Sunday, June 27, 2010

LEVERAGE 303 & 304 Question Post

Post away in the Comments.

579 comments:

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Jeff said...

Steranko security? Brilliant. Whose idea was that?

Emily said...

I loved that Parker got up and followed Hardison out at the end of 3x04. Will we be getting more, or more intense, Parker/Hardison moments in the future?

CtRokJ said...

Did Aldis really do the solo part in the second episode?

WONDERFUL job directing 3x03.

David Hunt said...

Arrrgh! My DVR cut off the last five minutes of each episode!!!. Guess I'm staying up while TNT replays it...

Bev Zimmerman said...

What happened to Christian Kane's nose - he didn't duck, did he?

Tina said...

No questions, just want to say what a fantastic job for your first time directing an episode. KUDOS!!! Hope there will be more that you direct in the future!!

David Hunt said...

I meant to say five to ten seconds. Still, I have to go back and see what I missed.

Armada_Sloane said...

Amazing flippin episodes. Great job directing too, btw. But wat was up with CK's nose in Inside Job?

M.A.Peel said...

LOVE the homage to Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956, timing the concert to cover the explosion, as he timed the cymbal crash of the symphony at the Royal Albert Hall to cover the assassin's bullet. The homage also had no dialogue over the action as the orchestra played, just like Hitch.

Also love the nod to The Avengers in "Inside Job." Sophie as "M.A." Peel (great minds) and Hardison as Jonathon Steed. Commentary of sorts that no one said, hey, you guys have the same name as the Avengers?

And Archie Leach? Nice to see Cary Grant isn't forgotten either. But he seemed more reminiscent of Fred Astaire in the tv It Takes a Thief.

ChelseaNH said...

I'm surprised Parker's bed wasn't suspended from the ceiling. Glad to see the bunny again. And now we know what the beefy Sailor Moon was all about. And what Parker was doing instead of high school.

Nice to see Ms. "Perception Management" again. And look, Nate is still a bastard. Is the Scheherazade solo really so difficult? I suppose holding the tone on the high, sustained notes might be the tricky part. However, I find the whole "pause while enraptured by the pretty music" close-ups heavy-handed. It's a peeve, but I don't often buy scenes of musical appreciation, especially with non-musical characters.

The episodes don't have the old, familiar rhythm to them. Not a problem so much as a difference. Intentional, I think, given the way the stories are structured. But then the team's a little off-balance this season, what with being on the wrong side of blackmail for a change.

Jocelyn said...

Great episodes. Wonderful directing John on 303.

About 303, were "Sophie" and Hardison's grifter characters a nod to the Avengers? (Not the Marvel ones of course)

I know someone brought this up already but, Kane's breathe right strip looking thing....what was up with that?

One more thing about Kane, the scene when Parker and Eliot finally get into the lab and Eliot sort of sarcastically applauds Parker was that scripted or was that Kane ad libing a reaction?

For 304, the scene with Eliot and the victim at the end, for a moment I thought Eliot was trying to get some tail. Does that make me insensitive? But great that we saw that Eliot isn't all fists of fury.

Loved the moment when they all stop and are listening to Hardison from inside the vault

Caitlin said...

Is there any reason in particular as to why Hardison wants to lead a group of his own? Or is he just trying to plan ahead in case one of these times the team splits up and they stay split up.

I'm not even going to ask WHAT Sophie's real name is, but I will dare to ask you WHEN we will finally find out. Seriously, you guys are killing me with this one.

Oh, and is there any chance whatsoever we can see Archie Leech make a reappearance at some point? I absolutely fell in love with Richard Chamberlain in 3x03.

P.S. Who's idea was the guy in the Sailor Moon costume? I loved it, that show was my first fandom.

Anonymous said...

Awesomeness on both episodes. Love how different they were, too -Inside Job was so fast paced and action-y and Scheherazade was so intruiging and sly, with the lovely music and the story behind it and the way it played into the plot, with Nate hypnotizing Hardison and the Italian switching things up mid-plan.

Very nice job on directing the Inside Job - its easy to screw up action, and you sir, did not screw it up.

Nate and Sophie were hot in the kitchen and then back to angst at the end of the second ep. Feels like old times, but not in a bad way. And Sophie was particularly awesome in her scenes in the Inside Job. It's so great to see her grifting

Beth and Aldis both did great in their eps. Nice contrast between her relationship with Archie and the Leverage crew.

Question: I know you've said you guys see a pupil-mentor relationship between Hardison and Nate and that Nate pushes Hardison because he sees potential. Saw a little of that in the Juror No. 6 Job. Was Nate's utter bastardness with the smack down reveal to Hardison part of Nate's trying to push Hardison or does he really believe that Hardison doesn't have the stuff to run his own crew? Will we see some development of the pupil-mentor thing between them this season?

Also: Is Tim Hutton doubling as a member of the casting staff? Seems like a ton of guest stars have had ties to him, from Kari Matchett, to Saul Rubineck, Peter Riegert and now Giancarlo Esposito. I am not complaining one bit, because all those guys have been really stellar additions. Giancarlo Esposito is so effortlessly awesome. Does the fact that they've worked with Tim before play into their casting in any way?

Ellise said...

Super Skrull? Seriously.
It's not like I didn't love you guys enough already. Leverage is one of the shows that inspires me to keep writing.

Nicole said...

Tonight's episodes were utterly fabulous. You guys have kept the pace going brilliantly so far. The comic book references... yes. Just yes. Heh. I was so pleased to see the way Parker's progressed. The end of Inside Job starting from when she gets to the windows was everything I wanted it to be. And the amazing 4th act of 3.04 was everything you promised. Pass on our adoration to the people not on twitter :D

Ok, so questions... 3.03 - 1) Eliot's nose was busted up during Inside Job - was I completely oblivious to an opening plot point, or did Kane have another "fucking Oklahoma" moment? Or is this one of those the filming/airing order was knocked around a little sort of things? 2) Was the "What's sexting?" line inspired by a real life moment or just your writer's being damn good at what they do?

For 3.04 - 3) I know Aldis actually plays violin - did he play for the recording used in the episode, or was that the music department? 4) Does Hardison react so badly to Nate hypnotizing him because of the s2 finale? Everyone seemed to find Sophie's programming funny... or is it the same inherent issue of control through obfuscation?

jarodrussell said...

No questions now, but I definitely want to say kudos on the shows. 3x03 particularly was a joy to watch. I was riveted to the TV for the whole hour.

Heather said...

Why was Eliot wearing a bandage on his nose? Did Chris get hurt again?

Congratulations on your directorial debut. Amazing episode.

How much of the solo did Aldis actually play?

Thanks for letting us ask questions man.

Lady Starhawk

Stefan Jones said...

AAAAGH! Why do I keep thinking the show runs on Tuesdays?

OK, I'm having my DVR capture the second showings.

I have a meta-question:

Why is TNT running double episodes? Why not spread them out so repeat season comes later in the summer?

briddie said...

Oh, wow, so many layers of awesomesauce, I don't know where to begin. I especially loved that you had Hardison actually playing the solo instead of doing some geek microphone thing. I totally missed the similarity to The Man Who Knew Too Much, and I just saw that yesterday. Was the office building really there, or CGI? And was that det cord again?

One thing I really want to know is if there will come a time when the mark does some sort of double-take about the names. Surely (yeah, I know) sooner or later one of them will be smart enough to catch on.

JP said...

Was Archie Leach a shoutout to A Fish Called Wanda?

Bill Reed said...

I figure it for a Cary Grant/To Catch a Thief reference.

Bill said...

First of all, thanks to the entire Leverage crew for curing my Lost withdrawals.

Now, Sophie's real name ended with an A (or B or C). I know you won't say but can I guess it'll be... Sophia?

Ok, now some real questions:

1) What did Elliot do that makes him a criminal? I get the idea that he's a hitter and a retrieval expert, but it seems like most of what he did was retrieving things that were stolen in the first place. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy that Nate would have ever chased. Speaking of which, will we ever get to see more of Nate as an insurance agent, maybe seeing how he met the rest of team instead of just Sophie?

2) I just caught the Pilot again during the week. Will we ever Saul Rubinek return? Or maybe another visit to Chicago? (Confession: I just moved to Chicago and I wanna watch you film an episode)

Denita said...

I find the whole "pause while enraptured by the pretty music" close-ups heavy-handed. It's a peeve, but I don't often buy scenes of musical appreciation, especially with non-musical characters.

I loved that scene-loved the expressions on each character's face; it was a wonderful scene.

Aud Arrt said...

No question, just delighted by "(bubbly) Great! That's awesome! (growling) Let's go!" from Kane in the vault.

Rick said...

Well done, Rogers! My "question" is from 3:03, and relates to the passcode to Parker's place.

Since it is supposed to be Sophie's real name, and the only thing we're able to see is the last two button presses (2, and then # for code confirmation), is it safe to assume Sophie's real name ends with an A, B or C?

deanangst said...

Loved the eps!
The fights were amazing the slides awesome. "Can ya dog do that."
But I have to say that Eliot's reaction then the security guy grabbed and threw Parker. That was awesome, really showed that he worries and cares for his team mates.I loved all the Parker Eliot moments. Lots of Big Brother, little sister vibes happenin'.
Eliot's speachless reaction to Archie's comment of being Parkers father..priceless.

Questions: We'll we get to see the others homes now that we've seen Parkers? Somehow I imaging Eliot having an old stereo system with a turn table and a ton of old albums. I think he's be the type to prefer the warm sound of a needle on vinyl over a cd or mp3.

Eliot's refusal to repel with Parker...is it maybe a fear of Eliot's?

Okay I know the eps are airing out of order somewhat but the bandage on Eliot's nose looks like he was popped while wearing glasses soooo.. ledger or orange box?

Okay last but not least how cool was it for you to get to direct your first ep? You did an amazing job by the way. Did you find youself better able to give direction because you understood what went on in the conception of the script? Or was it harder if you felt that you needed to make a change due to timing or whatnot?

Siobhan said...

303 (Inside Job) - Lots of stuff going on in this Ep. Great!! Questions:
1) Um. How did Eliot just commandeer a window-washing lift, without uniform/credentials/support from below?
2) How did he just magically show up where Parker needed him in this fairly impenetrable building?
3) How'd the whole team wind out on the window-washing platform for an awesome TNT-Friendly PR Photo-OP. Not complaining. Just wondering if you feel you need to bother explaining that one :).

Rick said...

And, one last question. We know the Hyundai Genesis is a fine automobile. After the last few episodes, though, I'm starting to wonder if the Mercedes Benz is also a fine automobile. New sponsor?

Jennifer said...

Was the camera Parker was using in 304 Beth's own.

Coren said...

Not only would it end in an ab or c, but it's six letters long (I think?). Having it be Sophia, which of course Sophie is short for, would make me laugh to no end.

Michael said...

Love the show and tonight's episodes only helped further that.

I'm just curious if the team ever gets concerned about some of the higher-profile appearances they tend to make while on cons.

Examples from this week: Hardison plays for a hall-load of rich folks (presumably for a whole country) and Nate shows his face to a reporter with camera crew.

Is there any concern from the team of retribution or do they just assume all will go well? I feel like that second option is a bit silly, what with Sterling always winning and all...

Oh, dumber line-delivery-based question: was the "fugitive who is not a fugitive" like from 303 a reference to Nate or is there another un-fugitive for the team to worry about?

You and the rest of the fine folks at Leverage keep on being awesome. Thanks!

Claire said...

Love that Elliot flips his hair at the end of 3.03. Made me laugh since it came right after Sophie's.

What's up with the earbuds in 3.03? I get that it's inconvenient structurally to have the team turn them on and off, but particularly in this ep., are we really supposed to assume that Parker isn't overhearing all of Nate & Archie's arguments? As well as the rest of the team? Since you don't show reaction shots, I guess that's the intent but the earbud talk and she's gonna get killed moments were right on top of each other.

In 3.04, how did Sophie end up in the vault with the team at the end?

Scott said...

It's been a while since I've seen The Miracle Job, but did Sophie reprise her character from that ep for The Scheherazade Job? That Kiwi accent is awfully familiar.

ZacharyPruckowski said...

What happened to Christian Kane's nose - he didn't duck, did he?


Normal people walk into a bar with no men in it and figure out that it's a lesbian joint. Elliot Spencer walks into a bar with no men in it and figures he hit the jackpot.


For 304, the scene with Eliot and the victim at the end, for a moment I thought Eliot was trying to get some tail. Does that make me insensitive?


