"White Collar" Unfinished Business (TV Episode 2010) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Neal finds himself working with Sara Ellis an insurance investigator who has it for him. He and Peter are helping her find out who has possession of Japanese bonds. They believe that man named Mr. Black who they believe is a courier whom the one is possession of the bonds wants to move them. So they come up with a plan for Neal to take his place. When he meets the contact he gives Neal a gun and brings him to the apartment of Ellis, whom he has to kill. When they fake her death, she along with Peter and Neal try to find out who wants her dead.

  • Neal is eager to help Peter investigatea Japanese bonds scam involving Wall Street tycoon Edgar Halbridge, until he finds they must take their cue from insurance investigator Sara Ellis, a key prosecution witness at his own trial, who still distrusts him. Neal impersonates murdered courier Black. The plot thickens when it turns out Halbridge is actually buried and his identity stolen by serial killer Steve Price. Meanwhile Mozzie insists Neal must complicate his life even further for their own 'research' into the plane crash and missing lute.

  • A routine bond theft escalates into an attempted murder when Neal is unknowingly hired to kill the assigned insurance investigator, Sara Ellis. The FBI suspects that a real estate mogul is in possession of the bonds, but questions still remain: Why does he want Sara dead and will he try again?


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Neal (Matt Bomer) takes Peter (Tim DeKay) to a fancy new restaurant where, Peter belatedly explains, they're meeting an insurance adjuster. Someone stole $100 million in Japanese bearer bonds.

    Neal isn't excited to see the investigator, Sara Ellis (Hilarie Burton) - a woman who testified against him at his trial. She tells them her company insured the bonds and she gets 2% if she gets them back.

    The valet pulls up a Mercedes SLR. She takes the keys over the objections of a diner. But she calmly explains he stole it and she's only taking it back. When he reaches for something in his jacket, she takes out a collapsible club and neatly whacks him.

    Peter takes the thief into custody and Neal sulks about seeing Sara again.

    Mozzie (Willie Garson) sneaks Neal in to see the wreckage of Kate's plane. It wasn't an accident. The explosion was rigged by the door. FAA security drops by. Neal pretends to be from Sara's insurance company Sterling Bosch. Neal asks for the black box recording. The security guy says he can have the FAA send it to them. Neal hands the guy Sara's card.

    At the office, Neal continues to gripe about Sara, thinking she's going to come after him about a stolen Raphael. Peter tells him to play nice.

    Neal tries to go make nice and Sara tells him she'll be taping him for future use in his trial.

    Peter runs down the case. They have coded emails between Edgar Halbridge and a man in Hamburg called "Mr. Black." They think he's a courier. Each bond is worth $250,000 so the $100 million stack is just over an inch think.

    They plan to pick up Mr. Black on his way into the country and Neal will stand in for him.

    Later, Peter takes off Neal's ankle bracelet and sets him up with stuff like Mr. Black's. They'll be eight blocks away, listening in through his watch for him to say "long flight."

    Neal takes a cab to the pre-determined location. A limo drives up. Neal gets in. The driver calls someone, saying he'll confirm when the job is complete.

    The driver tells Neal everything is as he requested. He pushes a button for a jamming signal. Neal opens the briefcase to see a gun. He says it was a "long flight" but nothing happens.

    Peter and the team scrambles to find him as Neal keeps mentioning his flight time.

    Neal puts the gun together. The driver pull up to a townhouse, telling him the target is inside. Neal gets out. The driver waits outside.

    When he gets out of the limo Neal starts talking and they're able to hear him. He tells them he thinks he's supposed to kill someone. He tells them he has a gun and so does the driver. With Neal's GPS working again, Peter pulls up the name of the resident.

    Inside, we see Sara in bed. She hears a noise and reaches under her bed. She jumps up and draws on Neal and Peter hears Neal say don't shoot. Neal tries to explain the situation. Sara's phone rings. Neal puts his gun down and tells her to answer.

    On the phone, Peter verifies what Neal is saying. She wants Neal to let them think she's dead. He shoots the floor and gets back in the limo.

