White Collar Boss Discusses Finale Cliffhanger, Neal's Season 4 'Pursuit' of His [Spoiler]

[Warning: If you have yet to watch Tuesday’s season finale of White Collar, avert your eyes now! Everyone else, read on…]

White Collar‘s Season 3 finale finally delivered a verdict on Neal’s fate, and it did not go as expected.

Rather than being set free or having to complete his sentence with the FBI, Neal’s future took a third route: He cut his anklet and fled after getting the nod to do so from Peter, who had just learned of Kramer’s plans to keep Neal working for him, in D.C., for the rest of his life.

Where is the con man headed? What happens to Peter’s career now that he’s sacrificed the law to keep his C.I./pal out of his mentor’s hands? And is that trip to Roosevelt Island just the tip of the iceberg in uncovering the real Neal Caffrey? TVLine went to creator Jeff Eastin to gets answers.

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TVLINE | In the finale, the show went to a place it’s never been before, with Roosevelt Island.
And the first episode back in Season 4 won’t take place in New York. It won’t take place on American soil.

TVLINE | Do you see it as almost like a prequel to Season 1, where Peter has to chase Neal again?
A little bit. There’s definitely a parallel to the first time Peter caught Neal. The difference here is Peter gave Neal the nod to go. That nod really changes everything. … The hula girl is a pretty good indication of where Season 4 starts out. He’s tracking Neal for a different reason than he was the first time.

TVLINE | Peter sacrificed the law and what he believes in for Neal. How will this affect his career?
That’s a lot of what happens in Season 4. There’ll be some serious ramifications for Peter.

TVLINE | It felt like Peter and Neal were coming to some middle ground in this episode. Neal’s become better, but Peter is becoming more like Neal.
That was a lot of it. Peter was always a by-the-book guy, so for him to start realizing that grey is a color too…. The guys definitely merged a bit. Unfortunately, Peter works for the FBI, and they’re not a grey organization. They’re black-and-white. He went too far. The law says you gotta be prosecuted for doing [the crime] no matter if you’re a whole different person two years later. But Peter believes that Neal has really changed and wants to help him with that. Unfortunately, Peter probably stepped too far out of bounds.

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White Collar Matt BomerTVLINE | What will be the state of Peter and Neal’s relationship in Season 4 given everything they’ve been through?
In a lot of ways, it strengthens it going into Season 4. They’ve done this together. They realize how much they do rely upon each other. Again, it comes down to realizing exactly who each of them is.

TVLINE | When Peter changes his mind and says Neal should be free, does he really believe that? Or is he saying that because of what Kramer has in store?
Tim [DeKay] and I talked a lot about that. In that moment in time, he believed it.

TVLINE | You planted some seeds with Neal’s visit to Roosevelt Island. Is exploring Neal’s family one of your goals for next season?
Season 4 will rely heavily on Neal’s pursuit of his family.

TVLINE | So he doesn’t know where they are?
No. A lot of the big questions will be, Is his real name Neal Caffrey? If a fan of the show wants to guess, I wouldn’t do it if I were them. I don’t think the answer is what they think it is, no matter what they think it is. To a certain extent you might be right, but you won’t be right for the reasons you think. The discovery of who Neal was becomes a big part of Season 4.

TVLINE | Now that he’s on the run, will we see people from his past like Alex?
It’s very possible.

White Collar fans, what did you think of the season finale? Are you excited for Season 4 and to learn more about Neal’s family?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. anotherjoy says:

    White Collar’s finales are always good for building interest in the next season. My heart melted a little when I saw Peter barely shaking his head at Neal to disappear, and then a little more when Neal’s emotions were breaking all over his face on the plane at the end. Such good actors Tim and Matt are!
    I’m in total agreement with whoever said Sean Maher should play Neal’s brother (assuming he has one). I would love that. And if Zachary Levi could somehow be on the show (maybe not as a relative) and have scenes with Matt Bomer, that would be a dream come true! Either way, I’m looking forward to next season!

  2. Dean says:

    Most excellent writing! Haven’t seen a bad episode.

  3. tomo says:

    This was my favorite season finale so far for the show. Left a lot good questions for us fans and leaves us with things to be left our imagination. I can’t wait till summer, it’s going to be great! Loved June too!

  4. Helen says:

    Marie- Neal wouldn’t be a free man whether or not Diana spoke in front of the Commutation Board because Kramer had all new charges against Neal being outside his limit and on the Roosevelt Island tram. Plus Kramer said he would even add a charge for J-walking if necessary.