To be honest, that sort of bugged me. "Here's $3 million for you and your charity, and I just saved your life. What are you up to Friday night?" seems kinda wrong to me. Also, what happened to not crapping where you eat? I sort of figured an ex-client would be off-limits.



One thing I kind of odd about 304 is that the CIA list felt kinda unnecessary - Nate also had the smuggled diamonds to show the brother right there, so I'm not really convinced he had to bluff them out with the envelope. Or is there just no way to tell the smuggled diamonds from legit ones?

Anonymous said...

Who could run their own crew?

Anonymous said...

Who could run their own crew?

Kady said...

When Nate gives Archie the earbud he says "make sure you give that back" (or something to that effect)...but we don't see Archie give it back. Was this intentional or am I grasping or did I miss it?

tgvcomic said...

"Junior High... And they thought Jackie Tulles' report card was safe." ... It seems almost a throwaway line, but might it have been her own report card she was stealing? Mightn't that possibly be Parker's name before becoming Parker?

Oh, and Elliot hitting that guard while he was going down was the most brutal move I've seen him do.

Sean said...

SPOILER WARNING:



Episode 304 had the perfect symmetry: Nate puts Hardison into a trance to unknowingly access skills that caused Hardison to unknowingly put the team into a trance that almost got them caught. Brilliant piece of writing there.

I also love Ford-Hardison mentor/pupil vibe. A bit of a reminder of Mickey/Danny perhaps? Without the ruthlessly ambitious undertone of the Hustle pair? Hmmm....?

Anonymous said...

Since everyone's speculating on Sophie's name from the keypad, I'm going to throw in my lot and guess it's Sandra based on the 7 key and the 2 key.

Livlife said...

Wow, you gotta be fast to get your questions in here! Kudos, Mr. Rogers, I was suitably impressed at your directorial debut. My favorite moment came as the team was leaving Parker's place and the lights were systematically turning off. The team was walking out (fanned as they so often are shown) and we see only the silhouettes and the empty space where Parker should have been. Incredible.

I guess I can skip my questions about the names in 3.03 and Christian's nose and Aldis playing or not in 3.04.

I'll say that the pace and feel of your episode felt different. More...aggressive, maybe? Could be that it immediately jumped into the action, rather than the slow setup of a mark, but it was great. It started out at a higher pace and held it until the very end. Deliberate?

Also, in 3.03, it seemed like there were lots of definitions of what everyone does. "I'm a grifter, this is what I do." "This is what WE do" and many variations.

Is that normal set up for anyone jumping in from this point? Or just random dialog that happened to collide in my brain? Or are you ramping up to something...?

In 3.03, Christian made several references to not being able to pull it off and really not wanting to work in broad daylight. Since it was obvious they weren't abandoning Parker until nightfall, what was the point? Trying to make him the voice of reason? Show his lack of faith in Nate's leadership? It seemed...out of place.

What was the bit with the envelope on 3.04? I didn't really get that. (Kind of figuring the other "grifters" will get me on that one...letting you off the hook, Rogers. )

Otherwise, just waiting to see responses to all the other questions as well.

Awesomeness as usual. And thanks as always.

Siobhan said...

304 "Sheherezade Job" - Best title so far, by the way. Very sexy.

OK, on to questions:

1) Why was Eliot pretend-walking in the fake news feed, instead of standing still. He still looked like he was fake walking in the on-air shot because the background mob were not moving! That shot just didn't work.

2) And, since we're on Eliot, why is it that 98% of his facial expressions are scowls? Whereas the rest of the cast expresses a full range of emotions. I know he's trying to establish an angry character but geez, he's just getting really 1-dimensionally BORING. We've seen glimpses of lots of other characters in him. Please let them out. Is the perpetual sulleness a directive to him, or the actor's personal choice for the character?

3)Loved the timing of the elements of the heist to the orchestral arrangements. Beautiful symmetry. SO not something you see on TV every day. Lovely. No question. Just sending the love your way.

4) Was that really Aldis playing the violin solo??? It was beautiful, either way.

5) Why Eliot in the client wrap-up? I dunno. It seemed really forced/fake. Leave it to Nate, please.

Anonymous Spy said...

I just recently got into this show, since last week when S3 premiered, so all I have to say is.... Love the "Sailor Moon/Bubba" reference! Haha... ^o^ I never heard of this "Sailor Bubba" before looking up this reference online, but the Sailor reference, that I get completely. Good job! (Can I request a Detective Conan refer---just kidding!)

Tony said...

Why was the evacuation scene cut? You guys took out my one spoken line! :(

- the extra who was talking with Rushing at the end of the evacuation scene

Deborah said...

First off, great work tonight on 303! It was fun remembering the 5 saying they were filming the 3rd episode during ConCon and now seeing episode 303.
On to the questions...

Are you going to be directing any other episodes?

What happened to Chris' nose in 303 with the band-aid?

Whose idea was the slide kick that Eliot did to take out the guard? That was awesome.


About Hardison wanting to form his own team, is this something that will be brought up again in future episodes? Does Hardison want to form his own team because of his frustration at Nate for how he left the team at the end of the 2nd season finale?

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!

Deborah said...

Another question I forgot to ask earlier, in the "Sailor Moon" flashback...was that the "Super Happy Power Go" music playing in the background?

Ruben said...

Lovely episodes for sure on this one! Particularly loved the musical tempo in Sheherezade Job.

Still having fun playing "spot the Portland landmark" when watching. However, you guys are getting good at cutting in Boston exteriors. Pretty seamless even when I know we don't have buildings that tall.

Also, a question: did you or any of the other writers work on the Leverage RPG? After your work on the Manual of the Planes it seems like you'd be a shoe in for that RPG as well.

Also, I take a stab at answering some questions myself!

@Stefan Jones
>> Why is TNT running double episodes? Why not spread them out so repeat season comes later in the summer?

Answered in the last roundup of questions. They're doing it to solidify the Sunday night slot. They're going back to single episodes in July.

@ Siobhan
>> 1) Um. How did Eliot just commandeer a window-washing lift, without uniform/credentials/support from below?
>> 2) How did he just magically show up where Parker needed him in this fairly impenetrable building?
>> 3) How'd the whole team wind out on the window-washing platform for an awesome TNT-Friendly PR Photo-OP. Not complaining. Just wondering if you feel you need to bother explaining that one :).

1. Helps if you think of it like a roleplaying game. Eliot's player simply tossed a FATE point to the GM and declared "there's a handy window washing platform here."
2. I'm betting that Eliot's character sheet has a "good timing" style aspect on it. He tagged that.
3. Because it's cool. *grin*

I.E., I have a feeling that some of these just happened due to making good television. And a lot of times good T.V. shows also work like good RPGs. I don't think it's a cooincidence that John does well with both.

@Claire
>> In 3.04, how did Sophie end up in the vault with the team at the end?
I believe that she followed the president and the mark into the room.

Rebecca said...

No questions here, they've already been covered, so no need for an extra comment from you. Just wanted to echo everyone's opinion on the awesomeness of the first four eps. And the one you directed is my favorite of the bunch. Big pats on the back for you there, and fabulous job to everyone on the show. I'm seriously amazed at the high level of quality you all manage to maintain. It just doesn't seem possible.

tgvcomic said...

It's always after I hit submit that I think of something else.

1.) You finally get Dean's wife in for an episode (doing a spectacular evil speech of evil) and it's the episode you direct! Did Dean not want to direct her?
2.) Do you think Parker is a savant of some sort? I mean, she has minimal social skills, lives a lean existence from the look of her home/lair, yet is brilliant when it comes to planning these things. As Sophie said, the plan was as clean as Nate's.
3.) Loved all the little details of her lair from Bunny, to the cereal boxes, to all the spoons (which didn't make sense until the sundae flashback)

Anonymous said...

John - First & foremost, you really didn’t have anything to worry about as far as your directorial capabilities, 303 was quite impressive & utterly rocked! Great shout out to ‘Avengers’ characters’ (Emma) Peel & (John) Steed with Sophie & Hardison’s names. Also, LOVED Parker’s “apartment” with her bunny on the bed!! I too, absolutely loved the shot of the team departing Parker’s place.
Now, the questions: 1) Was Archie Leach used because it was Cary Grant’s real name & he played the lead in “To Catch a Thief” or did you choose the name “Archie” for Parker’s only “father figure” in her past because Tim Hutton, her current “father figure,” played an “Archie” (Goodwin) in Nero Wolfe?; 2) Steranko Security System – no one beats it - nod to the genius of Jim Steranko, graphic artist/comic book writer-artist-historian?; 3) In 304, was Eliot’s reporter name, Guy Hamilton, a nod to Goldfinger’s director?

FYI - Only because I’m nearsighted: Nearsightedness makes DISTANT objects blurred, therefore if Eliot was nearsighted he would NOT need glasses for reading or looking at something closely.

To deanangst: If I'm not mistaken, the only team member's apartment we haven't seen is Eliots. Sophie's was in Snow Job & Hardison's was in Nigerian Job.

Dawn/StL-MO

Anonymous said...

No one else is giving geek points for the Head of Security in 3.03 being named Voorhees?

'Cause that tickled me way more than the Avengers reference.

Kris said...

@Dawn - Hardison's apartment in the pilot would've been in Chicago, wouldn't it? I think they were staying in a hotel in the Snow Job. And Sophie's Boston apartment got blown up in Two Live Crew.

--
303 may honestly be in my top 5 favorite episodes of the Leverage oeuvre to date. I loved the juxtaposition of Parker's giant fluffy bed with the starkly utilitarian feel of everything else in there. Also the fact that she has a balance beam and rings. And that she apparently bought a whole warehouse.

Add me to the chorus who thought that Eliot's slide kick was one of the coolest things ever.

And Dr. Hannity's Evil Speech of Evil was one of the best-delivered ever, I think. So self-assured, so... I almost want to use the word grand, given the scope of the plan. It almost had a science fiction feel (it was a lot better and more properly supervillainous than Luthor reviving his "real estate" scheme in Superman Returns, much as I liked that movie), but it didn't feel ridiculous or un-Leverage-y.

The mildly jaunty musical cue at the end of 304 threw me a bit, especially once Parker walked out (which was great) and Sophie gave Nate that glare. Was there an intention to lighten the whole "damn, Nate's kind of a bastard" thing and the general heaviness of that moment for Hardison? Or am I misreading the character beat?

Calla said...

Thank you for these exciting, interesting, compelling episodes!

I really liked how differently 303 started - Parker having gone off on her own, con-in-progress that goes pear-shaped. I thought the bandage on Eliot's nose added to that, because they clearly all stopped doing what they had been doing in order to go help Parker.

Richard Chamberlain was an excellent guest-star. I liked that he had ties to both Parker and Nate (and that Eliot even recongize him by reputation).

I thought this was a very exciting episode - trying to figure out, on the fly, how to get them all out of the building safely. And I really liked how you paired them differently than usual - We don't see Hardison and Sophie as a team much, nor Eliot and Parker - I like seeing the different dymanics that brings to the scenes.

One thing, about Eliot getting INTO the building - did he smash the window? Or did he have to find a quieter way so their escape route wouldn't be discovered before they needed it again?

The only think I wasn't happy about was Richard Chamberlain clobbering the guy Eliot was fighting. Eliot gets to do so little, and yet every is alway encrouching on his territory - first Tara did it, then Parker did it, now Chamberlain's doing it. It just seems a bit disrespectful of Eliot's skills.

As for 304, I don't think it flowed as nicely as 303 - just a feeling I have. Two things that absolutely bothered me was how the fight scene down by the vault was edited - it was so choppy and, on top of that, intersperced with cutaways to the concert - it was very disconcerting and I don't think that film style does any kind of justice to what Christian Kane is capable of bringing to the table.

The other thing that bothers me is the Italian - maybe it's just me, but I'm having a really difficult time understanding her. Can you just have her speak straight up Italian and then give us subtitles? I'm sure I'm missing out on the majority of what she's trying to tell Nate.

But I loved the scene when they were all in the vault listening to Hardison. I think they knew they needed to get out of there, but they still took a moment to appreciate their team member's innate talent and that he'd overcome his trepidation to preform. I don't think it was love of music that kept them there - it was love for Hardison and how the couldn't not just take a moment to appreciate this previously hidden, extraordinary, yet socially-accepted talent.

Finally, I have to ask: after Sophie conned the team in The First David Job, and that really pissed of Eliot ("You don't con your own team!"), why would Sophie risk playing Eliot with the tea pouring incident in ep 0302 and why would Nate risk playing Hardison in ep 304 with the hypnotism?

