Sunday, August 28, 2011

LEVERAGE #410 "The Queen's Gambit Job" Question Post

That's it for summer! Questions, snark, and your plaintive cries for MORE STERLING in the comments.


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Keith said...

Hard to believe it's been 10 episodes already. And more Sterling is always appreciated but his lack is understood. Mark's off acting in every other TV show in the world right now.

Anglocat said...

Sterling is, in fact, the root of all evil. Damn, guys!

Tia Dugan said...

What song is Hardison humming?

Gina said...

Awesome! Parker/Hardison are just amazing. Who would have thought a couple could generate so much heat without even kissing? (Actually, being an old-fashioned girl, I like the slowness -- even if this particular case is caused by about five zillion hangups!)

Becca said...

no questions, no snark, just a simple thank you for keeping the Leverage Universe so highly entertained. The cast is incredible, the guest stars are off the hook, directing and writing aren't bad either lol...Have a drink on me Mr. sure do deserve it!

IMForeman said...

I knew Olivia was Sterling's daughter from the moment she said her "real dad" taught her to win.

Awesome turn for Sterling. A nice little touch of humanization for him. And yet again, he won. He got what he was after. Sure, Nate and team got away clean, but I don't think their getting caught was part of his plan... he just didn't care whether they did or not.

You'd think that his situation with his daughter, he'd be more sympathetic to Nate. It may be why he's given Nate chances to come clean. And of course, why he made that statement of Nate being the best thief he'd ever seen... a hell of an admission from Sterling.

BTW, I don't know if you've seen "Let's Kill Hitler" yet, but the Doctor threw out a "Seriously?!?" at the start. Made me think of Leverage.

Anonymous said...

1) was that Nate on a bed and Sophie in a gold dress on top of him in the preview? it moved so fast I couldn't tell.
2) what did Sterling do to Elliot's earpiece? did he take it out of his ear and smash it?
3) are we going to see more Nate and Sophie the next half of the season???

JoellaBlue said...

Great episode in building the Hardison/Parker relationship.
Did Sterling say "your father said you crawled for 3 miles through a sewer to kill head of al-Quida in Yemen." If so...How the hell does Sterling know Eliot's dad and why didn't Eliot react to that statement.

MacSTL said...


I believe he said 'Your FILE said...'

loved the line - and that Eliot knew there was something wrong with the coffee

Gina said...

During the scene in the car, I was thinking a spinoff starring Elliot and Sterling would be pretty funny. Now . . . I'm thinking it might be a little too violent for primetime. :-D

Tom Galloway said...

No, it was "Your file said...", not "Your father said..."

Sarah W said...

Unshaved Sterling--so much for my blood pressure.

Love the LOTR references -- Livingston as Sauron. Nice. I alos liked the two Kings facing each other, on and over the board.

I was wavering between Olivia or Livingston's female assistant as the informant, but the moment Olivia said 'real father,' I knew why Sterling was screwing stuff up (I'd thought perhaps he wanted to catch them once and for all) and the informant question fell by hte wayside. Very, very well done.

My favorite line this time is Eliot's: "I can't promise that!"

Did Sterling call Eliot "Spencer" because Eliot calls him "Sterling," or is there a joke there I missed? Anyone?

@JoellaBlue: I don't think Sterling referenced Eliot's father at all. I think he's saying, "You said you crawled, etc." But my closed captions still aren't working right . . .

Lydia said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Have we mentioned the Leverage cast and crew is simply f'ing amazing?

Are you trying to kill us with that teaser for November?

Only the first viewing, so I'll no doubt have more questions/comments later.

1. Eliot obviously doesn't trust Sterling for good reason, so why the hell would he drink the coffee that Sterling could have, and did, drug? Also, couldn't Sterling have found something that's tasteless - not that I'm saying he should be drugging Eliot - or did he want Eliot to suspect him?
2. Is the wall outside the elevator door the same wall the Reunion Job, outside Duberman's office?

Hannah said...

Homerun! Amazing dialogue, the flow was great-- possibly my favorite of the season. I had a few moments when I thought Eliot was going to be "dad", but then I figured it out.

I am kind of surprised that Eliot hasn't spent years developing an immunity to all types of drugs like the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Excellent. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

AND BONUS: November is the month of my BIRTHDAY so I have something to look forward to (my birthdays tend to be really bad) :)

Anonymous said...

I loved at the end when they were discussing who dies in what plan, how neither Eliot or Parker dies in any plan (at least I'm pretty sure that's what I heard during the fade out). I'm guessing that is a reference to things stated previously like, "Eliot and Parker are the most dangerous of the group," and even how it was referenced in the season premier how they are the two that know how to survive? In regards to the previews for the second half of the season, could you list everyone that's coming back? saw a lot of familiar faces, but it went by so fast, I'm not sure who I saw.

Gina said...

@Hannah: "I am kind of surprised that Eliot hasn't spent years developing an immunity to all types of drugs like the Dread Pirate Roberts."

Oh my gosh, that would be so cool. And so Elliot-like. :-)

I hope this year's birthday is a good one!

Anonymous said...

I loved this episode though I have one question...

Given that Stirling had already set off the alarm system in the elevator, why didn't Parker just open up/smash the glass case and take the atomic weight thingy?

I mean the alarm was already going off so its not like it would have triggered a secondary even worse lock down the room that she's in style alarm... would it have?

I guess I may have missed a piece of pipe where you mentioned something like that, did anybody else see something suggesting that breaking the case/exposing it to the wrong pressure would have made things even worse even with the elevator alarm going off?

Rae Botsford said...

I quite enjoy the slow progression of the Parker/Hardison matchup. They're like adorable yet mature teenagers, which is a wonderful contrast with Sophie and Nate's bizarre relationship.

Has Sterling's back story been planned from the first, or has it been developed over the course of the show?

General incredulity:
Am I seriously to believe that Eliot distrusts Sterling, finds that his coffee tastes strange, and still keeps drinking it?

Nice job, guys.

Tracey said...

That was a great season finale! :D

Sterling back and damn interrupting Nate/Sophie, naughty lol.

I loved the Eliot/Sterling scenes, they make a good double act, although Eliot wanted to hit him with every chance he had, I thought their scene in the car was great..

The interchange with Sophie and Hardison each helping their man/girl was lovely to see

Did like the reveal of Sterling's daughter, nice touch and loved Nate/Sterling last scene, his acknowledgement of Nate..

It's been an awesome S4 so far, and I'm sure that's Nate/Sophie on the bed in the November promo, excuse me while I just pass out ;)

JoellaBlue said...

Thanks MacSTL. I would swear that the word had 2 syllables but maybe that's the accent :-)

Forgot about "Plan M." Ha

Mary said...

No questions just a notation/comment:I LOVE Leverage, always have & always will, but this episode was way too predicable for me, didn't challenge me. I liked it but of the summer season eps, this one is my least fav. It was great to see Sterling again and the laughs were good and Tim Hutton was HOT(and the car)!!! BUT I knew as soon as they showed the(step)daughter she was Sterlings and the Parker/Hardison dance and Eliot being druged,he should have caught that(something from Sterling?)We all have our favorites, this one was good but not great as the previous 9 were.
Thanks for the summer fun with Leverage, can't wait till the winter fun begins.

24jg13 said...

Not on here for anothher hour and 5 minutes but saw the little preview of Eliot and Sterling in the car and please can't believe I'm going to say this lots more Eliot and Sterling. Those two could have their own show and it would be a huge hit. Looking forward to the rest but not for the time off between now and November. Can't come back quick enough.

tvproducer02 said...

Loved the episode. Parker/Hardison.
Was Nate suppose to follow Sophie for a little midnight snack (if you know what I mean) at the beginning of the episode. Is she was then, didn't she wondered why he never followed afterword.
@Rae, get girl, what you been up to. I made a custom hat for nerd club.

Rae Botsford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Really good episode! Just the right balance of con, suspense, humor, pretzels, WTF, and Sterling. I love the slow steady progression of the pretzels.

I am doing the Dance of Having Figured It Out - that Olivia was Sterling's daughter (when she was tapping the chess piece).

Three questions:
1) Why was Livingstone keeping Olivia against her will? After her mom died, if she wanted to go back to her real father, how could he legally stop her, and why would he? Just so he could make a chess champion of her? He clearly didn't love her, so I'm not seeing the benefit.

2) How did Sterling know which room the security guards would decide to stow Olivia in? And how did they get out of what appeared to be a locked storeroom? Okay, yes, that's two questions.

3) Did Nate just cause a meltdown at a nuclear facility?

Kudos on another wonderful season! Can't wait for the winter episodes!

Anonymous said...

Okay, was so wanting love this and for the most part I did, but in spite of probably being shouted down- the whole Hardison/Parker thing felt utterly forced and kinda sucked the energy from the episode for me.

They are too mush together. And neither character is at all mush. So I don't get how that works but yeah. They make cute BFF's that's about it. Nothing wrong with it either, but sorry, no heat no nada. Love them individually and when Fedding it up-in this context> Not so much. They lose all spark when put in what we are supposed to be romantic scenes, which is the opposite of the point I am guessing? They should totally be besties and leave anything else for the other couple. Sophie and Nate.

Loved Eliot/Sterling, the car scene was so good, plus Eliot making Sterling his assistant. Too funny. Loved their row, and the flashes of THE awesome Eliot file. Hardison telling Sophie he needed to work some stuff out when they got her out lol.

I thought Sophie was underused tbh, but as always she rocks any part, just a shame we didn't see more of her since it'll be a while!!I love a good Sophie grift. Hardison got to do a lot this ep, I like it when he acts all huffy teen with Nate. By that you mean me? LOL.

Nate was good, I loved the chess tournament setting. Guessed Olivia was Sterling's from the step kid comment but it didn't take anything from the ep or the other details. An interesting development too.

I did like Parker having the chute and the weights to make the jump-nice. Also her already sorting her own problem in the vault and not letting on to Hardison when he copped to it like five minutes later. :D Now that makes me laugh.

The last scene was my favourite though. Loved the plans, and who dies in what. It felt natural and Nate is so poker faced you really can never tell if he means it or not-though I very much doubt Hardison would get tossed in plan C. Or ever!! The rest tease him so bad. Whatever the patch thing was, I wanted to know that plan.

Nate's right, it was a win, but the team won't play nice again. Can not wait for that!!

So, mostly loved it, not on board the current ship and hope its not the crux of the next set of eps, sorry I like my Leverage con!porn and snark. With Nate and Sophie I get it.

Everyone rocked it though, and you guys put a great run of eps together so far!! Can't wait for the rest. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above. While some Parker and Hardison stuff is nice, lately it's felt contrived and Nate and Sophie have been neglected.

The Boiler Room Job made up for some of it but except from maybe 3 episodes you could never tell if anything was actually going on between them.

You've probably already guessed my question, but will we be getting more on the Nate and Sophie front?

Are they ever going to actually talk about what is going on between them?

Anonymous said...
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NougatCat said...

I second those above with Eliot trusting Sterling's coffee, and Sterling's knowledge about the locked storage room, and got /almost/ a little over-mushy, but those were the only moments that stopped me a second. Otherwise, thanks to you and the others for another fun mix of con and hilarity!
Eliot and Hardison with their typical brother-like rapport when Eliot re-joins them (hug! fight therapy!)... Parker delighting in 'flying'... throwing in old in-jokes with the 'Plan M' (and the ensuing 'family' conversation stemming from that, was chuckling so much!)... thanks for always keeping in 'classic' bits of the characters like that.

