In what series creator Jeff Eastin “one of the funniest episodes we’ve ever done,” this Tuesday’s White Collar (USA Network, 9/8c) tasks the FBI with the case of a “black widow” – a woman who marries wealthy men and then profits when they are killed under suspicious circumstances.
“The only way we think we can [catch her] is to go undercover as a potential husband for her,” previews Tim DeKay, whose (happily married) FBI agent Peter Burke joins Neal (Matt Bomer) and Jones (Sharif Atkins) as man candy at a charity bachelor auction.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Peter catches the eye of black widow Selena (played by Twin Peaks‘ Mädchen Amick), forcing him to “date” her until he can get the goods to prove she’s really a murderess. “It was fun because Peter certainly did not want to be picked, and he doesn’t think he’s going to be,” says DeKay. “We all assume that Neal will be picked.”
To find out what it takes to pull a “black widow” into your web, TVLine spoke to DeKay, who gets to show off his impressive comedy chops during the episode, titled “Veiled Threat.”
BLOW AWAY THE COMPETITION | When it comes to wooing a lady, “Peter is way out of his element,” DeKay reports with a laugh. “I don’t think Peter was ever much of a dating kind of guy. But when he has his eyes set on a target…,” needless to say, you better watch out. While Jones tries a “Please everyone” approach (with his sweet-and-suave cookie mogul cover) and Neal blows every speed date save for the one with Selena, Peter’s awkward but honest approach trumps Neal’s considerable charm. “The thing about Peter is, he says, ‘Oh, I don’t flirt,’ and yet…. There’s a confidence to him that I think he allows to come out at certain times, which maybe shows a bit of suaveness,” his portrayer offers.
GET ADVICE FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS | As smart, confident and determined as Peter might be, he’s been happily out of the dating game for a while. Thus, flirting advice is definitely required, and the unlikely source doling it out is his wife Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen), who despite being concerned about his safety — and being a little jealous! — wants to show off her man. Says DeKay, “Elizabeth likes the fact that Peter has to do a little bit of flirting and win the competition when it comes to wooing women.” Which is not to say the missus is cool when things between Peter and Selena… progress.
SHOW HER YOUR MOVES … ON THE DANCE FLOOR | One of the most memorable scenes of the episode – and one of DeKay’s favorites – comes when Peter asks Selena to dance, and the music suddenly switches to a tango. Rather than making up an excuse to back out of the dance, Peter takes hold of Selena and launches into an impressive display of footwork. But “it’s all smoke and mirrors,” reveals the actor. “We only rehearsed during lunch one day. [The choreographer] was able to give us some moves that made us look like we knew what we were doing, but in actuality it had been since grad school since I’ve done any kind of formal dancing like that.”
LEAVE HER WANTING MORE | Another memorable scene for DeKay: “When I go back to [Selena's] apartment” – yeah, the tango worked – “and I have to get out of that because you can tell that she wants the night to last into the morning.” As Peter’s charmed the dress right off his mark, DeKay got some playful ribbing from his co-stars during filming of the episode. “Everybody’s like, ‘Ooh, look at Peter! Oh, Tim, you got the moves! Fancy,’” he happily recalls. “Everybody was having a good time teasing me.”
White Collar fans, how excited are you to see Peter go undercover as a rich bachelor? Do you think he has what it takes to out-woo Neal? Watch a video preview below: