Saturday, December 11, 2010

LEVERAGE #311 "The Rashomon Job" Post-Game

There's not a giant post-game on this. We'd talked about doing it as five viewpoints of a single con/heist happening in the present day, with the puzzle element being the audience piecing together the plan along the way. The time-frame was undecided up until the point where we started breaking it -- it's the script we're discussing in the room in this video:

Although many people can see links to the shifting viewpoints and dreamlike quality of House's "Three Stories", this was really inspired by Coupling's "Remember This" and "Nine and a Half Minutes". Who am I kidding -- it was inspired by all of Moffat, really. There are very few television writers out there who play with meta-structure and perception the way Stephen Moffat does. A lot of the great moments in Jekyll depend on the writer knowing the viewer knowing he's watching Jekyll & Hyde. He pulled off an absolutely magnificent season-long time-screw with Doctor Who this season by ...well, that would be spoilers. It's streaming. Go watch it.

All those play with shifting viewpoints -- but I like writing about memory. How do we showcase those different memories of the same night? Showing them with differing views of each other would make sense, but if we started screwing with differing views of the objective events, we'd all get lost. So one outside character would become the lens for that trick. But how?

One of my favorite experimental films is Hal Hartley's Flirt.* Three different sets of characters in three different cities experience three different stories all speaking the exact same dialogue. Flirt is, insanely, only available on DVD in Australia as far as I can figure. Time to go haunt your hipster DVD store.

And, so Coswell was born. We were just very lucky to get John Billingsely, who can play both sides equally convincingly.

The structure -- one character per act -- breaks out nicely from their roles as "Mastermind, Grifter, Hitter, Hacker, Thief." It's amazing how a throw-away line tossed into the S1 finale -- essentially just because I like the sound of it -- has wound up being such an oddly iconic facet of the show. The "power surge" acted like a starting gun in each act, gave us something to hang objective reality off of. However, assume anything and everything on either side of the surge is fluid. In all the stories, including Nate's.

All the acts were intentionally stylized -- it just made sense considering the characters, and is one of the original concepts of the show from the first ideas three years ago. They're actually less stylized than originally envisioned. In the original version for example, Parker sees people in black and white, and valuable objects in color.

Eventually the script fell out as a weird "whodunnit". We were deep into the end-of-season chaos. Downey and Thorne and Veach were breaking the first half of the finale, Colton & Aboud went up to Portland to shoot #313 (they came back to help with the finale scripts), the Wonder Twins were just back from #310, and Boylan was, for a chunk of this, up on her very fine episode "The King George Job." So I disappeared into the half-built editing bay that serves as our EP office and started making notes. Lots, and lots of notes.

Every now and then I'd emerge into the light, grab whoever was in the writers' room and try to break the choreography on the heist. We wound up doing this with Legos and office supplies, as seen in this Twitter pic:

For a while there was a full-on armored car heist. For a while there were more fake daggers, some shipping boxes within boxes ... This is one of those times where it's really, really good to have a writer's room. I'll admit that this episode is one I've been waiting to write for three years; I could never have done it without the help of every person in that room.

I then basically puked this thing out, and we shot ... pretty close to my first draft. This was a script where it's better to just write the damn thing than think yourself out of a good idea. After all, when you look at the handy timeline/continuity flowchart our amazing Script Coordinator Kerry Glover came up with, no sane human would ever give this a shot.

Production at first had a collective aneurysm. But then our very capable 1st AD for this episode, Eric Hayes, broke out the posterboard. He tracked every scene in every timeline on the wall of the set as they shot it, allowing Arvin Brown to focus on the actors and the non-insane bits. Big shout out to our DP Dave Connell (two N's, two L's, mate) and A operator Gary Camp for cooking up all the cool in-camera dream-fades, etc.

Oh, that's right -- scheduling. Our season was originally broken at 9/6 (nine summer, six winter) or 10/5. The we found out we'd be doing 16 at the same time we were told it would be 12/4. I was planning on writing "The Rashomon Job" as one of the off-speed Winter episodes.

But then we found out -- and again, I have no problem with this, it's just how cable rolls -- that we'd be just 3 episodes in the winter, with the season finale shown as a two-hour event. That meant no room for "Rashomon" as #314 ... but "Ho Ho Ho Job" was already written for the Christmas slot. Downey's script was always going to be the summer finale (#312) and Boylan was even then shooting the script (#311) that led directly into Downey's script.

So, "Ho Ho Ho" was slid to the #314 slot, even though it spent its life numbered "#313". "King George" and "Morning After" were always a matched set, so that meant "Rashomon" slid earlier into the season than planned.

All that said, It's pretty standalone, and this is one of those situations where script/shoot order really doesn't matter.

Right, into the questions:

@Barbara: Did i just see the duchess' address as warren ellis road, or am i imagining things?

Hey, he deserves a shout-out too, you know. if only for introducing his readers to Godzilla bukake.

@Gina: Only thing I don't understand is, when they met years later, how did none of them recognize that any of the others had been there? You'd think at least one or two would have a good enough memory for faces.

Five years ago, for three sentences, tops, and they were distracted. That was one of the things we worried about, making sure the exposures were short enough.

@IMForeman: Of course, I do wonder how Nate and Sophie missed each other, since they knew each by that point. And I wonder if this isn't one of the first big jobs Hardison pulled, given that he would have been real young by that point.

Nate was focused on Gladstone, and wasn't on the floor much, Sophie never saw him. But yes, that could have gone very differently. Assume Nate at some point realized Sophie was there in the wrap-up, but never pursued it, as he got his man.

@Jordan: This is non episode related. I was wondering if any of the five cast members could make an appearance on his season's commentary? I like watching the commentary and getting the writers perspective but I would like to hear the actor's too.

They've missed the last few years because of scheduling conflicts, but a couple of them are kicking around on the Commentaries for Season 3.

@Joey C: Are we supposed to take Nate's telling of the story the catch-all "here's what happened?" or is there still some room for debate in that?

Despite what some actors have said in interviews, no. Nate is still an unreliable narrator, although about 80% accurate. He's not making up the crush, or the crime plot, or how they interfered with each other.

@Traeia: The only criticism I would have is that the way the entire crew felt the urge to move to another part of the bar at every break felt very forced to me. Except Nate's movement to the bar. That felt veryNate.

I wrote that to allow us (and the actors) to track attitude. That way, they were always aware just how much they knew in the framing device-timeline by where they were sitting.

@Sammie323: That was Riley Smith as Sophie's Eliot, right? Did he enjoy trying to be Christian Kane? :)

Indeed, he had a ridiculously good time, and it was great to have him on set. He's known Kane for ... Jesus, I don't know, but I've seen a photo of the two of them as bloody teenagers hanging out together.

@Anonymous: Let's get right down to the important stuff. :) Did Sophie imagine Nate unzipping her or did he imagine doing that to her? Is it a little preview for a future episode?

Sophie flirts even in a narrative device.

@workworkwork: So how did you keep everyone from cracking up every time Gina had to roll out a new accent? (I especially loved Sophie's comment to Hardison's story - "I hate you all.")

We could not stop the laughter. Beth barely got through her sequences with Gina. And I suspect that's how Brits think of their American friends all the time ...

For the record, for Gina's last accent, the script simply reads "Sophie: Absolutely incomprehensible British-sounding gibberish." She came up with the accent herself.

@Sarah W: have to ask---do y'all have post-it notes all over your writing rooms that say things like, "Eliot---Monkey---North Korea---sapphire?" Or does someone just look up and say, "Hey, this would be a good place to stick a monkey reference as a special treat for Team Eliot." ?

Pretty much the second one. We do have those notes assembled by Kerry Glover and Rebecca Kirsch, but as we're not a continuity heavy show, we rarely need to go looking for something we don't know off the top of our head. 40 odd episodes between references, btw.

@Evening Shadow: (1.) In the Reunion Job, we find out that Hardison originally stole the Iceland money to pay for Nana's medical bills. In the Miracle Job, when he says, "I am so sorry Nana," he raises his gaze upwards and he also speaks of her in the past tense. I took all that to mean Nana had passed away. Yet in your Q&A for Ep 306, you refer to her as being alive to make Parker's dress. Soooo alive or dead? (2.) If Nana is indeed alive, does this mean she's met Parker or any other members of the crew? (3.) Speaking of Parker, will there be any more Parker/Hardison goodness coming this season? The 'pretzel' scene was excellent and I'd love some follow-up on that. (4.) I'm hearing impaired and I was wondering if there might be the possibility Leverage would take a page out of its TV boyfriend's Psych's book and do video commentaries. I can't listen to regular commentaries because it's the episode that's cc'd and not the commentary itself. On Psych S3, the video commentaries were cc'd and I was finally able to get some behind the scenes dish.

