List of White Collar characters
This is a list of characters in the USA Network original comedy-drama TV series, White Collar. The principal cast of the series has remained mostly the same throughout the series. However, various recurring characters have appeared over the course of the show's run.
In the first episode, Neal is finishing a four-year prison sentence. His girlfriend, Kate, visits him in prison to break up with him. In order to get her back, he stages an elaborate prison break. Peter Burke, the agent who put Neal in prison to begin with, quickly catches up with Neal, where it is revealed that Kate has left only a bottle of Bordeaux behind at their apartment. Neal is quickly brought back to prison, where he is told he will have to serve four more years. After helping Peter and his team find an elusive criminal, the Dutchman (Mark Sheppard), Neal is released on the condition that he wear an ankle monitor that records his movements. He easily finds lodging with an elderly woman, June, and the two quickly become close.
Throughout the series, Neal helps the FBI solve difficult cases, using his vast knowledge of white collar crime. He is a skilled thief and art forger, among other criminal activities. Neal uses his position at the FBI in order to get closer to Kate; however, after her death, he uses it more to find her killer.
During the first season, Neal spends much of his time researching Kate's disappearance. With the help of his best friend, Mozzie, Neal learns that Kate was taken by a man with an FBI ring. After discovering that Peter had visited her, Neal believes that Peter is the man behind her disappearance. This causes a strain on their relationship, though it eventually recovers. Neal finds that in order to free Kate, he must find the music box. He recruits an old friend, Alex Hunter, to do so in "Home Invasion" (1.11). The two continue to search over the next several episodes. In "Out of the Box" (1.14), after Neal locates Kate, who has boarded an airplane, he witnesses her death.
Over the second season, Neal reveals much about his past. In "Forging Bonds" (2.11), he tells Peter that his first con with Mozzie involved a man named Vincent Adler. Adler introduced Neal to Kate, and the two quickly began a relationship. Months later, Neal and Kate discovered that Adler had been caught running on Ponzi scheme, and they lost all of their money. After Kate realized that Neal was conning her as well, she left him and began running her own cons. However, Neal found her. After the two confessed their love, Neal was arrested (for the first time) by Peter. Back in the present day, Neal meets an insurance investigator named Sara Ellis. At first, Sara tries to have Neal arrested for the theft of a painting. However, the two, who have a past history, eventually begin dating again. By the season finale, "Under the Radar" (2.16), it is revealed that Neal possibly has betrayed Peter's trust, and was conning him from the very beginning.
Peter is a no-nonsense, by-the-book agent, who is extremely devoted to his wife. After teaming up with Neal, he is forced to enter various awkward situations, including flirting with other women and assuming various aliases (including, in one case, Neal Caffrey). However, Peter still upholds high moral and ethical standards.
In the pilot episode, it is shown that Peter has been working the Neal Caffrey case for several years. After spending three years attempting to catch Neal, he finally did, and Neal went to prison for almost four years. However, Neal escaped from prison. This time, Peter easily caught him, finding him at the apartment he had shared with Kate. Over the first season, Peter warns Neal, on various occasions, not to investigate Kate's disappearance, as it could cause him to slip back into his criminal ways. The two catch various white collar criminals together, including thieves, murderers, and other con-men.
By the end of the second season, Peter discovers that Neal may have been conning him from the very beginning.
Mozzie first met Neal while they were independent con-men, as shown through flashbacks in "Forging Bonds" (2.11). The two set up a long con on a man named Vincent Adler, though the plan eventually failed.
Throughout the first season, Mozzie uses his various connections to the criminal world to help Neal with both his investigations with Peter and his private investigation into Kate's disappearance. Mozzie is very distrusting of the FBI, and doesn't even meet Peter until mid-way through the season. After their first encounter, Peter refers to Mozzie as "Neal's friend," and Mozzie refers to Peter and Elizabeth as "Suit" and "Mrs. Suit."
During the second season, Mozzie becomes more involved with the FBI, especially when a close friend of his is kidnapped in "By the Book" (2.04). He also becomes much more involved with the investigation into Kate's murder, discovering the identity of the last person Kate spoke to (Fowler) and breaking the code of the music box. However, in "Point Blank" (2.09), Mozzie is shot and left for dead, before he can tell anyone the meaning of the music box code. He barely survives, and later joins Burke's Seven (in the episode of the same name) to take down the man who shot him. Eventually, he and Neal discover that the man who shot him is involved with Vincent Adler, the man behind Kate's death.
Special Agent Lauren Cruz (Natalie Morales) is an FBI agent who briefly worked in the white collar crime unit under Peter. She transferred to his team in "Threads" (1.02) and left after the events of "Out of the Box" (1.14). Morales left the show before production of the second season.
