02/29/2012 06:07 am ET Updated Apr 30, 2012

'White Collar' Finale: Does Neal Get His Freedom? (VIDEO)

For its season finale, "White Collar" (Tue., 10 p.m. EST on USA) framed their story around the hearings to determine if the remainder of Neal's sentence should be commuted. The decision would likely hinge on Peter's testimony, but then things took a wild turn. Peter learned that Agent Kramer (Beau Bridges) was determined to have Neal remain tethered and transferred to Washington to work for him.

It didn't matter what anyone else thought, Kramer had basically given up on the idea of reform and was convinced that while Neal was a great asset, he needed to be one under control perhaps until his dying breath. It was a very dark and sad realization. And it wasn't until the closing scenes that Peter realized just how far Kramer was willing to go to ensure Neal never gets his freedom.

It was in that moment that Peter made a decision that will likely haunt him. Kramer had just told him that he was there to have Neal arrested for his antics throughout the episode recovering the infamous painting stolen seven years ago -- granted, Neal's antics were a bit on the outrageous side. So when Neal appeared in Peter's line of sight, he signaled to him with a slight shake of the head.

Peter then went in to testify on Neal's behalf, recommending he be set free. But at the same time, Neal had made his own decision and freed himself. He cut off the ankle monitor and hooked up with his buddy on a plane out of there. Was that the best way to handle the situation? Probably not. Does it prove Kramer right? Unfortunately, it will look that way, though the question might rise as to why he would have chosen to run at that moment, when he could well have been set free legally.

All this will come to light as the fallout from Peter's decision to signal Neal and Neal's decision to run plays out in the fourth season of "White Collar."

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