Monday, September 17, 2012

Leverage - The Rundown Job

While finishing up a job in Washington, D.C. with Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and Hardison (Aldis Hodge), Eliot (Christian Kane) gets a call from a former associate looking to hire a hitter. Eliot, who no longer does those kinds of jobs, turns the assignment down and recruits his two friends to help save the target (Christa Campbell), an administrator for the 911 Emergency System, from whomever was hired in his place.

The attempted assassination was just one of three carried out that morning setting the scene for a major terrorist attack on the nation's capital. The Leverage team is recruited (i.e. blackmailed) by Colonel Michael Vance (Adam Baldwin), Eliot's old friend, into stealing a NSA Mobile Response Intelligence Unit and preventing the attack. Following the recent movements of the hitman leads the team to the basement of a recently robbed jewelry store that holds a hidden laboratory with a deadly secret that could kill 150 million Americans.

The team also uncovers a connection between the three targets and a discredited scientist (Monte Markham) obsessed with biological attacks on U.S. soil who lays a trap that nearly kills Vance and his men. Hardison is able to track the scientist to the D.C. subway where he plans to release the virus and although Eliot gets shot (twice), the team saves the day thanks to some quick thinking by Parker.

With Nate (Timothy Hutton) and Sophie (Gina Bellman) off on their own adventure, it's fun to see an episode that focuses just on the Eliot, Parker, Hardison. The set-up of the episode, and threat, is unusual for the show, but works well, and Baldwin's casting is a nice touch. The presentation of the episode is also feels more cinematic than usual with effects showcasing Hardison's computer work and bigger stunts with Parker and Eliot. Although these departures from the show's template work well, at times, it almost feels like a different show. Thankfully the episode is still grounded in the interactions between our trio (with a couple of quirky romantic Parker/Hardison moments) that are the show's strength.

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