Tom Galloway said...

jamesfirecat: If they take the weight and/or leave things so it's obviously been damaged, they wouldn't use it and would just make another. That delays them a bit. Having them use it and blow up other equipment in the process delays them longer.

zenkitty-714: Nope, they didn't cause a meltdown. A meltdown only happens when an active atomic reaction gets out of control. The centrifuge was just separating out weapons-grade uranium from non-such, so there was as yet no reaction to lead to a meltdown.

Oprah said...

" Anonymous said...
I agree with the above. While some Parker and Hardison stuff is nice, lately it's felt contrived and Nate and Sophie have been neglected.

The Boiler Room Job made up for some of it but except from maybe 3 episodes you could never tell if anything was actually going on between them.

You've probably already guessed my question, but will we be getting more on the Nate and Sophie front?

Are they ever going to actually talk about what is going on between them?"

I wouldn't count on it, evidently it's a Parker/Hardison show now, no room for Nate and Sophie anymore.

Tom Galloway said...

'Fraid I have to jump off the fun train for, well, just about all the chess elements though. While it's been a few years, I used to be a USCF Senior Tournament Director and the President of the North Carolina Chess Association, so that was an area I've more than a passing familiarity with.

No problem with a teen girl chess prodigy; see the Polgar sisters, among others. But in the brackets shot , it looked to be at least 40% female names, which just, unfortunately, wouldn't be the case at that level of chess.

It was also very confusing just what sort of tournament it was. It seemed to be a one-game per round knockout, which is a bit odd for blitz. I believe blitz tournaments are usually two games against each opponent (so that each player gets white), and either a Swiss or round-robin. Some research shows that last year's World Blitz Championship was a double-round-robin among 20 players.

Also, it was described as a "buy-in", which didn't make sense. Chess tournaments are either opens, in which case anyone can enter and the field size is effectively unlimited and players do pay an entry fee, or invitationals, where a prize fund and expenses are provided by the tournament's sponsors. For the kind of tournament implied by everything else, this should've been an invitational, in which case Hardison and Nate shouldn't have been able to play as they'd know who the players at that level are. (and Hardison's playing went away after his scene with Livingston, so presumably he got beat in round 1; pity the quote on the Sheik's webpage was "Loren ibsum...", given the rest of the work on it such as orange being the favorite color).

Also, you can't hack the brackets of an open tournament. They're determined by ratings, so both players and arbiters would notice if things were that off, not to mention that arbiters would notice that their previously set pairings had suddenly changed.

The actual games were, sorry to say, rather painful. Sorry Nate, you're not beating grandmasters. Even if Nate is an excellent recreational player, that'd probably make him a Class C, B, or *maybe* an A player. Above that are Experts, Masters, International Masters, and Grandmasters. A Grandmaster is going to crush Nate, period. It's like saying a good company league softball player is going to hit .300 against a major league top starting pitcher.

Next, a player won't fall asleep or walk off during a blitz game, no matter how seductive Sophie is. These games take a maximum of 10 minutes, and by the time Sophie dropped off her number, he'd only need to wait 2-3 minutes to get the win and then go for her.

You also wouldn't play where people are casually walking around nearby drinking and having conversations, nor could someone wander up and deliver a note to a player mid-game. Nor would players have conversations in the middle of a game, let alone a blitz game where every second counts, nor would an arbiter disrupt the championship game (again, which only lasts a few minutes) as happened when Sophie was taken away.

Etc. I was amused by Sophie using the "Ruy Lopez" technique ("Always place the board so the sun shines in your opponent's eyes"), but the arbiter should've seen the flash.

One final non-fun-train bit; Does the Dubai waterfront really have that much foliage of that type? Sorry, but the plants and number of them in the chase scene really looked a *lot* more like Portland than a desert city.

I did enjoy the character bits, particularly Hardison and Parker, but I would've been ashamed of myself if I'd ever run a chess tournament as poorly as the one shown was.

Wynne said...

Just wanted to say, this was the first time I watched Leverage with a large group of people, and the squeals of the Parkison fangirls were deafening. And there were like, three of them. I mean, inside I was squeeing along with them, but I think they went to pitches not meant for human ears.

SueN. said...

Please, PLEASE tell me there will be outtakes of the Eliot-Sterling car scene on the DVDs!!

This was a really fun ep, and I might even have choked up at little at the revelation that Sterling has a daughter. (OMG, he's human!) I also loved Nate's disappointment that Sterling had never told him.

Loved Sophie "helping" Nate as only she can, and Eliot "working out his stuff," as only he can. ;) And I adored Hardison and Parker. There's such a sweetness and innocence to them.

But most of all, I loved the "family scene" at the end, with the plans and who dies and who doesn't. That scene is now my happy place.

Just one question: How is Nate going to keep Eliot from killing Sterling when they meet again?

Anonymous said...

@Tom Galloway, re: blah blah blah

Guess that's why you play chess and not write/direct/produce hit television shows

Steue said...

@lydia the wall outside the elevator was on a soundstage that those lucky enough to be at FanCon (The fan convention ran by fans with a few perks from Electric Entertainment) got to walk through on their set tour.

Stranger said...

Actual Question: How did Sterling know about Sophie and the tape?

Actual Comment: It's no pistol on the mantle, but as soon as Sterling said "Step-father." it seemed clear that Olivia's biological father would be in the mix. Love her comments about it was her real father who taught her about winning.

Actual Reason for Posting: Let's all give a toast to Eliot's hypothetical glass eye!

Tom Galloway said...

Re: Anonymous. As I noted, it's been a few years since I've been active in chess. Still, while I don't "write/produce/direct hit television shows", I'd be willing to lay pretty good odds that my life's been considerably more successful than yours across a fair number of criteria. Including being willing to put my name where my comments are.Now go back under your bridge like a nice little troll.

Anonymous said...

Oh Tom! Name is calling is so sexy! Lol

Adam Coleman said...

Tom, I'm here for the fun train not to see it derailed. I don't bitch about flaws in reality I catch on TV shows.

Aside from that interruption, great episode. Sterling & Spencer for Hire should be a new show on TNT's schedule. Maybe we can finally see Eliot fight that bear.

Calla said...

Good job, everyone! I just enjoy the hell out of this show ever week. I'm going to miss it during hiatus, but I'll survive knowing it means all y'all (except, probably, Kane) will get some rest.

"Don't kill Sterling."/"I can't promise that!" was brilliant!

I didn't quite follow what Eliot and Sterling were arguing about in the car, though - I guess I was distracted by all the barely contained anger & frustration on both sides. Ha.

BUT, what were they talking about?

At first I thought it was the JFK assassination b/c they were talking about one bullet or two bullets. But then Eliot said, "I did it" (which, well, no way he could have killed JFK). And then Sterling mentioned Eliot crawling through sewers in Yemen to kill the head of Al Qaeda.

Are you saying that ELIOT killed BIN LADEN? Is that what you're saying? Because...? Ah, yeah, I don't even know. Wouldn't Eliot have to be a Navy SEAL to have done that? Also, Eliot killed someone with a gun and admitted to it with a humorous smirk, which is not the Eliot we've come to know before now.

So, yeah, totally confused about that!

But, I liked Parker in this episode. Such a mix of emotions from her - when she yells at Hardison about needing to be quick and light, Beth did that brilliantly!

What was the song that Hardison was singing, though? I felt like it was meant to be something we'd recognize, but I couldn't place it.

Thanks again for all your hard work and lost sleep! I'm really happy you got renewed for another season! And I'm looking forward the second half of this one in November.

Go you!

Ian said...

Calla, I'm pretty sure they were talking about JFK. The conversation went to Sterling telling Eliot that the only way Eliot's theory works, is if the rifle in question can be fired a second time within a few seconds. Then Eliots says "I did it," which implies that he'd done this theoretically impossible task with the rifle, not that he'd killed JFK.

John: Super awesome episode. Great summer finale. Liked the callbacks to the morale hug and plan M, great interplay between Eliot and Sterling.

I'm with the others, though, in questioning why Eliot continued to drink the coffee when he clearly doesn't trust Sterling and even outright asked him if he'd added something to the coffee.

Also, uncertain as to whether or not there are that many deciduous trees in Dubai; I was under the impression they almost exclusively used palms, but I suppose if anyone's going to import and maintain deciduous trees, it'd be Dubai. I'm willing to suspend disbelief.

All in all, great episode. Loved it.

Beth P. said...

You know what would be cool? To have them do a con that's set in Portland. I think you'd be able to find suitable locations and backdrops. ;)

Brave said...

I thought Elliot understood Arabic, didn't he speak a little of it in "The King George Job"?

Anonymous said...

loved the Sterling development, it was the tapping of the chess piece that gave it away. My parents and I share so many little mannerisms like that.
I also liked that way when he said
"You are the best thief." I could almost hear him saying "you were my best friend."
And bringing back Plan M from the pilot. Thank you, John, thank you.
I was a little iffy on the coffee question but the overall episode was so good we can let it slide.

p.s. all I want for Christmas is more of Eliot/Sterling working together.

S.E. De Roche said...

Sterling has a kid!?!?!
Congrats, John Rogers and the Leverage Writers, I was not expecting this development

Oona said...

@anonymouses re: Parker and Hardison. I'm glad I'm not at a table of one in finding last night to be a little forced and contrived.

I started watching this show for cool looking cons and interesting characters, but this season is starting to feel like the Parker-Hardison show. I barely recognized my oddball Parker last night. Thing is, I found a lot of their moments in earlier eps to be sweet, but I feel like it's at a tipping point. I'm starting to dislike them together because it's throwing off the balance in the show. Hopefully we'll get more balance in Nov/Dec.

Fave part of the ep - the table scene at the end.

Ad libbed or scripted, cause that was some funny stuff?

allyone said...

I love Frakes, and there were some good moments last night. Eliot's not usually my favorite character, but he had two of my favorite moments last night when he made Sterling his assistant and when he had to fight some people, he was so pissed off (reminds me of a great Johnny Drama moment from Entourage).

That said, I thought last nights Parker/Hardison interaction was the weakest of the season so far. Parker's little breakdown seemed contrived, as did the humming. It felt like they were trying too hard to write a romantic scene instead of just putting the two of those actors in a scene that was more straightforward and allowing their chemistry to create the romance. (I'm thinking of the last scene in the Grave Danger Job, which was way more romantic than last night's IMO.)

And I don't love the Sterling reveal. Must everyone who isn't a show mark have some soft gooey sweet center? I know Sterling did some bad stuff this ep, and clearly isn't a nice guy, but doing it all for his daughter made him feel a little woobie-ized to me. I like him more directly adversarial to Nate and the crew.

The girl playing his daughter did a really nice job though. Her scenes with Nate playing chess were really good.

LOVED LOVED the scene at the end. That was hysterical with the plan M stuff.

Also, very much looking forward to the winter eps. Archie! Jimmy! Chaos! Tara! Hardison running a con! Swat teams! Helicopters! Hurley! Looks like good stuff.

KT said...

Awesome job overall this season! Hope to see the Q&A that has piled up get answered haha

My questions

1) In The Juror #6 Job Nate asked if any team member played chess, Elliot was the only one to respond. Did Nate teach Hardison how to play?

2) In the debriefing, why where Parker and Elliot absent? Any possible foreshadowing with this or just a new spin with the team sit down...

3) (I know this is prob. repeated but) Why would Elliot drink anything Sterling has to offer?

4) Was there any specific reason that the ball bearings in Parkers shoe broke out?

Always nice to watch Leverage but I must admit this episode spun a little off.