1.) Alive. 2.) Hmm. Hmmm. I do not know. Yet. 3.) Heh. Finale. 4.) We don't really have the abilities to do video commentaries (also, I'm drunk in a lot of them. Uh, all of them...) The closed-captioning is up to the DVD humans, but I'll see what I can do.

@Anonymous: ok my question is: since "eliot" had short hair is this where he starts growing it out so he's not as recognizeable and his enemies can't blackmail him and assassins can't find him?

When he transitioned from primarily, ah, dampwork to retrievals.

@Jason: (1) How far would Hardison go just to satisfy his ego and will it ever get him into serious touble?he did all of that planning just to steal a sword to prove something to other hackers.(2).Will we ever get to see Hardisons nana in a flashback type of episode? (3).How old would the leverage team be 5 years ago when this took place?

1.) I think we've seen Hardison's ego bite him in the ass a couple times. And as it's part of his superpower, he's not losing it soon. 2.) I think so. 3.) Nate & Sophie late 30's, Eliot about 30, Parker and Hardison early 20's. We always play them roughly parallel.

@Cameron Hughes: (1) What did Nate mean by "You all ARE criminals. I have no choice." I thought he was past this. (2) A late question, I know, but I talked to Beth about this and wanted your take. Nate was outraged by the fact that Archie didn't take her in and help her. Said he "ruined" her, but Nate himself could get her help, but instead uses her like a tool. Elaborate on this?

1.) He can still be a petty shit about it. It's like how people who went to an Ivy league school always somehow manage to mention the school in any conversation, no matter the relevance. 2.) Parker was a fully-functioning adult thief by the time Nate got her. He wasn't going to drug her and make her go to group. (Although, as we've seen, that was surprisingly effective.) He relies on her for a lot of the physical infiltration planning. He may use her, but she's at the very least complicit, and capable of her own judgment.

And hey, better you've got Parker pointed in the direction of "good".

@Shawne: My question is -- what is the significance of the team drinking with Nate?

He's back to a balanced state of functioning alcoholic. If you're going to hang with him, you might as well drink.

@The Pink Peril: What happened to Billingsley character? He lost the girl, found out he was oblivious to the crimes happening on his watch by his boss, and didn't catch a single bad guy. He needed a happy ending.

Oh, he got one. Nate let him take all the credit for the bust, and he wound up dating that other nice girl from the Antiquities Room. He's just ... sweet. He still think Nate is a swell guy, actually. And Nate is inordinately fond of him.

@CtRokJ: Ok a few of us were wondering. When we first see Eliot we spotted a number 7 on the back of his vest. What does it stand for? Mickey Mantle or Rule number 7?

We had to put something on the vest, might as well be ... Rule Number 7.

@Anonymous: (1) did nate realize that it *was* Sophie before tonight? or any of the rest of them? and (2) why couldn't't parker feel that it was a fake? she was the only one of them to hold it, but she clearly thought it was real.oh, and (3) where did Sophie's amazing duchess dress come from?

1.) He figured Sophie out shortly thereafter, but let it lie. He's had some questions about the funkiness of the night ever since the incident. 2.) It was a good fake, and Parker didn't have it for long. 3.) Your subconscious.

@nonniemous: (Long complicated question about Eliot being set up by Gutman)

No. It's not linked to the arc. Straight-up job.

@Whimseyrhodes: My question(s) are not episode related, but I hope you'll answer them anyway. Do you (or any of the cast/crew) ever read any of the fanfiction on the internet? You guys obviously know it exists, from comments/spoofs done on the extras of S2. What do you think about it? Does any of it offend? Do any of them spark ideas for new storylines?

We're genre writers, so know it's there. As I've stated before, I think fanfiction is the sign of a healthy show. But we don't read it. It's ... well for us, to paraphrase my old showrunner, it's a bit like a dog eating his own vomit. And I don't mean that in a bad way, I mean -- well, you either get the metaphor or you don't. It's just meta and recursive.

I'm sure some people would find some of the stories offensive, but ... eh. That's for you guys to enjoy.

@Richard Howe: With all this talk of Nate being a bastard, and having finally seen his dear old dad, I'm left wondering: was Nate a good dad? I know he loved his son, but that alone doesn't make you a good dad (though it certainly helps).

He was a great dad. He was a far better man with Maggie and Sam than he was before or has been since.

@Coren: One, how are these works of art being scanned? You obviously can't slap a barcode on or implant an RFID chip (even if RFID was that advanced five years ago) Two, so the dagger was gonna go back to Gladstone when it got scanned, but then Sophie changed the shipping address. But then Hardison hacked it so it was going to stay put - so why was the nice box which the dagger would be kept in still sent, without the dagger?

