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Countdown to White Collar: A “Checkmate” Preview 

Photo Credit: Robert Ascroft/USA Network

USA Network’s White Collar continues its Season 3 tomorrow night. If you watched the first half of the season then you’ll know that the relationship between Peter and Neal has been rocky at best as of late. It didn’t get any better in the mid-season finale when Neal’s nemesis — Matthew Keller – kidnapped Peter’s wife Elizabeth. He wanted to use her as leverage in getting the U-Boat treasure away from Neal and Mozzie. Things pick up right away in the show’s mid-season return called “Checkmate.”

I watched the premiere and it’s really good. It’s kind of everything I wanted to see — a very satisfying episode all around. Here are seven things to expect to see in  “Checkmate”:

Photo Credit: Will Hart/USA Network
  • It’s the same old theme song we know and love. Remember when they briefly switched the opening theme song during the summer? Yeah, well, that’s not happening this time around. It’s the same awesome song serenading the shots of the cast. And it was just so good to see and hear it.
  • A tense and emotional Peter. He has bursts of emotion that let us know he’s worried about his wife. This is to be expected, of course, given the situation. Still, it’s different to see him this way because the federal agent is usually so in control.
  • Neal has to get creative in more ways than one. First and foremost, he has to get a hold of an underground Mozzie. I love how this all goes down. It’s so very Neal and Mozzie.
  • Neal’s forced to do something he hates. I’m not going to give you any other clue than that. But you’ll know it when you see it.
  • The MVP of “Checkmate”: Elizabeth Burke. She gets to be fierce, badass, clever, funny, sarcastic and any other awesome adjective you can think of. She’s always been supportive and great but this time she gets to take a more active role. She’s the best she’s ever been in this episode. Major kudos to Tiffani Thiessen.
  • There’s a gladiator-like moment between two characters that fits in with the vibe of this show.
  • There’s a surprising twist that has to do with Neal that should inform the rest of the season. I’m curious to know where this twist will lead.

The White Collar mid-season premiere airs tomorrow night at 10/9c on USA Network. And a heads up: Tiffani will be chatting live during the east coast airing of “Checkmate.” If you’re not up to speed on all things Season 3, then click on this link to watch.

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