[Spoiler alert: The following story reveals major plot points from Tuesday's episode of White Collar. Read at your own risk.]
"Why you didn't tell me?"
That was Neal's question on the White Collar midseason finale, during which Neal (Matt Bomer) learned — one more spoiler warning for those in the cheap seats — that the man he believed to be Sam Phelps (Treat Williams) is actually Neal's father.
Character Chatter: Join in the conversation with other White Collar fans
After first introducing himself to Neal in the wake of Ellen's murder, Sam was harder to pin down than the master con man himself. (In hindsight, perhaps that should have been our first clue). First, he wanted to help Neal find his father. Then, he'd get nervous and back off. So it went for much of the season.
But on Tuesday's episode, Peter (Tim DeKay) dug deeper and discovered the real Sam Phelps died of a heart attack three years prior. Although Neal was quick to point that it's easy to fake one's own death, Peter seemed certain that the Sam they knew was actually one of the corrupt cops Neal's dad had testified against back in the day and who had come back to get revenge on the whistleblower's son. While saving "Sam" from a mysterious attacker, Neal got a blood sample and when he tested the DNA, he learned the shocking truth.
Treat Williams on playing White Collar's mysterious Sam: "He trusts no one"
The revelation that "Sam" is actually Neal's dad opens a whole other treasure chest of questions. Why did he not tell Neal who he was from the start? Where the heck has he been all this time? And why did he not want the FBI investigating him? Was it simply to hide his identity or something more scandalous? Also, Neal and Peter identified the man beating up "Sam" as a member of an organized crime family that Neal's dad also took down. How many members of this Flynn family are there? And who in the agency could have helped this thug find "Sam"? (While we're not ruling out the possibility that Neal's dad could be a bad guy, we're going to trust him for now.)
White Collar boss Jeff Eastin on Neal's getaway, flashbacks and the search for his dad
But our biggest burning question has got to be: When the heck will we meet Neal's mom? As exciting as it will be to see Neal and his dad bond and make up for lost time later this season, we're dying to meet the woman behind one of the world's most-wanted criminals, not to mention the woman who presumably gave Neal that signature style.
So what did you think of White Collar's big reveal? Did you see it coming? Or are you just now picking your jaw up off the floor?