Summertime not only brings picnics, beaches, and Comic-Con – but also the return of USA’s hit television line-up.

Tonight, White Collar returns for its season two premiere. With any semblance of normalcy getting blown-up in the season one finale, will the sophomore series be able to continue ratings domination – while solving last season’s major cliffhanger: who killed Kate?

In tonight’s premiere, Peter (Tim Dekay) and Neal must battle one of the world’s most notorious bank robbers, dubbed “The Architect” – a criminal who delivers a special business card to the bank he intends to rob. Of course, with Peter stuck in front of a review board and Neal back in jail, they’ll need all the help they can get. Thankfully, Mozzie (Willie Garson) has Neal’s back, while new/returning Special Agent Diana Lancing (Marsha Thomason) provides Peter with some much-needed support.

Review

If you’re tuning into the second season premiere of White Collar looking for any type of resolution to last season’s predicament with Agent Fowler, the Office of Professional Responsibility, or Kate’s death, you’ll sadly be disappointed – as not a single answer to these subjects gets addressed.  While the first few moments touch upon a couple past storylines, the reminiscing quickly comes to an end by the use of a “get out of jail free card.”

Albeit, not literally (of course, Neal doesn’t spend much time in jail either), but last season’s events quickly get pushed to the side with simple dialogue:

PETER
So, you think that Fowler set up a meeting?

DIANA
He’s expecting something to happen at 12th and Watershed, two months from now.

PETER
Two months? I should be there.

DIANA
I’ll put it on your calendar.

Really? Two months from now? I’ll put it on your calendar? I expected so much more from a series that hit the ground running and provided nothing but solid entertainment in its first season. Sure, there are some moments when Neal and Mozzie attempt to delve further into Kate’s death through-out the second season premiere, but their venture does not prove to be particularly successful.

While I started out my review appropriately railing on the lack of continuity, I really need to make it clear that this is an entertaining episode. Yes, I’ll admit, it’s not the best episode of the series, nor is the deconstruction of “The Architect’s” criminal behavior all that interesting, but there’s something about it that still feels solid.

Perhaps it’s Neal’s charming demeanor, or the fact that it’s been four months since the last new episode of White Collar, but I can honestly say that overall, with all of its (many) problems, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Of course, this good-will won’t last long and whatever timeframe they use on the series, two months better come sooner than later because, while watching Neal talk his way into the vault of a bank is entertaining, one can’t lose sight of the his original motivation for getting out of jail: Kate. Neal’s primary motivation is still tied to Kate’s death. Instead of wanting to be with her, he wants to find out who killed her – something that should have him even more motivated (but doesn’t seem to).

Alas, this is the first episode of the new season and with 13 episodes to go after this, anything could happen. I’ve seen next week’s episode as well, and it struggles with the same lack of motivation. However, as I said before, there are still more episodes to go. So, anything could happen…. Hopefully soon.

Final Thoughts

While the second season premiere of White Collar lacks the story progression that fans were hoping for, it’s still able to deliver a solid hour of entertaining television.

If you’re a fan of White Collar, keep an eye on our Comic-Con coverage as we’ll have interviews with the cast when Screen Rant invades San Diego Comic-Con.

Catch White Collar, Tuesday’s at 9pm on USA

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