Sunday, July 31, 2011

LEVERAGE #406 "The Carnival Job" Question Post

Holy smokes, so busy with the finale, almost forgot. Frank Oz directing, Uriah Faber punching -- leave the usual Comments and questions below.

161 comments:

Michael Clear said...

When will we find out that Sophie's real name is Melody Pond?

Anonymous said...

Can I come and nurse Eliot better?

Anonymous said...

NEW ICONIC SHOT!

anonymous said...

Was the scene where they get rid of the actual security guy cut? I'm kind of picturing something like last week with Eliot tackling him in the bushes and taking his clothes. Are you going to be able to get Frank Oz for the commentary?

Anonymous said...

The Great Eliot Spencer!!!!!!!!!!!

Alia said...

Parker has sibling rivalry with a DRD from Farscape, repainted and with extra chrome fittings! Awesome!



(Does Frank Oz ever break out the Miss Piggy voice whist directing? Seems unlikely, but... if I had an iconic voice, I'd totally use it.)

Gina said...

What an awesome episode!!!

I've never been what you'd call an Eliot fangirl, but dang, he was AMAZING tonight. He and that little girl had the most wonderful rapport. And whoever that young actress was, she was fantastic. Wish they could add her to the team!

Nice to have a more complex villain. (No offense, but Snidely Whiplashes do get a bit old after a while. ;-) )

So much good stuff in there -- Parker/Hardison and the robot (could Hardison BE any cuter?), the shot of the five of them walking through the smoke, just . . . everything. Wow. Loved it.

PurpleOps said...

SUPERB episode - GREAT script. Frank Oz - FANTASTIC direction... WANT MORE! Marvelous young actress playing Molly. Particularly liked the way the "take the case" scenes are being shortened to flow directly into the briefing, and especially liked that the mark became sympathetic without even trying to hide it or sneak it in.

My only objection was the use of the House of Mirrors. I liked the tie-in to Molly's feelings about mirrors, but the cliche has been done a few too many times. That said, Eliot's technique was... interesting.

Question: In the vault scene where the mark was wearing the camera glasses, it looked like he left them in the vault. Did he?

My only other objection: Having to wait two weeks before the next episode. At least we'll get two that night!

Sarah W said...

"I thought we were supposed to hate the guys we take down."
"Not a requirement---a perk."


Very nice twist, making the bad guy sympathetic. And having a client who didn't care about Nate's moral of the story (I hope Sophie caught it though . . . because I believe it was for her).

I started suspecting the housekeeper when she said that she and Molly were going to be 'late' for the carnival. I'm not sure if it was a deliberate clue, but it didn't sound right -- it wasn't a phrase Molly's father would have used.

And I have to say: niiice slow walk!

Video Beagle said...

IIRC, Oz sounds naturally a bit like Fozzy Bear, so that'd be awesome.

*****************
Two questions that I might have missed the answer to:
1) why did eliot have a second comm
2) why couldn't Hardison track her comm? Don't they have GPS?

*****************
So, the hall of mirrors fight is Kane's audition reel to be the next Wolverine, huh?

DebbieC said...

Awesome episode. Kudos to the entire cast. It was nice to see an Eliot "softer side" if that is possible.

Will "scifantasy" Frank said...

I...have to admit to having some trouble with this episode. Some of the setup, especially the flashbacks (Nate looking at Connell's phone, for example, giving the lie to Daria's claims--which happened before the kidnapping) give the distinct impression that the team knew that Molly was going to be taken.

Similarly, the fact that Daria was supposedly getting texts from Connell just before Molly was taken, while Connell was in actuality being distracted by the Nate/Sophie playact, really should have occurred to Eliot.

And for that matter, why was Eliot just hanging back, as Molly--who he's supposed to be watching, if he wants to keep his cover--wanders off? Sure, maybe he was a little distracted by the Parker/Hardison exchange (about which more in a second), but still--it, again, gives the sense that he knew what was coming and knew he needed to be away so she could be taken.

Or, if not, then Eliot was seriously falling down on the job--and as much as I actually do appreciate Eliot not being perfect (which people have criticized in the past), and I thought that his actually having been outsmarted with the ride-to-the-face was a good step in the direction, it seems that now he's gone too far, straight into "screwup" territory. The whole second half of the plot could have been avoided if Eliot was more competent, which is definitely an odd statement to make.

Or else, as I said, the team did know, and let it happen...which has its own problems.

And though the Parker2000 was cute, I'm kind of annoyed that, after Parker gave Hardison hell for the robot's existence, he decided the best thing to do was bring the 'bot in on a time-sensitive safecrack. Did he really think that she'd not see that as a slight? They could have been in and out in half the time if she hadn't been frustrated at Hardison (which led to her screwing up the safecrack, and therefore needing the Parker2000); and if they hadn't been arguing, maybe Eliot would have been more on the ball and realized that something was going on.

I mean, there were some fun bits to the episode, but...I feel that too much of the story seemed to rely on the characters acting, frankly, stupidly.

On the positive scale for the episode, the power walk through the smoke was awesome and should be part of the advertising campaign. Likewise, the setup for the Ferris wheel was well played, and the other callbacks--the "car shutdown" and "I don't like what I see"--were played well. And as I said, actually seeing Eliot lose a fight really did humanize him in a way I think may have been needed. And, as a result, in the tag, we see him humanized further...so to speak.

LawMonkey said...

I was rather pleased by the Apocalypse Meow reference. :)

Fun episode all around. Have we met Roper before?

Lydia said...

Wow!!!! Great episode, and damn it, made me cry again! At this rate, my top five episodes is going to be completely rearranged. I really like the fact that not all the marks have to be evil people that we must hate. Yes, they've done bad/horrible things, but there's still a heart in there somewhere.

The camera work was stunning, LOVED the team walking out of the smoke, and mirrors for the fight scene; absolutely freakin' brilliant! And please thank Nadine for me, for Sophie's hair - loved it!

Spectacular fight scene, one of the show's best, I'll definitely be watching it numerous times! Looked like hurt like hell!

Questions(Only first viewing, so may have more later):

1. At the end,when they gave him back the chip, did the team possibly just make a new bad guy to go after?
2. Why did Eliot use his real name for the con? Seems risky (and a little cocky).
3. How is Eliot even walking after that fight? I know he's Eliot Spencer, but that awful crack sounded like it could have dislocated his hip.
4. Dean said on a behind the scenes video, “try not to murder my actor…”, what is it like to be on set while a UFC fighter is ‘beating up’ on your actor? Does the fact that Christian will be doing the stunts ever influence the writing for Eliot?
5. Was the carnival filmed at the Oaks Amusement Park?

Only complaint: two weeks!?

Gina said...

@Lydia -- I think you may be on to something about creating a new bad guy. I did think, "Whoa, nice skewed set of values you've got there, buddy" when he said that last line. :-)

chelle said...

Favorite reference: Rudy!!!

allyone said...

@Will - except Eliot didn't lose the fight. He called on his superior connection with the universe to best his foe. And probably would not have needed to go all kung fu warrior had he not been hit in the face with a carnival ride.

I have to again say that this season continues to really impress me. There was a lot of dialog in season 1 about the grey area between the team and their marks, but I felt like that idea was more lip service than a theme of that season. That idea has been much more richly addressed this season.

And the fact that the client was kind of tool was a nice touch, too.

I have some minor quibbles, but overall, very dramatic and well paced ep. I loved the intensity of everyone on the team when Molly got kidnapped and how quickly they changed the plan, and even though I knew the Nanny was in on it, the reveal was still awesome, and loved Parker pulling the switcheroo with the sniper's gun (let's see the Parker 2000 do that). The kid playing Molly was very good, and Frank Oz did a great job.

How did Frank Oz come on board for this one? Were all the guests local Portland actors or were some from LA?

Rick said...

The Act 1 commercial break seemed rather out of place. Any reason for ending on a light-hearted moment of Eliot mumbling?

(Really only asking because this is the first time in Leverage history that I can remember an Act Break seeming out of place...)

allyone said...

And I'll also just add, I'm getting a really strong sense of foreboding from this season so far.

Between the grey areas between the clients and the marks and the team and Nate bein all self-aware and the P/H bein all lovey dovey and all the emphasis in the press stuff on consequences - you're going to kill us in the finale aren't you? No fun, snappy, everyone's happy and people are getting laid in Leverageland finale for Season 4?

Kristin said...

I will post more later but one question that is nagging me is why did Molly need security? Was that explained and I just missed it?

Andrew B. said...

