Matt Bomer: Superman Experience Dream Come True – Nightwing Next?

On the press tour for Superman: Unbound, Matt Bomer (White Collar) expressed to both the public panel and in the press room how much he enjoyed playing superheroes. Since he was a kid, he has been role-playing DC superheroes from playing sidekick to his big brother as either Robin or Superboy to when his mother made him his own Superman cape.

He was so into the experience of voice acting the Man of Steel that he was getting into the fight scenes by actually jumping and swinging in the recording studio, to the amusement of supervising producer James Tucker and casting director Andrea Romano. So what action hero would Bomer like to play next if he is given a chance?

“Nightwing,” Bomer said smiling. “Just putting it out there.”

EDITOR’S PICK: 10 Focus Points on Superman: Unbound

Let us be clear, he was asked what dream character he’d like to play, so there is nothing in the works. We just love his answer and like that it’s not a conventional choice, but it’s still a cool character. And we know how these things go. Once something becomes public fodder, sometimes, they can come true.

So Bomer’s a Nightwing fan and what’s not to like about that? We’re not sure where Batman related characters are. They were on lockdown for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but now that those movies are done, shouldn’t Nightwing be allowed to roam free, like say on Arrow? In fact an appearance on Arrow would probably fit into Bomer’s schedule and be a cool character that fits within the mythology of that show.Then there’s the Justice League Movie so many fanboys and fangirls are dreaming about… so Arrow, then?

And if they can’t get Nightwing on any live action film, he’s due for an animated original film and would line up in Tucker’s new strategy of using Batman, Superman, and the Justice League to help grow the audience’s vision of what the DCU is. Nightwing is perfect for more treatment, live-action, animation.  Bomer played the duality of Clark Kent and Superman to great results in Superman: Unbound; we think he’d do well as Nightwing too.

Wondercon 2013: 10 Focus Points on ‘Superman: Unbound’

Superman: Man of Steel isn’t the only Superman movie fans are eagerly waiting for, Warner Animated has a new film, Superman: Unbound which is based on a Superman Braniac comic story by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, that will be released on May 7, 2013 on DVD/blu-ray and digital download. The film is directed by James Tucker and stars the voice talents of Matt Bomer (White Collar) John Noble (Fringe) Stana Katic (Castle) and Molly Quinn (Castle). We screened the new animated original film and wanted to share 10 things to look for when you bring it home.

1. Cool opening credits – We’re suckers for any clever credit sequences and the ones used in Superman: Unbound are definitely unique.

2. Aggressive sound mix – This is a home release that we promise will be a joy to watch in surround sound at home. The opening sequence alone has multiple helicopters swooping in and around, automatic machine guns are spraying bullets, and explosions are going off. You gotta love flying sequences and hearing this in an arena did not do it justice. Superman: Unbound was meant to be heard in a bombastic home theater.

3. Lois is in trouble from the start but it isn’t Superman that’s the first to arrive on the scene to help her.

4. There’s a funny and modern take on Clark Kent’s bachelorhood and cover at the Daily Planet.

5. There’s a different but subtle change in Matt Bomer’s voice when he plays Superman vs. Clark Kent. When he’s Superman, he plays him with power and authority, whereas his voice for Clark is more of the happy-go-lucky Bomer that you’re used to hearing when you watching White Collar.

6. The women of this Superman story are extremely strong. Lois is as confident as ever, and Supergirl is a layered performance and nice duality played by Molly Quinn. In fact, some of the most memorable scenes of the story have either one or both ladies in them. One of the best fights in the film is a Lois and Clark clash about the fear of their relationship becoming public and Lane easily has the biggest moment in the film.

7. John Noble is a frightening Braniac and gives a splendid performance! Braniac’s ship is the stuff of nightmares and so are his fleet of blood thirsty robots. The interior of Braniac’s is also a cool color design with all of these pink pods of different alien species trapped inside, several bottle cities hanging from the rafters. Braniac is part of the ship and the ship is an extension of Braniac

8. Rather than be a straight brawler of an action film, there’s a whole level of psychology/emotions that Superman works in battle and with his relationships. We won’t say if it’s successful, but we love seeing Superman do something different and not be filled with one endless super-powered bar fight after another.

9. Batman has the Bat Signal, Superman has… something else.

10. Watch the end credits for a bonus scene.

‘White Collar’ Season 4 Finale Review: ‘Peter Is Left Dangling In the Wind’

Some of the best season finales don’t leave everyone happy. Concerning this week’s White Collar Season 4 finale, “In the Wind” that’s one of the best things the series could have done.

white collar season 4 finale

We knew how driven Neal (Matt Bomer) was to close this chapter in his life, and tonight we saw how much he’s willing to finally move forward. He recognized how much more meaningful his family he created for himself while working for the White Collar division was than his biological family. His fake proposal to Sara (Hilarie Burton) wasn’t just part of the con, he really felt that way. He was ready to put his obsession of his father behind him. It just took seeing his father for who he truly was in the present day to permanently scorch the past for him.

