Despite successfully escaping after having robbed the Federal Reserve, a notorious thief returns to retrieve the stash he left behind. Peter and Neal must put their differences aside to capture the criminal before he disappears for good.
The Roland brothers Josh and James, not on speaking terms for years, inherit a fortune from their eccentric, astronomy-obsessed father, but in the form of an intricate treasure hunt. Time presses as their only offspring is kidnapped by the infamous Brett Gelles. Pressed for time, Neal takes charge of the clues while the FBI tracks down the hostage. Meanwhile Mozzie plans to sell off a Degas from the Nazi treasure, but Neal learns about a partially preserved manifesto rendering that too dangerous.
The FBI spotted Detroit mobster Frank Deluca, who is looking for the legendary 'Detroit Dentist', an elusive con artist. Hearing that his Detroit orphanage mentor Mr. Jeffries is held hostage, Mozzie confesses that he's the Dentist, which even Neal never knew. Peter must put him in custody while Neal is to impersonate the Dentist, but Mozzie escapes on Jones's watch.
Peter and Neal are investigating a woman who's been married several to wealthy older men who died shortly after their weddings. They hope to get her by sending Neal into a bachelor auction hoping she'll get him. Peter goes with him and it's Peter whom she bids on. And when they learn that she has a partner, Peter has to keep seeing her which doesn't make Elizabeth happy.
The FBI suspects brilliant hacker-thief Scott 'Robin Hoodie' Rivers of masterly thefts of rare objects from filthy-rich collectors. Hints on his charitable donation calling cards allow the team to find him at his next victim's acquisition party. Neal now tries to bring his gifted fan to reason and lets him and his lover help setting up tycoon-thief Thomas Carlisle. Meanwhile Mozzie found an 'ID farmer' to prepare disappearing with Neal and their art treasure once the partial manifesto problem is solved.
Neal's girlfriend Sara Ellis is among the victims of bank hacking. It's apparently as good as claimed by the legendary Vulture, Mozzie's virtual hero. Posing as him, Neal sets a trap, but their prime suspect is actually shot at by the real hacker, who proves illusive even once identified.
Peter learns that Keller stole an Egyptian artifact and that he's trying to get into New York. Mozzie is anxious to unload the art but Neal wants him to wait. Peter asks Neal how Keller will get the artifact into New York, so he brings Peter to a fence he knows. Later the man turns up dead. When they learn of a person who handles artifacts Neal goes undercover.
Mozzie admits that he deliberately sold a Degas from the treasure to force Neal to chose whether to start their new life together or not. Peter has engaged art-expert FBI, suspicious-natured agent Kramer to assess Caffrey, whom they suspect to have hidden the treasure. Neal gets wind of their trap and makes Mozzie track the Degas, so he can replace it with a forgery in tycoon collector Elliott Richmond's penthouse. Matthew Keller is back and wants the treasure at any cost.
Peter keeps the unclosed treasure file hanging over Neal's head, so he's eager to prove himself virtually indispensable. Manhattan prep scholarship student Ethan presents them his 'evidence' that the school purser must be stealing from the endowment fund which shrunk so badly, his tuition is running out. A link to an untouchable crime baron convinces Peter to take the case as 'first grip'. Neal gets in impersonating the sick poetry teacher's temp Cooper while Peter pretends to be looking for a school for his brilliant rascal son.
Peter brings home a scanner that can pick up sounds from far away. He goes to work and leaves it, Elizabeth is there when she hears a conversation it's picking up that the neighbors are having. That's when she hears them talking about a crime they're planning. She calls Peter and tells him about it. He and Neal go to check it out but nothing is happening. He attributes the whole thing to her recent abduction. She then calls Mozzie and the two of them check out the neighbors. They discover something but instead of telling Peter, she calls Neal and asks for his help. ...
Peter takes the day in an attempt to give Elizabeth an extraordinary birthday complete with her parents. He leaves Diana in charge to find a missing Stradivarius with Sara and Neil all under the prying eyes of Agent Kramer.
When Agent Kramer returns to derail Neal's commutation, Neal races to right a wrong from his past. Peter in turn must choose a side. Set against the backdrop of Neal's commutation hearing, Neal will ultimately decide between fight and flight.