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Gloves Off - Recap

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The episode begins with Neal, Peter and Mozzie watching the cassette. A young Ellen is seen talking to the camera, and in other words to Neal. Ellen says that Neal’s father has been accused of a very serious crime. “He told me he was innocent, and I believed him” she says. She tells Neal, she believes his father is innocent. She also reveals that his father said he was set up dirty cops. But before she could investigate the whole thing his father confessed to the murder. She never got to talk to him, but all she knows is that he turned state’s evidence and as a result Neal, his mom and she are being placed under witness protection.

She then shows a box on the video and tells Neal that all the information of his father’s case is in it and the key to the box is inside a locket, which she then shows on the video. Later, Neal tells Peter, he needs the key in Ellen’s locket. Peter says he will call the marshals about it. Neal feels they can’t go on record, asking for that locket. The two then make a pact that they won’t discuss the details of the case or the tape with anyone, not even Sam, till Neal figures out how things can be worked out. Later when alone at home, Neal calls Sam and asks to meet him. At office, Neal is informed about a new case, by Peter. It’s about an insider trading ring. They have a list of 30 suspects including some fairly well known traders.

Peter then shows Neal a photograph of a man who might be the potential ringleader. Neal immediately recognizes the man as Eric Dunham. Neal reveals his and Eric’s paths have crossed a couple of times in the past. Peter decides to send Neal undercover, so he can get in on the action with the traders. Later, Neal meets Eric in a gym where he is busy sparring in a boxing ring. He asks for two minutes of Eric’s time, so he can convince him, to let him back in. Neal later invites Sam into his home. Sam tells Neal how he was an undercover cop with Flynn Organization a local crime family, and Neal’s father was on the payroll of the organization. He then turned state’s witness against the family, and his testimony brought down almost the whole organization.

Sam asks Neal to help him find Ellen’s killers and in return, he shall help Neal find everything about his father, including why he hasn’t contacted Neal till now and where he is at. Just then there is a knock on the door. Sam hides and Neal opens the door. It’s Elizabeth. She is there to give Neal some homemade gelato, in order to make him feel better. She sees two glasses of water and suspects something. Later, she decides to keep watch outside Neal’s apartment. She calls Peter and tells him about the reason she is keeping a watch on him. She takes a picture of the man coming out of Neal’s apartment and emails Peter the picture. Peter on seeing Sam’s picture, assumes Neal has broken the pact.

Next day, Eric hires Neal, as Neal has managed to convince Eric of his capabilities. Eric suggests that Neal join his boxing fight club, as it’s a place where valuable information can be acquired. The joining fee Eric says is $25,000. Later, Peter sanctions the $25,000 and tells Neal he needs to record Dunham passing on insider information, something that would be enough to place him under arrest. Secondly, Neal has to find out, from where Dunham is getting his information. Later at the fight club Eric tells Neal that to get the tip he has win a boxing bout. Until then all he can do is watch from the sidelines. Next day at the office, Eric forces Neal to name his source, who is giving him all the information. Neal much to Peter’s surprise spells out Peter’s name, and tells Eric that Peter is a small time stock trader.

Eric wants to meet Peter, and asks Neal to set up a meeting with him. Peter on the other hand, tells his people to make an empty office look like a hedge fund. Neal calls up Peter and fixes the meeting. Later Eric meets Peter, who hands him a check of $25,000 and tells Eric that he wants to join his fight club. Peter then challenges Neal to a fight in the ring. Later, Neal tells Peter that it was a bit much Peter signing up for the fight, although he realizes that he did it so one of them would lose and Eric would give the other the insider information. Diana informs Neal, the fight would be choreographed in such a way that Peter wins, as its better if Dunham gives the insider information directly to an FBI agent.

Later, Peter finds out Sam’s address and pays him a visit. Peter tells Sam they can together figure out who killed Ellen. Peter wants Sam to tell Neal that, the three of them should work together. He says the idea has to come from Sam, as Neal doesn’t get that he is only trying to protect Neal. “I have to think this through” Sam tells Peter, adding that he wasn’t planning any of it. Neal at home while practicing his boxing tells Moz that, Peter might have told the FBI about the tape. “I am met with Sam but I didn’t show him the tape” Neal tells him. Peter comes in with Jones and they choreograph the fight. They decide the signal for the knock-out would be the tap of the gloves. Later just before the bout, Neal receives a call from Sam.

Sam tells Neal he is leaving as its getting “too hot around here” because of Peter’s investigation. Neal is shocked to hear this. Sam says “I had warned you about this; no federal involvement”. Neal tries explaining that he didn’t know about “this”. “Sorry Neal” says Sam and hangs up. He is then shown packing his bags and leaving. Neal then steps into the ring in utter rage. Neal forgets all the rehearsed choreography and turns the whole thing into a real fight. During the fight he tells Peter “you went to Sam”. Peter says he was left with no other choice. Peter then signals to end the fight, but Neal feels it’s too early. The two then go at each other as if it were a real fight. Moz during time out asks Neal to stick to the plan. Neal says Peter was with Sam, and because of him Sam is gone.

Moz explains to Neal that the solution to his anger isn’t assaulting a federal agent, and also reminds him that Peter is his friend. Peter in the end knocks Neal out. After the fight, Eric tells everyone to leave except the winners of all the fights. Eric gives the insider information and the FBI agents immediately walk in and arrest Eric. Later, Neal tells Peter he did not show Sam the tape, he simply met with him because he is the only one who has any connection to Ellen. The two then arrive at Sam’s apartment and find his door open.

The two don’t find Sam inside. “They found him because of you” Neal tells Peter, and adds that this was the very reason why Sam did not want to work with Peter. “As far as my personal life goes, we are done” Neal tells Peter in rage and storms out. The episode ends at this point.

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