'White Collar' Was Just Like 'National Treasure'

by Christine DiStasio

Thursday night's season finale of USA's White Collar tried to tie up all of the show's loose ends — and it succeeded. It also succeeded in making us so nostalgic for the Nicolas Cage-starring National Treasure franchise. There were clues, Free Masons, and the mythical twin of the Hope Diamond (played by a very unconvincing fake diamond) — we're willing to bet that Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer are scrambling to write a new script based on this episode as we speak.

Last week's episode ended with Rebecca (or Rachel) spying on Mozzie from Neal's terrace, and this week's season finale opened with the two having a scuffle and crazy Rebecca drugging Mozzie with Belladonna. Why? Because she wants that diamond and she's going to use Mozzie's life to help her get it, offering the poison's antidote in exchange for the gem. Clever girl.

Neal and Mozzie had previously decided that they'd go after the diamond by following Mosconi's clues as far as they could. Now that Mozzie's life depends on it, Neal and Burke vow to find the diamond. Which brings us to National Treasure, Nicolas Cage, and how White Collar's been setting the stage for this comparison all season.

But Neal went to this manic place a long time ago, when he stole the thirteenth chapter of Mosconi's Codex and feverishly worked to decode it before Hagan could. So, Neal, for all intents and purposes, is Ben Gates — or Nicolas Cage, whichever you prefer. The show went on to bring in the history of the Free Masons, connecting them to Mosconi, and establishing that their ideology was the way to decode the Codex and find the mythical twin of the Hope Diamond. Sounds a lot like the mythical masonic treasure Ben Gates hunted down in the first National Treasure, right? RIGHT!

They find the diamond hidden in a former military fortress (typical) — because good always prevails over evil — by following a series of clues that included the 33rd degree (the highest degree of Enlightenment), the fact that the triangle is the most powerful shape to the Masons, and a former wind-dial (or flag-dial?). When they find what they think is the location of the diamond (by following the 33-degree line of sight from the flag-dial), Neal taps on the wall to find the hollow spot, which he manages to bust open using conveniently displayed tools near the hiding place. (But really, what were those tools doing there?) After some demolition, Neal reaches his arm into the hole in the brick wall to pull out the diamond — reminding us of this (but with less emotion):

While all of this brilliance is happening, gun-toting Rebecca/Rachel, who's gotten a seriously creepy makeover and is hellbent on getting this "treasure" for herself, is on their tail — so essentially, she's the Sean Bean bad-guy character of this situation.

Rebecca catches up with them at the fortress where she takes what she believes to be the diamond (it's actually a rock wrapped in a tiny, leather pouch — HA) and locks Neal and Burke in a colonial jail cell. They manage to free themselves quickly, but the thought of the diamond changing hands — especially if it's going into crazy-Rebecca's — amped up the drama of the episode. (Almost like one of the many bullet-filled car chase scenes of National Treasure, but not quite.) Neal catches up with her, tries to manipulate her into putting her gun down and running away with him and the diamond (really, he's just buying time for the reinforcements to get there), and when the FBI is close enough, he breaks the news to that crazy bitch that it's actually a regular, old brick in her pocket and not the diamond. Joke's on you, sister.

Rebecca gets taken into custody by the FBI, where she will hopefully spend the rest of her days because she is totally batshit crazy. And Burke and Neal take the diamond to Mozzie, who was cured of his slow poisoning by Belladonna (yay!), but they realize that they can't keep the jewel — mostly because Burke's obligated by his oath to turn it over to the "proper authorities." (Lame.)

Everyone lives happily ever after because they've solved the mystery yet again — well, not quite. The end of the episode set us up for the show's next season with Burke deciding to stay in New York to help Neal, whose request for sentence termination was rejected because of how well his "good behavior" served the FBI. While Neal's contemplating how he's going to get his freedom at any cost, he gets abducted — no, we're not even kidding — by a group of individuals we've never seen before. So it looks like Burke's got his work cut out for him.

Neal will probably show up in the long-awaited National Treasure 3 and it'll turn out that it was actually Ben Gates that kidnapped him after hearing about his talents for decoding complicated codexes. It wouldn't be the first time...

Images: USA, benedork-cumberbatch/tumblr, bitchivealwaysbeenthealpha/tumblr, Giphy