Every time they seem to take some steps closer to trusting one another, something comes along to push them back. Is that the message - that they can't and shouldn't be able to trust their team 100% and when they believe they might could, they must be reminded? Or are you basically just saying that people in families are often assholes to each other, but because they're family you forgive them and you love them and you give them an infinite number of second changes?

I guess I'd like to see each member's trust issues explored more - they all have them to some degree or another.

Katie said...

Love the bits of the eps I was able to watch, I was at work and not technically supposed to be watching TV, the things I do for your show :) My questions: Does Gina get to pick her accents for characters that aren't specifically from somewhere (ie:Kitty in The Two-Horse Job had to be southern, yet both of her publicist covers have been Kiwi) is that the writers or a personal choice? And what were the best and worst things about directing your first episode? Why was it presented as such a kinda shocker for Parker to go back in for the virus-thingy (again, at work and couldn't watch)? She's found clients and asked for help for people in distress before, it seemed to be a deliberate point in the show so I was confused. Was it mostly to prove to Archie how much she'd grown as a person? Thanks bunches!

Kris said...

@Calla
I agree about wanting to see the team's trust issues explored, but not for the reasons you give. The First David Job and the tea incident were waaaay different in scale and stakes. In The First David Job, Sophie almost got the team arrested, and she was withholding major con-related information, namely her true objective. The tea thing was just friendly screwing around.

And Nate hypnotized Hardison for the sake of the con. Unlike what Sophie did in First David (and what Nate did in The Maltese Falcon Job, for that matter), it held no actual risk for the team; quite the opposite. Which isn't to say that it wasn't a dick move, of course...

KJG said...

I'm definitely one of those people pushing for Parker and Hardison but I'm enjoying seeing it slowly pan out. It's not a situation where you want to jump the shark. Having rewatched the first 2 seasons before the start of season 3, I do wish they had a LITTLE more going on with each other but I'll take what I can get. It's very evident they have a connection that she is finally warming up to, I just hope something eventually comes out of it.

As for Sophie's real name, kind of dangerous territory, eh? It's a situation where you are damned if you do, damned if you don't. When (if ever) it's revealed, people will either love that it was finally said or disappointed that it didn't live up to the hype. Either way, it's a fun teaser.

Episode 303 was incredibly fun and a fantastic directorial debut. 304 was just as good but I think after the hype of the previous one, people seemed disappointed with the pace. I thought both shows were very well done and I continue to be entertained each week. Thanks and well done!

Kris said...

Oh geez. Forgot to say it last week and forgot to say it this week:
THANKS so much for doing these Q&As. I'm amazed you find the time.

Ian said...

Violin despises the package below its resemblance. The hum swings violin without her playground. The sailing glance barks past the winning beef. How will each complex sneak outside violin? The nominated edge moans without violin. Can the acknowledged fundamentalist configure a hero? Stradivarius does violin over a losing exam. A such face accesses the wine. An island fumes. When can a perpetual powder dry violin? The weary galaxy calls violin within whatever snobbery.

I guess what I'm saying is, if your program is in HD, maybe your computer people can spend a little more time on the tiny text. ;)

Caitlin Kleppinger said...

So the avengers nod was great. My mom called me and gushed about how you referenced one of her favorite shows. She's now hooked on Leverage and borrowing my DVDs. Thanks!

Medium Sized Dane said...

No questions as I live in Denmark and haven't officially had the chance to watch any of the episodes from season three yet.

However, I would be a terribly unpatriotic Dane, if I didn't link to this video from 1976. It is a crew of low-rent thieves breaking into The Royal Danish Theatre (because that's how you spell theatre, dammit!) to steal some kind of MacGuffin.

And it's set entirely to (a slightly reworked version of) The Elves Hill Overture (Danish: Elverhøj Overturen).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUNEX8Ncnc4

And with that I'll go back to lurking.

scooter5203249 said...

John, you rocked "The Inside Job." Magnificent! Both of last nights episodes were magnificent. All of the "Leverage" episodes have been great, but these two are my absolute favorites so far.


"The Inside Job" - Love the trim job on Nate's hair. Was that a little flash of jealousy I noticed in Nate's eyes when when Parker "sirs" Archie? The nod to "The Avengers" was terrific. Oh, and Parker's entry code - I counted six beeps, so Sophie's real name has six letters - and so does Sophie. I think Sophie and the rest of the team are just playing head games with Nate about her name.

"The Scheherazade Job" - Nate's the team member that's always getting shot (fortunately spared so far this season), and Hardison is the one who always seems to get the impossible jobs - bringing down the plane safely in "The Mile High Job" and playing the violin solo in "The Scheherazade Job." It reminds me of a line from one of the Nero Wolfe stories, something about Wolfe thinking that Archie performs better when he thinks it all depends on him (Archie). Was Aldis really playing that solo? Love the metaphor - Nate "conducting" the symphony while he's directing the team.

Are we going to see what other skills, along with cooking and hypnotism , that Nate picked up in prison ?

When "The Inside Job" ended I said to myself that that one deserves an Emmy. Then when I saw "The Scheherazade Job" I thought that one deserved an Emmy, too. Can you submit both?

Just Ruth said...

Kudos to Aldis - my daughter is a music major in strings and she gave high praise in that while faking the solo, Aldis had the fingering (left hand) correct while only his bowing was off-tempo.

She gets very picky about faking.

So, do we get Chris and a guitar soon?

Nalakia said...

My friends and I have been arguing: Was Eliot checking the client out in 3x04 when they were meeting, or was he waiting for the lady to sit before he did?

I'm in the latter group. I like chivalrous!Eliot. ^^;

Dawn/StL-MO said...

@Kris – Thanks! You’re right about Snow Job, probably was just a hotel room, not Sophie’s place because I think the team was near the contractor’s home in Florida (?) at the time. My mistake. Just thought @deanangst meant will we see how the others live & we saw pretty much how Hardison lived, even if he’s no longer there. Hardison seemed to have relatively modern taste furniture-wise in his “Chicago/California” apartment (Nigerian Job), except for all the liter bottles of “orange drink” across his counter top. Also, I TOTALLY forgot about his ornate “MC Hammer home” (Second David Job) that he loaned the crew as a temporary office(but, guess that was in “Chicago/California” too) although no gold toilets, it had lots of wood paneling & not much furniture.
------
John thought of 3 more questions: 1) I know Tim knew Giancarlo Esposito from TAPS & Nero Wolfe, but did Tim know Kari Matchett, who plays Nate’s ex, Maggie, just from when they were in Nero Wolfe together or had he known her prior to Nero Wolfe? They’ve got the best connection & rhythm with each other; 2) Heard Wil Wheaton's Chaos is coming back. Will it be for the Season 3 Finale or sooner? & 3) Although the first episode was shot in Chicago, was the L-team supposedly in California first Season? Thanks again for taking the time to do this for all us "grifters" & "con-verts"!
-------
And, sorry, earlier I neglected to mention how great Dean Devlin’s wife, Lisa Brenner, was as Dr. Anne Hannity in 303.



Dawn/StL-MO

Anonymous said...

Kris said...
@Calla
I agree about wanting to see the team's trust issues explored, but not for the reasons you give. The First David Job and the tea incident were waaaay different in scale and stakes. In The First David Job, Sophie almost got the team arrested, and she was withholding major con-related information, namely her true objective. The tea thing was just friendly screwing around.

And Nate hypnotized Hardison for the sake of the con. Unlike what Sophie did in First David (and what Nate did in The Maltese Falcon Job, for that matter), it held no actual risk for the team; quite the opposite. Which isn't to say that it wasn't a dick move, of course...


Also not to mention the fact that Nate basically threw it in his face that he wasn't as good as he thought he was. Hardison had just finished bragging on pulling the performance out, and Nate pulls out a bag of whoop ass on him. Hardison may not have been as pissed if Nate had told him in another way.

-High Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Kris and Calla - my post upthread doesn't quite read right, but I was trying to explain why I think Nate's hypnotism is different from things Sophie has done. He really used it to take Hardison down a peg when he didn't have to.

Dawn/St.Lo - Tim and Kari were in a Sci Fi miniseries called Five Days to Midnight together, too (complete with steamy bubbly bathtub make-out scene).

Rogers - you rocked your first time out, dude. Congratulations on the great directing debut!

Oodles of goodness in both those eps - its hard to decide which one I liked better. Nice to see Parker and Hardison get some focus. Giancarlo Esposito has to be one of the best bad guys ever - talk about a lean and hungry look - and the football player did a really nice job in his small role, too.

So, I tend to think Nate is right, that a crew boss needs a certain level of ruthlessness and manipulation to push his crew. What say you?

-High Anonymous

Yen said...

Another 2 great episodes from the Leverage team here, the plot twist in Episode 4 were particularly well written. Made me feel that the leverage team was REALLY in danger, even more so than in previous episodes, the only time i have felt such tension is during season finales.

A question though, that mysterious lady, how many more appearances is she gonna make?

LarryFleming said...

Great Job John! This was a fun episode and I really love and relate to the Tech Side. Who does the special graphics that Hardison looks at? They are very well done.

We got so many great things from this episode, we are getting spoiled.

Are you going to have Richard Chamberlain return? This could be a recurring role - Help to defeat the big bad international group the Italian is talking about for example.

Lisa Brenner was great, did Dean give you any tips to directing her?

There is a special school for the Security system: LOL
The Steranko Institute
http://sterankoinstitute.wikidot.com/hr

Cameron said...

I just caught up on the show thanks to a friend, and I wanted to say thank you for the friendship between Parker and Eliot; that relationship is my favourite on the show. I don't know if it is because their jobs are more hands on (get in, retrieve and get out) than the smoke and mirrors focus of the rest of the team, or that Eliot still has such a reaction to her Parkerness, while she is deeply amused by his beating people up, but their dynamic is amazing! I love the growth of their relationship over the seasons, and I hope that even with the romantic relationships coming into play more in year 3, that we will still get plenty of Parker and Eliot being awesome together.


Q1: Does the mystery Italian lady have a far enough reach to keep Stirling from coming after Nate and the gang this season?

Q2: Twice now a season has started off or ended with Eliot being upset that a member of the team pulled a con on them. I don't really want to ask for spoilers, but is the reason it was repeated because it will play into a future storyline for Eliot, or was it just for continuity?

I have my own theories, but that is what Livejournal is for. :P

LarryFleming said...

304-The Scheherazade Job This one was fun watching all the facial expressions, was this intentional? Hardison when told he had to play the solo - great. Eliot when asked if he could handle the guard.

I do have an issue with the explosion to create the hole in the ceiling. What happened to the concrete from the hole? The floor is clear down below. Also the guard would have been killed standing that close... I know stop analyzing and enjoy.

Giancarlo was great, did Tim ask for him?

Lizardo! said...

If the security system is called the Steranko, does that make Archie Mr Miracle and Parker Shilo Norman? ;)

Jim Kakalios said...

Posted this in the 301/302 comment section, waiting for the 303/304 to open - and checked this morning and saw 71 comments already! Leverage fans don't sleep I see!

Reposted:
Episode 303 - Steranko as in Jim Steranko, comic book artist extradinnaire, comic book historian and the model for Mr. Miracle, super escape artist.

Richard Chamberlain is looking good for his age - but he's no Cary Grant.

And do Sofie and Hardison have anything in particular to Avenge?

Loved both episodes, by the way - also loved the Super Skrull shout out. Almost wished you didn't have to spell it out the second time - I love how Hardison is a hard core comic book geek (from someone who is both a nerd and a geek - sorry, ladies - but I'm already married!).

No real questions - just digging the show. Especially loved the whole team making their escape on the window washer rig - perfect.

Red said...

You had kept saying that Nate is not a nice man. at the end of the Scheharazade Job you really showed it. On the other hand, as someone who had to take music lessons as a kid, I love that Hardison played violin and did a great job at the end. However it didn't seem like Aldis was actually bowing. Still, Eliot's, Nate's, and esp Parker's reaction to Hardison's solo was lovely.

Looking forward to catching up on the Inside Job.

Seansmoma said...

When you write you have an idea of how it's going to happen and kind of see it in your head. I assume that when it's directed by others things don't Always happen exactly the way you imagined them. Did you enjoy directing and having the chance to make it play out the way it did when you wrote it?

(I really enjoyed these episodes!) :)

DaveMB said...

