White Collar Season Finale Preview: 'The Last Scene Shocks Me Every Time I See It'

Like the best season finales, White Collar this Tuesday at 10/9c not only serves up satisfying resolution, it plants a provocative seed for its next run of episodes.

“We kick it to a whole new level,” executive producer Mark Goffman told TVLine at a PaleyFest event tributing the USA Network series. “We wanted to pay off everything that’s been set up so far — and it’s been a great ride for all these characters as they look into the music box — but the last scene is something that every time I see it, it shocks me. I am riveted when I watch Neal’s face and see his reaction to what is to be in Season 3.”

And what exactly is it that Neal will be left to react to as Tuesday’s finale draws to a close? Goffman offers but one hint: “It’s everything he possibly could have dreamed of.”

It seems the White Collar cast’s collective jaw was left on the floor when they read that final scene. As Tim DeKay, who plays Peter, puts it, “Just when you realize you are satisfied with every single question you had about the music box, in the last 10 to 15 seconds it will be flipped around and you’ll be amazed. You’ll realize, “Oh, that’s Season 3!”

Adds Matt Bomer (Neal), “We get set up for the next season in one very short scene, and the fact that [series creator] Jeff Eastin was able to pull that off in a really interesting way is a testament to his abilities as a writer. It’s pretty amazing.”

Co-executive producer Jeff King teases the finale cliffhanger and prospects for Season 3 thusly: “It’s like the music box on steroids. That’s what we’re after.”

While you process all those vague, previewy tidbits about the finale, here’s a sampling of what else the White Collar cast and producers revealed about what’s to come:

* DeKay says that although Peter “goes to the greatest length that anybody could to help Neal catch Adler” in the finale, the closing moments will dictate that their relationship be visited anew. “It makes you think, ‘Everything we think of Neal, is it not true? Is it true?’ It’s a great flip.” Which is par for the course on the zig-zaggy USA series. “There’s always a rubber band between Peter and Neal,” DeKay notes, “and that rubber band is [left] very, very taut.”

* Willie Garson says that Mozzie plays a key role in the season finale, creating a device that helps the gang track down the elusive Vincent Adler (played by Andrew McCarthy). And come Season 3, count on an outing that further illuminates Mozzie’s shadowy past. Says King, “We’re going to be going back to what made Mozzie who he was when we saw him in the previous flashback episode, ‘Forging Bonds.’ We’re going to explore his roots in Detroit.”

* Neal’s love life promises to get all kinds of complicated as he tries to juggle his past with what could be his future. Goffman says an “interesting triangle” forms with Alex (Gloria Votsis)  – “who features pretty heavily into the finale” – and Sara (Hilarie Burton, a series regular as of Season 3). “Neal is trying to move beyond his past, but Alex is a reminder of it, and he has a lot of feelings for her that he was never able to explore before.” Meanwhile, Neal’s nascent romance with Sara “is going to have fits and starts as they both figure out what they want from each other.” Wait, didn’t their coitus interruptus outside the card catalogs hint strongly at what they [ahem] want…? Says Bomer, “I think they’re just going to have a good time together and see where it goes from there.”

(With reporting from Vlada Gelman)

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  1. KG says:

    Team Alex!

    • Lara says:

      Team Kate!

    • Whitney says:

      Team Kate. I thought the writers would be smart enough to have made it her who did the LONG CON. Arrive at the warehouse and be all ‘Hello Neal’ That would have been epic! But for some reason this show does things half-cocked sometimes.
      I’m not so sure I’ll be watching S3 but I WILL watch the episode where Kate returns. If you love or hate her (I love her) she makes it better because of how different and confusing she can be.

      Sara and Alex. They’re alright but nothing to write home about. I hate the way they swoon over Neal. Kate wasn’t like that she had him all angsty, heartbroken.. i love the scene in the prison where she breaks up with him. I miss that Caffrey S1 was so fun. Yeah, that’s big part of the reason I liked her, she was in control.