    • Andy says:

      Neil was not outside his limit Peter changed it as it went orange red then back to green on the cable car. As for adding a J walking charge just what a corrupt cop (Neils dad) would do.. Anything for a conviction and to get what he wants.. Andy

  5. Helen says:

    Loved the Season 3 Finale – great script, writing and acting by all the characters, especially Neal and Peter. They both are wonderful actors who are genuinely believable as they can show any emotion on their faces as need be. This is the best show on TV! Would love to see George Clooney or Peter Noth as Neal’s father!

  6. Cecilia says:

    I don’t watch TV a lot since all you see nowadays are stupid reality shows, but I love White Collar. Great acting, great plot, great everything. Aside from Neal and Peter, I would like to acknowledge the acting of all the supporting characters, Mozzie, Sara (yes people, Sara), Diana, Jones, El, June. Despite what other people say, they add value to the show. Kudos to great acting by all characters, Kudos to White Collar.

  7. Tiffany says:

    How about a little Chuck reunion on White Collar with an appearance by Zachary Levi?

  8. Andy says:

    Hi I thought that neil was younger when he left his parents But im just watching to see if I can pick up on anything plus The touch Neil has with art and forgery Is it not funny that is what Kramer is doing in DC. Lets face it Neil must have got his talent from somewhere “YES”?? Anyway Im sticking with has something to do with his father Id bet on it..
    I know a cross over with Covert affairs would be great what with Oggie and Annie. But what about Hawaii %;) as it looks like he might be on the way to the islands with the little hula model? Not as good as Annie though

  9. Andy says:

    Just re-watched and it looks like Neil had not seen his dad for some time as he was told by his mum his dad had died on duty But the woman on Roosevelt Island told Neil that he was a corrupt cop on his 18th birthday and thats when he ran off.. So it could be Kramer ????

  10. Andy says:

    Also in the rewatch I saw peter give Neil a definite head shake left to right for him to not come and run.
    Some one also said they saw Diana go into a room but Peter was not in the same frame and that she might be telling Kramer about the cut anklet but but she defiantly said “Peter, Neils cut his anklet”

  11. paparuthka says:

    I just had a chance to watch this show for the first time on the one before the last episode of season 3. Than I went on Netflix and watched all of S 1&2 a copuple of S3 as well in less tha 3 days. How did I miss this brilliant gem. Incredible writing, cast, acting all in syncron. Clean language, less violence, inteligent dialogue, phenomenal wardrobe and yes, flawless physique and face (Matt Bomer) to be able to keep one glued to the screen. What a dissapointment it had to end. I hope Jeff Eastin will be inspired for more than just Season 4. When does it start?

  12. Tanya says:

    Since season one I have been hooked so I am always looking forward to see what is in-store next. I can not wait for season 4 to know more about Neils past (non-criminal) is great.

  13. abadstroller says:

    What is Kramer’s CI was Neal’s dad?! And Kramer needs to find him, which is why he wants to keep Neal under his thumb in DC? And what if Neal’s mom had been Kramer’s wife, who hooked up with Neal’s dad after coaching one of Kramer’s son’s Little League games? Sooooo many different ways to go with this!

  14. Polish fan/ wŁaściwie fanka says:

    But what about Sarah? Will she find Neal or maybe he will find Sarah? And will they be together? I want that but… what will be in the future?

  15. Michelle says:

    I thought that was a nod to run… But a lot of other people thought it was a nod to not do something stupid. I’m so excited to see where this takes us! Why is summer so far away?!

  16. Renee says:

    Where do you get the information that Neal was in witness protection program? I started watching late and I feel like I’m missing something. Is this an opinion or something that has been alluded to in previous seasons? The finale was amazing and I can’t wait for S4!

  17. Renee says:

    It is an amazing show! Glad you joined in! So many parts and people… It’s all about the relationships. I agree with many of the comments though… I don’t wanna see Kate back in the picture… I like him with Sarah

  18. Dorothy Meakins says:

    Ok Jeff, you really pulled this surprise ending out of the bag. Knowing your great writing skills (you landed the show, didn’t you!) I know we can expect great things to come. Yes, Peter will find Neal, yes he will look for his family, but to get back home, I feel there has to be some underlying cause, something devious that Agent Kramer did that will eventually give both Peter and Neal immunity to come back to the states and fright the wrong that was going to be perpetrated by Agent Kramer!!!!

  19. JEAN DENTON says:

    To Jeff Eastin & The USA Network:
    You guys rock!!!! You got so much game that your games need more game. Thanks for an excellent season of “White Collar.” I am on pins and needles with baited breath waiting for the summer. Please hurry up. Tim and Tif are so great together. And what more can I say about “Neal & Moz?” You have a spectacular cast here. I love the characters of Di & Jones. If you cancel this show USA, I’m gonna pray for you until you bring it back to tv. Have a fun filled summer everyone. See you all on the tube.
    Your Loyal Fan,
    Jean Denton

  20. tvholic says:

    I really hope that Kramer is not Neal’s father. I hate that man and dread every time I see his face. I’d like to see Sara going after Neal to find him while Peter, Diana and Jones work to bring down Kramer so that once Sara finds him, they can bring Neal back and prove that they had to send him away so that they could prove that Kramer was dirty. Kramer needs to be locked up, and Peter needs to be exonerated. For those that think Mozzie is a bad influence, I say that he does have a darker side than Neal for sure, but no one is a truer friend than Mozzie. There is nothing that he wouldn’t do to help Neal.

