HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: White Collar: Season 4
HTS Overall Score:76
Back for a fourth season, “White Collar” has found its groove and is sticking with what works. As a white collar criminal turned government consultant (think of “The Mentalist” meets “To Catch a thief”) Neal (Matt Bomer) was allowed reprieve by working with FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) in order to take down other white collar criminals using the old “use a thief to catch a thief” adage. The show is very similar to “Castle” in some ways, it uses the old tried and true “thief of the week” style of storytelling, all the while having an overarching storyline that deals more with the characters relationships rather than some overarching villain that is trying to take down our heroes. Simple, yet fun it’s great escapism and a much lighter fare than some of recent televisions outings which tends to stick to the dark and serious.
After escaping to a tropical island and losing the FBI last season, we meet back up with Neal who’s finally been tracked down by Agent Burke. The problem is that he’s not the only one who’s found out Neal’s location. Collins, an FBI sanctioned bounty hunter is hot on his trail as well and Peter must do everything he can to help keep Neal from being dragged back to the states in chains. Luckily for them, there is always high profile criminals around for leverage. Using a master criminal as bait, Peter and Neal negotiate a truce between Neal and the FBI as long as Neal and Peter hand over said criminal. As soon as that happens Neal can come back to his old “job” of being forced to assist the FBI.
As you can guess Neal and Peter are back in the game soon enough and back to their old tricks. Mozzie is back as the nerdy side kick and more criminals are taken down a peg. The season has some great episodes, one in particular where Neal has to take go back to his old Wall Street persona in order to take down an insider trader and Senator Pratt who is dealing dirty with some corrupt cop. This all leads up to a finale that certainly kept me on the edge of my seat and will keep me tuned in for this currently running season 5 (I’ve been swamped and REALLY need to catch up on the last few episode released of Season 5).
I mentioned earlier that this show is a lot like “Castle” and that’s very true. The procedural is pretty much the same every week. Rack up a row of villains and take them down with pure style. The real fun of the show is watching the relationship between Peter and Neal grow, adapt, take steps back etc. It’s hard living as a technical house arrest patient and Neal is a brilliant monkey in a cage. As you can guess that means he’s never exactly happy sitting around doing menial jobs and his love life with takes a toll, as one could imagine. The only real downsize to the show in my opinion is that Mozzie (Willie Garson) hasn’t aged with the show as well as the rest of the characters. He’s still nothing but a goofy tag along with some contacts and really doesn’t add much in my opinion. I wish his character would grow along with the other characters instead of just stay flat.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=13410[/img]As with most modern TV series “White Collar: Season 4” is presented with a 1.78:1 MPEG2 encode for us to enjoy. Overall this is a very nice picture for a DVD TV season with only minor errors along the way. The main gripe is some minor haloing during green screen shots, but overall the picture is clean and clear of most major artifacts. Contrasts can run a bit hot sometimes, but it appears to be a stylistic choice since those same contrast levels have been used in the previous two seasons and the skin tones are well balanced. There is some inherent softness due to the lack of resolution in the DVD format but the colors are bright and clear with some excellent detail to be seen in the tropic landscape. Black levels are very solid with no sign of black crush in sight. A good clean transfer that will please most everyone.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=13411[/img]As with the video we have a very serviceable Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track for the series. There show, as with most TV shows, suffers from a very front heavy sound track, but the surrounds are allowed to play with some decent ambient noises along with some impressive LFE during firefights and explosions. The series doesn’t have a lot of panning effects leaving the front channel most of the work, but that’s a minor complaint at best and doesn’t detract too much from an otherwise solid sound track. As good as it is, it really makes one wish for the lossless audio and increased resolution that the show would definitely see advantages from a Blu-ray release.
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Tim Dekay - In the Directors Chair
• In the Wind - Commentary
For those of you who have been watching since the beginning, “White Collar: Season 4” is a worthy addition to the collection, adding some new changes to the show with a great season finale is welcome news and with such solid video and audio scores it’s hard to keep it from your collection. As with all TV shows whether you purchase or not will depend on if you have the previous seasons, but if you’re new and want to check it out, it’s a great time to buy with some of the lowest prices for the first few seasons I’ve ever seen and with black Friday around the corner I’m sure season 4 will be complimented well by some cheap sales on the first 3 seasons. Recommended
Starring: Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay
Created by: Jeff Easton
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: DD 5.1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Runtime: 704 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: Oct 8th, 2013
Buy White Collar: Season 4 Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
More about Mike