Leverage: Season 4
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The stakes have never been higher in this all-new season of LEVERAGE, the thrilling crime drama that puts you at the heart of the action. Timothy Hutton returns as Nate Ford, now more determined than ever to fight injustice with the help of his elite team of crack con artists.
The fourth season of TNT's entertaining, if credibility-stretching Leverage keeps the cons coming while adding a more romantic dimension. Though the schemes remain clever, the marks can be unbelievably naive (but that's part of the fun). After the fling of the previous year, Nate (Timothy Hutton) and Sophie (Gina Bellman) try to pretend it never happened, but temptation proves too hard to resist. Hardison (Aldis Hodge) and Parker (Beth Riesgraf) also grow closer, but take things more slowly. On the downside, the increasingly rumpled Nate drinks more--not enough to slow the team down, but enough to cause them concern. That leaves Eliot (Christian Kane), who doesn't change in any discernible way (and fans would revolt if he did).
For the first case, the team travels to Alaska to look for a missing climber (Eric Stoltz) who may have become the victim of his unscrupulous high-finance colleagues. Other guest stars include Danny Glover as a World War II veteran (Hodge portrays him in flashbacks), Star Trek: Voyager's Jeri Ryan as a grifter from Sophie's past, and Fargo's Peter Stormare as an eccentric German filmmaker inspired by Werner Herzog in an episode that spoofs the address-to-camera style of The Office (Tom Skerritt, Richard Chamberlain, and Wil Wheaton also reprise characters from prior seasons). All the while, someone is spying on the crew and benefiting from their efforts. Filming on Leverage continues to take place in Portland, Oregon, which works well when the action is set in the United States, but when it fills in for far-flung locales, like Dubai, it isn't as convincing. Extra features include deleted scenes, a gag reel, and boozy commentary on all 18 episodes with cast and crew--you can even hear ice tinkling in the glasses. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Episode List (Spoiler Alert)
1 "The Long Way Down Job"
The fate of a missing climber on an Alaskan mountain is the key to taking down a corrupt financier. When the team returns to Boston, they make a shocking discovery: their office is bugged, and someone is watching them.
2 "The 10 Li'l Grifters Job"
A mark is killed during a masquerade ball in an isolated mansion, which leads to Nate becoming the prime suspect in a classic whodunit mystery, forcing the team to find out who killed their mark while also ensuring that Nate doesn't go down for a crime he didn't even commit.
3 "The 15 Minutes Job"
Nate plans to turn a shadowy political consultant into a celebrity—but can Nate himself resist the lure of the limelight?
4 "The Van Gogh Job"
The team pursues a lost Van Gogh masterpiece, and reenacts a star-crossed love affair between the only two people who know its whereabouts.
5 "The Hot Potato Job"
Sophie leads a quickly improvised con to retrieve a stolen genetically engineered potato from a highly secure agribusiness headquarters.
6 "The Carnival Job"
The team attempts to steal a revolutionary new computer chip from a family household, but in the middle of their efforts, the child of the target's family is kidnapped during a chaotic carnival. Eliot must face an old adversary named Roper to get the child back.
7 "The Grave Danger Job"
The Leverage target a grifter and her two sons who are running a funeral home when in actuality, they're embezzling money from her living clients and selling the identities of their dead loved ones to a drug cartel. As Parker's feelings for Hardison become clearer, things take a turn for the worst when the team learns that Hardison has been kidnapped and buried alive by the drug cartel who are using him as collateral, forcing the team into a race against time as they struggle to track his location and find him before he runs out of air while also finishing the original con of bringing down the grifter and her two sons.
8 "The Boiler Room Job"
The team targets a 3rd-generation con man who knows every scam in the book (because his father and grandfather practically wrote the book), and Nate decides that since they can't con him, they'll just rob him. Later, Nate learns who's been tracking them: Jack Latimer, a professional investor who's made millions off of companies who have had personnel or practices exposed by Leverage.
