Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on White Collar, Castle, Once Upon a Time, NCIS, Parks & Rec and More!

White Collar - Season 4What giant plans does Once Upon a Time have? Will White Collars Neal leap a tall building in the name of love? Will Castle fans meet Rick’s father anytime soon? Is Xena staying put in Pawnee? Read on for answers to those questions plus teases from other shows.

Christmas is right around the corner, so this week I’ve chosen to simply “unwrap” some questions from the Inside Line mailbag….

Seeing as how Sara (played by Hilarie Burton) is (supposedly) going to be in half of this season’s remaining White Collar episodes, can we take that as a sign that she and Neal will be getting back together before the season ends? Please, say yes! Those two belong together! –Michelle
We have a full-on Season 4b preview coming your way soon, but in the meantime I can offer you five not-so-randomly chosen words from our chat with series creator Jeff Eastin, pertaining to the aformentioned duo: “Empire State Building… fantastic moment.” (I can also reveal that the Neal/Sara smooch spied in the new promo takes place in an episode during which they’re kidnapped.)

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Casts Rose McGowan as Young Cora for Origin Episode

Is there any news about Once Upon a Time‘s Hook and Emma? I’m so hoping they hook up cause they make a good pair. –Jennifer
For starters, the wordplay whore in me will forgive and even applaud your use of “hook up” in this context. Secondly, I will tell you that I have a full-blown Q&A with Colin O’Donoghue posting closer to the show’s Jan. 6 return that will address this and other hot topics. (Something to keep in mind: Will Charming let this scoundrel anywhere near his daughter?) And lastly, here’s a random other scooplet: Sources confirm that the “Tiny” Episode 13 I told you about last week will in fact feature the return of Jorge Garcia and unspool “a story/backstory that touches many core characters in a surprising way.”

Is Lucy Lawless sticking around on Parks and Recreation? I’d hate to see Ron’s bacon-loving heart get broken. –Suzanne
The NBC comedy just shot another episode with Lawless as Diane last week, and there could be more. A lot more. As show boss Mike Schur explains, “The idea was that through the first four seasons we’ve seen Ron in one or two OK relationships and several entirely disastrous, miserable ones. So… this was a big thing we wanted to check off, to give him a lady friend who was significant and important in his life. We certainly have a lot of plans for [Lucy] through the rest of the season — and hopefully beyond.”

PHOTOS | Castle‘s Ex Marks Her Spot! Plus: GH Vets Jack Wagner and Nancy Lee Grahn Visit

Any word on who will play Castle‘s dad? –Alana
Not yet, and for good reason: Contrary to one published report, this season’s February two-parter might not necessarily tackle that tale. “It’s certainly something that we’re thinking about seriously and trying to find the right angle in on,” show boss Andrew Marlowe explained to me. But as of a few days ago, it’s “not definitely” going to happen by sweeps. Instead, he says the Castle team is mulling an alternate storyline that promises the annual allotment of “big tension,” “personal stakes” and ” fun twists and turns.”

Do you have any scoop on NCIS‘ two-part January episodes about Ziva? –Marla
Only that Eli David is Rick Castle’s father! No, I kid. (Too much eggnog.) When I said to showrunner Gary Glasberg that Eli’s appearances seldom bring good tidings, he countered, “You might be surprised. There are a lot of layers to what we’re going to try do this time around, and Michael Nouri was totally willing and had fun with it. I think people are going to be excited by what they see.” He also clarified that the Ziva twist I’ve been telling you about does not coincide with Eli’s latest encore. “He definitely plays a part in it, but the Ziva stuff will continue all the way through the season.”

RELATED | NCIS Casts Young Abby for Origin Episode Full of ‘Prizes’ for Longtime Fans

Can you give us something on when Nashville‘s Rayna tells Deacon her first child is his? –Maggie
You apparently missed our midseason post mortem/preview, so allow me to regurgitate this quote from exec producer Callie Khouri: “Like all these family situations, [what Lamar teased in the pilot] is more complicated than I can tell you. Soon these things will start to be revealed.”

