White Collar returns from it’s Fourth Season mid-season hiatus with plenty of unanswered questions surrounding the truth about Sam (Treat Williams) who was revealed to be Neal’s father James in the mid-season finale cliffhanger. A single mistake in the young cop’s past put him behind the eight ball and forced him to work for the Irish Mob, the same family that killed Ellen (Judith Ivey), before turning states evidence and disappearing into witness protection years ago. With mixed feelings about seeing his father again, Neal (Matt Bomer) turns his attention to helping Peter (Tim DeKay) take down Dennis Flynn, Jr. (Scott Evans) and get some justice for the woman who raised him.
Neal goes undercover as a whiskey counterfeiter by making a cheap knockoff of an expense brand with Mozzie’s (Willie Garson) help. Neal shows off his skills at a micro-distillery tasting for event planners and liquor distributors with a booth courtesy of Mrs. Suit (Tiffani Thiessen) who steps in to save the sting when things start to go wrong. Later that night Neal gets talked into dinner with the Burkes and his father to get the rest of Sam’s story about the murder of a dirty cop he was framed for.
After earning a job with Flynn to create cheap versions of the family whiskey, Neal brings Mozzie in as his expert to recreate the distinct glass bottles as he works on the chemistry of the whiskey. Nearly putting the entire operation in jeopardy, Neal does a little snooping and finds the same make and model of gun that was used to kill Ellen. To speed things along, and to keep an eye on Neal, Peter goes undercover as a member of the mob family that used to distribute for the Flynn’s back in their Prohibition bootlegging days providing an opportunity too attractive for the young Mr. Flynn to pass up.
Although the plan doesn’t go exactly as planned but Peter and Neal manage to take down Flynn. However, Flynn is killed in custody by someone with an incredibly reach, likely the same person that forced Sam into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit and turning states evidence all those years ago. Knowing he can’t protect him, Neal sends his father away while he continues to search for the evidence Ellen left for him, and take down a few bad guys, over the rest of the season. It will also be interesting to see if the extremely convenient discovery of the gun, which the mobster denied knowing about, comes back into play as I’m betting we still haven’t gotten the full story concerning Sam’s relationship to the Flynn family.