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"Copycat Caffrey" Episode Guide

Copycat Caffrey White Collar
Season 2, Episode 3 Air Date: July 27, 2010

When the million dollar painting is stolen from a museum, Neal learns that someone has copied one of his old crimes. The thief stole the original and then sold numerous forgeries around the world. Neal and Peter trace the forgeries back to blank University to their surprise a criminology professor, George Oswald, is teaching a course all about Neal. Neal realizes that he can use the current investigation on Oswald to help Alex Hunter. Alex is concerned because someone has been looking for her. She feels it has something to do with the music box.

Neal devises an elaborate scheme to trick the professor that involves the Detroit mob, Alex Hunter and stolen gold. But Oswald is one step ahead and improves Neal's common and walks away with the gold. Peter steps in and poses as a member of the Detroit Mafia to spook Oswald into using Alex as a fence for stolen items. For more information, check out Quotes from "Copycat Caffrey" or "Copycat Caffrey" Nitpicks.

“Look at us. Saving America's youth from a life of crime.” “We're a regular after-school special.” 
– Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke

Highlights

The Con

Neal and his new college friends pull a melon drop which involves switching cases.

Interesting Facts

Lewis Thayer is a fictional artist.

If you look at the syllabus for the class, under "Neal Caffrey" is a section about "Adam Goodnoff: Confidence Man." Adam Goodnoff is the second on-set dresser for several episodes during Season 2.

One of the students asks Neal about the Lajoux diamond heist. This story was featured in Free Fall.

The Antioch Manuscripts (that is mentioned in the syllabus and in class) that Neal pulled off is mentioned in Vital Signs.

The diamond heist Neal talks about when he first interrupts the class is real. Gerald Blanchard stole the Koechert Pearl Diamond in 1998. He was caught in Canada in November 2007. He pleaded guilty to sixteen charges and was sentenced to eight years (out of a possible 164 years). He was released in January 2010. And Neal got four years for one crime...

One of the largest, unsolved art heists was a slash and grab. Thirteen art works were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990. None of the pieces have been recovered. Because of stipulations in Gardner's will (which prevents the museum from moving, purchasing or selling any of the works) all of the empty frames remain on the walls.

Character Information

The Bad Guys

George Oswald is a criminology professor at East Side University. He started teaching ten years ago. The FBI suspect he counterfeited a bank note last year, forged an Emerson letter, smuggled Egyptian artifacts, copied Tokley-Perry and stole Matisse's "View of Saint-Tropez."

The students who help him are Eric Taylor, Manny Veselic and Veronica Naylon. Taylor is the student who tries to con Alex out of $200 at the bar and the one who runs into Jones during the Kruggerrand switch. Manny is the one who pays with $100s at the bar. Veronica Naylon is the archeology student that contacted Justin about making the copies of the Thayer painting.

Russell Smith is an old friend of Mozzie’s from Detroit with connections to the mafia. When he learns someone is looking for Alex, he agrees to sell her out. Smith has been involved in racketeering, extortion and robbery.

Kate Clues

Diana and Peter realize that a hole the music box could be a key hole and Alex gives Neal the missing piece (aka the key).

References

Allusions

"When executing a heist, Mr. Caffrey, do you prefer boxers or briefs?"

It might not seem like an allusion, but this question became famous in 1994 when a young woman asked then Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton this question during an MTV town meeting. Clinton was more forthcoming than Neal. His answer: "Usually briefs."

"Bar called The Globe."

The bar that the college class meets at is an allusion to a famous Elizabethan playhouse in London made famous by William Shakespeare.

Matisse's View of Saint Tropez

"Matisse's 'View of St. Tropez'"

Another one of Oswald's alleged thefts (and the painting that Alex is believed to have at the end of the episode.) Matisse refers to Henri Matisse, a French artist that is mentioned quite frequently on White Collar. The "View of St. Tropez" is a painting that was stolen from the town hall of Bagnols sur Ceze, France, on November 12, 1972 along with eight other works. It has never been recovered.

"Emerson Letter"

One of the things Oswald is suspected of stealing is the Emerson letter. Emerson refers to Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American philosopher, lecturer, essayist, and poet.. Hopefully he stole more than one since they are not incredibly valuable. In July 2010, a letter Emerson wrote to William Prince sold for $360. Source

Dead poets society

"What's with the Dead Poets Society in there?"

Dead Poets Society is a 1989 movie starring Robin Williams. The movie was not about college but rather an exclusive private school for boys.

"...of the Don Corleone persuasion.

Don Vito Andolini Corleone was the title character in the 1972 movie The Godfather. In the movie he was played by Marlon Brando.

"They fell of a truck."

Falling off the back of a truck is the standard line of explaining the origins of something you'd rather not talk about. It usually means items that were originally stolen.

"We're a regular After School Special."

ABC coined the term After School Specials in 1972 for a specialized movies that were geared toward teens. The movies were usually about controversial topics and shown in the late afternoon or early evenings. They ran over 150 of the specials.

Reviews & Links

Credits

Writer:Channing Powell Director:Paul Holahan
Regulars Guest Stars
Neal Caffrey
Peter Burke
Elizabeth Burke
Mozzie
Clinton Jones
Diana Barrigan

Matt Bomer
Tim DeKay
Tiffani Thiessen
Willie Garrison
Sharif Atkins
Marsha Thomason

Alex Hunter
Miss Jeffries
Russell Smith
Veronica Naylon
Eric Taylor
Manny Veselic
Justin Magary
Professor George Oswald
Gloria Votsis
Rosa Arredondo
Michael Boatman
Christine Evangelista
Scott Campbell
Ari Brand
Cal Robertson
Aidan Quinn


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