[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from Tuesday's season finale of White Collar. Read at your own risk]
White Collar wrapped its fourth season Tuesday with the following words: "In this life, someone always take a fall. Don't let it be you."
Those were the final words James Bennett (Treat Williams) offered his son, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), and unfortunately, Neal's dirty cop dad followed his own advice all too well.
After months of searching and planning, the evidence box Ellen (Judith Ivey) left for Neal was finally uncovered in the 50th floor of the Empire State Building in the finale. Although it was the box Ellen had promised, it hardly contained the answers Neal had been banking on. Instead of proving his father's innocence — and more specifically that his father was set up crooked politician Senator Pratt (Titus Welliver) — the box contained proof that James shot his supervising officer with his own gun moments before he was arrested by Ellen, his former partner, for the unspeakable crime.
As if Neal didn't have enough proof, James' actions spoke much louder than the kind father-son words he had been selling to Neal for weeks. After Senator Pratt threatened James and pointed a gun at him, James shot and killed Pratt in cold blood. Peter (Tim DeKay) looked on in horror, but remained intent on testifying that James shot Pratt in self-defense. Unfortunately, James fled the scene, leaving Peter behind to be arrested for Pratt's death when new boss Amanda Callaway (Emily Procter) found Peter standing over the body with a gun.
James returned to Neal's place after the shooting to find the evidence, but it was too late. After hearing about Peter's arrest and James' involvement in the crime, Neal gave his long-lost dad one last chance "to show me you're a decent man." But James had no intention of going to jail and quickly fled Neal's place, but not before giving that one last demoralizing piece of advice.
With just one bullet, Neal lost both his real dad, James, and the man who's served as his surrogate dad for the last four years, Peter. And don't even get us started on Sara (Hilarie Burton) moving to London after a very fake, but very moving, proposal at the top of the Empire State Building from Neal? Tear!
So what did you think of the finale? Did it top Neal's great escape in Season 3? Were you surprised that Neal's dad wasn't so good after all? How is Peter going to escape a murder charge? Sound off with your comments and theories below!