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Peter Burke Fan Club


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#1 ArtOfMe

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:13 PM

There's a Neal fan club and a Mozzie fan club, so I figured we might as well give the other half of the main character duo his own thread, too.

Before I started watching WC, I figured I knew how the characters would be: the law-abiding, serious government agent and the whimsical, less-than-legal art thief. Turns out they're so much more than that. Neal turned out to be surprisingly good-hearted and worried about his lost love. And Peter ended up becoming one of my favorite characters.

At first glance, Peter seems simple. He wears an old suit, tries to keep Neal in line, and likes sports. One could easily just see the surface image: that of an agent who lacks Neal Caffrey's style and smarts. But Peter is not a bumbling agent. His intelligence is more subtle, his smiles fainter, and his humor drier than Neal's, but it's certainly there, and I happen to appreciate subtlety. If you watch carefully, you can see that he's always right there with Neal on ideas about how to solve a case. He makes jokes. And when it comes to Neal, he knows him better than anyone.

So far Neal does seem to be the focus of the story. Especially with recent developments in the show, it almost feels like we barely know Peter at all. He lets Neal get away with a surprising amount of stuff that flirts with legal boundaries. We know he loves Elizabeth, but there's plenty that we're left speculating about. I hope that future episodes reveal more about him and show more of his intelligence that enabled him to catch Neal.

This thread isn't for the speculation on episode 7's developments, but more for talking about him as a character. Why do he and Neal get along so well? Is Peter really as concerned with the law as you'd expect an FBI agent to be? Could he have any skeletons in his closet? How smart do you think he is? And most importantly, why doesn't anyone else mention his good looks? Posted Image

I'd also like to mention how brilliant Tim DeKay is as an actor. About 75% of the acting on the show is through expressions, eyes, tone of voice, and body language. I think Tim is really good at getting across Peter's different sides.

Feel free to talk about anything at all about Peter, but keep episode 7 stuff in the appropriate threads, please.

Edited by LI_Ann, 23 November 2012 - 10:01 PM.


#2 Nancee

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:28 PM

Great Thread!

I am a huge fan. I love the fact they seem to opposite sides of the same coin, personality wise. Neal, impulsive, enthusiastic, exuberant - while Peter's conservative, methodical, stalwart.

The fact that Peter is highly intelligent comes through loud and clear. And Tim's acting is brilliant. He leaves no doubt he is a dedicated agent, with perhaps too bit a heart where Neal is concerned.
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#3 ArtOfMe

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:33 PM

See, the thing is, I'd say Peter isn't quite so opposite of Neal. They complement each other's personalities, but I think Neal brings out a more whimsical, law-skirting side of Peter. Their relationship is really interesting that way. It even says on Elizabeth's bio that being around Neal has brought out a more romantic side of Peter.

#4 CathysOpinion

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:41 PM

I think Peter sometimes WANTS to come off as a 'bumbling FBI agent' (All In episode, around the Chinese ladies) because he wants suspects to let their guard down around him, so he can outsmart them. Almost like Columbo (but much better dressed) and Bobby Goren. He's a toughie, but deep down, you know he has a heart. His years as a FBI agent gives him a hardened exterior.

I love how he and Neal like to 'torment' each other.

Edited by CathysOpinion, 14 December 2009 - 02:41 PM.

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#5 Nancee

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 10:00 AM

I think Peter sometimes WANTS to come off as a 'bumbling FBI agent' (All In episode, around the Chinese ladies) because he wants suspects to let their guard down around him, so he can outsmart them. Almost like Columbo (but much better dressed) and Bobby Goren. He's a toughie, but deep down, you know he has a heart. His years as a FBI agent gives him a hardened exterior.

I love how he and Neal like to 'torment' each other.


