Forging Bonds - Recap

<-- Previous EpisodeNext Episode -->
Peter researches old Vincent Adler files. He sees a picture of Adler
where Neal is in the background.

Neal is painting when he hears a knock on the door. It's Peter, bearing
a bottle of booze . He tells Neal that Adler made off with
$1,000,000,000 - and Neal knew him? "He made me who I am today." Peter
wants to get him, and he needs Neal's help. Neal can have complete
immunity for any crimes he mentions, but he needs to tell Peter
everything about Adler.

Neal shows him the fractal Mozzie built from the music box. He tells
Peter the first one he saw was in Adler's office.

He remembers meeting Mozzie eight years ago. He was running a sidewalk
three-card Monty scam from the front side of the table. Neal won, and
Mozzie hired some kid to chase him down. Mozzie suggested the "Everest
of swindles." Neal asks who the mark is, and Mozzie tells him it's
Vincent Adler.

When Neal finishes remembering, Peter recalls the first time he heard of
Neal. He told a co-worker that the forger really knew his stuff. He
nicknamed Neal "James Bonds". Neal starts getting cocky, so Peter tells
him he wasn't that good. His memories though are him telling Elizabeth
Neal is really good.

Neal remembers that Adler was a big fish. He made $150,000,000 the year
before, managing a hedge fund. Mozzie teaches Neal never to say "I don't
know". What you don't know, you need to find out. Mozzie knows that
every six months, Adler sents a hefty percentage of his earnings to an
account in the Caymans. He intends to re-route Adler's next wire
transfer. To do so, they will need the account number and password. They
are going to take five months so Neal can ingratiate himself with Adler.
Once he does so, Mozzie seems to think Adler will give Neal the
necessary information.

Mozzie tells Neal to cash in a couple more of his bonds so he can meet
Adler at a $5k per plate dinner. Present day, Peter interjects that that
was a big mistake. Neal refers to it as a "calculated risk". Peter says
that him doing that was what got Neal on the fed's radar, giving them
their first visual of him. Neal remembers that he wasn't the only one
who made a mistake that day.

Outside the bank, Neal and Mozzie overhear Peter telling the bank
manager that Neal is good. If anybody brings in bonds, he wants to be
contacted immediately. Neal questions Peter, and gives him the sucker
that the bank gave him.

Neal picks an alias for the con: Nicholas Halden. Mozzie quizzes him to
make sure he's ready for the big meeting.

Neal introduces himself to Adler with a fake bottle of expensive wine
and some insight into finance. Adler walks away, but Neal approaches him
again, this time telling him of his passion for fine art. Adler
introduces Neal to Kate, his assistant. They hit it off. He tells her
he's looking for new opportunities. She says he's there to cozy up to
Adler, and he doesn't deny it.

Before dinner, Neal switches out the place cards so he ends up at
Adler's table, while Adler's date is across the room. Adler gives him
until the salad course to tell him what he wants. He tells him he wants
to work for Adler, in acquisitions. Adler says his team is full. Neal
gives him some insider information about a company Adler is supposed to
be acquiring. The owner is going to sell to someone else, and Adler's
company will appear unstable. Adler dismisses him from dinner, and Neal
gives him his card so Adler can call him if he was right.

Peter asks if he was right, and he was. Adler ditched Singer and brought
in Neal. Adler had a lot of holdings, and a lot of enemies. Neal had a
knack for rooting them out. Kate had a boyfriend at the time so they
didn't get together romantically then, though he does make it clear that
he's interested. He asks her out, and she doesn't answer, instead giving
him an assignment from Adler. Kate's boyfriend asked her to move to
Chicago with him. She accepted, she's leaving in a month.

It was around that time that he saw his first fractal in Adler's office.

The person looking into Adler's acquisitions turns out to be Alex
Hunter. Neal sets up a meeting for Adler with her. Adler tells her he
finds her passion for antiquities unusual in such a young woman. He
tries to bully her into telling him who she's working for, but Alex
doesn't budge. He tells her he knows what illegal things she did,
accessing his database, making copies of his records. He should bring
charges. He lets her walk away.

Adler gives him a huge bonus. Neal wants him to use it as a buy-in, even
if it's not enough money. Adler initially refuses, but then accepts.
Peter is sympathetic, because Neal didn't know it was a scam. He was
trying to prove his loyalty.

