting thing, but he’s always such a similar character. He’s working with a buyer for a major art gallery, named Teryn, and of course they have chemistry. It is, after all, impossible for Neal not to flirt. Elizabeth thinks Peter should encourage it- maybe Neal would be less of a handful if he felt compelled to settle down.

The staged sale doesn’t go down at all as planed. While Teryn is authenticating the painting, Dorsett looks outside and sees people signaling to each other- obviously FBI. Neal tries to play it off like Dorsett must have been really conspicuous to catch the attention of the FBI. That’s probably what saves Neal and Teryn’s life. Unfortunately, Dorsett and the painting both escape before the FBI can really move in. Peter has Neal and Teryn “arrested” so their cover isn’t blown, something Peter enjoys quite a bit. It’s nice to see Peter act a little more human once in a while.

Now, once again, Neal’s parole is on the line if the case isn’t solved. I don’t quite get that. It’s at least the third, maybe fourth time Neal has been given that ultimatum. What if he just can’t solve the case? Should he be thrown back in jail simply for being human? It doesn’t make sense to throw away an extremely valuable future resource just because he can’t help with one particular case. To make things worse, the curator of the Channing Museum shows up at the FBI. He claims that the painting in question was originally stolen from his museum in 1967. If the painting is recovered, it’s going to the Channing, not back to Julianna.

Neal goes to Julianna for an explanation. It turns out that Julianna’s grandmother stole the painting from the Channing. She had a good reason for it, though. She was the girl in the painting. Julianna even still has the locket. Neal is clearly starting to have second thoughts about recovering that painting- at least he is if it’s going back to the Channing.

Neal and Peter end up staking out a hotel. Neal had learned at the aborted sale that Gerald’s girlfriend’s name is Brigitte, and she just flew in from France. A guest at the hotel is named Brigitte and meets the other criteria. Neal is getting antsy, so Peter tells him he can go into the hotel for a bit to see if he can find Brigitte. Neal finds Brigitte alright. And her friend Claire. The women invite Neal and Peter up to Brigitte’s hotel room, and Peter has no choice but to go along with it if he wants to solve the case. He’s extremely uncomfortable through the whole situation, which is actually pretty funny.

Neal sneaks his way into the bedroom while Peter distracts the women, and Neal finds the painting. When he takes it out of the frame (which kind of makes no sense, considering art loses a substantial amount of its value without its frame, at least according to The Art of the Heist, a book written by notorious art thief Myles Connor), Neal notices an inscription on the back. The painting not only was of Julianna’s grandmother, it was originally supposed to belong to her. Neal makes a quick, rash decision to steal the painting right then and there. Peter doesn’t notice, I guess because he’s distracted by the fact that Elizabeth called and was wondering what all the loud music in the background was.

Despite being on thin ice, Neal manages to turn the situation around yet again. He creates a forgery of the painting, and writes on the back that he knows who the painting should really belong to. He succeeds in embarrassing the Channing curator into accepting the forgery, and Julianna gets the real painting back.

Another “Kate loves the classics” moment (seriously, writers, can we stop with that now- I think we know that about Kate already), this time it’s folding the break-up letter a certain way, leads Neal and Mozzie back to Grand Central Station. A pay phone rings, and it’s Kate. She’s at Grand Central, on the upper level. She wants Neal to tell her where all of his stuff is truly hidden- the main with the ring won’t let her go home until she leads him to it. Amazingly, Neal sticks to his guns and refuses to tell Kate. He does try to run after her, though, but by the time he gets to the second level, she’s gone.