"Guy Hamilton", the name of Eliot's foreign correspondent, was a direct reference, but not to the director of Goldfinger. Unless perhaps the makers of the reference I am thinking of were themselves name-checking the director, but if so Wikipedia does not mention this.

Math geek note: Props to the writers in that Eliot's partial information about the six-digit passcode narrowed it down to a very reasonable 24 possibilities. But would Parker really have had to write them all down on her cute little notepad?

Modern day Molly Brown said...

A tip of the hat, jaunty swing of a cane and a loud Bravo for the two episodes. I epecially liked when Nate said, "Let's go steal a Parker." and when Parker is once again in the ventilation shaft, the shot of her (or her double?) getting out was completely fantastic. It was a cool moment when Parker said, "I'm not alone now." The kitchen scene between Nate and Sophie....still working off the slap. I also laughed myself silly over the "I forever shall be your Rocketman." The timed heistfighting to the music was perfect. The guy (football pro dude) who fought Christian was the best "baddie" yet. He did a great job. Nice tool box reference that Nate made too, very John Rogerish. Love the show, I will stop rambling now~

Charlie said...

Two episode three questions:

1.) Seriously, nobody at that company watched The Avengers and didn't see right through their disguises, i'm not complaining, but damn.

2.) Does the blight that Dr. Hanninity actually exist, if so, that is seriously screwed up. I was completely shocked at that plot twist.

Jezebel said...

Wow. Most of my questions have been asked, so I'll just toss out the nitpicky thing my husband presented to me. It involves Eliot's fake news feed.

1. Was this posted for wide distribution on the internet? a) If so, was that responsible? Wouldn't there be a concern that this would cause real riots and anger among the people? b) If it was just sent to the president and his brother, wouldn't the president have investigated the rioting and discovered that there actually was no rioting? (As I'm sure you know, this level of nitpicking only comes from people that truly love a show)

2. Loved the tackling by Nnamdi Asomugha, and I am definitely not an Oakland Raiders fan. Well done.

3. Weren't you just the most adorable Sailor Moon ever?

Sammie said...

Did Kane break his nose? In more recent pictures you can see he's still got a big bump there... How did he manage to get hurt this time?

Dawn/StL-MO said...

@Anonymous - thanks for the answer abour Tim & Kari's Sci Fi miniseries. I'll have to check it out!

Dawn/StL-MO

Matthew said...

Great touch seeing the bunny on Parker's bed. Opens up a lot of interesting speculation about her. I'm guessing this is the same bunny from the first Parker flashback?

Stephanie D. said...

Hey, great job with these episodes! Parker and Hardison are my favorites, so I love seeing the episodes were they have big parts.

Some quick questions now:

1. I'm a big fan of the relationship between Parker and Hardison, as well as the characters. And I love what you've made of that, by having it progress slowly. Having said that, do we get see some more intense moments between them? If so, what episodes?

2. I know that Aldis really takes violin lessons; did he get to play that solo bit in the studio?

3. Since we know that Nate lives above the office, and we've now seen Parker's place, will we get to see where the others live?

4. Do you have any spoilers about the rest of the season that you feel like sharing? :)

Thanks!

Dawn/StL-MO said...

John - Watched both episodes again – in 303 I missed the spoons lined up & all the boxes of cereal on Parker’s shelf unit the first time around. Great!

Dawn/StL-MO

Jim Kakalios said...

Since you seem to be handing out No-Prizes....

Hardison IS the Super Skrull!

As related in 1963's Fantastic Four # 18 - the Super Skrull has all the powers of the Fantastic Four AND one additional power.

The power of super-hypnotism!

Which would make him susceptible to being hypnotized, and also explains why he was able to mesmerize the team in the bank vault.

Face Front, True Believers!

Anonymous said...

Two great shows, thanks Mr. Rogers, well done, Leverage rocks. I liked that old guy, Archie, is he going to come back?

kausingkayn said...

Once again, the two episodes were completely and utterly awesome - just thought to let you know that. ^_^ I do have a few questions though.

1) What was with the bandage on Kane's nose for the first half of 303?

2) Also with Kane - that weird kung-fu-ish thing that he did at the end of the bar fight in 304 was....kinda weird. He's been making a lot more cheeky comments and stuff this season (not that it's bad). Is there a reason to this?

3) The scene where Kane takes care of the guard while Parker is working on finding the right combination to the entry keypad seems kinda faulty. Would Eliot really just stand there and get thrown into the wall? It didn't seem like the guy was much of a threat, I think Eliot would have held his own against the guy, especially since some of the same guys were so easily taken out in the bar at the beginning of the episode. What happened?

SueN. said...

Well, others have asked my questions (add me to the "what happened to Kane's nose?" and "was that Aldis really playing?" choruses) so I'll just add some love.

First, Richard Chamberlain. I had seriously forgotten how much I love that man. He did an awesome job, and the end scene between him and Parker was just lovely. I also loved the competition between him and Nate for Parker's loyalties. Two father-figures going at it for the sake of their "daughter." Very happy-making.

And the whole blight thing, very scary, particularly since that blight is real. I have no doubt there are corporations doing exactly what Dr. Hannity was.

Ooh, wait, question: Dr. Hannity as the big bad. That name wouldn't have been chosen for a reason, would it? Naawww … *g*

And comic-book geek hubby LOVED the Skrull reference. My 17-YO daughter also thought the window-washer platform was an "epic getaway." So, y'know, family love here.

BTW, the news that "Leverage is on!" is actually enough to get my 13-YO Parker-wannabe out of her room, away from her computer and into the living room with the rest of us, so you're promoting family togetherness. While we all watch thieves at work. Just sayin'. ;-)

And I totally loved the last act of the Shaharazad Job! A heist/fight set to music, with minimal dialogue, just lovely!

Also, Nate's reveal of his having hypnotized Hardison gave me another "Wow, Nate's a bastard" moment. Was particular jarring (but in a good way) after his concern in the previous ep for Parker. Seriously, he's a bastard. And I liked Sophie calling him on that.

Finally, on The Italian, put me down as one who doesn't have a problem understanding her. But I have Italian relatives and work with priests from India and Colombia, so I've got a bit of an advantage on accents.

And that's it for now. Though I'm sure I'll be back with something once I've watched the eps again. And again, and … *g*

Whims said...

Having rewatched the first two episodes before last night's two I was wondering 1) Does the team know that Nate was shot at the end of the season? 2) Would Sophie tell Nate if he guessed her name correctly? Cuz I'm thinking guessing correctly is not the same as earning.

24jg13 said...

Haven't read any post yet but 2 things.

HATE. THE. ITALIAN!

did Aldis in anyway, shape or form play that violin. He rocked either way. Way to go guys. Didn't think there was anything that could distract me from Christian.

jess pye said...

Great show last night but one question.
Christian kanes fight seen are immense but Elliot never seems to get hurt, he never seems to be sporting an injury is there gonna be a fight.coming up where we can see just how brutal it can be on Elliot

David Hunt said...

Since it is supposed to be Sophie's real name, and the only thing we're able to see is the last two button presses (2, and then # for code confirmation), is it safe to assume Sophie's real name ends with an A, B or C?

You're assuming that Sophie told Nate the truth when she said the code was her real name. She is still taunting Nate for conning the team.

That said, I played that section back. Sophie entered six digits plus the the # key. I think she hit the seven before the two. Anybody else catch that?

zvi said...

I was just left with one question for 304. Why didn't they tie up the security guard the second time? Clearly this guy was not as susceptible to blackout as most of the security guards in the greater Boston area, and needed to be restrained.

24jg13 said...

Just Ruth:So, do we get Chris and a guitar soon?

I believe guitar and major singing in episode 6.

24jg13 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
24jg13 said...

jess pye said...
Great show last night but one question.
Christian kanes fight seen are immense but Elliot never seems to get hurt, he never seems to be sporting an injury is there gonna be a fight.coming up where we can see just how brutal it can be on Elliot

If you remember in the First David Job, Eliot gets a broken rib and there were a few episodes where he is sporting an ice bag and who can forget Parker jabbing his arm when they are going over a job, I just can't recall which episode that was.

Liz said...

303: I've seen Richard Chamberlain on stage before. Real pleasure to see him on the small screen again, and the part fit him well (*adding on to the rapidly-growing list of guest stars I'd like to see back again*). As for Parker, I was right there with Nate, outraged that someone had a chance to take care of her and instead taught her how to be a better thief. Beth Riesgraf did a lovely job with this episode.

The Parker/Eliot dynamic was great. Again. And the fights...holy crap! Very intense this season.

304: Act 4 was awesome. Nate conducting was SO appropriate (it's what he does), and the heist and fight went well with the music. I especially liked the beat where we see the team's reactions to Hardison playing. I don't know that they're responding to the music as much (as someone else commented) as they are responding to hearing a family member play.

The only question I have this time out is your take on Nate hypnotizing Hardison. You can read it as Nate using Hardison strictly to get the con accomplished, in which case my reaction from last night ("Nate, you bastard!") was right on. But I guess you could also look at it as Nate doing what he could to help Hardison be better. Good intentions, flawed execution. Know what I mean? How do you see it?

Either way, that he sorta pulled the rug out from Hardison at the end by telling him was harsh.

Speaking of the ending, I liked the bit with Eliot and the client at the end. I know some folks were wondering about whether he was hitting on her, but it didn't read that way to me. We've seen Eliot seducing women before. Something about this scene was a little more open...and honest? Not sure that's the right choice of words.

Thanks again, to everyone. I had fun watching!

Stacy B said...

Some info for you guys - FYI, iF Magazine has a lot of great Leverage articles and Dean Devlin tweets a lot of links to them. These answer a lot of your questions:

Interview with Lisa Brenner - http://ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=3882

Interview with Chris Downey re: writing Scheherazade and on Aldis playing the violin - http://www.ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=3880

Interview with Richard Chamberlain - http://ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=3878

Interview with John Rogers - http://ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=3877

And yes, Ug99 is real, and absolutely terrifying - http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/ff_ug99_fungus/

Oh, and what's with the bandaid on Kane's...just kidding. ;)

Livlife said...

Evidently, I even have Leverage on the brain when I sleep, because I awoke with this burning question.

Did The Italian end up being "Italian" (as opposed to British or Norwegian or whatever) because you cast Elisabetta Canalis and she is actually Italian? Or was it always meant to be The Italian and it was fortuitous casting?

Dan Reads Comics said...

This comic geek was super happy with 303 & 304. The Steranko and Super-Skrull references tickled me no end.

When I saw Parker with the camera in 304, a thought occurred to me. Is Parker named after Peter Parker? I mean, both of them are freakishly agile, they're both excellent climbers, and it's not uncommon for either of them to enter the frame from above while hanging upside down.

I'm calling it here and now: Parker's real name will be revealed as Jessica Drew. :P

David Hunt said...

To deanangst: If I'm not mistaken, the only team member's apartment we haven't seen is Eliots. Sophie's was in Snow Job & Hardison's was in Nigerian Job.

Hardison's apartment in the Nigerian Job was in Chicago, before the team moved to LA for Season 1. The Snow Job takes place in Season 1 when the team was based in LA. We've saw Sophie's "Boston" place in the Two-Live Crew Job, but it got all blown up and she left that ID dead, so I'm sure she's living somewhere else. So in "Boston," we've only seen Nate's and Parker's places.

tori-angeli said...

I find the whole "pause while enraptured by the pretty music" close-ups heavy-handed. It's a peeve, but I don't often buy scenes of musical appreciation, especially with non-musical characters.

For what it's worth, my reaction to that moment was the same as the characters'. Aldis definitely at least knew the fingering for the solo. The bowing was off, but he could have been playing to a recording he made himself. I want to know the answer, too.

And, since we're on Eliot, why is it that 98% of his facial expressions are scowls? Whereas the rest of the cast expresses a full range of emotions. I know he's trying to establish an angry character but geez, he's just getting really 1-dimensionally BORING. We've seen glimpses of lots of other characters in him. Please let them out. Is the perpetual sulleness a directive to him, or the actor's personal choice for the character?

I have a brother who is very understated by nature. Most people can't read him. Having grown up with him, I can tell just from the cadences in his speech if he's depressed, ticked, happy, whatever, but not everyone is an expert, and some mistake him for being rather...cold? Emotionless? At any rate, Eliot strikes me as being similar. A scowl is his default expression when he's angry, thinking hard, concerned, or what have you. It doesn't mean he doesn't have a range of emotion, since his emotion betrays itself in other ways. If he had the same range of expression as the other characters, he wouldn't be Eliot.

