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  • Something that I didn't notice as odd the first watch but that jumped out at me later on was the flashback scene where Peter realized that Neal didn't know where Kate was and that they could use her as bait for him. Peter noticed that she wasn't staying in one place for long, like she was avoiding Neal, and that Neal didn't know where she was. Without context, the situation sounded kind of like someone trying to avoid an abusive partner. Obviously, Neal wasn't actually abusive, but it strikes me as kind of odd that the thought never crossed anyone's mind. They went ahead and used Kate as bait, which could have potentially put her in danger.
    • You're forgetting that they did know Neal, though. As stated in the first episode, Peter knew everything about Neal, down to his shoe size, and, theoretically, Diana and Jones would have, as well, and would have known he wouldn't be a danger to her. Also, they had the place surrounded, so, unless Neal was carrying a gun, (another thing Peter, according to Neal himself, knew he didn't like,) he wouldn't have been able to really do that much damage in the short time before he was arrested. An argument could be made for using a knife, I suppose, but that would have provided Kate the opportunity to struggle. And, as an aside, it was actually Diana who suggested using Kate.

  • Why do Neal and Peter always talk about how Peter's however many to Neal's O? It doesn't seem to make much sense, seeing as there's no way for Neal to actually get a point in that game, since a round continues forever or until Peter catches him. I understand that Peter would claim he's ahead, but Neal would most likely argue back that Peter's not ahead at all.
    • That's probably partly intentional, Neal can never really get a point because being on the run is an ongoing thing. The show comes back to this again and again: being on the run is a life of constant stress and worry, and there's not any way to win at it. Until, of course, Neal arguably gets that point in the finale.
  • Why is it that every time Neal - a nonviolent criminal - is suspected of doing something, everyone is sent after him, whereas hardly anyone seems to be after the legitimately dangerous criminals? And why was he in maximum security in the beginning of the series? That's not exactly standard for someone convicted of bond forgery, is it?
    • Most fans seem to think the maximum security thing, at least, is because of the fact that he's an escape artist, and therefore a flight risk. I don't believe it's ever stated in canon, though.

  • This is a minor one, but still - What were the odds that Byron's clothes fit Neal perfectly?
    • Fairly long, but doesn't matter. It was long odds that Neal would just happen to be there when June came in to sell them. Extremely long odds don't mean 'impossible' or else no one would ever win the lottery.
  • 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.
    • I actually asked a friend who is an expert in the field of criminal justice and anti-terrorism about that. The dye they used to create the impression of blood in Powell's urine isn't a drug, so it is actually legal to use in a sting. So are the itching powder and the larger clothes to make him think he's losing weight. They're techniques that kinda get lumped in with doing things like keeping the suspect in an interrogation room where the temperature's just a bit higher than comfortable, or keeping them plied with coffee and water because eventually they'll need to use the bathroom and it stresses them out while you're interrogating them.
    • As for the "abduction", that can be played off: they can all swear that they were going to arrest Powell at the airport, and that one of their own being the car service driver was just a precaution. Powell, in his excited state, accidentally took more than his usual dose of the sleeping pills and they had to take him back to his home. Once they ascertained that he wasn't in any health danger from the excess dose, they decided to create a sting there in his home to try and get intel on the money aspect before his arrest. Convincing him that he might die if he didn't give the money was very carefully worded by Neal so that it wasn't an outright coercion, and both police and prosecutors use that technique every day to convince criminals that it's safer to cooperate and turn state's evidence than to trust their luck. Morally gray area? Absolutely. Legal to leverage a confession? Only on days that end in 'y'.

  • 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.
      • He did, but Neal also poured on his full charm on her, but she still never blinked and continued right after the mark she wanted. So it still counts as resisting Neal's charms.

  • 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.
      • Except that Mozzie's actually the real force behind leaving. It could be he's feeling restless, and he's probably worried about Peter catching them, as well.

  • 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 neighbors 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.
    • This troper is also a fic writer with a penchant for nitpicking details like that. Peter's home is in Brooklyn, which is decidedly more than two miles from Riverside Drive. And in the pilot, when Neal when unexpectedly to Peter's house, the alarm did go off: hence the iconic scene for OT3 shippers where Peter gets a call from Jones while getting ready for work telling him that very thing and then goes rushing downstairs only to find Neal on the couch in his living room with his wife. The reason they don't have it keep happening is because of four things:
      1) GPS tracking anklets can have multiple inclusion zones, and travel between them is permissible as long as you don't have any suspicious deviations while en route. So it's likely that Peter simply had the Marshals designate his home as an inclusion zone, along with the FBI office (which is also decidedly outside Neal's alleged radius).
      2) Someone in Neal's situation would need to be monitored 24-7, but his radius is only really be in effect during times when he's officially 'off-duty'. Given the way the FBI operates in-universe, he'd be on a monitoring-only status more often than not, and the Marshals wouldn't swing into action unless they decided something looked fishy.
      3) This is a clear example of the GPS Evidence trope, because anyone who's ever tried to use their GPS unit to tell them where they're going in the middle of a major metropolitan area knows that GPS signals can be blocked by tall buildings or lots of steel construction. There is no way you get the magically constant signal from Neal's anklet all the time IRL.
      4) Jeff Eastin has admitted that Neal's two-mile radius was something of a Critical Research Failure. He's spoken openly about the fact that giving Neal that tight a radius in New York City was not the best decision they ever made, and that was compounded by the fact that they didn't explain the way the anklet worked very well in the first half of Season 1. In fact, there's a line of expository dialogue in Hard Sell (season 1 episode 8), which was the mid-season premiere, that basically says that Neal's radius is only in effect when he's off-duty (see my item 2). After that, JE's borrowed Bellisario's Maxim and asked the fans to just let it go.

