Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: Leverage 1.12: “The First David Job”

“You don’t con us. You don’t con your own team.”
- Nate

Welcome to the first half of the two-part season finale. This episode is done in a little bit of a complicated manner. We start in media res with Nate showing up drunk at the opening of a new art museum wing. He busts into the party, draws a gun and aims it at his ex-boss. We cut back to two weeks earlier when the team sort of stages an intervention. Nate rants about being a functioning alcoholic and not in need of rehab but that’s not what they’re trying to show him. They want to help him get revenge on the man who let his son die. Their way in is Michael Angelo’s David. He made two small scale models and it turns out that Nate’s ex-boss, Ian Blackpoole, has it. We jump back to the party where Nate says that he has the second David (they’ve made a fake obviously) and he wants to sell it to Ian. Ian brings Nate over to meet Sophie’s latest alter ego from the Vatican. Eliot is playing an art expert named Dr. Sinclair and he’s off chatting up a pretty blond woman. Ian takes Sophie and Nate down into his ridiculously secure vault to show them the First David. It seems like they’ve gotten Ian on the hook, including having the fake David authenticated by Eliot. But when Eliot brings over the pretty blond to continue the con, shit hits the fan. It would be the infamous Maggie, Nate’s ex-wife. Who is also an art expert. She and Nate made quite the team back in the day. She’s working for the museum (not Ian) and Ian insists that she authenticate the second David. Clearly she would see flaws in the fake and they aren’t comfortable reading her in on the con since she doesn’t know her ex is now a criminal. So they have to steal the real David from the super secure vault at the party.

Parker is on it. She gets a cup of ice and has Hardison pick up a roll of aluminum foil. Aren’t they lucky that they had eyes on Nate and Sophie going in so they know all the security measures before they get there. The first thing to deal with is the silent alarm of the door heading down to the vault. Parker’s quite quick-witted at this point and pretends to make out with Hardison when the guards show up. And thus the Parker/Hardison relationship finds its spark! Parker uses eye shadow and a napkin to spoof the fingerprint reader and ice and tin foil to fool the heat sensors. And then in a really impressive move, she uses more in foil to bend lasers so she can get to the sculpture. Hardison covers up the motion sensor alarm by setting off the car alarms in all the cars in the parking lot. I have to say it was a really impressive theft.

Out at the party, Eliot gets Maggie’s number which makes things rather awkward for Nate and Maggie tells Nate that she still cares about him. Back at HQ, Sophie suggests they keep the real David for themselves and sell him a fake one so that he’ll be totally ruined and caught for fraud. Nate calls her out on the fact she’s trying to con them and then drops the bombshell that Maggie doesn’t know his old company refused to pay for their son’s treatment. Something tells me that she’ll know the truth eventually. The next day, Hardison commandeers a plane and the crew manages to pull a fast one over on Ian and even Maggie. But they’ve got company. Someone is following them and taking photos of the team. That can’t be good.

Eliot happens upon the guy taking photos and they get into a big fight. Hardison gets back to HQ and is caught by a bunch of tough guys in suits and when Parker breaks into the armored truck carrying the real First David, she finds Jim Sterling waiting for her. He’s about to royally screw over the team. Eliot finally takes down the guy he’s been fighting but it’s really the first time we ever see him have trouble in a fight. But Sterling meets Nate and Sophie on top of the building where he and Nate used to work and explains that he lured them into stealing the first David because he knew Sophie had the second one. She admits it and Sterling gives them an ultimatum; Sophie brings the real statue back to the roof, Nate remains under guard back at HQ and they’ll get Parker back. Sophie takes Nate to her storage unit of stuff and they come up with a slightly new plan. Sophie goes back to the roof as planned but she knows she can’t get off the roof the conventional way so she’s rigged up a harness and zip line like Parker did in the pilot and they dive off the roof. Back at HQ, Eliot shows up and uses some tech Hardison would have to scramble the ear bud frequencies in the suits. It does the trick and the boys get out (along with the painting of Old Nate). I have to say I liked the idea of the call backs to the pilot and that they acknowledge they each have different skill sets and strengths and sometimes they need to rely on that rather than their own skills. Sterling gets to HQ and has enough time to start ordering people to sweep the place for prints and files when all the screens come to life with a 30 second countdown. They actually blew up their offices. And it seems Sterling wasn’t really after Nate. He gets to deliver the real second David to his boss thus depriving Nate of his revenge and he also scattered the Leverage crew. So he is a happy man. Something tells me the team will be back together before long and sticking it to Sterling.

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