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Headscratchers: White Collar
  • How could nobody have checked the bank notes Neal had under Ultraviolet? Ultraviolet's one of the first things used on potential forgeries that you don't have to worry about fading, like artwork.
    • From my understanding, the FBI already knew the notes were forgeries and were holding them as evidence. They just needed the compare Neal's "signature" on the notes to the one on the diamond so they could find out if Neal was the culprit.
      • Not talking about how it relates to the diamond (it's a plot point that they then knew the signiature and had the notes as evidence), it's in the first (or was it the second?) episode, where Neal tells the FBI agent to look at the note under UV and he's surprised to see the signature show up in the forged seal.
      • Wasn't it "polarized" light, not "ultraviolet" light?
      • It was.

  • The horrible green screen they're using to hide Tiffani's pregnancy. Couldn't they have found a better way to hide it? Or just write the pregnancy in?
    • They couldn't have written it in, they weren't prepared for the implications of Peter having a kid. They could, however, have had Elizabeth working in another city to expand her business, or something that would keep her out of most shots except for the head up and/or her voice. You know, the things we expect for pregnant actresses. It is really annoying, though.
    • Perhaps the JB Ms from the need for the green screen in the first place. Given the amount of California Doubling on TV, wouldn't it have been simpler to simply take her scenes in front of different buildings than normal and say it was some place else while using normal Hide Your Pregnancy tricks?
    • One possibility might have been that Tiffani was unable to travel as much due to the pregnancy and so they were unable to do much other than a green screen.

  • I would pay money to be a fly on the wall in the judge's chambers when the federal prosecutor tries to get the evidence collected against Dr. Powell in "Vital Signs" admitted. I would love to hear the explanation for how collecting evidence by drugging a man, abducting him, and convincing him he has to hand over evidence against himself or he will die is not unconstitutional in the extreme.

  • Just how does a pretty-boy like Neal survive a (nearly) 4-years stint in prison without somebody making him their bum-toy?
    • By doing what he does best: being Neal. Within a week he would do the guards tax reports, got the strongest guy in prison the Harmonica he always wanted and so on. Because he is a con artist he wouldn't be in the same block as the extremely dangerous criminals. At least I hope so.
    • Or perhaps it did happen. Maybe that was part of why he was so desperate to be released on the anklet. Then again, he does to seem to have gotten along with at least one of the guards on his block, as demonstrated in the Pilot. This supports the aforementioned "being Neal" theory.
    • Also, remember that he's white-collar and has no history of violence. Meaning he's with other white-collar criminals who are also not violent prone. With no need to worry about the people around him being the violent type, there's no need to worry about dominance and the protection that brings. Maintaining a relatively safe environment helps make a lot of things work much better. And in maximum security prisons, the prisoners have highly regimented schedules with limited interaction and constant surveillance. They're also designed to facilitate this; open areas with bright lighting and simple floor plans with minimal prisoners per area. Finding a place to cause trouble would be particularly difficult to say the least. Max and super-max prisons are exceptionally different than the typical prison depicted in TV.
      • Actually, criminals with no history of violence usually go to lower security prisons, while most white collar criminals go to minimum security prisons. Neal might have been in a maximum security prison because of the escape risk. Supermax prisons are only for terrorists and the most dangerous criminals. Supermax prisons usually have the inmates on 23-hour lockdown with only an hour out for exercise alone. They are fed through "chuck-holes". The prison shown in the pilot looked more like a high or maximum security prison. And if that were the case, it's possible Neal was NOT able to talk his way out of EVERY situation, although he probably, as suggested, had bribed or charmed others to protect him. It's not unknown.
    • And a guard, during the pilot, had a line similar to "Everybody loved Neal" (as in, there's no trouble with him in Super Max), but it got cut.
    • This troper read a spectacular fanfic in which the author suggested that Mozzie used his influence as the Dentist of Detroit to make sure Neal was protected while in prison. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. We know Mozzie goes to great lengths to look out for Neal, and he would have been aware of the dangers someone like Neal would face in prison. I can totally picture Mozzie anonymously getting word to the inmates, making sure they all knew that anyone who laid a finger on Neal would have to answer to the Dentist himself.
    • That, and prison rape isn't nearly as common as TV would have you believe. It's mostly perpetrated by guards, and someone with the charisma to make friends of guards and inmates alike isn't prime victim material, no matter how good-looking they are. And since rape is a power thing anyhow, how the victim looks is often incidental.

