@Monica: Did Bonnano live or die??
He lived, and he now has an even more ... interesting relationship with Nate Ford.
@The Writer: I'm curious about the "cliffhangeriness" of this season's finale. While I don't personally think this year's ending qualifies as a cliffhanger in the truest sense of the term (though apparently Gina disagrees), I got a much stronger sense at the end of this episode that there's more coming to the story than I did at the end of the first season. Was this deliberate? I can't remember the timing, but did you know you were picked up for a third season before you finished shooting this episode? Would/did knowing you had another season coming affect how you wrapped up this one?
We were picked up for a third season while we were shooting the "Hardison and Eliot search Bonanno's house" scene. Very funny phone call, actually. Michael Wright called, asked to be put on speakerphone. Christian and Aldis held the phone while everyone else listened in. Fifty people crammed into that tiny living room.
And no, as stated, knowing we had a third season would not have changed what we wrote.
@Larry Fleming (hi Larry!): How hard was it to get access to that cargo ship?
Not hard at all. it was being re-fitted, so it was just sitting there.
@Macie: Did Nate call himself a thief just to spite Sterling? Or did he just finish being in denial? If the latter is the answer, what made him realize that?
he finished being in denial. I'm not sure when Nate realized it. Maybe when he realied that these people were all he had in the world, and he'd rather be one of them than alone.
@Caitlin: 1.) IS NATE GOING TO BE OKAY?! 2.) Did Eliot know that Nate was shot and just didn't tell the others because he knew if he did, they wouldn't leave Nate? 3.).Was this season aired in the original order that you had intended for the episodes, or did TNT put them out of order again? 4.).Did Sophie hear all of Nate's message to her, or just part of it? Cause personally, I started crying when he said that she was his compass, that was just perfect. 5.).How badly did you want us hating Tara? Cause truthfully, I was hoping Parker was gonna chuck her off the building. 6.) Is Sterling going to become a regular, cause I don't know if my poor heart can take it...
1.) Yes. 2.) No. Hmm ... Maybe. 3.) Original order. The Sophie arc made switching hard. 4.) Whatever means the most to you. 5.) Hey, Tara was just doing it for their own good! 6.) He's busy working on every other show on earth.
@Anonymous: whats with Nate being shot. I mean why? Whats the point? I mean he was giving himself up anyway. He didn't die. I guess it somehow ties into the next season?
When I wrote this, there was no guarantee that we had a third season. Nate Ford dying as he reaizes he's a thief is a perfectly good ending to the last episode of the show.
It still is.
@Ally: What was the plan Nate told the team? That they were going to wipe the slate clean with the FBI files, so there was nothing to connect any of them to any crimes, and then make a break for it?
Plus hand over Kadjic and the Mayor, for bargaining position. But yeah, you got it in one.
@wah_keetcha: because I'm a poor person I just bought Season 1 (yay for Tax returns) and will we ever be seeing 'young Hardison' with the braces and all that again? You had me dying when I saw that deleted scene. Or a young Eliot? Or a young Sophie? We see plenty of Parker, and one Nate, anymore 'young thief' moments?
In S3 you get more Young Parker, Young Nate, and one surprising Young Eliot ...
@maga templeton: did sterling not get word that sophie was 'dead' between the second david job and seeing her on the cargo ship? bc that would explain his not batting a lash when he had the whole team on the ship.
Oh, he heard about it. And didn't believe a word of it. There's actually a bit we cut in "Zanzibar" when he addressed that.
@Anonymous: Ok,what was the stuff you tied Christian's hands with?Since he had to snap them after the first 3 guys he K.O.ed,I'm guessing it wasn't real rope.Was it?
It was a real zip tie, and Christian really snapped it. Turns out, it's more a matter of will and technique than strength.
@alecj: Is it weird i want Parker to choke me a little?
I'm sure there's already a website ...