1.) Image recognition. Pretty primitive for then, but used widely now. Not good enough for authentication, just for filing. 2.) Two different assistants were working at that table. One saw the nice box was closed, assumed the other had packed it, and so put it in the delivery crate.

@ANonymous: There was at least one of Aldis' paintings on the wall? I thought I recognized the red one...

I think so, but I am not sure. I'll ask him tomorrow.

@Maya: I have a few questions. (1)Why is Nate wearing a ring/wedding band on his right hand, middle finger in the bar? I don't think I've ever seen Nate wearing jewelry before. Does it have a special meaning (for Nate/Sophie or Nate) or is it random and we shouldn't give it a second thought? (2) Did Nate know that it was Sophie going up the stairs in that fabulous dress right before him and Coswell? We do know that Sophie had no idea he was there as the insurance agent 'cause none of them did. (3) What happened to the roses that were meant for Sophie in the first place? I was hoping Nate would give them to Sophie in the end. (4) Was Nate projecting a bit of himself and his feelings for Sophie in the real version of Coswell? They're both into Sophie, they live for work and Nate might realize he shouldn't let her get away...

1.) Random. 2.) No, he compressed their distance in his version of the story, for time. 3.) Nate gave them to Maggie, who was pleasantly surprised, and a little suspicious that he was about to pop another "Nick and Nora off to Istanbul" trip on her. 4.) No. Coswell's crush is real. I could leave it all vague and Inception-y, but nah.

@dyluke: question: is the sapphire monkey the same monkey in the two-horse job?


@Anonymous: do have a question, though. In the first two stories (Sophie's and Eliot's), John Billingsley says "I saw my first Duchess upstairs -- she -- you--". I don't completely understand the "first Duchess" reference. Was that the line as written? In these two stories, he's not coming on to Miss Ipcress (or her file :-), and he's not trying to impress her with culture, so if he was trying to say that she looked like the Duchess (as she did!), I think he would have expressed himself somewhat differently. What's the story with that, if anything?

It's a play on Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess." No, seriously, it always stuck with me.

Anyway, Coswell's trying to say she's as pretty as a Duchess. He is not having a good night.

@Anonymous: Question-wise: did the crew misremember the museum security chief as being super-competent to give themselves a better story, or did they just misplace the invisible hand of Nate in the proceedings?

No, it's their natural bias in a tense situation dealing with authority figures.

@Anonymous: We saw the Dr. Wes Abernathy persona in the Jailhouse Job. Is this where he came up with it for the first time?

I would say it's the name of a childhood friend he uses when he needs a quick character.

@MacSTL: (1) Hardison & the choking. We saw Sophie drug the champagne. Did Eliot really take that glass? But Hardison is not really alergic to shrimp -- so what did he choke on? (2) How did Eliot happen to pick the car of a guy whose clothing with fit him so well? We need to see a con where this trips the team up!! (In fact - Eliot did it twice in this and Hardison did it once.)

1.) he was fake choking, not realizing it would play into Sophie's plan. Sophie's the one who accelerated it. 2.) He watches the head height as they drive up.

@Radagast: One thing bugs me - would Hardison-five-years-younger really be able to pull off being a government minister? We saw him as he looks today, of course, but in the actual situation, he'd be a tad less mature. And I doubt he'd look like the memory Sophie and Eliot had of the 'minister'.

They weren't paying all that much attention to him. And kleptocrats run young. Not to mention the fact that most of you are convinced Aldis is older than he really is, anyway.

@Odie: Oh. A question: What was the security guy about to do that made Eliot's flying tackle necessary?

Eliot needed the uniform, and he needed to clear the guy out of line of sight of the door. Big kudos to Arvin Brown for using the locked-off comedy frame there.

@Kathleen: nice Guttman ref.

Thanks for getting it.

@Heronymous: Jon, you've said in several media that you believe there are a finite number of stories to be told with this crew (a point with which I agree, btw); is that number something you can share, at least in the ballpark? Or is that a "we don't say the name of the Scottish Play" kind of thing?

Less than a hundred.

@Jimbo: (1) was it written as we saw it, or did you start with the getout, and work your way back? (much like the heist in A Sacred Art Of Stealing by Christopher Brookmyre - recommended reading) (2) was the Baron Oil bit added in later on as a reaction to BP's little misadventure? Or was it just good timing, like the plane landing in the Mile High Job?

