WARNING: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 4 premiere of USA’s “White Collar” entitled “WANTED.”
White Collar returned last night with an episode that really should have been two hours long. Why? Because after an hour that delivered on action, intrigue, and shirtlessness, it’s just cruel to make people wait an entire week.
The fourth season premiere of White Collar found Neal (Matt Bomer) and Mozzi (Willie Garson) living it up island-style on Cape Verde, just off the coast of Africa. The little Island community was complete with everything they needed from a haven — no extradition laws, a powerful man who they could buy protection from, custom hat makers, and a good-looking coffee shop girl for Neal to keep himself occupied.
Peter hugged Neal first when they saw each other for the first time in six weeks–he even said, “It’s good to see you.”
That act, and that gesture, would have been unthinkable when Peter caught Neal at the start of the series. But the friendship has become so strong over the years, that Peter not only is willing to throw his career away, but he even dragged his wife and two partners into his scheme to save Neal as well.
Neal, meanwhile, never thought he would stop running at the start of the series. But he found a home in New York and he found a family in Peter and Elizabeth.
Neal: We had a good run.
Peter: It’s not over.
Neal: Yea it is. You’re an FBI agent; I’m a con man. There are only a few ways this could have ended. This is one of the best.
Neal: You understand this has to be the last time. New York and I are done.
Peter: I get it. Please watch out for Collins.
Neal: I will. It’s good to hear your voice.
At first, however, his new life with Barry (Mozzie) on Cape Verde seems amazing–at least their villa does. They’d been there only about six weeks, and yet all the locals seemed to like them, even the cafe worker who still craved “one moment of honesty” from Neal. When he gave it to her, in the form of a meal on the beach surrounded by exquisite sandcastles looking like the skyline view from his old apartment in New York, he’s not only letting her in, he’s letting himself remember and admit to himself how much that “chapter” of his life truly meant to him.
Back on the mainland, we see how far Neal’s other friends will go to help him get home–without going to jail of course. It’s Elizabeth who’s able to convince Neal’s father’s old partner, Ellen, to let them in on how to contact him. (It’s a pager of all things. Neal is a sucker for the classics.)
Even Mozzie proves how much his friendship with Neal is worth when he agrees to run with him once Collins has arrived on the island. Mozzie didn’t have to run, but he didn’t see a life without his best friend at his side.
Neal, unfortunately, is still re-captured at the end of the episode, even with the help of his friends and the only person in town who wasn’t willing to turn him in for the half a million dollars reward–the cafe owner. Clearly he’ll get away, because as of right now, if he is taken to prison, he’s going away for a long, long time. (And we wouldn’t have a show.) But it’s going to be pretty tough since his friends might not even know where he is.
Overall, a WONDERFUL start to the season, especially since the writers and producers are committed the idea of keeping Neal out of New York without an easy solution in sight. And anyway, being that this is the fourth season, we should be accustomed to nail-biting cliffhangers. I am. But that doesn’t make it easier to deal with. I still let out a stream of curses at the end. Agree folks? Hit the comments