Since TNT announced last week that Leverage was not being picked up for a sixth season, I’m going to combine the final two episodes into one recap. It also has more to do with some horrible planning on my part with delayed watching.
The Toy Job kicks off our an unnamed person trying to get access to files in a research facility of some larger factory–a toy factory it turns out. The intruder is trying to find the details of his company’s new toy for Christmas before it’s released.
The toy, a very cute looking dog, has a few choking hazards and that’s not a good thing right before Christmas.
Trent Hazlit, the new owner of the toy company, is more concerned about profit-margins than quality of the toys. The team sets out, initially, to steal the Safety Report about the doll so that it will have to be pulled from the market.
Nate is also setting his foot down on the extravagance of the team’s Christmas last year, putting a fifty dollar maximum on gifts to prevent last year’s gift to Parker (a very expensive motorcycle).
Parker easily steals the report, but now the whistle blower in the company says that the report has been doctored by a small group who can be bought. Nate’s new plan, with that in mind, is to steal Christmas or maybe it’s just a plan to put another toy into the market that will outshine and outsell Hazlit’s defective toy.
In order to get a new toy into the market, Hardison is looking at second-hand toys and Nate decides on the Whirly Glee Glee, a toy that looks absolutely pointless. Leave it to Parker, however, to not grab the assigned toy and picks up “Baby Joy Rage”, a double-sided doll.
As a toy expo where shelf-space is sold at a premium, Sophie is now the toy rep, trying to get her toy into Joylandia’s prime space.
Now that Sophie’s in place, the team has to work on making Baby Joy Rage the biggest thing since Tickle Me Elmo. Hardison found the most trend-setting neighborhoods in Portland and sets up booths at each Farmer’s Market with a free toy at the start. That’s one way to get a toy saturated. They also work on a tween star, Sally Matteo, to drop one of their dolls into her designer purse.
Sophie’s actors are also working hard to get buzz about the toy, especially one of her more challenging students, Zachary.
Hazlit is now worried about Baby Joy Rage and its influence on his toy’s potential. Parker makes the point that Baby Joy Rage reminded her of a toy she had a kid with her Social Worker, where the point was to identify emotions. No longer is the team going to try and con the kids, but the kids’ parents.
Hardison is working like a Steve Jobs-esque lecturer on the toy and Eliot is going to work on Moms around town. Nate starts to up on the psychology of toys and Christmas, much to Parker’s dismay.
Hardison is trying to get the Blogger Mom’s to pick up the toy, and now Eliot’s found one in Portland. Eliot puts on his best show of being a tough, but fair Dad’s around these Moms, which seems to work for everyone else. It’s a touching story of being alone and needing to communicate.
Eliot’s blogger mom plan worked and now the toy is well-saturated. Sophie’s trying to work on product placement just before Hazlit’s toy’s launch date. Hazlit’s response to Sophie’s push is to suggest that Barton from the Toy Expo is a chad, trying to blackmail everyone into doing what he wants.
How does Nate know how much random facts about Christmas that make me want to skip the holiday all together?
Hazlit wants to meet the owner of Baby Feels-A-Lot’s parent company, and to get that, Sophie wants to be a Vice President at Hazlit’s company after the meeting.
Parker clears out a small toy company to get Nate a place to meet with Hazlit. Nate suggests that the toy was a tool for his son, Nestor, before Nestor went off to prison. Nate looking at child development and child psychology is rather scary. Nate’s projecting Hazlit’s issues in this meeting, refusing to sell the company.
Now there’s a safety study that Hazlit wants to put out on Baby Feels-A-Lot, on his company dime. Expedited and all. Oh, there was no other reason for Hazlit’s safety study so that he could get the doll’s specs so that he can undersell Baby Feels-A-Lot at forty percent lower price.
Hazlit expects that this press conference is going to be a good thing, but it turns out that the information he requested went to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and was a report on the doll Hazlit was about to release. Burned by Leverage once again!
