“I think the biggest challenge for any of these episodes is the clock. The writers always write a wonderful big episode, so it seems, and you always want to be able to have a lot of coverage,” says DeKay.
“You think of all these cool shots, but there just isn’t enough time in the day. So, the biggest challenge is … you tell the story in the ‘White Collar’ fashion, and make sure it’s snappy, it’s fun, it’s clever, and all those other adjectives we can think of for the show.”
The episode, titled “Empire City,” is the second episode directed by DeKay. The first one took viewers to Yankee Stadium, and this one takes us to NYC’s famed Cotton Club, for what was one of DeKay’s favorite moments.
“I will tell you one of my favorite moments for the episode that I directed was … Diahann Carroll sang two songs at the Cotton Club, so I got to direct her to sing a couple songs,” says DeKay.
In the back half of Season 4 on “White Collar,” Elle (Tiffani Thiessen) is so worried about Peter’s safety that she tells Neal to flat-out lie to Peter to keep him safe, which DeKay says is one of the most interesting aspects of the show, since it’s never actually happened before.
“Neal and Peter have never lied to each other to their faces,” says DeKay. “Now, one might argue that there’s been many lies of omission, there have been a lot of lies, insofar as not coming forth and telling the other person what’s going on.
“But regardless, if Peter has ever asked Neal a point blank question, he has never lied to his face. But in this particular instance, Neal was given the green light by Peter’s wife to lie … It’s great that we have it that there is always that dynamic. Peter and Neal are always on the case enjoying each other’s company; although, they’ll never admit it. Two dear friends, best friends, and yet there is always a secret.
“There’s always something going on. There’s a chess game going on and they’re not quite revealing everything that needs to be revealed. And most of the time that — those reveals are not given to each other because they think it’s benefiting the other person by not telling them.”
“White Collar” airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA.