[Warning: Spoilers for White Collar's summer finale -- "Vested Interest"]
Well, tonight on USA Network, White Collar completes the summer portion of season 4 in cliffhanger fashion. Will it be quiet or explosive? Will Peter and Neal’s friendship suffer or get better?
The “Vested Interest” Synopsis: In this mid-season finale, Peter (Tim DeKay) and Neal (Matt Bomer) attend an FBI conference where someone is trying to steal high valued defense technology. They soon discover the thief’s brazen plan to take something much more valuable from the FBI.
Guest stars: Treat Williams, Scott Evans, Ned Eisenberg, Jason Pendergraft and Pawel Szajda
We recently took part in a press call with White Collar creator, Jeff Eastin, and he
talked about the finale as well as a lot about Peter and Neal.
Peter and Neal’s turbulent relationship
Jeff Eastin: The tough part of about this show a lot of times is really trying to keep things fresh between Neal and Peter. It’s the easiest thing. And the thing that I see on Twitter a lot are people saying, “Oh, just make them happy. Just let them be friends. Take away Neal’s angles.” And, it’s…as easy as that would be, I think then we’d just end up with another police procedural show where the two pretty guys banter, solving crimes.
And, we try to keep it a little more on edge that, and I find the show probably works the best when Neal and Peter are talking together and we think everything is fine, but as Neal leaves the room Peter’s eyes kind of narrow and we realize he thinks he’s up to something. To me, that’s when the show works the best, and that’s been the hard thing, especially going into the middle of our fourth season to try to maintain that – maintain that sort of suspicion between the two guys in a way that it just doesn’t anger the majority of the fans. So far, I’ve only seen a few fans angry about it, but for the most part, I think it’s that kind of stuff that keeps it intriguing.
The FBI convention Peter and Neal attend in “Vested Interest”
Jeff Eastin: That was something we wanted to do for a while. Those are always tough to pull off on a cable budget — trying to do a big convention is always a tough thing, because in our minds we pictured hundreds of people and hundreds of FBI guys wandering around, and of course we can’t afford hundreds of guys wandering around. So we end up with about 30, 40 extras and you try to move them around.
So we’d had that one on the back burner for a while. We just sort of like the idea of a FBI conference where Peter would get to be the star. Where Neal would be sort of held up a little bit as the sideshow attraction, and Peter would be the star, and then we’d throw some kind of caper on top of it.
How long can Peter and Neal continue as friends and coworkers?
Jeff Eastin: We don’t have any plans to break it up completely, you know? As I told somebody once, it’s like TV, there’s going to be ebbs and flows in it and as much as we’d like to just settle down, and like I said, just let them relax and be buddies, it’s not really something that we’re prepared to do yet.
They’re going to have some problems, and in this case, it definitely pushes – pushed the relationship a little, but we’ve pushed it pretty far before. And in this case, things get – they get worse before they get better, how about that? But, I’ll just say that, when you come back – in Season 4.5, they definitely get better.
More on Peter and Neal in the finale
Jeff Eastin: There’s something they say in the finale when they said, “You know, even if we don’t have trust we have faith.” And that was something that we had talked about. It’s like at a certain point these guys have been through so much, and Peter especially has put up with so much from Neal. And the one thing he sort of discovers is, there’ll never be a time when Neal betrays him.
Neal is sort of like a child sometimes, and he may lie about where’s he going and what he’s doing, but when the s–t hits the fan he’s going to be there for Peter no matter what. And I think Peter knows that, and I think he just takes some solace from that, that if Neal says he’s going to June’s party – he may actually be sneaking off with Mozzie to do something. But, if it ever came down to protecting Peter, it’s one of those things where there’s going to be no question whose side he’s going to fall on.
We’ve seen the episode and here’s a little of what else you can expect in “Vested Interest” (without trying to give anything away):
- Based on what happened at the end of “Gloves Off,” things are really icy between Neal and Peter — mostly on Neal’s part.
- Just when things are going less than brilliantly between them, Peter and Neal are forced to suck it up and act like they’re the perfect team.
- Things aren’t all bad between Peter and Neal. There’s definitely an encouraging scene or two.
- We find out one of Jones’ dislikes.
- Jones and Diana have a quick undercover scene.
- Favorite line: Well, Diana doesn’t like bulges.” Hilarious. Trust us.
White Collar “Vested Interest” airs tonight at 9/8c on USA Network. Fans of the show will be interested to know that Jeff Eastin will be live tweeting during the summer finale — and he’ll answer all your burning questions. Yay!