White Collar “Judgment Day” Review – Goodbye Neil!

White Collar
Your regular White Collar reviewer, Michelle, is away this week, so I will be taking over for this week’s episode which also happens to be the season 3 finale. So let’s talk about it.

Wow! I was told by the nice people at USA that this season’s finale would be big, but I don’t know if I expected it to be that big. But let’s start from the beginning.

As the episode title nicely puts it, this is “Judgment Day” for Neil as he’s hoping to get the last two years of his sentence commuted. Unfortunately, Agent Kramer won’t make it easy for him to go free. Quite the contrary, he not only wants to take Neil for himself, but wants to keep him at the FBI as a prisoner for pretty much the rest of his life. Poor Neil! That he wants him to finish his two years is one thing, but to keep him there by any means necessary is pushing it a bit, wouldn’t you say?!

However, this storyline did allow us to venture into Neil’s life a bit, which I always enjoy. We met someone who used to be in his life, Ellen Parker, whom I’m guessing was a friend of the family and maybe helped Neil as he was growing up. We also learned that his father was a dirty cop, which turns out is the reason why Neil gave up on being a cop himself. Can you imagine?! Neil almost became Peter! Not sure White Collar would have been as fun that way. Oh and did I mention that Neil’s parents are apparently still alive, however we’re not sure where. I’m kind of hoping for a family reunion next season, although it might be hard to make it happen given how this season ended, but more on that later.

We finally found out where that Raphael painting that Sara was after has been all along, and even better, Sara got her hands back on it, making her boss a whooping $15 million. Not too bad for a day’s work. And of course, you have to love the way they “tricked” Kramer to get the painting back.

But my favorite part of the episode was finding out that despite everything Mozzie still has Neil’s back and kept half (well a little less since he was angry) of the treasure aside for Neil in case he ever wanted to run. Turns out it was probably the greatest thing he ever did.

Which leads me to talk about that jaw-dropping ending. Kramer really wasn’t going to let Neil go, that’s why I absolutely loved Peter’s little headshake directed towards Neil, almost like a blessing for him to disappear. And that’s exactly what Neil did. As Peter testified about Neil needing to be set free, we see Neil (finally) setting himself free and leaving with Mozzie.

Even though I’m wondering where they will go from here in Season 4 (which has been announced), I loved the ending. Yes, I’m sad Neil had to go, but I think it also showed how deep of a bond Peter and Neil have. Even more, I think that for the very first time Peter trusted Neil unconditionally and believed that he was reformed from his old life, which is why he didn’t seem shocked when Diana told him Neil cut his anklet. It’s kind of a poetic ending.

A great finale to let us linger until season 4. But now I want to hear from you. What did you think of the finale? What did you think of Neil leaving? Where do you think we can go from here? Share all your thoughts in the comment section.

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