What with Elliot being oddly off guard with Sterling (drinking the coffee) / getting cast into a sort of dumb muscle role (dissing the chess tournament/not being able to interrupt Arabic even though in the past he seem to be proficient)

Parker's meltdown/tantrum with the foot work also seems odd, almost feels like a forced situation so that Hardison could come in with some comfort.

Feeling like the team is falling through a little on the being professional aspect. (and of course the old and true no one cares that a member of their team is out; despite in this instance knowing that Sterling is with him.) The whole gadget with the team working with Sterling just dosen't seem to work it self out, especially with the amount of trust they displayed, letting him in on all their plans. Being double crossed once or twice dosen't seem to register.

5) I know there has been complaints before of the team being super human but now it feels like they are making uncharacteristic mistakes?
(Okay this one is just a concern.)

Snark/Complaints aside, lots of appreciation for running this blog! Leverage is the only TV show I watch/follow, thanks always for clever writing and applause to a terrific cast. Looking forward to the winter and of course S5 after that. (:

Anonymous said...

I read it earlier but now it's gone, is it true that Nate's dad gets killed in the finale? :O Poor Nate!

Anonymous said...

First & foremost, maybe I'm crazy (which I am) or I heard wrong but did Sterling say to Eliot your father said you crawled through sewers...? When did Sterling talk to Eliot's father? Is this because the episodes were run out of sequence?

The Goozer said...

I have several questions after viewing this odd episode.

1 - Where did they find a building like that in Portland?

B - How much gas was in the Ferrari?

III - Were those real chess sets you used or did you cgi them all?

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:13 - PLEASE NO SPOILERS in the blog. NOT COOL DUDE.

Anonymous said...

I kind of would have loved if when Nate said why didn't you tell me you had a wife and kid when we were friends and Sterling saying We were never friends.

Anonymous said...

Revisiting "The Carnival Job" for a moment, did Christian do the stunt where Eliot gets hit by the ride and falls off the platform himself?

DHS said...

I wasn't watching it carefully enough, and didn't DVR it but did the rest of the Nate/Olivia match mirror the team's situation? That is to say: did his Knight get picked off unexpectedly and his Bishop pinned down before he sacrificed his Queen? (You can substitute Rook for Knight and Knight for Bishop in the above sentence if I'm getting their metaphorical roles confused again).

Anonymous said...

When the weight exploded did it kill everyone at the exchange?

SueN. said...
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SueN. said...
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SueN. said...

Gah! I would love a preview function!

@brave and @KT – Eliot has spoken Arabic in a previous ep. But there's a huge difference between speaking/understanding a language and lipreading that language, which is what Sterling was doing.

Presumably, that's why Eliot wanted the parabolic, so they could listen to what was being said.

@Calla – The head of Al Qaida in Yemen would not have been Bin Laden. Al Qaeda is a hydra – lots of different heads.

@Anonymous – Sterling said file, not father.

Emma said...

allyone said:

That said, I thought last nights Parker/Hardison interaction was the weakest of the season so far. Parker's little breakdown seemed contrived, as did the humming. It felt like they were trying too hard to write a romantic scene instead of just putting the two of those actors in a scene that was more straightforward and allowing their chemistry to create the romance. (I'm thinking of the last scene in the Grave Danger Job, which was way more romantic than last night's IMO.)


Thank you-this sums up why it felt off to me. They wrote a scene and put Parker and Hardison in it, as opposed to writing a Parker and Hardison scene and letting it be.

I know the assumption is that everyone is a fan of these two, and I am a fan of their characters, but not all viewers buy it romantically.

There is no UST. And no matter how innocent or whatever Parker is supposed to be, you still need that to drive sparks. I keep reading that they are like teens-but dude, teens are horny hormonal messes with people they fancy.

Having a sweet teen ship? It lowers the age to like twelve.

And Hardison is a smooth operator and very social (I remember that hotel room scene ;)) and Parker an international art/jewel thief.

They are messed up but not infants.

Sorry to be so negative. This is not to say the actors don't rock their scenes, however the vibe ends up platonic and a bit after school special about acceptance.

Hardison-I can't wait for more eps about him, he and Eliot really bounce off each other and Hardison has grown in confidence over the series with Nate's help and the various situations he has gotten into and gotten out of by his own wits. Maybe that's why the scene felt wrong? Parker is a lone thief and does need to have her own exit plan - Hardison's growth has proven that he has learnt to have faith in his abilities, yet you pulled that away from Parker for this ep.

Parker's best emo scenes of the whole series have been small moments with Eliot, Tara and Sophie. Those moments truly touched me. And were about her being her.

Anyway this is my fave show and this isn't meant to rag on it, as I only feel like I have discovered who these characters through your writers-so I will have faith, but as a viewer from day one, this was the first time I was ever pulled from the ep (I roll with the con-craziness and suspend disbelief easily for such things) by OOC writing. :(

Leverage will always be my favourite show for the awesome mix of everything, so please don't jump on me for making these points-I know others will disagree and that's cool. It's just an opinion. :)

I am dying to meet Nana. :D And will be around for how ever long you are on for (a long time hopefully!) I just don't want to stop believing in the characters I love so much. :)

Oona said...

Snark/Complaints aside, lots of appreciation for running this blog! Leverage is the only TV show I watch/follow, thanks always for clever writing and applause to a terrific cast. Looking forward to the winter and of course S5 after that. (:

I'll just reiterate this. As much as I complain at times, I only do so because I'm actually invested enough in this show to care. I do follow a couple other shows, but none as much as this one.

Thanks for the work you do to stay connected with the fans!

Anonymous said...

Did the SUV hit the Ferrari?

Anglocat said...

Just wanted to say, great ep, especially re Sterling and Nate. I can understand the frustration some have expressed re the back-burnering of Sophie/Nate, but it actually fits a theory I have: She's grifting him. Not, I hasten to add, in any bad way, but she's changed the dynamic by emphasizing the "friends with benefits" configuration of their relationship so that now *Nate* is the one who finds it unduly trivializing who they are to each other (remember a few eps back, when Sophie referred to it that way in front of the team, and Nate was visibly restive?) Sophie is, I think, making Nate uncomfortable with so limited a relationship--and weaning him off his self-image as the man-who's-lost-his-family.

I could, of course, be wrong...

msd said...

@Brave -
I think Eliot does speak some Arabic, but he may not read lips in Arabic. Apparently Sterling does!

Meagan said...

I loved this ep. I loved Parker and Hardison. I'm surprised some didn't get third degree burns from the heat of their scene, but I felt it, lol.

I don't feel like Parker was sacrificed to make Hardison look good. In fact, I love that Hardison gets Parker as well as he does. He knows when to engage and when to back off. I loved that Parker let him touch her like that. The face and neck is a very intimate area and you don't normally touch people there unless your trying to convey an emotion. Which they were and they did beautifully.

I especially loved the build up and release of tension all throughout that scene.

Most of what I would ask has already been brought up, so I just wanted to leave a post saying how much I loved this ep, I've loved this season, and the November episodes an excruciating 13 weeks away.

Jason said...

Seconding other comments about the Eliot/Sterling coffee. Are we really supposed to believe that Eliot would a) drink Sterling's coffee? b) Really not know there was something in it? c) If he was serious with the "did you put something in here?" line - why would he carry on drinking it?
On the plus side, at least the team noticed he was out and off comms this time, unlike in The Carnival Job!

Also - Beth said on Twitter "@ChristianKane01 moons over my hammy" in regards to this episode - I don't know if I missed it or if the scene was cut out, but what was that all about?

And more of a general desire for season 5 - and I mean this in the nicest way possible - please stop shoving the Nate/Sophie + Parker/Hardison romances down our throats. This season has been so focused on the romance side that I feel it's taken away from the con aspect. It's also taken away from the Eliot screen time, and I say this as a huge fan of the show and not an insane kaniac, please give us more Eliot and less Sophie, she isn't nearly as attractive as everyone seems to think she is.

SueN. said...

Oh, btw, some news agencies are reporting that the head of Al Qaeda in Yemen has been killed.

Eliot really was pissed at Sterling, wasn't he? ;P

PhantomMinuet said...

More Sterling and Eliot! 'Cause that stuff right there is gold.

Anonymous said...

@Tom Galloway

The problem with that theory is that for it to make sense it requires Parker to know that she has sabotaged the atomic weight, something that she didn't know until the accident actually took place and Nate revealed his precautions.

So at the time of the alarm going off Parker thought she was leaving a totally intact maguffin behind....

Thus your line of reasoning doesn't follow from Parker's point of view at the time of the heist.

24jg13 said...

First off Jason, Kaniacs are not insane.

Secondly, Sterling didn't read the lips, he simply told Eliot what he needed to in order to get Eliot into the basement of the building so he could lock him in the room after he passed out.

As for Eliot drinking the coffee, at this point in the show, Sterling is suppose to be "the good guy" working on the right side of the law and I think that lended itself to the team "trusting" him more than they should have.

As a side note, love how the writing makes Crowley look like an Angel next to Sterling.

Jugglernaut said...

Yes, the business about Eliot drinking Sterling's coffee: was something dropped during editing that would have explained such a COMPLETELY out-of-character move (on both their parts; I'd expect Sterling to manipulate Eliot in a more sporting way, such as sending him on a wild bad guy chase), or was it just plan bad scripting? It seemed like a pretty lazy way to get rid of a character who didn't fit into the plot.

The dialogue, however, was stellar.

And that sure seemed like 20 pounds of plot in a 5-pound episode.

Andrew B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew B. said...

I guess this episode invalidates my attempt at a No Prize, from "The Carnival Job" thread, about Eliot carrying two comms. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, 24jg13. I was gonna say all that, but now I don't have to. :)

I will say that in regards to the coffee, some people might be sensitive to weird tastes in their coffee, but they just keep drinking it, because there's nothing else to drink, they forget that it tasted weird the last time, etc. And because Sterling didn't even dignify Eliot with a reply to the question if he had put something in there, Eliot might have figured Sterling just got burned coffee for Eliot on purpose. After all, he chose a side of an argument that could only end in ARGUING just to irk Sterling. I hang out with people who do these things...purposely choose a flawed argument...passive-aggressively attack coffee...these are things that people do. And I would probably keep drinking the coffee, too, even tasting how bad it is, because that's my passive-aggressive action: You Made My Coffee Bad, Now Watch Me Drink It Just To Prove I Can Be The Bigger Person.
(no, it never works that way...)

My actual question for John (if he ever comes back to answering these...*wistful sigh*...) is when Eliot and Hardison meet up again in the lobby, Eliot starts the hug, then pushed Hardison away with a "what's wrong with you" attitude...what did Hardison do? Hug him back?

Thank you...i so love this show...

Video Beagle said...

@anon "and Sterling saying We were never friends."

From the past we've seen, it seems more likely Nate would be the one who never thought of them as friends...this was the first acknowledgement he did.


Ok, while I enjoyed the episode while it was airing, in thinking about it feels very sloppily written.

First, the good. I really liked the final scene around the table discussing the plans.

I liked the Hardison stepping up with contingency plans for Parker.

I didn't twig at all to Olivia being Sterling's daughter til the reveal. (regular poster here Andy caught it way early one).

But for the sloppy parts:

Why didn't Sterling tell Nate about having a daughter? Because the kid interupts him so we don't have to explain it. (I did like Nate calling him Jim).

