Leverage is a TV drama series that was aired on TNT between December 7, 2008 and December 25, 2012. Like most TV shows, Leverage had its ups and downs; it lasted five seasons of 15 episodes each. It is quite entertaining, at times ridiculous in a good way that is. Some scenes seemed to have been created for children seven years and under. Leverage is a five-person team that comes into existence to give regular people a fighting chance against corporate and government injustices, in other words leverage.
Organized as Leverage Consulting, the team comprises Timothy Hutton as Nathan Ford; Beth Riesgraf as Parker; Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer; Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison and Gina Bellman as Sophie Devereaux. The team usually springs into action once a client contacts Leverage Consulting for help and it agrees to take on the task. It usually does.
Nathan is the brain, the mastermind. He crafts, directs and coordinates the activities of the team. He doesn’t sit around however; he actively participates in every plan that is crafted to help the clients. Nathan (Nate) gets involved in helping others after leaving IYS insurance agency for which he worked loyally for years as an insurance fraud investigator; when his son Sam became ill and IYS refused to pay for his treatment, the inevitable happened, Sam died. Nate will never be the same again. He moved away and eventually divorced his wife who also worked for IYS. Nate became a heavy drinker. Through it all, he remains a bright and skilled individual who is able to anticipate his opponents’ moves before they even conceive them.
Parker is a thief, not your ordinary thief; she is an expert: a pickpocket, a safecracker and everything else in between. She gets easily bored if there is no stealing involved. If she is out, keep your eyes glued to the screen. And don’t blink. She is so good at stealing that you may miss the action if you dare to blink. Parker is also a gymnast; she can get in and out of heavily secured “mazes” with ease and without triggering the alarm. She can ride up/down elevators with both eyes closed (I made that up); she can slide down skyscrapers at 100/mph. She has however one minor flaw, she is not a people person, something she will have to work on along the way.
Eliot, well, is the muscle man; he is a skilled martial art individual. For his size, if you see a tall, heavy bouncer type heading towards him you’d fear Eliot would be easily defeated; fear not, he knows what he is doing. Eliot is also a weapons expert; he is a former black ops soldier who could get in and out of tough terrains without a scratch. He was also a bodyguard and a hitman who doesn’t flinch with a gun barrel pointing at him; he is much cooler than Steven Seagal. At times, he sounds much like Silvester Stallone in Rambo II. In one scene, he walked into a room to retrieve an item, six or eight guns were pointing at his head. He calmly sipped his coffee, completely ignoring the guns; suddenly, the lights went out, gun blazing lit up the room. When the lights came back on, all gun “pointers” were shot and he retrieved the item and walked away. Ironically, Eliot very rarely uses guns to defend himself; he’d rather not. He hates guns. He is the one the team relies on to protect the team and the clients.
Hardison is the hacker, the computer genius. He can get in and out of any computer system without being caught; well, without being caught often. As in any hacking activity, one always needs a helping hand; that’s where Parker comes in handy. While Hardison can do his magic once connected to a system, he sometimes needs someone to install a small device into the network he needs to access. Leave it to Parker to make that happen. Remember Parker, the thief. Yes, that one. She can get in and out of any building undetected. Parker and Hardison make a great pair. It so happens this match will evolve into something, let’s say, that is a matter of the heart. Without Hardison, Leverage Consulting would have a very difficult time to deliver on the promises to its clients. Hardison created two-way earbuds that allow all of them to communicate during an operation which becomes very handy when they have to warn one another of impending danger. In addition, with spy style video devices attached to clothes, glasses, etc., Hardison makes it easy to provide visuals of the area where a team member has access to.
Sophie is the grifter; she has developed a taste for arts (painting, sculpture, etc.). That’s not all. She is very good at stealing arts of great value. Sophie is nothing like Parker however; she doesn’t have to be. She steals art by acting. Coincidentally, quite possibly her cover, she performs occasionally; she sucks at it. She aspires to become an actress; she doesn’t have to. When it comes to planning to steal or to con others, she deserves a Phd. She can easily switched voices and accents; she sounds very convincing too. Oh, she can easily switch roles too without fuss; whichever role she takes, she performs flawlessly, but don’t put her on stage to really perform. Did I say she sucks at it? Well, she does. Interestingly, she has a weakness for the man (Nate) who almost killed her in Paris during a painting robbery, her favorite pastime.
Except for Nate who was an insurance fraud investigator prior to Leverage Consulting creation, they’re all thieves who are wanted everywhere in the world. Now add Nate to the list. Thanks however to the computer genius Hardison, they all have new identities and can operate freely in society; not quite, really. The recurring character Mark A. Sheppard as James Sterling who used to be Nate’s colleague at IYS would pop in and out throwing a wrench into Leverage team plan but fear not, Nate is still good at anticipating his opponent’s moves.
Although the show ended in December of 2012 with Nate proposing to Sophie, the viewers are left with the possibility of its return. Leverage is funny and entertaining. At times, I wish there was an actual Leverage team I could go to. I digress. The show is above average. I give it a B+; it definitely deserves another run. I strongly recommend it. It is suitable for any audience.
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