There’s many reasons why I LOVE TNT’s ‘Leverage’…the story-line/concept of the show, the brilliant yet quirky titles of the episodes, and last but not the least, the cast of the show!!! They’re such an amazing & well thought of/put together bunch! The cast of the show is as follows; Timothy Hutton (plays Nathan ‘Nate’ Ford), Christian Kane (plays Eliot Spencer), Gina Bellman (plays Sophie Devereaux), Beth Riesgraf (plays Parker) and Aldis Hodge (who plays Alec Hardison)
Now let me give you a little background on the show…the show is basically a modern day Robin Hood tale with quite a lot of adjustments. It’s about a team of con-men/women who come together for a job led by an ex-Insurance investigator. So the team players, consist of a ‘Grifter’ (Sophie), ‘Hacker’ (Hardison), ‘Hitter’ (Eliot), ‘Thief’ (Parker) and ‘Mastermind’ (Nate). Now the ‘Mastermind’ is the ex-Insurance investigator and during his career as an investigator, he has chased all 4 of them for his Insurance company.
They’re an unconventional team, but after that first job, most of them actually like the idea of working together as a team, though Nate would rather be left alone with lots of booze as he doesn’t like the idea of being considered a thief. But after that first job, a realization of sorts dawns on them. They realize that they can use their nifty skills & resources to help out people who get trampled on, strong-armed & taken down by the big fish. Yupp, those big fish who think they are above & beyond the law and who don’t think the rules apply to them. It’s what they decide to do as a team that gives rise to the show’s tag-line, ‘Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys.’
So today, after a really long, gruelling and gloomy day I had to get the happy juice up. The happy juice comes in a few forms, but my primary sources these past few months has come in the form of ‘Leverage’ and ‘Rizzoli & Isles’, 2 fantastic shows on TNT (and yes lots of reruns for me.) Sadly, their Season Finales were in December & January respectively, which means I have to wait through till June/July for them to return…yeah I’m not really good at this whole patience & waiting bit. Needless to say, I wound up watching an episode from Season 3 of Leverage titled ‘The Rashomon Job’ and it sure as hell was the best way to boost those spirits of mine (in addition to sleep.)
This episode wasn’t the standard ‘Leverage’ format, where the team meets with a client ripped off, cornered & bullied by some greedy power player who considers them to be nothing more than mere inconveniences. This episode can be seen in one of 2 ways I guess. It can be considered a mere filler episode prepping the team and the viewers towards the Season 3 finale. The other way to view the episode is, as a moment of reflection for the team, so as to give them a renewed sense of purpose, as well as remind them of why they do what they do. The episode starts off with this huge argument that Sophie, Eliot and Hardison, seem to be having about this rare artifact (a Dagger) that they each claim they stole. Parker drags Nate in to put an end to the argument, but ultimately all 4 of them decide to leave it up to Nate to deliver the verdict on who he thinks stole the dagger based on their individual accounts of how they stole the dagger.
With this episode you get to see the inner workings of their minds when they get into Con/Thief-mode. You see their ass kicking con sides, but, you also get to see their vulnerabilities and see how each of their abilities truly compliments each other when they work as a team. It’s really cool how they bring up how all 4 of them used and improvised their skills while working solo. The BEST (such a gross understatement) part of this episode was the interpretation of Sophie’s British accent by the team…oh man I almost died laughing. Watching the gag reels for that episode is 50 million times more hilarious than the episode itself. Other awesome things in the episode, besides the bromance between Hardison and Eliot, would definitely have to be Parker’s antics!!! Beth Riesgraf is just phenomenal, she brings so much of zest, fun and quirkyness into Parker’s character…I can’t imagine anyone else playing that role better than Beth. Actually I don’t think anyone can replace any of the cast members, period!
The episode is basically a re-telling of the same story (the theft of an artifact) through all 4 points of view. Well actually that would be a bit of a lie…there is a 5th point of view, which I must add efficiently wraps up the entire episode, and also wraps up Nate’s role in the team rather nicely. I found the narratives from each of their perspectives rather fascinating, especially how each one modified their story just a bit from what it originally was. At the point where all 4 of them were trying to steal the same artifact they didn’t know each others faces, but once they find out who they were at the event their individual stories seemed to be modified. Since they know each other on a more personal level, they definitely changed a few character attributes within their stories about the person/people/individual(s) they crossed paths with back at the exhibit so that they would seem more in line with who they are now.
I find the ability of the human mind to adapt and modify memories and incidents, so as to fit personas to be beyond brilliant, in addition to being quite a fascinating concept. For instance, before you met your closest friend(s), I’m sure there was a certain way you perceived them, you know, picking up certain vibes and all. Sometimes, the way you perceived them was way different from the person they turned out to be once you got to know them, but sometimes there is that rare instance where what you see and perceive is exactly what you get (a rare commodity in today’s world might I add.) But given the first situation, I’m sure once you got to know them (before you guys became BFFs) your opinions about them changed, and I’m sure you’ve all had a barrel of laughs trading stories about what you thought of each other back then, especially if there’s an event or situation where both your paths crossed and you both had a role to play in the event. When you re-live those memories, I’m sure you guys definitely tweak and modify a few details in those memories. What makes each of us unique is our perception and interpretation of the stream of thoughts associated with people, places and incidents that cross our paths. Well I’ve rambled on enough. Thanks for joining in…this may be a bit on the disjointed end of things as far as a post is concerned, but severe drainage of energy and over accumulation of thoughts and ideas, does a lotta funky things with the brain. Standard statement being issued here, all pictorial rights go to TNT, Dean Devlin and his awesome team who put together ‘Leverage.’ Have a fun weekend and cheers until next time, oh and most definitely,
“Let’s go steal us some perspective.”