James (Treat Williams) was never a trustworthy character, and it didn’t take a lot to suspect him. He laid clues all along the way, and while he didn’t appear to be the mastermind behind it all, he proved to be as dirty as suspected, and when given a chance to do the right thing, he turned his back on Peter (Tim DeKay) and most importantly, Neal.

No one could fault James for shooting Senator Pratt (Titus Welliver) in self-defense, he’s worked too long to clear his name, but now he needs to be convinced that the FBI would give him the freedom to come forward and protect him over the death of a famous and powerful politician. After serving the law, then bending it, James ran from the law for too long to think straight. He holds the cards, but he doesn’t want them. He doesn’t care about the others who depend on him, one of which is the son he ran out on too many years ago. And now he’s hell bent on showing Neal that life doesn’t work out the way we want it to. Fitting coming from a dirty cop, and this will leave Neal hating his father even more unless he changes his mind.

They came close to clinching it. Mozzie was the x-factor again, coming up with high tech gadgetry, hydrofluoric acid, giant scale models of the Empire State Building, and a remote controlled blimp to deliver the evidence box to Neal’s apartment–all of the White Collar staples we’ve come to love about the show. They were all spectacular and the spectacle kept us glued to the edge of our seats. Even Peter took a giant leap in crossing the line of the law, shaped by his friendship with Neal and Mozzie, his old mentor turning on him, and his respected fallen superior provoking him. He took that risk he never took, and once again, White Collar showed the good guys never win by painting the ultimate good guy in the corner.

Neal expressed his love and affection to Sara, and Pratt was going to get exposed for his dirty work. What a con this would have been if it all worked out, okay, we can agree it’s not an 18th century music box, but Season 5 would have started off with a clean slate, and no complications other than Neal and Sara’s relationship. It would have been a truly happy ending and beginning.

But no one really won. Pratt was killed. Director Reese Hughes (James Rebhorn) wasn’t vindicated, Peter has been wrongly accused of murder and Sara left for London without any hope that they could find some way to work it out. The head of Life isn’t that simple or convenient, so why should TV be any different?

Peter now hangs “in the wind,” leaving a promise to his wife unfulfilled, and endangering a career he’s worked very hard to maintain. Elizabeth’s (Tiffani Thiessen) fears that Peter would catch the brunt of Ellen’s evidence box, and while he’s not dead, he doesn’t have much to clear his name. They have evidence to implicate Pratt, but Agent Callaway (Emily Proctor) was trying to protect the dirty senator, not put him away. Now, who knows who she is going to serve now that Pratt’s been killed. Evidence linking her can’t be used since it was obtained by Hughes’ tap, which was done illegally.

What makes this finale different than the others in the series? There’s no question of trust between Peter and Neal. That’s one of the most refreshing things that happened. In fact, Peter is putting all of his faith in Neal to convince James to come back, there’s no other way to prove his innocence. The trust must be put in someone who has proven multiple times, he can’t be trusted. Come Season 5, everyone is putting their faith in Neal, and let’s face it, Mozzie too, since we all know he’ll factor into the solution. Neal doesn’t have to con anyone or pull the hood over his father’s eyes. He has to swallow up any anger he might be feeling towards James and get him to tell the truth before anything else happens to him, to get another con man do to the good thing, for justice.

My, how far Neal Caffrey has come.

We’ll revisit Season 4 later this week and see what comes next for Neal, Mozzie, and Peter. After that, look for Season 5 of White Collar this summer on USA.

White Collar Season 4 Episode 15 Lead-in: Finale in Focus

This past week’s Valentine’s episode of White Collar had everyone pairing up and square dancing in honor of their Bonnie & Clyde criminals. A love struck and symbolic couple went on a crime spree and the Burkes (Tim Dekay and Tiffani Thiessen) are at the wrong place at the wrong time. Neal (Matt Bomer) and Sara (Hilarie Burton) get back in the saddle, and Mozzie (Willie Garson)? Well, he got to walk Satchmo a lot. While it’s easy to come down on “Shoot the Moon” because there wasn’t some criminal mastermind or because of the lighter tone, just remember that every episodes doesn’t have to feed into the bigger arc. Sometimes, we can enjoy White Collar simply for the fun escapes. “Shoot the Moon” gave us one of those weeks, a necessary interlude as we move closer the the White Collar Season 4 finale.

Here are five focus points to think about as we prepare to close out the fourth season.

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1. Neal had prison groupies?
Of course Neal had groupies in jail. This guy had is own personal fan club in the White Collar division, and if Joe Carroll can have a cult following (in Fox’s The Following) it should come to no surprise that ladies who subscribe to “Mugshot Monthly” have been scribbling love letters to America’s smoothest criminal, Neal Caffrey. It was cute to see Sara jealous though. Even Jones and Barrigan had to laugh at that, and usually they like to laugh at Neal’s expense.

