This series carries on from the destruction of the warehouse and the U-boat treasures. Peter is convinced Neal had something to do with the fire, spending most of the series trying to prove it. When it was actually Mozzie who stole it all, one last perfect score. He wants to split it with Neal, run away somewhere exotic to live out their lives freely. Neal keeps finding excuses to stay, finding it hard to cut ties with his life there. A life he is starting to enjoy. A wonderful girlfriend in Sara, a comfortable job at the FBI, and a closer friendship with Peter and Elle.
You start to see sides of Neal that you would never expect. Such as when he goes under cover as an English school teacher. A role that not only is he extremely good at, he seems to very much enjoy doing it. Starting to wonder what job he could do after the time on the anklet has passed. Much to Mozzie’s disgust, who puts him on a time limit to decide to go or stay?
It is only when Elle gets kidnapped for the treasures return that Neal admits without a second thought he has it all. Doing anything he can to get his friend back safely, even against that fact that Peter violently hates him for putting his wife at risk. Neal knows he is risking going back to jail for this, but he doesn’t care. For once he makes the right choice, putting friends before a con.
This is a very love/hate season for me. I do love Neal’s character arc of starting to build himself a new life. Yet I hate all his lies, keeping things from Peter. Risking losing everything, and everyone he has grown to care for. Over just another con. He does great work trying to offer a young con man a fresh start, praising the chance he has been given. At the same time he is throwing that gift away for treasure. You can really see how conflicted he is. It’s the rush of another con, not the money as he puts it.
I also hate that Peter’s first reaction is always Neal did it. That he can’t ever trust Neal to be the better person. Probably a lot of the reason that Neal can’t make the transition into being the better part of himself more often. Why would he even try to change if everyone will always treat him as just another ex con?
Either way this is a huge season for character development. Even down to Dianna and her openly accepted girlfriend. Even down to showing double dates between them, and Neal/Sara. The excitement when they get engaged, wanting to help plan the bachelor party. (Neal of course) A very nice look at the start of LGBT culture in television.
Sarah Beth James