The summer finale of White Collar was last night, and once again, the writers left us with a mean cliffhanger. I wonder if they get paid on a sliding scale based on how much they torment viewers.
And with USA Network’s split schedule, they get to have cliffhanger moments twice as often. In the 2 1/2 years the show’s been running, there have been five cliffhangers. And I clearly remember every one.
Suffice it to say, there are going to be plenty of spoilers below. So beware!
I sort of envy people who came to the show late, like my parents and siblings. They avoided months of restless wondering.
The first mid-season finale (halfway through season 1) ended with Peter confronting Kate, in a way that made it seem like he was the one who’d been controlling her moves. And for weeks we wondered – could Peter be the bad guy? Was he betraying Neal? And if not, what was he doing there, wearing that ring?
The season one finale ended with a plane exploding. Who wanted Neal and Kate dead? How would Neal get over losing her?
The second summer finale (halfway through season 2) ended with Mozzie being shot. The outcry I read over and over online was, “Not Mozzie!” He was just enough of a secondary character that he could really have died, but such a favorite that no one wanted to imagine the show without him.
The season two finale ended with Peter accusing Neal of faking a fire to steal the Nazi treasure, and Neal hotly denying it, only to later find out that someone close to him had done exactly that. Out of all the cliffhangers, this was the one I minded least, but the complications that arose were far-reaching.
The third summer finale ended with Keller telling Peter he’d seen the treasure, and kidnapping Elizabeth to get it.
While the mid-season finales seem to be more intense in terms of “what if?” emotional turmoil, it’s the season finales that drive the action for the following seasons. We find out Mozzie’s not dead and Peter’s not the bad guy quite quickly once the season resumes. So I’m hopeful they’ll find El in the next episode – but that one episode will be amazing.
If anything could postpone Mozzie’s island getaway, finding out that Mrs. Suit is in danger will. Mozzie is closer to her than to anyone else on the right side of the law (and perhaps even on the wrong side, too), and it’s his stealing of the treasure that got her kidnapped. His putting the bounty on Keller that gave him the opportunity to escape the FBI.
Not that Neal’s going to be feeling any less guilt. Keller is his enemy. Neal’s lies to Peter led to this.
But my guess is that the treasure’s only going to be a side issue during the next episode. The focus will be on getting El back.
I just hope that, when this is all hashed out, that Peter realizes that Neal was having to choose between Peter with all the confines of the anklet, and Mozzie with all the treasure he could imagine. And that in the end, Neal chose Peter.