Why didn't Sterling say at the start, "I need you to help me save my daughter, because I know you Nate, and saving children is your big goal, and I've read your file, Spenser, and you save children like they're green stamps." ? Because the kid interupts the scene so we don't have to figure it out.

Why didn't Elliot have a spare comm, as it's been established he carries spare comms? .......

Why didn't Nate mention "Oh, I put sand in the rare gas, just in case?" This feels like one of those "You don't keep secrets form your team" things they're always complaining about. Was it because after it was all said and done, someone realized you let terrorists get away with the mcguffin and needed to give the team a way out? And if not, why wasn't that the first plan? And how does it work anyway, do they not hit the thing with compressed air before using it?

And how is a weight the only one in the world? Did I misunderstand that? Obviously there are more...if it's the only one in the world, and the US doesn't have it, I think that's why we invented the Marines, no?

(Andy sent me this link: less than $4 and free shipping).

I'm no Chess tournmanet expert, but I bow to TYG in just about any matter of Geek knowledge there is (though I bet I can take him in Mission: Magic trivia). What I know of chess tournaments comes mainly from the musical of the name, and just from that, I can't believe that a major international tournament wouldn't have more security against the type of cheating we saw....(though if you'd gone with the different colored yogurts, I'd give it a pass as winking to the audience).

Nate: "Does anyone play chess?"
Elliot: "I do"
Nate: "Of course you do."
Elliot: "But all other chess players are nerds and I take their lunch money."

(I give a pass on him drinking the coffee...that played ok to me.).

Again, enjoyable as I watched, which I chalk up to the cast and Frakes, but the writing feels off.

Andrew B. said...

@Video Beagle: "I didn't twig at all to Olivia being Sterling's daughter til the reveal." As much as my ego would like to take that compliment, it was telegraphed pretty well once Nate reacted. The show has a bunch of tells, you just have to watch for them.

As for the weight being the only one in the world? My philosophy when it comes to technology is that if there's only one in the world, China has three. Well, Russia, if we're talking reactor and refinery technology. I think most of Iran's nuclear tech came from Russia, or was at least installed by Russian consultants. And that's just the "seriously, we're not making bombs, pinkie swear" Uranium technology. Don't get me started on India and Thorium reactors.

Ben said...

A number of plothole'y-type things aside, how did Parker go from standing panicking on the floor of the vault room to hanging above it? Did we miss something that ended up on the cutting room floor?

gwangung said...

Spare earbuds? My No-Prize attempt is that Sterling took them, to keep a clandestine ear on the team.

Eliot drinking the coffee? Well.....I can try the step-into-the-trap-you-know-about tactic, since it was evident Sterling wanted him out long enough until AFTER he got his daughter out. Since that didn't happen, I'd posit that Eliot only drank PART of the drugged coffee.

Yes, I know. My arms are tired from all that waving.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't even mind shoving Parker/Hardison down our throats if Nate and Sophie had an equal amount of airtime together. I have a question. Who decides which pairing will be featured more (translation: who should we blame?), does it depend on the writer of an ep or the showrunners/producers?

Andrew B. said...

@gwangung, that sounds suspiciously like an attempt to setup some off-screen scene where Sterling is frisking an unconscious Eliot, rifling through his pockets, staring longingly at his peaceful face, knowing this will be the closest he'd ever come to his one, true love, barely restraining himself from stealing a gentle, yeah, that's probably what happened.

ChelseaNH said...

@gwangung: Eliot drinking the coffee?

Remember, the job was to keep TERRORISTS from creating NUCLEAR WEAPONS. However cynical I am about Sterling, I would not suspect him of wanting to sabotage that goal. Now, I'd be ready for him to sell me out once the goal was accomplished, but not before.

Are we sure that Parker et al didn't know about the sand?

Initially, it does seem strange that Sterling couldn't just tell the team what he was up to. But try to write that scene. It would be so much harder for Sterling to say "help me rescue my daughter" than "help me prevent terrorism." Exposing a personal vulnerability like that when he can manipulate people instead?

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I thought Eliot was playing Sterling and didn't actually drink the coffee and pass out. Was that the original take and you had to change it to make the episode flow?

Video Beagle said...

@ben: "how did Parker go from standing panicking on the floor of the vault room to hanging above it?"

My read of that was that she had already identified the pipes as a go to place and was there when Hardison told her about it. Her "Do you think it will hold me" was more a sarcastic reply.

Kristy said...

Just to refresh your memory, since it seems you have forgotten, head over to the old Two Live Crew Job and The Maltese Falcon Job question posts to see how much everybody loved Nate/Sophie scenes we never get anymore. I never would've thought after that amazing response even from non-shippers that you'd start ignoring them as a couple and not giving them any decent, impactful scenes anymore. FAIL.

Rosie said...

Re: Sterling not telling Nate about rescuing his daughter

To my thinking, if Sterling had told the team the real plan was to rescue his daughter, they would have made saving the girl (his daughter or not) part of the plan. Sterling has to be the hero. He wanted the distraction and the team out of the way so he could save the girl himself. If the team got caught in the process, he probably figures they can get out of the jam on their own and if not, they're thieves and deserve what they get.

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of comments about the Sterling/Eliot lipreading Arabic scene.
I'd like to re-instate what SueN said about understanding a language (Which Eliot does) and lipreading it (which he can't).

I don't think Sterling can lipread it either, I assumed that he was just making that stuff up to draw Eliot away.

Jugglernaut said...

Another question: When Parker is on the roof worrying that she's too light to make the jump safely, how can she have forgotten she's got 50-lb boots on? They're sort of the whole reason she's there.
But the "WHEEEEE!" on the way down was vintage Parker.

Jane said...

I miss the team.

The bar scene at the end just drove home for me how much I miss the team dynamic.
The banter when they are together is one of the two reasons why I watch this show. There's been precious little of it this season, we don't even get the team briefings anymore.

The strength of the cons and the competence the team shows while running them (the other reason why I watch), has been sadly lacking. I don't know why but they all seem so flimsy, a vehicle to further the relationships, and not the "competence porn" they were in earlier seasons (especially the first).

I was relieved when Parker asked Hardison during the Long Way Down Job if "this would become a thing" and assumed that it wouldn't.
But it has become a thing.
She's not allowed to do her job anymore without at least some interference, sometimes even distracting her from her job. Parker2000 was the worst example of this. I'm sure it'll have a big part to play later in the season but to intro it like that was just bad storytelling.
For me the only episode where she was allowed to show her amazing competence was the Cross My Heart Job.
You get one guess which ep is my favorite of the season so far.

I just have three questions. Why?
Why are the briefings now in twos or threes?
Why the focus shift from the team and the cons to the pairings?

I'm going to be really disappointed if the answer is "because covering five people is hard".

Debbie said...

How is it Parker was running around like a butterfly with those 50 lb boots on when she headed for the roof? And of course after she landed she was running to Lucille like an agile cat. High heels maybe, but not those boots.

Seeing Sterling is ALWAYS a treat.
Sterling and Nate have a great tension we love watching. Like two gun fighters from the old west.

Love when Nate called Sterling Jim and seemed disappointed Sterling did not ask him at the bar for his help rescuing his daughter.

More N/S moments please. She has such a great "come hither" look when she wants alone time with him. Sexy as hell.

Three months is a heck of a long time but will be worth it. Christmas will come early this year for all of us who live in Leverage Land.

Salute to you Mr. Rodgers and the entire team.

As always, I love you.

David Hunt said...

Regarding Tom Galloway’s problems with the Chess Tournament: I don’t know how tournaments work in the normal sense but I decided that most of the differences from standard tournament procedures to stem from the whole tournament being set up by Livingston to showcase his step-daughter’s play or just to his own weird quirks. I figure that this can cover the random assignment of players and might have even influenced who was actually willing to show up to a tournament with his funny rules. As to the security, I wrote that off to also having to guard the ridiculously valuable weight and the team being very good at the jobs.

As to the tournament being single elimination, I can think of real story-telling reasons for it to happen that way in addition to being able to write it off to Livingston just setting up a tournament with non-standard rules. First there’s the simple necessity of screen time. They could only have so much time where they’re showing stuff happening on chess boards. I’m fairly confident that was the only reason they needed but I’ve got two more. First, the way round robin elimination works would have been confusing to the audience. I have only the vaguest idea how that works , I’m sure that I’d have had trouble following I, and I’ve never found myself in that sizable percentage of the audience who doesn’t understand the con even after it was explained. On the other hand, virtually everyone understands single elimination rules. The second additional reason that it was single elimination is that this allowed them to always show Nate playing the black pieces. Describing Nate as switching from being the white knight to the black king goes all the way back to pilot. I don’t see how they could have given up that imagery.

Overall, I strongly suspected that there were some divergences from standard tournament play even for blitz play, but just accessed my willing suspension of disbelief to stay on the fun train. Sorry to hear that it was so annoying to you. I just decided that put this on the “ledger” side of the ledger instead of the “orange box” side.

Famous4it said...

Bad Sterling! Nobody drugs Eliot! Nobody! Sigh, but of course Sterling never loses. You have no idea how much I love and hate that at the same time...

Wow, that was some scary chess... I would probably knock over all the pieces if I tried playing that fast :)

Loved Parker's French accent, and her base jump! And as everyone has already mentioned , the Eliot/Sterling scenes. Will Eliot pull off his own Sterling Job during his downtime? Or will he store up that anger for their next encounter?

Oooh, Sterling makes my blood boil, but how I love him anyway!

I shall admit, the Parker/Hardison scenes weren't as good as what we've seen earlier this season. Not to say I didn't love them! Of course I did =) I really loved the sweet dancing moment, and Parker being worried about putting her feet on his, and the vault humming, with Sophie's knowing smile and all! Really my only gripe was Parker's breakdown. It seemed a bit much for just not being able to work with the shoes. I understand her logic behind it of course, and the vuneribitly caused by her being in a such situation, where she can't depend on what she always has. It's just something I would imagine would come out under different circumstances. But that being said, I loved how Hardison showed he will always be there for her:) Doh, I'm sorry this is becoming a giant mess, bottom line is: My face moments were definitely in the 'Grave Danger Job' , but I loved these too :)

So I suppose my question really is: Was it just the boots that pushed her over the edge, the laptop yelling, the vunerbility or was Parker just having a bad day? All of the above?

As for the romance, personally I feel you guys have created a perfect blend of cons and romance , both Nate/Sophie
and Parker/ Hardison :) It makes me very happy.

Oh, and will we ever find out what Parker wanted to say before she jumped?

Once again thanks for taking the time to read these. Just wanted to ask, are my comments too long? I can cut out my own mental musing if it makes it easier fo you.

And Archie, Tara , Chaos and Jimmy Ford?! November can't come fast enough!

Famous4it said...

@ Anon at 5 13 Dude major spoilers not cool :( .

@Ian I've been to Dubai; they have a lot of palms of course, but they've done well with other foliage too. They have some lovely trees, and gardens.

@Jason Dude don't diss Sophie =p I thought she and Eliot were insanely hot in this episode; his black and White shirt, and her awesome dress :)

Famous4it said...

I'm sorry I forgot a question!

Is there a plan in which Nate dies?

Thanks again :)

Debbie said...

Another question. More like an observation/question. Nate has been chewing gum for most of season 4. Is this his way to fight his addiction or is it a new sexy look Tim Hutton seems to be pulling off?

As always, I love you.

Anonymous said...

Firstly thanks John. I loved the episode. I had no problem with the Parker/Hardison element. It was a little cheesy but honestly that's part of the thing I love about this show. The family get-together at the end was a nice touch. I kept rewinding and rewatching it so I could pick out all the separate conversations.