When did Eliot start watching television? When did he get cable? I could have sworn in one episode he said he didn't own a TV, and...yeah, the Leverage wiki backs me up:

http://leverage.wikia.com/wiki/Eliot_Spencer#Trivia

Are Hardison's geeky habits a bad influence on Eliot?

IMForeman said...

Ok, whoever the young lady playing Molly is, someone needs to give her a TV show with her as the star. She's fabulous. Perfectly delivered lines, effective emoting and outstanding facial expressions. Somebody hire her now.

Parker2000 looks like the Leapfrog from Runaways had a baby with a DRD from Farscape. I like it.

I'm guessing the hitter that gave Eliot so much trouble in the House of Mirrors probably wouldn't have been as much trouble if Eliot hadn't just been hit in the face by a large piece of entertainment equipment.

Still, the guy clearly knew who Eliot was.

Oh, and I think this is the first time I've liked the Mark more than the Victim. It's not the first time they've had a sympathetic mark, but it's the first time the victim has been less likable.

And it was great to see Nate back down from winning the con immediately when Molly was put in danger, and then make her the sole objective even if the original goal would be lost.

Sean Fagan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IMForeman said...

Oh, and I'm guessing Eliot started carrying a spare earbud after the one he was wearing in The Boost Job got fried.

Lydia said...

Okay, I'm back already. One more question. Is Eliot continually being taken for granted going to come back to bite the team, especially since this season is about consequences? In every single season, Eliot says something about his job, they just brush him off. example: the Reunion Job, "anyone care if Eliot made it out alive" and "anyone want my job? I get punched and kicked" One has to wonder...

Robin said...

Thou shalt not fuck with Eliot Spencer, for he is the goddamn Batman and shall smite you! (Though I have to agree with Hardison. Nurse Gail is well and good, but that man really needs an MRI.)

Great work by the whole cast, and Kane in particular. He's really been bringing a beautiful vulnerability to Eliot ever since 'The Big Bang Job'.

I loved the mid-episode client switch. That was a fun twist. And having the crew lay all their cards on the table to save an innocent kid was really nice.

Question: Did you guys rent an entire carnival for the episode or merely take advantage of one that was in town anyway?

I'm guessing that the Hall of Mirrors was a constructed set, considering how thoroughly it got smashed up, but even the best set design crew can't build a whole carnival complete with rides in a week on a cable budget.

Gina said...

@allyone -- "I loved the intensity of everyone on the team when Molly got kidnapped and how quickly they changed the plan." Me too! And also the intensity of Parker taking over from the sniper. She was enjoying it far too much . . . but then, that can usually be said of Parker, whatever the situation. :-)

IMForeman said...

Oh, and tell me I'm not the only one who said "Helllooooo, Nurse!" when Nurse Gail showed at the end.

DangerGirl said...

Great episode - LOVE the fight scene in the Hall of Mirrors. LOVED the team walking through the smoke. Frank Oz's direction was superb!

FYI Lea Zawada is the mega talented young actress who played Molly, she's an Oregon native whose been starring in musical theatre since 10 and has won several local theatre awards...

As a former Hollywood Agent .. I feel I can say with much certainty - Lea has a great future ahead of her --- I see a series and a feature film role in the not to distant future.

Video Beagle said...

Something that I liked about this episode, that is very rare on this series (and it's lack has been bugging me) is that this episode had Nate as Mastermind. No one second guessing him, none of him falling into a bottle, even the "kid in danger sets him off" thing, didn't have him fall apart, just motivate him.

Vampwillow said...

Loved it, god the cut for the trailor had me panicking Eliot got shot.It seems I am out of luck on the nurse front (tho got 12 years experience).

Amazing ep yet again, although I feel slightly guilty for streaming it (am in the UK) hopefully soon we'll get a tv channel that doesnt shut down to show it. Til then will have to stream and then buy the DVD when released as I always do with anything I watch streamed.

Anonymous said...

Loved this ep! Christian is so amazing! My ? Is kinda OT but will there ever be an ep where Eliot has to kiss Sophie or Parker for a con on the fly. Then Hardison
or Nate be all uncomfortable?? I think that would be pretty funny!

ChelseaNH said...

Appreciated the Slow Walk of Total Badassery, and the reprise of the Slow Walk of Total Badassery.

The nanny and the car were easy calls, I'm afraid.

Shouldn't it be the Parker2100?

I don't know what it was about this costume in particular, but Gina looked seriously hot marching down the porch steps as Sophie "quit." I mean, yes, normally it's hard to get a bad shot of her, but this was like "Pow!"

Having reached the age of bifocals, I can tell you that the glasses don't get left behind once the up-close squinty reading is done.

So, carnival rides are Eliot's kryptonite?

Aud Arrt said...

So, what, Eliot owns a tv now? "Rudy was on tv last night".

Anonymous said...

This show is the best on tv point blank period. I thought this ep was good as all of them have been for the most part. First Elliot is the man I mean dude puts his life on the line all the time and takes a beaten at times but always gives a worse one. I think all the relationship have been played well. But the relationship between P/H is by far the best. They have a great chemistry together. I loved how Parker hated Parker 2000 until Hardison explained what it was for and how he constructed it based off her. If she didn't seem like a kid that just opened the Christmas present they really wanted. Also I thought that look Hardison gave when he could see Parker through the glasses was priceless. What wouldn't he do for her.
1) was the mirror scene a shot out to enter the dragon? It was so awesome
2) now that fight was great as well, who do u think would really win? Dumb question but everyone is hoping .Kane would!
Overall I really enjoyed this one it was very intresting how the con or them losing the con meant nothing when they find out the girl was in danger.
Great Show!!!!2 weeks till the next one hmmm. What to do study for MCAT or Watch leverage season 3. These life descision are so hard........ Leverage it is Lol!!!!

Anonymous said...

@ Robin

This was filmed at Oaks Park. It's a permanent carnival/amusment park in the Portland area. Though it is not open year round, so it's not hard to take advantage of it for a full week of filming (during the school year.)
The "hall of mirrors" was constructed for the episode however, because there isn't one normally. (I spent all day there today!) =)

Also,.. hope I don't kill the magic here but, this is just outside the Skate rink used in Van Gogh Job.

Kris said...

While I don't like seeing Eliot getting beaten up, I love that we're seeing him actually be challenged by situations - he's not The Great Eliot Spencer because he's awesome at his job, he's The Great Eliot Spencer because he's awesome at his job EVEN AFTER he's been hit in the head with a carnival ride.

I could've done with the whole episode being Eliot and Molly, actually, the heck with the plot. They worked together really well, it's good to see Eliot making some kind of connections outside the team - we've seen hints of him and kids in episodes in the past, but it's enjoyable to get a little more out of it.

(It'd be nice to learn sometime if there's any specific reason for Eliot's thing with kids beyond the fact that apparently Kane + kid = magic, but that might count as sharing too much of his backstory. :) )

Also, the Parker2000 scene at the end was hilarious. I love their dynamic. I'm usually kind of iffy about relationships being introduced on shows because so often it totally throws off the characters and the storytelling, but the way the Parker-Hardison relationship is being handled is impressing the heck out of me - it's there, it makes sense, but it's not changing who they are. Perfect.

jamoche said...

I do love you guys, but I used to work on chip design software. Cool as it is to have a prototype to steal, there's nothing you can do with it- it's the chip design file you want, and they're already in the terabyte range - no single person, no matter how brilliant, designs an entire chip. Plus making a chip involves a lot of expensive steps (if you work on chip software and want to scare someone in chip design, tell them you've been looking at photomasks - they'll assume it's because there was a problem with it, and if it got as far as the photomask someone lost a *lot* of money.)

Now, the idea of someone doing something innovative at less than the whole-chip level is plausible; the chip design companies were absolutely paranoid about us seeing anything more than a fragment of the chip when we were debugging issues. I used to joke that if I *were* capable of extracting anything useful from what I could see, I'd be writing my own paycheck.

Calla said...

I enjoyed this episode a lot! The 'in' with the mark was different and interesting. And it was nice that we didn't get to see the victim with the team until the end, because then him actually being a dick was a more interesting twist.

I really wondered about the earbuds in this episode, though. While I can understand the team NOT talking to Molly and just letting Eliot do it, because he was the one who had an established rapport with her, I was really surprised when no one seemed to notice when Eliot STOPPED talking (because he'd been knocked unconscious). In the past, when people have suddenly stopped communicating, the rest of the team immediately starts worrying about them, but no one did that this time with Eliot.