    Later, Sara comes in to the office still in her pjs carrying her files on Halbridge, the guy who wanted to kill her. She refuses to leave.

    She doesn't know why Halbridge would want her dead, especially since another investigator would just take over her cases.

    Neal comes home to find Mozzie on his couch. He tells Neal the FAA sent the package to Sara but it was confiscated when Neal "killed" her. Mozzie suggests he cozy up to her.

    The next day he brings the Raphael - a print of the one he supposedly stole. She thinks he wants something.

    Sara's still going through her files on Halbridge.

    Peter checks on the emails. The first to Mr. Black was five weeks ago. She was looking into Ridgemont, a property he owns.

    Neal as "Mr. Black" pays a visit to Halbridge. He asks about Ridgemont, saying Sara told him about it before he killed her. He demands $2 million to keep quiet.

    Back at home, Neal tells Mozzie he's made no headway with Sara. She's camped out in their conference room. Neal gets an idea.

    The next day, Neal checks on Sara. She's sick of it there. He takes her up to the roof for Chinese and wine from the evidence locker. They play "who's got it worse" for a while, then bail. She's slightly bummed ife has gone on after her "death."

    They're chatting amiably when she asks what he wants. "You're a con man, you smile for a living," she says.

    Peter calls. Halbridge hired a crew to do landscaping at Ridgemont the next day.

    The next morning, Peter watches as crews dig up something from the building courtyard. They bring up a giant steamer trunk that's apparently been there for years.

    They open it and find a very old skeleton inside.

    Peter tells Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) they just "dug up" some new evidence. She suggests he talk to Sara.

    Sara's hunkered down in the conference room, dressed to go out. Wishful thinking. There are flowers from her company - carnations. "They might as well be weeds," she says.

    He tells her about the body. The clothing is from the mid-80s.

    He tells her to consider getting a life when she gets her life back.

    The next day, they have forensics on the dead body. It's the real Edgar Halbridge. They compared signatures of Ridgmont tenant from the time and found a match to Steven Price. So they think he killed the real Halbridge for the inheritance and assumed his identity. The body's been buried there, bugging him.

    Neal compares it to "The Telltale Heart" and Sara loses her bet with Peter that Neal would bring that up.

    "I'm glad my grasp of Gothic fiction is a source of amusement to you," Neal snarks.

    They figure Halbridge wanted Sara killed because she started looking around Ridgemont.

    Peter says it's a good theory, but they need more evidence. And Sara loses her bet with Neal that Peter would use those words.

    Neal has an idea. It requires Sara to come back from the dead.

    Peter visits "Halbridge" and shows him photos of the skeleton, saying they haven't ID'd the body and it'll take weeks. Peter shows him a photo of Sara and tells him about the bearer bond investigation. Peter tells him Sara's death was faked and she's the one who tipped them off about the body. They think she's working with someone. Peter shows him a picture of Neal with her and says he's "Steve Price."

    "Halbridge" tries to play it cool as Peter sneakily plants a bug.

    Peter leaves and "Halbridge" summons his driver. He says it's time to move.

    Mozzie visits Neal, saying his plan worked. The package from the FAA is sitting on Sara's desk, released after she turned up not dead. They think she'll get her mail as soon as she leaves the FBI.

    "I think I've got a plan that's a little less illegal than breaking and entering," Neal announces. He needs a car.

    The FBI stops "Halbridge" coming out of a building, calling him Steve Price. Peter arrests him and takes what he just picked up from inside: the bearer bonds.

    Neal breaks the news to Sara, who's thrilled to be leaving the FBI.

    Jones (Sharif Atkins) looks through the limo for the gun Neal used. They can't find it, but Peter sees a German candy bar in the back. They confirm the real Mr. Black was released by the Canadian authorities. The driver says he came back to finish the job.

    Neal brings Sara home, lugging her boxes of mail. He sees the package, but can't grab it. There's a noise at the door. Then gun hots.

    Neal and Sara hide. Mr. Black sees Neal in a mirror and fires, allowing Sara to put a gun to his head. Peter comes in. They take Mr. Black away.

    Peter calls for Neal. He has to walk away, leaving the package behind.

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