In regards to the comments about Elliot not speaking Arabic, I think that the issue wasn't that he couldn't translate but that he couldn't read lips in Arabic which explains why he wanted the parabolic mic. At least that's how I interpreted it. My 2 cents and all that jazz.

Janah said...

like always - perfection! Every episode has been so great, thank you and the rest of the crew for this amazing show.

Anonymous said...

Egads. This is what I get for not refreshing the old tab before posting. My point was already made elegantly by Sue N. and H.R.Hewitt. Sorry for beating a dead horse.

Anonymous said...

I liked this episode better than the "Cross My Heart" episode which I thought was just plain goofy & without any common sense.

LOVED the Nate/Sterling scenes. Mark Sheppard is a great addition to this show and I always look forward to any episodes he is in because you know they will be good. I also liked the father/daughter moments. As others have said it's easy to hate Sterling, but it was nice to see that he has a human side too.

Not a big fan of the Parker/Hardison romance storyline; as others have said it just seems too forced. I absolutely LOVE Beth & Aldis as individual actors on the show but I am just not feeling Parker & Hardison as a couple. I loved the "Van Gogh Job", but Beth & Aldis weren't technically playing Parker & Hardison in the flashback scenes.

Loved Parker's line of "you slow me down, you kill me". And Eliot voluntarily hugging Hardison and then immediately pushing Hardison away and telling him to "get off me". Just made me laugh. :o) As always, Gina was beautiful even though Sophie didn't have a huge role in this con.

Can't wait to see what happens in the second half of the season in November.

Anonymous said...

"How is it Parker was running around like a butterfly with those 50 lb boots on when she headed for the roof? And of course after she landed she was running to Lucille like an agile cat. High heels maybe, but not those boots."

Half the ball bearings had fallen out of them by that time.

"So I suppose my question really is: Was it just the boots that pushed her over the edge, the laptop yelling, the vunerbility or was Parker just having a bad day? All of the above?"

I totally buy the laptop yelling thing. Have you ever played guitar hero and been "booed" off one too many times? =)~

As always..Loved this episode!

RS said...

So, ostensibly, Sterling needed the team because he needed to create an emergency specifically regarding the weight, since that was the only thing that would make Livingston pull "all hands on deck" and away from Olivia. This is Sterling, though-- he's as clever as Nate, and has the resources of Interpol behind him. Couldn't he have created another emergency? But maybe he wanted the team to do it as an off-the-record thing, to protect Olivia. OK, so if that's the case, I get why he had to ditch Eliot, but why have Sophie arrested?

Re: the sand on the weight, Nate's done that sort of thing before, where at the last minute it turns out the bad guys didn't win after all. He doesn't always tell his team, either. So, if he figured out that Olivia was Sterling's daughter from almost the first scene in Dubai... maybe he guessed that things were going to go south and they weren't going to get away with the weight? Then why didn't he warn his team that it was a set-up?

I really liked the interaction between Parker and Hardison-- she's admitting vulnerability, which is a big thing for Parker. And the two minutes I gasped with surprise were when Eliot showed up to punch out the terrorists, and it turned out Olivia was Sterling's daughter. I knew something was up because of the way he said "step-daughter," but him having a family seemed too human to consider.

RS said...

Oh! And the interactions between Eliot and Sterling were great-- not just the dialogue, but the facial expressions, their staredowns, the body language... it was really well-played.

The cynic in me says Sterling knew this was the one scenario where Nate wouldn't hold a grudge for being set up-- rescuing his kid. On the other hand, presumably Nate asked for information on Latimer-- unless there's someone pulling Latimer's strings, that we haven't met, tying together the VP from the Hot Potato job who was cleared, Latimer, and the defense contractor from last week? So it's not just altruism on Nate's part.

Rayhne said...

Eliot drinking the coffee ... yeah he kept mentioning the taste but 1) it was something to drink and 2) Sterling was keeping him riled up so he could have been drinking it on auto-pilot, not paying much attention.

I am surprised that Sterling simply didn't tell Nate about his daughter. Like him or not, the team would have helped for her sake and Sterling would have know that. I hope we see Olivia again.

How old it Olivia?

Tammy said...

I have loved this show for four years. I will love this show forever.

But I don't believe there will never be a moment of love that trumps Hardison's use of Pig Latin explaining Eliot's issues.

"Ugged-dray by Erling-stay."

Freaking Brilliant.

Megan said...

Throwing in my request for more Eliot in S5.
Seriously, where has he been this season? It feels like we've seen much less of him than in previous years!
That said, I really like the fact that we're starting to see the not invincible side of Eliot now (drugged by Sterling, hurt in the episode with Urijah Faber, etc) I think the audience and the team need reminding that he isn't invincible sometimes!

Anonymous said...

Was Hardison humming "My heart will go on" from Titanic to Parker?

Kevin said...

For me, I drop off the fun train when the team's competence is compromised for plot reasons.

A question: Parker clearly can't walk in the boots. She had to use her harness to approach the maguffin, and based on how she's balancing she wouldn't be wearing them. She's already stated she can't run with them. Why does she suddenly have them again while leaping off the building?

Thanks for tackling these, John, and have a great break.

Izzie said...

Eliot, Sterling, coffee. I know you (and Sterling) had to get Eliot out of the way, but really? He wouldn't trust him enough to drink the coffee, especially after he noticed the weird taste, even if Sterling took care to get really bad-tasting coffee to cover up the taste of the drugs. Yeah, I'm with the others on this one.

Sophie didn't get the One Ring allusion?

Is the reason Eliot and Parker die in none of Nate's plans that they have more self-preservation instincts than the others?

Hardison reported that Eliot went offline NINE minutes after the fact? And Eliot has extra earbuds in the Carnival episode but not in this one?

DDR? LOL! DDR is sooo five years ago, man. But "You slow me down, you kill me"? Aww, Parker.

Why did Eliot shake his head during the "weight-gait detector" discussion? Something he knows that the others don't?

"What wouldn't you do to save your kid?" Ouch. Bet Olivia asked Dad about it later.

Good episode.

Tom Galloway said...

David Hunt: Fair enough. I do understand the need for a certain amount of dramatic license, but the chess stuff bothered me for a couple of reasons in addition to it triggering my xkcd "Somewhere, someone is posting something *wrong* on the Internet" disorder. : -)

First off, Nate thinking he can casually beat 5 grandmasters in a row is, well, a signal the rest of the team needs to put him in a nice soft walled room for a bit of a lie down. As far as chess goes, any one of them is at such a different level than he can possibly be at, given that he's not making it a significant chunk of his life studying the game, that it's not even close. Nate's smart, but he was claiming he could beat 5 of the best, call it 400 people in the world at their own game. And he should know that's not possible.

To their credit, Nate was losing. But he should've been planning in advance to deal with that, not having Sophie improvising ways out that basically toss the stupid ball to Nate's opponents. Although, come to think of it, other than for dramatic purposes, Nate didn't need to even be playing; they just needed the girl to make the finals to keep Livingston distracted.

As for the weirdness being due to Livingston, well, he stated he hoped to put Dubai on the international chess map. So he would've had incentive to do things the accepted way. Also, his daughter winning something off-kilter wouldn't help her rep (and really, blitz isn't the way to help her rep. Her winning a mixed tournament of Grandmasters at regular time limits? That builds up her rep. See the Polger sisters for examples).

Which is basically the second bit why it annoyed me. I like competence porn. But it's only fun when the opponents and marks are also competent. Here, too much of the chess stuff involved tossing the players/arbiters the stupid ball.

I actually hadn't picked up that Nate was always playing black, but while thematically interesting, is also unrealistic. Part of a director's job is to try as much as possible to equalize the number of times a player plays each color, since white's considered to have an advantage. For Nate to play black that many times in a row, the only way for it to have happened would've been for every one of his opponents (other than the first) have also had black for every game. So now we've also got a ridiculous number of wins by black...

Murasaki_1966 said...

I'm surprised no one has noticed this, but when Nate and Sophie enter the tournament, Nate is wearing a white hat with black hands. Next shot, and for the remainder of the show, Nates's hat is black with white bands. Stuff-up in the props department or symbolisim?

Nice symbolism (if unrealistic) having Nate always play black. Black plays at a disadvantage in chess (abet a small one), and it tied in tot the Juror No.6 Job.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Definitely my favourite of the season, so far. Loved all of it. The coffee thing didn't bother me at all - sure, they don't trust Sterling, but he did come to them for help, and they were going after terrorists, as someone else pointed out. Any double cross they were expecting would have been Sterling trying to frame/arrest them AFTER they got the bad guys. And probably through some elaborate con - not something as simple as drugging the coffee, mid-con. (Which is what makes it so smart on Sterling's part.) Nice to see Eliot's habit of taking out the earbud mid-con come back to bite him a little bit too.

Also, I have to say, I LOVED the P/H scenes this ep - they were my favourite of the season. Parker getting frustrated and her breakdown ("You slow me down, you kill me!") was totally believable, and for the first time, this episode really cemented to me how Parker NEEDS Hardison. Before, I found the relationship sweet, and I enjoyed it, but this episode proved to me "Oh, they NEED each other", and I think have made me a shipper.

Also, I like the sweetness - you don't spend three seasons establishing just how messed up these people are, then slot them into perfectly functioning relationships. So the taking it slow works for me, and I find it refreshing. Heat and hormones are fantastic for a quick fling, but if you want to build a real relationship, you need that core of mutual respect, trust, friendship and sweetness, for once teh hawt sex loses its novelty.

And I'm fine if you decide to make this the P/H show :) Nate and Sophie had all of season two anyway.

Also, I think the long con that Sophie is running on Nate is inspired. Kudos.

So, thank you for a wonderful start to the season, and for taking the time to answer these comments. Saw the winter season preview, and now I can't wait. Tara, Chaos, Jimmy Ford, and Archie, I seriously can't wait.

Three questions:
1) Will we meet Nana this season?
2) Was that a SWORD Richard Chamberlain had in the winter season preview?
3) Please tell me there are plans for a Sterling & Olivia Interpol spin-off?

Anonymous said...

Tammy I'd like to thank you for clearing up the Pig Latin thing for me. I don't really speak Pig Latin and I couldn't understand what he was saying.
Murasaki_1966,and that was not the only costume change, Sterling changes suits about halfway through.
Oh, and John, I'm sure you've heard this before but along with my cries for more Sterling, I'd like to send up a cry for more Olivia.
You've got a damn good show here, and it just keeps getting better.

RS said...

Other things I just realized I noticed-- Nate has the piece of paper all ready to go. Either he knew this was going to happen, or he was ready to call in his favor at the end of the con.

And Olivia being Sterling's daughter-- on rewatch, I notice that when she and Nate are playing chess, a version of Sterling's theme runs through the music for a minute. Nice.

Oona said...

@Kevin - Parker needed the boots on to give her more weight for her jump (if that answers part of your question), but yeah - the boots seemed to restrict her movement most when the plot called for them to as opposed to restricting her movement in every scene, I do agree with that.

On Sterling, when he said that the divorce was his fault, to me, that was the perfect explanation for why he wouldn't mention it to Nate. They were competitive, and in general, Sterling likes to win. His marriage was a failure. Out of his own shame and his own competitiveness, he wouldn't share that with Nate unless he felt like he had to.

Now, that said, it seems like maybe Sterling could have tried to use his past as a way to reach out to Nate when Nate's own marriage was crumbling, to try to help him. Since now it does appear that they really were friends. Did Sterling just judge Nate as being too far gone for help? Or was part of him okay with Nate falling down, since they were competitive?