Anna said...

Why can't all shows be this consistently awesome!

Of the two this week, if I had to choose, gun to my head, I'd go for The Inside Job because EVERYONE was at the top of their game. No fifth wheels in that episode. And yay for family!Leverage moments!

Questions
1. Okay, I'm gonna fangirl and ask: are you intentionally trying incite a ship war? In both eps, you've got like, what, every fanfic-inducing combo being hinted at? Parker/Eliot, Parker/Hardison, Parker/Nate, Sophie/Nate, etc. But I have to ask - where's my OTP of Sterling/Nate (only half-teasing here)?

2. Is that Steranko retinal scanner solution based on anything in reality? If so, cool.

3. Did no one at Wakefield watch The Avengers?

4. Was the metronome (is that what they're called? the ticking thing?) that Nate set off while he was talking to Sophie about Hardison-as-hypnotized-violinist part of the hypnosis process?

5. Richard Chamberlain seemed to slot so well into the show; it was like he was born to be part of the Leverage universe. Any picks on other actors you'd like to join up?

6. And finally, is there some explicit rule against the crew taking on outside jobs or is it just some unspoken courtesy thing? Sophie seemed really upset when she found out Parker had gone off on her own. How much of that was worry? If Parker had been able to pull it off, would there have been the same level of emotion?

Can't wait for next week.

Anonymous said...

Love the Parker-centric eps, especially last nights. The exchanged between Parker and Eliot when she gets the canister was awesome, and so was the avengers shout out. Not really caring for Hardison referring to Parker as "mama" - kind of creepy; especially if you are going to put them together romantically at some point.

Question about 304 - how/when did the woman formally known as Sophie get into the vault?

Anonymous said...

I know you have all addressed this in the "Not going to happen" explanation, but I would love to see Parker and Eliot together, or, at the very least, have a bonding conversation.

SueN. said...

Yes, I'm back. Don't tell my boss. *g*

@Liz: I'm with you on the Eliot ending of 304. I didn't read it as Eliot trying to pick her up, but as a moment of him sincerely wanting to do something to help. I get the feeling that much of what he's done in the past is starting to come back to haunt him now in a way it never did before (he's growing a conscience), and that he's trying to make amends.

He knows countries like hers, has obviously made money off those kinds of situations … and it's starting to bother him. His "I wish we could do more" came off to me as an honest sentiment, and not a pick up line.

Anonymous said...

So, when are you directing your next ep?

How much of the Steranko is based on real technology?

Was that Beth or a stand in doing the excellent gymnastic move out of the vent? Either way, this was Beth's best episode ever - she got to be funny and poignant and nailed both parts.

Did Hutton intentionally use or did Peter W direct him to use one of Nate's "con" voices in the scene in 3.04 where Nate finds out the musical piece? Because on first viewing, I thought his delivery of Nate's lines were odd . . . almost overly excited. After the reveal in the end when you find out what Nate knew, it made sense that it may have been an intentional acting choice since Nate sometimes oversells his cons almost as bad as Hardison. If so, that's some hard core attention to character detail and I lurv them for it.

Did Nate REALLY not read what was in the envelope? I mean come on, Nate! Get some inside scoop before she has someone strangle you over dinner!

Last post for reelz. You are very good to us. High Anonymous

Baritenor said...

So which one of the writers is a Cary Grant fan? Or was "Archie Leech" a Fish Called Wanda reference? Either way, it gave me a laugh.

Tom Galloway said...

One Inside Job reference no one seems to have caught; Hannity claims to have a Ph.D. in agronomy from Stanford. Stanford doesn't have any agriculture programs...however, it's local and internal nickname is "The Farm".

Re: comments from last week about Parker's eye makeup being different. It really stood out more in Inside Job, particularly in the cubicle 27 scenes. 'Fraid I'm not a fan of it, since it's gone to having her eyes completely encircled with black eyeliner, and I'm just not a fan of the raccoon look in general; Parker's is relatively understated for such, but is still there.

Caitlin said...

Completely forgot to ask. Was Eliot on the green screen a shout out to the Whose Line is it Anyway game with Colin Mochrie?

Anonymous said...

This may have been addressed in a previous post from long ago, but I just found this blog and haven't read all the past posts yet: Did the name Parker come from the Richard Stark criminal of the same name?

Robin said...

@Caitlin: "Is there any reason in particular as to why Hardison wants to lead a group of his own?"

Hardison wants to be Nate when he grows up. :)

@Calla: "...why would Nate risk playing Hardison in ep 304 with the hypnotism?"

In Nate's mind, he's not playing Hardison. He's helping him overcome his fears in the most efficient way he (Nate) knows. The way he revealed the hypnotism was, as many have observed, a real dick move, but I'm willing to chalk that up to Nate feeling like he had to take Hardison down a peg (possibly to keep him on the team longer).

3.03 -- Fantastic directing, Rogers. And you got Richard freaking Chamberlain in your episode to boot?! That is so damn cool. It's great getting more character backstory and seeing that Parker has had a surrogate family (well, dad) before. To me, it helps explain why she latched onto Nate first but took longer to warm to the rest of the team.

3.04 -- I love the subtle reminder that Eliot really gets invested when there are kids on the line. Was that intentional in the writing or just continuity from Christian?

And further kudos to Aldis and his musical talent. Of course, now I'm having super geeky dreams of Hardison meeting up with Codex from The Guild for a jam session. :p

Murphy said...

Great job on the episodes! I adored 3.03, and even though I haven't seen 3.04 yet, I intend to as soon as possible.

Not really a question about the episodes (because they're wonderful and I never have questions), more of an in-general question:

Is Nate is ever going to lose a con? Not fake-lose-to-trick-the-mark-then-turn-right-around-and-win-the-whole-thing, but actually really lose. Not that I want Nate to lose, but I think it would be interesting to see it happen, and to see how he and the team react.

I just think it could be a good moment, if that were to happen. I thought it might in the Inside Job for a few moments, but Nate beat the game as usual. So is he ever going to lose for real? Maybe later in the season?

Anonymous said...

Well, a lot of my questions have been asked here already. (Damn, Leverage fans really *don’t* sleep). I have nothing to say about the Inside Job other than, John Rogers – you fck’n *rocked* it, my friend. I tip my hat to your directing skills, sir.

Now, about 3x04. Like I said, a lot of my questions/comments have been mentioned here already, but I have to say this – add me to the “I CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE ITALIAN” bandwagon. I kind of thought it was just me – I’m a little tone deaf, so I have a hard time understanding a lot of accents, but I was watching this episode with some friends, and none of them could really understand the Italian, either. I liked Nate’s subtitles, can you just do that for the rest of the season for her? I know her role is important, and I’d hate to be confused about something because I can’t understand what this woman is saying – I’m cool with being confused for other reasons; say, like, your show is just so awesome I can’t guess what’s gonna come next - but to be out of the loop because her accent is too thick? Not cool.

Okay, now, questions; 1) Hypnosis, seriously? My issue isn’t that Nate hypnotized Hardison – I get that, plot wise – my issue is that the hypnosis just *worked* and we’re all supposed to believe that without question. I had no idea what was going on in this episode – in a good way; I knew Nate was planning a mini-con around Hardison, I just didn’t know what it was. I have to say, I was fairly disappointed with the hypnosis twist. If you could please, please just justify/explain this in some way, I’d be eternally grateful.

2a) Was it a purposeful thing to get Parker and Eliot involved in the planning portion of the con – Parker with the security system, and Eliot dealing with the victim, and his interactions with Nate and Sophie in the kitchen scene? It felt like you were establishing that Parker and Eliot were more…not mature, though it read that way a little bit; just more confident in their skills. Eliot and Parker know what they can do and they know where and why they need a crew to do what they do together, whereas Hardison is under the impression that he can do everything himself (which made me flashback to The Fairy Godparents Job). Or was the juxtaposition of that just a coincidence, since Parker obviously *would* know the security system the best and Eliot *has* fought in those countries?

2b) Just an add on – Is Eliot working with the “adults” while planning cons and such going to become a more regular thing?

Thanks for answering all of our questions, man; I look forward to these post-game blogs *almost* as much as I look forward to the episodes. I don’t know how you find the time to do it, but I love that you do.

Anonymous said...

Was anyone else completely geeked by the fact that an entire BUILDING (okay, the security system) was hunting Parker down? Almost scifi! Too cool.

Oh, I caught the green blanket making a reappearance when Eliot was playing reporter. You almost have to watch this show twice, catch all the details.

Kimmie said...

Two more excellent episodes!

No questions, mine have already been asked--as someone else said, don't Leverage fans sleep????

Loved Nate and Sophie just a hairsbreadth apart and...the phone rings!

Loved that Parker followed Hardison out at the end of 3x04.

Loved that Eliot just got up and did his thing with the thugs with just a nod from Nate, then stole a girl's drink and sat back down.

Also, the infamous bowl of peanuts!

David Hunt said...

Everyone's asking about Elliot's nose. Keep in mind that the episodes are being aired slightly out of order. The Inside Job was originally going to be 305. I'm thinking that Elliot's nose is still messed up from the epic fight with an aspiring African dictator's personal bodyguard/assassin in 304.

Anonymous said...

Great job with these 2 episodes! I loved 'em!

Just wondering, not that I want to think about the end of the show, but do you have a plan for the final episode? Like, JK Rowling knew what the last chapter of the Harry Potter series was going to be, before she knew what the third book was going to be. Do you have a plan in mind for the series finale?

Sammie323 said...

I was at a party Saturday night and was talking about The Big Con (which I'm reading at your suggestion)

I saw a review for a book that also sounds like Leverage. It's called Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures.

Surprisingly, the author is not Nathan Ford :) It's Robert K. Wittman.

Nina May said...

@ZacharyPruckowski, Liz, SueN. et al:
(SueN.) He knows countries like hers, has obviously made money off those kinds of situations … and it's starting to bother him. His "I wish we could do more" came off to me as an honest sentiment, and not a pick up line.

Agreed, it didn't come off as a pick up thing. It looked like he cared. No wonder he doesn't bother to show too many expressions, they only lead to confusion from people....

Plus, kids. He was playing that note throughout the whole thing. Anyone taking bets yet on the "something awful" Eliot+anger did that turned him into the guy we know?

@tgvcomic said:
"Junior High... And they thought Jackie Tulles' report card was safe." ... It seems almost a throwaway line, but might it have been her own report card she was stealing? Mightn't that possibly be Parker's name before becoming Parker?

My bet? She was being paid to retrieve it. I can see her running a lucrative little business in junior high. She got into the business somewhere. :)

@tori-angeli:
I have a brother who is very understated by nature.... Eliot strikes me as being similar. A scowl is his default expression

Ditto (including the brother part). I think out of the team, Sophie and Eliot are the ones who deliberately shape the way others perceive – Sophie misdirects, and Eliot buttons down and lets people underestimate, etc. He just habitually gives almost nothing away, except anger, which is a reliable note to play (and also gives him a pressure valve).

@Caitlin:
Completely forgot to ask. Was Eliot on the green screen a shout out to the Whose Line is it Anyway game with Colin Mochrie?

That would be freaking awesome. I like that Hardison had the foresight to buy a proper one, so he wasn't stuck using Nate's blanket on the fly again.

So much for conversation. I'm loving the Nate evolution, consciously exploring being a theif – who that makes him, what it means, where his new boundaries are. I love him beginning to redress the power balance with the Italian (whose accent is quite clear, not to mention deliciously poised in the time she takes to say what she wants – she's not rushed or off balance ... yet). Looking forward to watching that tug-of-war this season.

Enjoying Sophie enjoying her new power balance with Nate, too. It's subtle, but in some ways it's back to the playfulness of early season one, and it gives him something to push back against again. But with less trying-to-reestablish-the-relationship static in the signal.

Loved the Parker stuff. Especially the warehouse playing against the claustrophobic stuff from before – so much space to live in. But at the same time, it's still a big, dark box.

I think I had a question (apart from Christian's nos– just kiding) but it got drowned out by the reading and thinking. wtf, brain?

Nina May said...

Also, brain, what's with the typos? Gr.

Remembered the question. The exposure of Nate and Hardison to publicity was mentioned, and I second that, but what about Eliot? Isn't he kind of hiding from people, hence the long hair? And someone pointed out how, way back in the first season (Miracle Job, I think?) he was camera-phobic. Done again in Runway, iirc. Of all the stuff he's protesting, wouldn't that kind of exposure be near the top of his list? An obscure Japanese power drink ad, a bogus news report, it begins to add up....

gwangung said...

