Mark Watches ‘Leverage’: S02E09 – The Lost Heir Job

In the ninth episode of the second season of Leverage, I ADORE THIS SHOW SO MUCH. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Leverage.

Bless this show.


I was surprised by this show opening with Sophie’s ongoing storyline, since I got used to the cold opens that introduced the case for the episode. But I understand why that scene needed to be at the beginning of “The Lost Heir Job”: We needed to see why Sophie rejected Nate’s offer to come back home. It’s one wrought with frustration because it’s clear to me that Sophie wants Nate to desire her, and not just for her skills. And given that she went on this sabbatical in order to escape the world that had made her life so confusing, it’s perfectly understandable to me why Nate’s offer was offensive to her.

She needs more.

A new ally

I’ll talk about Tara herself later on in this, but I wanted to address my perception of this episode prior to the reveal of who Tara actually was. This was an ambitious story from the start because the very presence of Ruth Walton’s lawyer complicated matters. This team does not allow anyone to see the inside of their operation. Period! It doesn’t work that way, and there’s too big of a risk of the whole thing falling apart if they do. The number one problem I foresaw here was that Tara Carlisle wasn’t going to support the sort of things that the team does. Lying, theft, deceit… how would a lawyer – particularly one as strict as her – ever accept the kind of work that the Leverage team did?

The believable scenario, then, is desperation. This case was so impossible to prove that Carlisle had to accept that her method couldn’t work. (Jesus christ, the layers of manipulation here are unreal. TARA KNEW EXACTLY HOW TO BEHAVE SO THAT THE TEAM WOULDN’T SUSPECT HER.) And that first attempt to persuade someone connected to Bennett’s past was the  perfect way to demonstrate that traditional means of justice weren’t going to cut it. Carlisle’s methods were too on-the-nose, too precise, too legal. And thus, it was time for the Leverage team to step in and dominate.

All while trying to keep track of Tara Carlisle, mind you. Nate manages her by giving her a taste of the excitement that comes with their job. While Hardison and Eliot con the man who can provide the best skeleton from Bennett’s closet, Parker and Nate are off conning Peter Blanchard, the entitled lawyer who believes that his life spent covering up Bennett’s crimes means that he’s owed Ruth’s money. CAN WE PLEASE HAVE JIMMY PAPADAKALIS BACK AGAIN? That may be Nate’s most ridiculous character, y’all. HE’S SO SLIMY AND PERFECT. And I think in that instance, he’s more in tune with Hardison’s style, since Jimmy Papadakalis exists to stall and to distract, and he does so GLORIOUSLY. He’s an utterly-on-the-mark stereotype, someone that’s so easily recognizable as such that nobody questions him. That’s what makes him so believable!

That doesn’t mean that everything works smoothly, because let’s be real: This is Leverage. Something always complicates matters. In this instance, the team overreached, convinced they had the perfect skeleton in Bennett’s closet: George Gilbert. Bennett’s lawyer paid off someone who was traditionally a hit man, so CLEARLY, Bennett and Blanchard had done something SCANDALOUS! Which, ironically, was the case, but not in the way they believed. Like all my favorite episodes of this show, the team is forced to re-adjust their con on the spot, which gives us THE LOST HEIR CON. Except the lost con is Parker? Which goes about as well as you think it would? Which is very awkwardly??? Oh god, it’s from disasters like this, though, that ENTERTAINMENT GOLD is born. Watching Carlisle get the hang of conning was a delight. (I realize how ironic it is to say that.) Hardison and Eliot’s prison guard routine was beautiful. AND PARKER AS THE LOST HEIR, HOLY SHIT.

The Truth

I can’t believe I missed all the clues to Ruth Walton’s identity, which was one hell of a resolution, BUT TARA CARLISLE. WHAT. THE. FUCK. Look, I couldn’t see a solution to this con after Blanchard’s men shot at Parker and Nate. If Parker couldn’t make it into the courtroom, how could she help compel Blanchard to settle? BECAUSE NATE HAD A PLAN THAT WAS BETTER THAN SETTLING: giving all of Bennett’s estate to Ruth Walton. Well, giving it implies it was his to give. Nope, it was always hers. And I liked that the show didn’t erase the fact that Bennett was still gross; most of his life, he was an awful person. And Ruth would have been furious with him if she’d gotten to know him in another circumstance, and she admits that! But this is how she gets to interact with her biological father, and it’s the best possible outcome.

BUT HOLY SHIT, TARA COLE. I CAN’T. I was so ready to write a review where I begged to see her again because I loved the idea of them having someone within the legal system that they could use. But Sophie sent this friend of hers, knowing that they truly needed a good grifter. This is such a bold thing for a show to do, especially one where the chemistry between the characters is so integral to the story. BUT I AM SOLD. ABSOLUTELY SOLD. Jeri Ryan is unbelievable, I want a million episodes with her in it, and I’M SO THRILLED THAT MY WISHES WERE GRANTED BEFORE I COULD EVEN SPEAK THEM.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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