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the island of conclusions

White Collar, "Countdown" and meme!

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White Collar, "Countdown" and meme!

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Late to the party, as usual, but I finally watched the mid-season finale of White Collar last night.

Let's do the not-so-shallow stuff first for once.

First, I'll join everyone else in applauding Tim DeKay's acting in that final scene. I've rarely seen anyone look so realistically devastated on camera.

I thought it was amazing how the season, overall, used the division between Neal and Peter, their mutual distrust and lying, not to distance them from one another, but to make their bond more intense and compelling. Well done. And ouch.

It was interesting that the two most affecting scenes of this part of the season (and maybe of any season)--the last scene of this episode and Neal in the Burkes' darkened bedroom talking to Peter on the phone--both took place in the Burkes' house. One of them in the hitherto unseen upstairs bedroom. It seemed symbolize the ways in which the show was quite literally moving deeper--penetrating further--into the characters' inner lives.

Okay, shallow:

Speaking of symbolic, where's my picspam of Neal jumping off things/flying through the air? He leaps onto that awning in "Free Fall," swings through the air in "Point Blank" and now does his parachuting thing in "Countdown." I'm sure one could write a lovely meta on what it means about when and how he's willing to take risks and cut ties, but also it just looks pretty.

Was anyone else thinking that if Neal's suit had been cut a little narrower he would have been in serious danger of doing himself an injury? Not that I was complaining. That's some lean silhouette.

OMG, Diana and the guns! There's fic already, right?

I had a little self-satisfied thrill about Agent Kremer calling Peter "Petey," since I'd used that nickname in a fic. But I kind of loved that whole scene (note how worried he was about Neal's comfort on the Burkes' house).

Finally, a canon question for those you who are better with this stuff than I am: how long have Peter and Elizabeth been married?

I saw this meme on [personal profile] topaz119's journal and thought I'd throw it out there:

Pick one of my fics, and I'll give you three details that didn't make it into the fic. Background canon, deleted scenes, or a look into the future. My choice, but if you have a specific question you can ask it in your request.

(I actually just updated this list, or it's all on AO3)

Happy weekend everyone!
  • I think you're right about those two intensely compelling scenes taking place in the Burke's house. Also, I love your shallow comments just as much as the serious ones. :P

    AND, the new Suits fic for the meme, pleasepleaseplease?
    • *g* well, the nice thing about White Collar is that it tends to give rise to equal amounts of shallow and not-so-shallow thoughts.

      Ah--the Suits fic! Thanks for asking about that one :)

      1. Okay, one detail I thought about putting in and didn't was to have Mike bringing Harvey his glasses at the beginning. Which, you know, he never wears at the office because he's kinda vain. But now the meds are making his eyes dry and he's had to take out his contacts. So, for the rest of the fic, basically, he's shirtless and bespectacled. But, in the end, I decided I was woobifying Harvey enough without that.

      2. I'm glad you liked the Pittsburgh thing! I've actually never been there--and my rule of thumb is to make characters from the place the actors are from (the way WC has with Peter/Tim, actually), but GM seems to have grown up in LA, and Harvey doesn't seem Californian. But I figured he was more of a convert to NY than a native--so, a decent-sized Northeast city, with a mix of people and classes--not too gritty, not too glossy.

      Of course, if his father was a minor league coach, they probably lived somewhere else in PA that actually has a farm team when H was a kid--Scranton,maybe--but his dad (in my head)moved to Pittsburgh when he retired.

      hee! obviously I'd love to write more about Harvey's backstory.

      3. And, yeah: what happened next. Well, it was all unbelievably schmoopy. Mike convinced Harvey to go to bed, and Harvey said, only if you stay the night--in my bed this time. And Mike said, okay, but only if you take tomorrow off too. And Harvey said, okay, but only if you stay home with me. (though of course all this dialogue was more guarded and barbed).

      So they did, and they woke up in the middle of the night and made out a bit in, well, a sloppy kind of way.

      And the next day, Harvey was feeling better, and spent the whole day on the phone and his laptop, but Mike totally crashed on the sofa, sprawled out fast asleep in the this boyish and totally adorable way.