1.) Pretty much as you saw it. The conceit was "five versions of the same crime", then invented a crime with the fiddly bits that would work, then the character beats. 2.) It was happening at the time.

@Livlife:Nate has chased ALL of them at some point in the past, before the team came together. I can buy that being in the museum, he might not have seen one or two of them. Is is possible that Nate didn't know any of them were there? (I can't believe that). If he knew they were there, was HE there because of it? He stated that he was acting for IYS because of the suspected forgery by the evil owner, but was there something more...maybe to make certain that the fake wasn't stolen by one of the gang

Nope, didn't know they were there. The basic premise is not subject to the unreliable narration.

@SueN: I loved how, when the lights blinked off, everyone else went "power surge," while Parker's immediate reaction was, "somebody's broken into the security system." She is such a thief!

Although some people think Parker's streamlining her story, I'm going to go with this. She knew and didn't care, because it didn't impact her plan at that moment.

Remember, our rule is "whatever explanation creates the coolest interpretation of the character wins."

@Anonymous: The one gag that had me rolling, (and no one here has commented on,) was when Coswell stopped Hardison, he had a photo of Sophie, along with her personnel records. In other words, he had the Ipcress File. Hilarious.

Michael Caine is Harry. Goddam. Palmer.

@Anonymous: (1) ANSWERED EARLIER (2)Does Sophie have safe houses of stolen stuff all over the world, she had one in LA, and now London? (3)What happened to the Monkey, did Eliot ever get it? (4)I LOVED the accent gag, I'm British originally, and have the accent, and at that bit could NOT stop laughing. Who came up with it? (5)Loved Parkers bit with the dagger, the flailing and the skipping, is that improvised or scripted, either way, pure directed genius.

2.) As you've seen in "King George", yes. 3.) Season 5. 4.) I have a lot of annoyed British friends. 5.) All Beth.

@Ally: 1) Had Nate already worked with Eliot at the time of this attempted theft? Did he realize that he was helping Eliot when he got Gutman arrested? If so, how? 2) How did Parker escape when Coswell knew she was there? 3) What exactly was Nate doing in the "security office" and what made him come out to check the hallways?

1.) Yes, then no. 2.) Climbed right into another vent while Coswell was nursing his nose. 3.) Checking onthe food poisoning case, which had mysteriously disappeared.

@SueN: Stealing the dagger in modern day. I defer to Rogers – competition or collaboration?

Competition. How the prime storyline was originally conceived, three years ago.

Eric Palicki: why didn't Nate recognize Sophie from her employee file? Am I correct in assuming that she and he had a history by then? Did he not screen the museum employees?

He didn't see the file until afterwards -- he already suspected Gladstone, and came into the case very, very late.

@MagsMc: You’ve mentioned before that we need to keep our eyes on that envelope/file from Scheherazade, did we see a glimpse of it as Eliot searched through the shipping crate?


@Kris: That's the same actress playing the reporter in this episode as in The Inside Job. Well done with attention to detail! (Nosy production question - did you have to bring her back to film this bit, or did you just film it when she was on set for The Inside Job?)

Brought her back. She's part of the Leverage-verse.

@Simon: With the argument between Sophie, Hardison & Eliot at the beginning of the show, Sophie's argument was the only one I could make out clearly from start to end. Was the audio manipulated to make her argument stand out over the other two or did it naturally end up that way?

That's just vocal tone. The argument was all improvised.

@Katie: (1) Was it just me or did the normal leverage background music have a bit of a Coupling spin? Noticed it mostly before Sophie's story, am I just hearing what I want to hear?
(2) How hard was it for Gina to pull off an Americanized fake-ass Cockney accent? And the worst dwarf imitation ever? Big ups to her for that, btw.
(3) You write such amazing Sophie scenes, is it mostly cause you like making Gina work for her money or because you have an affinity for the character? Do not in any way infer that you don't write them all splendidly, but your Sophie stands out as being particularly amazing :)

1.) Coincidence, I think. Not sure Joe DeLuca ever saw the show. But it's a Sophie-spin. 2.) She can do it in her sleep. 3) I have to admit, I always like writing Sophie. Part of me pines for the justification for a Tara/Sophie spin-off.

@Erin: Question: Regarding the Nate-Gutman-Eliot reveal - to what extent, if any, was Nate aware at the time that taking out Gutman would benefit Eliot? At first I assumed it was inadvertent, but on rewatch that second beat at the bar after everyone else walks out sure reads as Eliot being grateful for more than Nate's unknowing involvement in a happy coincidence. Are we meant to be reminded that Nate, at his chessmaster finest, knows where *all* the pieces are and arranges them exactly as he sees fit?

