The current season of White Collar keeps side-stepping my expectations. The end of last season led me to expect season three to center on getting Peter out of jail and/or finding and convicting Neal’s father, with all inherent questioning of loyalties and excavating of the criminal underworld. That was of course up-ended when Peter got out of jail in the first episode. Dropping the question of Neal’s father and adding Curtis Hagen to the mix was an unforeseen stroke – as long as you hadn’t been gorging yourself on spoilers, of course.
Diana’s pregnancy and the aforementioned father issues made me think that this season’s theme may be ‘family’, but the addition of a new handler for Neal and new job titles for Peter and Clinton, followed by the reveal and then loss of Mozzie’s true identity makes me think that the real theme may be just that: ‘identity’.
In each episode, Neal has essentially been asked ‘Who are you?’ by one or more of the other characters. It may have not been in so many words, but the question is there. Is he criminal or cop? Is he truly free, or in a gilded cage? What exactly is it that he gets from his current arrangement?
With the revelation in the newest episode that he’s not at all done with the criminal life, I believe we will find out. Will Neal be able to keep his conviction that he’s still alright pulling illegal cons? Or will his conscious get the better of him when the lying and cheating puts strains on the relationships he has built over the past few years?
Hopefully all of the twists in this season’s narrative are there to keep us on our toes, rather than being indicative of poor planning on the writers’ part.
Author: Lady Malchav
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