"I own you for the next four years. You ok with that?"
~Peter Burke to Neal Caffrey in the pilot episode of White Collar
Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) is a charming conman and master forger. Four years ago, Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) captured him and put him away. Neal had almost completed his sentence, but he acted on a romantic impulse and broke out. He wanted to reach his girlfriend, Kate (Alexandra Daddario), who had just left him.
Peter captured him again (and even paused to sympathize about Kate.) But Neal, who should have been freed in a couple of months, was looking at another four years in prison.
Neal wheedles Peter into a better arrangement. He's released into the FBI's custody, under Peter's supervision, with an ankle monitor that gives him a two mile radius in Manhattan. In exchange he works at Peter's side, helping him solve cases. The bromance that develops between them is the heart of the show.
Neal and Peter increasingly find their lives intertwining: Neal grows close to Peter's wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen), and Peter comes to accept and value Neal's sidekick, a paranoid con artist named Mozzie (Willie Garson).
But it's not a perfect bromance--not yet. Neal and Peter still have some trust issues to work out...