Neal Caffrey
Neal Caffrey is the main character of the USA Network
USA Network
USA Network is an American cable television channel launched in 1971. Once a minor player in basic cable, the network has steadily gained popularity because of breakout hits like Monk, Psych, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Covert Affairs, White Collar, Monday Night RAW, Suits, and reruns of the various...

 original series White Collar
White Collar (TV series)
White Collar is a USA Network television series created by Jeff Eastin, starring Matt Bomer as con-man Neal Caffrey and Tim DeKay as Special Agent Peter Burke. It premiered on October 23, 2009. In December 2009, White Collar was renewed for a second season that began on July 13, 2010...

. He is first introduced as a con artist serving out a four year prison sentence for bond
Bond (finance)
In finance, a bond is a debt security, in which the authorized issuer owes the holders a debt and, depending on the terms of the bond, is obliged to pay interest to use and/or to repay the principal at a later date, termed maturity...

 forgery, but after escaping from prison with three months left on his sentence and being recaptured by the FBI, he agrees to help the Bureau in exchange for a shortened sentence. He wears a tracking anklet that keeps him within a two mile radius as part of the deal, and is under close supervision by the man who caught him, FBI Agent Peter Burke. Matt Bomer's portrayal of Neal has met with mostly positive reviews. Bomer describes the character as having "the veneer of the charming, hyper-intelligent, eloquent, sly mastermind, but underneath, he was really a kind of diehard romantic who would go to any lengths to find the love of his life."


Neal is presented as a charming, sophisticated gentleman and womanizer with a wide range of knowledge, from art to foreign languages, most of which seems to be self taught; he reveals early in Season 2 that he didn't even graduate high school. He is described as a romantic, which is shown when he breaks out of prison to track down Kate Moreau, his girlfriend and true love, after she breaks up with him. Neal is also highly secretive, and doesn't trust anyone completely. In the Season 1 episode Threads, he tells Mozzie that he lied to both Mozzie and Kate about the location of his stash of stolen goods, telling Mozzie it was in Portland and Kate in San Diego, in order to test their loyalty to him. Neal rarely shows himself vulnerable, hiding behind a facade of indifference or cheerfulness when he is upset, even after Kate is killed in a plane explosion in the Season 1 finale. He doesn't enjoy talking about his past, preferring the mystery.
Neal is also very much of a people person. His confidence makes it easy for him to con people (particularly women), and he frequently draws attention to himself wherever he goes. Jeff Eastin says of casting Neal: "I wanted a guy who walked into a room and every head turned. Because this guy is elegant, and he’s sophisticated, and he’s smart and he loves the attention."


In the Season 2 episode "What Happens In Burma," Neal, under heavy questioning from Peter, admits that his father was a dirty cop, and Neal grew up wanting to be a police officer just like him before learning the truth. Based on this, it is assumed that Neal was raised by his mother. Before finding out who his father really was, Neal trained to be a police officer, which is how he became so skilled with guns. Now he can still use them, but prefers not to, and shows strong distaste towards firearms in general. He tells Peter that he worries that shooting things is in his blood, and that maybe he is just supposed to be a criminal.

Neal also did not graduate from high school, and he mentions having a gap in his teeth when he was younger. Other than this, nothing else is known about Neal's past, except for the fact that he came to New York City in his early twenties, as shown in the flashback episode "Forging Bonds."

Alex Hunter

Alex is an old accomplice of Neal's. He first met her when he worked for Vincent Adler under the alias of Nick Halden, and she was attempting to steal information on Adler. Alex can tell Neal is not really who he says he is, and the two end up spending the night together the first day they meet, even though Neal is currently pining for Kate. Afterwards, Alex tells him about the music box for the first time. They work together again to steal it in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, but the con goes wrong and Alex ends up in the hospital, where Neal leaves her. The next time they see each other, he is out of prison and needs her help tracking down the music box again, which he plans on giving to Fowler in exchange for Kate. Though at first wary of his connections to the FBI, Alex agrees to help him, and they concoct an elaborate theft to steal the box. However, she double crosses him at the last minute and runs off with the box for herself. She later changes her mind and returns it to Neal, admitting that she doesn't want this to be goodbye, implying that she still has feelings for him. After Kate's plane blows up, Alex goes underground for a while to avoid the mysterious people who are searching for the music box, later resurfacing to assist Neal in an FBI investigation. He helps her get out of the country (along with a valuable Matisse that she stole), and before she leaves for Italy, Alex gives him a piece of the music box and kisses him.

They later see each other again in the Season 2 mid-season finale "Point Blank." Alex has snuck back into the country, still hiding from the people searching for her and the music box. Neal offers to help get this target off her back, sending her to steal the box again, this time from FBI Agent Diana Barrigan's apartment, and donate it to the Russian Heritage Museum, finally ending her involvement with the box. This time, she gives Neal her number before she leaves.