@Daisy Bookworm: how long before this was filmed did Gina have her baby? I noticed the strategic camera angles hiding her front for most of the episode (for all but one shot, in which her hands are in her pockets and the jacket is cut to billow out) and that just made me curious. She looks great, though, whether this was filmed one week or two months after the baby. Or even before.
Gina was 7 1/2 months pregers with Lil Miss Grifter when we shot this. Combination of strategic camera angles and digital morphing. Although, oddly, Gina didn't look pregnant from behind for the entire time. Carried it all straight forward.
@Cindyd1000: Wonderful way, wonderful episode to end a season about identity. I learned a lot about Sterling's that I didn't really see before and certainly more about Parker. I believed she would kill Tara, so either she's capable of it or, if she was bluffing, she's becoming quite the consummate bluffer.
1.) Sterling and Nate were indeed best friends, and Mark acted the hell out of that moment. 2) Not. Bluffing.
@Nikki: My questions so far are: (1) We assume that Nate will somehow get out of this mess. Will it be by his plan, the team's, or some bargain with Sterling or the feds? If you can say. (2) What happened to the mayor? Did everything effectively break the deal he had with the FBI? (3) Was that the mystery side door in Nate's apartment I saw a fed walk through?
1.) A combo platter. And, sort of, none of that. 2.) Oh, the Mayor's in jail. The Feds decided to take that scalp. 3.) Yes. He'd just come from the fanfic universe where Eliot and Hardison and Parker work for SHADO.
@Maya: Am I right that Nate decided to give himself up in that moment when Sophie disconnected, when he thought she'd never come back to him and he has nothing to live for anymore?
@Anonymous: Just one question: was the Sophie-ex-machina REALLY necessary? Seriously? No other way to resolve the plot? No other way to bring her back in?
Sophie ex-machina? no way. We've set up her role as Nate's compass in the previous seasons, and planted clues along the way in her relationship with Tara. To a great degree, Sophie was fulfilling her destiny with the team there.
@Toni: What did the mayor tell Kadjic the second time he called that made him turn on Nate? As far as the mayor knew, Nate was exactly who he was telling Kadjic he was, right?
"Kadjic, I'm alive, and the son of a bitch in front of you is conning you."
@Larry Fleming: You do a lot of infiltrating the Police and now on this episode, the FBI. I know you are not telling us trade secrets, but do you have a technical advisor connected with either service?
We have a police technical advisor, and get help from a variety of ... unofficial fans. It's amazing what you can find out with a phone call.
@Anonymous: How come Eliot's phone didn't work in the cargo hold but Kadjic's did? Fun Train only goes so far as an excuse.
Kadjic's phone didn't work that well, to tell the truth -- he only just heard the Mayor's voice, but not really what he was saying. We'd planned on looping the Mayor in there, but artistically preferred just playing Paul Blackthorne's reaction.
Man, does David Shore take shit about House's residents performing MRI's?
@Brooke: I got the sense that they allowed the mayor to escape on purpose, to trap him with Kadjic. But did they allow him to call Kadjic on purpose and if so, why? or was that a mistake?
- Who was Eliot trying to call?
- What was the exit strategy sans Sophie? Just Eliot beating the shit out of everyone?
- How much of Nate's telephone confession/plea/love declaration (SO well done btw) did Sophie really hear?
- Is Bennano alive?
1.) No, the Mayor was not supposed to escape. That call was a very nasty complication. 2.) The FBI, to let them know to move in. They had Nevins' phone number, remember? 3.) Exit strategy was to F.O. without Kadjic knowing who set him up. The Mayor's phone call derailed that. 4) Enough. 5.) Yes.
@Ally: Question: what was the impetus for calling this ep The Maltese Falcon Job?
The Maltese Falcon is all about making bad deals with bad people, deciding who to send down for the crime, and ships. It just struck me as a whim, and I went with it.
@Moonette: 1) That ship looked awful big to be trying to leave port on it's own. Wouldn't it need a tug? 2) Can we have Season 2 on Blu-Ray please? :)
1.) Actually, as I understand it, the back of that ship IS the tug, and the front is just the equivalent of a barge. 2.) No, sorry. The DVD's are pretty as is, though.
