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24 January 2014 @ 06:55 pm
Squeeeeee post!  
In this post: White Collar S5 squee! This has probably been my favourite season so far -- it's so deconstructive and meta, and has delved so well into the characters.

I have been missing Diana, of course, but I also support non-judged maternity leave, so I shall content myself with bouncing in delight at the bits of her we've had.

I'm not even very good at writing reaction posts, but I wanted to register my incoherent squee. Join me in happiness!

SPOILERS UP TO LATEST EPISODE (5X12). NO SPOILERS FROM 5X13 OR PROMOS PLEASE!

PLEASE NO HARSHING. (Especially if you feel that Peter's a terrible person -- please, not in this post?)

Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/116233.html with comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
Current Mood: enthralled
 
 
 
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Neal grinsholio on January 24th, 2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
ALL THE SQUEE FOR THIS SEASON!

PETER! NEAL! DIANA!!!! EVERYBODY!!!!

MOZZIE WITH A BABY!

DINOSAURS!

CANON SICKFIC!

CAPSLOCK STUCK, SEND HELP. XD
Frith: Flailfrith_in_thorns on January 24th, 2014 07:09 pm (UTC)
ALL THE SQUEE IN THE WORLD!!

DIANA UNDERCOVER AS RACHEL! DIANA AND NEAL DOING STUFF TOGETHER! NEAL BEING SAD AND PETER BEING WORRIED ABOUT HIM!

NEAL BEING DRUGGED!

SHOOOOOOOOOOW!!!
(no subject) - sholio on January 24th, 2014 07:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on January 24th, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - love_82 on January 26th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sholio on January 24th, 2014 07:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on January 24th, 2014 07:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
zou2: remyzou2 on January 24th, 2014 07:22 pm (UTC)
I posted a bit of a rant - SPOILER FREE to my journal, but the gist of it was THANK GOD FOR DIANA pointing out the elephant in the room all season.

My hope is that Peter will "give up" the promotion because he realizes that he shouldn't benefit from Neal's actions (the ones he keeps condemning him for but at the same time has been encouraged to undertake by the FBI numerous times). Neal will stay on anklet with Peter as his handler and Peter will try much harder to not encourage Neal to wander into grey areas, even at the FBI bequest (and fail a lot at this) and prove to Neal that justice really can win out. At the end of the series I'd love to see be a case of Neal realizing that his way is not always the first thing he should try, and Peter realizing that his way sometimes does not result in "real" justice being served.
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Peter with gunsholio on January 24th, 2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
... but Peter being stricter with Neal at the start of this season and telling him that "things were going to be different" just resulted in a deluge of complaints about how Peter is MEAN and UNFAIR. I can only imagine that if Peter stopped giving Neal any leeway at all, the backlash would be even more vicious. (And what's he supposed to do if Neal breaks the law then, put him in prison?)

One of the cornerstones of the show has been that Peter's different from people like Kramer, that he recognizes Neal doesn't thrive on absolute rules and gives Neal the flexibility to do things "his" way rather than expecting him to toe the line all the time. I'm not saying I have a problem with Peter in canon recognizing that Neal's been asked to essentially indulge his addiction on the FBI dime -- it's true, and it'll be interesting to see where they go from here -- but I DON'T think that Peter becoming a strict taskmaster a la Kramer would result in anything other than Neal going behind his back, and the fandom imploding in a pile of "... but Peter is SO MEAN AND COLD" reactions. XD
More thoughts! - sholio on January 24th, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
leesa_perrie: Diana Berriganleesa_perrie on January 24th, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
ANGST!!! SO MUCH WONDERFUL ANGST!!! PLUS A LITTLE BIT OF WHUMP and SICK PETER and DRUGGED NEAl! DIANA KICKING ASS again and letting Neal do what Neal does to get the flashdrive, and defending her actions to Peter!

