Episode Title: "Power Play"
Writer: Mark Goffman
Director: Jeff E. King
Peter (Tim DeKay) gets a tip from Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) about a corrupt trader, Andrew Stanzler (Richard Schiff) whose event she’s planning. Stanzler’s assistant is willing to talk to the FBI but extremely nervous about getting caught. When Peter is late to their meeting, Neal (Matthew Bomer) assumes his identity in order to question the assistant before she backs out.
Meanwhile, Sara’s (Hilarie Burton) returned from Argentina with info on Adler. She and Neal have an awkward encounter on the street and later get together to go through immigration archives on the German man Adler was looking into in Argentina.
Neal learns from Stanzler’s assistant that he’s looking to hire a thief to obtain key video footage from a business associate’s safe. Peter, posing as Neal, impresses Stanzler and gets the gig.
With a little help from Moz (Willie Garson) and June (Diahann Carroll), Peter is able to break into Stanzler’s associate’s home while the two are in a meeting and retrieve the footage. Stanzler than asks Peter to work another job, later that week at the party Elizabeth is planning.
At the event, Stanzler takes Peter aside and brings him into a private room, where he leaves him alone with the business associate he stole the drive from. Peter realizes he’s been played by Stanzler, who intends to kill the man when the power goes out. Neal and the rest of the team hear what goes down thanks to a bug Peter dropped in Stanzler’s jacket. They break into the party just in time, allowing Peter to unarm and arrest Stanzler.
Here we have the inevitable episode where Neal and Peter switch places. And you know what? I really enjoyed it.
Watching Peter learn how to ply Neal’s trade to take down a crooked energy trader was fun and allowed the straight laced FBI agent to let loose, Neal Caffrey style. We also got a really nice scene between June, Moz and Peter as Moz trains the FBI agent in the art of slight of hand.
The penultimate episode also returned to familiar ground, as Sara and Neal try to decipher exactly what Adler is up to. And of course, the flirtation between these two continues…
I’m interested to see some resolution to the whole music box/fractal antenna mystery and we had some movement on that front in "Power Play." With the season finale looming, here’s hoping this epic mystery is finally tied up or at the very least, spun in an exciting new direction.
As for Neal and Peter’s switcheroo, walking in each other’s shoes proved revealing not just for the characters but the viewers, as well. Peter became way more fun to watch in the role of "Neal" while Neal was a tad boring as "Peter." In fact, Neal should never be given a badge. The power of federal authority added to his irresistible charm and flawless good looks good take down entire governments.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.