ChelseaNH said...

@RS: but why have Sophie arrested?

She's the one most likely to notice him sabotaging their heist. The team will be busy dealing with her rescue and won't have cycles to pay attention to Sterling.

Toni said...

More Sterling! ;)

Seriously, it was Awesome!

My question is: When did you decide to give Sterling a kid? Was this part of his original back story or a "last minute" decision for an episode?

Also, will we see anymore of Olivia?

Robin said...

Ayla Kell! Love her from Make It or Break It, and she did a darn fine job as the young Sterlingette.

After playing so many "power negative" characters, it was great to see Eliot forcibly claim the powerful character in the con just to spite Sterling. Loved that whole storyline with the two of them in fact. So much anger! Hilarious!

Nate and Sterling's relationship in this reminds me more than a little of Topher and Boyd from Dollhouse. In the commentary for the pilot, Joss Whedon says the actors asked him whether their characters were friends, and he told them, "Topher would say yes, Boyd would say no, and they'd both be wrong." :)

@Debbie -- re: Nate's gum -- He's chewed gum on and off for the whole series, though he really plays it up when in a character like Jimmy Papadokolous. From what we saw in 'Three Card Monte', I'm gonna say it's a habit he inherited from his old man.

@RS: "...I get why [Sterling] had to ditch Eliot, but why have Sophie arrested?

Because she is, to quote Cha0s, Sophie Freakin' Devereaux. She's an international art thief and he works for Interpol. (And is "a self-serving, utter bastard.) I think maybe her arrest was meant to be his cover story for the trip to Dubai with his superiors, as well as being another means of keeping the team off-kilter.

The Reviewer said...

Kung Fu at its finest -

The Reviewer said...

Jung Fu Klass -

Kate said...

@Tom, I think Nate had to be Olivia's competitor in the finals to make sure the match would take as long as they needed it to. Otherwise, there was a very real chance that she and her competitor would finish before Parker had time to steal the weight.

Anonymous said...

Well, I enjoyed the episode, expecially the double cross where they just sabotaged the weight and let Livington take the blame for the facility blow up, but!!!
Was there supposed to be a plot? There sure was a lot of handwaving-enough to leave me shaking my head and asking, Seriously?
Incredulity fails, here:
After Nate worked with him, and Hardison looked her up, the team doesn't know Olivia is Sterling's daughter?
Expecially since Nate is smart enough to beat Grand Masters at chess? that's pretty funny!

Sterling thinks he's going to get away with setting them all up just for spite? Because there was no need for most of that, at all.

How did they manage to fool the weight pressure security measures into thinking that Livington's customary gait was a Frankenstein shuffle?

How about that coffee, Mr. Paranoid Survivor who hates Sterling and grows his own food?
Yes, I know Sterling did a great job of distracting him- but they were punching each others' buttons, too, so it would not have worked on Eliot, of all people.

Any reason to get Parker trapped and Sophie arrested, except plain spite? They could have set off the alarms at any time, without that complication, and don't tell me it's because they're thieves. Sterling isn't stupid or psychotic, and he knows they're not anymore, so there's just no motive for him to waste precious rescue time being so treacherous and evil.

And of course the International Chess tournament wouldn't notice the singles bar pickup or flashing light taking out competitors, until Sterling pointed out a woman has a compact mirror?
Then Sophie's lame, oh that's not mine, instead of claiming she just didn't understand why she couldn't freshen her lipstick?
Also, why wouldn't Parker pack a harness while working the tallest building in the world? And are we supposed to believe she didn't check her own kit before a job?

Honestly, for all the fun here, by the end of the episode I was so disappointed in the overall lack of plot I couldn't enjoy it at all.
Not much of a finale, really.

Rayhne said...

Wouldn't Livingston have known Sterling?

Ally said...

Wow. That was REALLY GOOD. BUT IT WAS THE LAST FREAKING EPISODE UNTIL FREAKING NOVEMBER. I literally had to be restrained when we learned Sterling had drugged Eliot and the poor man passed out on the floor. Nobody touches my Eliot! NOBODY! Especially not you, Sterling. Then when we learned the truth about Olivia, I felt slightly (only ever so slightly) less inclined to murder the man. I'll settle for letting Sophie hit him. And then Eliot needs to punch him. Again. Regarding the whole Olivia thing, I had my suspicions from the second she was introduced. You rarely hear "stepdaughter" in television without her actual parent/s coming into play in some manner, so instantly I knew Olivia's real dad was somehow involved in this con. And then the way Sterling said "stepdaughter," felt like an unnecessary qualifier, and out-of-character. So, I am happy-dancing because I FIGURED IT OUT!!!!! My questions:
1. A couple Eliot-centric: When Parker gets in the van, we clearly see Eliot has a big red bruise on his face. (I almost cried, by the way). But why didn't we see this earlier?
2. The family conversation at the end, "Hardison, plan C and M-Q. Eliot, none, Parker, none. Sophie, nnehh..." just golden. This is probably what they were discussing, and I think you're setting them up for Parker and Eliot mercilessly teasing poor Hardison, "You die in six plans. I got ZERO." ?
3. Relating to #2: How many plans does Sophie die in? And was the reason Nate didn't say because he knew she would take offense to being basically told, "I'm underestimating you and I think this is the probability you're gonna die"? Or was it because of the "jinx" factor? OR: something else entirely? Do tell!
4. Relating also to #2: How many plans does Nate die in (if any), and if there are plans in which Nate dies, does he ever plan on telling the team so they can properly execute this plan in the event of his (gasp!) death? Please tell me Nate's not gonna die. PLEASE. Or Sophie. Or Eliot. Actually, IF Sophie or Eliot's gonna die, don't tell me. Cuz I'm gonna have a minor emotional breakdown.
5. I thought Nate scared Archie off with his crusade.
6. Was the name Nate gave Sterling the name of the apartment-bugger that wants Nate to spill secrets? Or somebody else?
7. Reality check: when Sophie dropped the compact, it just landed on the floor, upside down. Nothing spilled out. There's powder in those things. Lots of it. Believe me, I know *shudder*. And the mirror didn't break, either. Those things are incredibly breakable.

Ally said...

You didn't think I was done, did you? :), here's some more. Sorry about the tremendous amount I have added to your workload.

8. When Parker hopped in the van with her parachute and asked where Nate was, Sophie responded, "playin' chess." That g went missing, and I definitely heard a tiny Southern twang. Was that an accent slip?
9. I know dozens of others have asked this, but what was that song Hardison was humming? Parker appeared to recognize it, and I think we were supposed to, too. And when did Parker and Hardison take dance classes??!!
10. Sophie never has struck me as the damsel in distress type. I mean, she could have easily escaped on her own (10 Lil Grifters Job). It just didn't seem like her to wait around for Eliot and Hardison to come find her.
Some questions about the promo, which you probably can't answer yet but hey, it's worth a shot:
1. That was clearly Sophie in the gold dress leaning over somebody in a bed. Was that person in the bed Nate?
2. The shot of Eliot and Sophie in the green car: Sophie's eyes looked red. And distinctly teary. It was going really fast, so I backed up to look again. And sure enough, there they were. Sophie was clearly crying over something. WHAT WAS IT?? I know you can't answer this, but I'm just dying here...Oh, and something you should tell Gina for me: normally, when people cry on TV, you get tears, you get sniffles, nothing else. When Gina does her crying (Wedding Job, Second David Job, some other jobs in there, and especially in Jekyll--which you should watch, by the way, if you haven't), you get very real-looking red eyes, along with the tears and the sniffles, that don't just magically go away (Wedding Job especially). Gina is a FREAKING AWESOME actor. I don't understand why the HECK people keep dishing her. I will adore and, as an (awful) actor myself, idolize Gina Bellman for the rest of time.
Wow, folks. That was awesome. My love, as usual, goes to my Eliot, and send him an ice pack and some kisses from me. MORE SOPHIE, people. She was almost absent from this job entirely. But the little flashing lights, the note, the wink-and-shimmy, the "I can wait, if you want to do a little...more," all just golden. Love you guys...keep staying strong! And NOVEMBER? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?????

Brave said...

@ Ally

What part of the promo did you see Sophie and Elliot in a green car?

The only one I've seen didn't have that tell.

Marisa said...

People have made a lot of good points here. Honestly, the thing that bugged me the most about this epsiode was the very clearly edited digital pictures. I know they didn't film in Dubai, but I'm not used to the scenes looking so fake. But, I was able to deal.

I was wondering why Eliot, who hugged Hardison first outside the hotel, shoved Hardison away asking,"What are you doing?" Was it only because Hardison hugged him back. And I loved Eliot's, "Do you know where some are (bad guys)?" Hilarious.

I didn't think it was a mistake that Parker left the weight. I think it was just more parts of the con that we don't see. A picogram of salt on a surface would not be visible to the naked eye so they wouldn't see a need to "clean" it.

Eliot didn't read lips and Sterling didn't either. He just made it up to get Eliot in the basement and out of the picture. Which is why Sterling refused to get the parabolic.

Eliot and Sterling were the best!

While I love the potential of these relationships, I, like some others, am missing more of the con, the briefings, and their non-romantic interactions (Eliot/Hardison, etc.).
This is my favorite show and I do appreciate the writing, the cast, the crew, and the direction.
Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

"Eliot didn't read lips and Sterling didn't either. He just made it up to get Eliot in the basement and out of the picture. Which is why Sterling refused to get the parabolic."

That was part of the problem- they weren't speaking Arabic at all, just repeating what Sterling said- in English. You'd think Eliot would notice that. Sterling didn't need to get Eliot to the basement, because he'd drugged him, for no apparent reason, because he didn't really need to remove him at all, just like he didn't need to get Sophie arrested or trap Parker, and Nate didn't have to punch Livingston and be threatened by the terrorists?!!? just in time for Eliot to save him. And then Sophie, while Nate tries to get Sterling to run over him. Even though the SUV could have gone around that little bitty car.
And since when is blowing up a bunch of workers in a power plant a win for the good guys?
Did anybody in this ep have any motive for anything?
Plotholes pretty much wrecked the vehicle halfway through.
Apparently they didn't think about this episode at all before filming and didn't watch it before releasing it.
Honestly, Sterling is a fun character, but since his episodes always turn the team into bumbling idiots so his lame evil plans can succeed, can we just leave him out of future episodes?

Marisa said...

Towards the beginning of the scene in the hotel room with the crew and Sterling where Hardison was running down about the weight, Nate and Eliot on the couch had a moment where they gave each other a pointed knowing look...I wasn't sure what they were mentally communing about. I believe it was right before they were discussing the weight/gait security measure. Was that just a happenstance or were they responding to something specific?

Kate said...

"Apparently they didn't think about this episode at all before filming and didn't watch it before releasing it."

Ha! I'm pretty sure that's exactly what happened - this one was clearly a throw-away episode the interns put together while Rogers was drinking whiskey.

Seriously, though: everything you list as inexplicable was integral to Sterling's plan. He wanted Olivia. That was his singular goal. He conned the team into going after the weight, but only so there would be a diversion. Burning the team - and distracting both Livingston and Nate as a result - was just part of that diversion. If he didn't burn the team, Livingston would never have been distracted enough for Sterling to have room to grab Olivia.

I suspect that Sterling intended for Livingston to be dealing with a captured Parker after the fact, to allow Sterling time to get to the airport. Sterling just didn't count on Eliot being able to get out of the room so fast, or on Nate coming after him instead of staying to help Sophie, Eliot, and Parker. Sterling assumed Nate would have to stay at the tournament to clean up the mess; he underestimated the team.