That is one of his techniques. And I love how they change his interrogations. From the young model in Threads (and the designer), the journalist in Flip of a Coin, to his confrontation with Toulain in Free Fall. Nothing routine or boring about Peter Burke!
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#6 xDannix

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:59 PM

*revives thread*

I'm really begining to like Peter a lot more (:
At first, I didn't really like him that much. He seemed a little... uptight almost. Like he'd forgotten how to have fun.
Now, either because he's more comfortable with Neal and less afraid he has to watch his every move, OR because Neal has made him lighten up just a bit, he seems a bit more fun.
GO PETER :P

plus it's just adorable how protective Peter is getting over Neal :)

#7 ArtOfMe

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:15 PM

*revives thread*

I'm really begining to like Peter a lot more (:
At first, I didn't really like him that much. He seemed a little... uptight almost. Like he'd forgotten how to have fun.
Now, either because he's more comfortable with Neal and less afraid he has to watch his every move, OR because Neal has made him lighten up just a bit, he seems a bit more fun.
GO PETER :P

plus it's just adorable how protective Peter is getting over Neal :)


Yay, I'm very happy to hear that! The latest episode reminded me of all the reasons I loved Peter. His protectiveness is definitely very cute.

#8 Nancee

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 11:56 AM

Yay, I'm very happy to hear that! The latest episode reminded me of all the reasons I loved Peter. His protectiveness is definitely very cute.

Tim Dekay's Peter Burke is wonderful. Very realistic. Love his facial expressions.
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#9 Surreal44

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 02:53 PM

-glomps Peter- He's my favorite character. I adore him. What's fantastic about his character (and I know the actors have commented on this too) is that Peter isn't the usual "good guy" in film or movies. He's not washed out and tired, stuck in his own ideas. He's smart, capable and excellent at his job.

The fact is, Peter has probably put his career in jeopardy by accepting Neal as his partner not once, but now twice. Peter seems willing to put a lot on the line for Neal, so it'll be interesting to see if Neal really finds out and understands that simply by being around Peter, he is risking everything the FBI agent has built for himself.

Peter was fantastic in "Hard Sell" especially, both on the job and undercover. I hope we get to see him go undercover more often. It's nice to see him get out and do more than just sit in the van while Neal gets to have all the fun.

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#10 ArtOfMe

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 03:59 PM

Peter was fantastic in "Hard Sell" especially, both on the job and undercover. I hope we get to see him go undercover more often. It's nice to see him get out and do more than just sit in the van while Neal gets to have all the fun.


I know, Peter was amazing in Hard Sell! I was hoping to see him undercover, and he did an awesome job at it. It was nice to see him be just as competent as Neal, because so far we've only seen Neal play the con game. Peter's mode is a little different, but he's still good at it. And if it means getting him into sexy clothes like that red polo more often, then I'm all for it!

Tim's acting in this episode was so good. A lot of the dynamic between the characters is conveyed through body language and facial expression, and he's so good at getting across Peter's emotions, even though they are subtle. I love to watch his face, usually when he's watching Neal. :D

I'm happy to see that Peter's compassion and concern for Neal came through in this episode.

#11 cpamom

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:09 PM

Tim's acting in this episode was so good. A lot of the dynamic between the characters is conveyed through body language and facial expression, and he's so good at getting across Peter's emotions, even though they are subtle. I love to watch his face, usually when he's watching Neal. :D

Did anyone else catch Peter's face in the beginning of Hard Sell when Neal says - I hate that photo but they do have the greatest cake in town?? I thought Peter's expression was priceless!

#12 Nancee

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:27 PM

Tim's acting in this episode was so good. A lot of the dynamic between the characters is conveyed through body language and facial expression, and he's so good at getting across Peter's emotions, even though they are subtle. I love to watch his face, usually when he's watching Neal. :D

Did anyone else catch Peter's face in the beginning of Hard Sell when Neal says - I hate that photo but they do have the greatest cake in town?? I thought Peter's expression was priceless!

You are so right. It was perfect! And when he took Neal by the arm and pulled him away and the conversation ends with - You are a man of many faces, and Neal walks away...Another priceless Peter moment.
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#13 cpamom

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 12:18 AM

You are so right. It was perfect! And when he took Neal by the arm and pulled him away and the conversation ends with - You are a man of many faces, and Neal walks away...Another priceless Peter moment.


Absolutely!!! Peter sometimes says more with his expressions then if he used words!

#14 Nancee

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 08:02 PM

Absolutely!!! Peter sometimes says more with his expressions then if he used words!

