Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: Leverage 1.06: “The Miracle Job”

“Saint Nicholas? He’s the patron saint of thieves.”
- Sophie

I suppose this episode counts as the Christmas episode for the season. A Catholic priest is on his way to a town meeting to beg the town to not tear down his church. On his way, a group of Hispanic thugs beat him up. This gets Nate’s attention because the priest is an old friend of his (and his ex-wife Maggie calls him to fill him in). The rest of the team is busy lying to Sophie about her performance as Willie Lowman in “Death of a Salesman”. They head to the church and Nate thinks he needs to talk the team into taking the case but they are gung ho about it already. Parker goes to try and find info on the numerous shell companies behind the purchase of the church while Eliot and Hardison go off to find the bangers who beat up the priest. Nate flashes back to his son’s baptism that Paul performed. This going to be a rough one for our leader.

Out on the streets the boys find the thugs pretty fast. Eliot does his usual shtick with disarming guns and Hardison knocks down the injured banger. He says he just got a call and some money to beat up the priest and hands over the number he called. The guys leave the lead banger to take care of the dissension in the ranks. Back at HQ, we learn that the shell companies are owned by a man named Andrew Grant. He’s a media whore with a new building opening the next day. And due to a helicopter crash, he’s a pill popper to deal with anxiety. So the team sets him up at the opening of the new location (which isn’t even close to being done). Sophie pretends to be a reporter and Parker and Eliot knock him over and swap out his meds for some caffeine pills laced with a little extra something special. Grant and Sophie end up in the elevator and it gets stuck. He starts to sweat and panic and pops a pill which only makes it worse. Just as he can’t take it anymore, Sophie gives the cue to send the elevator the rest of the way down and convinces Grant to carry her out like he’s the hero. They get back to his office and he offers her the job of publicist. Which is good because the team needed an in.

Back at HQ, Nate floats the idea that they need to create a miracle to keep the church open long enough to run a long con on Grant. So Hardison gets to put his creative skills to use while Parker keeps the priest in the hospital so he doesn’t know what’s going on. She fakes his tests so they show he’s pregnant so he has to stay there to do another set. Sophie leaks a story that Grant is planning to build a lifestyle center where the church now stands and then convinces Grant to make the announcement at the church. They’ll use his own publicity against him. It works a little too well. Hardison makes a fake statue of Saint Nicholas cry and hordes of people show up. Now they have to figure out how to handle the rest of the con.

Before they get far, the priest shows up demanding answers from Nate. Nate tries to explain while Sophie goes to put the final nails in Grant’s coffin. They didn’t realize, however, how greedy this guy is. He’s going to use the miracle to build Bibletopia (it sounds absolutely horrid but Eliot thinks his nephew would love it). Meanwhile, more and more people are showing up, including the Vatican. They’re here to see if the miracle is real or not. Grant sees it as a great attention vehicle. If it’s real, he gets to go ahead with Bibletopia. If it’s fake, he’s revered as the great guy who shut down the fraudulent parish. I really can’t wait to see this asshole get what he deserves.

Nate and the priest have a sort of heart to heart in the confessional. Nate says he’s doing wrong things for the right reasons while the priest is insisting that Nate is just trying to take himself down and maybe a few baddies along the way because he feels so guilty over what happened with Sam. Grant’s assistant goes into the confessional as well. I think he’s going to help out our gang. That Sunday, while the priest is delivering his sermon, the team fakes the disappearance of the statue and frames Grant for stealing the real one. It gets him arrested and we find out that his assistant has enough information to go to the police. He outs Grant in front of reporters and the entire congregation that Grant bribes people to get what he wants. And Sophie tipped off the cops about the bust so they got there before Grant could do anything.

Nate and the priest have some parting words of friendship. The priest points out that five thieves saved his church and that’s a miracle. And he did the wrong thing for the right reason so I guess that does work out sometimes. Nate’s hesitant to go back to church though (he dropped out of seminary years ago). Still, I think he should go back. It might bring him some peace eventually. Though he probably just drowns in a bottle to get there most days. I have to say it wasn’t my favorite holiday-themed episode of Leverage (that would be the “Ho Ho Ho Job” in season 3 because who doesn’t love Wil Wheaton.). But it was a touching episode and it gave us yet more back story on Nate and what has brought him to this point in his life. And hey, we’re halfway done with the season. Can you believe it? The only thing I wish they’d done differently was introduce us to Maggie in person, rather than name. I know she eventually pops up later in the story but it would have been nice to meet her this early.

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