White Collar Judgement
Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA

Cliff-hangers are an art. Like apples, there are many different kinds, and every now and then, they’re simply rotten.

In three seasons, White Collar has never had a rotten finale cliff-hanger, but they’ve certainly been different. At the end of season 1, Neal’s (Matt Bomer) beloved Kate was killed in a plane explosion. In season 2’s closer, Neal found himself in possession of the world’s greatest treasure and in a moral dilemma. Which brings us to season 3…

Ever since the issue of Neal’s commutation came up, we all knew it would play a big part in the finale. For a moment, I thought the season would end right before a decision was made. But deep down, I also knew the show would never do something so simple. Overall, I had my money on Neal losing his tracker — whether it happened at the end of this season or first thing next season. In a sense, I was right — with one large difference: He took it off himself.

Yup, after Peter (Tim DeKay) warned Neal (with a slight shake of the head: a great tiny moment) that Agent Kramer (Beau Bridges) had it out for him, Neal reacted, unfortunately, like a criminal. He raced to his apartment, packed a bag, and slice his anklet off before boarding a flight with Mozzie. To where? Who knows!

All we do know is that while this was going on, Peter was in the process of vouching for his friend, telling the committee that Neal could be trusted. That’s when Diana (Marsha Thomason) walked in and broke the news.

I appreciate cliff-hanger explosions and “dun dun dun” moments as much as the next person. But this year’s cliff-hanger had something different in that I think this could be the time Neal has to deal with real consequences for his actions. He couldn’t necessarily control the fact that Kate died, and the treasure was, essentially, given to him to deal with. But this season ended with something that was directly Neal’s bad decision. And I think next season, he’ll have to pay. As much as I love him, that’s a conflict I can’t wait to see play out. I hope White Collar is brave enough to really go there.

What do you think, readers? Did you like the cliff-hanger? Would you like to see Neal squirm a little next season? And what are your thoughts on the season overall?


White Collar
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