Inadvertent. Total coincidence.

@Rebecca: Please settle a debate from TWoP - did Sophie put some kind of shrimp juice or shrimp product in the Minister's drink to cause an allergic reaction or did she put something to make him sick and then just point out that the food he'd been eating had shrimp in it, making everyone believe he was having an allergic reaction? A moot question, I know, since the Minister/Hardison never drank the drink, but still...

Shrimp juice. Sophie was a professional criminal who didn't give a shit what happened to some corrupt ass-grabber on her way to the prize. Assume, however, she was working under the belief he'd have an allergic reaction and be fine.

@Erin: You know what theory I do like, though? That Nate was *never even there* that night. Think about it...that's right... Here, you can borrow my tin hat, it's quite comfortable :)

That works just fine, actually.

@Wa: I apologize if this has already been addressed? Who wrote the episode? Was it yourself, or a collaborative effort with each of the centric character's writing team working on their version of the tale?

Each episode of Leverage, with the rare exception, is written by a single writer (or writing entity, in the case of partners). Although most shows are broken in the room, the writer of record usually pitched the idea in the first place and takes lead in figuring out that plot. They then produce an outline, and finally a draft. Downey and I will give notes, and occasionally I'll do a light pass, but the writer's in charge of all revisions. That writer is then on set to adapt to any changes in physical production, director's notes or actor's input.

The exceptions tend to be the finales, where Downey and I will sometimes split up acts, but then the writer of record does the final unifying pass. If you look back through the post-games, we usually note any other exceptions.

@Michael: One further comment/question: Did I just imagine things or did Hardison, in the scene where he pretends he actually had the dagger (a few seconds later replayed as dismayed not having the dagger) pull a perfect copy of an Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley-face?

Aldis was showing off.

@scooter5203249: (1.) Nate was just being sarcastic when he said he'd go back to jail "forever" if they didn't find Moreau, wasn't he? I can't think of anything he did that would warrant a life sentance, and what the hell, he gave state's evidence. He may be a thief, but he's still a good guy. (2.) Sophie gives some of her artwork to the museum to be exhibited while the dagger is on display to get an easy in. Why isn't she worried that someone will recognize one of her pieces as a stolen item? Or are these suppose to be items she bought with, perhaps, proceeds from stolen goods?

First off, I'm disturbed that there were 5,203,248 Scooters in line in front of you for that screen-name.

1.) The organization The Italian belongs to is not a big fan of due process. Enjoy your frame-up and banishment, Mister Ford. 2.) Stolen items have actually been exhibited in museums countless times. She was making a safe bet.

@Dawn/StL-MO: (A) When Eliot’s in the van opening the crate, first he tosses & breaks the “Ming” vase (hysterical) the next thing he pulled out was a pocketed folder with papers in it. Was the information in the folder something regarding Moreau? (B) In Parker’s pov, she crawled into the storage room from the vent, set her duffle bag down & went for the door. She couldn’t get out the door because Eliot & the security guard he tackled were leaning against it, so she went to Plan B. If Parker was really planning on walking out the storage room door, why would she have put down her bag? Was it just a move to make the bag switch work & I should just ride the fun train?

A.) No, see above. B.) The closet, as written, was WAAAAY smaller. She needed to get her hands free to open the door. Set changed, bit didn't. Plus, all it had was her climbing rig, which she didn't need to lug around until her escape.

@Kate: My main question for this ep, however, is this: Does realizing they have NEW first impressions of each other change anything for any of the Leverage crew?

Nope. They're pretty set in their ways by now.

@Gentry: Question: When did Parker start being able to understand Sophie? Or was it more to do with the fact she just didn't care to really listen to what some random Duchess was saying.

That. You can assume most people sound that way to her, actually.

@Rusty: When Sophie's telling her story, "Dr. Abernathy" has short hair, but in each subsequent version, Eliot has his current long hair, albeit in a ponytail. The "waitress", before we know it's Parker, has long blond hair not in a ponytail. After Parker is revealed, her hair is always in a ponytail. My take was that, once each of them knew the other(s) were involved, they were 'seeing' them in the retelling as looking like they currently do - thus the subtle changes. This is similar to how, for example, Eliot's attitude and actions with the knife (not to mention the knife itself, lol) kept changing to fit how the others perceive Eliot now.So, was it really thought out that far, down to the hairstyles?