  2. mgb says:

    Let Neal have both women for a while. This show needs more Neal action for our rewind viewing pleasure.

    • RP says:

      I was going to echo “Team Alex” but this is really the right answer, haha. Neal’s sensitive though! He’s a lover not just a leaver, that’s why we forgive him for being so annoyingly beautiful. :)

      Can’t wait for tonight’s episode, and next season for that matter. This is one of the funnest shows on TV right now.

  3. snrub says:

    Ugh. Love triangles are so annoying. But if it means getting rid of Sara, I’m for it. Neal is much more interesting with Alex (who we need to see more of anyways).

    • timotey says:

      They won’t get rid of Sara – they’ve just made her a regular for S3. IMHO, the show doesn’t need MORE regulars, it has a large enough cast as it is.

      • teniba says:

        The producer said, that they want add any in an interview at Paley fest panel for White Collar.

        This is why Sara is winning over Alex in the way the story has been told so far (that might changes but so far this is it!) she earned her way in by caring about and understanding Neal’s need for Closure on Kate, and also sharing her own still unresolved need for answer after her sister disapearance years ago.

        Alex and neal can save each other’s life and are attracted to each other and understand the con-artist part of each other, but Alex when she had the field open aw Kate memory as a competition, when Sara saw that memory as part of him…

        Sara has has an advtage for now, but even with that, she will have a bumpy road ahead in her attempt to make it work in a mature kidn of way…

  4. MGL says:

    Team Alex totally. I like her much better than Sara.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I have to admit, Sara’s grown on me quite a bit since “Burke’s Seven”, so I’m okay with her and Neal. As long as he stops mooning over Kate, I’m all good. But could Jeff Eastin leave my poor little heart alone with these cliffhangers?! First the winter finale with Mozzie and now this…it’s enough to send me to the hospital.

    • CC says:

      I completely agree!! I really liked the idea of Neal and Alex, because the Kate thing just always annoyed me, but Sara is definitely growing on me. She makes sense, too, if he’s going to try to leave the criminal past behind him at some point.

  6. song4ten says:

    I didn’t care for Sara at first, but I really like her now – much, much better than Alex. Alex will only double cross and hurt Neal once again. Here’s a vote for Team Sara…

    • chattypatra says:

      Agreed! Hilarie Burton has won me over and now I love her character. I don’t trust Alex and – even though Gloria Votsis does a great job of making her intriguing – I believe Neal needs to let go of that part of his past and move on.

  7. Julia says:

    I would rather have Neal without Alex or Sara- he’s much more interesting on his OWN, imo. But if I had to choose, I’d say Sara. He has zero chemistry with Alex.

  8. pall says:

    Team Sara all the way. Neal has ZERO chemistry with Alex…Plus I love Hilarie Burton

  9. Ben says:

    Definitely team Alex. All that history, plus she held out while he was with Kate, and she could give him a run for his money. …but i think he should “end up” with Alex, so I’d be ok if they didn’t hook up right now.

  10. SG says:

    I see no chemistry at all between Neal and Sara (who I am dreading turning up regularly in S3) – their scenes just seem awkward.

    Alex is much more interesting, and has fab chemistry with Neal/Bomer, so I guess this is another vote for Team Alex. LOL

  11. Matthew says:

    I seriously miss Bomer on Chuck. I know he kept the two leads apart, but every episode he was in was fun and exciting. Bomer is a great lead and I can see a lot of roles in his future once he’s through with White Collar; though I don’t want to see it for at least 4 more years.

  12. Zoe says:

    Team Alex, too! They’re hot together. I wish they’d flush out her character more, too.

  13. teniba says:

    Well another vote for Team a….hmmm no way!

    Another vote Team Sara!

    but well the desperation of team alex is clear as our girl is Series regular next season, so this vocal minority is every vocal!

  14. lexterg says:

    Sara: if there is ever anything between us, don’t lie to me
    Neal: i would never
    Sara: Yes, you would!

