"White Collar" Where There's a Will (TV Episode 2011) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • The Roland brothers Josh and James, not on speaking terms for years, inherit a fortune from their eccentric, astronomy-obsessed father, but in the form of an intricate treasure hunt. Time presses as their only offspring is kidnapped by the infamous Brett Gelles. Pressed for time, Neal takes charge of the clues while the FBI tracks down the hostage. Meanwhile Mozzie plans to sell off a Degas from the Nazi treasure, but Neal learns about a partially preserved manifesto rendering that too dangerous.

  • Peter and Neal must follow a treasure map will to save a kidnapped daughter.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Open with Peter (Tim DeKay) taking Neal (Matt Bomer) to help authenticate tycoon Nathaniel Rowland's will. Sons Josh (Christopher Masterson) and James (Danny Masterson) are disputing which of two is accurate. It turns out both are forgeries. During the process Peter bonds with James' daughter. Further tests are needed.

    Mozzie (Willie Garson) positions a closed circuit camera on the treasure so they can both monitor it. He discusses plans to sell a Degas painting from the collection.

    Peter tells Neal that Rowland forged the signatures on the wills himself, using his left hand for the fictional witness names which are anagrams. One of the names spells out the 15th century astronomer Tycho Brahe. Seals on the two wills appear to form a map.

    A strange woman is in the office to meet with Peter. Based on her bag, Neal determines she must be with art crimes department in D.C.

    Peter tells the art crimes agent, Melissa Matthews (Anna Chlumsky), about the manifest. After she leaves, Neal pretends to be someone outside the building and tells Matthews he's looking for Peter.

    Peter and Neal tell Rowland's sons about the puzzle. Neither seems interested in following their dead father's clues, but Peter gives Neal permission to look into it.

    Neal and Mozzie look at a sundial while Peter and Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) have lunch. Eventually, puzzle nerd Peter can't stay away. He and Elizabeth show up to meet the guys. The four of them use some mirrors and determine the clues point to three letters: BSH. Jones (Sharif Atkins) calls Peter to tell him James's daughter Savannah has been kidnapped.

    Savannah is being shown live and well on a website, the person wants $6.4 million (the amount James was left in cash) in four hours. The feds can't trace the web signal.

    Josh is brought in. He assures them he loves Savannah. He tells them BSH means Big Sky Hunting, a reference to Manhattan's planetarium. They tell Josh to work on getting his niece back while they focus on the will.

    At the planetarium, they learn huge donor Rowland last visited the building in December, signing in under Brahe with the note "happy birthday to me."

    After looking at the astrological image from Brahe's birthday, the guys determine the clue must be in a note Brahe wrote to his deceased twin. The letter is at the planetarium, donated by Rowland.

    Unfortunately, the book is sealed in half-inch glass and the pages are mechanically turned each day. It will be several days until the book gets to that page and the planetarium can't gain access. Peter focuses on finding Savannah. Neal is now in charge of figuring to the book.

    Neal and Mozzie figure out the alarm system for the book is the same as the rest of the building. They come up with a plan involving Peter and Elizabeth's dog, Satchmo.

    The team has found a man named Brett (William Sadler) who did the security system for Rowland and has a relationship with Savannah. They start looking at other homes where he's done security.

    Mozzie pretends to be blind. He tricks a security guard into letting him look over his shoulder as he enters the access code. Neal enters the code, opens the bottom of the case and begins changing pages.

    Four homeowners Brett has worked for are on vacation. Peter sends the team to watch those locations.

    While working on the book, Neal tells Mozzie he plans to pay Matthews a visit before she leaves town. Mozzie is selling the Degas that night. The book refuses to stop on the correct page. Mozzie drills a small hole in the glass. As soon as air hits the book, it disintegrates.

    A furious Peter tells Neal the planetarium is going to sue. Neal is confident the book shouldn't be that delicate. It must have been a fake. This was Rowland's plan. Symbols remaining on what's left of the book match those on Savannah's ankle bracelet. The plan is to lure Brett out by saying the money is tied up in the treasure hunt.

    Posing as James' attorney, Neal tells Brett about the importance of Savannah's ankle bracelet. Neal tells Brett they know who he is. The only way to get his money is to meet them with the bracelet. Brett hangs up. The countdown clock on Savannah's website goes to zero and the screen goes blank. James is panicking.

    The homes Brett has worked on turns out to be a dead-end. Peter tells Diana (Marsha Thomason) and the team to go through his home looking for any other clues.

    Brett arrives at Rowland's home with the bracelet and a pocket video showing Savannah is okay. She will stay that way provided he isn't followed when he leaves. James and Josh tells Neal the charms on the bracelet point to a picture of the three of them taken on Christmas when they were young. Brett is bitter. Rowland didn't help him a year earlier when he had money issues.

    Diana directs Peter to a likely location for Savannah.

    The picture was cut in two pieces, one each on opposite sides of a room divider. Brett orders them to break in just as Peter and his team burst and rescue a perfectly fine Savannah. Brett is arrested.

    Savannah is reunited with her father. They decide to see what is in the wall. Inside are the real will and the original copies of Brahe's manuscripts.

    At the office Peter tells Neal, "it's good to be back to normal."

    Neal "runs into" a slightly drunk Matthews and pretends to be an Interpol art crimes agent who met with Peter for the exact same reason. He gets her to reveal Peter has part of the manifest. If any of the pieces of art is sold ,they will have their thieves. Neal excuses himself, calls Mozzie and tells him not to sell the painting.

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