Lauren joined Burke's team early in the first season, transferring from the organized crime division. She is fascinated by Neal, having written her thesis about him while at Quantico. She assists with Neal and Peter's cases throughout the season, until being abruptly written out of the show between the first and second seasons.
Special Agent Diana Barrigan (Marsha Thomason) is an FBI agent in the white collar crime unit, working under Peter. She first appeared in the pilot episode and was promoted to a main character beginning in "Withdrawal" (2.01).
Diana is one of the few people that Peter trusts implicitly, which contributes to her return to his team at the beginning of season two. She is the daughter of a diplomat, and spent much of her childhood in and out of hotel rooms. Her bodyguard, who greatly influenced her life (and through Diana, Neal's), was killed while protecting her. Diana is currently in a relationship with a woman named Christie, though it is strained due to Diana's residence in New York. Christie first appears in the third season episode "Deadline" played by Moran Atias.
Diana was absent for much of the first season, as she transferred to the Washington D.C. office for a desk job at the end of the pilot. However, she returns to New York in "Out of the Box" (1.14) to help Peter investigate Garrett Fowler.
In the second season, after the disappearance of the music box, it is revealed to be in Diana's possession. Later, with the help of Alex Hunter, Neal steals it.
Special Agent Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins) is an FBI agent in the white collar crime division, working under Peter. He first appeared in the pilot episode and has appeared in nearly every episode since. Though credited as a guest star in all of his appearances, Atkins is considered part of the main cast.
Jones attended Harvard Law School, and later joined the FBI. Peter uses him often when researching a lead or when he is in need of backup. Jones often is forced to "babysit" Neal.
Sara Ellis (Hilarie Burton) is an insurance investigator for Sterling-Bosch who has a past history with Neal. They began dating near the end of the second season. She first appeared in "Unfinished Business" (2.05) and will become a series regular during the third season.
In "Unfinished Business" (2.05), Sara accuses Neal of stealing a Raphael painting. He denies the claims. In "In the Red" (2.06), Mozzie breaks into her home, though she believes it was Neal. Later, she learns about Kate's death and sympathizes with Neal. In "Power Play" (2.15), she and Neal begin a relationship while in the archives of Ellis Island.
Elizabeth appeared in various roles during the first season, playing the wife of Peter, an event planner, a periodic "consultant" to the FBI, and even as a sort of mother figure to Neal. She assisted on various cases, even helping Peter flirt with other women.
For the first half of the second season, Elizabeth was away from New York on an extended business trip, and made very few appearances. This was necessary due to Tiffani Thiessen's real-life pregnancy. She played much larger roles in later episodes in the season, notably "Burke's Seven" (2.10), in which she helped clear her husband's name, and "Power Play" (2.15), in which Neal and Peter switch identities while investigating one of her clients.
June (Diahann Carroll) is an elderly widow who allows Neal to stay in her home. Along with Mozzie, she periodically assists Neal and Peter on cases. Her husband, Byron, was a con-man as well. June has a granddaughter named Cindy and a niece named Samantha. She first appeared in the pilot episode and most recently in "Power Play" (2.15).
June first met Neal while in a thrift store. When told by Peter that Neal is a felon, she replies, "So was Byron." She appears regularly throughout the first season. She was given a major role in "Vital Signs" (1.10), in which her niece was suspiciously removed from a transplant list. She helped the FBI again in "Home Invasion" (1.11), in which Neal disappears over the course of an investigation.
June continued to appear in the second season. Another major role came in "Countermeasures" (2.13), in which an old friend of Byron, Ford (Billy Dee Williams) visits New York. However, he only returned to steal a valuable printing plate. The plate had originally been stolen from him by Byron, who did not want to be a part of Ford's "final score."
Kate Moreau (Alexandra Daddario) was Neal's girlfriend. Her disappearance and murder have been the primary story arc throughout the series. Kate first appeared in the pilot episode and made regular appearances until her murder in "Out of the Box" (1.14). She appeared in flashbacks in "Forging Bonds" (2.11).
Kate first met Neal while working for Vincent Adler, as revealed in "Forging Bonds" (2.11). After breaking up with her current boyfriend, she began a relationship with Neal, who she believed was Nick Halden. After several months, he confessed that he was really Neal Caffrey, and that he was conning her boss. She left him, and began pulling cons of her own. Neal tracked her down, and the two confessed their love for each other. However, during their conversation, Neal was arrested by Peter Burke.
