Mark Watches ‘Leverage’: S04E02 – The Ten Li’l Grifters Job

In the second episode of the fourth season of Leverage, it’s a murder mystery inside of a con inside of a heist. THIS SHOW HAS GIVEN ME EVERYTHING I’VE EVER WANTED. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Leverage.

I really don’t know how this show is real, y’all. It’s like all the good karma in the world that everyone ever earned was suddenly redeemed through Leverage. At least that’s the case for me because A MURDER MYSTERY ON A SECLUDED ISLAND. AND A HEIST. AND A CON. ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And Parker/Hardison as Nancy Drew/The Hardy Boys???? COULD THIS SHOW PROVIDE MORE SHIPPING MATERIAL IF IT TRIED??? (Yes. Please keep it up, PLEASE.)

Let’s discuss.

Fun with murder mysteries!

This has to be the most ludicrous con that the team has come up with on the spot, y’all. I liked the idea of the premise of this party being one giant game of Clue, and then Morris Beck was murdered FOR REAL during the fake murder mystery, and SOPHIE BEAUTIFULLY COVERS BY INCLUDING HIM IN HIS VERY GAME. I mean, they were skating on remarkably thin ice here, I won’t deny that. That’s part of the terrifying fun, though, because I wasn’t actually certain that they could pull this off! I absolutely trusted their talents, but there were too many variables here.

But that’s because this episode was written by someone who CLEARLY LOVES MURDER MYSTERIES. It’s absolutely overflowing with tropes of the genre. We open on a DARK AND STORMY NIGHT. Literally! The episode cycles through the multitude of suspects by introducing us to each of the people who hate Morris Beck enough that they’d keep them. I’d count all of the Leverage team as part of this trope, too, since they’re all in disguise and have ulterior motives at play. What about the black-outs??? Those are remarkably common in murder mysteries. So are shadow murders!!! So are red herring suspects, and the mystifying and shocking final reveal. Y’all, I never once suspected Detective Hammett as the killer, meaning that this was PERFECTLY plotted to make me suspect everyone else.

I liked that this was a combination of parody and a love letter to the genre. Well-played, Leverage.

Hardison / Parker

Their relationship is, relatively speaking, moving slowly, and normally, that would frustrate me, but I think Leverage does this well. To me, it speaks of Hardison’s willingness to be patient with Parker, to let her control how quickly she wants to move with him. At this point, I don’t even know if their relationship is physical; it could just be platonic with a hint of romanticism. (Part of me wants to believe that the “pretzels” reference in the last season was confirmation enough that they’re totally doing it.) But there’s a slight difference to the way these two work with each other here. I noticed that Hardison is more outwardly concerned about Parker’s well-being, though he knows she’s capable of taking care of herself. He’s worried, isn’t he??? OOOH, HE’S CAUGHT THE FEELINGS, HASN’T HE?

He did a long time ago, let’s be real.

Nate

Well, holy uncomfortable, y’all.

Despite that we knew for certain that Nate didn’t kill Morris Beck, there was a very brief moment when each member of the team (maybe not Hardison so much) believed that perhaps Nate actually killed someone. It is a very weird plotline, perhaps the only thing that felt out of place in “The Ten Li’l Grifters Job.” I can understand them all feeling the need to know who actually killed Beck so that Nate can clear himself of suspicion, but it actually seems a bit out of character that anyone would seriously believe Nate was capable of this. Even then, it was a subtle plot within this episode, and then it’s blown into something much bigger when Nate and Sophie discuss it at the end. I don’t know, it’s not awful or anything, it just felt… odd, I guess. I can’t really put my finger on why that is.

Perhaps this is all a continuation of the complicated feelings Nate has towards Sophie, and this was just another means for him to take them out on her. That makes sense to me, given how willing he is to stay in denial. What are your thoughts on this subplot, y’all? I don’t know how I feel about it.

The video for “The Ten Li’l Grifters Job” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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