What I did like:
It’s always great seeing John Laroquette, and he did excellent work as a baddie who still made his feel the fear and desperation along with the pure avarice that was driving his evil deeds. You could almost see a Dan Fielding who’d made some really bad choices ending up in that situation eventually. (He also looked like he was ready go on as Andrew Jackson in a remake of The President’s Lady or something. )
Loved having Diana and Jones go under-cover together. (In spite of my “supporting characters should stay supporting” rant of a few weeks back, I’d love to see a spin-off of Jones and Diana being all snarky and bad-ass together.)
On the shippy (and cruel) side, I liked the fact that Neal seemed to be choosing Peter over immediately listening to the Kate tape from the plane, which also amounted to blatantly choosing Peter over Mozzie, who had risked so much to get the tape. I love Mozzie, but there’s just something about his heart getting trampled in favor of the Suit that makes me eeeeevilly happy, mostly because it validates my Neal/Mozzie backstory fanon.
Loved watching Neal con his way into the game and the Buffy shout-out.
What I didn’t mind:
This week’s gratuitous process shot. Oh what the hell! Although I still wish they’d just play it up and go with some really extreme green screen stuff since everyone’s in on the joke anyway.
What I didn’t like:
Sara and her ugly dresses. Aside from the costume department having turned on her, the writers let her down this week. In the previous episode the bitchiness toward Neal made sense and seemed organic to the character. But last week we saw her softening a little, and ending up with “Can’t wait to try the soup” or whatever. This time she seemed to have regressed to being gratuitously nasty about having Neal arrested, which sucked as characterization and sucked even harder when I realized that it was only being done so she could melt into those blue eyes and suddenly be Neal’s big cheer-leader and help him with the Kate mystery. YUCK.
Also, I refuse to believe that Neal needs the tack-trick to beat a polygraph, AND I'm also sure the Mythbusters already proved that it doesn't work.
What I REALLY didn’t like:
The premise that everybody, including the evil Chechnyian gangster is going to suddenly go all ooey-gooey as soon as they find out that the baddie’s plot involves kids. Yes, it’s a lousy thing to do to people. He should certainly have been brought down. However children are not the be-all and end-all of everthing to all of us and this felt like over-kill and Capra-corn. (Couldn’t at least one of the hench-men be all, “dude, I’m out of here” and have to be slapped into cooperation by the evil Chechniyan gangster?)
Just really rubbed my non-kiddie worshipping soul the wrong way, and even left a bad-taste during the Espresso Machine joke cuteness at the end.