Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay talk White Collar Season 5 premiere

White Collar season 5 premiere Thursday, Oct. 17 on USA: Thursday is the new night for USA Network’s hit series White Collar, which returns for it’s fifth season beginning Thursday, Oct. 17 at 9pmET/8pmCT. Series star Matt Bomer says White Collar season 5 premierethat this season — at least for his character Neal — is all about “best intentions going awry.”

A statement that leads back to last season’s cliffhanger that left FBI agent Peter Burke (DeKay) and conman-turned-consultant Neal Caffrey (Bomer) in one hot mess — where Peter was accused of murdering the senator, when really it was Neal’s father (Treat Williams) who did the dirty deed. This leaves Neal with the emotional baggage of seeing his father for who he really is, and that is true father-figure (Peter) is now in an orange jumpsuit and behind bars. The only thing Neal’s capable of doing is exactly what Peter doesn’t want him to do and thus Season 5 kicks off.

“Neal’s feeling the sins of his father and, you know, has to skirt issues of trust to try to find some wiggle room to make reparations for what ultimately was his fault in terms of Peter’s future as an FBI agent, as a husband,” Bomer shares. “What I found the writers built over the course of this season, which was interesting, was this sort of mounting resentment that he had these best intentions and was putting forth his best efforts and doing everything he knew how to help Peter, and that went, in his opinion, somewhat unappreciated.”

The nucleus of the series is the relationship between Neal and Peter and that continues to be tested and challenged more than ever in the new season.

“I have this image of these two guys as very close friends. And I have this image of them playing poker together and enjoying it and realizing that nobody could really play the kinds of poker, the level of poker the other one does except with that other person. And I see them enjoying a game and having a good time with it, but never ever, ever showing each other’s hands, and constantly bluffing or trying to bid differently.” DeKay says, when describing their relationship. “But again, never showing the other hand to the other person. But yet needing that game and learning from that game.”

One thing we do learn about the new season is that Peter requests a new handler for Neal, played by Warren Kole (who fans of FOX’s The Following will remember as the creepy Roderick). “Neal’s initial reaction to Warren’s character Siegel is one of trepidation because he is very by-the-books, by-the-numbers, and he’s an agent who’s gotten to where he is because he plays by the rules. And that’s obviously very threatening to Neal. Warren did a great job of bringing lots of different aspects to the character and somehow making him charming and entertaining at the same time as being sort of a paint-inside-the-lines guy.”

DeKay said a new handler was needed but was equally as difficult for Peter, as well. “Peter was concerned about this guy even though he brought him on and felt that he would be right for Neal because he felt that Neal needed somebody who could give some tough love from a distance to Neal. Peter thought somebody from outside the New York Division would be better. But there was trepidation, as well, on Peter’s part with handing over the reins. And that’s something Peter was going to miss.”

Here’s to hoping that situation will be short lived! Let us know what you think of the season premiere. White Collar airs on USA Network Thursdays at 9pmET beginning Oct. 17