2. The Future of Neal and Sara in Doubt
Sara’s up for the London branch of Sterling Bosch and it looks like Sara’s going to be phased out of the show. I understand that she has a world of haters out there, but I disagree with all of them. I found Sara to be the perfect companion for Neal. She’s not as squeaky clean as when she introduced herself, which gives her things to relate to Neal. But like Peter, there are legal ways to use those talents and while she indulged in Neal’s vices (what women could resist forever, honestly?) she kept Neal level-headed, and provided him with hope for a crime-free future. Burton’s been pulled back to a guest star this season, but I found her inclusion to the cast in Season 2 a great move. Her departure would be a letdown. However, if Sara passes up or is passed up for the London job, then she should be brought back in the fold of the show more regularly again, since it’s clear Sara and Neal still have feelings for each other.

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3. Diana and Sara’s new Dos
Don’t think we would let Agent Barrigan’s big hairdo slip by us. We’re not sure if Barrigan looked right leading a White Collar operation, but she sure looked like she should’ve been modeling a couture dress. We like being able to see actors and characters break out of their uniform look; it was just a bit too fabulous for Diana’s typical, practical work style. As for Sara, someone in makeup and hair must have had some serious love One Tree Hill love because that’s all I could think of while seeing her as a blond. Make note: Hilarie Burton is drop dead gorgeous in red.

4. It’s Time to Drop the Charade
Let’s stop hoping for Peter and Neal to let their guard down and embrace each other without waiting for the other to knife them in the back. For a guy who says he’s trying to get Neal to break bad, Peter sure does dangle a lot of carrots in front of him. Having Ellen’s IRS papers there for Neal and Mozzie to find, only fueled Neal’s pursuit of the truth to clear his father, but also furthered Peter’s efforts without endangering himself. Does that satisfy Elizabeth’s worries? Yes. Does this encourage Neal to go behind Peter’s back? Absolutely.

Some may wonder if this is Peter waving the white flag and knowing he can’t stop Neal pursuing a personal mission. Perhaps. At times this relationship runs hot and cold to the point of frustration. Some days Peter confides in Neal with his most personal concerns and then other times has Jones tailing him to stay three steps ahead. Neal has criminal in his blood but some of what he and Mozzie do is just simple investigation. The next time these two start squawking about “no more secrets” to each other, I’ll be off in the corner closing my eyes, plugging my ears, saying, “La-la-la-la…”

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5. Will The Real Dynamic Duo Step Forward?
Agents Jones and Barrigan were in the background this week and our criminal duo of Oz (Jackson Rathbone, Twilight) and Penny (Jessica McNamee) was doomed once we saw them trying to break the glass of the perfume bottle. Neal and Sara sizzled but could only be credited with an assist. This was a Peter and Elizabeth episode. They are perceived to living a boring lifestyle (they drink boxed wine) but were cool under pressure. White Collar is about the confidence game, and who has performed surprisingly consistent under stress but Elizabeth?

We realize she’s used to fantastical ways at times, especially this season. But she rarely flinches whenever she has to perform. Together with Peter, they don’t need to draw up a plan, or talk in shorthand. They know how to pick up where the other leaves off, what will further the cause, and put the other at ease. We said before that Elizabeth should probably leave the event planning behind because she’s been involved with so many operations but we’re a little surprised as to how much she’s been a part of the con. She left the big breadcrumb behind with her earring, she communicated with Penny in a way neither Peter or Neal could not, and she also warmed Oz up by offering to help cook for Penny. We’ve spent a great deal of time (maybe too much) on Neal’s father, that it’s fair that Peter and his home life be given the spotlight for a few episodes. I think the most important thing about these Peter and Elizabeth scenes is that they now know that there is a risk to getting too close to a criminal, and perhaps it’s okay for Neal to take some of the risk when Peter doesn’t have to.

White Collar is many things but a one note procedural is not one of them. This show knows when to lighten up the tone and has fun when it does so. With two episodes left it’s time to ramp up again and get back to business and close this story out with Neal’s father and his shady history, find Ellen’s files and see what kind of cliffhanger is going to carry us into Season 5. Pablo Schreiber (Lights Out) guest stars as a world class forger who is a match for Neal in Tuesday’s episode, “The Original.”


5 Key Moments in White Collar Season 4 Episode 12

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Last night’s White Collar was a strong episode highlighted by five major key points, pun intended.

The Key to Season 4
Plenty points of our Season 4 Wish List were checked off in this episode thanks to Ellen’s key. Mozzie’s (Willie Garson) stunt with the key and Neal’s (Matt Bomer) little white lie (more on that below) put Peter’s (Tim DeKay) trust in Neal back in doubt, which we saw coming and both of them figured out on their own that the ridges on the key were silhouettes to the New York City skyline. Match them up correctly, then they’ll find out where Ellen’s secret hiding place is for her files on James (Treat Williams). What a fun way to get the silent character of the city involved in the storyline; it also brings back an enjoyable competitive element to the series, which has been missing in answering all of Neal’s questions about his past. And now we’ll see who gets to the files first, Peter or Neal.

The Man in Black
Titus Welliver guest starred as Senator Pratt who has ties to James and therefore  becomes public enemy No. 1. Lost’s Man in Black may be the big bad guy for the rest of Season 4, and this could be enough to cool the scent on James Bennett being a bad guy, for now. We’ll reserve letting him off the hook though until at least the end of the season. And since there’s a treasure hunt for Ellen’s files on James, his character will remain in question until those files are exposed. Does anyone else find it curious that many of the “bad guys” are people in the system? In addition to Pratt, there was Agent Kramer (Beau Bridges), Garrettt Fowler (Noah Emmerich) and to a lesser degree FBI Agent Kyle Collins (Mekhi Phifer). Should Peter and Neal put Pratt away, then that does elevate the work being done at White Collar and the potential score for getting justice. It raises the stakes but also the risk.

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A change in management
Reese Hughes (James Rebhorn) was forced to step down as director of White Collar as a result of going after Senator Pratt’s biggest donor (Reed Diamond). This holds Peter directly accountable for White Collar from here on out, a position he’s qualified for, but probably not under these circumstances. Reese and Peter caught shrapnel for all the good of Neal has done, digging into his past. Just imagine if it happens again, Peter will be forced to resign. So the team has to tread lightly and get enough of a case built against Pratt so that he can’t use his authority and power to bully Peter out, and send Neal back to prison. They lost a big guy in their corner with Hughes who was a firm director, but knew the value of Caffrey and the work that his team did. While he did factor into many of the episodes to a minor degree–more than a dozen–Hughes has some nice moments over the last three and a half seasons, with Neal and Peter separately, but the way he walked out of the office made the weight of this loss feel very heavy.

Elizabeth Burke gets desperate
Up until now Elle (Tiffani Thiessen) was more than happy to sit back, let the boys do their work and be there should either Neal, Peter, and Mozzie needs a helping hand. But telling Neal to flat out lie to her husband so he won’t be so relentless to go to the grave helping Neal with his burning desires. This is a case of what she doesn’t know won’t hurt Elle, but it’s a hard argument to make when your husband gets his brakes cut from his car and is lying on a hospital bed. We know that Peter and Neal butted heads in the past but because Neal was asked to lie by Elle, we don’t think this anger towards Neal will stick around too long. Peter can’t stay angry at her when he does find out, especially when she was just looking out for his livelihood. Still it’s an interesting move by Elle, as she doesn’t want to see the person that means the world to her gone and she may have stepped over the line this time.

white collar 412 diana

Collar Team-Ups
As we had hoped, with Peter out of commission, Agents Jones and Barrigan were given some more time on the stage, and surprisingly not together. They split up putting Diana with Neal and we’ve seen on a few occasions (in the surveillance van and on a few cases last year) that they compliment each other. Diana is Agent Burke’s best and most trusted team member  basically a younger version of Peter, professionally speaking of course. So it’s no surprise her and Neal working well independently and running an operation. As for Jones, his loyalty to Peter wound up screwing Neal (who again was just following Elle’s request) and he had to deal with Mozzie who predictably gave him a hard time. We’re glad to see Diana and Clinton get more story, let’s hope they keep it up and it’s not just a novelty.

Other great moments included:
• Peter again living through Neal’s taste for personal grooming.
• Peter Scolari playing Mozzie’s keymaster friend who offered his help only after answering sphinx-like questions.
• Elle describing Peter as some hot-Deepak Chopra
• Neal finding out that Edwards’s construction change approvals were falsified by quick testing the age of stamp ink – the subtle nod to the craft of the con game was a nice contrast to the spectacular leap of faith in “A Family Business.”

Catch the new episode of White Collar, “Empire City” on Tuesday at 10pm on the USA Network. Peter and Neal work a forgery and laundering case, while the hunt for what the key opens begins. and Diana looks like she could be the next one to catch shrapnel, as her cover gets blown.

White Collar Season 4 pre-finale Wish List

Based on the events that have transpired throughout White Collar Season 4, we think there’s still plenty of things that can happen over the next five episodes that would push the hanging threads forward and some other things we’d like to see before the long wait for Season 5 in the summer.

