Diana becomes a mother on “White Collar”

This season on White Collar began with Peter in jail, wrongly accused of killing a Senator. In the first few minutes of the season Agent Jones brings Peter up to speed on the most important news in the office. Our resident badass Agent Diana Berrigan is pregnant. Peter is just as surprised as we are.  Last season we saw Diana break up with her fiancee Christie. So, Peter’s shock and sputtered “What? How?” is about how the rest of us felt.  Jones tells Peter that Diana wants to have a baby and is set to do it all on her own.

By the end of the episode Neal has found a way to get Peter out of jail and when Peter gets back to the office he greets Diana. Diana looks damn good for being a billion months pregnant but is unhappy with being stuck behind a desk. Peter awkwardly asks her about the baby’s father and she says “It’s not Neal’s.” Peter looks stricken until she laughs.  She tells him she went to a clinic and that the baby’s father is a “world class chef with one hell of an IQ.” Peter tells her that the baby’s mother is the best Special Agent he’s ever worked with.

Diana on "White Collar"

In the second episode of the season, Diana is stuck in front of several computers trying to keep a black market website open while Neal and the boys track down the buyers. She’s eight months pregnant, she hasn’t slept, and she’s over everything and everyone. But, because she’s Diana, she’s also the most capable person in the room and isn’t going to hand over her work to someone else just to have them mess it up. Peter is worried about Diana and wants to send her home to rest. Jones intervenes on her behalf, telling Peter that her life is about to change drastically and that she’s worried that once the baby comes she’s not going to be able to be Special Agent Berrigan anymore. Peter protests that she’ll always be welcome, but Jones points out that Peter is going to be more hesitant to send her back into the field if she has a baby at home. It’s a nice moment that captures a lot of what mothers fear about having to give up a career they love if they choose to have a baby.

This plays out later in the episode when Diana encourages Neal to defy Peter’s order and to go out into the field looking for a suspect. Neal tells her he’ll meet her at the site in the morning. She nods but goes alone instead, and finds the suspect’s secret hideout. When she goes in she finds Mozzie. Before she can take him into custody, she goes into labor. Mozzie, the last man this lesbian wants anywhere near her lady business, delivers the little boy. Diana says nothing about Mozzie being the suspect and instead names the baby Theo, after Mozzie’s real name.

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Diana is on leave from her job for the time being, and does not appear in the third episode of the season. This storyline could not have come more out of the blue. After Diana broke up with Christie we didn’t see much of her on screen and there wasn’t a lot of talk about her being interested in having a family. We’re all familiar with the trope of the pregnant lesbian but when Marsha Thomason got pregnant in real life the show chose to write the pregnancy in instead of making Diana disappear when Thomason took time off. The decision to have Diana be a single mother by choice is interesting and not something we see on television very often. I am happy they are setting it up for the possibility that she will struggle with work and baby balance when she returns. Can Badass Berrigan be quite so badass when she’s worrying about a baby? We’ll have to wait and see.

What do you think about this storyline and the choice to write the baby into the show?