  • Diana's sexuality seems solely designed to cancel her out as a possible romantic interest for Neal. Supports the annoying implication that Neal can charm any woman, unless a lesbian of course.
    • I for one was just happy that a relatively main-stream US television show cast a character as a lesbian and didn't make it into a big effin' deal with lots of steamy sex scenes, and turn her whole character into just Being Gay. I like that it's "Oh, by the way, she's gay," as an off-handed side note. Makes her more real.
      • And practically doubled in "Honor Among Thieves," where Diana romances a female suspect and it is Totally Not A Big Deal.
    • Really? What about the female rep for Hearts Wide Open in "Vital Signs"? Completely ignored Neal and went straight after Peter. Clearly it's not just any woman.
      • And the black widow in "Veiled Threat"? Peter was the only one out of himself, Neal, and Jones who could successfully charm her.
      • I got the feeling that she chose Peter because he seemed like an easy mark who would do anything for an interested woman.

  • I can't be the only one who sees Alex as the cliche "bad girl" character. Granted, I'm only just starting the season finale, but I absolutely cannot stand her. Everytime she's on screen I roll my eyes and wait for the next scene.
    • Don't worry. She starts showing up much less in later seasons.
    • This seems less of a Headscratcher and more a complaint.

  • Why are Neal and Mozzie so set to leave the country with the treasure they took from Adler? Adler is dead so no one is coming after them. If Neal flees now there will be warrants for his arrest and he will have to stay in a country with no extradition or chance capture and a lengthy jail sentence. Neal only has 2-3 years left in his deal with the FBI and after that he is a free men and can do as he pleases. They could sit on the treasure for a few years and then slowly sell it off at their leisure anywhere in the world. They have run long cons before so why cannot they wait for a bit more and avoid all the complications of being fugitives?
    • Neal knows that Peter will find out.

  • Holdup, Neal and Mozzie are guarding a multi-billion dollar treasure and their password system shows the characters they type in instead of replacing them with dots or asterisks? TV Tropes has more security than that.

  • Where was Satchmo when Keller kidnapped Elizabeth in "Countdown"? I know he's not much of a guard dog (And he's old) but I doubt he would let a stranger take Elizabeth without at least making a fuss. Either he was locked outside or he did start barking and Keller shot him to shut him up.
    • Blink and you miss it- You can see in the panning around Peters house an FBI Agent leading Satchmo out of a room on his leash, guess he was outside when heck broke loose
    • Alternatively, they locked him in the room quickly while grabbing Elizabeth and figured the barking could be a normal thing that the neighbors dismiss at first. Remember, though, that the neighbors -saw- the abduction (Jones' mentions the neighebors saw that Elizabeth was still alive when they took her) so it's not like they got away quietly. It's possible that Keller intended on making a scene to drive the point home.
    • Turns out Satchmo bit Keller's henchman, which ended up helping in several ways. Good dog.
  • Peter's house is the exception to Neal's anklet, which I think means the alarms don't go off if he's there instead of somewhere within his approved radius. But how does that keep the alarm from going off when he first leaves the radius? In the episode he broke into Peter's house, he didn't have Peter authorise him to leave the approved area, so shouldn't it have gone off? I suppose, when he got to Peter's, it could have shut off, but wouldn't that result in someone calling Peter to bitch about how, next time, he should tell them when Neal's going to his house? Or did I just miss something?
    • There are no alarms per se (except if he takes the anklet off) it's more like a GPS. Even within his radius, his position is always tracked, if he strays outside of it, whoever is monitoring the computer likely gets an alert (they're probably monitoring multiple released criminals at once) so they bring up his map. They could then see that he is on his way to Peter's house (marked in green on the map like his radius or somesuch) and then see that he was there a little while later and not bother alerting anyone.
    • If nothing else, when he leaves his radius, he may only trigger a low level alert that says something along the lines of "Pay attention, I may or may not be doing something." If he proceeds to actually do something suspicious (get on a subway, travel very far, go to known criminal locations), then the person watching may escalate the alert. If he's basically just wandering around (ie to Peter's place), it may be logged as some form of activity but otherwise ignored. After all, as the previous thought mentioned, they track many anklets at any given time; if they responded in full force at every little incident, that might be a waste of effort. Plus, of course, Neal's not a violent criminal so the worse he'd typically do is start a con - and outside of a long con, by simply keeping him in custody for say... a week or two, that'd bungle most any short term con.
  • How could no one have seen Neal jump out of a 43 story skyscraper in broad daylight in the middle of one of the most populated cities in the world? Cool scene, but not nearly as covert as Neal would have hoped.
    • Neal has an SEP field?

