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Pulling Strings - Recap

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The scene opens with Mozzie talking with Neal about the possibility of his getting free in a few weeks. Peter is busy this weekend and tells Jones and Diana not to bother him with anything, as he would be completely preoccupied with work. Diana said she got engaged to Christie, but she's thinking about a long engagement, as she sees a future with Christie. Peter tells Neal it's Elizabeth's birthday weekend and thus is planning something special for her. He's flying in his in-laws and has ordered a specially edited DVD of all her favorite home movies, so she can keep herself occupied. He tells Neal he'll be working with Sara on a stolen Stradivarius case, as this case is of paramount importance. The suspect is Bryan McKenzie, Sara's boss. She's worried that he's putting their entire division at risk, by his actions, and somehow wants to stop him.

Meanwhile, Neal drops by Peter's place to wait for his ride. He's waiting on Elizabeth's parents, while they arrive. Peter admits to being terrified of Elizabeth's psychiatrist father Alan, and thus is visibly flustered about meeting the parents. Meanwhile, Sara says the violin disappeared in New York after arriving from China. McKenzie happened to be in Beijing at the time of the symphony, thus he might have something to do with the disappearance. Meanwhile, Agent Kramer stops by the office. Elizabeth's parents arrive, with a nervous Peter looking on. Neal and Sara search McKenzie's apartment, for any clue they can find regarding the disappearance of the violin. We find out that she dated him after Neal, a relationship that ended when he became interested in the violin; this comes as quite a surprise to Neal. They were actually engaged before she dated Neal, and thus it can be imagined that, she not only knew him well but also intimately.

Meanwhile, Kramer tells Diana he misses her in the DC office, then mentions that she must work with Neal quite a bit. Afterwards she tells Jones that Kramer is asking a lot of questions about Neal, she finds Kramer’s queries slightly weird, and out of the ordinary. Meanwhile, McKenzie comes home and catches Sara, who is completely taken by surprise. Neal is hiding in a corner, and thus isn’t seen by McKenzie. She tells McKenzie she misses him, just so that she can keep his attention away from Neal. Mackenzie somehow falls for Sarah’s whiles, he is lulled into the fact that she still has feelings for him. He talks about her abandoning him while he was being hassled by customs, which led to him not trusting her; she tries convincing him that she made a mistake. She kisses him, allowing Neal to sneak out, without being noticed. Meanwhile, Peter and Alan have an awkward conversation, with the fact visibly apparent that, Peter is clearly intimidated by him.

Elizabeth's parents give her a childhood doll they had refurbished, which Elisabeth pretends to love, although her expressions clearly say otherwise. In the other room Elizabeth tells Peter she hated the doll, even when she was a child; but she doesn’t have the courage to some clean with her parents, as it might hurt their feelings. Meanwhile, a surveillance tape from the symphony shows a woman holding the violin; Diana and Neal are trying their best to locate the trail of the violins disappearance. Diana and Neal decide to go to the next performance together, so as to get their hands on some more clues that would ultimately help in locating the missing violin. Meanwhile, Kramer tells Neal he's working on the FBI's official response for his commutation hearing, and thus would need his assistance and cooperation. Meanwhile, Peter calls Neal and asks him to come over and help him, as he is finding it difficult to handle the awkward situation with Elisabeth’s parents all on his own.

Neal is stuck working with Sara. He thinks the editing company sent the wrong DVD and he doesn't have time to check it. Mozzie shows up at Peter's place to help, as Neal is busy with work and is unable to make it. Meanwhile, Neal and Diana notice McKenzie plant something on another patron in order to sneak through the metal detector at the symphony, McKenzie is surely up to something; as the two of them had suspected from the beginning. Neal and Diana talk themselves into the show after their tickets are rejected, as they have to find out what McKenzie is really up to. The second violinist is the one they connect with McKenzie; they infer that he is in cahoots with McKenzie. McKenzie talks to Neal before the show begins, unaware of his true intentions in befriending him. The two "couples" plan on drinks after the show.

Meanwhile, Mozzie is a big hit with Elizabeth's parents, much to the relief of Peter. Mozzie is especially shown bonding with Alan. Peter sees that the editing company sent the wrong movie, much to his dismay. He's only got 24 hours to fix it while his in-laws are in town, so that they don’t leave town with a negative impression of him. Meanwhile, Kramer tells Jones he should speak at Neal's hearing, as that might help his cause. Jones calls Neal to tell him there was another man on the surveillance footage, someone who came from room 207, so that Neal can be acquitted by the court, with not enough evidence to prove him guilty. Meanwhile, Neal and Diana rush to 207 and find the theater's instrument expert dead on the floor. But the violin is still there, much to their surprise.

Back at the FBI office they figure out that McKenzie was trying to sneak an experimental stolen substance into the country. Since it looks like a violin string, he hid it on the instrument and removed it that night; thus the whole episode with the violin. Meanwhile, Sara brings the string to McKenzie and lies to him, as she wants him to give her more information. She does so by pretending that, she loves the idea of bringing their company into the tech world, and would love for them to work together. Neal and Diana listen from a van, hoping to acquire some valuable information. McKenzie says he doesn't believe Sara and pulls out a knife, as he is onto her actual motives. Diana rushes in with her gun drawn, now that her game is up.

Sara pulls away from him and Diana eventually gets McKenzie to drop his weapon, thus nailing him in the end. Sara's case is closed, with her visibly satisfied with the outcome. She and Neal talk about maybe going out again down the road, the chemistry between them is quite visible. Meanwhile, Peter gives Elizabeth an electronic picture frame with her favorite pictures, which Elisabeth loves; it ends up being a huge hit, much to his relief. Meanwhile, Kramer tells Diana he thinks Neal has a lot of secrets, and thus can’t be completely trusted. He thinks she and Peter are turning a blind eye, to many of Neal’s past transgressions. Kramer thinks if he keeps diggings he'll find some dirt. He tells her "I think we have to talk about Neal's commutation." The episode ends.

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Warning: White Collar season 3 episode 14 guide may contain spoilers
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