Everyone should watch White Collar, the smart story lines, well paced episodes and great chemistry between the leads makes it one of the best, and most underrated, US police drama/comedies out there.
So season 6 was only 6 episodes long, which meant that the show had to cover a lot of ground and round things up reasonably quickly, but since White Collar seasons are usually about 13-16 episodes, the pace didn’t feel that much more condensed to normal - which was my main worry when I began watching.
I had little to fear, as the series started off with a resolution of season 5’s kidnapping cliffhanger and jumping straight into the new story arc, The Pink Panthers - the ultimate gang of thieves. This was a nice angle for a 6 episode arc, as although White Collar has looked at pairs of criminals, but they haven’t looked at the dynamics of a high stakes criminal gang in depth before, exciting stuff!
Reintroducing Keller as a grey character did feel a wee bit convenient, but with only 6 episodes, I think it was a smart move to use a familiar character. Keller had some character development and uncertain loyalties in his character arc, which was nice to see and kept me guessing his exact role in things right until the end! The Pink Panthers themselves were all suitably thief like and scary - it didn’t take a lot to image them killing anyone for betrayal.
I really appreciated the series focus on Peter and Neal’s characters, although Mozzie and Elle got a bit of episode time which was nice, but the main attention was paid to the end of the partnership between Neal and Peter and how they both felt about this. AND OH GOSH THE FEELS. I’ve always said the strongest part of this show is the father/son bromance between Neal and Peter and this was at it’s strongest yet this season. Its taken them a long time, but their mutual trust meant that they could both be fully involved in each others lives; Peter allowing Neal to go off anklet most of the season, and Neal choosing Peter to go undercover with him as a thief.
It was their fantastic dynamic that made the final work so well, both using their skill sets to take down the Pink Panthers from the inside and dealing with Keller. Although I knew that Neal was going to fake his own death ‘Sherlock’ style to keep Peter’s family safe, I couldn’t help but bawl my eyes out when Peter cried over Neal’s 'death’. At the end of the day, and whichever side of the law they were on, Peter and Neal were truly were best friends and could admit that to each other - personally I can’t think of a better point to get to with character develop than have 'enemies’ at the start of season 1 grow into the strongest of friends by the time the show finishes. PERFECT WRITING.
The epilogue was beautifully done, I WILL NEVER BE OVER PETER NAMING HIS CHILD AFTER NEAL. Everyone got a happy ending, and a realistic one at that. It would have been nice to see Diana and Jones getting a bit more screen time but their loose ends were tied up neatly too.
For a show which focused on treasure hunts, trust issues and white collar FBI cases on a weekly basis, White Collar has continued to remain fresh, fast and intriguing - a hard feat in TV over the course of 6 years. Keeping an almost identical main cast certainly helped things, and the right balance of drama and comedy of episodes has definitely been a highlight of the show. A big thanks to White Collar for giving me endless heart attacks, super cliffhangers, plot twists, family relationships, comedy gold and the best bromance on TV. It has been a pleasure to watch!