In the season finale "Under The Radar," Alex has been kidnapped by Vincent Adler, followed shortly by Peter and Neal. This is directly after the realization that she is the granddaughter of the man who received the final transmission from the Nazi submarine that Adler is looking for, and that the fractal in the music box leads to. She explains that her grandfather encoded the fractal into the box with hopes of someday finding the treasure for himself, but died before he could. He did manage to indirectly give Alex the code to open the submarine hatch, and she uses this knowledge to help Peter and Neal get in. After a near-death experience at the hands of Adler, Neal and Alex, relieved at being alive, share a kiss, which is seen by Neal's current girlfriend Sara Ellis. Alex and Sara later meet, and Alex quickly realizes that she and Neal are involved. Alex gives Neal her blessing and one final kiss goodbye, as well as likening him to the Nazi treasure: some wonderful fantasy that's just out of reach.

Kate Moreau

Kate is the driving force behind the majority of Neal's actions throughout the series. When she breaks up with him while he is in prison, he quickly escapes in order to find her, only to be two days late. Neal is convinced that she is in trouble, a belief further enforced when he sees a picture of her at an ATM with a mysterious hand on her shoulder. Neal calls the man "The Man With The Ring" because of the strange ring he is wearing on his pinky finger. Using cryptic clues that Kate has left behind, he manages to speak to her briefly on the phone. She asks him where his stash of stolen goods is hidden, but he refuses to tell her, saying that it's his only bargaining chip in seeing her again. He tries to run to her, but she tells Mozzie (still over the phone) that this is the only way, before disappearing again.

Over time, it is revealed that Kate may or may not be being controlled by corrupt FBI Agent Garrett Fowler, who is working for Vincent Adler, a former employer of Neal and Kate's. Neal manages to make a deal with Fowler, giving him a mysterious music box in exchange for life with Kate. Neal is about to board the private jet that contains Kate, but is slowed down by Peter. Before Neal can make a decision of staying or going, the jet explodes, killing Kate.

Season 2 follows Neal's search for Kate's killer, eventually leading him to Adler. It is never fully explained whether Kate was willingly working for Adler or not, and if she ever truly loved Neal. In a flashback episode, it is revealed that Kate was originally Adler's assistant, and Neal met her while under the alias of Nicolas Halden, trying to con Adler out of his money. They fell in love, and when Adler vanished with all of their savings, Neal finally tells her his true identity, and they become partners in crime together. Kate leaves Neal, however, when he tries to con her into going to Copenhagen to work with Alex. He pulls off several of the biggest cons and thefts of his career (including stealing a Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

that he and Kate admired when they first met) in order to get her attention again. The FBI realizes this, and leaks Kate's location to him in order to have him walk into a sting, which he does, despite knowing the risks. He is reunited with Kate just long enough for them to confess their love for one another, and is arrested by Peter quickly afterwards. Kate visits him in prison every week for almost four years before breaking up with him, leaving him heartbroken, and her eventual death haunts him throughout Season 2. He also reveals to Mozzie that he had planned on proposing to Kate at some point, and had hidden a 2.5 million dollar ring in the park where they used to go. By the end of the season, he has moved on from her death and found peace.

Sara Ellis

Sara is an insurance investigator who first entered Neal's radar when she testified against him at his trial for the theft of a Raphael insured by her company. They share a slightly antagonistic relationship at first when they are forced to work together on a case, which isn't helped when Neal, working undercover, unknowingly breaks into her house with a gun, only to have her pull one on him. He explains the situation, and they agree to fake her death to fool the man who put the hit out on her in the first place. They are able to forge a slightly closer relationship, even though Neal is only being nice to her because he had Kate's flight recorder data mailed to her house and needs to get to it. He finds his opportunity when offering to give Sara a lift home after she is "brought back to life," but is not able to retrieve the recording. Mozzie breaks in instead and successfully steals it, which is found out by Sara, returning her and Neal's relationship to its original level. She later learns the whole story about Kate, and agrees to help him with the investigation into her death.

Gradually, they begin to respect each other more, and eventually begin a romantic relationship in the finale lead-in "Power Play," when they make out during a blackout in a library. They make tentative plans in the next episode, but things are temporarily halted when she sees him kissing Alex after a near-death experience. They work past this, however, and she forgives him. At one point, Sara tells Neal her older sister ran away when she was 13 and she never found out what happened to her.

They start a relationship and while they maintain that they are just having fun, seem to genuinely be falling for each other. This is complicated by Neal and Mozzie's plan to run away with their hidden stash of treasure. in the episode "Taking Account," Neal and Sara temporarily move in together while her apartment is under construction, and Neal finds himself enjoying the idyllic lifestyle he has with her. At one point, he comes extremely close to asking her to come with him and Mozzie when they leave, but backs out when she says she could never be happy leading a life that she didn't deserve. Later, she breaks into his laptop and sees the stolen treasure on it, quickly ending their relationship. When Neal confronts her, she confesses to knowing about the treasure, but in the end chooses to not turn him in.
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