I wouldn't say "thought out that far", more "internally consistent." It only made sense to drop present day versions of the characters into the story as we went. However, because of the order of the stories, you have no idea what Sophie looked like back then...

@Anna: (1) Does that pic Hardison snapped of Eliot and Sophie exist somewhere? (2) Why did everyone remember Caswell being such a hard-@$$? Do they feel that way naturally about all authority figures? (3) Current status of Hardison's nana? (Sorry if it's already been addressed). (4) Was it hard to clear the bit about Baron Oil?

1.) Oh yes. If he snapped it, it's on a hard drive somewhere. 2.) Authority figure bias. 3.) Alive. 4.) Barron Oil is a fictional Company with no relation to companies currently in existence. Why would we have a problem clearing it?

@bluetiger: Question: Why isn't Nate wearing a wedding ring in the flashback? And what, on the other hand, is that ring that he's wearing on his right hand in the bar?

He doesn't wear a wedding ring. (Neither do I, actually. Feels weird typing all day with one.)

@TJ: (1) I'm assuming everyone's mad at Parker, not because she stole the dagger, but because she didn't say anything about stealing it? (2) Did Beth Riesgraf actual do her cup and ball bit? And how? (3) During Hardison's explanation, she seems confused - is that her working out what happened before her theft or did Parker accidently fool herself with her cup and balls routine? It is Parker... (During a later read of my own post (Note she's also the first person who figured out Nate was there.) Is that when she realized Nate had been there that night?) (4) Why are they all arguing that they stole it even though none of them had hands on it at the end of the night?

1.) Exactly. 2.) Yes, and we tell you on the DVD. 3.) No, she was trying to figure out who got it, because she knew she didn't get it. If you watch her face, you can see her tumble to Nate just a beat before everyone else. 4.) Because each one pulled off the perfect crime. it was just somebody else's fault that they didn't get the prize.

Okay, let's see if I can squeeze at least one more out before "The Ho ho Ho Job" airs. Regardless, have fun tomorrow, then strap in for the soul-shattering two-part season finale!

* Lovely Wife is a big Hal Hartely fan, and I wound up watching this over her shoulder on IFC one day. She's the classy one - she reads Serious Literature and watches Hal Hartley. I read Chandler and misted up during the Community Christmas Special. But it works.


Sarah W said...

Thank you so much for doing these post-games.

The questions are as much fun as the answers!

Casey Moore said...

Barron Oil bit still makes me smile. You are always welcome in New Orleans. Thanks for these, as one of your spec monkeys I appreciate the look in.

IMForeman said...

One thing you didn't address... Did all 5 of the pre-Leverage Leverage Crew take up a parking space at that museum, and how can they live with themselves knowing that someone who rarely drives to the museum might have difficulty finding a spot because of them? ;)

Thanks for doing these. I always appreciate that extra little bit of detail these post games reveal. Oh, and whilst I'm glad to hear a cast member or 2 will partake in commentaries for Season 3's DVDs, I really do feel that the Leverage commentaries thus far have been the Gold Standard for DVD commentaries.

Erin said...

Thanks so much for these post-games, John! It's always great to get a peek behind the curtain.

Stefan Jones said...

Another 'Thanks!' for taking the time to give us this perspective.

FWIW, I now view the tendency of dogs to eat their own vomit as a feature. It saves a lot of cleaning up.

Coren said...

Parker seeing "treasure" in color and unimportant things in black and white (everything else) is pretty damn genius.

Sara said...

Well, the Community Christmas Special was amazing, so misting up over it makes total sense. *nods*

Thanks again for these! :D

IMForeman said...

If they had done Parker's seeing only treasure in color, it would be interesting to see if her teammates are now seen in color.

But what other styles would have been seen? Sophie in 40's noir? Eliot in that grainy 70s Kung-Fu style seen in The Two Live Crew Job? Hardison in Hackers style techno-thriller and Nate in Rockford Files/Stephen J. Cannell style.

That would have played very interesting.

Dee Loralei said...

Gotta say Rogers, your wrap-ups of the shows, no matter how long they take, are a major reason I love the show. Seriously, I'm more invested in Leverage than any other show. I feel like...whatever.. it doesn't really matter what I feel or think about the show. It doesn't even matter if I ask a question and it's answered in your wrap up. It's knowing that someone somewhere is reading and responding to something someone else somewhere else cares about. And for that I am grateful.

Since I've been reading KFM for many years, I feel vested in you, and your success.Hell, I remember your blog when it was about the writing process, politics and pens....