9 "The Cross My Heart Job"
On the way back from another job, Nate meets a nurse, and the Leverage team discovers that a terminally ill defense contractor has stolen a heart intended for a fifteen-year-old boy. To stop the contractor from getting the heart, the team has to steal the Cincinnati airport in less than two hours without any equipment while the job hits too close to home for Nate.
10 "The Queen's Gambit Job"
Sterling returns and convinces the Leverage team to steal a nuclear centrifuge calibration weight from a high-tech skyscraper in Dubai during an international chess tournament—but things may not be what they seem.
11 "The Experimental Job"
The Leverage team goes back to college to investigate a program of sinister psychology research. Hardison poses as a cooler, collegiate version of himself, and Eliot goes undercover as a homeless veteran.
12 "The Office Job"
A documentary film project about a small greeting-card company takes a strange turn when the Leverage team arrives, posing as efficiency experts.
13 "The Girls' Night Out Job"
While the boys enjoy a poker night (or so they think), Parker, Sophie, and Tara investigate a mysterious handsome man who is using Parker's friend Peggy (from Season 1's "The Juror #6 Job") to get access to an embassy.
14 "The Boys' Night Out Job"
While the girls enjoy a night on the town (or so they think), Nate, Hardison, and Eliot must extricate their old acquaintance Hurley (from Season 1's "The 12-Step Job") from his involvement with gangs associated with the Mexican and Irish mobs.
15 "The Lonely Hearts Job"
A charity auction in the Hamptons appears to be a front for a "black widow" con, and the team's investigation puts each member's romantic skills to the test. Meanwhile, Latimer and an unknown partner declare war on Leverage.
16 "The Gold Job"
Taking his first turn as leader of a con, Hardison constructs an elaborate plan to victimize a pair of corrupt gold dealers.
17 "The Radio Job"
When Jimmy Ford breaks into a patent office on a job set up by Latimer, Nate goes after him followed by the team, and they are besieged by law enforcement. All seems well until the team finds Jimmy has escaped and gone to a trap for his money. Jimmy is killed by a bomb, and Nate is caught in the bomb while he runs to Jimmy. Nate learns Latimer's partner is Victor Dubenich, seeking revenge for his incarceration.
18 "The Last Dam Job"
In the wake of Jimmy Ford's death, the Leverage team must recruit allies for a final confrontation as they seek to take down both Latimer and Dubenich once and for all but Nate's own plans for the latter may have far-reaching and fatal consequences for both of them as well as the team.
If anything, they are closer than ever, they're family -- and we wish they were our neighbors. Sophie is back, after dropping out for most of last season (actress Gina Bellman was pregnant, and appeared briefly in some episodes on the phone, filmed from the shoulders up). Jeri Ryan (Star Trek Voyager's shapely Borg "7 of 9") did a yeoman's job as the fill-in grifter. Nate is still planning these incredible, crazy cons. Pretty blonde Parker is still adorable as the expert thief with awkward social skills, and Hardison still loves Parker, orange soda, his tech van Maybeline, and hacking anything on earth digital. Elliot is as surly as ever, and we wouldn't want him to be anything else, as he masters every fistfight and any weapon system known to man.
Season four's settings are varied, and better budgeted (snowy mountain tops? foreign countries?) -- but every episode sucks us in and has us routing for our gang, even when it looks like everything has gone south and disaster is a heartbeat away (and that happens quite a lot!). A lot of people out there have Leverage to thank for their lives, their fortunes, their freedom, their homes... and we can't help but feel we wish we could find that bar in Boston and sit down with Nate over a two-finger scotch and ask him to help us with OUR problems.
And it's not all about the con... they manage to touch our hearts in almost every episode. Check out the trip back to WWII with Hardison and Parker filling in for star-crossed lovers in a day far less forgiving than ours. Look for Danny Glover as the guest star. You'll cheer, and you might just shed a tear before they're done, too. Leverage is all about people. That's why we care.
Until that day, it feels really good to watch them help everyone else. Add all 5 seasons to your collection, like me.