White Collar (TV Series 2009–2014) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • The unlikely partnership between charming con artist Neal Caffrey and straightman FBI agent Peter Burke. Caffrey provides his expertise to help Burke catch other elusive criminals in exchange for his freedom, and together they prove that to solve the hardest crimes, you must hire the smartest criminal.

  • A white collar criminal agrees to help the FBI catch other white collar criminals using his expertise as an art and securities thief, counterfeiter, and conman.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Open with Neal and James looking at the Empire State Building and talking about the future. Since Neal doesn't think Pratt knows where the box is located Neal's plan is to take their time. It comes up that perhaps Neal is hoping the box will tell him more about who his father really is.

    Callaway brings up the Pratt case to Peter. She also references Neal's father and says Ellen was compiling evidence against James. Peter tells her that is a lie, that the evidence is against Pratt. Calloway says she wants the FBI to have the evidence before anybody and asks Peter if he's up for putting together a search team.

    Peter gets a super-early wake-up call from Hughes. They meet and Hughes hands him a recording of the call Calloway made the night before. It's her and Pratt and gives Peter evidence that Calloway is in his pocket. Hughes thinks he should do whatever he has to do.

    Neal's dad has an awkward run-in with Sara in the morning. Mozzie then drops by, followed by Peter. Peter tells the other three that they need to find the evidence before an FBI team does. In their favor is that Calloway doesn't know what floor the box in on and Peter will be heading up her team. He tells them to come up with a plan and tells Neal he is benched.

    Calloway briefs the team on the search and tells them they are able to limit their search to floors 33 through 61. The warrant gives them two days and they will not be able to close down the building.

    After clinking champagne glasses with Mozzie Neal has an idea.

    The FBI team is dressed in the uniform of a company hired to perform an environmental makeover. Peter calls Neal, who says this development helps his plan.

    Mozzie's plan involves caterer uniforms, followed by changing into what the feds will be wearing. Neal will be on the 103rd floor balcony, pretending to be proposing to Sara.

    Mozzie tells Neal the 53rd floor (above the ceiling with Ellen's box) has been rented by Pratt.

    Peter tells Neal that Pratt has installed high-tech security on the 53rd floor. Pratt has the only card key and Mozzie has a proximity-based device that should be able to close the card. They talk about enjoying working together.

    Calloway tells Peter she's put in a request order to boot out Pratt but he isn't buying it.

    Neal and James meet Pratt. James sits next to him long enough to make the clone, though he has to assault one of Pratt's aids in the process.

    During a briefing Calloway instructs the team that Neal and his father have assaulted a U.S. Senator and are to be arrested if seen.

    Peter tries to call Neal and warn him. James and Mozzie enter with their catering uniforms and put several champagne bottles in place. They change into their FBI-type work uniforms. Peter tells Neal what's happening and says he'll try and help him as much as he can.

    Neal begins what becomes an emotional proposal to Sara. She cries and says yes, then tells him "That was a little too real, and damn good." They are then taken to the 103rd floor, where champagne will be waiting.

    Peter stops at the 53rd floor to see Pratt. He is wearing Neal's anklet, which draws Calloway and her team to them and causes him to lose his gun and badge.

    Neal and Sara sit on the balcony and share a drink. He assures her that he meant what he said in his proposal and they talk about what might have been.

    Mozzie and James get into Pratt's office.

    It appears that the FBI team has isolated the box. Pratt shows up just as Calloway orders a saw to go into the ceiling.

    From above Mozzie uses acid to get into the floor and grab the box.

    Peter ducks the agent guarding him and gets into the elevator.

    Neal begins taking apart the champagne set-up and constructing a device of some kind.

    James has the box taken from him at gunpoint. He and the box are brought to Pratt, who assures him he's headed back to prison. He opens the box and finds only a group of postcards. A switch was made.

    Mozzie hands Neal the real box and they place it on a small radio-controlled blimp. Neal enters a set of coordinates and thanks Sara for her help.

    Pratt pulls a gun on James, just as Peter arrives and orders him to get back the evidence. James pulls out a gun from a nearby bag and ends up shooting Pratt. Pratt is dead. Peter tells James that he is a witness that he shot in self-defense. But James won't be taken in and points his gun at Peter, who picks up the weapon James used to kill Pratt. The two have a brief standoff before James leaves. Calloway arrives with Peter standing over Pratt's body with a gun in his hand. Peter is placed in cuffs and read his rights.

    James walks into Neal's apartment and finds the paperwork spread over a table. Neal walks out and says "I already saw it." The evidence appears to point to James having shot his commanding officer. James says he came back to say good-bye. Diana calls and tells Neal what happened with Peter and Pratt. Peter's been arrested for Pratt's murder and Neal tell him he has to tell the truth so Peter can go free. Neal wants James to prove to him he's a decent man. James snaps at Neal before walking to the door. He tells Neal that somebody always takes the fall and leaves.

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