So please, keep up your great work on the ins and outs of the Leverageverse, and man if you could get even a sneeze from David Tennant, I'd be in your wheel house forever.

And thanks for all of this.



SueN. said...

Allow me to add my thanks and gushing praise to you for these. It's ridiculous how happy I get when I see one has posted! It not only adds depth to the episode, it also makes me feel that you truly value us as fans, and want us to be a part of what you do. There aren't many other shows giving off that vibe.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. We've got to be the most indulged and respected fans on the planet.

Aside from the parking, of course.

Thank you, you lovely fuckneck.

Modern day Molly Brown said...

I LOVE reading these. Thank you.

JasTay said...

Aldis' Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley looked more like Eddie Murphy as Bowfinger.

jarodrussell said...

Did all 5 of the pre-Leverage Leverage Crew take up a parking space at that museum

Strictly speaking, Eliot carjacked his way into the museum, so technically he didn't take up the parking space.

IMForeman said...

@Jarodrussel, sure he did. He left a parked car with a man stuffed in the trunk. Then imagine the extra spaces taken up by the rescue services that found him.

scooter5203249 said...

Thanks from me and the other5,203,248 (a Bushmills will assuage the disturbance). We love the post-game shows.

Kris said...

I misted up during the Community Christmas special too! I have to stop being surprised when that happens.

In other news, I think this was the episode that finally convinced me that it was totally worth it to buy a "Leverage Consulting and Assoc." travel mug from Cafe Press...

Rusty said...

I proudly drink my coffee every day at the office out of my Leverage Consulting and Associates mug.....and it totally makes my day when someone recognizes where it's from....

Monica said...

First of all, I loved this episode! Thanks so much for the post-game. I love hearing how it all came together.

Second, my own personal theory for the discrepancy between everyone's opinions of the security guy: Sophie had been there for a long time, and it's her job to know people. She must have had some idea that his personality was closer to Nate's remembering. But she was also the first one to tell her side of the story, and decided he'd be a more interesting character as a villain. The others (except for Nate) had very brief encounters with him and went along with Sophie's interpretation of his personality.

theragingcelt said...

1.Excellent post game, sir. looking forward the last three eps.

2. You mention "Godzilla Bukake" and don't throw up a direct link? You are slipping, sir.
Uh..not that I'm into that sort of thing...I'm just curious...yeah...curious...

Dawn/StL-MO said...

Once again, THANK YOU for answering our questions. It's extremely appreciated. You're so adorable, fuckneck! (loved that blog)

Ho, Ho, Ho is on in less than an hour here in St. Louis...sooooo excited.

Community was pre-empted, but will be on later tonight. Thanks for the tissue warnings.

@jarodrussell & IMForeman RE: Parking spaces - This was a "by invitation only" evening event. (Eliot got the guy's car, clothes & his invitation) There would have been CONSIDERABLY more than enough parking spots.


Sherri said...


Which kinda sums it right up. I so needed this. Today has had a high level of suck (much loved pet died) and since I'm mostly cried out, having some new Leverage is a little bit of a mood lifter.

Chaos, the ever upped ante, and Nate admitting his mistakes -- full night. Thank you, Rogers et al.

Wynne said...

Loved the girl scout cookies on your writing room table in the video. Give me Thin Mints or give me death!

adc1966 said...

Part of me pines for the justification for a Tara/Sophie spin-off.

So do I... make it so, Santa!

At least a miniseries...

Theliel said...

Oddly enough I have a Hal Hartley hookup (vhs only though) due to my Best Man being a gigantic hal hartley fan.

I saw flirt when i was still a young man barely old enough to drive and didn't see rashamon until i was in my late 20's.

So i'm glad i'm not alone in knowning the goodness that is (most) hal films.

I continue to have a soft spot for Amature however.

Jay said...

"Part of me pines for the justification for a Tara/Sophie spin-off."

Which part of you doesn't? That part should shut up.

IMForeman said...

@Dawn/StL-MO You're spoiling the joke.

Robin said...

I love that you guys are also fans of The Moff. He really is a fantastic writer (and frightener of children).

Please tell Kerry that her continuity chart is awesome! I've been joking that if I ever get fired, I'll move to Vancouver to become a script coordinator and put my OCD geekery to good use. (I may have created a similar timeline document for Spike, Angel, and their vampire family in the Buffyverse. It may have been 12 pages long.)

ChelseaNH said...

It's like how people who enrt to an Ivy league achool always somehow manage to mention the school in any conversation, no matter the relevance.

You've been hanging out with the wrong Ivy Leaguers.

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