  21. KB says:

    My only complaint with White Collar and all of the other shows on USA is that these short seasons are maddening. The story just gets going and things just start getting interesting and BAM it’s the finale and we have to wait months to pick up the story again. I prefer the 20+ episode seasons to all of these mini seasons. It’s hard to stay with the shows and I constantly feel like all I am doing is waiting for my favorite shows to come back. It seems like Suits has been gone forever. We need more continuity. What’s the deal with all of the short seasons. It’s very frustrating. The story lines never get played out enough.

  22. Leanne says:

    I absulotely love White Collar, the cast and the storylines! Peter and Neal are the “perfect partners” on tv. I can’t believe what it will be like one without another. The chemistry they brought in to the show is indescribable. It will be very interesting to see how they will bring Neal and Peter back together in next season. And I think Kramer had something to do with Neal’s father in the past. The season 3 finale had my heart up and down when watching and plz bring back Alex as Sarah is a bit too sick to watch as she looked extremely unhealthy.

  23. jason says:

    Just 1 word for s3es16 :awesome
    Matthew bomer & Tim dekay are the characters born for this show
    I personally think that in s4 peter would look deeper into who elllen parker is & her connection to neal &his past his father

  24. jason says:

    Just 1 word for s3es16 :awesome
    Matthew bomer & Tim dekay are the characters born for this show
    I personally think that in s4 peter would look deeper into who elllen parker is & her connection to neal &his past, his father when he (peter) becomes familiar with some ttuth about neal like he did in s2 about vincent adler. On the other hand neal and mozzie could either enjoy their treasure or may team up with alex or the guy from s3es15 were he talks to moz about a job in paris. this could go many ways
    Cant wait to see s4 hope summer approaches fast °!!!

  25. Karla says:

    Season 3 was awesome. I was surprise to see Neal run with mozzie. I wasn’t aware that Peter gave him the ok to go. I’m an curious bout Neal past and what happened with his family. I do hope that the treasure does play a part also in S4. Totally love the show and can’t wait for the summer.

  26. Lori says:

    The last scene of the finale has to be one of Matt Bomer’s best performances ever. Personally I hope that Neal has a new love interest in season 4. Not so say that I don’t want to see Alex or Sarah at all but I think it would be cool if they brought in somebody somehow related to his past or maybe somebody with a serious mystery of her own? Related to the whole “Neal’s brother” thing, a lot of the actors people have mentioned seem too close in age to Matt. Also, wouldn’t he have asked Ella/Ellen about his siblings if they existed? I would love to see Neal’s Mom turn out to not be American. Maybe a European blue blood who has been disowned by her family? That would explain Neal’s love for the finer things and the line about “reclaiming a life he used to have”. I think the name thing should be interesting. It would be wonderfully sneaky
    if some of his con artist aliases are real names given to him by Witsec over the years. I am willing to bet that one of the aliases is his real name. My money is on Nicholas Halden, but we’ll see. There were times when Season 3 really annoyed me but the finale has me totally hooked and anxious for season 4.

  27. Lori says:

    I’ve just read every comment & my mind is spinning with all the suggested plot possibilities for S4! Does anyone know how long we must wait for it to begin? Just what is the date for S4e1???

  28. Aviv says:

    Am I the only one who wonders if the reason why Kramer wanted Neal to work with him is because he is Neal’s dad?

  29. Alex(yes really) says:

    Alex and Neal are the perfect couple. Think of how well they know each other and work together. I’m waiting anxiously to know the season 4 premier. I don’t remember mention of Neal having a brother 0.o but it could have evaded my memory. Once my tv is fixed I’ll have to rewatch it. I like Alex and hope she comes back. Am I alone in this? Sarah isn’t right for Neal.

  30. Heather says:

    Okay so I absolutely loved the season finale!! and all of season 3, except for Sarah. :P sorry never liked her lol OH! but i SO hope he sees Alex again!!!! :D SOSOSOSO excited for season 4… does anyone know when it starts?

  31. Mike says:

    I absolutely love this show.. All except for one thing, the blatant advertising for Ford vehicles.. I mean come on, isnt that what commercials are for?!?!?