      And Mrs. Wilson came back and tutted and told Harvey he needed to make an honest man of that boy.
      • 1) OMG glasses!Harvey would have been adorable. But I agree with you about that detail maybe being a little too much. Say you'll put it in another fic later???

        2) Pittsburgh is the bomb, I should know. :P Also, I think it's interesting you picked my city, because even if GM is from LA, I was fairly sure I heard he went to CMU for drama. But I may be confusing him with a bunch of other now famous people who did, like Matt Bomer and Patrick Wilson. I do so love the Pittsburgh celebrity trivia. :P I really love the dad back story you have here though, it's super great. And I'm glad you picked Scranton and not Philly. :PPP

        3) UGH. THE END. I LOVE IT. <3333 A million stars and rainbows for youuu.
  • Yes! I have been only partially interested in White Collar (it's not the show, it's me) this season, but they made it all pay off in the end with the amazing bonding of the two boys and excellent supporting cast.

    I do wonder how Neal manages to do ANYTHING in such tight suits. And his damn tie is always tied, which would be the first thing to go if I was wearing it.
    • It's funny, I've been watching every episode days late, because I'm not that drawn into the plot--but when I do, I love them--in terms of acting and writings (if not plotting) I think it's been their best season. And I've loved what they've done with Diana and Jones and Mozzie this season.

      And yeah, I spent an unspecified amount of time wondering if there was any Lycra in that suit, or whether the Italian wool was so fine it just moved with him anyway. Because, yeah, running in something that tight (with a tie, no less) would have to hurt!
      • I spent an unspecified amount of time wondering if there was any Lycra in that suit


        What? He had special shoes that looked like dress shoes, he could totally have a really snazzy suit to cat-burglar around in and still blend in with the rat pack!
  • I'm still kinda of on a sugar rush with this episode XD
    • lol--you mean you're flying like you have a silk parachute on your back in the middle of New York City?

      it was kind of a high, no pun intended :)
  • It is interesting how they use the house. The Burke house represents home/stability/an honest life. It keeps getting invaded in various ways -- Peter's used it as a base of operations on a few cases, Neal broke into it, Mozzie's conned his way in a few times, it's been bugged, and now El was attacked and kidnapped from her own kitchen. :(

    Flying Neal picspam. Drat it, I'm never going to be able to picspam all the things I want to picspam, am I?
    • That's interesting! So another way to look at it would be that no place is safe--the innermost domestic sanctums--the kitchen, the bedroom--are vulnerable. Peter's world has become Neal's.

      Of course, I'd love you forever if you found time to do a flying!Neal picspam--but I love all your WC picspams, so whatever you do have time for is great!
  • I am naturally quite predictable: "In Any Tongue" (I'd especially be curious about their future, but of course your choice)
    • Thanks for asking about that one--I've actually never thought about their future, but now I'm going to--

      *ponders*--I'm going to get back to you tomorrow about it, 'kay?
    • okay, I went back to reread the fic, and was embarrassed that I didn't know the British didn't kiss when I wrote it....

      Here's what came out when I tried to think about what would happen next--it's unabashedly romantic, and doesn't deal particularly realistically with the aftermath of a dub-con situation like that, but here it is:
      (using the alternate ending from the DVD)

      Marcus kept his eyes lowered in the days that followed, even to Esca. Esca did not know whether it was from shame, or to hid the smolder of his vengeance. He did not know whether it was because Marcus now wished he’d chosen death.

      They did not touch, not even the casual brush of hand or shoulder that had been commonplace before.

      There was not much time to wonder why, though. Events followed one another quickly, and soon they were running for their lives, the Seal People like the Roman Furies behind them.

      Then they did touch. Esca curled himself around Marcus whenever they stopped, trying to bolster Marcus against the fever and weakness that beset him. Marcus let him without a word, shivering into the circle of Esca’s arms, pushed by necessity past the strictures of shame and honor. It was not what a slave would do for a master, or what a master would do for a slave, or even what a man would do for his lover. It was simply what one hunter did for another when the night was hard.

      And hard it was indeed. Desperate. Yet somehow they came to the other side of it: the Seal People defeated; Guern on his funeral pyre, the eagle beside him; and Esca freed.