And MOZZIE with THEO!!! SOOOOOO CUUTEEE!! And also LOL at the beginning, with Peter and Theo - and Diana leaving him to do the diaper!!! :D :D :D Peter's face!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D

And then the ending... Oh Mozzie! *on tenterhooks* *wants next episode now*
Frith: Neal+Peter 1frith_in_thorns on January 25th, 2014 12:59 am (UTC)
I knoooooooow!! This season has been SO GOOD and SO MUCH FUN for all the characters!

IS IT NEXT WEEK YET?
zou2zou2 on January 24th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
I know I never expected Peter to be perfect but I did expect some consistency and the start of this season was just such a knee-jerk change because of his incarceration, that unfortunately Neal bore the brunt of. I think in reality Peter is having a HUGE crisis of faith about his beloved system and Neal and his actions are an easy target aka outlet for Peter. However, I do hope that by the end of the season Peter is able to see that in reality Neal's actions are no different then they have really ever been since the CI relationship started....it is Peter's reaction to them and his slowly acknowledged realization that the example he and the FBI have been setting has really not been in Neal's best interest and could easily set Neal up for failure because it just solidified the fact that breaking the law can be justified if the right people are justifying it for the right reasons.

Not sure how Peter is going to reconcile this internal struggle, which I am more and more seeing. In fact, I think he is having a much harder time with this than Neal at the moment as it is shaking the bedrock belief system he thought he was living and teaching all along. Again, thank you Diana for being such an oracle.
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Neal hand on Peter's shouldesholio on January 24th, 2014 08:47 pm (UTC)
... okay, so what it sounds to me that you're saying is ... well, basically what the fandom has been saying all season, that Peter needs to believe in Neal and mold Neal into a better person, but EVERYTHING PETER IS DOING IS WRONG, even when he's actually doing the things fandom says he should be doing.

You said above that Peter needs to be stricter with Neal and stop indulging Neal's lawbreaking, because if he lets Neal get away with things, Neal is always going to be a criminal, and Peter has to teach Neal to be a law-abiding citizen. So Peter being indulgent with Neal's lawbreaking -- giving him jobs that fall under his con-artist/breaking-and-entering skill set, and forgiving him when he steps out of line -- is unfair to Neal.

But if that's the case, then how is Peter openly acknowledging Neal's criminality and deciding to be stricter with him at the start of this season ALSO unfair to Neal?! (Well, to the extent that he did; I think it's actually HIGHLY debatable that Peter has been treating Neal any differently this season than he ever has, but for the sake of argument let's say that Peter did, as much of the fandom thought he did, pull back a little and become more strictly-business, by-the-book in 5x01/5x02.)

So how is Peter supposed to win here? Peter needs to be stricter with Neal for Neal's own good, but when he actually is stricter with Neal, this is "Neal bearing the brunt of" Peter's own issues with having been in prison ... somehow?

I do hope that by the end of the season Peter is able to see that in reality Neal's actions are no different then they have really ever been since the CI relationship started

I also think this is somewhat debatable (I think Neal has actually changed quite a bit since early season one, both in what he does and why he does it) but okay, let's say this is true: Neal is still doing basically what he was doing in early season one, which is about 3 years of show time ago. In that case, how in the world is Peter supposed to change him ... and more importantly, why should he? If Neal hasn't really changed in 3 years, I'd say that's MORE than enough time for Peter to give up on the idea that anything he does or says can mold Neal into a different person.

And to some extent, I think this is kind of what's happening on the show. Peter started off, back in season one, with the idea that he could (in his own words) keep Neal on the straight and narrow. Well, that has categorically NOT happened, even though Neal over time has, I think, subtly and quietly slipped a little closer to Peter's way of thinking on some things.

But I think Peter returning to the "strict parent" role would be a major step BACKWARD for Peter's character growth at this point (and for Neal too). Basically, I think Peter started out, back in season one, believing that Neal broke the law because Neal either a) didn't know any better, and needed to be taught, or b) was broken, and needed to be fixed. Over time, I think what Peter's figuring out is that neither of those things are true (or, well, both are true a little bit, in certain ways). Neal's not a fix-up project and he's not Peter's child; he's an adult with his own ways of doing things, and Neal's moral and ethical choices are not Peter's responsibility (even if some of his actions still are, due to Peter having responsibility for him as his parole officer until the anklet comes off).

