'White Collar' Takes Down the Mob Way Too Easily

Thursday night's episode of USA's White Collar proved yet again that no foe is too large for Matt Bomer and the FBI — not even the Russian Mafia in Brighton Beach. Peter and his trusty sidekick and costar Neal Caffrey took their talents Cutting Edge-style over to an ice skating rink in Little Odessa to take on a multi-trafficking agency. And proved, yet again, that the recipe for success is very simple: All you need is a well-embodied alias and a hidden talent. And Peter Burke's was most definitely hidden.

So, without further ado, here are three easy steps to taking down the Russian Mafia:


Peter apparently was a hockey prodigy in his day. Who knew?! Not Sergei and the rest of his illegally imported Russian friends. Nothing gains the respect of a hulking mafia kingpin quite like beating him in a best-of-five shoot-out. It also help his cause that Peter's wife's passion for "couch-commentating" on professional figure skating taught him a few of the finer-tuned aspects of skating so could pass for a "skating coach to the stars." Huh, hockey expertise translates to expert figure skating coaching expertise. Hey, the FBI isn't short on imagination.

Also, Neal's charm and command for respect never hurts his ability to ace an alias. He could actually pass for a hostile and bossy sports agent because he's Neal and he can basically pass for anything. He also knows a surprising amount of agent-worthy lingo. These guys really are jacks of all trades.


Sergei invites Peter to a vodka bar to gauge his reliability. Is he trustworthy enough to work with Natya, another import who's been living pretty much as his slave? To prove himself, Peter gets wasted. (Awesome.) Sergei tells him that "he drinks like a Russian" and he likes that. That's one way to get closer to the criminals you're trying to arrest. No one can say that working in the FBI isn't fun...


Instead of waiting for an opportunity to pinch the entirety of Sergei's crew, Peter creates the bust himself. Natya told him on their first day of "training" together that Sergei had proposed to her and she said no. Peter uses that to his advantage. He convinces Natya to work with him and the rest of the FBI by accepting Sergei's engagement and allowing him to plan a celebration that would bring the whole crew together. This is a classic formula, of course, but Peter sets the ball in motion for himself and even gets himself and Neal invited to the party because he "convinced Natya to say yes."

The party is held at the same vodka bar that Sergei took Peter earlier in the episode and the bust goes off without a hitch. Everyone lives happily ever after, and now I'm convinced that I should go join the FBI. Fighting crime looks so damn fun and easy.

Image: USA, LiveJournal