Last night’s White Collar picked up right where it had left off last season, and kept us all on our toes for the whole episode. I completed a whole row of my entrelac shawl I was knitting so fast in excitement. That is no easy feat, I’ll tell you. But that was hardly an unexpected experience. USA has always done well with their season (or mid-season) firsts and lasts to appeal to it’s long time fans and keep us hooked. However, this season’s hook has definitely given us something to get excited about. Kind of. And it’s not like we shouldn’t have seen it coming. Neal has been working for the FBI for quite some time. He was bound to do something that would finally make them think he had been “rehabilitated” and can be set free early. They can’t keep him tied forever, and they spend more time taking off his anklet than they do keeping it on. So putting the idea that come mid-season finale time (3 months) Neal could be a free man would hardly be a foreign idea.
But let’s be real for a minute. White Collar creator Jeff Eastin told EW he didn’t want Neal free any time soon. It would change why White Collar is White Collar. And I definitely don’t blame the guy for wanting to keep the show’s charm. But to be fair, the treasure arc is over, and they need something new to tie the series together. But I’m not so sure that this will be the way they do it. While it has the potential to be a season arc, I am not predicting it to last long as an arc, simply because it is too far from what makes White Collar so unique from other crime shows. So I’m going to wait a few more episodes before they introduce something that I will believe is their new series arc. Because Neal’s freedom is just not good enough.