  • Neal's school history is confusing. According to Ellen, as a child he was so determined to go to school he forged a bus pass and changed school clocks, but didn't graduate high school, but went to college to study? (Although not officially study at college, just make use of their libraries.)
    • This is Neal we are talking about, if any character other than Joker is deserving of Multiple Choice Past it's Neal.
    • The reason he didn't graduate high school is because he ran away from home on his eighteenth birthday, after Ellen told him the truth about his father. His birthday is in March, which means that when he turned eighteen, he would have been just two months away from graduation. He ran because he couldn't handle the truth, but he still had dreams of finishing school some day. He probably just spent time on various college campuses because he wanted a taste of the college experience.

  • Why was Neal in supermax? From skimming The Other Wiki, supermax is reserved for the worst of the worst, like terrorists or gang leaders, not non-violent white-collar criminals.
    • Sounds more impressive to the TV audience who may not realize that?
      • What makes it worse is that what's shown in the pilot is not a supermax, where prisoners are on solitary lock-down 23 hours a day and fed through chuck-holes, but what looks more like a maximum security prison with double- or single-occupancy cells. Now, a maximum security prison would be more logical because they are for, among others, prisoners with a high escape risk, which Neal would certainly qualify for.

  • Why did Neal lie about not having found the Manifest in As You Were? It would have saved a ton of trouble and tears and makes no sense whatsoever to say he hadn't found it.
    • Because he figured that as long as they didn't have it, Mozzie couldn't sell the treasure and Neal would be able to put off having to make a decision about what to do next.

  • Why did Neal not use his "Victor Moreau" alias when fleeing in Judgment Day? I may have missed something but I don't think anyone but Neal, Mozzie, and Sara knew he had the alias (and Sara had promised not to say anything about it).

  • Why did Neal dress up as a cat burglar in As You Were to break into the Burke's safe? One would assume he's aiming for inconspicuous, but dressing up like that invites suspicion.

  • Wasn't Neal down to his last year to several months on his sentence? Going on 5 years, and he's still under the FBI's thumb. Unless there's serious Comic Book Time going on, his sentence should be up already.
    • In episode one after Peter catches Neal he tells him that his sentence will be extended another 4 years for the escape.
    • In fact, his original sentences has ended by the point Peter fetches him from prison (that what the scene with Neal marking the days on the wall is about). The timeline after that is a little bit adventurous, but supposedly at the end of season three, Neal has finished half of his new sentences, which would be two years.

  • The German sub, it was wired with Dynamite as booby traps, (look on the explosives in the episode it says dynamite on the side.) Dynamite becomes very very touchy after a year, this had been down for 60 years, so how did it not explode the moment it was moved? and more importantly why didn't Peter and Neal just cut all the wires, then the explosives couldn't be set off?

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