@Dee: 1. What was the German that Tara used when making her call? 2. Does Nate realize that Sterling's enabling his drinking (and using it against him)led to his team's vulnerability?
1.) "Hi, it's Tara. Yes, it has been a long time." 2.) I wouldn't say it led to his team;s vulnerability. I would say Sterling took advantage of the vulnerable position Nate's drinking had already put the team in. Err, into. Dammit.
@Brian: Perhaps a meta-question: Is there any chance you're going to be able to post the scripts to this or any other episode online? I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to take a look at the blueprints underlying such a complex and wonderful show.
I'd sure like to try. I hope to have a few up this fall.
@Patrick: 2.) So not only do you make it a plot point that there's no reception on the ship but have the Mayor call the arms dealer in the same room where Elliot couldn't get a signal – you actually have a scene where Elliot holds his cell away from him, looking for a signal, and a guard snatches the cell and immediately calls his boss on it! Come on, how's that supposed to work? 3) Why did all the FBI agents surround and target Nate in the final shot? He was cuffed to the rail and laying on the floor, bleeding, and they treat him like he's a terrorist with a hostage.
2.) Not Eliot's cell, a nextel of the guard's. 3.) The FBI showed up to arrest a ship full of arms dealers ... and you keep your goddam gun on a suspect until they're cuffed, face down and frisked. I assure you, real FBI agents would have been equally as diligent.
@scooter5203249: -1.)Does Maggie's remark to Nate in The Zanzibar Marketplace Job - (something like) "I like the man you've become; too bad you don't" - tie in with the Maltese Falcon Job ending? Nate proclaims that he's a thief because he finally likes the man he's become? 2.) What's with the GPS when Parker and Tara are heading to the docks? 3.) How come Nate is the only team member that ever gets shot? First The Bank Job, now The Maltese Falcon Job.
1.) Absolutely. Maggie can see Nate's in denial. She's smarter than he is. 2.) That is a fine thing to have in your car. You should buy a Hyundai with just such a system. 3.) He's Catholic. He subconsciously believes he deserves to get shot.
@ChelseaNH: Also, since legal procedurals have been around for decades, we're pretty well aware that there's never just a single copy of the evidence. Sure, there's a single item with a fingerprint on it (although I doubt Kadjic's case was built on that kind of physical evidence) but there are always lab reports and photographs. So the twist of having the team destroy all of the evidence against Kadjic so that Nate has leverage (heh) with Sterling is -- a stretch. Although it did take me until this morning to realize it.
Actually, you break chain of evidence, you run into some serious problems. Pretty much everything else is computerized -- which is why Parker was busy plugging Hardison into the mainframe, so he could wipe the databases.
@ChelseaNH: But the stuff on the server brings me to my other observation, which is something that has long bugged me about deleting evidence off servers; to wit: backups. (This was also an issue in The Top Hat Job.) I don't know if writers don't know about backups or if they ignore them because it complicates matters in a non-cinematic way, but for that kind of information, you're not going to have a single point of failure or a single point of deletion.
I hate to break it to you guys, but most of the FBI runs off computers from the 90's. Our research is ... depressing.
@Joe Helfrich: Why didn't Nate just give the barkeep he considers family a key and instructions to go collect important items from the apartment if he's out of touch for two weeks? (Yes, I know, because you needed a way for Sterling to nab him, and it helped humanize Nate right before you tried to make us think that he was going to throw the team under the bus. But still.)
I'm pretty sure it never occurred to Nate how much that memento would mean to him, until the prospect of losing it arose. Which you could read to mean Sterling knows Nate better than Nate knows himself.
