Mark Watches ‘Leverage’: S04E17 – The Radio Job

In the seventeenth and penultimate episode of the fourth season of Leverage, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME? Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Leverage.

I wasn’t ready. I was not ready.

The Latimer plot that’s been spread over this season is a strange one, though I am definitely intrigued by it. It presents a terrible conundrum for Nate and the team because for every case they solve, they risk giving Latimer more money. At this point, Nate has easily avoided all of the absurd offers that Latimer has pitched his way. He knows it’s not worth it. With that in mind, I was meant to be surprised when he suddenly took up Latimer’s latest case. What made it worth it for him? Why help someone who is more or less guilt tripping you into making him money?

I can see now why the Fords were motivated to take jobs that were clearly too risky. I don’t think that Jimmy or Nate is a fool. They both knew what they were getting into in some sense. So what brought them to this point? Initially, after we find out that Nate wanted to free his father, we’re led to believe that Jimmy Ford hasn’t changed at all. He’s still self-centered and greedy. How could he refuse a heist that would net him $2 million? We knew from his past appearance that he wanted to pull off one last job that would set him for life, so I believed the red herring.

I mean, why wouldn’t I believe it? Jimmy Ford is cold and detached throughout this episode, clearly uninterested in being rescued or rebuilding a relationship with his son. For the most part, he sits at a desk, sifting through one file after another with methodical precision. He doesn’t care what’s going on around him. He doesn’t care if he can escape. And when Nate tries to get him involved? Well, Jimmy acts like the team is nothing more than an annoying fly, buzzing around his head. Now, I read this as his irritation at Nate for, once again, getting involved when he wasn’t asked. He seemed so averse to the idea of being rescued that I figured he’d do anything to escape on his own. Perhaps he realized that Nate would never be on his side ever again, so he viewed his son as nothing more than an adversary or an obstacle.

I honestly had an entire review formulated in my head that was about Jimmy Ford’s loyalty to the business, about how he valued money and the game more than… well, pretty much everything. Even during Jimmy and Nate’s big argument, I was certain that these two would not see eye-to-eye about their role in this world. And then Jimmy Ford blurts out that he took this job to save his son’s life and what the fuck.

I was wrong. I was wrong about all of this.

And even now, thinking about Jimmy’s confession and what comes after it, I can’t get over how much I was wrong about this man. How much did he know? How aware was he that this was all gonna go south? Did he know this would be his last job? Perhaps not literally, but he did this after his son betrayed him (justifiably so, I should say) and sent him on a ship back to Ireland. Why? Why would he do this?

That’s the heartbreaking part of this: we probably won’t ever find out beyond what this episode tells us. I don’t know what happened in the last year of Jimmy Ford’s life, but he chose to do a dangerous, risky, and foolish job all so that his son’s life would be spared. I’m thinking back to that moment at the end of “The Three-Card Monte Job” where Jimmy told Nate that he was proud of his son, and I think that’s enough to go on. That pride was enough for Jimmy to prioritize his son, to put him first, even when there was still a chance he could survive himself.

That’s one hell of a story to be told.

This is such a complex episode otherwise, though the Nate/Jimmy dynamic takes up the bulk of it. The entire time, I, like the rest of the characters here, was trying to figure out Latimer’s game. I still don’t know what the hell the patent is for, and I’m guessing that will appear in the season finale. I assume that Latimer will benefit in some way from what happened here, but why? How? I DON’T GET ANY OF THIS. Well, that’s partially because I didn’t figure out who was actually interfering with the con the entire time: VICTOR DUBENICH. From the goddamn pilot episode!!! WHAT THE FUCK! I mean, I can guess that this is all a revenge plot because the dude is in prison, but how? How did he organize this? What’s Latimer’s connection to this? Did Latimer even know that he was being used? WHAT HAS THIS SHOW DONE TO ME?

Before I wrap things up (which I need to do ASAP because I need the finale in my life right now), I did want to add that Eliot is SO FANTASTIC in this episode. The entire Boston Cowboy Cop routine was one of the funniest things this whole season and a clever reference to Die Hard. But what tickles me most about it is how Agent Powell ate the performance up PERFECTLY. He didn’t even question any aspect of it. Cowboy!!! It’s so beautiful, y’all.

The video for “The Radio 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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