Sophie’s line about being married is turned around to be married to Nate’s slightly crazed toy maker. Double burn!
Our whistle-blower now has a job with the Consumer Product Safety Board, which is a wonderful present at Christmas.
Sophie, in the wake of the con, suggests that the team give each other some trust for the holidays. A real story about each of them. Nate goes first and shares how he got a trumpet for Christmas one year from his Dad. That same trumpet he gave to Sam, his dead son, on his eighth birthday. Sam’s first lesson was supposed to be the day that Sam went to his first lesson but didn’t. That one instrument is all Nate has left of his childhood and that’s just a little sad, even at Christmas.
Now that we’ve had a bit of Christmas cheer, here we go into the series finale of Leverage. It starts with Nate talking to a woman from his past about trying to get a drug for cancer that has hit a child. This feels like an episode we’ve done before, but I suppose that’s what we’ll get for the finale.
The team is setting out to steal the drug details for Nate’s son’s pediatrician, and that building that those files are in also house the Federal Government’s top secret files. Eliot and Parker are in the lobby of the building which has some really elaborate security measures (no phones, com access is shaky) and it turns out that the building using the Steranko (a system that they nearly beat in a previous episode).
Across from Highpoint Tower, with its massive security system, is the Dolan Theatre, where Sophie’s eyes light up at the possibility.
Nate has Parker up on the roof of the Dolan as they each plan how to get her onto the roof of HIghpoint. Parker’s concerned that Nate’s been including her more and more in the planning and the cons, but Nate assures her that it’s because he trusts her judgement.
Sophie has a happy moment explaining that she doesn’t miss acting as she directs the Scottish Play, but that’s all cut off by Nate looking like death and a mysterious woman saying that his team is dead.
For a cold open, I’m already confused and a bit sad, so I hope that I’m not like this the rest of the episode. At least not without wanting to do something to Downey and Rogers for this finale.
The woman, Ellen Casey, tells Nate that he’s in a hospital room and that he’s suffered a head injury. She’s trying to make sense of how he got to the hospital, and so Nate flashes back to the rest of the con. Sophie’s freaking out about having to play Lady MacBeth just as Parker shoots herself across the building. While Parker zips over, Hardison and Eliot have one of the show’s first callbacks to the pilot about her being twenty pounds of crazy in a five pound bag. Sophie’s having a horrible performance, it seems, as Parker sets off the security breach protocol. Nate, as the Steranko system manager, has the security turned off. Hardison, Eliot and then Parker, all go up to the floor in question to fix the problem.
The police officer’s radio still works, which puts a small wrench into the team’s plan, but that also means that there’s at least one more fight of Eliot versus a few more men. The police officer finds Parker and Hardison as they try to scale down the elevator shaft, and Parker got shot and Hardison now has a broken leg from the fall. At this point, I’m not okay with this turn of events. My team is not supposed to die in the finale. They just aren’t. Then Eliot gets shot too for good measure and we’re down three members with some nasty injuries.
None of that helps the chase that Nate’s leading Lucile 3.0 on, especially when they need to cross the bridge that has police presence blocking it. But, Nate, crazy as always, takes the van on the bridge as it’s opening to let a boat pass, but can’t make it across. (I’d have given good money to see that jump though.)
It turns out in the hospital room that everyone except Nate died in the van. Show, you had better fix this. But it turns out that Casey works for Interpol and now I’m curious about a number of other things. Like, when is Sterling going to show up and that Nate’s been held in the Highpoint Tower, not a hospital.
Casey follows up with the investigation, and discovers that most of the work was done by the team. There’s a water balloon piece on the roof, and the theatre’s manager says that the matinee was horrible but that the night is shaping up better. There’s something I’m missing right now in this episode, but I don’t know what it is. Or why is Casey thinking that Nate’s lying about how the team died.
