Last night was the screening of the season two premiere episode of Leverage in Chicago. It was held at the beautiful and brand new the Wit Hotel, which, by the way, if you ever come to Chicago for a visit, the Wit is the place to stay. Yes, I am shamelessly plugging this hotel, I was that impressed. However, I was there for some Leverage.
I arrived at the hotel about an hour ahead of viewing time and was directed to the third floor viewing room. After ooh-ing and aah-ing over the lobby decor, I went up to check in and was handed a Leverage t-shirt and a welcome, and was directed to the reserved seating in the front row. I grabbed myself a water and some snacks and settled in.
We began with a Leverage trivia contest where the winner had a chance at scoring various TNT merchandise. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t win a thing, and I only got four questions right. Yes, I am a fan of the show and I watched every episode from season one! But it’s been a while, so lighten up on me. There were people there who had just viewed the entire first season that day.
After a few giveaways, the show started. It was fun to see the gang again. Even more fun was how they came together. If you recall, they ended last season with the team breaking up; everyone going their separate ways. The Beantown Bailout Job begins with a guy and his daughter, driving down the road, with a mysterious brief case in the back seat. Meanwhile, Nate is being shown the ropes for a new job. However, after looking around at everyday office routine, he gets cold feet and bails. He starts to head to the bar across the street when the car with the guy and his daughter in it, come careening around the corner, out of control. The car does a very cool flip directly over Nate, in slow motion, of course, and crashes on its rooftop. Nate gets the girl out. A strange looking guy walks up and Nate yells for him to get the girl’s father out of the car, which is on fire. Creepy dude instead, grabs the brief case and runs. Nate saves the father just before the car blows up.
This is just to set up the story. The really fun part comes in when the team meets up at the premiere of The Sound of Music, starring, yes, you guessed it – Sophie! It eventually becomes clear that Sophie invited then all to her premiere, without telling them that the others were going to be there as well. As the show moves on, we see the team is willing to get together again for another job, but Nate wants no part in it. So the team persuades him. The whole setup to get Nate on board is pure comedy, with all the characters playing off each other perfectly. Of course, Nate is drawn into doing “just one more job”, when it becomes a bit personal.
It seemed to me that the actors have settled so much more into their roles, and were having fun with them. That comes across very clearly. The Chicago audience loved it, and Chicagoans are a tough crowd to please. It’s the same, exciting, delightful show, and I find I can’t wait to see what this season holds for us. After the show ended, there were more giveaways, before the Skype Q & A session with Chris Downey and John Rogers, who, by the way, LOVE Chicago. They mentioned it more than once, much to our delight.
Some tid-bits they threw to us:
- we’ll get a 7/8 show split season; 7 shows before breaking, and then the other 8 .
- Gina is pregnant! She’ll still do the show and will be back after baby.
- we will not get Parker’s back story.
- big focus on the Sophie and Eliot.
- Eliot’s dislike of guns will be explained.
- Nate’s search for redemption continues.
- season 2 finale will be bigger than season 1.
By the way, they love to read fan message boards, websites, Facebook, etc. They like to keep the fans involved and having fun. However, they don’t read the fanfic. Sorry!
Did I mention they LOVE Chicago, especially for the steak and beer?
Season one is available on DVD next week, just in time for the season two premiere, which airs Wednesday, July 15, at 8 CT on TNT.