In Nate's mind, he's not playing Hardison. He's helping him overcome his fears in the most efficient way he (Nate) knows. The way he revealed the hypnotism was, as many have observed, a real dick move, but I'm willing to chalk that up to Nate feeling like he had to take Hardison down a peg (possibly to keep him on the team longer).



Well, I think it's two fold. Given the set up line about one possibility, it's a bar for Hardison to clear. If he backs down, he's not the person Sophie and Nate thinks he is. More likely, it'll spur him even more to overcome that flaw (that lack of ruthlessness); the way Nate did it will make it stick more with him (not to mention, it's always a good thing to know, first hand how it feels on the team).

lrcutter said...

Brilliant episodes. I've loved all of them so far. I will admit that 3.03 has been my favorite.

I loved 3.02 and the neural linguistic programming Sophie did, and how it was a call back to "The Stork Job" and her guiding Elliot (take a drink after complimenting her -- then that beat with Nate.)

Also, thank you so much for doing the DVD commentaries. I feel as if my visual literacy is improving by listening to how you shoot the shows, the significance of certain shots, and so on.

Questions:

1) Since Sophie has "found" herself, and become more comfortable with who she is, will she give up acting? Or at least realize that she's a terrible actor when not in a con?

2) I'm sure you're familiar with Lester Dent, and his essay on what a pulp fiction plot should contain. (http://altuspress.com/lesterdentproperties/the-master-fiction-plot/) Episode 3.03 seemed to follow this formula more than the others -- did you have it in mind when you were directing?

Again, I can't thank you enough for all the time and energy you and everyone else put into Leverage.

Medrawt said...

Anonymous @11:09 -

I'm not sure there is - or needs to be? - a justification for the hypnosis to "work". It did work. Sometimes hypnosis works, sometimes it doesn't, but my understanding is that some people are highly susceptible and others highly resistant. The idea is "justified" when it's made explicit that Sophie had identified Hardison as the best "candidate" - i.e., the person in the crew most susceptible to hypnosis.

Not knowing anything about hypnosis, I have no idea whether it could plausibly be used to recover a skill that went unused for ten years, but it certainly eased my suspension of disbelief vs. the idea that an afternoon of intense practice would allow Hardison to play so beautifully after a decade of no music. (Especially since we get the comedy beat of him making horrible "beginner's violin" noises. I also dug his anxiety that, well, anxiety might lead him to physically damage the instrument.) It seemed like *such* an outrageous thing for Nate to expect Hardison to be able to do that when they teased the idea - I didn't (consciously!) think hypnosis, I just got that something was up with the cryptic Nate/Sophie dialogue - I was able to relax.

Medrawt said...

It belatedly occurs to me that I may have misread the comment I was replying to, and rather than: "why is the hypnosis so effortlessly effective in the story" Anonymous now seems to me to have been asking: "given that I'm highly skeptical of hypnosis in the real world, how can you just drop it in here without comment?" In which case I anticipate an official reply something along the lines of "Fun train!" or perhaps "Just last week I said that in Leverage world thieves routinely steal the Hope Diamond for fun." At the very least, a bunch of people in the real world certainly *think* they've been hypnotized, which is close enough for me.

kyouell said...

I've searched the blog (and searching seems to be a tad wonky today, thank you Chrome) and cannot find the meaning of the phrase "ledger or orange box" -- could you clarify or someone else point me in the right direction?

jarodrussell said...

@kyouell,

Orange Box is a reference to "The Mile-High Job," which is an odd fact the writing team uses that turns out to be true, such as: the jet plane's black box is actually orange so it can be found easier after a crash.

Ledger, which I assume is the Ledger Drop Box, is a reference to "The Bank Shot Job," which is an odd fact the writing team uses that is not true, they made it up. Such as: before computers were used, banks used to have drop boxes in side alleys because businesses would turn in their ledgers with deposits.

LawMonkey said...

Rocky-O's. Another Rockford nod? That'd make it 3 for 4, if memory serves correctly. (Maybe 4 for 4; by the time the second of last night's episodes rolled around, the detail-oriented, critical thinking part of my brain was off and I was on the Fun Train.)

24jg13 said...

I did want to thank you guys for doing a commentary on each and every episode for seasons 1 and 2. I find them just as enjoyable as the actual episodes and love the little facts and stories you guys throw in as your talking.

I think the whole production of the show as well as the absolute fan friendly team behind and in front of the camera makes this a truly unique show and is one of the man reasons the fans have lined up behind you.

I can count on one hand how many shows where I can name a producer, writer and director let alone the actors. Great job.

Chris from Chicago said...

I love that we're getting bits of everyone's pasts this season. Especially Parker and Hardison - they're my favorite television romance right now, and that's saying something! Just two quick questions:

(1)Will we be seeing more of Hardison's musical genius this season? (2)I know Christian can sing really well - so will Elliot ever get to sing or play his guitar? I don't know if singing really fits his character, but I'd love to see it...

briddie said...

About Hardison and Nate's hypnotism - I think the important part is that Nate removed Hardison's stage fright which allowed him to play and not freeze up.

I also think that Eliot wasn't intending a come-on at the end of 3.04, but I did wonder if he wanted Nate to think that was his intention.

ps said...

304 was my favorite episode ever! I love that they choreographed the heist to the music, and that they stopped to listen to Hardison's solo. Also, that Rimsky-Korsakov piece is one of my favorites to play (bassoon, not violin). Thanks for bringing a little classical music to primetime. Whose ever idea that was is awesome.

(Also, I'm glad you also brought Richard Chamberlain to tv. He's as big a treasure as a Stradivarius.)

Rose said...

I just have to ask, when Eliot was complaining about trying to scale the building in daylight, et al, did anyone else think, "But Eliot is Batman! not Spiderman."?

Sonja said...

Firstly, thank you for not underestimating your audience and not dumbing down the writing.

I didn't think I'd ever hear The Fantastic Four and Itzhak Perlman in one sentence.

At the end of 304, when they hand the journalist the cheque, Nate says 'We ended up with this Stradivarius'. How did they 'end up' with it in a way where they were obviously able to sell it - presumably even without press coverage. Wouldn't the sale of such a high profile item involve a paper trail from Boston to Wadata and back if done legally and be impossible so soon after aquiring it in a more creative way?

Why did Eliot let himself be tackled by the security guy? If he had just moved out of the way at the right time, the guy would have smashed into the wall. Not very energy-efficient ;-)

Sean Hansen said...

This isn't about the episodes but about the show in general: a) is TNT trying to kill you by making the finales/premieres closer together each year and b) how do you feel about having 16 episodes a year compared to 13? Too much or just enough?

Dee A. said...

@ChelseaNH said... "However, I find the whole "pause while enraptured by the pretty music" close-ups heavy-handed. It's a peeve, but I don't often buy scenes of musical appreciation, especially with non-musical characters."

My perception was more that they were kind of enraptured by the fact that Hardison was making that beautiful music. I think it ties into Hardison saying he was "the super skrull" (awesome btw! i got a friend to start watching Leverage on this reference alone, what can I say? The dude loves skrulls.)

Great couple of episodes. I loved the Inside Job! The Parker/Eliot team ups are always so much fun!

kinesys said...

Have been loving everything this season so far.

I will say that you ought not to be putting ideas into Monsanto's corporate mind.

Steve Mattsson said...

This is an excerpt from an e-mail sent to Steranko via Paul Gulacy:

…one of the crew was trapped in super secure building by a hi-tech "Steranko Security System". The whole episode was about how the team was going to defeat "The Steranko". If you made a drinking game out of it and took a shot every time they said the word "Steranko" you would have ended up in the ER!

This is Steranko’s reply:

Yeah, but what a way to go!!! Been laughing over this one all afternoon!

Michael said...

I have an extremely important question over here that kinda goes back all the way to the Bank Shot Job: Given that Hardison is a fan of the Doctor, what are his thoughts on the new one? Is he a die-hard David Tennant-fan (like some people I know) or does he recognise the pure genius of Mr Moffat and also of Matt Smith?

also, does he have a quite strong fascination with Amy Pond? (well who doesn't)

quivo said...

Why did you guys decide to create an utterly risible fake African country for 304? Could you not turn up a real country to rescue?

For that matter, why did you guys choose yet another "what these people need is a honky" setup? It bombed for me in 302 (particularly the 'touching' scene with the rescued guy crying over the video phone to his family), and it bombed BIG TIME for me in 304. Of course, the little details you flubbed did not help -- such as how none of the actors involved looked like they were from anywhere more exotic than North America, and none of them could put on anything more than a generic "african" accent.

I understand that this is a lighthearted caper show, but really. When Russians and Eastern Europeans are involved, the crew is taking down mobsters, corrupt businessmen and so forth. But when brown people are involved, the crew is fighting their governments!! And bringing them justice!! It is really, really done, really boring, quite a bit faily, and just an all around disappointment.

Ryan said...

This was a very well done Parker episode.

Will there be an Eliot equivalent?

PrincessPalmTree said...

Did anyone else recognize the "props" in the concert hall's prop room? I'm pretty sure that while Nate was chatting with The Italian, the background props were from Season 2's Science Fair Musical in the Fairy Godparents Job...

Can't wait for the episode coming up where Christian sings! Love that scruffy rogue!

Jane said...

Liked the episodes overall, favorite parts were the Eliot and Parker (don't like the make-up) interactions and them working together in both episodes and Aldis' playing the violin, the action set to music was genius.

But however much I liked them, these four episodes have still been disappointing for me. And that's mainly because of Eliot's characterization.

He's getting lost amongst the couple stuff. That's two endings with him separate from the team, and now you're taking the kitchen away from him, too! Until 303 the cooking was something that was unique to Eliot, the kitchen was his domain, but now you need to push Nate and Sophie's relationship and suddenly Nate can cook as well?

306 excluded, will Eliot get more to do ,the rest of this season, than be annoyed, which is funny only up to a point, and bust heads?

The team keep taking Eliot for granted, him winning fights and him being relatively unharmed after (e.g. the end of 'the Reunion Job'), will they ever face the consequences for that?

Nina May said...

@quivo:
yet another "what these people need is a honky" setup?... But when brown people are involved, the crew is fighting their governments!! And bringing them justice!! It is really, really done, really boring, quite a bit faily, and just an all around disappointment.

Absolutely. What Nate should have done was say, "Sorry, small litigation-safe fictional African country, we do fight on behalf of the downtrodden little guy against whatever form of oppression is prevalent, whether it be black-market hinkiness in Eastern Europe, totalitarian regimes in the Middle East, or corporate and political greed in the US, but to address corrupt government in Africa would just be condescending. We'd rather empower you by looking at a political situation that we in the West dumped on you purely to pillage anything of value from you, and now telling you to deal with it on your own. Just think big and believe in yourself! (While the West continues leveraging its economic power to plunder your country and continent in more covert and 'acceptable' ways.) So in spite of the more intentionally international flavour of this season, we will not be helping you, even if it is in fact preserving a 'good' leader who is trying to help his own people (think big! believe! clap your hands!). Oh, and by the way, could you perhaps make some kind of acknowledgement of how condescending and insenstive we're not being by suggesting you need help? That would be super. TTFN!"

lily said...

Why has Elliot been so surly this season? Is it just that he's still upset with Nate? Or is there something else going on?

Anonymous said...

During "The Inside Job", after Parker refuses to leave with Eliot, I assume he got into the building by breaking the window. Was his sudden appearance intended to be a surprise all along, or was the gag created because someone said "we're filming in a real office building, and we can't afford to break one of the windows"?

For "The Scheherezade" job: When Hardison bails on the rehearsal, was that something he made up at the last minute out of fear or was that part of Nate's plan in order to protect his cover?

zapaper said...

This is for episode 304. . .Can ya dog do that? def one of my top 5 Eliot moments. But I do have a question - everyone in the bar was just watching Eliot beat on those guys. They stood up, but didn't really do anything. Are they just used to Eliot kicking ass?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Nate cooking or Archie and Sophie fighting diminishes Eliot. The whole crew grifts but that doesn't make Sophie less great at it. Hardison, Eliot and Sophie have taken control at times when Nate couldn't and that doesn't make Nate less of the leader. To make Eliot the only guy who knows how to cook or to deliver a punch would be silly when all of the other characters overlap to an extent. Eliot is still the best cook in the group and the best fighter.