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1) Peter has to pull Neal away at some point or Neal gets recognized.
He’s simply too close to this. Peter almost benched him but Neal is taking incredible risks, and is taking James on his word. At some point, the trust issue must come into play, as it’s one of the major themes of the show. This is a little pet peeve of mine but shouldn’t one of these con men rat Neal out once they’re locked up? Prison birds talk and there’s no way all of these guys are going into solitary confinement, right? There should be word of a legendary con man working for the feds and for his safety, Peter should pull Neal back on some of the field operations.

2) Peter will seriously doubt either James or Neal again.
As I said, the trust theme will come into play and never at any point has either Peter or Neal trusted each other completely, something always seems to come up that makes Peter nervous, and there’s always something Neal feels the need to keep hidden. Add another con man into the equation and we’ll get a standoff at some point where Peter has to double check either James’ story or investigate an individual project of Neal’s.

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3) Mozzie and James are left alone to match wits.
Peter isn’t the only one who was suspicious of James, and being the protective friend that he is, Mozzie has to find out if James is genuine, and being truthful. It takes a great con man to figure out another man’s con and with Neal wanting to believe so badly, it will take an objective eye and ear to check James’ story or take it upon himself to dig further to protect Neal.

4) We get to see Agents Jones and Barrigan featured once again.
The mythology of Neal’s past is the bigger arc this season but the show needs to pull away from that every once in awhile and show how the team functions, and especially give us more reasons and qualities as to why Peter has them on his team. We got those great solo episodes last season, which was great, we’d just like to see more.

5) We find out who’s really been tailing James and this case.
Someone is supposedly hot on James’ trail and murdered Ellen. Sam would like us to think it’s someone from the Flynns, but would they really kill one of their own in a prison transfer? If someone is really tailing James and is close in on this case, they have to be revealed soon. I’m suspecting it’s James since there was limited knowledge of Flynn’s capture, but if it’s not him, then the only other people who could be suspects would be someone working in Peter’s group.

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6) Elizabeth Burke getting some type of official consultant job with White Collar.
This isn’t really on the wish list because we’d rather Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) remain as Peter’s wife and sometimes participant, but it seems like a formality to get her on staff. She’s helping Peter so much that it seems like the next evolution for her character. In “Family Business,” Elle proved her worth as a host in another scene of what seems like a regular feature called “Dinner at the Burkes” and in the field as a ringer at the liquor tasting. She is a major asset in portraying a regular woman, is confident and she doesn’t have any ties to con men, as compared to Neal who is always in the field, often with con men who should have knowledge of him. And besides, look at how turned on Peter gets by her fearlessness.

7) Finding Ellen’s locket with the key to James’ file.
Another reason to suspect James is that after watching the Betamax video that Ellen made, he asked about this file Ellen had but it had not been found yet. He wants to know what she had on him. They hoped that the FBI would have found it in the evidence retrieved from her place, but we haven’t heard any further developments. This is holding the information that will probably clear James for good or indict him as a liar and crook. Based on the previews for “Brass Tacks” we should see the locket and what Ellen knew about James in Tuesday’s episode. Let’s just hope it’s not another red herring and sheds some details on James and provides real progress for closure for Neal.

See if we hit on any our White Collar predictions Tuesday night on USA 9/8c.

White Collar Season 4 Episode 12 Lead-in: In James we DO NOT trust

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White Collar returned with its mid-season premiere and we got lots of flashbacks thanks to Sam/James Bennett (Treat Williams) who set the record straight on Neal’s (Matt Bomer) past, a lesson in counterfeiting fine Whiskey and yes, Mozzie (Willie Garson) blowing glass.

The real question is, do you trust James’ story? He’s lied in the past, and to take his story at face value would would be very trusting. We had a gut feeling that he was Neal’s dad when he was first introduced as Ellen’s friend mostly because, Treat Williams was too big a guest casting to just be a one and done character. He had to factor in much larger and I should remind readers that we are in a mid-season premiere so we have five more episodes before the Season 4 finale so that means we’re building up to another cliffhanger.

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That’s why I’m suspecting that his story of someone chasing him is bogus, and some getting close to their trail is a mislead. It smells of fishiness. It’s nice to think that the flashbacks he laid out for Neal and Peter, such as working with the Flynns are 100% true. I’d like to believe him, just so that Neal can get closure and move forward again, but there’s still an awful lot of death surrounding this man and this long investigation. James’ story about the gun in the whiskey case vetted out, thankfully for Neal and Peter’s sake, but could James be stringing them along? This is a show about the cons, isn’t it?

For the mid-season premiere “Family Business” we got a great con to take down one of the younger Flynns, as Peter (Tim DeKay), Neal and Mozz try to come up with plan that toed the line of plausibility to come up with a cheap knock off of Shackleton Whiskey and then later 55 bottles of the Flynn family recipe and also its exclusive bottle to which will holds the counterfeit whiskey. Now I did like seeing Mozzie failing to master the shape of the bottle the first time around so thankfully our two favorite con men didn’t come off like flawless superheroes, but this episode did shed some light on not one but two fine crafts that were previously not covered.