The part that I liked the most AND the least, though, was when Eliot met Molly. I loved Eliot's reactions to her little digs ("What, was 'Rudy' on last night?). But on her end of things there was so much exposition! I think she handled it as well as anyone could, but the dialogue itself felt more forced and clinical, and probably gave us way more than we needed in order to see her side of things.

Will you ever get to the point where you trust that your audience is paying sufficient attention? As soon as Molly was kidnapped, I immediately remembered that Eliot had given her an earbud (you spent a fair amount of time on that scene with them), so I felt a bit insulted that you felt the need to give it to us again in a flashback. I like it better when flashbacks reveal something that had happened off-camera or show us something subtle like Parker making a particularly deft lift or switch which we very well might have missed even though we were paying attention.

I wonder if any viewers wondered why Eliot was SO VERY confused in the hall of mirrors - more so, I think, than I've ever seen anyone on tv be in a hall of mirrors. I've had a concussion before, so I know how wonky that can make your vision & depth perception (and I felt Kane portrayed that very well) - but I wonder if people who have never had a blow to the head could fully understood that. It's not your normal way to film - but did you ever consider showing a bit of that scene directly through Eliot's eyes?

Thanks for another great episode! And two great Eliot fights!

xjill said...

Wow. Eliot actually took a hit and stayed down AND needed help and was bandaged at the end! He's not invincible!

In other news, that shot of Beth through the spy glasses? So pretty!

dropkick said...

Can someone help me: what did Molly say after Eliot gave her the earbud? I can't make it out.

babysmoke said...

@Will "scifantasy" Frank:
I think Nate was suspicious of the nanny from the 1st time he saw her in person 'cos he'd noticed her tattoo (as shown in the flashback). And when he decided to check Connell's phone, it was a calculated guess based on the info he'd gleaned along the way. I'm thinking along the lines of "the mastermind always takes note of anything out of the ordinary, in order to kick in plan M". Not that the team expected Molly to be kidnapped.

No idea why Eliot was so distracted at the carnival, but it could just be: so many people + Pardison exchange/angst + not expecting kidnapping = distracted Eliot. And maybe just a hint of "something's not right somewhere" tickling his feelers.

And to those who question Eliot's tv-savviness...uh. Don't think he had a clue what she was talking about. His facial expressions gave me the impression that he was trying not to appear clueless to Molly and so just tossed in whatever answer he thought she was expecting. But then, Batman might just have found some tv time while being nursed in the past by Nurse Gail and her colleagues.

@dropkick: Eliot said "don't put it in your ear. put it in your pocket. not until I tell ya."

Loved the Parker2000 vs Hardy exchange at the end with N/S looking on like amused parents. And finally we have on-screen proof that Eliot gets lotsa sugar off-screen.

wv: reveldor --> the antithesis of Mordor

jamoche said...

Long ago, when I was a Parker-sized black belt, my instructor was asked, of all the black belts he's ever trained, who he'd want backing him in a fight. And he said me because while I wouldn't be able to take them out like the bigger, stronger guys, I wouldn't stay down, so I'd keep them occupied until he could get to them.

So I'm watching Eliot and thinking "any sane person would stay down - oh, wait, that's how I used to fight." I'm feeling a lot more sympathy for what my friends went through watching me.

Anonymous said...

Ok ok I have read comments on this thing before and its time someone says this. It's T V!!!!!! It's not a show on national geographic, or the history channel. While they try to keep things as realistic as possible its a show that entertains you. People be for real everything is not going to be exactly how it would be in the world. Example if someone was getting ready to fight someone like Elliot character and know they had know chance. Grab a gun and shoot him, but I'm guessing some people really believe that he can slide on his knees and dodge a hundred bullets. Look this is a great tv show! Cut these writers,producers,crew a break. Whew let me take my blood pressure medicine now.
Truth

Kris said...

@Calla I've never had a concussion (somehow, I would not be surprised if Kane has) and I got what they were trying to convey with the hall of mirrors shots.

Though I do get migraines, so maybe that makes it easier for me to understand how brain stuff can make your perception of real life a bit wonky? (I don't get visual auras, so with migraines it's just from the pain - hard to focus on anything when it feels like your head is about to explode, you know?)

That said, it's not the first time that filming style or something similar has been used to convey the idea that someone has a concussion or is otherwise mentally altered, so I think it's probably relatively safe to figure that the majority of viewers are going to figure out the basic idea.

I do have a question now:

How much of that fight scene was actually filmed while Kane had his eyes closed? Just select moments/shots that were picked out of the rest in editing, or is there coverage of him with his eyes closed for that whole sequence?

(I ask because in the edit, it cuts between shots where you can see his eyes and where you can't, so I wonder if the fight was planned with those shots in mind - it seems like it'd be quite difficult to do an extended fight sequence safely with one of the parties blind.)

Izzie said...

LOL! Eliot's nurse. You can't see it but I'm shaking my head right now. Oh, Eliot.

Great episode overall, especially that girl (and Eliot--both in scenes with her, and in the fighting bits), but my favorite part was Parker and Parker2000 aka Hardy. Her cradling that robot made me think of something scary: It's kind of Parker and Hardison's baby! Just in the strange way only those two could have a child...

And no one's mentioned it, but the grieving husband/father theme you had with the mark and Nate--nice. You haven't brought up the subject of Sam in a while, so that was good to see. The pain of losing a loved one never really goes away, and I think you captured that nicely with how Nate understood (and how Sophie understood that about the both of them).

LarryFleming said...

Did you and Frank Oz get to do your crazy voices together?

Where can we buy the Parker2000?

Fun show!

Anonymous said...

Enough with the cheesy slow-mo sequences! You're really bad at it.

Anonymous said...

Please may I have Eliot? To keep for myself? Forever? ;o)
I loved this episode, too many wonderful things to mention them all. Totally brilliant, the whole thing ... brilliant! :D
Is it just me or does anyone else think Hardison actually designed Parker2000 to look like a gummy frog? ;o)

Anonymous said...

Hi there.
This episode was better than the beginning. To be honest: that wasn't hard. I was so excited when Leverage Season 4 started and so much disappointed of the stories…
In this one I liked the twist: coning someone and than trying to rescue him as a good guy. Nice one.
What I don't understand:
Why was Elliot that much distracked? He handled the triads better. And he did this low kick twice and got banged twice..?
And why is Parker now acting that childish again?

For the next episodes: will the story and the con matter more?

Oona said...

Normally, I cringe at the Eliot-kids eps as just a blatant manipulation of my double X chromosomes, but I liked this one.

Everyone was a super bad ass - Eliot, Nate and Hardison seemed particularly on their games. Frank Oz did a fantastic job. I would love it if you guys could use him again. Like most others, I liked the stylized house of mirrors fight and the super BAMF fog walk, but the shots from the house looking down at the carnival were gorgeous, as were the shots of Hardison through the computer screen.

The emotion also didn't feel overly heavy-handed - it was a nice touch that the mark and not the team ended up having the real emotional movement this ep. You guys have really done an amazing job so far fleshing out the supporting characters. The client and husband in 401, the police officer in 402, the marks in 403 and 406 (and the great daughter there too).

The team's relationships have been wonderful to watch, but I don't think it can be overstated how much the depth in the supporting players has added to the show.

Slothy said...

I feel bad about being disappointed that Eliot wasn't actually shot. Not fatally or anything, just enough to make him a little cranky. You know, in a John McClane has no shoes kind of way.

...what?

Anyway, you've talked a lot about the early strokes that will be brought on by the fact that Christian does all his own stunts - how common is this? I've heard a lot of other actors talking about only doing as many stunts as they are "allowed" to do. So what makes Christian different? Does insurance for Oklahoma actors come with built in shitkicker clauses or something?

Anonymous said...

