Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: Leverage 1.04: “The Snow Job”

“Okay, let’s go steal us a mountain.”
- Nate

We begin this week with the Scotts, a small family in Florida whose house has been foreclosed on by the bank and bought up by the contractors who were supposed to be doing the repairs after Hurricane Katrina. The father decks the head contractor and gets locked up. So Nate goes and visits him in lock up and we learn that the father had been deployed overseas and when he got back the contractor had messed up the house and done shoddy repairs. Nate is rather drawn in because the father says that when someone messes with you and you really need help, it’s the kids that get hurt the most. We see our first (of many) flashbacks to Nate watching his little boy, Sam, die in the hospital. It’s pretty clear the memory spurs him to drink heavily because he’s late to the meeting the next day and he’s rather hung over (completely with coffee cup and sunglasses). Hardison runs through the contractors, Henry and his two sons Dennis (played by Danny Strong of Buffy notoriety) and Randy. Dennis is the man behind the business while Randy is just a snowboarding pretty boy. The crew heads to Aspen too run their con and it’s going to be a whopper. Sophie is playing a foreign Olympic medalist who ropes Randy in on a development of the ski resort and she says that his big idea for a sort of X-Games but bigger would be a great launch event. But he’ll need to buy into the group that’s redoing the resort. He offers up $500,000 immediately but he wants to meet everyone and see the plans for the resort remodel first.

While Hardison and Parker mess with the ski lift to get the real resort owner out of his office, Eliot and Sophie reel Randy in further. Unfortunately, his father needs to write the check so they head back to Miami. Sophie meets Henry and Dennis and henry love the idea of the winter games meets music festival. Dennis isn’t so happy and tries to talk Sophie out of getting into bed businesswise with his brother. While he’s trying to impress her with the construction scam they’ve been running (on over 400 families across the country), Parker gets a signal booster in the house and takes a dive out a window right on top of Eliot. And things get even more complicated because Hardison figures out that the signal issue was that there are police issued bugs in the house already. The team gets rather frustrated with Nate when he tells Sophie not to take the $500,000. He wants to take down the company and get all of the families their homes back, not just their client. So they’re switching up the scam. Nate goes in to meet with Dennis while Sophie continues her foreign athlete persona. Nate explains that he runs a scam where people with fatal diseases and short times to live try to take out some money on their insurance policies to do their bucket lists and he gets a big pay out when they die. Dennis is skeptical but says he’s in if he can have a doctor of his choosing examine one of the people on Nate’s list and he picks a woman with an inoperable brain tumor in Miami.

Nate is on his way back to the hotel while drinking from a flask in his car. Not a good idea to have an open container there, pal. He gets pulled over by a state police officer who is investigation Henry and his sons for racketeering among other things and he warns Nate that if he and his team are still around when the bust goes down, the Leverage crew is going to face the consequences. The team is scrambling a little find a way to fake a brain tumor. Eliot comes up with the idea to cross the MRI wires between two machines and feed a brain with a tumor into the image that the doctor sees. Nate rejiggers the plan a bit and they get a cadaver and fake the tumor. It’s enough to convince the doctor and Dennis. But Dennis still isn’t convinced. So while Sophie is trying to get him on the hook, Nate fakes a call that a mother of three just kicked it in Chicago. Dennis wants a cut after giving them $10,000 but at first Nate says he’s not even in the business yet. Dennis continue to argue and Nate ends up giving him a check for $100,000. Back at the hotel, the team continues to question his decisions. He says that the check was a stall to buy them a little more time. Nate and Eliot get into an argument when Eliot accuses Nate of making all these bad decisions because he’s drunk. I have to side with Eliot on this one but Sophie tries to take control of the situation and talk to Nate in private. I’m not sure if she gets through to him or not but he at least admits he’s not the same person he was when they met two years ago.

Things fall into place rather quickly. Dennis calls Nate and promises him $5 million to get into the venture. Randy and Henry see that Dennis is transferring such a big amount of money and they head to the bank to beat him to the punch. Henry transfer signatory power to Randy and thinks he’s gotten his son good. But it turns out thanks to a little techno magic from Hardison, Randy signs away majority interest in the company to Nate and company. And the list of potential people with diseases was actually the list of all the housing victims. The cops bust in and arrest everyone thanks to Nate getting them to agree to hold off a couple days for a minor transgression (transferring the funds off shore). And Nate gloats to Dennis that their big ass house being a corporate asset just backfired. The gang gives it to their client and all is good in the Leverage verse for another episode. But Sophie reminds Nate that he needs to be careful because there may come a day when the team won’t back his pay.

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