White Collar's Matt Bomer Previews Neal's Not-So-Perfect Island Life and Big Daddy Issues
White Collar Recap: He Did a Bad, Bad Thing
When USA Network’s White Collar returns this Tuesday at 9/8c for Season 4, the con man is living the life in a beachfront mansion on an exotic island while romancing a local beauty (played by Alias‘ Mía Maestro). But as star Matt Bomer tells TVLine, not everything is as idyllic as it seems. And once the dapper fella makes it back to New York City, he’ll be plagued by questions about his own past.
TVLINE | How is island life treating Neal?
[Laughs] You know, it’s very Dickensian for Neal. It’s kind of the best of times, and the worst of times. The good news is he’s living the dream, and the bad news is he’s living the dream in his early 30s. So while he’s enjoying this life he’s constructed for himself, it’s also a little early in the game for him to be this retired guy on an island. He misses aspects of his collaboration with Peter (Tim DeKay) and his life back in New York, the culture and the diversity there.
TVLINE | So he’s itching to get back?
Don’t get me wrong – he’s Neal Caffrey, so he’s obviously made the absolute best of the situation he’s been given. He has the nicest pad. He has an amazing morning routine, a very leisurely life. There are aspects of that he really enjoys because they are things he fantasized about for so long. He kindled a little island romance for himself, going nice and slow on island time. Then things get interrupted, and as annoying as that is – even though he won’t admit it – there’s a welcome aspect to it as well.
TVLINE | How much of a threat is Mekhi Phifer’s FBI agent to Neal?
We don’t really realize what a huge threat he is until the second episode. We hear about how dangerous he is and how renegade he is, how it’s martial law with him in a way. He sets the terms of what’s legal and what’s not. Neal and Mozzie (Willie Garson) take that with a grain of salt until they encounter him and realize, “OK, he means business.” There’s something very specific that happens in the second episode that I think will make people take his character very seriously, very quickly.
TVLINE | Obviously, Neal is going to somehow find his way back to New York. What can you share about how that comes about?
It will involve Peter and a madcap, high stakes escape in typical White Collar fashion. [Laughs] It’ll be suspenseful, and it’ll have a big cliffhanger.
TVLINE | Is it safe to say the possibility of walking free from the commutation hearing is off the table?
I’ll tell you this: In typical Neal fashion, he has to figure out the best way to get back into the FBI’s good graces so he’s not back in the clink. It all ends up cooking together in one big game plan – the return and a way for him to get back into their good graces.
TVLINE | What does this mean for Peter and Neal’s relationship?
It’s closer than ever in some ways — and they’re more at odds in some ways, too. It’s out on the table that they respect each other and they care about each other. But at the same time, their poker game this season is more high stakes than ever and ends up coming to a boiling point in Episode 9, where they really are at odds. But they figure out a way to get through it and, as usual, their unconventional pairing is what ultimately always brings them back together because each has something the other wouldn’t think of, couldn’t think of, something that they need.