Alex confronts Neal, but he says she got caught. She needs to be more
careful. They become lovers. She tells him what she's looking for. The
music box. She thinks Adler has information about it. She thinks it's in
Copenhagen, and will send him a sign if she needs his help. She
disappeared soon after.

Neal and Mozzie are on the phone. Mozzie says it's time. they need the
log-in information now. Neal ends the call when there's a knock at the
door. It's Kate. She's changed her mind about Chicago.

Neal seems conflicted about continuing with the con. With just days to
go before Adler makes his semi-annual offshore deposit, Mozzie is
pushing to finish the con. Nobody knows Neal's real name. Mozzie heard
Peter has a picture of Neal, and is trying to find him.

Adler has Neal fitted for a $10,000 suit. They discuss the future, and
Adler mentions the relationship with Kate. Neal tells Adler there's
something he should know, but he glances over and sees the sketch of
himself on a newspaper folded on Adler's desk. He tells Adler he noted
an irregularity in the Cayman Island account. Adler asks if it's a
hacker, and Neal says it's probably someone from the bank. Adler doesn't
hesitate to give Neal the password, and tells him to burn it when he's
done. Neal puts a hat over the picture. In parting, Adler tells him not
to sell himself short. Kate will love him for who he really is. After
Adler is gone, Neal takes the newspaper and the hat.

He wears the hat as he walks through the park with Kate. She says she
could get used to it. He has to go meet Mozzie, but Kate insists he stay
with her. He almost tells her the truth, but stops.

Neal lies to Mozzie and says he didn't get the password. He tells Mozzie
he's in love with Kate. Mozzie says every conman gets his heart broken
once. Neal doesn't think she'll break his heart.

Neal and Kate make love, and she goes to get pizza and something to
drink. She turns on the kitchen TV and they find out and that Adler
skipped town, and the entire firm was a scam.

Peter's office is watching as well. Jones asks Peter to be included in
the task force.

The password Adler had given him was an anagram for "nice try Neal" and
there was only $1 left in it when Neal checked.

Kate is very upset. She lost everything. Neal finally comes clean about
everything, including his true name. Mozz, Kate and Neal start doing
cons as a team.

Neal tells Kate that Peter has been asking about the British Pounds. He
thinks they should go to France. When he mentions Amsterdam and
Copenhagen, she turns cold on him. She picks up the origami flower Alex
sent. It's not about Alex. He wasn't honest with Kate about why he
wanted to go. He tried to con her. He admits he made a mistake, but she
walks out anyway.

He goes to Copenhagen and finds the music box. It's a three person job
though, they can't pull it off without Kate. Everybody thought he had
the box, and he didn't bother correcting them. When he got back to the
States, Kate had disappeared. He started doing bigger cons, trying to
get her attention. but he didn't get her attention. He got the FBI's

Peter remembers when they were trying to catch Neal. He asks Diana
"You're on the run. How do we catch you?" She answers "Stake out my
girlfriend." Jones says they may know where Kate is. Peter realizes two
things. Kate is hiding from Neal, and he doesn't know where she is.

Mozzie arrives with information for Neal, about Kate. Mozzie thinks it's
a trap, but Neal doesn't care. He takes the information and goes. Mozzie
tells him to be careful.

He finds Kate. He apologizes for lying to her about a lot of things. But
he never lied about loving her. She says she loves him too, and they
kiss, and hold each other. The FBI comes in, and Neal thanks Peter for
helping him find Kate. Peter finally eats the sucker Neal gave him the
day they met.

Neal tells Peter they won't catch Adler. it's not that the trail is
cold, it's that there is no trail. Peter reminds him that he caught Neal
because he gave him what he wanted most (Kate). They have what Adler
wants most. The fractal. It must mean something, point somewhere. Peter
thinks Neal is hiding something, because there is an origami on the
table, made of a receipt from today. Alex has been here. What does she
think it is? Neal says it's an antenna. The fractal shape corresponds to
a specific frequency. It's an emergency beacon. If they build a real one
of these, and hook it up to a radio, it's going to lead them to a boat,
or a plane, or something that disappeared in the 1940's. something worth
killing two people. Something worth all this. It's worth it to Adler.
They just need to get there before he does.