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‘White Collar’ Series Finale: Is Neal Caffrey Free?

Spoiler Alert: After six seasons, dozens of ruses and loves lost, the conman goes out on his own terms in a shocking twist on the USA buddy cop drama

Spoiler Alert: Don’t read if you haven’t watched Thursday’s episode of “White Collar,” titled “Au Revoir,” and don’t want to be spoiled.

USA Network’s “White Collar” series finale Thursday finally answered the long-standing question of the buddy cop drama: Does Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) earn his freedom?

Yes, he does.

Caffrey pulled off his biggest con yet, faking his own death, unbeknownst to his fellow partner Mozzie (Willie Garson) and FBI handler-turned-friend Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) .

The final scene shows a carefree Caffrey strolling through Paris, the destination he longed to see again. Seeing Caffrey take in the cobbled streets, while “La Mer” plays, prompts a sigh of relief for the fedora-toting conman. He has lost loves, dodged danger and forged artwork all in an effort to reclaim the freedom he has chased since creator Jeff Eastin’s show debuted in 2009.

“Au Revoir” finds Caffrey at the end of catching the elusive crime syndicate, The Pink Panthers, led by Alan Woodford (Gavin Lee). The thieves, including Burke masquerading as an associate named Dunbar, work fast to move $500 million through transport tubes from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

By heist’s end, the FBI with agents Diana Berrigan (Marsha Thomason) and Clinton Jones (Sharif Atkins), arrests the panthers on site. Caffrey and his adversary, Matthew Keller (Ross McCall), who was working as an Interpol informant, escape to the tunnels underneath Wall Street. Mozzie awaits them both with millions in siphoned money from the tubes.

Keller backs out of the plan. A struggle ensues. Caffrey clutches a gun. A shot is fired. Caffrey’s shirt bloodies. A fatal bullet from Burke prevents Keller from escaping as Neal is lifted into an ambulance.

“You’re the only one who saw good in me. My best friend,” a breathless Neal, lying on a gurney, tells Burke.

At the hospital, Mozzie laments over Caffrey’s lifeless body. It’s a somber moment for Mozzie who was without his usual one-liners and comedic moments.

“Because it’s Neal, he can’t be gone,” Mozzie exclaims. “It can’t be him, Peter. Neal always had it figured out … He could always get away.”

By episode’s end, months have passed. Burke and his wife Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) have welcomed their son “Neal.” Diana moves to the bureau’s Washington, D.C. office. But, thoughts of Caffrey stick with Burke and Mozzie.

A mysterious bottle of wine, left on Burke’s doorstep etched with “701,” prompts him to check out a shipping container Caffrey frequented. Inside, clues help Burke piece together Caffrey’s final con.

It’s not the perfect ending, leaving behind Mozzie, the Burkes and even June (Diahann Carroll), who opened her home to Caffrey. But as Caffrey has always done, he went out on his own terms. And that’s all he, and fans, have wanted.