      The old centurions melted away, ghostly to the end, and Marcus and Esca faced each other across the embers of the pyre. Marcus, Esca could see, was poised between exaltation and exhaustion, the somber fury of his speech seeping out of him, about to leave him shaking.

      But he looked Esca in the eye, as he had done when Esca promised to return.

      “You are free,” Marcus said. “Free to leave as they have done.” He gestured towards the sodden woods.

      Esca held his gaze. “You are free, too. Your debt to your father’s honor has been paid.”

      Marcus startled, as if that fact were an arrow that had only now found its mark. Then he drew a shaky breath and went to his knees on the muddy bank as if someone had cut his legs from under him. He hissed as his bad leg took the impact, but his eyes did not leave Esca’s face.

      “Marcus.” Esca moved past the guttering coals, was on the ground beside him without quite knowing how he’d gotten there. “Marcus.”

      They did not kiss. Esca would not even have called it an embrace. It was an urgent, ungentle laying on of hands. Esca ran his up Marcus’s ribs, pushed his fingers through Marcus’s hair—half to check for injuries, half in joy that they were both still alive. Marcus did the same, his palms warm through Esca’s damp tunic, calloused and rough along his face.

      By mutual need, they crushed closer, Marcus’s jaw cracking painfully against Esca’s cheekbone, his heart beating hard enough Esca could feel it in his own chest.

      “I am free,” Esca said, voice almost a growl. “But I am yours.”

      “I, too.” Marcus’s voice was a thread of sound. “Free as the unmoored ship is free. Honor paid or honor lost, I cannot tell. But I am yours.”


      (I've always wanted to write a kind of "blood brothers" moment for this point in the narrative--an exchange of blood--but I have no idea if that's historically accurate or not)

      • was embarrassed that I didn't know the British didn't kiss when I wrote it....

        Augh, no, they totally probably did! At least there's no reason to think they didn't, and some reason to think other Celtic peoples did pre-Roman contact. I am sorry I ever started that meme. (And now I can't remember if I ever left feedback on your story, although I know I recced it back in March. *makes note to check when done with moving*)

        Eeeeeeee, boys. This is lovely, especially "Honor paid or honor lost, I cannot tell." Oh, Marcus. I am sure they still have other issues to work out and will down the line, so it doesn't seem unrealistic to me at all. (And no clue on the blood brothers thing, either, but I'd read it.)
        • Ha! I guess I haven't been keeping up with Eagle stuff as well as I should--glad kissing is okay, tho'

          I'm glad you thought it worked--I haven't written Eagle fic for months--I forgot how much I love these boys and their unabashed love :). Thanks for giving me the chance to remember. Maybe I will write some more with blood-bonding, since I've gotten this far.
      • Watch this space :)
      • ha! more!

        thanks for getting me to write this pairing again :)
  • Well...their tenth anniversary was in the pilot, if I remember right, but the show seems super vague on how much time's gone by since then. So somewhere between ten and fourteen years; I'm guessing closer to eleven or twelve.
    • Thanks! I thought it was their tenth anniversary in the pilot, but doubted myself (and was too lazy to go back to check). So 12 is a good guess, probably.
      • Coming in late, as always, but--for the record--what Peter says in the Pilot (unless I'm missing something, which is always a distinct possibility!) is that he's been "married a decade." But that could have been a generalization: he doesn't seem to be concerned with the "big 1-0" aspect of his anniversary, just that he has to make up for screwing up the year before. And even if he wouldn't be aware of the significance of a tenth anniversary (which I think hope he would), Neal would, so we'd see it in the car (i.e., Neal harassing Peter about forgetting his TENTH anniversary, rather than just his anniversary in general). So I'd guess something other than ten years--probably nine, since I doubt his tenth would've been the year before for the same reasons--for the Pilot.

        As for time, I generally figure that White Collar takes place in something vaguely resembling one WC year per RL year, but compressed, rather than with dead time during hiatuses, so...I would say about three years for the series, and twelve years for the marriage. *nods decisively, trying for confidence*
        • that makes sense to me: ~12 years would do it.

          (and by your reasoning Peter would have had Neal around to coach him through the big 1-0, which is fun to think about *g*)
          • Now I'm just picturing all the odd ideas Neal could come up with for their tenth, and all the things Peter would have to shoot down for various reasons!
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