@medrawt: When Nate is giving himself up, Eliot says something to the effect that the chopper is just x yards away, and "I can take them." While we've just seen Eliot neutralize 13 armed guards (well, we didn't get to see all 13!), that was one/two at a time, in close quarters where he could use surprise. Although the secondary wave of FBI types hasn't shown up yet, they're out in the open, there's multiple law enforcement types with weapons drawn arrayed around our team. I have a hard time imagining that even Eliot, in the universe of this show, could plausibly disable all those people without getting himself or someone else on the team shot. (Maybe if he took a hostage? But that turns into another stream of questions, right?) On the other hand, I could imagine that Eliot could disarm one of the agents and then, if necessary, shoot the rest with minimal risk that anyone on the team gets seriously hurt (of course, he doesn't know that Nate's already hit). But that would be an incredibly dark, crossing-multiple-personal-boundaries sort of thing for Eliot to do. So am I misreading the situation? Or is Eliot meant to actually be skilled/superhuman enough for scenario 1, or desperate/intent enough for scenario 2?
The answer is a spoiler.
@Rayhne: Uhm .... now a question. How many takes did it take to do the elevator sequence? And did Mark just ad-lib the expressions and body language?
We just rolled camera, and Mark ad-libbed all the reactions.
@Raligh: ) THANK you for bringing Sophie back as Annie Croy. (Kroy? Croi? Croix?) That is my very favorite of her personas (probably followed by Olivia Smythe-Patel and Michelle the French Rave Girl). Question: Will Miss Croy make another reappearance? I'd love it if some of the team's roles became characters in their right. Kind of like Sam Axe's ubiquitous Chuck Finley.
I could seriously write Annie Kroy 25 hours a day. And yes, some aliases will recur, although I'd reference the Rockford Jimme Joe Meeker -- which may well be what they're homaging on Burn Notice.
@Graeme McMillan: How much do I need to beg before someone would seriously consider some Leverage comics?
We're looking into it. I have some sweet concept art on my iPad.
@Quinnell: Parker and Tara driving over the bridge. Were they actually driving or was that green screen? I couldn't tell and it's usually pretty easy to spot. And related to that why is it so hard to make 'fake' driving look convincing?
Actually driving. And I think it's hard to fake because driving requires subconsicous micro-corrections you just can't quite do intentionally.
@IMForeman: So, when Leverage returns, will it be "The Prison Job" where they bust Nate out of the clink? They could send Elliot in as a fellow prisoner, as he's the natural suspect for bodyguard and taking down opposition, but it's funnier if it's Hardison. Like he can only hack the Prison from the inside. Taking down a corrupt Warden while they bust him out... "Let's go steal us a Prison."
Remarkably close. We knew what ep 301 was, if we were given the shot.
@24jg13: What happened to the 250,000 in the warehouse? Sterling said they (Nate and Tara) got away with it but they left the warehouse without any case and needed to take the money from Nate's account to finish the con on the ship, so who has the money?
Funny story. Originally, the van went inside the warehouse, and blew up the 250k. Blocking did not allow us to do this. So we needed, on the fly, to rewrite the bit.
@Shelley: What will be the timing for the season three opener? Will it pick up soon after we left everyone or will it be weeks or months?
We tend to play the hiatuses in real time. So about six months later.
@Macie: When the guy asked Sterling who Nate was, and Sterling said "I don't know," did that mean that he doesn't' know who Nate is anymore, or was he trying to let Nate off the hook?
Why did the team look angry when they were walking away? I get why SOPHIE was, but the rest of them, I didn't understand.
1.) The former. 2.) Nate played them His sacrifice was not part of the plan he told them.
@Anonymous: How many takes did Tim and Gina have to do of the kiss? Did they discuss how they would do it with the director or did they just go for it? :P They totally nailed it, this is one of the best TV kisses ever.
With two actors like that, you kind of just get out of their way. Not too many takes. Tim was handcuffed, Gina was pregnant, and the morning was unspeakably hot.
Wow, that wasn't too bad at all. Now go check out the TNT "Behind the Scenes" video for some cool stuff to tide you over until Episodes #301 and #302 on June 20th. They finally fixed their streaming video and I promised I'd sing its praises, considering how much bitching I did on conference calls all last year.