This episode was INCREDIBLE. Sophie and Eliot are my two favorite characters of ALL TIME, and you guys did a really good job. I do have some questions:
1) Just how badly was Eliot hurt when he got smacked in the face by the carnival ride, and then later on in the fight. He kept going in with his leg, making me think he'd hurt his arm or something (maybe when he fell off that box thing), and I agree with others who have said the cracking sound sounds like he dislocated his hip. Anyway, I'm with Hardison. That man should have gone to a hospital, not have Nurse Gail "stitch him up."
2) I've noticed that the team gets very anxious when kids are involved. I understand about Nate, with Sam and all, and Sophie and the interminable maternal instincts, but Eliot especially seems to have a soft spot for the kids. Would it be revealing too much backstory if I asked you if any of the team members have children or much-younger siblings somewhere?
3) Parker2000 was ADORABLE. Is it/she a manifestation of Hardison's growing feelings for Parker (did he build it with the intent of it being a gift for Parker), or just something Hardison started building out of necessity or an attempt to improve the con and then thought Parker might like? I also thought it was just priceless that she hated the thing until she realized it was for her.
4) Related to #3. The way Parker reacts when people give her stuff(Ho Ho Ho Job, and here) makes me think that when she was a kid she didn't really get a whole lot of presents. Am I right?
5) Regarding Sophie's name (not really an episode question, but an in-general question), will you tell us what the clue was she wrote down on the napkin in the Ho Ho Ho Job? PLEASE?????
6) The characters in this con were a lot closer to the actual characters, especially Eliot's security guy. What was up with him using his real name in a con? Only time he'd done that before was Big Bang, and that was because he knew Moreau.
7) Stupid question: is Eliot mentally capable of staying down after a fight? And another question: where'd he learn that technique where he closed his eyes? That was really, really gutsy, but AWESOME.
8) I loved how the mark was so much more dynamic than usual, and how the victim wasn't all innocent and helpless either. Have you guys just set up another villain there?
9) (sorry, I know there are a lot of these!) I just adored Sophie talking to Molly over the com, her "it's gonna be okay" thing. I wanted to see more of that! Is that like one of Sophie's jobs, reassuring the victim and making sure they know it's going to be okay?
10) As a writer myself, do you think it's possible for me to come maybe help you write an episode? :) Anyway, I love this show, and I love everybody on it, and good job guys!!! (Oh yeah, and Nadine did a FANTASTIC job with Sophie's hair).

Two weeks? Are you TRYING to give me a heart attack?

msd said...

So, was this fight sequence an answer to everyone who kept asking to see Eliot either lose a fight (which he didn't do, although I was nervous for awhile and I guess he did loose to the Spider - ouch!) or get badly hurt - which he obviously did? I think you also answered those that have said "Poor Eliot - he doesn't have a girlfriend..." - he "hires" them?? I agree with Hardison, I'm not sure that Nurse Gail was registered but the line was great!

kinesys said...

Anonymous is a jerk.

When I see those people rolling in with serious mugs on. I smile big because someone is about to get jacked up. It makes me smile in my happy violent place.

kinesys said...

I mean the anonymous who disliked the slo-mo sequences.

PhantomMinuet said...

Loved Sophie's look in this one. And the striped dress with the black flared jacket...fabulous!

Query: Why would Eliot give the girl an earbud, while the team was still in con mode?

Kim said...

This is an honest to God, I don't know question. Do carnival rides ever start up that fast? Most big park rides start out slower and speed up. Seems kind of dangerous to have any ride start in high gear when someone could be on the platform- you know, like Eliot. And I KNOW how much you like carnival rides ;).
Also, while I enjoyed the fighting with the eyes close to regain his sense of equilibrium, it seems a little to "Use the Force, Luke" to me- not to say it isn't possible by someone who's that baddass,but you've said in the past that you wanted to keep the fights realistic and not use trick shots. This seemed very trick shot to me.
On a side note, wow- just wow about Kane and the guitar at his concert. I'm betting there wasn't a dry eye in the house. One more reason to respect him. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

With the hall of mirrors fight giving a nod to Enter the Dragon can we declare it canon that the Roper from this episode is the son of John Saxon's character who fights way more convincingly on screen than his father?

pkate3 said...

@Calla---never have had a concussion but I did get what the effect of the mirrors would be on Eliot's vision. So I completley understood what he was doing when he shut his eyes. Block those images and focus himself.

Plus I think it confused the bad guy!

I'm more than a bit worried about the ride to the face blow and no real medical attention....and I'm not buying that nurse only thing. *rolleyes* Those consequences can add up along with all the other inuries Eliot has sustained, known and unknown over the years so...

Are we going to see the effect of this injury show up later?

Also...Eliot's running into more folks that know him and his rep...other retrieval specialists and these thugs. Are we going to see someone try to take down Eliot for either the bounties on his head previously mentioned OR to gain the rep that beating him/killing him will bring them?

pkate3 said...

Forgot to say I loved the end scenes where Hardison explained to Parker why he created the Parker 2000 and that he based it on her.

Very playful and I swear she was holding it like a real baby in those scenes.

Oona said...

OK - a couple of questions now.

1) If you know, how many takes did it they need to get the final BAMF walk shot and how was it set up? Seems like the timing of the actors is everything, but curious as to what difficulties that kind of thing poses for a director. (Aside from the silliness of the cast ;) - which seemed at very high levels in the stills).

2) I also appreciated the parallels between Nate and the mark and the fact that it wasn't handled in a heavy, overbearing way. I assume that Nate's first comment that the mark loves his daughter but she reminds him of what he's lost was a comment about he and Maggie (hence Sophie's raised eyebrow)?

3) Also, when Sophie asked if he was okay and he said "Always," that seemed like an odd response, since, well, LIE. Was that line intended to mean anything in particular or was it just a throwaway glib line that wasn't really meant to signify, say, a certain amount of lingering denial?

Previews for the two upcoming eps look great!

Anonymous said...

I have just the smallest of tidbits of information for you. From what I've read online people have been responding better to the more template-ish episodes than some of the others.

My only question for this one is "Could you go over one more time why Hardison built the Parker 2000 if he wasn't trying to replace her?" I know Aldis Hodge had dialogue in the bar scene to try to explain it but I didn't really understand what he said.

Also, a question has been posed on another Christian Kane fansite that might cause a nasty rumor to start. I'm hoping to nip it in the bud before it gets legs by asking you this here. Is Christian leaving Leverage soon?

Anonymous said...

I forgot the most important point I wanted to say.

Another great episode guys, you really outdid yourselves on this one.

Kieron Farrell said...

HERO WALK! YES! AWESOME!

Hannah said...

I'm always impressed that no matter how high my expectations are, Leverage exceeds them. Great ep.

P.S. Eliot couldn't afford a nurse in uniform?

Vanessa (Fighting Cook) said...

This was seriously the most intense episode EVER!! I literally shook through the whole 3rd act & was on my feet for the 4th & 5th. OMG, the whole thing was amazing! I think Nate likes when Sophie picks him apart. It shows that she knows him & that she cares. Love the new iconic shot of the team emerging from the smoke. It shows them as the bad-ass heroes that they truly are. The bot bits were ridiculously adorable, especially when Parker got on the Ferris wheel. As for CK, he never fails to be completely impressive. John, in all the years that you've known CK have you yet found anything he's NOT good at? SERIOUSLY! Those thugs picked the wrong time to mess with the wrong guy; definitely Man on Fire time. Nice reveal of the nanny/boss & her takedown was awesome.

EllenZ said...

Left my jaw on the floor again. Was a bit ticked that none of the team went to help an obviously injured Eliot, but my second thought was No, they won't go to him. He is a warrior, bloody, injured, but victorious and he wouldn't accept their aid.
Would like to see a second fight between those two, one where Eliot is concussed and seeing double...

Liz said...

Nice change of pace here, with the "bad guy" growing increasingly sympathetic ("not a requirement - a perk"), leading up to the awesome reset. I think all we knew that twist was coming, courtesy of the promos, but the team's reactions and Nate taking immediate control kept it satisfying.

On that topic, questions: Is it the network who handles promos? Do you ever facepalm at what is put together, or are you generally okay with how it's handled?

I enjoy some promos, while others annoy the hell out of me (hello CBS), so I was curious about your take.

Random appreciation:
-The client who got back what he wanted and pretty much just walked away, not much gratitude or understanding. I'm sure the Leverage team gets their share of those, but it was funny to see it happening.

-Hardison's smile as he watches Parker on the camera.

-Eliot struggling to deal with a teenage girl...until he finally finds something he can teach her. Reminded me of my dad and me when I was young.

-Absolutely wicked fight. When Eliot says he's coming for someone, I don't doubt him for a second.

You guys are all great. Thanks much for the fun.

Andrew B. said...

@Video Beagle: "1) why did eliot have a second comm"

I am not John Rogers (IANJR?), but I can offer you a No Prize answer that cites a bunch of episodes. *deep breath* If you go back as far as "The First David Job" we see that of all the operatives, Eliot is the one most likely to not only have his comms knocked out but also be in a position to need them the most. from "The Boost Job" Eliot's comms got zapped by the E-M pulse, from "The Underground Job" where we learn Hardison makes all the costumes, and from "The Hot Potato Job" we see that Hardison has at least a partial understanding of lining a pocket as a Faraday Cage. Taking all those into consideration, I propose that it's become standard job protocol to give Eliot a spare comm he keeps in a copper-lined pocket so he'll always be online.