Any scoop on my favorite new comedy, The Mindy Project? –Noreen
Get ready to meet Ms. Lahiri’s brother Rishi, to be played by Pitch Perfect‘s Utkarsh Ambudkar in Episode 11. Alas, it’s not a warm reunion, as Mindy’s bro has decided to take a break from college and pursue a career as a rapper.

If there’s a show you’d like the Inside Line on, email mattmtvguy@gmail.com, and maybe it’ll get some love the next time around! (With reporting by Vlada Gelman and Meg Masters)

The new episode of Spoiler Alert! shares scoop from Once Upon a Time‘s Hook, reviews this winter’s big finales and sizes up the new Grey’s cast. PRESS PLAY!

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. Shar says:

    Love this column. Keep posting Matt! :)

  2. MGL says:

    Looking forward to Castle’s dad; but do not like Neal and Sara. Not a Sara fan. Liked Neal and Alex, but I guess she has been written off. Too bad. Will watch Justified instead!

  3. Anya says:

    Ugh Emma and Hook. Why would Emma be with someone who tried to stop her coming home to see her child? His ~luurve story with Milah was disgusting.
    Yay for more Diane on Parks n Rec. Love Ron and Diane. Diane’s kids are also fun. Andy should babysit them all the time!

  4. Mel says:

    While Hook and Emma more than likely wont end up together romantically I definitely see some kind of connection between them and think we will see them working together more often than against one another in later episodes.

    • Reggie says:

      I wouldn’t say that, because as of right now from what we know Hook is definitely a big candidate. Plus it’s still way too early in the series to pronounce endgame anything. I do think that Hook and Emma is ultimately going to happen though.

  5. Linda says:

    The Sara character is a 2-dimensional depiction of a cardboard cutout of a stereotype, and she’s about as sensual as self-adhesive linoleum squares. I wish the show could loosen up its true-love-is-the-only-road-to-happiness theme and just let Neal be a playboy. But learning that Neal’s dad was (allegedly) a “dirty cop” — words officially banned from television in the 1980s because the concept was so old it was rotting — was the moment when I realized this show ain’t never gonna be what I wanted it to be. Neal’s gonna be boring. Sara isn’t going to join the Malaysian Merchant Marine on a 20 year voyage. And there are going to be dirty cops. *sigh*

    • Templar says:

      You make Sara seem much more interesting than she is, LOL

    • Patamar2 says:

      I keep hoping Jeff & the writers wise up, dump Sara & not make Daddy-dearest a good guy who has been misunderstood all these years. Let him be bad & let Neal realize that Peter is the role model he needs.

  6. Patamar2 says:

    Is it really necessary to put us thru more Neal & Sara crap? Just let her go and let Neal have a life that doesn’t include confusing good sex with love!! Jeff made a HUGE mistake putting them together for more than once. Bringing her back just makes it worse!

    • Susana896 says:

      I’ve reached the tipping point. I usually try to ignore scenes that include Sara, but I’m tired of . Apparently she’s not going away, so I will. I’ll miss Peter and Neal and New York City and just about everything else about this show, but Neal’s supposed interest in Sara makes me think he’s stupid, not to mention blind, deaf, unsophisticated, clueless, and in desperate need of a manipulative, punishing woman who undermines his confidence and makes him doubt himself. I can’t tolerate it anymore. Even if they kill her off, we’d have to spend another season watching Neal mourn her and trying to avenge her death and that would be even more ridiculous than trying to make sense of their so-called romance. If all the writers can think of is to give us more Sara, then they’ve run out of ideas. Time to move on.

      • Templar says:

        I’d love for Sara to do something that Neal finds unforgivable so he can watch her go without remorse.