What I'm hoping for, I guess, is pretty much what's been happening this season: for Peter to begin to recognize that Neal's choices are valid, that Neal's choices aren't his responsibility (except in the sense of being Neal's friend, and giving him advice), and that some of Neal's choices are probably always going to be criminal ones, and there's really nothing Peter can do about that; Neal will either decide to do those things, or he won't.

I think the best thing that could happen for BOTH of them at this point is to continue to move AWAY from the idea that Neal's eventual fate is Peter's responsibility/problem/issue, and toward Peter accepting Neal as an autonomous adult who is entitled to the right to make his own decisions, even if they're decisions that Peter considers "bad" ones.
(no subject) - sholio on January 24th, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - aragarna on January 24th, 2014 09:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on January 25th, 2014 12:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Winterwinterstar95 on January 24th, 2014 08:15 pm (UTC)
I am just going to say - yay! That you have the squee!! Always nice when someone loves a show enough to squee about it!
Frith: Diana 1frith_in_thorns on January 25th, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)
♥ Thank you for stopping by to the party! :D
kanarek13kanarek13 on January 24th, 2014 08:21 pm (UTC)
Definitely joining the squee \o/ What an excellent episode ♥

And wonderful points being made here in the comments ♥

I honestly have no clue where they are gonna take it, but my current standing theory is:

Rachel kidnaps Neal and fakes his or their death so that the FBI doesn't go after them.

Awww, season 6 would start with heartbroken, grieving Peter. And then one day he receives a cryptic message and he knows it's a distress signal from Neal, Neal is alive and he needs help and Peter goes to find him and bring him home ♥

Just a theory, not based on even a hint of spoiler :P
Frith: Neal 1frith_in_thorns on January 25th, 2014 12:10 am (UTC)
I LOVE YOUR THEORY AND I WISH TO SUBSCRIBE TO ITS NEWSLETTER

(If it doesn't happen on the show, I may have to beg you for permission to steal your idea and write it!!)
(no subject) - kanarek13 on January 25th, 2014 12:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on February 4th, 2014 12:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kanarek13 on February 4th, 2014 12:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frith_in_thorns on February 4th, 2014 12:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kanarek13 on February 4th, 2014 12:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pipilj on January 25th, 2014 08:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sholio on January 25th, 2014 12:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kanarek13 on January 25th, 2014 01:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - love_82 on January 26th, 2014 04:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
aragarna: Peter b&waragarna on January 24th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
Joining the SQUEEEE ! :-)

LOTS of angst this season, definitely darker than, say, the 3 first seasons.
But I LOVE that the show dares going so deep into the exploration of its own premise. It would be much easier to make it a buddy show, full of stars and rainbows, Peter and Neal all on the same page... But this exploration of the limits of Peter and Neal makes it for a much more interesting show (well, imo, at least).
And I find the show more compelling when the season arc is about Peter and Neal (like season 3, and this one), than when it's about Neal's life messing up with everyone (Kate, the Music Box, James...)

Plus, I do think this season's arc has been more tightly written than previous seasons. And it's been SO unpredictable! Seigel's death, psychocrazy!Becca, Mozzie a natural father... ;-)

zou2zou2 on January 24th, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC)
Guess I wasn't expressing myself very well and I want to clarify that I don't necessarily that that Peter has been completely wrong about everything all season, and definitely think Neal was wrong to continue to be hagan pupoet and let things get so out of hand. If there is anything that Neal should have learned by now is that when he hides things from Peter things just seem to get worse.

I think my biggest complaint this season was what appeared to be peters blindness on the hypocrisy of condemning and encouraging Neal's behavior depending on the circumstances. Now that the show is addressing that head on I am getting back to a happier place. Although I am holding my breath at the horror the writers may inflict on us as a cliff hanging finale.

