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!