        • jbc says:

          @Templar, I think this would be a great ending for the character of Sara. I was rewatching a couple of episodes recently, and the whole bossiness of this character is such a problem, for example, the way she grabs his shirt and pulls him toward her, like a mother with her little boy, so uncool, and I agree with Susana896 that it makes Neal look stupid to be with this type of a woman. Too bad they didn’t rethink the character before they added and oversaturated this show with her. It is better in Season 4, but her ‘arc’ regular status and recur should really be done by now. What will Season 5 bring? In saying all this I just say that I have nothing against the actress who plays Sara, but the character was mostly an epic fail IMHO.

  7. estefania says:

    I love ziva’s arc , but I hope GG doesn’t hurt her, because ziva deserves to be happy, maybe she will know that her mom doesn’t die… cote de pablo plays ziva so wonderful way, she is so talented, gorgeous, smart, etc … forever cote fan

  8. sophie says:

    I’m so freaking excited for the Ziva arc! :D
    There’s just something about seeing her in trouble etc that I love (despite her being my fave character..)

  9. ziverfan says:

    Thanks for the ncis spoiler,I love Ziva she’s my favourite character ever and Cote de Pablo is the most beautiful and amazing actress,I’m so so excited for this Ziva story I know it’s gonna be great,hurry up january!!!!!!

  10. Keenan says:

    Oh No! not more HalliBurton!

  11. mrsshane says:

    Ed Kitsis and Adam Horowitz excuse me, but for me the heroes do not run with married women, nor beat up innocent women. Hook is not a hero!
    I support the family and I am totally against abuse.
    It’s sad when devalues ​​abuse, according to redeem a character

  12. KC says:

    I’m so surprised fans are giving up White Collar just because of Sara! Seriously?! Are you for real? I endured cardboard-Kate in season 1, Alex’s repetitive story lines each and every time she showed up, and I watch Elizabeth every week, who is more of a prop than a character and she’s a regular. Sara showing up for an episode now and then makes you want to stop watching the show?! Okaay….

    • JBC says:

      At least Kate, Alex and Elizabeth have reason to be in the story from the beginning of the series.I like all three. Kate was mostly a plot device and Alex and Elizabeth are always great. I enjoy these characters so much!!!
      In the pilot, Neal says to the Dutchman that he was never arrested for art theft. When Sara was intro’d they said she testified at his trial. He was only tried on bond forgery, so her character was a stretch from the start. What was it that she testified about???They wanted to force her into the show so bad. Upon her intro, she was given way too much screen time for a new character, i.e why should the audience care about her? and it seemed so off. They pushed her into the treasure story which was sad. It had nothing to do with her, except that they were trying hard to fit her in and become the love interest.She had all the other characters acting off by praising her, and the whole dynamic of what was happening with the storyline was off. If they wanted this actress to be in the show,they needed to bring her in slowly, gradually with a much better and consistent story. I love White Collar, and have watched since the show’s first season. “SARA”
      was a forced in character and I think that is why so many of us feel like it has been long overdue for her to leave. In the producers attempt to get us to love her, they overdid it and it is hard to overcome those early episodes, where she obviously didn’t belong.

      • Patamar2 says:

        Must agree. I don’t hate Sara, but I don’t see “love” involved here. Sex between two smart, beautiful people is not love. Also, why does Neal “have” to have a girlfriend? What makes him so wonderful is his free spirit. Give him a girlfriend and all that goes with it and he is just some boring guy working for the FBI. Peter has more sex appeal than Neal with Sara. Peter and El, that is all the true love and sex needed.

        Jeff & the writers have it in their heads that Neal should be with Sara and the majority of the audience disagrees. Haters are sad and should stop. The reason most folks get angry is that they have said, over and over again that they don’t like N & S together and are being ignored. The more they are ignored the angrier they get.

        I DO NOT enjoy the so called sexy scenes with N & S and do NOT find them sexy. I fast forward when I can. Sara needs to go on a long trip someplace where Neal is not so we can get back to enjoying the show. Neal does not need a girlfriend. Ladies who he dates are one thing, this need of the writers & the folks who love Sara to domesticate Neal is just sad and infuriating.

