In the eleventh episode of the second season ofÂ Leverage, the team discovers a case in the bar they use to meet clients. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ Leverage.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of alcoholism
A bottle episode that is also a heist. ALL IN ONE. This show is somehow granting my every wish for fiction. REPEATEDLY. Oh my god, I love this so much!!!
Look, I know that thereâ€™s a production reason for bottle episodes existing. Theyâ€™re meant to save a show money, often mid-season, so a script is produced that utilizes a set thatâ€™s already built and easily accessible. But holy shit, this process has given me so many fantastic episodes of television, yâ€™all! â€œBalance of Terrorâ€ onÂ Star Trek, â€œSpin the Bottleâ€ onÂ Angel, â€œFlyâ€ onÂ Breaking Bad, â€œ17 Peopleâ€ onÂ The West Wing, my favorite Tennant eraÂ Doctor WhoÂ episode â€œMidnight,â€ and that giant homage toÂ The Thing, â€œIce,â€ located in the first season ofÂ The X-Files.These are all different takes on the same concept, and â€œThe Bottle Jobâ€ presents us with another idea: Could the Leverage team pull off a con within the building they work in, but do so in 90 minutes?
OH, ITâ€™S JUST SO GOOD.
There are two cons and a heist set into this episode. Mark Doyle, the despicable loan shark who preyed on the marginalized and downtrodden of Boston, tries to claim a debt at the wake of the man who owed him. If that werenâ€™t bad enough, his work in the city is also disgusting. THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME HATE HIM MORE. So it ends up being a lot of fun just to watch the team manipulate him on this basis alone. (Again, I canâ€™t escape the notion that this show is one giant power fantasy for someone like me. Do you know how badly I wish I had the Leverage team to get revenge on my first boyfriend? The terrible district manager who framed me for stealing and got me fired, causing me to drop out of college? THE MYRAID OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRONGED ME AND NEVER BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT THEYâ€™VE DONE?
No, I donâ€™t want this to be real because I have the hots for Hardison. No. Nope, not at all. It has nothing to do with him being shirtless in this episode.
n o p e
On the Job
Can we talk about the serialization ofÂ Leverage once more? Too bad, gonna do it. There is one massive punch in the stomach in the middle of â€œThe Bottle Job,â€ and without Nateâ€™s journey in season one, it wouldnâ€™t mean anything. But the moment when Mark eggs Nate on to drink with him (so that heâ€™s not betting against a sober man) is HEARTBREAKING. Nate is on a job, and his cover absolutely matters if heâ€™s going to pull off the con against Mark Doyle. Iâ€™m sure the rest of the team knew this, but that doesnâ€™t mean they werenâ€™t disappointed. My gods, yâ€™all, seeing the disappointment spread across their faces was NOT EVEN REMOTELY OKAY. Iâ€™m sure all of them were worried that this would be the start of another bout of drinking, and unfortunately, NateÂ did drink a lot in this episode. I can hope that he doesnâ€™t drink any more, but what if that isnâ€™t the case?
I admit that this is where my familiarity with alcoholism disappears. I didnâ€™t try to stop multiple times before going sober. I drank until I had a traumatic experience, and then I went cold turkey out of fear. Iâ€™ve never even craved alcohol since I stopped. So I donâ€™t know what this experience is like for Nate. I want to believe that heâ€™s got enough willpower to refrain from relying on alcohol again, but he might also be hurting because Sophie isnâ€™t around. (Which isnâ€™t to say that him drinking again is her fault, of course.)
THIS WAS TOO PAINFUL.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there were a lot of little moments within this episode that made me so happy. First of all, Eliotâ€™s ability to throw a bullseye on darts without looking??? WHAT??? Or how about Parkerâ€™s perfectly timed kick to the face in the Doyle headquarters? Or Hardisonâ€™s spin as a weatherman? OR TARAâ€™S EVERY SECOND? Holy shit, I didnâ€™t think weâ€™d meet a grifter as good as Sophie, but Yâ€™ALL, TARA IS SO GOOD. Baby Nate Ford!!!! Oh my god,Â so precious.
Utterly fantastic episode, friends. Iâ€™m just so impressed with the consistency of this show. Itâ€™s not easy to maintain this kind of energy and excitement time after time, but this show does it. Itâ€™s a blast to watch, and itâ€™s got me rethinking television itself. Iâ€™m so used to watching sci-fi, fantasy, and other genre shows that Iâ€™m pleased Iâ€™ve gotten to watch another show thatâ€™s based entirely on our world. Sure, itâ€™s a fantastical premise at times, but it feels so real to me.
The video for â€œThe Bottle Jobâ€ can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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