White Collar: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (23 Oct. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 656 users  
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With a few months left on his four-year sentence, criminal mastermind Neal Caffrey escapes from maximum security prison to save his relationship with his girlfriend. FBI Agent Peter Burke, ... See full summary »

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Title: Pilot (23 Oct 2009)

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Thompson
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Storyline

With a few months left on his four-year sentence, criminal mastermind Neal Caffrey escapes from maximum security prison to save his relationship with his girlfriend. FBI Agent Peter Burke, the man who had chased him for years and had finally caught him, is called in to track him down. He easily finds Neal at his girlfriend's apartment, deflated and defeated. She has completely disappeared. Back in prison and with four years added to his sentence, Neal decides to make a deal with Agent Burke to help him in finding other master criminals. The deal is made and Neal is released, with a GPS ankle monitor, of course, into the custody of Agent Burke. The uneasy partnership proves a success and Neal becomes an official FBI consultant, living large, to Agent Burke's astonishment and frustration, in a wealthy widow's guest-room. Neal, also, secretly brings in an old friend to help him find his girlfriend. Written by ley-moon

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Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery

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23 October 2009 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Neal is leaving prison at the beginning, the closed caption shows that Break On Through by the Doors should be playing, but what is playing is Hold On I'm Coming by Sam and Dave. See more »

Quotes

Peter Burke: Oh no, you don't get to lecture me on relationships. My wife didn't change her identity and flee the country to get away from me.
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Connections

References Steamboat Willie (1928) See more »

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The Good Life
(uncredited)
Performed by Bobby Darin
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User Reviews

 
Irresistible con-man but jarring partner, twisted and entertaining story, dry ending and anticipated episodic format, disastrous production and sexism
15 August 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

The story of a con-man becoming a FBI consultant instantly sounded exciting. The pilot has it flaws but overall it was a charming, refreshing and quite funny episode. Its highlight was definitely Matthew Bomer's performance. He was just irresistible as Neal Caffrey. From the acting to his skilled profile everything about the character felt right. But the problem is that Tim DeKay jarred with him as special agent Peter Burke. First his performance wasn't so convincing and at times it was even over the top. Their chemistry was correct but it could have been better. Second the character itself was baked from an old recipe. Seriously how many times will they serve us with the obsessed cop that doesn't have time to take care of his wife ? Third you should question his intelligence because it was definitely not a match for Neal's one, brilliant and sharp. It's specially disappointing if you consider cult versus like Michael Scofield and Alexander Mahone in Prison Break. Both were so smart and unpredictable ! As for the story it was well written and had a few twists that should surprise you. Some of them were quite creative and Neal can only grow on the audience with so many qualities. However his motivation wasn't clear because his past wasn't covered and the reason of his escape unoriginal. But the major issue, like for so many other procedural shows, was the format. All the events could have been developed across multiple episodes. In fact like for Prison Break they could have filled a whole season with them. I wasn't asking Caffrey to pull a Scofield but chasing the antagonist for like thirteen episodes could have been captivating. With such an end it had so much potential ! I mean the writers didn't leave us anything to hope for. What will happen next ? We already know ! Cat and mouse weekly episodes with good and bad scripts. I'll pass ! Last but not least an other major con was the production quality. With all the budget cuts it seems the studios can't afford anymore to have immersive lighting and well post-processed episodes. Like for Covert Affairs and other recent shows 90% of the episode seemed like watching reality TV. From the disastrous outdoor scenes to the homemade look and feel it was really painful for the eyes. With no doubt, it won't age well. It's a pity if you consider how beautiful Bomer is and attention to details, like the outfits and set design. Even the gorgeous women revolving around him couldn't hide these seams. Their roles were so anecdotic that I question the morality of the show creator. Female characters shouldn't be limited to serving men passively or petting the dog. Anyone for an evil James Bond girl ? The antagonist could have been a woman for example. What about a dual story featuring his girlfriend ? The possibilities are endless when it comes to a heavy format.


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