And....is he in big trouble, or what?
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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#15 suebsg9

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 03:08 PM

I like some other special agents but they are on a different show (NCIS) but I like me some special agent burke also :) Kinda by the books guy but will waiver off that if need be and enjoys it at time doing it! And married to a woman for 10 years and even feels awkward when he has to flirt or eat strange things. Peter Burke my fav special agent on this show :)

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#16 Surreal44

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 05:15 PM

You know what makes Peter so great is that for a leader, he lacks a lot of the arrogance that seem to be prevalent among his 'peers' on television. Usually a main character is disgustingly arrogant, they're almost always right and they have a tendency to yell at people who don't enforce the rules (while they disregard the rules themselves).

Peter is more like a real person. He is flawed, but he is a good guy. He's intelligent, but not to the point that he's irritating you with it. He's good at his job but he's not perfect. Yes, he does get on Neal if our favorite ex-con gets too...creative with his solutions to cases, but Peter manages to temper his sterness with compassion. He seems more like a concerned friend than a jerk of a boss who's only worried about the bottom-line.

-happy sigh- If only other characters on tv could have this depth. TV is such a wasteland, that it's nice to have "White Collar" (and USA network) to turn to for fun characters. ^.^

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#17 Nancee

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 06:22 PM

-happy sigh- If only other characters on tv could have this depth. TV is such a wasteland, that it's nice to have "White Collar" (and USA network) to turn to for fun characters. ^.^

Very nicely said, Surreal44. :)

Edited by Nancee, 08 February 2010 - 06:23 PM.

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#18 WildHorseFantasy

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 04:04 PM

Peter deserves credit for one of the trickiest jobs imaginable: steering Neal Caffery! What a balancing act! Put up with too many shenanigans and it'll just encourage him to get himself in over his head. But he doesn't want to be a bully and discourage him either. He just wants him to use his talents in a way that won't get him hurt. Ruis and some of the others are just plain mean. :angry: It's understandable to see him as a criminal, but to act like he's expendable-not caring if he gets shot- is just dehumanizing. It's not like he's a VIOLENT criminal! If Neal messes up Peter is upset FOR Neal, because of what could happen to him. Whereas some would just worry about how it made the bureau (or the agent) look. It says a lot about Peter that he sticks by someone like that, gives him a chance (chances, many chances :lol:) and really wants him to do well. And Peter gets balanced back: remembering to be romantic, taking risks (STOLE the tape! :o ) for a friend.

I agree with previous comments: he is one of the most human, just plain nice FBI or government agents we've seen anywhere on tv! I can't remember the last time one of those characters was happily married. Maybe we get left with a few questions after the show is over, but that's because the details of the crime are less important than the people. One can only stuff so much in the time alloted. It's worth the trade. :D

And he seems a bit underappreciated. After following a few promo links to youtube I found many music vids star Neal, a few have both, but none centered on Peter. I love the Neal vids but I'm surprised Peter doesn't have one or two. B)

Edited by WildHorseFantasy, 09 February 2010 - 04:07 PM.

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#19 suebsg9

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:05 AM

I agree with previous poster that Peter does need his own music vid. And can I just say after last nights eps found more things I like about Peter. Yes he maybe a beer drinker but I am guessing possibly in his wife business they maybe have to try wines and possibly food from fancy places. Nice to see Peter know how to talk about wine and smile at Neal after he did it. Also he amused me about the thin tie that he wanted to use to floss his teeth with that was great. Our Peter seems to be comfortable in sweats and tshirt drinking beer and watching game but when he is thrown in a situation not comfortable in he certainly knows what to do or say. And also enjoyed watching Peter be oh so tricky last night with the warrent that was actual menu for resturant. He is a bad boy and does have his moments. You may laugh at him but the man is good at his job. And has found a way to keep his marriage intact. And also having to keep track of Neal. I heart peter more and more in eps. And love how he is around Moz these days; never takes what Moz says to him seriously but takes it that he should do something about what they are discussing.

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#20 WildHorseFantasy

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:30 AM

Gotta give a guy credit. Meets Keller face to face for the first time and doesn't take the bait. And he sure hit him with the right bait-he cares about Neal and his career and both are threatened if they get caught. Even if they are 'technically' not quite breaking a law, it would look bad for the FBI. Perhaps someday we'll get to see Peter in action and he will have opportunity to deck the guy. (I'm sure most of us viewers wouldn't have minded smacking him on our heroes behalf.) I can see much possibility for future confrontations, to some extent Keller is his enemy now too-and I've no doubt he'll be back. Can't leave such a promising villain in a cell...

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