Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: Leverage 1.02: “The Homecoming Job”

“You guys came to me, remember? You begged me to run the crew. Agreed to play by my rules. If you have a problem with that, walk away. Walk away any day if you have a problem. It’s simple.”
- Nate

The second episode kicks off in a hail of bullets. Literally. Corporal Robert Perry is sending a video home to his fiancée and he tapes some private contractors. Before he can finish his message, someone opens fire on the soldiers. We cut to today in LA where corporal Perry is in a hospital trying to get rehab. He found Nate online and Nate wants to help nail the contractor because it seems like they were the ones who opened fire on the soldiers. Even though one of the facility doctors tries to discourage Nate from helping, he gets Hardison to recall the team from their various locations (Sophie auditioning for a commercial in Hollywood, Eliot beating up guys in Berlin and Parker stealing a painting in Monaco). They all get back to LA to find that Nate has bought them a giant office suit for Leverage Consulting and Associates. Hardison has worked his magic to make the company legit. And before we know it, the team is off to blackmail the contractor’s CEO. Oh and we learn that Eliot is very good at identifying sounds.

Sophie, Eliot and Nate head to a big gala event while Parker and Hardison head to the CEO’s office to do some digging. Things get a little complicated once Parker and Hardison get into the office (though watching Hardison get pushed off a roof and end up at the bottom of his tether upside down is pretty hilarious). The safe in the office is locked with a voice code and the computer system as an RFID reader needed to log in. So we get to witness some fairly impressive pickpocketing on Sophie’s part as she nabs the CEO’s wallet and Eliot get the RFID card info to Hardison. Getting the voice key for the safe is a little more complicated since they need all the sounds. Eliot manages to get them all in another hilarious moment. You would not think given his prior run on “Angel” that Christian Kane has many comedy chops but the man is funny. Handsome, funny and badass. What a combo!

The team ditches the party as soon as the pair at the office find all of Corporal Perry’s medical and other records in the safe and on the computer. Nate makes the connection that it was the fact that Perry caught stuff on camera that has the company worried, not the shooting. So they hightail it back to the hospital to make sure Perry doesn’t get tied up as a loose end. Nate, Sophie and Eliot barely make to rescue Perry. But of course, they do. Eliot gets to beat the crap out of some guns for hire from the contractor. It really wouldn’t be an episode of Leverage without an Eliot fight. Anyway, the team is pretty disheartened by the fact that the guns for hire were planning on killing Perry and making it look like a suicide. Nate reminds them in a bit of a drunken rant that they came to him and let him pick the clients. So they agree to do this one job. Parker and Sophie head to DC to start planting seeds of doubt between the CEO and his pet Congressman. And Eliot and Hardison mess with the Congressman on the West Coast by messing up his home renovations. This leads to finding out that the Congressman got a shipping container through customs for the CEO shortly after the shooting. So now it’s time to find the container and screw these guys over big time.

The gang heads to the port and discovers that the container holds millions and millions in legitimate US currency (small bills). Back at HQ, Nate explains that his former employer provided an insurance policy on funds for reconstruction. And the CEO and the Congressman have turned the US government into a money laundering scheme. That is honestly terrifying and a part of me isn’t surprised that it could actually happen. The crazy thing about Leverage plots is that the writers do their research ahead of time. The things that the crew tackles are real. They actually happen. My faith in humanity dies a little bit inside each time. Anyway, they go back to try and steal the cash to give back to the country (aka all the recovering soldiers at the hospital like Corporal Perry). Both the CEO and the Congressman end up at the port by a container that’s been blown open with C4 courtesy of Parker. They start accusing each other of things and threatening one another about the whole smuggling operation. And then the news crews show up and one woman points out that the container they’re standing in front of isn’t the one the Congressman called about. That still contains most of the money and thanks to a webcam, it recorded their argument/confession. Not so good for these guys. And the crew kept the other contractor employees busy by having Hardison drive off in a van, making them think they took all the money. When one of the guns for hire from the hospital forces Hardison to open the back of the truck, it appears empty. But as we see a short while later, it was just an illusion and they’ve got several million dollars for the hospital. The team agrees to do a few more jobs.

I really enjoyed this episode because not only does it support our military personnel who return from overseas but it really just had feel-good ending. The team saw what their efforts did and that they could make positive change, just as Nate knew it would. So no one is walking away any time soon. And Nate gets to drive off in a cute little electric convertible. Mid-life crisis or just trying to find another outlet besides drinking to deal with the death of his son? I guess we just have to keep watching to find out.

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