I agree that Eliot has been primarily just growly the last 2 episodes, but he had some very nice moments in the Jailbreak Job as the "doctor" and when he gave the little speech about middle class people not challenging authority, and he got to be super funny in Reunion Job with the health inspector (not to mention the interesting flashback).

The last two episodes were Hardison and Parker centric by design. For the show to be balanced, some characters have to just do their "role" for the team in some episodes while others are in the forefront.

Eliot has his own featured ep coming up and an ep where he and Hardison are a big focus, so its not like these two episodes are the death knell for Eliot development. The season is still young!

(Besides, Eliot is and always will be the only ladies man in the crew.)

SueN. said...

@Jane, to add to what Anonymous right above wrote, I didn't see Eliot getting lost in these two eps at all. In both, he was the one who spent the most time with Parker, protecting her in "Inside" and helping her break in in "Scheherazade," both of which we've seen him do many times. And he was with Nate at the end of "Scheherazade," so he wasn't separate at all.

As for the kitchen thing, well, Nate does live there, and he's got to eat. And since he wasn't starving in the pilot, it's only logical to assume he can cook. Besides, he's trying to impress Sophie, and calling Eliot over to cook really *would* make Eliot an awkward third.

(And I can't imagine Eliot being at all happy about being summoned out of whatever bed he's currently occupying just to whip up a meal for Nate. *g*)

Monica said...

Can I just say that Inside Job is my new favorite episode? It was just brilliant. You had me and my brother on the edge of our seats. And that scene at the end with Parker and Leach was adorable.

"Wallet, Parker."

And then we cracked up. You win, sir.

Of course, I still need to watch 304. Darn you, iTunes, for taking so long! (I don't have cable; Leverage is just such a great show that I buy it separately!)

tori-angeli said...

The last two episodes were Hardison and Parker centric by design. For the show to be balanced, some characters have to just do their "role" for the team in some episodes while others are in the forefront.

Even so, I think Eliot had some really lovely moments in "Scheherazade," such as the moment at the end revealing it was his idea to sell the Strad and donate the money to the kids--very telling, especially in light of "The Order 26 Job." I have actually been impressed that they've managed to keep the focus on the overall family dynamic in spite of these pairings popping up. Both episodes after one of our cutest Parker/Hardison moments, we get some really wonderful stuff between Parker and Eliot (and I'll jump on board with those saying it's one of their favorite relationships on the show). But yeah, I agree. There's give and take when you decide to focus on a character for an episode. Only 42 minutes to go around, right?

I'm sad to hear that Sterling may not be back this season. I absolutely love him as a villain, even if he isn't a "bad guy" per se. The dissonance here is that even though he isn't a bad guy, he still scares the crap out of me when he's on the opposite side. He's intensely creepy and more powerful than he should be and doing everything for so many wrong reasons, but I can't think of anything that makes him evil, or even in the wrong. The worst thing he did was have a guy beat up at the end of the first season. Even Parker and Hardison in the same episode were "arrested" more than "kidnapped," and were never really harmed. That's pretty tame when he's compared to the rest of the show's villains. Where he scares me is that he can do worse than kill our protagonists--he can separate them. Kudos to the writers for warping my sensibilities to the point where I think that's the more messed up option. XD

Cam_Banks said...

Just got back from Origins Game Fair where I demoed the Leverage RPG to a table full of fans, only now caught up on the first four episodes of Season 3. Loving this expanding Leverage-verse so far.

As a New Zealander myself, I always double take when I hear Gina using the Kiwi accent. I forget she's "one of us."

Tia Dugan said...

304: Ok. In case someone hasn't already answered, it makes perfect sense for Eliot to give the check at the end. He had to kill a lot of their people in one his previous jobs and has seen the horror. I thought this was a great episode to remind us just what Eliot has been through. Everyone else has stolen high end things and lived lives of luxury but Eliot has been to hell and back. Great writing and character development.
Complaint: Quit saying Christian Kane. I don't know why but it irritates me when you see CK next to Sophie or Parker. I know he is gorgeous and all but used the character name. Thank you!!
Question: Where do you find all the music? The pieces always seem to fit the action. Especially in 304.
Agreement 303: What is with the Breathe Right strip? Product placement? Cause on that pretty face, I noticed.

Anonymous said...

Really not a question, but do you get bored reading the same questions over and over again, and do you get annoyed that people don't read to see if their questions are already there?

Anonymous said...

are you intentionally trying incite a ship war? In both eps, you've got like, what, every fanfic-inducing combo being hinted at?

Characters interacting on a show that is in large part about a group's interpersonal relationships with each other is not the same thing as "hinting" at a potential romantic relationship between everyone who has a scene together. The actual romantic relationships are pretty clear.

Besides, any two characters talking to each other ever is fanfic-inducing. And sometimes they don't even have to do that much. The question is are fans intentionally looking to fabricate a "shipwar" by reading romantic/sexual intent into everything?

(Answer: Yes. Always.)

Sean Hansen said...

@Quivo: I suppose they should've taken down the elite banking structure of a wartorn/resource raped land? It's not like people like Mugabe aren't alive and well in the continent. Hell, even South Africa's president is pretty crooky.

Kristin said...

You may add my love to last night's episodes! They frickin' rocked my world. I should have been going to bed, but I couldn't without watching them all the way through. I even woke up in the middle of the night with the TV still on TNT and caught one of the re-airings. How's that for being a fan?!

You did an absolutely amazing job directing your first episode. I hope this will be the beginning of many for you.

One thing I noticed last night had to do with The Italian. Elisabetta is a beautiful woman, there is no doubt about that. What I hate, and was also done last week, were the scenes directly following Elisabetta's scenes seemed to immediately cut to Sophie. Gina Bellman is another gorgeous woman but we see her beauty on a weekly basis so maybe I've become "immune" to seeing her on screen. It just seems really jarring to see Elisabetta and then show Gina which makes her seem rather "Plain Jane" (no pun intended!).

Has anyone else noticed that or am I just being way too much of a Sophie fan??

Kudos on casting Richard Chamberlain (or "the old guy" as another poster put it, LOL). He really put an interesting touch on the character I would love to see more off!

So, no other episode related questions just yet. Gotta watch the eps a few more times. Thank you again for taking the time to read and answer our questions. You, sir, are an amazing individual! Drinks on me at the next con-con!

Rawles said...

I just want to I'm really enjoying this season. It feels like the show is just getting better and better.

AND I have two questions:

1) Will we ever get an episode driven by Hardison-specific backstory? I really enjoyed the present time development in The Scheherazade Job looking at his current strengths and weaknesses and a hint at his future plans. However, I'm really interested in what he was up to in the time between teenhood at his Nana's and hooking up with the crew. Since this episode put Hardison's age at about 24, I know it wasn't THAT much time. But still enough to have adventures and make some interesting friends and/or enemies, right?

2) In The Inside Job, was Alec calling Parker "mama" over the comms in the script or something that Aldis adlibbed?

I only ask because in addition to being adorable, it was very natural and did a good job of inserting a little extra affection befitting the dire predicament. Not a lot of television shows manage to pull off actual slang in a way that seems organic and appropriate.

Great job, Leverage team, whatever the case.

dodzsky said...

did the shooting cost expensive?

Katie said...

@Scott- Yeah, both characters are Christy Connolly, so same person :)

Calla said...

Good job on your direction of 303 - I really loved how the episode began and unfolded - it was a good pace and a good tone.

With so many drinkers on the set (fictional and otherwise), I'd like to know: Who would win in these drinking contests:
1) John Rogers vs Christian Kane
2) John Rogers vs Nate Ford
3) Eliot Spencer vs Nate Ford
4) Christian Kane vs Eliot Spencer

Ian said...

@Cam Banks

Loved the Leverage RPG Quickstart Job on DriveThruRPG, and await the release of the full book. Thanks! :D

razormuse said...

I totally get the fact that Eliot is a hitter..but if the dude doesn't get to hook up with some lass soon, he's gonna bust a vein. He seems a lot more angry in the new episodes.Congrats on your debut, I hope you stay, the shows are great! Also dug the seen where they were all enthralled with Hardison's violin solo, I don't think it was so much music appreciation, but more hitting a human emotion in them.LOVING this season!

darkrose said...

One Inside Job reference no one seems to have caught; Hannity claims to have a Ph.D. in agronomy from Stanford. Stanford doesn't have any agriculture programs...however, it's local and internal nickname is "The Farm".

Oh, I caught that. I went to Stanford, and I work at the big Northern CA school that's known for it's agriculture program.

Everyone's already asked the questions I had, so I'll just say that I loved both episodes. Aldis playing the violin just about killed me from the sheer awesome.

Ian said...

Re: 3x04

Alexander Moto bought the Stradivarius for $4,500,000.

At the end of the episode, they claim they've sold the Strad, and they give their client a check for $500,000, unless I have the freeze-frame wrong.

What happened to the other $4 mil? Did they sell the Strad at a massive loss? Did they pocket the extra cash?

Anonymous said...

Loved to see that Elliot no longer only uses his fists :-) Feet are dangerous, too.
Archie as Parkers mentor - wonderful idea.
304 (Scherazade Job): Hypnotizing Hardison... When he played that well as a child he would not be a criminal today. There you lost me.
But the rest of the ep - nice.

How did it feel to direct your first episode?
You got a new sponsor (Mercedes, not Hyundai anymore)?

303 (Inside Job): How did Elliot manage to get on the window-washing lift?
At the end, how did the whole team get on this lift? Nate was on an other building...

General question: Isn't Nate a fugetive? He escaped from prison... How does he manage not to get cought again?
I was a little disappointed of the first episode. I hoped for more surprises, a bigger "bang". Or that a few episodes take place in the prison (Nate directing everyone from there...).

Anonymous said...

First, thanks for making Leverage "TV For Smart People". I quit watching TV years ago because it was just so.... dumb. With Leverage, I have to PAY ATTENTION, which is FABULOUS! Feed My Brain! ("Age of the Geek, Baby!")

I especially like how the writers and cast are so connected to the fans (via Twitter, this blog, ConCon etc.) It takes Leverage from being 'a show' to being part of an experience.


Gotta agree that it would be great to have "The Italian's" dialogue subtitled. I can't read her lips, either, which would usually help.

RE: Glasses on Eliot Are the glasses strictly a prop for the character, or does CK wear contacts, and occasionally glasses? (Maybe to avoid eye injury during Whoop-Ass Sessions?)

I usually watch each episode 3x's. I'm only on the second viewing, so no more ?'s yet.

Anonymous said...

In #304 (I'm not gonna try to spell that) when Hardison is playing his solo and you get reaction shots of the team, what is Eliot's reaction supposed to mean? Annoyance?--Maybe that Hardison was better at something?

Maya said...

First of all, great start of the season. Loved all the episodes so far, great writing. Sophie-Gina being back makes all the difference, too. She's amazing and my favorite. I love the fact that you make sure to give shippers something in every episode. Love every Nate/Sophie scene and that scene in the kitchen? So HOT. Seriously they should just kiss AGAIN already. Love the physical proximity of these two in season 3, so much of the sexual tension there. Now on to a question. How come Sophie is no longer part of the client meetings with Nate? Is there a specific reason for that? I can live with it but Nate said last season that it's something he does with Sophie. Also, could you tell TNT that Sophie is a part of the team as well. They tend to forget about that. They pay more attention to other characters when promoting the show. It, well, sucks.

Anonymous said...

In 303 when Eliot is fighting with the guard, is he purposefully letting the guard get some shots in to lure the guard into the circle Parker has rigged to blow?

Absolutely loved the GOTCHA reveal. Hubby & I were so surprised (laughing & high-fiving). That was very clever.

Congrats on a job EXTREMELY well done!

Jane said...

@anon and SueN

I know all that and I honestly liked both episodes. But after the team ignored Eliot at the end of 302, which was played for laughs, the last thing I wanted to see in 303 was Nate as an exceptional cook, all in the name of furthering his Sexual Tension and 'Ship Tease' with Sophie.

It only exasperated my worry that Leverage is losing the teamness and is instead going for the Bones esque 'Will They Or Won't They' trope (which is why I stopped watching Bones), I'm hoping I'm wrong but I can't help worrying about it.

Also, we've had a variation of the "anyone want to do my job, I get punched and kicked" line a couple times, and there's been no reaction. It's like they expect Eliot to take the punches and be right as rain afterwards.

In the 304 fight he took some pretty nasty blows, but they showed no concern for him and any possible injuries. It would be really nice if they did once in a while. They'd probably receive an annoyed answer but it'd show they care and that they aren't taking him, and his protection, for granted.

