Mark Watches ‘Leverage’: S04E13 – The Girls’ Night Out Job

In the thirteenth episode of the fourth episode of Leverage, Parker gets embroiled in a complicated heist when she tries to maintain a friendship with someone. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Leverage.

 

Trigger Warning: For talk of anxiety, mental health.

I genuinely think this is the best season of the show, as strange as it can be. The show has never felt more willing to poke fun at itself and to experiment with the sort of stories it can tell. I imagine that the following episode is going to focus on what the hell happened with the men of Leverage, since the few glimpses we got of their evening were RIDICULOUS. So, for now? Let’s discuss “The Girls’ Night Out Job.:

Parker / FRIENDSHIP

I just care so much about Parker, y’all.

I appreciate that this show does as well. To many people, the idea of maintaining a casual friendship may seem simple and without challenge. But it’s not an easy thing for a lot of people. I find it difficult to maintain close friendships with a lot of folks I meet because of my own social anxiety, or because of my self esteem issues. I’ve sabotaged a lot of possible relationships because of it. And you know what I could have used? Some patience. Some understanding! Those things are offered to Parker, though initially, Sophie is eager to spend a night out with Tara (!!!!) and she dismisses Parker.

However, the episode values Parker’s attempt to maintain some sort of friendliness with Peggy. When she pisses Peggy off, the writers don’t treat Peggy as a disposable character who serves no other purpose but to make Parker looks weird. Parker really cares about keeping peggy as a friend! And so do Tara and Sophie, who both make it their mission to rectify the damage done. I JUST REALLY CARE ABOUT THIS SO MUCH, Y’ALL. I think this is a perfect demonstration of how respectful these people are. Parker doesn’t try to dodge the harm she caused Peggy, and Parker’s friends do what they can to support her through something that comes much easier to them. They do this without condescension or cruelty, either, and it matters so much to me.

A Girls’ Night Out

I was pleasantly surprised by the re-appearance of Tara, so THANK YOU to everyone for not spoiling this for me. IT WAS FANTASTIC. Of course, this episode has ruined me a bit because now I want Tara, Sophie, and Parker to run every con ever. The writers don’t waste this beautiful opportunity at all. Sophie and Tara competitively grifting everyone around them? God, I could sit here and watch that for HOURS. It’s so entertaining because there’s so much respect between these two characters, and this is how they entertain one another. THROUGH CONS.

And this con was a joy to watch because it was so bizarre. It’s always a pleasure to see the team go up against another con artist, particularly when they can destroy the other person, but “The Girls’ Night Out Job” does something drastically different here. I certainly wanted Mattingly to be taken down because he was so gross towards Peggy. But Parker ultimately doesn’t pursue this end for him. In a fascinating decision, she reveals not only her identity, but her motivation to Mattingly: to do good things for good people. There’s no financial gain for her, and Mattingly is completely bewildered by this.

Yet? Mattingly changes his mind. Yes, extenuating factors affected that, like the fact that Escobar PLANTED A BOMB IN THE EMBASSY. Once Mattingly realizes what he’s set into motion his changes his tune. And you know what? I think that’s part of the reason why Parker realized Hardison’s appeal to her. Only when it benefitted himself did Mattingly decide to do the right thing. Sure, he had a lot in common with Parker, but does that common interest mean anything beyond that? No, not necessarily, and certainly not in this case. Parker isn’t turning to Mattingly for help in this episode; she calls Hardison multiple times. She’s not enjoying herself because Mattingly likes the same things as her, either. Her affinity for Hardison is so much more complicated than that!

I’m interested to see if we’ll get the other half of the team’s take on this, because I’d want Hardison’s side of this relationship, too. He was clearly so excited about the Robot Wars tickets he’d gotten, but he’s an observant guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he figured out that Parker wasn’t all that into going with him. Regardless, there’s a whole lot I need to know about the men because WHY IS HARDISON BEING CHASED BY DOGS? Who were all the guys in the bar??? WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?

Moment of silence for: Escobar and Tara doing the tango. Good fucking god, y’all.

The video for “The Girls’ Night Out Job” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K., and Ireland. Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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