Mark Watches ‘Leverage’: S01E03 – The Wedding Job

In the third episode of the first season of Leverage, a con at a wedding unearths uncomfortable feelings in Sophie and Nathan. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Leverage.

OKAY LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS.

The Con

I appreciate that the show is defining what exactly constitutes a case for the Leverage team. I, too, was a little shocked that Nathan seemed so uninterested in the Palermo case. It was a clear injustice, one that they might be able to reverse with a little ingenuity. It’s not just that there’s some wrong that needs to be righted, however. You can see this in the past two episodes, but the injustice at the heart of the story can’t have an solutions by traditional means. It takes a bit of a discussion, but the team points out that Ray’s wife has no means to get the money that Nicky Moscone paid for. Therefore, it’s certainly something the Leverage team can offer their services for.

However, what makes this episode feel so special is that everything is so MESSY. After two episodes of expert cons and deft escapes, the Leverage team is placed into a situation where they are constantly forced to re-evaluate their plan and their goals. It’s actually fascinating to me that the show does this so early into the run, too! I mean, I initially thought that the scenes where Sophie and Nathan both used their cover to go on tirades about marriage and faith to be tonally inappropriate. These people are so good at their jobs; why are they suddenly forgetting the point of the mission? Because everything is a mess. Even though they’re deliberately contrasted with the bumbling FBI agents, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. That’s part of the humor here, but it’s also a sign of the seriously high stakes of this particular con. They’re hiding in plain sight in a mobster’s mansion on his daughter’s wedding day. It’s absurdly ambitious, you know?

And once the Butcher of Kiev shows up, all their plans go to hell. He represents a wild card within the heist narrative, and it’s with his appearance that most of this falls apart. I don’t think the endgame (when the team was planning it) was the same thing as what actually happened by the conclusion of this episode. I think that they all had to improvise in one way or another. They couldn’t have known about the conversation that the Butcher and Moscone would have in the screening room; they couldn’t have known about Heater’s betrayal; they couldn’t have predicted the WAVE OF FEELINGS that would be unleashed by the wedding itself.

They adapted. And in Eliot’s case, that means taking out an assassin with an appetizer. BLESS.

Hardison and Parker 

You don’t even have to ask me if I ship them because YES. (Oh my god, I ship so many people on this show already??? Sophie/Nathan, Eliot/Hardison, Hardison/Parker, Hardison/myself. How is this happening in the third episode?) Y’all, there is so much tension between them here and I’m totally into it. (Not into Parker’s fatphobic comments, though, not just because it was needlessly cruel. Is her character supposed to be that mean? It didn’t even seem to fit who she was.)

Sophie and Nathan 

SO, I NEED MORE OF THEIR BACKSTORY. I had wrongly assumed that maybe they’d hooked up a few times after they’d met years ago, but this episode reveals that their relationship was far more serious than I expected. First of all, that means that Nathan has dabbled in the dark side, so to speak. He knew that Sophie was an art thief, and yet he still pursued her. Up to a point, that is, and I don’t know what happened that caused them to separate. But I do know that Sophie still longed for Nathan, so much so that his return has re-ignited the feelings she’s fostered towards him this entire time. It’s hard to parse through all of the things said by both parties during “The Wedding Job,” but I got the sense that Sophie wanted something more from Nathan, but he did not reciprocate the desire to marry Sophie.

SOOOOOO WHEN IS THAT BACKSTORY EPISODE.

Eliot

Okay, I find it incredibly adorable that Eliot is ALSO a fantastic cook. WHO DEEPLY CARES ABOUT HIS LEMON JUICE. I’m reminded of my commentary for The Sarah Connor Chronicles and how that show had such a fascinating choreography for the fights between Terminator models. I’ll echo that sentiment, except to say that it’s actually quite refreshing to see how the show refuses to put a gun in Eliot’s hands and how that makes the fights a million times more thrilling. (I wonder, though. Is there a specific reason Eliot dislikes guns so much?) I’m also interested to see if the show will ever go into detail about who it was that Eliot once liked enough that he considered marriage. DO TELL.

All in all, this was a fun episode! I think I liked the previous two more, but it’s also very early into Leverage at this point, so I’m perfectly fine letting the show settle into whatever narrative it wants. Again, it’s cool that the writers were willing to portray them as flawed, even if it was mostly for humor.

The video for “The Wedding Job” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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