Casey looks and discovered that the team had gone in through the tunnels that exist between the Dolan Theatre and Highpoint. So, the roof wasn’t the way into the heist, but the basement?
This is the point where Casey lays out her theory, which involves a water balloon to the roof as bait while Parker goes in through the elevator, and the case happens as Nate retold earlier. Nate’s having a meltdown about being accused of lying, at which point Casey also knows that Nate knows he’s not in a hospital. Nate explains all of the reasons why: no noise, no cell phones and no badge on her part.
Somehow, I’m still not sure, Parker got onto the 20th floor, and she got a file, but not for an active case. Sterling shows up, with scotch, and Nate knows that Jim has a story to tell in order for this all to make sense. It all starts and ends with Black Book.
Black Book, it turns out, is the book that retells of the massive fraud that lead to the 2008 financial collapse. One-third of the world’s wealth disappeared that day in 2008, and Interpol and all the other agencies chose not to investigate or prosecute. But all of those files are Black Book, and for a team like Leverage, oh man that is like the list of all the big bads to go after.
Portland, it turns out, is where the server is that Black Book might be in for some short amount of time.
How did we go from four bodies to three? What happened to Sophie?
So now, Parker’s missing and never got the file, but Sterling is going to have everyone else look around? Sterling, of course, has access to the server room and now there’s a room full of Interpol agents looking for her. Where’s Parker? Not in there, that’s for sure. (Or was she? I feel like there’s something I’m missing again.)
In the basement of the building, Sterling sees Hardison’s body.
Sterling shoots at Hardison’s body, and again, I’m confused, but it wasn’t Hardison. Casey talked to a few people on phone all day and also Sterling wants to know where the van driver’s are.
Nate and Hardison both knew that the move to Portland was for Black Book. Hardison can’t get past the biometric encryption, and Sophie didn’t actually go on in the matinee. Sophie worked the phones (all of them) and Nate was the cop from PPD who care of setting up. Parker is one detective Sophie sent (as Detective Tennant) as it turns out that Sophie was the evening Lady MacBeth, doing a great job, and that with all the agents in the room earlier, the drive with Black Book is now gone. Eliot, Hardison and Parker were part of the Interpol team, and they happened to get the drive during the first sweep.
Sterling’s the Trojan Horse of the whole operation, and the way out for the team wasn’t the in as Casey expected. Eliot, Hardison and Parker got out through the elevator and into the background actors for the Scottish Play at the end of the evening show.
Sophie helped Nate learn how to act, and now Sterling wants to send Nate to jail but without telling the rich and powerful that Nate has the list. Those that broke the world should pay for it, and I’m all for letting Jim fill that one request. Just so that whoever gets those men and women has them all at a disadvantage.
Sterling put on a great show and it seems he figured it out. His note tells Nate that they’re even and that Sophie should drive carefully.
So the team isn’t all dead (thank the Lords of Kobol) and it seems we’ll get some happily ever after now.
“Justice is always easy,” says Sterling, and I think that sums up all of Leverage for me.
With the Black Book, Nate says that he’s out of the con if anyone is going to take on those men and women, just before he proposes to Sophie (as Lara). Sophie says yes, and if I really cared about those two, I’d be happy right now. But they were never my thing.
Instead, I have my favorite three, Eliot, Hardison and Parker, with the help of all the Dark Net taking on the Black Book. Eliot’s going to still be the muscle and will protect Hardison and Parker until the end.
One last time, they five of them from an overhead shot, and now I think I’ll start to cry at how poetic this ending is.
Parker’s okay with Sophie and Nate going and that means that everything might just be all right for the remaining three.
To end the show, we see a family in grieve, with Parker in a chair, just as Nate was in the pilot, providing reassurance that she, Eliot and Hardison provide Leverage.
I’ll just sit here and imagine all of the other cons that Eliot, Hardison and Parker will run and how many more people they will avenge for the evils of those in the Black Book.