As much as I like the fights, Christian's 'dancing' is amazing, I'm still hoping for an episode without a single fight. Eliot fighting every con can't be good for him and it has to catch up with him some time.

Anonymous said...

First can i say what brilliant episodes these were. I am in the UK and watch them via the internet and they are the highlight of my Monday mornings (time delay).

My question is this. How old are Parker, Eliot and Hardison meant to be? Back in S1 we heard that Aimee hadnt seen Eliot since he last left 8 years before (putting him in his mid 20's), Hardison hadn't played the violin since he was 14 - and that was 10 years ago (making him 24) and there was something in 303 about Parker suggesting that she was around the same age. Now, much as i love the actors (especially CK) i don't really think any of them can pass as early/mid 20's (and much as i love him, CK has too many laughter lines).

Isaac said...

With the Super-Skrull references, I suddenly want to see a shot of Hardison relaxing in his apartment, listening to the song "Super-Skrull" by the band "Ookla The Mok".

Parker's tear as she listened to Hardison's violin was fantastic. I got a sense that the whole team was in awe of Hardison at that moment, not just because of what he was accomplishing, but that they were mourning that he had lost this musical side of him so long ago for a life of crime instead. They saw what he could have been, and it was glorious.

Richard Chamberlain was fantastic. Like Bonanno and Chaos, this is a supporting character that I'd love to see again. The crew getting caught in a showdown between Archie and Sterling could be quite fun.

I loved Hardison's reaction to Parker's hideout. "THIS is the girl I'm thinking about hooking up with? What am I getting into?"

If we're getting Chaos back this season, how about Eliot's favorite Israeli, Raquel? Or Apollo?

On a non-Leverage topic -- what did you think of the latest Doctor Who season, now that it's finished?

bubbleslayer said...

I've noticed the word leverage being used more than once in conversation. Happy accident or desigh?

Regan said...

First, I can't tell you how much I love your show. This is my first time posting a question here, and I'm so impressed you take the time to answer them all!

1) It was cute to have the password to Parker's home be Sophie's real name, but does it really make sense that she'd choose the one password Nate wouldn't be able to break? Was that intentional?

2) At the end of 303, Archie demands that Dr. Hannity double his money for the job. I thought he was doing this unpaid to keep his family safe?

3) Nate's insistence that Hardison doesn't have what it takes because he's not ruthless enough toward his own team in 304 worked well with the plot, but it didn't really ring true to me. In fact, in the Runway Job it was pointed out that Nate would never have left Sophie in a potentially dangerous situation just to finish the con. Given that Nate has acknowledged the crew as his family, why are we seeing him take a turn for the harsher this season?

Jocelyn said...

After rewatching 302 I just had a question that you or anybody here could answer.

When Eliot and Hardison enter the restaurant and are posing as the health inspectors, Eliot introduces himself as "Earl Hickey". Did I hear that correctly?

And if I did, what's with the "My Name Is Earl" shout out?

Sara said...

I love that even on the occasions where I have a question, all I need to do is come into these posts late and someone else will already have asked it. Awesome. =P

Oh, re: the discussion of hypnotism: I have to say, when Nate was all, "oh I hypnotized you lol" I did have a moment of "...buh?" But just a moment. I think it worked in spite of that.

Been loving the episodes! "The Inside Job" is one of my new favorites.

CanadianSarah said...

CONGRATS on your first directing gig! You rocked it John!

3x03: BUNNY!!!!!
I LOVED the whole interaction with Parker/Archie/Nate over the coms when Parker decides to stay behind because, to me anyway, Parker has really adopted Nate as her almost-father figure (because even though he's a fuckup sometimes he's still the closest thing she's got).
Hardison calling Parker 'Mama' had me cracking up, but the real thing that I noticed here was that...no one seemed to notice. The rest of the team just seemed to go with it as if it were a normal thing.
Also, Chris was rocking the snark level in this one.

3x04: Hardison with the violin (does Aldis really play? I thought he tweeted that he did) was stunning in the end, and I think the camera work in that scene was perfection. Some people are bitching about the team having a "moment" when the solo starts, but hell, I was crying right there with Parker. Scheherazade is a stunningly beautiful piece and my kudos to whomever picked it.
I love that Eliot gets his ass kicked sometimes. Don't get me wrong, watching Chris kick serious ass works for me, but Eliot is human and some days he's going to come up against people who don't go straight down and I really respect that you guys aren't afraid to hit Chris in the face a few times for the sake of "realism".
The thing with Eliot and the woman at the end (and I think Chris acted the shit out of that scene), at first I thought it was a "get some ass" moment, but then the camera angle changed and, for me, it seemed like Eliot was looking for some kind of, forgiveness maybe? Absolution? Like taking down some of these guys brings to light the things he's done that he's not so proud of. Maybe I'm wrong, but y'all really need to get into that some more. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

In 302, "The Inside Job," how did Elliot subdue the real window washers? I assume he attacked them and knocked them unconscious. I can't imagine he could trust them with a bribe or warning to not draw unwanted attention. And this is their livelihood he is messing with. While I can appreciate the urgency of Parker's need, I like it when Elliot respects the little guy. The least he could do is make it a clean hit, and have them wake up later with a couple hundred dollar bills in their pockets.

24jg13 said...

@Ian said...
Re: 3x04

Alexander Moto bought the Stradivarius for $4,500,000.

At the end of the episode, they claim they've sold the Strad, and they give their client a check for $500,000, unless I have the freeze-frame wrong.

What happened to the other $4 mil? Did they sell the Strad at a massive loss? Did they pocket the extra cash

It occurred to me that Hardison probably paid the $500,000 to keep the violin, that would explain how they were able to sell it so fast and why they would have taken such a lowball amount.

Anonymous said...

@Jane - For me, dwelling over Eliot's injuries too much is borderline getting into h/c territory which I'm glad this show avoids for the most part. I like that the fights are there to look cool and/or be funny.

That said, I absolutely agree about the fear about too much shipping. This show is great because all the characters are individually interesting. They don't really need couples. I'm willing to see how they develop them, because I do see chemistry with N/S and P/H, but I don't love that most of the cast is paired up and I think that formula gets old fast. I'd like to see Leverage at least bust out of the mold a little if they're going that route.

I also LOVE your idea about an ep where Eliot does not fight at all. Was there a fight in Zanzibar Marketplace? Maybe a few more eps where he's grifting or doing something else in the con would be a nice change of pace.

Also, and this is for you Rogers - Eliot needs a FLAW. When Parker gets crazy or Nate gets self-destructive or Hardison goes overboard on a con, those things are fun to watch. Eliot kicks everyone's ass, feeds everyone and feels really bad about disadvantaged kids. He can become a baseball or a music star with no apparent effort. If he never does anything wrong, it gets boring. I know CK based Eliot on BA Baracus, but BA Baracus was not a character - he was a caricature - and Eliot and this show are better than that.

Lissie said...

first of, i gotta say how much i enjoyed the inside job. getting to see Parker's biggest influence was great and seeing how much she's changed. her emotions and feeling are more human now. i noticed in 3.4 that Eliot had an old look on his face when he said that he wihed they could do more... is there going to be backstory on past solo missions he had? how Eliot became Eliot. i think thats my time but thanks for doing this for us. i know it must take a long time to go thru all these comments and we really do appreciate it

Anonymous said...

@Jocelyn "When Eliot and Hardison enter the restaurant and are posing as the health inspectors, Eliot introduces himself as "Earl Hickey". Did I hear that correctly?"

"And if I did, what's with the "My Name Is Earl" shout out?"

ISTR, the actor who played Earl Hickey in that show fathered a child with Beth Riesgraf.

Anonymous said...

@Kristin

No offense but you are crazy. To me, Gina is more beautiful than Elisabeta Canalis. No contest.

David said...

Are any members of the writer's room devout watchers of 'Mythbusters', and if so, are there ever any arguments whether to continue to use the standard tropes of spy/burglar shows (like visible laser sensors / silent ductwork crawling), even though the Mythbusters proved them to be a bunch of Hollywood hooey?

gypsyhrt said...

When Nate hypnotized Hardison, Did he ask what Sopie's real name is?

Glad to see other sides of each character, will we get to see how each of them has crossed each other's path in the past?

ProfessorTom said...

In case you haven't gotten the message, the violin solo wasn't synced. The bonus here is that this adds mystery to whether or not Hardison was really hypnotized or if Nate had pulled off a much bigger con and kept the details secret. Intentional?

Also, it would be awesome to see Maury Chaykin as a baddie. I'm surprised that Tim hasn't already lobbied for Maury.

Nato said...

You had me at "action synchronized to classical music," sir. Bravo.

Eliot's reaction to seeing Parker attacked intrigued me, and I think I finally "get" their relationship. Eliot, we know, has a unique sympathy for abused and exploited kids. And I'm guessing that's how he sees Parker -- as a kid who grew up alone, on the streets, probably in danger more than once. Which would explain why he's so protective of her, even though she can arguably be the single most terrifying person on the entire team.

Also, wow, I feel like you guys are spoiling us with all the nifty little bits of Parker/Hardison relationship we've gotten so far this season.

As for 303, I loved the Avengers/Archie Leach references, and Mr. Chamberlain's performance as the dapper gentleman thief. I'm guessing villains named "Hannity" and "Voorhees" weren't entirely unintentional, either?

Chris said...

Insert unending squee here, another week where I worry that my laughing was bothering the neighbors.

Music geek question: What recording of Scheherazade did you wind up using for that episode?

Nato said...

Also, am I mistaken, or was the logo for the Steranko security system based on Jim Steranko's signature?

Jonathan Polin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan Polin said...

Is the production team at all fans of "Hustle"? I know Timothy Hutton guested in it pre-Leverage, but is it one of the sources from which you draw inspiration? If not, do you like it anyway as a somewhat similar series? (Crossover possibility...?)
Also, I for one was a big fan of the violin ad gibberish.

Jo said...

@ChelseaNH a few others have remarked similarly on this and I have to agree that I don't think the team is "enraptured by the pretty music." Moreover, I think they are taking a moment to appreciate one of the many reasons their team is so successful. They're showing love to Hardison, not to the piece.

Anonymous said...

One other question which applies to all episodes - how long does it take to straighten CK's hair each time...

Irian said...

Question for 304: Why did you choose a realtively happy/humerous music in the final scene? The way the cast seemed to play it I would have expected a more sad tune, to accentuate that Nate may be in danger to lose them

Jo said...

To everyone who noticed: Sophie's name is 6 letters and the last TWO buttons she pressed before # were 7 and 2. Ergo the last two letters of her name are P,R,S or T and A,B or C.

To John: are there going to be more hints this season? We seem to have turned it into a game to crack the code!

kyouell said...

@jarodrussell
Thanks so much. I cannot believe I didn't get that. The Bank Shot Job is one of my favorites & I wondered if that factoid was true (I was a bookkeeper in the 80s and it didn't feel true). I guess that was just overshadowed by "What smells like crank and screams like a girl?" Heh. Also I knew about the orange "black" boxes so I'm disappointed in myself for not putting that together. That's what I get for not getting hooked on the show until it became a "spot a place in Portland that you can recognize" game. I'm behind on these blog posts!

re: Anon's reply to @Jane & the team acknowledging Eliot's injuries
All it would take is someone giving him a hand up or a look at his fist that maybe Eliot doesn't even see. They don't have to go "into h/c territory" to show that they respect what he does for the team.

Jo said...

@Livlife The envelope was a side-job The Italian sent Nate on.
@ZacharyPruckowski The CIA bit was, I think, to be able to walk that envelope, and the team, out the front door without any problems. Remember Nate also established the entire team as being CIA agents at the same time. The story avoids unnecessary hassle and turns them from thieves into government agents recovering what belongs to them.

Nina May said...

@Anonymous:
My question is this. How old are Parker, Eliot and Hardison meant to be?

I think Rogers answered this a while back, and iirc it was something like:

Nate, early 40s
Sophie won't say
Eliot early 30s
Parker and Hardison mid 20s

Back in S1 we heard that Aimee hadnt seen Eliot since he last left 8 years before (putting him in his mid 20's)

Um, whut?

Jo said...

@Siobhan I thought everyone in the crowd was standing still at first too. Look more closely. They are walking slowly. Eliot is just walking faster which makes it look a bit funky.

Jo said...

@Seansmoma John didn't write The Inside Job. He stated in an iF Magazine interview he didn't want to direct one of his own scripts.

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