This week episode 412, “Brass Tacks,” Peter and Neal go after a corrupt politician who also has ties to Ellen’s investigation, guest-starring Titus Welliver (Man in Black, Lost) and Peter could get hurt. Below is a trailer for the new episode.

A look at the second half of White Collar Season 4

White Collar Season 4 Episode 11 Lead-in: ‘Family Business’ & Daddy Issues

White Collar has succeeded – like many of the shows on USA Network – because it is always at least decent, finds a way to be inoffensively entertaining and generally explains its plots in a fairly simple manner. The network has also generally stuck to episodic plots that allow viewers to jump in and out at will, so getting behind doesn’t mean tuning out for the rest of the season.

Jeff Eastin’s White Collar has generally followed this formula, except it has delved deeper into longer-arcing stories over the course of its first three seasons. In its fourth season, White Collar has found itself deeply entrenched in a story about criminal-turned-FBI consultant Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and his desire to learn more about his father, culminating in a mid-season finale that saw Caffrey and FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) learn that a man with whom they associated for a good portion of the fourth season, “Sam” (Treat Williams), was really Neal’s father, James.

Sure, the surprise was one of the most obvious the show has offered to date, with many fans seeing it coming from a mile away. Still, it offers some new, interesting implications for the show’s main characters. So with just six episodes left to conclude Season 4, what can fans expect from White Collar when it returns?

Well, if the title of the season’s 11th episode, “Family Business” – the other five remaining are listed as “Brass Tacks,” “Empire City,” “Shoot the Moon,” “The Original” and “In The Wind” – is any indication, White Collar’s return at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. Central) Tuesday, Jan. 22, will likely be focused on Neal’s proverbial daddy issues.

Of course, we still haven’t totally figured out whether or not James is a good guy or a bad guy. Was he the dirty cop he confessed to be; or did he simply take a fall; or maybe find out something he shouldn’t have, and that’s why others are seemingly after him and those close to him.

Either way, the primary question about James for the rest of this season will likely be whether or not he can be trusted? In a recent clip from the upcoming episode released by USA Network, Neal discusses with his closest friend, Mozzie (Willie Garson), how he is upset about how his father essentially conned him into thinking he was someone else. But in a preview spot released by USA, we see Neal directly ask James if he killed a cop. James says “no,” and Neal asserts to Peter than his father wasn’t lying.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument and where it leads, that James is telling the truth and ultimately trustworthy. We’ll go with this hunch based on the fact that we see Neal, Peter and James sitting down to dinner together in one clip, a dinner Peter has apparently set up to bring everyone together. Some trust is clearly there. And in a music video clip USA Network has also beer airing, we’ve seen Neal walking alongside his father, who is wearing a suit, the two apparently working in tandem. On this show, one could always be conning the other, but it appears they’re working together.

So again, what does this mean for the dynamic of White Collar? After all, Peter has in many ways acted like a sort of father figure to Neal over the course of several seasons. Now that Neal’s actual father is back in town, might that change? Might it even create some jealousy for Peter and some confusion for Neal over where to place his love and trust? And does James’ deceit possibly make Neal realize what he’s done to others, specifically Peter, over the years?

And then, of course, there is the question of why James was in hiding and away from Neal for so long? Was he trying to protect his son, and now that the two are reunited, what does it mean? Who is still after James and why? Does he have dirt on someone?

There’s also a question of what role the secondary characters will play this season. While Mozzie has always been a fan favorite, his role has been that of a trusted confidant for Neal, someone to consult when trusting Peter doesn’t seem like the best option. But if James may also now be that type of person, or Neal’s attention is split between three different people and their opinions, will Mozzie’s screen time be minimized, and with whom will Neal ultimately side? And how will Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) factor into all of this mess, as she isn’t even technically working with the FBI. And why the heck is she holding a gun in one of those previews?

Continue to Page 2 for more on the Second Half of White Collar Season 4

‘White Collar’ Season 4 Midseason Finale Review: Play it Again, Sam

white collar fbi convention

Whether you deduced it on your own, or you heard it first here at BuzzFocus last week, White Collar dropped the bomb of Sam’s (Treat Williams) true identity on the Season 4 midseason finale, “Vested Interest,” and by the end of it, we could only react and figure out how this news will affect the rest of the season if at all, and how it’s going to shape Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer).