        • Linda says:

          An emphatic “hell, yes” to JBC and Patamar2. Neal does not need a girlfriend, least of all one who makes him seem boring. The reality is, the love-interest characters on WC have been appallingly stereotypical. Alex is the only one I’ve enjoyed a bit. Honestly, I think Jeff is just projecting his desire for the traditional onto Neal’s character, whose charm, in addition to being terminally pretty, is his don’t-give-a-damn about the restraints of a conventional life. I’ve never been so put off by a character as to actually stop watching a show I was hooked on, but it happened last season with WC. The Sara Effect is more than just her grating character, it’s the effect it has on who Neal is and the overall theme of the show, which seems to be dismayingly limited in the type of person and life it celebrates.

  13. estefania says:

    as524, you are so predictible ,too, but we have so different, because altought I don’t agree with you I respect your opinion, but you don’t do the same, this is a real NCIS , ZIVA/COTE fans, the real NCIS fans are who respect opnion , altought don’t be agree, and o offensive with actress or actors and we do separate between actors and fiction characters…so I don’t discuss with you , I AM GOING TO BE COTE AND NCIS FOREVER

    • NotaZivaFan says:

      Well here’s at least 2 lies in your reply so there’s no respect there estefania….for one, you don’t know what I do or don’t respect about the show & for 2 there are very few ziva/cote fans who respect any opinion that isn’t lockstep with theirs – just look at the twitter feeds of your friends

      • estefania says:

        well , different point of view of the same thing, but we have a big different, because I always used my real name in my post , but you changes many times maybe for apparently that people think many think the same… and about my friend everyone has own point of view …so now it is time of happy and good this.
        I wish happy holiday

  14. clare says:

    More Diane on Parks and Rec. Good news.

  15. karen says:

    White Collar: I’d like to see more of Neal with his Dad….
    NCIS: we need an Abby storyline…..

  16. I think almost all … almost all married people or with children don’t find so enjoyable Hook with Emma.
    Not after seeing how Hook can punch innocent women (Belle) that way!

    I love Neal! He was a thief…but is not abusive…and he loves Emma!

  17. oh my god no more sara please i beg of you shes boring and her acting is just awful sorry to say but it is i mean compared to the others on the show GET RID OF HER IVE BEEN ENJOYING THIS SEASON WITHOUT HER

  18. WCfan says:

    Not a fan of Sara’s portrayal. Comes across more of a pouty, entitled, insecure person than strong, confident. But she did get a bit tolerable as the season progressed. She is better when her character is integral to the plot such as the Raphael episode.
    Right now, it seems like Neal and Sara are on friendly terms. Neal did not seem to pine for her the way he did for Kate, or even Maya. I don’t see how the writers can revive that romance. Sara has mentioned her lost sister more than once. Since Neal is who he is, he will probably help her find her sister. Esp. since he is so grateful for her help with the Raphael. But as far as romance goes, the storyline seems to suggest that they are done. Sure, they probably will have their banter as she helps out as the insurane lady. Neal, hopefully, finds someone he falls for just the way he did with Kate or Maya, I miss Alex and her sizzling chemistry with Neal but I like her better when she comes as goes like a whirlwind. He was cute with Sophie too. We’ll see. But the main storyline should revolve around Neal, Peter, Mozzie, and unraveling of Neal’s familyhistory.

  19. mel says:

    Thank you for the NCIS spoiler….anxiously awaiting the Ziva arc. The promo after last night’s show was exciting – cant’t wait until next week!

  20. Mauigal26 says:

    I personally love Sean Murray’s character. McGee has grow by leaps and bounds since we first met him in “Sub Rosa” in season 1. I would love to see an emotional/angsty story featuring him. Maybe we finally could meet the infamous Admiral McGee. I could see Mike Farrell playing McGee’s dad. I know all the actors/actresses signed 2 year contracts, so no one is going anywhere for a little while. That doesn’t mean the writers can’t maim or injure someone. I’m afraid it’s going to be Tim and I really don’t want that to happen.