Over the next several years, Kate visited Neal in prison, until she suddenly stopped. After Neal breaks out of prison in the pilot, he finds that she has disappeared, leaving only a bottle of Bordeaux. For the remainder of the first season, Kate was held by a man with a ring, who was later revealed to be Garrett Fowler. In "Free Fall" (1.07), she met with Peter, and told him that in order to save her, Neal had to find a music box. After he does, in "Out of the Box" (1.14), she boards a plane, expecting to run away with Neal. However, the plane explodes.
In the opening episode of the second season, it is revealed that Kate was killed in the explosion. After investigating, Neal discovers that Fowler was not the mastermind behind her murder, and that he was only being blackmailed by a man known as "the patchwork man." This man is later discovered, in "Point Blank" (2.09), to be Vincent Adler.
Special Agent in Charge Reese Hughes (James Rebhorn) is an experienced agent in the FBI's white collar crime unit, and is Peter and Neal's direct superior. He first appeared in the pilot episode and most recently in "Payback" (2.14).
Hughes is supportive of Peter's use of Neal, but is at first skeptical of the former con man, believing that he will eventually return to his criminal ways. However, as time passes over the first season, he begins to see Neal's value. After the pilot episode, Hughes appeared in "Threads" (1.02), "Book of Hours" (1.03), "All In" (1.06), "Free Fall" (1.07), "Bad Judgment" (1.09), "Home Invasion" (1.11), "Bottlenecked" (1.12), and "Front Man" (1.13). During the OPR investigation into Peter, Hughes risked his career in order to warn him.
Former Special Agent Garrett Fowler (Noah Emmerich) is a disgraced agent from the Office of Professional Responsibility. He was once suspected to be the man behind Kate's death. Fowler first appeared in "Free Fall" (1.07) and most recently in "Point Blank" (2.09).
Over the course of the first season, Fowler headed Operation Mentor, which focused on taking down Peter Burke. It was also used to search for the music box. Fowler later appeared in "Bad Judgment" (1.09) and "Out of the Box" (1.14).
By the second season, Fowler has disappeared, and OPR denies the existence of Operation Mentor. It is revealed that Fowler's wife was murdered, and that a mystery man gave him the name and location of the murderer. In "Point Blank" (2.09), while being held at gunpoint by Neal, Fowler confesses that he had received a tape of what he had done to his wife's murderer, and was blackmailed into performing his actions. However, he denied involvement in Kate's death.
Alexandra Hunter (Gloria Votsis) is a professional thief and black market fence who was formerly romantically involved with Neal. She first appeared in "Home Invasion" (1.11) and most recently in "Under the Radar" (2.16).
Alex's earliest meeting with Neal was shown through flashbacks in "Forging Bonds" (2.11). She was, at this point, looking for a music box, which she believed was in the hands of Vincent Adler. After a very brief relationship with Neal, and after realizing that Adler does not in fact have the box, Alex and Neal travel to Copenhagen to steal it. However, they are caught, and Neal must abandon her.
Eight years later, in "Home Invasion" (1.11), Neal reunites with Alex, who he believes has information on the music box, which supposedly contains information that will lead him to Kate. She does not like that Neal is involved with the FBI, and at first refuses to tell him about the box. However, by "Front Man" (1.13), the two team up to steal the box. In "Out of the Box" (1.14), they discover that the box is in Manhattan, and plan a heist.
Alex returned in "Copycat Caffrey" (2.03), in which she believes someone is after her due to her connection with the music box. After he helps her, she gives Neal the only piece of the box that she has: a key. After doing so, she leaves for Italy. She resurfaces again in "Point Blank" (2.09), in which Neal convinces her to steal the music box again, which is, this time, at the home of Diana Barrigan. He tells her that if she can do it, she can then donate it to the Russian Museum, and therefore save her from whoever is after her.
By "Power Play" (2.15), Neal discovers that Alex is the granddaughter of a soldier who Adler is obsessed with finding.
Vincent Adler (Andrew McCarthy) was the CEO of a massive hedge fund, believed to be the driving power behind Kate's murder. He first appeared in "Forging Bonds" (2.11) and was killed in "Under the Radar" (2.16).
In "Forging Bonds" (2.11), Neal reveals to Peter that he first learned of Adler from Mozzie, eight years earlier. Neal and Mozzie planned a long-con: to infiltrate Adler's organization and take him down. After working for Adler for some time, Adler asks Neal, who is acting under the alias Nick Halden, to find who is looking into Adler's business. Neal brings him Alex Hunter, a professional thief. Neal later discovers that she suspected Adler of having possession of the music box. After Adler discovers Neal and Mozzie's plan, he flees, leaving a coded message behind in his nearly-empty bank account: "Nice try, Neal."
Peter and Neal later realize that Adler is "the man pulling the strings." He is the person responsible for Kate's death.
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