'White Collar' finale: Season 6 promises changes for the Burkes

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white-collar-diamond-exchange-season-5-finale.jpg "White Collar" brought Neal's con-woman love storyline to a close Thursday (Jan. 30) with "Diamond Exchange," which sent Agent Burke and Neal on a sort of treasure hunt around New York.

After breaking out of prison, Rebecca (guest star Bridget Regan) poisons Mozzie and tells Neal she'll only give up the antidote if Neal gets her the diamond. The clock is ticking, as the poison will shutdown Mozzie's system in roughly six hours.

It sends the guys on their very own "DaVinci Code" caper to Fort Totten, an old Army installation in Queens. After Mozzie collapses and is taken to the hospital, Neal and Peter find the diamond but Rebecca was following them all along and steals it at gunpoint, locking them up and saying she'll give up the antidote once she's out of the city, which was not the deal she initially made.

matt-bomer-willie-garson-white-collar-season-5-finale.jpgLuckily, Jones and Diana track Rebecca's trail after she broke out of prison and discover the greenhouse where she got her poison -- it was belladonna, otherwise known as deadly nightshade. Elle convinces the doctors to administer the correct drug and Mozzie is saved.

Back at the fort, Neal has pulled a terrific bait-and-switch on Rebecca and she no longer has the diamond. Since she's got nothing to use in her escape (and law enforcement is quickly descending), Neal convinces her that sometimes you just have to stop running.

Rebecca is taken into custody and all appears to be well -- though of course Mozzie wants to steal the diamond. "My freedom is worth more than anything that diamond could buy," says Neal, with Mozzie pointing out that with his anklet on, freedom still eludes Neal.

Until Peter makes a call and gets Neal's release put in motion, making Neal promise to come visit Peter and Elle in D.C. a lot. They shake hands and hug, it's a lovely moment. Then there's another lovely moment when Neal tells Mozzie he's out of the con game.

"Neal, if you're not a criminal, then what are you?" asks Mozzie. "That's what I want to find out," says Neal.

Unfortunately, the FBI director says Neal's escape to Cape Verde means he can't be released -- but what Peter thinks it really is is that Neal's too big of an asset. His arrest record is too high to let him go. Neal storms off as Peter asks him not to do anything crazy.

It makes Peter rethink the decision to take the job in Washington and Elle supports him, while also saying she can't turn down the National Gallery job -- and he would never ask her to do that. So Elle and Peter are going to live apart now. That's a sad state of affairs for one of our favorite married couples on TV.

In the final frames, as Neal laments his freedom and Mozzie curses "the man" as he walks off, a suspicious character who has been following Neal reveals that he's "the last person who's going to know where [Neal is]" and suddenly Neal is kidnapped, anklet removed and thrown in the back of a moving pickup truck.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • We'll miss you, Rebecca. You were a really fun character this season.
  • New York is always such a character on this show, but tonight might be our favorite location shoot they've ever done. Fort Totten looks beautiful and we had no idea it was even there. It was a very cool setting to use.
  • Don't get us wrong, we absolutely want more "White Collar" -- but what a way to go out if that had been the series finale. The Burkes off to D.C., Neal off to freedom with Mozz. Maybe someday.
  • As it is, guess Burke will be working hard in the Season 6 premiere to find Neal. The show hasn't officially been renewed, so hopefully Neal being kidnapped is not the last shot we get of "White Collar."

Best Lines:

Mozzie: "No death centers!"
Peter: "It's a hospital."
Mozzie: "They'll have a bar-coded tramp stamp on me before the first IV drip."

Rebecca: "You're the boy scout of con men, always prepared."

Rebecca: "Neal, don't make me kill you. I'll just take the diamond off your beautiful dead body."

Mozzie: "Thanks for going all 'Terms of Endearment' on the doctor for me."
Elle: "It was fun."

What did you think of the "White Collar" Season 5 finale?
Photo/Video credit: USA