"On the Fence" Episode Guide

White Collar On the Fence
Season 3, Episode 9 Air Date: August 2, 2011

Neal goes undercover with a beautiful Egyptologist (Eliza Dushku) in an attempt to apprehend Matthew Keller, who's smuggling Egyptian artifacts. But during a confrontation with Keller, Neal learns his true motives for returning to New York. For more information, check out Quotes from "On the Fence" or "On the Fence" Nitpicks.


“Okay. Tell you what, when you're an FBI agent and I'm the ward of the federal prison system, we'll do it your way.” – Peter Burke

Highlights

The Con

Matthew Keller poses as Agent Sloan, an Interpol agent, to get information from Sara.

Interesting Facts

Matthew Bomer and Eliza Dushku previously starred together in Tru Calling.

Character Information

The Bad Guy

Matthew Keller recently turned up on some security footage in Egypt. He took advantage of the political unrest then and stole priceless items from the museums while the people and police took to the streets. He stole a one-of-a-kind, 3,500-year-old amulet that was once in the tomb of Narmer the First. It is known as the "amulet of the lost pharaoh." In the end, Keller gets away with the amulet.

Raquel Laroque is an Egyptologist and ancient-civilizations expert in Soho. She also does work as a fence. She uses concealment technique that looks like Egyptian gift-shop tchotchkes that serve as highly-durable, X-ray-proof molds. She had a restoration tech who created the molds but he was arrested and is in an Egyptian prison. He shipped her a rare amulet before he was arrested.

References

Allusions

"Van Dyck's 'Portrait of a Boy'."

Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England. It is unclear as to which painting this episode is referring to as he has several titled "Portrait of a Boy."

Entrance of the Masked Dancers

"Degas 'Masked Dancers'."

Edgar Degas's "The Entrance of the Masked Dancers" was painted in 1884. It one of the few of his ballet paintings that show a recognizable ballet performance. The subject of The Entrance of the Masked Dancers is believed to be taken from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni.

"Neal, this is where our treasure has reached what Malcolm Gladwell would call a 'tipping point.'"

Malcom Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. He defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point."

"You're looking at a one-of-a-kind, 3,500-year-old amulet. Once in the tomb of Narmer the First. The amulet of the lost pharaoh."

Narmer was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period (c. 32nd century BCE). He is thought to be the successor to the Protodynastic pharaohs Scorpion and/or Ka, and he is considered by some to be the unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, and therefore the first pharaoh of unified Egypt.

"The shipments she gets look like Egyptian gift-shop tchotchkes."

Tchotchke is a term used by Jewish-Americans, especially in New York City, for trinkets or knicknacks. The term implies that they are worthless and somewhat tacky.

"Book of the Dead, Chapter 30B."

A line in the Book of the Dead, chapter 30B says "My heart of my mother, my heart of my mother, my heart of transformations." It is likely they added "Hail" to represent Hale, the fence who was arranging the meeting.

"Egyptian faience...I'd describe it as a late-middle-kingdom Ushabti, buried with the pharaohs to protect them in an afterlife. "

Egyptian faience is a non-clay based ceramic displaying surface vitrification which creates a bright lustre of various blue-green colours. The ushabti were funerary figurines used in Ancient Egypt. They were placed in tombs among the grave goods and were intended to act as substitutes for the deceased, should he/she be called upon to do manual labor in the afterlife. Ushabtis were mostly mummiform, but in the 18th Dynasty during the reign of Tuthmosis IV they began to be fashioned as servants with baskets, sacks, and other agricultural tools.

"You ever heard of the papyrus seven scrolls?"

This may have been made up for the episode. I have not found a historical reference that connects to it.

"You have come forth to the beautiful place to which we run."

This is a line from Spell 30B from the Book of the Dead. Egyptians would write this spell on a scroll and place it in the coffin of the deceased. That way, the sol of hte person would pass the weighing of the heart in the Hall of Judgment because the heart could not bear witness against him. In other words, because this is written, no matter how awful the person was in life, he would still get to heaven. The entire spell reads:

A spell for not letting the heart of the Osiris, scribe of the offerings of all the gods, Ani,
true of voice before [Osiris], be driven away from him in the underworld.

He says: My heart of my mother, my heart of my mother, my heart of transformations,
Do not stand against me in witness, do not turn me back at the council,
do not make your rebellion against me in the presence of the keeper of the balance.
You are my ka in my body, which unites and strengthens my limbs;
you have come forth to the beautiful place to which we run.
Do not cause my name to stink to the nobles of the court, who make the people to stand.

"A rabbit hole."

"Down the rabbit hole" is a metaphor for adventure into the unknown. It comes from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland where in the first chapter, she followed the White Rabbit down a rabbit hole.

Reviews & Links

Credits

Writer: Jeff Eastin and Mark Goffman Director: Paul Holahan
Regulars Guest Stars
Neal Caffrey
Peter Burke
Elizabeth Burke
Mozzie
Clinton Jones
Diana Barrigan
Sara Ellis
Matt Bomer
Tim DeKay
Tiffani Thiessen
Willie Garrison
Sharif Atkins
Marsha Thomason
Hilarie Burton
Matthew Keller
Hale
Raquel Laroque
Priest
Gino
Salvatore
Ross McCall
Ira Hawkins
Eliza Dushku
Malachy Cleary
Stephen Badalamenti
Joseph R. Gannascoli

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