Isaac said...

A thing I've noticed this season is that you guys will spend 5-10 seconds to just let the team enjoy each other's company, oftentimes at the end of the episode. It's a little thing that goes a huge way towards making these guys feel like a family. Very well done.

Now, call me thick but why did Nate sacrifice his queen? Was it just to end the game? Was it to see how Olivia would react? Was it a bluff? It seemed like that moment was a head game between the two, but it didn't go anywhere.

Screw Sterling, next year lets see Olivia fuck over the team solo.

Maxbeecat said...

Wow, reading these blogs are a lot of fun. But, I can't get over how some people nit pick at the littlest things. Yes, there are some holes that need explaining and kudos to John Rodgers for even having this blog so we can ask away. But for Cris sake, it's a freaking tv show. Not real! Not perfect. Come to think of it, neither is life perfect. So why don't we all sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun ride John and team are taking us on. If you want real drama, turn the tv off and take a walk in the real world. which frankly, I find a bit disturbing. So I'll stay in the comfort of my home and watch me some awesome Leverage, flaws and all.

Oona said...

See, I hate the idea that just because something is a TV show, everyone should just shut up and give it a pass when it's being sloppy.

I don't necessarily agree with all the criticisms that have been posted, but some of them were quite valid, and I can see how folks would find this ep not up to the usual standard. The writers of this show are very smart. Even when the show is broad, it usually avoids stupid plot contrivances. So it's no wonder that some of the very smart viewers who care about the show got POed.

There's nothing wrong with people who care about the show voicing their opinions. Rogers has always said the blog is for all views - he's not just looking for an ego massage. He invites all comers, and he's a big enough boy to knock them down if they're out of line.

I have a hard time believing he'd say, OH, it's just a TV show, why not just be quiet and enjoy. The man has some high standards in his own entertainment consumption and isn't afraid to call it like he sees it.

And if I'm wrong in this, I'm sure he'll give me a smack down, too. :)

ChelseaNH said...

@Isaac: why did Nate sacrifice his queen?

They needed the game to run at least 5 minutes and Olivia was moving faster than he wanted. So he slowed her down by throwing in the unexpected. She had to stop and think.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Oona.

Whilst I too do not agree with all the things bought up here, they are all valid opinions, and I am sure will be taken as either sound critique or nit picking depending on the POV of whoever reads them.

I love this show. And despite it being wholly contrived lots of times, the dynamic of the characters had always won out for me and I get over it.

My main concern is when the characters themselves feel contrived, which has rarely happened but when it does it clangs loud for the fans. This ep had a couple of major bum notes for some viewers in this context-Eliot and the coffee and Parker's sudden inability to be the worlds best thief. (I agree with whoever mentioned her pack-this is Parker, she wears her harness under everything-like she wouldn't have thought to have her own chute for this job? LOVED the pink chute though. Awesome).

I can't help feel that if you have to change a character to make a scene work, its the scene that needs changing. Cos the characters are awesome as is. They grow and evolve sure, but they shouldn't de-volve. ?!

I can not wait for the new eps however and will be re-watching the series from scratch like I always do because who could get bored?!


Video Beagle said...

@Oona in fact here and in the commentaries he does say that "It's just a TV show, so don't worry about it" is what he's against.

Most often, When Leverage has deviations into simplicity, it's usualy for a valid reason (the details is to much depth for 99% of the audience, or they'll make up things, like Ledgers, and they're generaly, if not justified in the script, Rogers has justification in the background. But the show is never wrong because "It's just TV so it doesn't matter"

David Hunt said...

Why did Nate sacrifice his queen?

Chelsea is correct that Nate did it to buy time by doing the unexpected. Specifically, what he did was something so obviously, boneheadly stupid that no one who had progressed that far into the tournament should have done it. The obvious conclusion was that it was part of some clever gambit on Nate's part so that taking the queen would change the positions on the board in such a way that it gave Nate an advantage that more than compensated for the loss of his most powerful piece. So Olivia had to stop and re-evaluate the entire board looking for the trap. The really clever part was the fact that it wasn't a trap and Nate was, in fact, throwing away his queen meant that she had to take even longer looking for something that wasn't actually there.

shawne said...

Amen Maxbeecat! Great way ep to end the summer with. That Sterling's full of surprises. Looking forward to the fall eps...Archie, Jimmy Ford....Team Leverage is an uncrackable vault!

Llywela said...

Marisa said: I was wondering why Eliot, who hugged Hardison first outside the hotel, shoved Hardison away asking,"What are you doing?" Was it only because Hardison hugged him back.

Yeah, that's called being a gruff, bluff guy who might feel the need for a hug now and then, but will never, ever admit it - so he initiates the hug, then denies the fact totally by blaming it on Hardison. It's a guy thing.

Enjoyed the episode thoroughly, as always.

ChelseaNH said...

I watched it again last night and the word "calibrate" clicked. The weight is used not in the operation of the centrifuge, but in the installation. It's like using a level when you install an appliance so you know how to adjust the feet. All the centrifuges were adjusted to be slightly off.

Also, Nate was the only one who knew about the salt. (Although the grains are rather large for this kind of operation.) It was his fallback position. If they got the weight out, it wouldn't matter if it were out of balance.

Anonymous said...

about Parker not packing her own chute.

Parker's mass thing has to be perfectly calibrated to fool the floor systems. So she couldn't have put something without asking first. Hardison on the other hand, could re-calibrate the shoes to include her chute.

Anonymous said...


re: Parker's chute, that makes sense I guess.

I dunno, it just felt like she wasn't involved in her own job. Though she pulled it off with usual Parker panache in the end. :D

RS said...

I just assumed Hardison added the chute after she checked her bag. I mean, Livingston presumably wears different clothes and carries different accessories, so there'd be at least some leeway in her weight.

Jane said...

Anon(s) @ 8:27 AM and 2:06 PM
The characters are awesome as is. They grow and evolve sure, but they shouldn't de-volve. ?!
felt like she wasn't involved in her own job.

Your comments state far better what I tried to say with my earlier comment. Except I think Parker's "devolvement" from the worlds best thief has been going on all season and isn't sudden.

Eliot's comment about chess and him drinking the drugged coffee were a sudden devolve for me.
I did think 'I hope that coffee isn't drugged' after I saw the promo, and yeah... it was disappointing and felt OOC.
If you want him out of the way for part of the episode (which has been happening a lot this season) hit him over the head from behind or something, still a stretch but somewhat believable.

With lines like "what wouldn't you do for your kid" and "you're the best thief I know", are you making the point that Nate could have saved Sam if he had used his expertise and had stolen to get the necessary funds?
Or is that reading to much into it?

allyone said...

about Parker not packing her own chute.

Parker's mass thing has to be perfectly calibrated to fool the floor systems. So she couldn't have put something without asking first. Hardison on the other hand, could re-calibrate the shoes to include her chute.

True . . . but then she would have told him he needed to recalibrate to include that in her kit. This is the world's best thief, who clearly knows about dead jumps. Obviously not the first time she's used a parachite off a tall building. So she doesn't think of the possibility that she might need one in this heist on her own? That's not the Parker we've seen the past 3.5 seasons.

Anonymous said...

The Nate/Sophie scene was too rushed. Was there ever a flashback written, which would fit nicely in there, or was it initially planned to be this short and not fleshed out? Other characters get ton of flashbacks every season but Nate and Sophie together never do (just like Sophie never does), we've only seen one in the Pilot. We need more glimpses into their past relationship!

Anonymous said...

Not to mention into their current one as well.

Anonymous said...

Obviously not the first time she's used a parachite off a tall building. So she doesn't think of the possibility that she might need one in this heist on her own?

She also said with her normal weight that jump would be impossible. If it was "parker's backup plan" first thing she would do would be ditching the weights in her shoes. Whole idea behind the chute is, hardison convinced her to follow the team and made sure that team's way worked.

also, while parker is an excellent thief, she is not a "properly paranoid" character. She plans for heists. She didn't have a chute back when she faced Sterenko because she knew she wouldn't be using it.

Kate said...

"She also said with her normal weight that jump would be impossible."

I think this is a great point. Parker wouldn't have thought to pack a chute, because she wouldn't be able to use it under any other circumstances.

Rob said...

Episode was fun as usual, but Rogers, since you have a blog, you get to take the brunt of my nerd rage:

Can I please, please have a show that doesn't start by showing me the climax and then doing a "some time earlier…" cut? As a general technique it turned the corner from "a clever way to occasionally shake things up" to "an overused and lazy way to cheat around writing a proper hook" a long time ago, and is now racing to the top of my pet peeve list.

NoIllusions said...

Was it just me, or did ELIOT hug HARDISON, not the other way around?

Andrew B. said...

@Jane, "are you making the point that Nate could have saved Sam if he had used his expertise and had stolen to get the necessary funds?"

If memory serves, in one of the early episodes...maybe the pilot...didn't Elliot mention that Nate would have had the money for Sam's treatment if he'd kept one of the paintings he recovered?

Tom Galloway said...

Re: Nate's queen sacrifice. While it was the case he did it deliberately to cause Olivia to have to think, I could certainly appreciate it from her pov. As a low class B player, I once was up against a high Expert (close to Master). In the middle game, he was a pawn up, and pressuring my position. Then he made a move where I immediately realized I could fork his queen and rook with my knight (i.e. attack both at once, so he'll have to lose one of them).

Tournament time limits rather than blitz, but I spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out where the trap was. Finally, I figured what the hell, I was losing anyway and couldn't find the trap, so I made the forking move. My opponent's jaw dropped, as it'd been an honest complete mistake on his part and he'd just somehow not seen it.

Ended up winning. But yeah, if a good opponent makes that kind of move, if you've got any time left you're going to use as much as you can to figure out what's up.

Kylee said...

Elliot totally hugged Hardison. It's kind of like when I hug my friend and he goes OH GOD WHAT IS IT GET IT OFF ME and then he hugs me back.

Anonymous said...

Even when the show is broad, it usually avoids stupid plot contrivances. So it's no wonder that some of the very smart viewers who care about the show got POed.

There's subtext here that suggests that viewers who don't see the so-called plot contrivances are somehow not smart. Such elitism is troubling.

I think overly-invested viewers are losing the forest for the trees. The coffee is case in point. It's an ordinary gesture, and Eliot had no reason to suspect Sterling would drug him. This silly fan notion that Eliot is some sort of prescient super-hero is laughable. He and Sterling were on the same team, and on a stake-out. Getting coffee was a routine enough thing to do. End of story. And that, of course, is what Sterling counted on.

gwangung said...

Chelsea is correct that Nate did it to buy time by doing the unexpected. Specifically, what he did was something so obviously, boneheadly stupid that no one who had progressed that far into the tournament should have done it. The obvious conclusion was that it was part of some clever gambit on Nate's part so that taking the queen would change the positions on the board in such a way that it gave Nate an advantage that more than compensated for the loss of his most powerful piece. So Olivia had to stop and re-evaluate the entire board looking for the trap. The really clever part was the fact that it wasn't a trap and Nate was, in fact, throwing away his queen meant that she had to take even longer looking for something that wasn't actually there.

This was, in fact, explained in the episode by Livingstone. Explicitly.

Anna said...

First of all, thanks for a great finale!

Second, ALWAYS MORE STERLING. A.L.W.A.Y.S. The man is awesome, brilliant, wonderful, etc.