Peter (Tim DeKay) and Neal left viewers feeling like kids witnessing their parents at war with each other, arguing over whether Peter did the right thing in starting an identity check on Sam, or if he did the wrong thing and scared off Neal’s best lead to Ellen’s killer and link to his family’s true past. Yeah… awkward…

Neal blamed Peter’s inquisition into his private life as the cause for Ellen’s death and the Sam situation going south. We were given the impression that the two would be like rams butting into each other for the rest of the season. The trust between them was violated–forever changed! And as expected, Peter found a way to force a solution by having the two of the speak before the FBI as guest speakers, to showcase how their partnership has resulted in a high clearance rate of cases and to show how well an agent and a  fugitive can work together towards a common goal. Neal didn’t cooperate so easily and jabbed a fork at Peter’s gut every chance he could get. And in the front half of “Vested Interest”, they were no better off, still hiding secret meetings and further background checks, especially when Peter found out that Sam, or the real Sam Phelps dies years ago in Florida.

Jeff Eastin was able to fit in a case in this episode, one where someone posing as an FBI Agent had infiltrated the FBI conference that Peter and Neal were speaking before. An anecdote about hugs, pick-pocketing an agent, a parking lot shootout, a bullet-proof vest and a ruined tie later, Peter and Neal had found their bromance once again. The center of our show had been restored.

Agent Furlong: There must be an immense amount of trust between you.
Peter: Even when there isn’t trust, there’s faith.

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That theme of trust just never leaves, does it?

The case of the undercover agent and the FBI convention gave us a situation where all of the matters could be resolved or at least helped along. Some believed that Sam was actually one of the corrupt policemen that Ellen and Neal’s father had been trying to get evidence on, Peter for one, and White Collar put enough of those clues to lead you to that place.

But it’s been the clever dialogue exchanged by all the characters and the careful cinematography this season that clued me in. What we didn’t get to see, what conversations were never made on camera made me suspicious of Sam in a way where I felt it was more plausible that Sam was actually Neal’s father, giving viewers six final episodes to resolve this matter between Neal and his father and Ellen’s box of evidence before a fifth season to start anew.

For six episodes we’ll have an opportunity to find out Neal’s past and he’ll get the closure he’s been seeking for most of his life. It’s sure to open fresh wounds and ones hidden long ago. And hopefully, we can all move forward again soon and make some progress from what the first three seasons laid down because while this chapter will help fill the void in Neal’s heart,  his father’s legacies didn’t shape Neal into who he is today.

His father should see that even though he’s done wrong, he’s doing more good with Peter than without him, but he’s not a crook because of his upbringing or DNA. He’s in the arrangement he’s in because of the choices he’s made, and someone felt he could offer his skills and help people. Now Neal has to fulfill that, because while they could joke about a criminal and a lawman working side-by-side to 500 agents, any real relationship, in whatever capacity and whoever the parties are, must have good faith on either side that the other person will have their back, and each side must honor that.

Just take a look at all of the relationships that have been explored on White Collar so far: Peter and Neal, Peter and Elizabeth and Satchmo, Neal and Mozzie, Mozzie and his foster parents, June and Byron, Neal and Sara, Neal and Kate, Diana and Christie, even all of the work relationships within White Collar Division, and finally Jones and… well, the surveillance van. That’s what’s at the heart of White Collar, above all the style and valuables, the heists and illusions and the orchestrated (and improvised) cons. Will he be able to one day have a relationship as good as those listed above? Well, as we’ve see with Peter and Neal, it doesn’t happen overnight. No matter how good it looks on the outside.

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Some other terrific moments in last night’s episode:
• Peter trying to find peace with Neal and his love for coffee came up when the office coffee maker was on the fritz. Showing that he knows a thing or two about relic machines, Peter fixed the coffee maker but Neal still gave him the cold shoulder.
• Neal and Mozzie’s rat trick got one FBI Agent to flip his tie.  We never thought it’d be Jones.
• I’m not surprised that Peter would change the color of his pen with one of those old Bic Color-Changing pens.
• Before Peter caught Neal, one of the ways Neal tried to keep Peter off his trail, was to fake his death and did so on a few occasions. One of the causes of death he used was by shark. “Who doesn’t look a good shark mauling?”
• For $500 a coroner will fake a death.
• Oh and in case you forgot, “Diana doesn’t like bulges.”

What did you think of the White Collar MidSeason 4 Summer Finale? Do you like who Sam was revealed to be? What do you think is in store for the remainder of the season? A trailer for White Collar creator Jeff Eastin’s new show, Graceland aired during the show, what do you all think? And will you tune in? Share your thoughts below.

‘White Collar’ Season 4 Episode 9 Review & Midseason Finale Preview: Neal Goes Down Swinging

White Collar‘s fourth season has been dancing around the central theme of trust for much of the season with smiles on the outside when both Peter (Tim DeKay) and Neal (Matt Bomer) went behind each other’s backs, but the tension peaked at the end of last night’s episode, “Gloves Off” when Neal’s last link to his father, Sam (Treat Williams) left his home before it was ransacked by someone trying to track him down. Neal told Peter that his personal life is now off limits and stormed off, fuming from possibly losing the only link to the mystery of his father.