I honestly want Neal to stay on the anklet with Peter as the handler and for the two to have one more year to try to get Neal to learn to trust the system at least a little bit and for Peter to be able to live with knowing he did his best not to give Neal mixed messages about breaking the law. I mean there have been plenty of great con and under cover ops that stayed well within legal bounds and Peter needs to press for more of those and prove to Neal that justice can prevail without cutting corners.
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Neal hatsholio on January 25th, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)
I guess that I'm curious, then: in your opinion, what would an ideal Peter-Neal handler-CI relationship look like? What's the best-case scenario there? I'm actually really curious how you feel their relationship SHOULD go down, if Peter is too relaxed, lenient and forgiving in the relationship they actually have on the show. I'm envisioning something more like Neal + Rice, where he gets strict instructions and is benched otherwise, but maybe I'm getting the wrong idea -- how do you think Peter SHOULD behave towards him?

Particularly when he breaks the law. I get the impression that you're making a case for Peter terminating their relationship and sending Neal back to prison when he found out about the gold theft and prosecutor bribery. Is that right? Or, if not prison, what do you think Peter should do in situations like that, assuming Peter's goal is to "teach" Neal not to break the law anymore? Back in season three, Peter worried that by forgiving Neal for things like the U-boat treasure theft, he was teaching him that there wouldn't be any consequences and it would be okay to steal. In the end he forgave Neal anyway; do you think he should not have done that?

(p.s. could you please reply directly to my comment rather than replying to Frith's post in general? I don't get notifications when you reply to the post in general, and it's hard to follow a conversation when it's spread out through a half-dozen threads ...)
(no subject) - zou2 on January 25th, 2014 12:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
Thouhts continued - zou2 on January 25th, 2014 01:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
shadowfireflameshadowfireflame on January 24th, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC)
Agreed so hard!!! So many twists!!! So much awesome! Drugged!Neal!!! OMG, sooo much h/c, I'm so happy!
Frith: Neal+Peter 1frith_in_thorns on January 25th, 2014 12:07 am (UTC)
I'm enjoying it SO much! And the arc is really well-done and coherent, which is basically unheard of for this show XD
scarym1scarym1 on January 25th, 2014 02:30 am (UTC)
What an EP!!!! I almost died over seeing the adorableness of Peter with Theo. Then Mozzie baring right in and taking over as Theo's Nanny was hilarious. I love how Diana was so quick to trust Mozzie with her son. : )

It has been quite the ride this season. It has been heartbreaking to see Neal & Peter struggle with their friendship. I don't think it will be resolve in one more ep. Maybe that is what S6 will be all about. : )

One of my fave scenes is when El & Peter are talking and she say that "what he (Neal) needs to do is fiqure out what he wants in his life." That line applies just as much to Peter as it does to Neal.

I absolutely love EVIL Rebecca!!! She just get creepier with every ep. Neal having an evil stalker is something I have wanted for ages. I hope that she gets to stick around for awhile.

So here is my idea for a cliffhanger, Peter & Neal both get kidnapped by Rebecca who locks them in a room while she escapes with the Diamond. They have a lot of time to talk while they wait to be rescued. : )
love_82 on January 26th, 2014 04:46 am (UTC)
Yay for squee! I love these characters so much so I don't really care about the storylines. I just like watching them interact. But I have been enjoying this season. I too like where they are going with the characters. And I do love my angst. :)

I also like that I can't figure out where they are going and what the cliffhanger is going to be. There are so many ways everything could go. I think someone is going to get shot. Or it is going to look like someone is dead and they are not. Some of my ideal storylines would be Peter or Neal taking a bullet for the other or a presumed dead storyline.

Also I think Peter's promotion could be part of everything. A set up. I don't trust that Bruce guy.

I will add squee for Diana being back. I have missed her and her and Neal together.

Also we got more drugged Neal and sick Peter and Mozzie and babies. More airtime for Jones. And I really like psycho, creepy Rebecca/Rachel as a villain.

Edited at 2014-01-26 04:46 am (UTC)