Third...there is no third, I just like threes. :)

1. Dubai. I like overseas gigs, but my question is, do they all share a room when they get off home turf? It always seems that way! I know it's probably just one room that serves as 'base', but...well, can you confirm that?
2. Did Sterling really have to take out Eliot or was that just an added perk?
3. Just how good is Nate at chess? Could he take on a computer or something? Because if so, awesome.

Oona said...

@anonymous @9:23 - certainly not my intent to suggest that viewers who aren't bothered by plot contrivances are stupid. I said SOME very smart viewers after all. But if we're talking about elitism, you're the one who suggests that people who were bothered by the ep are somehow not watching the show correctly or that their POV is inherently wrong or missing something. I think everyone has the right to their POV and to watch the show the way they want to watch it.

Pixie said...

@Anna: I think Sterling mostly needed to get away from Eliot, without Eliot (a) chasing him down, or (b) alerting the rest of the team to the double-cross too early. Nate assigning them as partners meant Sterling was handicapped. He needed to shake Eliot and (at least TV-realistically) picked one of the least damaging ways possible, for everyone.

That said, I'd still rather work with Sterling than Nate. Why? Yes, Sterling double-crossed the team, but given the way they've treated him in the past (Zanzibar Marketplace ring any bells? They were pretty damn shitty towards him when he was trying to be helpful), it's understandable. Especially when you consider what was at stake for him.

Nate, on the other hand, basically screwed with his own team. He let them think they'd lost (and worse, that terrorists had won), just so he could spring his 'super-brilliant back-up plan' on them and look like a genius. He messed with Hardison's equipment without telling him (a big no-no, when dealing with a tech person).

In other words, Sterling basically trusted the team to do the job he needed them to do (which, admittedly wasn't the job they thought), but Nate didn't trust them to get the job done at all -- no, it needed the brilliance of Nate Ford and none other.

And face it, when someone like James Sterling is the lesser of two evils? You know things are seriously, seriously fucked up.

Don't get me wrong, I love the show, but it's not one where you can draw a good-guy/bad-guy line and keep a straight face.

(BTW, biggest clue about Olivia? Sterling's insistent terminology of 'step-daughter'. Lots of people tap chess pieces. Most people aren't so picky about familial relationships unless there's a very very good reason).

Katharine said...

This was a phenomenal episode. I've already watched it twice, and I only downloaded it a few hours ago. My questions are a little random:

1. How legit are the chess moves in this one? Are they using actual game strategy, or just making it up as they go?

2. And on that note, who would win a mini-tournament among Nate, Sophie, Parker, Hardison, and Eliot? What if you added Sterling?

3. Why didn't the mark recognize Sterling? Seems like he'd have to know who Olivia's dad was, particularly if he was keeping her against her will.

Thanks so much! I can't wait for the back half in November.

Curious said...

Mr. Rodgers: After re-watching the episode I still don't understand how Hardison was able to dance with Parker standing on his feet. I believe she was wearing boots that weighed 50lbs each! Plus her own body weight(100lbs maybe?)That's 200lbs! Imagine trying to dance with a 100lb bag of potatoes on each foot!!! Did I miss something? Thanks!

Anonymous said...


Heavy work boots with reinforced toes

Anonymous said...

Did you forget Checkov's rule? As paraphrased-by-Sophie: "If you mention super-fierce ferrets mid-season, they absolutely must appear in the Summer finale!"

SueN. said...

I've watched the ep several times now (I used Leverage like a drug to get me through moving my daughter to college in New Hampshire from Texas; thank you for saving my sanity), and I have to say the coffee thing doesn't bother me. Why wouldn't Eliot drink it? No, he doesn't trust Sterling, but he expects Sterling to try and screw them at the end of a job when they're on different sides. This time, Sterling came to them for help, they're working together, and they're in the middle of a job. And they're (ostensibly) after terrorists trying to acquire nuclear components. What possible reason would Eliot have for thinking that Sterling's going to poison/drug him at that moment?

Eliot's smart, uber-competent and a professional, but he's not hyper-paranoid; at least, not that we've seen. Yes, he asked if Sterling put something in the coffee, but I took that as his way of bitching about just how bad the coffee was. And if we're going to assume that he's astute and experienced enough to taste a sedative mixed in coffee, shouldn't we also assume that Sterling, who obviously knows Eliot's history, would be astute/experienced enough to slip him something relatively tasteless? Sterling's no dummy, either.

So, yeah, I'm fine with Eliot drinking the coffee. It's not been made a character point that he regularly distrusts food and drink he's given, and it doesn't seem to be in Sterling's history to go around drugging people he's working with.

I did have to wonder, though … how did Parker get her climbing harness out without seeing the pink parachute? I did love the gold vest, though. ;)

Beige said...


What have you DONE?

What on earth possessed you to tamper with the perfection that is Sterling?

"A nice little touch of humanization for him." I think not. The team may grow family members and exes, but not Sterling. He was an entity unto himself, mesmerizing. No more. The end is near. Explain yourselves.

Shambrook said...

Not really episode related. Just wondering if there is any chance of season 3's dvd's having special features when they're released in Australia since our season 1 and season 2 dvd's have nothing on them?

Claire said...

Did Hardison really not know how to turn off the announcer in the DDR game? It's an option in the settings, but perhaps the writer didn't know that or assumed the viewers wouldn't. My main concern is that if he did know, it was pretty cruel to leave it on when Parker starts really freaking out.

SueN. said...

@Beige, just think of it as ensuring that the awesomeness that is Sterling continues into another generation. I mean, that's clearly one badass kid he's got there.

Letícia Arcoverde said...

First of all, I want to thank you for writing your show so incredibly well and being able to balance your characters and your plots so greatly. I've been so disappointed with a couple of shows that have recently threw character development out the window for the sake of very timey wimey wibbly wobbly plots and I can't even begin to tell you how much Leverage is a breeze of fresh air when it comes to treating its characters right. Parker and Hardison's relationship is the best example of how beautifully make something evolve and two characters grow together and build something great together. I wish I could hug you all.

Now, the actual question: I saw Tara in the preview, so can we expect Sophie and her to be in a con together? I've been wanting to see them grift side by side ever since season 2. The tv might explode with awesome but I think it's worth a shot.

Kim said...

@ Rogers-I know the whole chute thing for Parker was supposed to be a romantic gesture or whatever from Hardison, but surely Nate, he of the multiple plans (as teased in this ep itself!) would have been the one to have an alternate plan for Parker?

Or is this foreshadowing? Hardison coming up with emergency plans instead?

Not sure I liked Parker being at other's mercies in this ep.

So I guess I am asking

@Rogers-The Ice Man proved how very good at her job Parker is-I would have thought she would have her own contingency planned-especially since the safe/vault/room was so very very hard to crack etc. Surely the harder it is, the more back ups you have? And you know about them?

@Rogers-Were Parker's abilities weakened in order to create the H/P moment, and will she be back to her awesome safe cracking best soon?


Anonymous said...

If you have any clout with the DVD elves, can you get them to include subtitles in the season 4 release... I have several deaf friends I know will love this show but who can't watch it at the moment...

Devinoch said...

I loved this episode, and was glad to see Sterling back, especially since this humanized him a bit more. Will we ever see a flashback to Nate and Sterling working together? I'm a little curious how they would've been as a team, or even when they were actually close friends.

Chris L said...

Just to be clear: Nate LET the girl win, right? So she didn't really beat him?

(I don't know why this is important to me.)

Kerry said...

Just one: What do Nate/Sophie fans have to bribe you with for you to give us some tender and moving moments between them? Virtual cookies, pizza, anything, you got it!

Maya said...

See the consequences of your decisions... read this on Tumblr.

Sophie & Nate:
"In the first season, I loved this pairing and I rooted for it for the longest time. The kiss in the S2 finale was great, it was a long time coming, and I was glad it happened. However, in S3, I felt like the emphasis was taken off this relationship so I almost forgot about it, stopped caring about it, until the finale, when they finally slept together. Now, in S4, it’s a lot of awkwardness, them trying not to make too big a deal out of it, but… If they’re going to be together, I want them to decide they’re going to be together. I don’t want them to dance around it for too long, because it gets very old very quickly."

Hope you can fix this in season 5, before the series is over and this pairing is forgotten by you and everyone else. Do right by them.

Anonymous said...

A bit off topic, but I was wondering what your opinion is on the relaunched Blue Beetle?

Anonymous said...

"The only character who doesn’t get much screen time this round is grifter Sophie (Gina Bellman). For the most part her role is the weakest and some focus from the writing team on her character next season is overdue."

Could we please get to the old Leverage we used to love next season, season 1 and 2 while Sophie was still around and she actually had something to do, enjoyed character development and Nate/Sophie wasn't pushed in the background? Why change what you originally had in mind?

allyone said...

Someone asked this on twitter but got your address wrong, and it was a good question, so I'm stealing it:

Does Nate die in any of his own plans?

As for the Eliot/coffee thing - it didn't bother me, but I can understand where folks are coming from who complained. I could totally see Eliot pouring out anything Sterling gave him or, even better, watching Sterling drink his coffee and then switching cups. Just cause Sterling has screwed them more than once and because Eliot's almost certainly seen (and may even experienced) people getting drugged before.

So I didn't think it was totally out of character . . . but it certainly would have been well within character for him to avoid drinking it, too.

Gordanit said...

Let me just echo what a fine fuckin' actor Mark Sheppard is. I love watching him on screen, and this episode gave Sterling some depth that was great to see.

KU said...

something OT here. This has been bugging me for a while. I'm seeing a similarity between the Leverage crew and the Marx Brothers. Parker = Harpo both are doing broad physical comedy and impossible stunts; Eliot= Chico Tough guy, always on the lookout for the ladies; Nate= Groucho The man with the plan, he has a difficult relationship with Mrs. Dumont, and had a strong desire to be left alone which was promptly ignored; Sophie = Margaret Dumont Aristocratic, wealthy, patient, has strong doubts about Groucho while still caring for him. Hardison = Zeppo This was the hardest as he's the most "normal" IMHO and serves as straight man for the team. knows a little bit of everyone else's jobs.

Lisa said...

I can't wait for more episodes! This is my favorite series (sorry, Psych and Doctor Who). I do have one problem, though. Why don't the Leverage DVDs come with subtitles? I would love to be able to watch without having to look away or pause to have someone interpret for me! It's especially difficult to lip-read when they are purposefully trying to keep in-show people from doing so!

Anonymous said...

We all know that you're a very busy and important guy, but....why do you continue to ask for fan's comments, but don't follow through with the answers? I totally understand that answering all the comments about "Leverage" is time consuming, but believe me......there's a time where one has to "wave the white flag", which you should have done last season when you didn't even finish the season's answers. "Leverage" has some of the most dedicated fans that I've ever seen, and it seems like a disservice to those fans to have denied them a response to their comments and questions.

Miriam said...

Like some other commentators, I also am not sure I understood the need for the complicated plot that Sterling puts in place to extract his daughter. I get that she was supposedly staying there to act as his "informant", but why as her father and an unpstanding Interpol agent have to do anything other than just say "oh she is going to live with he from now on" said...

For my part every person may read this.

Anonymous said...

I have to echo the question of one of the Anons at 6:41.

That explosion looked pretty devastating. Did it kill a lot of people. If so, was Sophie okay with all that murder? She seems to be the team member most averse to killing people.

Sullivan said...

I have to say that it's always great to see Tom Amandes. First noticed him back in Christopher Crowe's _The Untouchables_ series.

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