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Before this scene, an intense boxing match between Neal and Peter went awry. It was supposed to be a choreographed con, as were both undercover, playing the parts of two associates trying to get proof of an insider trader ring involving white collar boxing. The winner was supposed to get insider information from Eric Dunham (Victor Webster), the head of the ring. But Sam contacted Neal before the match and told him that he had to leave town because Peter had triggered an investigation on him, which alerted someone in the FBI of his whereabouts. Neal had been keeping his meetings with Sam secret, and Peter thought he shared a betamax tape with a young Ellen (Sprague Grayden) explaining her knowledge about the case, absolving his father’s crimes was under lock and key (and of course the hunt is on for the key). Neal didn’t share the video, but Peter didn’t know that and thus we had another situation of half-truths, “if you just told me” arguments, and anger spilling into the square ring.

Neal dropped the rehearsed fight and instead threw punches of real vitriol at Peter and his boss retaliated back. The fun montage of Peter, Neal, Mozzie (Willie Garson) and Jones (Sharif Atkins) working on the choreographed fight was at least a distraction of the storm that was brewing. Too bad it couldn’t last. Peter eventually knocked Neal down and they closed the case on Dunham, but their friendship appears to be irrevocably damaged. However nothing on White Collar ever lasts very long. See all things related to Mozzie (his shooting, his anger towards Neal, and his vow to stay away from the mainland in hiding.)

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One of the more frustrating elements of Season 4 has been the bigger arc of Neal digging into his past and the truth behind his father, since returning from his brief escape to the tropical islands. I guess I expected Neal to be able to move forward with his life with so much that has propelled him forward (realizing he no longer needs to be criminal, that he has a strong and support system of friends), yet he has taken several steps backward to reach for this answer, forever attached to the anchor that his father may or may not have been a murderer and a corrupt cop, like he was destined to be a crook based on DNA. He was unable to trust any of his circle whether it be Peter, Elizabeth or even Mozzie. This isn’t as compelling as Neal avenging his girlfriend’s death, or looking for the music box, and hiding the stolen Nazi treasure. Those stories appeared to move everything forward, where as this season has been dragging along.


That is until we get the hint from Ellen’s video message to Neal that his father may still be out there. It has me believing that Sam isn’t who he says he is, because all the secrecy clouding his true identity, Sam wanting to stay off the FBI grid makes be believe that Sam is actually… Neal’s father. I have no proof of this, it’s just suspicions of Sam and Ellen never being at the same place to confirm one’s identity and that Ellen was so cryptic about this one other cop who Neal could trust. How could it not be Neal’s dad? We’re led to believe that Sam would do drastic things when Peter dropped in on him, but because he didn’t kill Peter leads me to believe even more that he is Neal’s long lost father. Neal only remember so much as a child, was raised under the witness protection agency and was probably told other lies to protect Sam’s real identity. There were no pictures or maybe there was one that Ellen shared with him. Regardless that would be a plausible direction we’re heading to, but this is just my best guess.


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For the first time this season, Neal brought it all together by blaming Peter’s investigation into Ellen and Sam as the trigger for Ellen’s murder and Sam’s sudden disappearance. It’s hard not to agree with Neal on this matter. Finally, this father storyline was going somewhere and if I what I believe is true, then that would be something worth moving forward to. The cons have all been fun, clever (The Rebecca Mader guest spot and the return of Alex and Banksy-Bomer were brilliant strokes of genius) but something has been missing in this season if I’m being honest and I think it’s that feeling that we’re just plodding along without anything to move towards to. My suspicions would certainly give that chapter in Neal’s life some closure, but we’ll see if that’s where the mid-season finale is headed to. How that would affect the final six episodes is something we’ll have to explore after next week’s finale.

What would be left is repairing this rift between Peter and Neal. The Sam issue, which comes to a head in the mid-season finale seems like the one thing that could douse this flame. The problems between two good friends are often the things that look like positive things. They trusted each other so much that when each one decided to withhold any type of information, they took it personal to the point of mistrusting the other. Neal felt like he needed to be secret and he already laid out all the rules concerning Ellen, Sam, and his past but Peter felt the one way he could help is to get involved. This is the one hurdle, the one final part of Neal’s life that he wants some control over, when all along he’s been out of control, led from one clue to another.

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As I mentioned above, it’s doubtful any tension between Peter and Neal is everlasting; any conflict on White Collar has the life-span of a New York minute, but perhaps this does alter the relationship between Peter and Neal some, maybe we don’t have this open book exchange, with Elizabeth coming over with pistachio gelato or Mozzie confiding with The Suit without Neal’s knowledge. I’m still a little surprised by that last one. It was all getting a bit too comfortable again at the White Collar division and that means something or someone needed to knock some sense into everyone and remind each other who they are.

What do you think, is Peter and Neal’s friendship down for the count? What are your suspicions about Sam? Have you enjoyed Season 4 or felt like something is a little… off? Share your thoughts below!