  • 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?
      • New Yorkers are indeed rather infamous for thinking everything they see is somebody else's problem, so there's probably that. But anyway, who says no one saw him? They probably did see him... but it's not like Peter's psychically linked to the eyes of everyone in the vicinity. Unless they bothered to call the cops and report it, and the cops actually looked into it and filed a report, and that report also got flagged to Peter's attention, he wouldn't hear about it. And since Neal didn't actually do anything other than jump and parachute, people may have thought they were filming a TV show or something, spent a minute or two looking for the cameras, and then gone about their day.

  • 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.
    • Also, faking a college ID with a mealplan sticker on it would allow him to eat for free in the 90s and early 00s, before those ID started being scanned. He could also access libraries, con students without suspicion, etc. Posing as a student and wandering between college campus sounds like a pretty plausible start for Neal Caffery.
    • Neal himself says that he attended quite a bit of college, enough to earn several degrees, just that he wasn't enrolled. (Which anyone can do, by the way, you don't even need to forge a student ID. You pay for having your work graded and earning a diploma that signifies your proficiency, the knowledge itself is essentially free if you just want to attend lectures.)

  • 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).
    • Because Kate's last name was Moreau. He was visibly disturbed by it when he was originally given the identity documents, and by the time he was actually leaving, ITTHO, he'd decided he couldn't bring himself to use that name for what, at the time, he thought would be the next several years.

  • 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.
    • He didn't want to chance being noticed; dressing that way makes it easier to blend into shadows and therefore not be seen if a neighbor happened to glance out the window. Even with how normal it might be for neighbors to see him there, it would look a little odd that he was lurking around in the backyard until after the house was empty for the evening and then slipping in the back door, and he wouldn't want to chance a curious neighbor mentioning it to Peter or El.

  • 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.
    • Per the pilot, Neal had three months left on his original four-year sentence at the time of his escape. Also per the pilot, he was due to be sentenced to another four years for the escape and all of the criminal acts committed during same (credit card fraud, car theft, impersonating a corrections officer, et al). In Judgment Day, Neal specifically states that he had served 18 months under the terms of his deal with the Bureau. That roughly means that each season spans about six months of time in-universe.

  • 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?
    • Just cutting all of the wires might cause a surge that would set the explosives off. That's why you don't do that even with modern bombs controlled by computer timers. As for the dynamite, if it was going to go off from shock sensitivity, it would have done so long before Peter and Neal got there: the process of bringing a 70-year-old U-boat up from where it sank and transporting it to a storage facility on dry land is not a procedure that can be done without any bumps, lumps, rolls or jolts along the way. Adler was rich and powerful, but David Copperfield he ain't.
    • Also, there's no way to know how pure the nitro in the dynamite was, but considering the Nazi army wasn't made up of suicidal idiots, it's probable that any dynamite used on a U-boat was made with nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin and ketone. This is a much more stable version than the normal nitroglycerin and diatomaceous earth. It's also possible that it was made with ammonium nitrate rather than nitroglycerin, since ammonium nitrate is less expensive. Both of these techniques for making dynamite were available in the 1940s, and it's not uncommon for items developed for use on submarines to be different than what might be more common on land. If nothing else, any torpedoes or depth charges that might go off near the sub would send concussive shock waves through the water and knock them around. The closer they were to the explosion, the more roughed up the sub would get. Would you want shock-sensitive dynamite on the sub with your soldiers and plundered treasures if you were in charge of that Navy?

  • Also on the German sub: How and the heck did addler get it out of the ocean with out the FBI's knowledge. Underwater salvage of just bits and pieces is a large en devour, getting a WHOLE freaking sub into a warehouse with out it going on the news would be impossible. Just getting it up from the sea floor with out breaking would be an amazing feat.
    • To be fair, Addler has a billion dollars. That buys a lot of bribe money.
    • Just to spin an idea of how he could have done it: Addler, under an alias, buys a yacht roughly the same size as the U-boat. (Not hard for a billionaire.) Takes it out to within a couple of miles of the U-boat and fakes an engine explosion that causes it to sink. Greases a few wheels with people about the salvage of the yacht so that the designated recovery period is some time when no one will be around. They get it up and out of the water, possibly covering it up as they bring it up, maybe with attaching a few bits of scaffolding to make it more generally yacht-shaped. Then they can take all the time they want about getting it to land and transporting it to the holding facility... after all, they've got papers saying it's just the salvage of some rich idiot's $200 million dollar boat under the tarp, if they get stopped or anyone asks any questions.

  • A bit meta, but in one episode in season 4, Neal tells Peter to imply to a competitive suspect that he's "Doing a little bit better, earning a just a bit more money. If he drives a BMW (or Beemer) then you drive a Ferrari." I'm not a big petrolhead, but isn't Ferrari a couple of steps up rather than "Doing just that bit better"? Wouldn't that be a Mercedes or a Porsche?
    • I think you're taking this too literally.


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