The stunt and spectacle-heavy season three finale left White Collar fans desperate to know what would happen after Neal fled NYC, with Peter's blessing, after learning Agent Kramer planned to turn Neal into, for all intents and purposes, the F.B.I.'s bitch boy.
To deduce that answer, and learn everything imaginable about the new season, I spent yesterday hunkered down on the White Collar soundstages as the cast was prepping to shoot the mid-season finale. And while much of what I learned is on lockdown (for now), there are five season four tidbits I simply had to share.
Season Four is All About Neal's Past
When season four picks up, on the tropical island to which Neal and Mozzie have fled, TV's most dashing con-man finds himself in quite a personal crisis. "One of the interesting things that Neal discovers when he does go abroad is that this [he's not] ready for retirement," Matt Bomer said. "He gets really stir crazy, really fast. He's a die-hard romantic to a fault, and one of the reasons that's to a fault is because it's like, 'What do I do now?' I think he is searching for purpose and meaning in his life. A big part of that was getting all these wrinkles in his past ironed out so he could put that aspect of things behind him. Just to have some sort of understanding and control over the cards he was dealt so he could move forward in a way that suits him the best."
Treat Williams Joins The Show, But He's No Newbie
Omnipresent actor Treat Williams comes aboard White Collar as Sam -- a mysterious figure with strong ties to Neal's past. "There's a sense of danger with Treat's character," Tim DeKay says. "Physical danger, life or death". And while season four marks his first time on the show, Treat was very familiar with the cast. He starred alongside Tim DeKay on Everwood, Tiffani Thiessen in Woody Allen's Hollywood Endings and Willie Garson in Things To Do in Denver When You're Dead.
There Will Be Blood!
Fans are certain to get an eyeful of both Matt and Tim in an upcoming episode when Neal and Peter engage in -- what is supposed to be -- a friendly boxing match. But Neal learns something right before the ruse is set to play out that makes him ditch the rehearsed choreo and actually go toe-to-toe with Peter. But off-screen, the fellas had a great time shooting the sparring match, despite some playful ribbing. "[Tim] was playing all these mind games with me," Matt laughed. "Like [saying], 'Oh, that's what you're going to wear? I was hoping you'd be more tan than that. I'm sure they can light around it." I think Tiffani Thiessen said it best: "They're half naked and beating on each other. I'm just sad that I’m not in those scenes."
Tim Will Direct Again!
Last year's baseball-themed episode, which Tim DeKay directed, was one of season three's strongest episodes and he will step behind the camera once again for in the back-half of season four. "The episode I will be directing has to do with Harlem jazz," Tim said. "And Diahann Carroll will be singing in the episode. I haven't seen the script but the flavor will be very smoky and jazz club-y. It will be fun and sexy."
Death and Familiar Faces Come To White Collar
During one of the interviews (I will refrain from putting the specific actor on blast), it was accidentally revealed that someone in the White Collar universe will be dying this season. And while there will be loss, there will also be returning faces -- Alex and Sara are both back this season, while Lost alum Rebecca Mader and Alias co-star Mia Maestro guest star as potential love interests for Neal.
White Collar premieres July 10 on USA!