This was another show that I almost didn’t hear about until the first season was almost over but it was certainly one of the shows I was most excited about this summer. Leverage is an action-crime-drama show surrounding 5 thieves (well technically four thieves and an honest man) who help people in unorthodox ways when they have no one else to turn to. This could mean taking down a company that cheated a family, an orphanage scam abroad, or finding a stolen racehorse. The idea is for them to find some leverage over the con artists to either put them in jail or get the victims money.
The crew consists of:
Nathan Ford- former insurance investigator and moral center, Nathan leads the group (and to a degree babysits them). He is the guy who comes up with the plans. While working for the insurance company, his son became sick and died after the company refused to pay for his experimental treatment. The result: drinking and divorce, though Nathan has cleaned up his act in the second season.
Sophie Devereaux-the best actress in the world, if on the right stage. She is a talented grifter who, oddly enough, cannot act on a stage or in front of a camera at all. Basically she can act when it’s an act. In her pre-teamwork days, Sophie used her skills to steal art, which is how she and Nathan met. They developed feelings for each other but so far the relationship has remained nothing more than attraction.
Eliot Spencer- (played by Christian Kane from Angel among other things) Eliot is the good looking fighter. He is skilled in combat and weapons (though he hates guns). Despite his touch, suave persona, he often shows heart and loyalty (though he tried to hide it often).
Alec Hardison- Hardison is the geek of the squad, specifically, the hacker. As the computer and web expert he takes care of all the electronic aspects of the job. Raised in the foster system, Hardison connects to fellow foster child Parker and the two are clearly attracted to one another. Hardison is the goof of the group and is usually a good place to look if you need a laugh.
Parker- thief extraordinaire, Parker loves the thrill of stealing money and is particularly good at stealth and jumping off buildings. What she lacks, however, are social skills. She can often be found reacting inappropriately or awkwardly in a given situation. Raised inthe foster system, she doesn’t know how to handle her feelings and therefore does not know how to act on her feelings for Hardison. She also has a soft spot for children, prompting her to take a great risk in freeing an entire group of orphans being used for a scam.
How did this motley crew end up together? In the pilot, they are brought together by a man who claims to have been ripped off by another company. When they discover that he was actually tricking them into stealing some airplane plans for him and was scanning them, they decide to get him back. At the end of this job, they decide that they like working as a team instead of in the solo jobs they’re used to and Nathan agrees to be their leader on the condition that they help good people. Even with this restriction in their thievery, the group’s alternate revenue stream is quite successful and ultimately they stay together regardless of the fact that they are rich and don’t need the money.
I have yet to find anything to complain about or make fun of. Each character is compelling, though for me Hardison and Parker steal the screen in every scene they are in. Both have an awkwardness about them that makes them fun to watch.
This show hits all the elements: heart, comedy, action, deep characters who develop. Each story, though similar in the theme of Robin Hood style schemes, is distinct in type of scam and mishap, usually solved by quick thinking and a little luck. And though the characters each have their own skills, they are adaptable and often dabble in one another’s areas of expertise. And best of all, there is a real comraderie and caring that you sense between them that makes their love for each other completely believable.
I have also just discovered that Beth Reisgraf is hysterical:
I am current;y watching the newest episode of Leverage (The Fairy Godparents) and realize once again just how awesome this show is. Every episode hits the comic mark, every story line finds a way to connect the characters and the cons in an often subtle but relatable way.
Catch up and buy season one now: