In the eighteenth and final episode of the fourth season of Leverage, the team decides to take down Latimer once and for all. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watch Leverage.
Trigger Warning: For nonconsensual drugging
Good lord, what an EPISODE.
That opening scene in the penitentiary gave me chills, yâ€™all. HOW IS THIS SHOW ALLOWED TO BE THIS GOOD? I thought it was brilliant of the writers to open with Nateâ€™s confrontation of Dubenich because it sets the tone for what comes after it. Thereâ€™s no build-up to the fight â€“ at least not initially â€“ because we immediately get to see Nate dealing with the man responsible for killing his father. Well, one of them, that is. And jesus christ, Dubenich is so upsetting. It was difficult to watch this man equate what heâ€™d done â€“ something that was absolutely terrible â€“ with what Nate and the Leverage team had done over the years. I mean, I was utterly bored by all his claims that Nate had to face the â€œconsequencesâ€ of what heâ€™d done. In this context, Victor viewed himself as the true victim here, the one deprived of his business, his possessions, and his name. Thatâ€™s a deeper crime than anything that he did to all those innocent people in â€œThe Nigerian Job,â€ of course! Those donâ€™t count, apparently.
Still, Victor Dubenich had, with Latimerâ€™s helped, pulled off a brutal con from within jail. Certainly, Nate knew that these two had the power and access to do pretty much whatever they wanted. But it was Victorâ€™s unique knowledge of the Leverage team that frightened me the most. Iâ€™d actually forgotten that Dubenich had assembled this group all those years ago. It makes sense that heâ€™d been able to determine their targets and pass that info to Latimer. And that means that this episode has a cloud hanging over it: Dubenich knows the teamsâ€™ faces. Their techniques. Their cons. He knows everything about them, and he can use that against them.
So Nate uses Victorâ€™s original plan against him.
Weâ€™ve seen Nateâ€™s darker side before in this show and even within this season. (â€œThe Cross My Heart Job.â€) But his behavior in this episode is ruthless, more so than anything else weâ€™ve seen before. In rapid succession, he moves through on con after another in order to destroy all of the things he took from Dubenich in â€œThe Nigerian Job,â€ only he focuses on Latimer instead. Of course, in order to do that, he realizes that thereâ€™s only one way to get around Dubenich: assemble a second team of people that Victor doesnâ€™t know and wonâ€™t suspect.
ITâ€™S SUCH A BRILLIANT WRITING CHOICE. I mean, not only does it make the cons and grifts that much more exciting, but it allows Leverage to invite a ton of people back to the show and BLOW MY MIND. Chaos! Quinn! Archie! MAGGIE, HOLY SHIT. The dynamic wavers between adoration and respect â€“ Maggie and Archie are more than pleased to take part in this con â€“ to constant aggravation. (Seriously, I could listen to Chaos and Hardison insult one another for hours.) And while the main players distract Dubenich and his team, the secret second team slips into place to pull off the actual con. ITâ€™S SO GREAT TO WATCH. And what do they start with? Ruining Latimerâ€™s business, specifically his ownership of major waterways in the U.S.
The more I think about what they do here, the more I appreciate it. The team devises a method of destroying Latimerâ€™s business that relies on entropy. Itâ€™s bad enough that they managed to get quagga mussels into the water of the dam. I initially thought they were just trying to buy time, but nope. Itâ€™s so much more devious than that. The dam closes, the investors get cold feet, and the news begins to report of difficulties. Slow at first, but as the other cons roll out, the news gains momentum, doing most of the work for the team.
So how does the team get ahold of the possessions that are worth the most to Latimer? This is where Parker and Archie get to use their best techniques. Namely? Getting Dubenich to do their work for them. I didnâ€™t understand Archieâ€™s cake cutting analogy until I watched Dubenich fall for the red herring that is Parker and OPEN THE VAULT FOR HER WHILE SHE WAS RIGHT NEXT TO IT. Why bother trying to break in? Even then, I still didnâ€™t figure everything out. I, like everyone else, assumed that the goal was to destroy the items in Latimerâ€™s vault.
Well, why do that when they can be used to definitely ruin Latimer?
At this point, the media was already working in the teamâ€™s favor, and I imagine that they wouldnâ€™t have to do much to push Latimer over the edge. Thatâ€™s why I think that, at this point in the episode, Eliot confronts Nate about revenge. Merely stopping Latimer was never in the plan, was it? Nate isnâ€™t practicing with his fatherâ€™s gun to release some steam or for catharsis. He wants revenge, the cold and dirty kind. I see Nate as the kind of character who is obsessive and stubborn, one who would absolutely consider murdering someone who wronged him as much as Latimer and Dubenich had done.
But first, he ruins Latimerâ€™s name with Maggieâ€™s help. I think there are a few stumbles in the final third of this episode, and one of them is the strangeness of Latimerâ€™s story. I get why they drugged him and shipped him to the Cayman Islands, butâ€¦ how??? How did they get him on a plane if he was unconscious? Iâ€™m pretty sure you canâ€™t stick a high/unconscious person on a plane. How did he get back? I almost thought that the Cayman thing was another con and that he wasnâ€™t really there, but he had to be in order for it to look like he ran from his congressional hearing. So when he showed up at the end of the episodeâ€¦ where did he come from? Did I miss something?
Nateâ€™s confrontation with Latimer and Dubenich is fantastic and thrilling and then gets REALLY WEIRD??? I didnâ€™t think heâ€™d shoot either of them, but I still felt unbearably tense as he shouted at them. It reminded me so much of the Nate we saw in â€œThe Cross My Heart Job,â€ onlyâ€¦ shit. A lot scarier. Way more intense. But the actual ending? Likeâ€¦ do Latimer and Dubenich die? Did both of them seriously fall off that ledge into the water? It felt strangely lazy for a show that has never really had a problem committing to huge, dramatic plot twists. The end justâ€¦ happens? I donâ€™t know, I wouldnâ€™t say itâ€™s a letdown or anything. (Iâ€™ve got one more think to talk about.) Itâ€™s just a bit anti-climactic, you know?
If I felt a bit weird about the resolution of the Latimer/Dubenich plot, I was FREAKING OUT about Nateâ€™s decision to make it clear to Sophie that he wants her, and not just in a casual sense. YES. YES. I SUPPORT THIS WHOLEHEARTEDLY, Yâ€™ALL. Itâ€™s a natural development, too; it works surprisingly well as a season closer. After all thatâ€™s happened to Nate, he wants to keep certain people as close to him as possible. Number one on that list? Sophie Devereaux.
y e s.
The video for â€œThe Last Dam Jobâ€ 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.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be the remainder of The Legend of Korra, series 8 of Doctor Who, and Kings. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!
– If you would like to support this website and keep Mark Does Stuff running, I’ve put up a detailed post explaining how you can!
– Please check out the MarkDoesStuff.com. All Mark Watches videos for past shows/season are now archived there!