    That’s says a lot about Sara, realistic, bt willing to take chance, on the offense but doesn’t let her guard down…

    ohhh this si vote for Team Sara

  15. chipmunk says:

    Neal: when i said thing are over between me and Alex, i did mean it
    Sara: At the time?
    Neal: yes at the time

    She is starting to understand the guy, she will take it slow and will try her best to not try suffocate him with a commitment or anything… This end game and yes this is a vote for Team Sara!

  16. Shallen says:

    there are many team A meber as team S members. But as of yesterday, Sara is winning the fight for neal against Alex, it might change in Season 3 as Nea will have to face very important changes.

    But i might be the only one thinking this, but chemistry nonwithstanding, Alex for a little while had an open field with Neal with zero competition that was alive. Why didn’t she make any progress with him?

    My answer is that Neal is unreachable for her because she doesn’t get him totaly, she understands and fantasizes about the con-man but the other Neal that has emerged since his arragement with the FBI, that other neal who wanted to retire somewhere quiet with kate, the neal who wants closure with kate, she doesn’t get him.

  17. marnica says:

    Team Alex all the way! I can’t see the chemistry between Bomer/Burton you claim to see. Maybe there was some when she wanted to “nail his ass” for the Raphael, but the whole love interest thing imho kinda pop out of nowhere.
    Alex had never had the time to progress with Neal because he was still mourning for Kate at that time and she respectfully waited for a sign of his.

    • teniba says:

      Alex is teenager who want to have fun, Sara is a young woman who wants a serious relationship.

      anyway, it’s far from over for Alex but i might just insist on this:
      Neal was able to say clearly to Sara, he is over Alex… he couldn’t say clearly to Alex that there is nothing between him and Sara…

      I am just sayin chemistry or not, the scripts seems to give an edge to Sara, plus Sara has neal’s de-facto family and guadians (The Burkes) aproval… Not that it counts, but i am pretty sure that Alex will not be invited @the Burkes anytime soon… i am sayin not that it counts

    • teniba says:

      Plus your interpretation of Alex vs Kate is quite inacurate, Alex saw Kate’s memory as competition. Sara because of her own childhood drama knows what it is tohave those questions that neal struggles with and offered to help so he can have closure. Neal apreciate that…

  18. redknapp says:

    Just one lil vote for Team Sara

  19. Marlou says:

    Definately team Sarah! Chemistry is amazing! The neal/Sara kiss in ep15 was way hotter than the alex kiss in 16. I see no Chemistry with Alex! There was some before kate died weird enough but Sara is winning now, big time!! Hilarie totally won me over which doesn’t happen often! So good for her and my Sara vote!

  20. Dr.Dr says:

    Go team Alex! God, I hate that Hilarie Burton is now a regular cast member. Thumbs up for Gloria Votsis!

  21. YA says:

    * Neal’s love life promises to get all kinds of complicated as he tries to juggle his past with what could be his future. Goffman says an “interesting triangle” forms with Alex (Gloria Votsis) – “who features pretty heavily into the finale” – and Sara (Hilarie Burton, a series regular as of Season 3). “Neal is trying to move beyond his past, but Alex is a reminder of it, and he has a lot of feelings for her that he was never able to explore before”. This is what executive producer Mark Goffman says… I am all for Neal finally realising his true feelings for Alex, if the writers wish it to be so. Alex can change her ways for Neal.

  22. Rei says:

    Alex! they both compliment each other. Sarah looks old for Neil.

  23. jill says:

    i like both sara and alex. I think both of them have great chemistry with neal. when alex first came into the show, I was really rooting for her because i was a bit annoyed at all the kate business. i thought she was someone who has been there all along but somehow neal never seemed to really notice becase of Kate. then, Sara came along and i also really liked her team-up with Neal. So i think it’s gonna be fun to see that love triangle ensue. I think I’m gonna be happy whoever Neal ends up with.