Vanessa (Fighting Cook) said...

I almost forgot, cool shout out to Geoffrey Thorne. :-)

Seph said...

So many awesome things about this episode! Loved the new iconic shot of the team, walking through smoke and intense background music on. That just made my day.

And finally, we get to see Eliot be.... not as invincible as all the other eps. He still won, but what was it that Nate said? There are good wins, and there are some not so good ones? It's a good change in pace to see something different.

@Babysmoke: I agree with Eliot's confusion to the whole TV thing. His reaction to Molly was more of a "What? I have no idea what you're talking about, but I'll just reply with something" than any real knowledge. He struck me as being confused there.

I do have a few questions too... 1) Why did Sophie enter the carnival during the iconic shot? Was it purely for the full team walking through smoke awesomeness? Because it seems like after the walk, she was reset back to the carnival entrance with the mark.

2) It seems strange that Hardison was the one teaching Eliot how to create the smokescreen distraction. Mixing chemicals for dangerous reasons seem more like Eliot's skill set than Hardison's, so where would the hacker learn something like that? (What does he read on Google???) And will it seriously create that much smoke?

3) This bothered me a lot. I know it was probably fun train, but why did Eliot give Molly an earbud? I know he has a soft spot for kids, but it almost falls under the 'screw up' theory Will mentioned above. If it wasn't for the fact that she was kidnapped and it became useful, such a move seems like it may create a lot of potential backlash. I mean, he just handed the daughter of the mark a listening device that may potentially blow the whole con or become incriminating evidence against them.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic episode. Loved the fact that there was a sympathetic mark and that the client was a total d-bag. Kind of reminded of the Voyage of the Damned ep of Doctor Who where the jerk survives and most of the selfless people died.
Loved the slo-mo walk. If you lot retool the opening credits ever, please include that scene!
Hardison looking at Parker through the glasses-cam was infuriatingly adorable.
Nate's "reset" plan was nails. I loved how the team came together and immediately shifted focus. Sophie's speech about the house was hilarious. And Eliot. Damn, he is Batman.
Overall a really dynamite episode. The teaser for the next one...are you guys trying to give us heart attacks?!

zeyneb said...

Great episode worth the wait and everything. Loved the bot and the whole thing. Loved Eliot with the kid. Questions:
1) what is Christian Kane's view on kids and his reaction when he finds out that once again you have a kid for him to save-work with?
2) the dart thing from the mirror, did Christian Kane actually manage that shot backwards and if he did, on how many takes?
Not a question but I was a bit bummed (like other commenters) that no one noticed that Eliot was out or came over to help him at the end - I mean he was being helped by a teenage girl for Gods Sake!. And I agree that he needed a MRI scan at least. Would have been nice to see the team fret over him... just a thought...
Can't wait two weeks for the next one and everything...

Anonymous said...

Another fantastic episode! I love the way you turned things around so that the mark ended up being a more sympathetic character than the victim. Similarly, I loved the way you turned Molly's character around from her first appearance when she behaved like a spoiled brat; it was only when we got to meet her rather than watch her through surveillance it became apparent she had to demand her father's attention because she wasn't getting it any other way. I really shouldn't forget that I can relax and trust you and the rest of the Leverage team to make intelligent television; it's just you have little company in this respect so it's easy to forget!

Oh, and because I'm easy that way (perfectly-timed and executed slapstick gets me every time), I just loved the Eliot/Hardison 'little trouble' exchange.

And vampwillow: snap. I'm disappointed I'm on the wrong continent to watch episodes live, but my way of making up for that is to buy the box sets as soon as they come out.

June

Anonymous said...

Like in The Iceman Job Sophie seemed particularly aware of the MO of Russian criminals. Tara seemed at home navigating Ukrainian bureaucrats in The Zanzibar Marketplace Job. Any chance Tara's return will tell the tale of how they first crossed paths in the region?

EllenZ said...

OOOPS!! Meant NOT concussed! For the second fight between Eliot and Faber's character.

SueN. said...

No real questions yet (haven't watched it enough, and some have already been asked), but I just wanted to express my mad love for this ep. The BAMF walk? Awesome! I may have a new computer background. ;)

As for how much I love y'all, I left the beach in Galveston to watch. Y'all are my crack.

vmskald said...

Does anyone really think Eliot would let himself be taken to a hospital for any reason where he would have to answer personal questions? Or that anyone on the team would be able to make him?

He probably knows people who can offer medical attention on the sly, hence the nurse.

My guess is he knows what to do with a concussion and will work harder on his training to see that it doesn't happen again.

As an aside, I do not think John is allowed to consider using any story idea offered. Too much of a legal minefield, copyright and all that.

RS said...

When Eliot says, "If I'm engaged," and Nate replies "Do your worst"-- Nate, of all people, should know how bad Eliot's worst really IS. I can't picture either of them doing hyperbole at a time like this. Is the added intensity (the potential for Eliot to kill someone onscreen) because they're so angry about Molly?

Kathleen said...

A simple short exchange between Oz and Rogers in Yoda Speak would have been hysterical.

I also wondered why Eliot had an extra comm, although it makes sense based on the nature of his skill set, the possibility of
it being knocked loose, getting wet or broken seems pretty high. When was the last time Hardison briefed us on comm use?
Aren't they generally fitted to the individual? Our team shares them a lot.

House of Mirrors: This scene was uncomfortable, appropriately, since we seemed to be experiencing it along with Eliot after
being knocked unconscious, and obviously suffering from a concussion. The room spinning, in & out vision and coherence
on top of the confusion of the mirrors, Molly's words repeating in his head, you could almost feel him straddling the line between
hallucination and reality. That, or cutting his hair weakened him in a Samson/Michael Landon kind of way. The haircut made
for an aesthetically pleasing transition in the mirrors to Urijah.. who btw, great reactions to Eliot's use of focus [the force].

I try not to repeat comments/questions, but Lea "Molly" Zawada was just amazing, and her timing with Eliot was so good. Surprised
but not disappointed, that their relationship didn't take the adolescent-crush-on-my-security-guard route. Although Botasky & Packy were about as adorable as an arms smuggler and a Delta Force Soldier could be. If that truly was a reference to CSOne, it was perfect.

I love Nate's Team, but I expect them to be dishonest and manipulative. Look at Parker, naming her LPD "Hardy" even though she refers to it as a female. Tell me that's not an attempt to reinforce her power over Hardison. The same with Nate's "Always", denying Sophie the upper hand in their relationship, he doesn't want to be pitied or rescued. Still, I see Eliot as Nate's main contender in the pecking order. Nate's been putting him in his place lately, and even in The Carnival Job, insists on giving Eliot his blessing to "engage" the Russians.

That stuff in the green bottle that Eliot was mixing, smells like vanilla cookie dough, I just imagined the whole park smelling like cookies when it exploded. So here's my question: After he made the smoke bomb, why didn't Eliot go straight to where he thought Molly was, unless that's where he was headed when the rest of the Team caught up with him in the smoke?

Nooch said...

So many great things about this ep. The whole cast always brings their "A" game but when Eliot says he's coming for you and you feel it in your gut? That's a stellar performance! Flawless! Had a couple of questions but saw others had the same so I won't wastes your time. Just wanted to give a virtual "High 5" for a job well done by all!

Two whole weeks??? Seriously? Seriously! *sigh* Thank God for DVDs and downloads!

Bubblegumm104 said...

For those wondering why in the hell would Eliot give Molly an earbud in the middle of a con, I thought that he was just going to play along about being security. He had already told her that he was talking with other security people when she asked who "Parker" was and he did tell her not to put it in until he said so. I figured he was about to tell the team that she had an earbud, and to play along for a few minutes and then he'd take it back.

As for her wandering off without him, she did go with the housekeeper. He was only with them because Molly had insisted that he go in the first place. That freed him up to really take in his surroundings. Of course, when he lost sight of the giraffe, and then found it on the ground, he knew exactly what had happened and what he had to do.

And as far as getting "permission" from Nate, I think that was just Eliot's way of saying the shit was really gonna hit the fan. Nate wasn't supposed to share the events of the "Big Bang Job" with the rest of the crew. Eliot was probably making Nate aware of how much "clean-up" may be needed

Hannah said...

@Kim Could you clarify the Kane/guitar story because somehow I have missed it :)

jamoche said...

@Kim: Actually fighting with your eyes closed isn't that much of a "trick shot"; back in my karate days we'd sometimes practice blindfolded.

darkwolfess said...

