Season 6 | Episode 2 | “Return to Sender” | Aired Nov 13, 2014
“Is your freedom worth dying for?” – Peter
“It might be.” – Neal
Zip lining across skyscrapers was a piece of cake. Working with the enemy won’t be as easy.
In last night’s “Return to Sender,” Matthew Keller, now a member of the Pink Panthers, returned at the worst possible time, just as Neal and Peter were attempting an all-out takedown of the notorious crime ring. Not only does he pose a threat to the success of their mission, but possibly the safety of a pregnant Elizabeth. As you’ll remember, the criminal mastermind once kidnapped El, using her as leverage to get what he wanted from Neal and the FBI.
As it turns out, Keller is attempting the same takedown. He’s cut a deal for himself identical to Neal’s, only with Interpol, promising to help with the incrimination of the Panthers in exchange for his freedom.
Time will tell if the psychotic thief can be trusted. Fortunately, Neal and Peter have the ultimate leverage if he turns. Keller’s deal is dependent on the authenticity of a certain stolen stamp. Little does he know that the stamp Mr. Caffrey handed over was a counterfeit.
Neal might’ve been welcomed by Woodford as a promising new addition to the Panthers, but he still had to prove his worth. This week, he sent Neal on a mission to obtain a stolen Swedish stamp, which unlike Peter’s childhood stamp collection, was worth a bit more than 60 cents. Unfortunately, the debonair conman couldn’t sweet talk his way into an invite for its auction. That’s where Peter – or should I say, Dad – came in, disguising himself as the father of a well known playboy extraordinaire.
As it turns out, securing the stamp was only a means for Woodford to test Neal’s ability to infiltrate an allegedly unbeatable security system, presumably in preparation for a much larger con. Of course, all it took our suave protagonist to pull it off was the help of two oyster forks, and good ol’ dad, Peter.
Woodford knows Neal was with someone at the auction, but only Keller knows who it was. Neal will have to work extra hard to conceal Peter’s identity over the course of this undercover investigation, especially now with the knowledge that his handler is starting a family. If anyone knows how important a father-son relationship can be, it’s the son of a criminal like James Bennett.
• He might have been undercover, but Peter’s exchange with Bianca regarding Nathaniel seemed rather telling of how Peter sees Neal at this point in their relationship. He’s tried to scope him into the man he wants him to be, but he’s reached a point where he knows only Neal can decide what a anklet-free life will entail.
• This episode didn’t have a way of including Mozzie in the heist, but he clearly fears for Neal. He’s worried his friend might be too trustful of the FBI and the deal he has made for his freedom. Even more worrisome is that Keller seems to agree.
• The pacing this season has been vastly superior to previous latter day seasons, and it helps that the writers only have six episodes to close up shop. Unfortunately, the miniscule episode count means we’re already a third of the way through this truncated final chapter.
Next week: Neal is unsure if he can proceed with the Panthers’ latest task, while Peter’s efforts are disrupted by an Interpol agent.
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