White Collar – Season 1 – Episode 5 – The Portrait
Peter shows up at Neal’s to tell him they have a case. A Haustenberg painting was stolen from a residence. Peter and Neal show up and the owner is a very young woman, Julianna. She says that her parents are dead, and she’s over 21. She tells them that she walked in on the robbery and the robber slammed her against the wall, and she hit him. He threatened her, so she hit him again. Neal and Peter laugh. Then her uncle, Gary, comes in. They immediately suspect the theft to be an inside job.
Neal asks if there is anything illegal about him talking to Gary. Peter tells him he can’t threaten him and he can’t lie to him. Neal agrees not to.
Neal approaches him and says Julianna is ready to sit down with a sketch artist. Gary immediately admits to it and offers money. Neal looks skeptical and Gary offers to write Neal’s “boss” a personal check, which Neal presents to Peter, providing them with the name of the man behind the theft, Gerard Dorsett.<!–more–>
Neal sets Peter up with a dealer, Taryn Vandersant, so that he can go undercover as a buyer. He meets with Dorsett about buying the Haustenberg. Dorsett tells them about his girlfriend, Brigitte. Dorsett notices people signaling each other outside and pulls a gun on Neal and Taryn. Peter arrests Neal and Taryn to maintain their cover.
A curator from the Channing Museum, Walter, shows up at the FBI. He says the painting was stolen from the museum in 1967. When they go back to talk to Julianna, they tell her they know that her grandmother stole the painting. The fact that it wasn’t insured was a clue in addition to the curator’s claims. Neal tells her that the painting will go back to the Channing unless she gives them a good reason for it not to. Julianna tells Neal how her grandmother “hypothetically” stole the painting. He asks why and Julianna shows him the locket on her neck, and it’s the locket from the painting. Neal realizes that her grandmother is the little girl in the painting.
Neal goes on a stakeout with Peter to find Brigitte. Peter offers Neal some of his sandwich. Neal asks him what that smell is, and it’s deviled ham. Neal goes in the hotel and find Brigitte and gets them invited up to her room. Neal convinces a very reluctant Peter that they should go up and determine if she’s the right Brigitte as the missing money that Dorsett took could be in the room. Elizabeth calls while they are in the room, and it sounds questionable, as Elizabeth can hear the music and women in the background. While Peter keeps them occupied, Neal looks in a locked room, where he finds the painting with a personal note to Julianna’s grandmother showing that Haustenberg gave her the painting, so he takes it.
Dorsett calls Neal and threatens Taryn, so Neal goes to Peter. He agrees to set up a meet for the next day. Neal creates a replica of the Haustenberg to give to the curator. Neal returns the paitning to Julianna in secret and she tells him that Haustenberg was her grandmother’s father. Julianna’s grandmother was his illegitimate daughter. Neal leaves a note on the back of the forgery that says, “My Dearest Walter, I know what you saw here last time. N.C.”
The Kate Saga:
Kate sends Neal a letter that tells him to stop looking for her.
Neal goes back to Grand Central Station to get a message from Kate. She calls him on the payphone and tells him that the man with the ring is close. She wants to know where all of his stuff is, his bonds, his art, all of it. Neal won’t give her the information, but goes running after her. By the time he gets there, she’s gone.
“She could have sent us anywhere, so she sends us to a place that leads everywhere.” – Mozzie
“Love Haustenberg. Which one of his paintings was stolen?” – Neal
“This one is called Young Girl with Locket.” – Peter
“No photograph?” – Neal
“No, but I bet you it’s a painting of a young girl wearing a locket.” – Peter
“You don’t get enough credit for your deductive skills.” – Neal
“There was this monster here and he shoved me up against the wall.” – Julianna
“He hurt you?” – Peter
“Yeah. I hit him in the face. And he said if I did it again, he would kill me.” – Julianna
“What did you do?” – Neal
“I hit him again.” – Julianna
“We use the expression ‘butterfly’ for a man who fleets from flower to flower. A man such as yourself could be quite a successful butterfly.” – Dorsett
“We consider butterflies weak, delicate creatures.” – Neal
“But flap their wings and they can set off hurricanes.” – Dorsett
“That’s beautiful. You should write a book.” – Neal