@Hannah, Christian was performing at Dante's and a young soldier who was home from overseas approached him with his friends medal and guitar. His friend did not make it home. :(
The friend had been a fan of Christians. In his honor, Christian played "Whiskey In Mind" on the guitar and then gave it back to the soldier for memories.

Le Chan said...

Just when I thought you guys couldn't top Danny Glover, you whip out someone like Urijah Faber. So unexpected, so awesome! Ever think about using Jeff Kober or Brian Thompson?

H.R.Hewitt said...

First, awesome episode! but then I think that about every episode of Leverage.
Second,I know others have already
said this but please tell me you are going to pay off the whole Eliot being taken for granted, otherwise the fact that nobody on the team bothered that Molly was calling to him on the coms and he didn't answer I can't explain and it bugs me.
Anyway you have an awesome show John, keep up the good work over there in Leverageland.

skierfe said...

@darkwolfess @Hannah, it was Dukes, not Dantes and John Rogers put it on twitter for us to know. You can watch it also on youtube, if you're interested in.

allyone said...

I really don't get this idea that Eliot - or anyone else - is taken for granted on this show. There are no victims on the Leverage team.

They're all in the middle of a con, each playing their respective roles, and if you look at the amount of time between when Hardison started calling for Eliot and Eliot answered, it was only a minute or two, if that - certainly not an unreasonable amount of time to be out of contact.

dyluke said...

Kudos again, great ep! keep them comin, Mr. Rogers.. can't wait for the Grave Danger Job.

uh, who played Nurse Gayle?
where did "Perky" and "Botasky" came from?

jamesfirecat said...

Was the guy who Elliot fought in the hall of mirrors "just that good" that he had trouble beating him, or was Elliot still half out of it from being nailed in the head by that Carnival ride?

Also while this episode had one of the better "Team Gloats" now that they've rescued the girl there isn't all that much evidence to tie the Russian chick to the kidnapping/evil doing in general is there? Not to mention since the police got told that the Carnival's evacuation was a false alarm, are they that likely to show up to arrest the bad guys before they recover, and if so what for?

Anna said...

Awesome smoke power shot! And Hardison in a hoodie! Me likey.

What was their Plan B if the mark didn't invite them in?

Anonymous said...

awesome episode, I like the when Leverage team walking in style on the holy smokes.

but felt weird about the client, the client seems became "hip-hop" after getting the chip, can't the client just made another chip? as chip is different than potato, they are just chip

it is actually just not to get the chip in black market?

Kane is awesome, Eliot Spencer care about children written in his character is so cool.

Melissa said...

This was a wonderful episode, definitely my season favorite of the episodes to this date, but the ending made me recall something that's been bothering me for a while.

One of the reasons this show is interesting and incredibly appealing to me is for the off-beat family dynamic that has been cultivated over the seasons. The idea is that they are all there for each other in times of need. I find it interesting that when Eliot has come to genuine harm for the good of the team/mission, however, that dynamic simply falls away, as if to allow the others to care much would somehow negate the humor or lightness that defines the tone of the show. Why is that?

(This said, thank you for the show and for your blog on it! It's one of the consistent sources of joy in my life, and I enjoy it hugely).

Anonymous said...

First, loved Parker with the gun! Second, loved the subtle humming noise while Elliot was fighting. I actually watched that part again to make sure I wasn't hearing things.

No, my question...do you have an endgame already planned for the Final Episode...which hopefully won't be for a long time?!

Anna said...

Great episode, as always! Once again, Kane really knocked it out of the park, though I think I remember that "closed eyes" trick from an episode of Teen Titans...

1) Just seconding the question about Sophie entering the park in the first place. Aside from the Walk of Badass, why did she even enter if she was just going to go comfort the client? And when exactly did she exit the park after the Walk of Badass?

2) Not a question, but I feel like Eliot would not be stupid enough to skip a hospital trip after getting beat up by Russians AND an amusement park ride.

3) How does Parker 2000/Hardy crack safes? Will we see her again?

4) Is Parker's favorite animal a frog?

Kylee said...

When Sophie asks Nate if he's okay and he says, "Always," is that code for "I have my emotional compass with me, so I'm good"? That's how I read it.

Hannah said...

That's very Chris. Thanks @darkwolfess.

Nyctotherion said...

Where did the Russian guy learn to fight in a House of Mirrors? Seems he'd be as confused as Eliot unless he'd done it before.

It also seems to me a Sniper on a ferris wheel might not be all that great unless you had a way of stopping the wheel at the right place. Otherwise the little red dot goes all over the place.

"clargu" i dunno, but it's kinda fun to sing! CLAR---gu! Clar-GU!

Tom said...

"Question: Did you guys rent an entire carnival for the episode or merely take advantage of one that was in town anyway?"

They did not rent it; they stole it.

Lily said...

Loved this one! I'm curious about Parker and the gun. There was no hesitation in her aim - she put that laser sight right on the lady's white jacket. Does Parker have experience with rifles? Or was that just beginner's luck?

David Hunt said...

I didn’t get a good look at the ride that knocked Eliot cold, but was it a version of the Orbiter of Clown-Puppy scream fame?

USRaider said...

John, knowing your love of carnival rides, did you spend much of this episode in the fetal position in the corner of the director's trailer?

OK, had to jab a bit at you there. I have to commend you, your fellow writers, our excellent cast and the outstanding guest stars for making Season Four such a success. The entirety of the season to this point has taken the viewer across a range of emotions, which has provided us with greater knowledge of the characters and, in my opinion, opened up more doors that you as the show creator can look into.

My only drawback to this episode was that I figured out that the nanny was the one in charge almost immediately. I may be getting in tune with the show (way TOO much), but the "Eastern European" connection was just too easy to pick up on. Now if there had been a twist, a la "Beantown Bailout," that she was being used by someone, that I wouldn't have expected.

On to some other thoughts:

Have you thought about doing a book on different cons? With all the research you have put into "Leverage," you could probably update "The Big Con" with relative ease.

With that said, I remember the book stated that there are no different cons, just different variations. Have you found that to be the case, or has our computer driven world opened up new cans of worms?

Once again, kudos to all involved with the show! Everyone has done an excellent job and, with most shows that have gone this long, things begin to get a bit stale. You and the team have been able to avoid that pitfall.

On a final note, yes...The Smoke Walk should be ensconced in the "Leverage" Hall of Fame!

USRaider said...

My error, I meant "The Three Card Monte Job" rather than Beantown Bailout. Mix up my Boston-centric episodes!

Famous4it said...

First of all:

Parker > Parker 2000

Always!!!

Anyway, talk about a kick-ass episodes. Loved Nate and Sophie as contractors, they were a delightfully kooky couple! That victim John was very annoying!!!! I definitely enjoyed having the mark, flawed, but not pure evil.

The efficiency of the team made me so proud and happy. The way they just switched into rescue mode, Nate taking over negotiations and the climax with the smoke, I was like 'yeah you go show them Russians how it's really done!'.

Eliot and Molly, pure awesomeness. And the fight, very intense, Eliot reminded me a bit of Wolverine.

As for the Parker/Hardison bits, it was all very sweet! Especially Hardison seeing Parker through the camera and all. Parker delight in having Hardy, very sweet! Bit like he gave her a kitten, or a puppy.

After last week's humourous episode, this was some intese awesomness, I really loved it.

Thanks, and here are some questions for you =)

1. Contractors Nate and Sophie... the mark just hiring them, wasn't he a bit wary after that spire talk? I would a bit afraid of having my roof fall on my head , if I had a pair contractors that appear out of nowhere like them.

2. A lot of people are asking about Eliot's back-story and kids... I think there was something similar in the Order 23 post-game. I may be mistaken, but you said something about Eliot not being abused as a child or anything, and just liking kids. I always assumed he's just good with kids because of the nephew he mentioned in The Miracle Job. Am I right?

3. Was Parker's 'Ferris Wheel Job' a reappearance of her infamous taser, or Parker just generally being freaking awesome?

4. Parker, and her Parker 2000 issues... does she fear that the team may not need her one day?

Thanks again! Ever grateful that you take the time to read through all our rubbish!

SueN. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SueN. said...

I swear, every time I watch that fight scene, I cringe harder and hurt worse! Kane completely sold me on a) Eliot not being absolutely invincible but b) being pathologically unable to stay down while he's conscious. Also, y'all have forever ruined every other show's fight scenes for me, I hope you know that.

