July 9, 2012 at 1:50 AM EST
White Collar season 4 spoilers inside!
While Season 3 of White Collar (from creator Jeff Eastin, @jeffeastin on Twitter) ended with an episode that focused very much on how Neal’s relationship with Peter and his life in New York developed and defined him and his situation, this season premier, “Wanted”, is part of a bookend to that. It’s the series of actions that are the other shoe dropping, so to speak.
When last we saw our wayward leading men, Neal (Matt Bomer) was cryptically staring out the window of an airplane with multiple, possibly conflicting, emotions on his face, seated next to Mozzie (Willie Garson) and headed for points unknown. Recent trailers for the newest episode have shown the two relaxing on an island paradise, seemingly without a care in the world.
Our other leading man, Peter (Tim DeKay) was left very much holding the bag, but this time he was completely in on it. Unlike other times that Peter has to deal with the consequences of Neal striking out on his own, Peter is now complicit, which is a big deal for a straight-laced character like Peter. I’m hoping that this act of disobedience will influence Peter’s character in episodes to come, and possibly begin an interesting new character arc for Peter.
So, now that the new season is finally here, fans everywhere are waiting for some very big questions to get answered: Where did they go? Will they get back to New York? What price will Peter and Neal pay for disregarding the FBI? Will Neal get arrested again? Will Matt Bomer be shirtless? (Yes.)
Not all your questions will get answered in this episode, but one or two will, and a new story will begin. We don’t yet get a feel for the direction or theme of the season, but we do get a couple of definitive answers about Neal Caffrey.
First, he misses New York. It’s not unexpected, given last season’s declaration that he was content, in that city and in his work. I have to say that I’m completely with him in missing New York, both in the real world and the White Collar world. New York, however, continues to be a character in this episode filmed in Puerto Rico. It’s alluded to often, and actually noticeable by its absence.
Second, we get to find out where Neal is from – another piece of the Caffrey puzzle is tossed to the audience as we try to figure out who this guy is, after watching him for three seasons!
A few other things we find out:
- You get a very good idea of where and how Neal and Mozzie have been passing the time since their escape from New York. Unfortunately we don’t get to see our old friend Agent Kramer (Beau Bridges), but we do get to meet some new people, both inside and outside the FBI. There is, of course, a beautiful woman (Maya, played by Mía Maestro) and a connected island friend for Mozzie and Neal (Dobbs, played by Gregg Henry). And we meet a new FBI Agent, Agent Collins, played by Mekhi Phifer.
- Neal hasn’t lost his touch for painting or sculpture, and expect to have your breath taken away by the latter. I don’t know if they transported Duke Scoppa (Prop Master) to Puerto Rico, but that scene was truly beautiful.
- Peter misses Neal on the stakeouts, but Peter and El make a great stakeout team, too. Of course, we already know that there’s very little that Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) isn’t good at. She’s a charmer.
- Jones (Sharif Atkins) and Diana (Marsha Thomason) do fast, kickass research, something we’ve always known. They’re the best.
- E. Parker (played by the wonderful Judith Ivey) is still in the picture, and she has good instincts when it comes to the welfare of her former partner’s son.
- We find out whether Peter can locate Neal for yet a third time, and Neal finds out something that he’s really always known: there are a limited number of people in the world that you can trust.
- Of course, it wouldn’t be a story from the White Collar writing team if it didn’t leave us on the absolute edge of our seats, cursing them and praising them at the same time. So, yes, there’s a cliffhanger, and yes, episode 402 can’t come fast enough.
Someone get me a Da Vinci reproduction and a glass of cabernet, and bring on White Collar season 4!
Ceil Kessler has been a White Collar fan for a long time now, and often tweets about her favorite show (and plays hashtag games) on Twitter @ceilck!
Be sure to check back for more and stay with us at SmallScreenScoop.com and join us on Twitter (@SSSCOOP) and Facebook (SMALLSCREENSCOOP’S PAGE) for episode guides, recaps, giveaways and exclusive interviews with your favorite TV stars.