Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: Leverage 1.03: “The Wedding Job:

“Her man’s gone to jail for fifteen years and she’s waiting for him. For fifteen years. Do have any idea how hard it is to wait for someone?”
- Sophie

This week’s case begins five years ago when a couple who own a restaurant get mixed up with the local mob. They witness a mob boss, Nickie Masconi, shoot a rival and he pins it on the restaurant owner, Ray. Masconi tells Ray that it will be an open and shut self-defense case and that the mob will support his family but Ray gets 15 years and his family loses everything. So Theresa, Ray’s wife, goes to Sophie for help when she sees that Masconi is throwing a big wedding for his daughter. We get a cute scene with Parker and Theresa’s daughter timing her in picking locks. Nate doesn’t want to take the case but the team convinces him that if he doesn’t think about the mob, it’s the exact type of case they take. I also think Nate is in a bit of a mood since he didn’t get to pick the client. The team heads out to Masconi’s mansion and finds it under heavy security. Their usual surveillance methods aren’t going to work so they’re going to piggyback off someone else. The FBI is watching the house, too and so we get our first introduction to Agents Taggart and McSweeten. Parker and Hardison manage to get a bug into the van and Parker scans one of the agents’ badges so Eliot can Photoshop himself onto a badge to get in the FBI. Things get kind of touchy between him and Hardison when he finds that the audio surveillance files are not digital but on cassette tapes. Hardison has to trigger the fire alarm just so Eliot can get out of the building unseen.

Hardison spends quite a bit of time sifting through all the audio files and finally comes up with something good. Mrs. Masconi is stressing big time over the wedding and some photos show people setting up for the wedding. So our crew has their con. They show up at the mansion as a wedding planning team. Sophie is the head of the planning. Hardison is flowers and music. Nate is the priest, Eliot is the chef and Parker is the seamstress. Nate is his somewhat grumpy self as he’s walking around the house trying to find the $2 million in cash Masconi has lying around the house somewhere. Sophie’s too into the wedding planning (as is Parker) and Eliot is more concerned about making sure all the guests have something to eat. I just love that badass Eliot is a whiz in the kitchen. Hardison walks the house planting bugs and they overhear a conversation between Masconi and a business associate about a payment going down during the reception. And to show what a total jerk this guy is, he also tells Nate that he tried to bribe his future son-in-law to not go through with the wedding. Asshole. Back at HQ, Nate laments about how useless and overblown wedding are and Sophie just gets very annoyed at him. We also learn that Eliot almost married someone once but she got hitched to someone else after he joined the military.

The day of the wedding arrives and the crew has to step it up to get the money before Masconi can hand it off to his business partner. Not long after the guests start arriving, Nate spots a bunch of Russian mobsters, including a man called the Butcher of Kiev who has a fiery past with Eliot. Nate wants to pull the plug on the con but he gets overruled by the rest of the crew. He goes off and gives a rather rambling speech to give Eliot and Parker time to find the money and it’s really just him talking to Sophie about why he’s not ready to move on from his ex-wife and start a relationship with her again. It brings tears to her eyes. Sophie had kind of gone on a rant of her own to the bride about how men suck earlier so it was a nice way to bring it full circle. And his actual speech to the bride and groom was touching.

Parker searches everywhere in the house but comes up empty handed. Eliot can’t go check the last place because he’s got food on the stove. One might think he’s getting too into the con but it actually comes in handy. After the ceremony, Masconi and the Russian mobster go to exchange the money but find an empty briefcase (Parker is hiding in the room in a bride’s maid dress). The team starts to piece things together when Nate recalls hearing Mrs. Masconi telling someone that “it” was in the screening room. Sophie lifts her phone and we see the last person she called was the Russian mobster. Apparently the guy Masconi shot (and framed Ray for) was this guy’s brother. Oops. Unfortunately, before Eliot can make a clean get away he’s confronted by the Butcher. Can I just say that I adore Eliot to pieces (and yes some of it is probably because I loved him as Lindsey on Angel) but his fight scenes are always so amazing, too. While he and the Butcher fight, Parker drags Masconi and the Russian back down the reception and Sophie hunts for Mrs. Masconi. Eliot ends up winning the fight by using his stuffed mushroom hors d’oeuvres to take the guy out. Priceless.

The rest of the con wraps up nicely when Mrs. Masconi gets away and the crew gets access to Masconi’s overseas bank accounts and they clean them out. It also turns out Parker was wearing a bug in her dress that the FBI could overhear and got Masconi’s confession about the shooting. And because it wouldn’t be a good episode otherwise, the happy newlyweds get off with all of Masconi’s cash. We end with a really sweet scene of the crew not only giving Theresa back the keys to the restaurant but Eliot making them dinner and the news that Ray is coming home soon. Overall I thought it was a good episode. We have the start of a Parker/Hardison relationship that I can’t wait to see develop. And who doesn’t love watching Eliot take out a guy with food?

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