I loved Nate in this. No issues, no dysfunction, no cracks in the psyche, just straight-up badass genius mastermind. As much as I love broken!Nate, I do appreciate the occasiobal reminder of why these people stay with him and what makes Nate Ford such a formidable man. So thank you for that.

Sophie does love it when she gets to whack him, though, doesn't she? lol

I very much liked watching the team pivot immedately and without hesitation from helping the client to helping Molly and, thus, the mark. It was a great contrast to S1's "The Snow Job," when they were horrified (and furious) at Nate for turning down actual money in hand for their client for a potentially but not at all certain larger sum. It really brought home how much these people have changed.

As for the questions/discussions about Eliot's state of health, am I wrong to assume that he has a doctor and/or clinic where he can go when he thinks he needs attention? He's not stupid. He depends on his body and he needs to know it's going to work when he (or the team) needs it to work. But I can't see him going to a public hospital unless he's half dead and unconscious; too many questions.

I would imagine (not that I think about these people at all; noooo, not me) that as soon as he realized Boston was going to be "home," he organized his own, eh, provider network. A man like Eliot Spencer is bound to know how to go about finding doctors known for their discretion. ;)

A few questions:

1) Did Geoffrey Thorne know you were going to make him a douche? *g*

2) Was the actor who played the mark's legit contractor the same one who played Dr. Roberts in S3's "The Double Blind Job"? He sure looked familiar.

3) Just out of curiosity, what prompted the decision to cast an actual fighter like Urijah Faber? Was it done to up the awesome factor of the fight? (If so, it worked, lol), or just to give Eliot am opponent we'd believe would actually give him problems? Or was it just a case of someone (Kane? Dean? Bueller?) looking at the fight as scripted and saying, "Hey, I know a guy …" Whatever the reason, it worked. That fight was beautifully brutal. "The Great Eliot Spencer"? You know it, dude! The man takes BAMFitude to a whole new level.

This was a great ep. S4 is well on its way to becoming my favorite so far. I'm loving the character development we're seeing, and the team's growth in their relationships with each other and with "outsiders." I also can't help feeling that we are building up to some serious shit here.

Which means that going Leverage-less next week is going to freaking hurt.

GBellmansNo1Fan said...

Curious about Nate's "Not so hard" comment. Knowing Gina lets loose, was that REALLY Nate talking...or was it more Tim than Nate?

RS said...

I don't think this episode was an example of the team taking Eliot for granted. Hardison says, "You should have let us take you to the hospital," implying that they offered or tried. I can imagine that they've had similar experiences in the past. While no one asks if he's okay, he's obviously not okay-- limping and covered in blood. But he's also mobile, so maybe they figure he's fine until they can try to get him to a hospital. Back in the Bank Job, when he's stitching up Nate, Eliot says "you act like you've never been shot before," implying that he tends to make light of injuries. I can see the team having learned over time to let him tell them when he needs help.

Vanessa (Fighting Cook) said...

How did Frank Oz get involved with Leverage? How are directors matched with episodes? Dean usually gets the first & last of the season, but are the rest of the episodes random? Do you have directors who ask to come on staff?

ChelseaNH said...

@SueN: It was a great contrast to S1's "The Snow Job," when they were horrified (and furious) at Nate for turning down actual money in hand for their client for a potentially but not at all certain larger sum.

I really don't see these situations as comparable. In "The Snow Job," it wasn't obvious that Nate had redefined their client list when he had Sophie tear up the check. Once he explained, they were on board. (Only to get horrified again at him playing fast and loose with the client and their money.) In this case, it's obvious that Molly takes priority over the chip. People are more important than things.

SueN. said...

@ChelseaNH–

People are more important than things.

Sure, now. But not so much in the beginning. Look at "Homecoming Job" (and, to some extent, "Wedding Job"). As much as they sympathized with the client, they were willing to walk away when they realized the risks they were up against. It just wasn't that personal then.

Now, though, it is personal. They've internalized this good guy thing. And or a group of criminals, it's a huge evolution.

ChelseaNH said...

@SueN: I just don't think you have to move very far along the "good guy" scale to make your priority rescuing a kidnapped child.

A better reference would be "The Stork Job" when Parker refused to leave the rest of the orphanage behind. Her team members argued for rescuing them when they had time to plan, rather than on-the-fly, but they didn't reject the idea of getting all the kids out. But those kids weren't in imminent harm, as Molly was.

thiemecraft said...

awesome work this season! nice how it takes a beating by a carnival ride to take eliot down, and then he still kicks the other guys' asses. just a thought for next season: gary oldman

thiemecraft said...

and is there anything WE can do to make sure season 5 happens? i'd be very upset if it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Someone had asked about Eliot's ponytail holder. Maybe it was under his hat. Why is he wearing them indoor?

Liz said...

A little off-topic for this post, but I just wanted to share. I'm reading Robert B. Parker's "Painted Ladies". Spenser just got caught up in a case involving a stolen painting that may or may not have been destroyed. The museum is keeping quiet, but the insurance company is investigating. And suddenly my mind is having a riot with thinking what if that investigator turned out to be a pre-Leverage Nate Ford...

Not sure if any of you are Robert B. Parker fans, but if so, doesn't the idea of a Leverage/Spenser crossover sound more fun than should be legal? :-)

ChelseaNH said...

@Liz: doesn't the idea of a Leverage/Spenser crossover sound more fun than should be legal?

I immediately started wondering who would win in the inevitable Hawk/Eliot battle and boggled my brain.

Anonymous said...

Who is the actress that played Nurse Gail?

SueN. said...

@ChelseaNH –

I immediately started wondering who would win in the inevitable Hawk/Eliot battle and boggled my brain.

Ooh, now that's so awesome it hurts!

Anonymous said...

sorry i'm a little new, but who is Hawk?

RevTrask said...

Um..."The Hot Potato Job" was a great episode.

On to the next episode!

SueN. said...

@Anonymous just above –

Hawk is a character in Robert B. Parker's "Spenser" novels about a private detective in Boston. Spenser is the PI, and Hawk is his slightly shady and thoroughly badass buddy.

Years ago there was a TV series starring Robert Urich as Spenser and the always wonderful Avery Brooks as Hawk.

Anonymous said...

Will TNT ever change their security settings so that those of us who live in US territories can watch this fabulous show from the website?

Philip Okita said...

Any thought of having Apollo do another ep?

Red said...

Why does Hardison refer to Parker as "Woman" as in "Just use the Parker 2000, woman!" He wouldn't refer to Sophie that way.

Concerned Leverage Fan said...

This really isn't a question to do with this episode but I just had a conversation on Twitter by someone who says they've worked on the Leverage most likely as an extra. This persons says the future of Leverage beyond this season is iffy at best, that there's a real chance the show won't be renewed, that it's not looking good at all - and they say the finale title is very telling. So please can you tell me anything about this?

Stephabie said...

I really rather enjoyed this episode. It's fun to see Eliot interacting a kid, especially one like Molly. The House of Mirrors scene was absolutely excellent. I loved everything about it: the sound, the choreography, and especially the fact that Eliot took a severe beating. It's easy to forget, seeing him come off without a scratch all the tine, that he's human, that he's not always perfect.

Now, as much as I loved that, the interaction between Parker and Hardison really took the cake for me. I melted a bit as he watched her through the screens after the glasses switch. The Parker2000 situation was great, too. I loved how, by the end, you could tell that Parker was only angry about it because she was worried he was trying to replace her. And it's awesome that she wants to call it "Hardi".

I've only got three questions for you this week:
1. Since before the season began, the cast and crew have cited episodes five and seven, the Van Gogh Job and the Grave Danger Job respectively, as the big episodes for Parker and Hardison. Are there any big episodes for them in the back half of the season? Do they get any moments in the finale?

2. Will we ever get to see Parker2000 again?

3. I've seen several rumors that seem to say that there won't be a season five (which doesn't make much sense to me, because it seems like Leverage is more popular than ever), but I also know that they may have just not announced season five yet. Is there any truth to these rumors; should I take them with a grain of salt or flat out ignore them?

Thanks so much!

Steve said...

@Concerned and stephabie

Considering the source I wouldn't take any notice of those rumors.
Cole likes to pretend he's all that, but he's just an occasional extra.

There's a reason his very own hashtag on twitter is #whycolesucks. Also, his behavior at Kane gigs has been less than stellar.

Having said all that, Rogers has mentioned before that Leverage is a 5 season show. I'd be very surprised if the show ended with more than that (maybe 6 due to Gina's pregnancy during s2).

ShadeBlossom said...