  32. Brandin says:

    does neal get arrested again as a criminal or does he go back to helping the FBI

  33. Kalis Salinger says:

    I want to pitch my new pieces in. Firstly, I don’t dislike Alex Hunter per se, but I don’t like her acting- it seems a little forcedl and unnatural. I like Sarah- although they need to re-tie her into the story, considering she has re-obtained the Raphael. The chemistry between the two is great, considering they played antagonistic roles against one another, yet have become somewhat ensnared (as evidenced by her backing him up several times). Overall, however, I’m interested in Peter’s reactions to the situation- what are the ramifications? Did he obstruct justice? I want to know the thought process going on between the final nod between him and Neal. Is Peter’s mentor Agent Kramer the new antagonist personality? I hope Peter cans him good and throw him in jail- frankly, I don’t like him. I hope he dosen’t turn out innocent like the OPR agent(the name eludes me) antagonist in season 2/3.

  34. Kalis Salinger says:

    One more thing- I think that Agent Kramer wants Neal because of his high success rate, although he may have ulterior movements. I felt bad that Kaffrey ran, but I am sympathetic- he wasn’t going to be freed even if he had been commuted because Kramer was waiting outside with a litany of charges ranging from “public endangerment” to “evasion of arrest” to “obstruction of justice”. Neal wasnt going to achieve freedom because of Kramer anyways- the plane escape was means for liberation. Mozzie is a bad influence, but maybe he is just clairvoyant and saw it coming; maybe this is his version of the “pis aller”- the worst case scenario.

  35. Adam says:

    This was the coolest season finale I have ever watched.

  36. Brianne says:

    Literally watched the past 3 seasons in a week! I Invested so much into Neil, I was yelling at him to ‘get out of there’ and ‘go go go!’ The relationship between Peter and Neil is very dynamic, and I wonder how things will start off between the two in season four, and most of all how they will end. The season 3 finale was perfect. A great way to seg-way into the next chapter. Looking forward to learning more about Neil and seeing how Peter deals with consequences of it all.

  37. cody says:

    did anyone else catch that the raphael painting was fake, in season 2 episode 11 that kate was painting the same Raphael? and kate claimed to have left it for neal,(or switch out the two paintings)

  38. Maxie Girl says:

    i fell in love with this show from the start but what the season 3 finally did was to remind you of Neal, remind u he has a past, it brings another level of excitment and broadens the scope of the series to much more than it started out as

  39. Jimmy says:

    R u high screw george cluny Matt leblancs the guy u want as his father

  40. Apennath says:

    I have never seen a TV serial which impressed me this much. I would like to see how Neal’s relationship further with Peter, Elizabeth, Sara and with rest of the Peter’s team. I am sure it is going to be lot of fun watching Both Mozi and Neal running con jobs together (if that being planned)

  41. Elizabeth says:

    omg i want kate to come back that should have been her sitting next to neal and morzzi on the plane:(((((((((((((((((((((((, its his true love and no one can replace that, be so cool if they found a loop hole, like she got off the plane or something, we didnt even get to see her character develop further!!!, anyone agree?

  42. i think that peter will become like neal and neal would be back into his old miserable life.

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  44. 2 Hearts One Dream says:

    They ought to get you to write for them! My husband and I both love your thinking on this!

  45. 2 Hearts One Dream says:

    I have been wondering if Kramer is a bad cop as well and that will come out. Something is not right about him and I think it is more than just a grudge about his CI that did him wrong. Mozzie is one of my favorite characters on the. Every one of them makes the show work, but without him, there magic would go away.

  46. Cameron says:

    Kate is dead so she probably won’t be back…

  47. Judith says:

    Totally agree. Sean would be perfect

  48. Judith says:

    The chemistry between Alex and Neal is great. Far better than Neal and Sarah. They have zero chemistry

  49. Judith says:

    Saphire – you hit the nail on the head. Matt is a fantastic actor and he electrifies every scene he’s in. He makes everyone fall in love with him – really brilliant

  50. Judith says:

    I’m not a Sarah fan either. There’s no chemistry between her and Neal. I wish we would see more of Joan – she’s fab

  51. Judith says:

    Oh God No!!! – Sarah should so not get pregnant. This is a brilliant show we don’t want to turn it into a soap opera.

  52. Judith says:

    But that’s what’s so great about this show. Every character is constantly straddling the lines between good guy/bad guy. Mozzie is and always will be a con artist – but say the episode with Taylor and the baseball was a great example of how Mozzie was fluctuating between his admiration for a great con artist and helping Neal.
    I love the Peter/Neal relationship – it’s fantastic. Peter sees something in Neal that no-one else sees. I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for those two.

  53. Anubhab Saha says:

    where is the proof that kate is dead..there was never any funeral shown..or recovered any body parts to prove that…