"Payback" Episode Guide

White Collar Payback
Season 2, Episode 14 Air Date: February 22, 2011

Neal Caffrey's nemesis, Matthew Keller, contacts the FBI claiming to have information about someone who is forging passports, but he will only talk to Agent Peter Burke. Keller points them toward Jason Lang, a photographer who was convicted of forgery 10 years earlier. The lead, however, turns out to be an elaborate set up to have Peter kidnapped. Keller then tells Neal that he wants $2.5 million or he'll kill Peter.

Neal meets with the kidnappers and gives them a ring he stole years earlier worth that amount. During the exchange, Neal receives a message from Peter to stop Keller’s prison transfer. Unfortunately, the message comes too late and Keller escapes by bribing several guards.

Peter manages to escape from his bonds and knock out Lang, but he needs Neal's help to figure out how to get of the prison cell he has been locked into. With a little ingenuity, Neal helps Peter escape and the FBI arrives, but Keller is nowhere in sight. For more information, check out Quotes from "Payback" or Nitpicks from "Payback".

“Keeping Peter alive is more important than holding a candle for someone who isn't.” 
– Neal Caffrey


The Con

Neal uses a fake question to give Peter the opportunity to send him a message.

Interesting Facts

In his chess game against Keller, Neal employs the opening known as the Center Counter Defense (also called the Scandinavian Defense). This is one of the oldest recorded openings in chess history, dating back to the year 1475.

Character Information

The Bad Guy

Matthew Keller pled down to manslaughter after Neal and Peter brought him in for murder. (See Bottlenecked). He was sentenced to 20 years at Barksdale Maximum Security Prison. He claims to have information that Jason Lang is forging U.S. passports. Keller and Lang worked together on the Belmont bond forgeries three years ago. It went south and Keller took two bullets from Lang's gun. That destroyed their partnership. Keller owes the Russian mob $2.5 million dollars. Early in his career, Keller pulled a 3-man job with Neal. While they're walking away from the site, the third man says he thinks he left his passport behind. While he's checking his pockets, Keller put a bullet in his is head. The guy's passport was in his back pocket the whole time.

Jason Lang is a forger-turned-photographer who has a studio on the Lower East Side. He is an old partner of Keller (See above). He was convicted of forgery 10 years ago.



Ratso Rizzo

"More "Ratso" Rizzo than Cary Grant."

Ratso Rizzo is a down-and-out but resilient outcast in Midnight Cowboy. The role is played by Dustin Hoffman.

"As much as I loathe Schadenfreude, it would be nice to know that Keller's suffering."

Schadenfreude is a German word that means "pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others."

"Well, he's set up like a king at Hawthorne Fed...smoking Gurkhas, sipping port, reading the Times."

Gurkhas are a brand of hand-rolled cigars.

"Keller's going for a trifecta."

A trifecta is a variation of the perfecta (a bet in which the bettor picks the first and second place finishers in order) in which a bettor wins by selecting the first three finishers of a race in the correct order of finish.

John Lennon

"I once met a man in this park who claimed to be John Lennon.... The year was 1991."

John Lennon was a member of the Beatles who died in 1980. There are some conspiracy buffs that believe that John Lennon faked his own death (much like Elvis).

"I got him to learn Everybody Loves Somebody."

A famous song sung by Dean Martin of Rat Pack fame.


Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky is a Russian writer of realist fiction such as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

The Giving Tree

"I feel like I'm stuck inside The Giving Tree."

The Giving Tree is a famous children's book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein.

Reviews & Links


Writer:Mark Goffman Director:Russell Lee Fine
Regulars Guest Stars
Neal Caffrey
Peter Burke
Elizabeth Burke
Clinton Jones
Diana Barrigan
Reese Hughes
Matt Bomer
Tim DeKay
Tiffani Thiessen
Willie Garrison
Sharif Atkins
Marsha Thomason
James Rebhorn
Guard #1
Jason Lang
Matthew Keller
Agent Graham
Albert Jones
Jimmy Gary Jr.
Adam Goldberg
Ross McCall
Brian Hotaling
Ben Hauck

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