@Red -

Actually, Hardison has referred to Sophie as "woman". In The Three Days of the Hunter Job, she says he's guessing about which sources Monica will use for her story and he replies: "Woman, my name's Alec Hardison. I don't guess."

doyke said...

the latest episode of leverage was so stunning... cool.. i love leverage .....

Adam Lipkin said...

So can anyone tell me what Molly said when Elliot gave her the earpiece? We replayed it three times, but couldn't make it out.

SueN. said...

@Adam Lipkin–

She says, "I'll be Botasky, you'll be Perky."

It's a reference to the manga series Apocalypse Meow, about three soldiers in the Vietnam War. The soldiers happen to be rabbits. ;)

SueN. said...

@Red–

I'd say Hardison calls Parker "woman" for the same he reason he calls her "mama." There's a level of intimacy there he just doesn't have with Sophie. Parker's his girlfriend.

You know, "pretzels." ;)

bluehex said...

Yay! Loved it!

As everyone else said, Lea Zawada is fantastic and should have her own show; Kane was awesome; and God, I loved the "Enter the Dragon" quote, so beautifully stylish! I honestly squeed when I heard "Roper"....

And - again, as everyone else said - two weeks without an episode is cruel.

ChelseaNH said...

Over on SyFy's Alphas, Nina has the ability to "push" people -- make them do what she tells them. Now, I know Parker would love to have this ability (to be used on people who aren't people to her), Hardison wouldn't need it since he just goes out and gets what he needs instead of asking for it, Eliot might use it for party tricks, and Nate would set out to fix the world and overextend himself. But what about Sophie? On the one hand, she gets whatever she wants. On the other hand, there's not much fun in that, is there?

Itinerant Pedant said...

Hey, Rogers, per "Asshole Fatigue," have you seen this?

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/08/11/a-just-resolution-i-think/

The inspiration for the "prison job" episode just pulled down THIRTY YEARS of jail time.

Shan said...

I haven't actually seen the show, but congratulations on the renewal.

SueN. said...

Huge congrats on getting a 5th season! And many thanks to TNT!

Lydia said...

Congratulations on getting renewed for season five!!!!!!!! Our favorite band of thieves will continue to kick ass for at least another summer. Cannot express how excited I am!

JK said...

John, congrats on Season 5! Any chance we're going to see another video of everyone hearing the good news soon?

Two quick renewal related questions - since the news is coming (relatively) early, how is it going to affect your plans for the finale/storylines for the rest of the way? Anything that you're more inclined to save now that you'll know you'll have the opportunity to do more? Also wanted to touch on a comment I may be remembering from way on the past on this blog - you said that you felt there was probably a limited number of stories you could tell with this crew, probably around 100. 15 episodes for Season 5 gets you above 75... do you still feel that way? Or was that, you know, an arbitrary round number in response to a fan asking you to predict the future? :)

Beth7 said...

Hooray for Season 5!

SueN. said...

@JK – They're shooting the finale right now, so getting renewed won't affect anything this season.

fmrpdx said...

I know lots of people ask about locations, so I thought I'd post the map to the mark's house in this ep. Enjoy!

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=730+se+sellwood+blvd,+portland,+or&client=safari&oe=UTF-8&gl=us&z=16

Anonymous said...

While I thought this was a pretty good episode, it felt like a lot was introduced and then left hanging. The 'panic room' seemed noticiably underused - a big deal made out of its existence and getting into it, but then there's really nothing in there except the safe, so why would Molly also have access? Is it that Mr. Connell has greater fears than the Russians? And the set up of the 'victim' Jeffrey definitely seems to indicate a future use of him as a bad guy, especially considering how the very specific technology he's invented is introduced and then basically discarded in favor of the kidnap story.

The intro of Parker2000 seemed odd, no previoud indication of Hardison working on it, and in contrast to the progress their relationship seems to have made in The Van Gogh Job, it was a little out of place.

It was nice to see Eliot actually suffer a little from a major butt-kicking. Even Batman had to nurse wounds from time to time. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have to see Eliot save a box of kittens from a fire while fighting the bad guys at some point.

I did think the impending kidnapping was a little obvious, but I suppose not all bad guys are are going to be super-clever, and the team was distracted by the con-in-progress, so I can forgive this one.

Fantastic work by Frank Oz and the camera guys. Some amazing and iconic shots.

Chris L said...

Was that original score music playing during the slow-mo walk? I can't find that information anywhere...

Ally said...

Hi there...again :). Another question:
Is Sophie using these cons to vent her frustration on people, Nate especially? I count this episode as the third or fourth time she's hit Nate, and she clocked Hardison a good one in the Hot Potato Job. Or does Gina (or Sophie) just really like to hit people?

changelivlife said...

Whew! That's a lot of comments to weed through to make sure I don't repeat my questions. I feel for ya, Rogers, I really do.

I'll be the thousandth person to say how much I enjoyed the smoke walk! And thought this was the best ep of the season, so far.

Most of my questions were covered, save for these:

1. I'm pretty sure CK made the balloon shots. Did the girl?

2. I think I read/watched somewhere that they didn't script much of the fight between Eliot and Roper, due to Urijah Faber's fighting skill. They wanted to let him do what he does and just have Christian respond. Which is great, but my question comes from the kicking out and having Faber catch his foot twice in a row...why? Eliot doesn't seem repetitive in his fighting style, was that supposed to be representative of his condition?

3. Was it scripted that this tiny girl would practically carry "The Great Eliot Spencer" out of the House of Mirrors? No matter how many times I watch it, it still seems odd. Eliot doesn't lean on people, physically or metaphorically, so why on a little girl? I could see him hanging on to her, to comfort her, but this was--not that.

4. After the parting Perky/Botasky lines (awesome, btw) Eliot is shown walking away toward Nate. The back of his shirt has a huge rip in it. Was that caused during the fight scene somehow? It seemed unusual because unless it relates to the story, we usually don't see those things.

5. This was one of the first times we've really seen Eliot suffer and come close to losing. Conversely, Nate was as strong as we've ever seen him--at the top of his game. Was that deliberately written that way? In some of my fave episodes, they are both strong and on top of their game (Big Bang springs to mind) but usually, Nate is weak and Eliot steps up with the strength. This seemed deliberately opposite and it worked...brilliantly.

Fantastic episode. And deepest gratitude, as always, that you do this for us.

wv: rexpe = a redneck recipe

Rob Pugh said...

Great episode. Loved "Rudy," the ETD/Roper refs, the Parkerbot and the Urijah fight. But didn't get the refs between Molly and Eliot - what were the "don't you ever read" Patasky and Perkie about? Thanks!

DiehardLevFan said...

Did Chris actually get to do the darts this time?

ANNonymous said...

What were Beth's feelings about Parker200?

Isobel DeBrujah said...

I know I'm late to the party but I've only just caught up with this season.

There's really no question in this. I just wanted to rave a little. I've got to say that this season has been some of the best television I've seen in ten years. You guys just keep delivering on the promise of your premise plus giving us great characters and character growth. This is probably my favorite episode of the season and here's why:

The front half of the episode was a joy; a fairly standard (if there is such a thing) ep of a show that I love. I would have been happy right there. The moment of reset into the back half and the back half itself were bloody brilliant on at least five different points:

1. Timothy Hutton was kind terrifying in that reset moment. I almost felt a little sorry for the Russians. Not, you know, a lot, but almost.

2. The fact that he asked the team if anyone objected to the reset was kind of a big moment for Nate. I don't know that we've ever seen him do that before.

3. I loved the fact that the team was totally with him, Hardison was already nodding when Nate gave the reset order. This episode really showed a good deal of why this team stays together. Yes they are family but they also know that when Nate Ford is on, he is simply the best in the world at what he does.

4. Nate took the safety off of Eliot! Nate, with what I can only assume is full and certain knowledge of exactly what Eliot Spencer's "worst" means, took the safety off! Holy mother of crap that was beautiful.

5. With both a completely acceptable rationalization and explicit permission to kill people in order to save the life of a child (which is clearly kind of a trigger for our Eliot) he didn't do it. Could have killed. Didn't kill. Perfect.

OK, one question. I've just been running with the assumption that Parker has some sort of innate ability to teleport short distances once a day. It's the only way the timing works for some of the things she does, including climbing a ferris wheel, tazing the sniper, binding him and getting into position to cover Nate. Was there something cut for time in that sequences or am I good to go with my explanation?

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Anonymous said...

Best episode ever. Lea Zawada (Molly) was amazing! Molly and Eliot were so cute! They should have a regularly meet.

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