Mark Watches ‘Leverage’: S05E03 – The First Contact Job

In the third episode of the fifth season of Leverage, I LOVE THIS EPISODE SO MUCH. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Leverage.

Trigger Warning: For gaslighting.

This episode was made for me. THIS EPISODE IS WHAT I HAVE LIVED FOR. How? How do I talk about this? How can I begin to understand the beauty that is “The First Contact Job”? THIS IS TOO MUCH.

Everything That Ruined Me In This Episode

  • Before I talk about a lot of the sillier aspects of this episode, I wanted to open on a more serious note. I loved that this con featured Nate fucking up. He misjudged what the client wanted and set up a con that didn’t make Orin Metz satisfied. When he realized this, he didn’t abandon the con he’d set up. He changed it. He took responsibility for not listening to the client, and he got the man’s reputation back. GOOD.
  • There are certainly a lot of absurd and ridiculous things planted throughout this episode that reflect on the relationships between the characters, but I am just so thrilled that after four full seasons of watching these people try to figure out how to be romantic, they’re finally getting it. It’s like the slowest serialized arc in the universe, and I’m totally fine with it. Why? Because this is the reward.
  • Oh god, where do I even start with this fucking episode??? Oh, I know: TWO GOOD OL’ BOYS. BEHIND THE WHEEL. CHASIN’ DOWN BAD GUYS. IN LUCILLE.
  • I won’t get over that scene
  • I refuse to.
  • I know that explaining something that’s funny or cute can suck the fun out of it, but I adore that after Eliot angrily charges after Hardison, we get a scene of them enjoying the company of one another like this. Truthfully, Eliot is a hardass, but he’s one who deeply cares about those who he trusts. Seeing that affection come out is so pleasing to me, y’all. Every once in a while, Hardison actually wins him over with his little schemes and gadgets, and it’s adorable.
  • Parker’s ET voice. It’s so terrible and creepy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • Eliot as Willie Riker. (How the fuck did I not catch that reference to William Riker, oh my GOD. RIKER ACTUALLY DIRECTED THIS EPISODE.) It’s my absolute favorite grift he’s ever done, hands down. It’s perfectly weird, and there are all these little moments where Eliot himself can be see within the character. Bravo, Leverage.
  • On that note, it’s really fantastic to see how Sophie’s influence affected Eliot’s performance. I actually would love to see her act well outside of the job. I think she could do it some day.
  • “We have liftoff!” BLESS YOU FOREVER, PARKER.
  • Okay, Parker and Hardison in matching Men In Black suits… whew. I WASN’T READY.
  • Parker and Hardison’s bets. Like, this is some #goals type shit, y’all. Pulling off cons/heists for bets? And the bets are what the next date will be? And they’re doing shit like bungee jumping from a hot air balloon or picnics under the stars? Okay, this may be the single most unfair detail of the entire episode.
  • I appreciate that the change in setting allows the show to incorporate subtle details from Portland. Like, for example, Sophie’s reference to being outside in the rain again. It’s nice. I APPRECIATE IT.
  • The sheer brilliance and dedication it took to pull off this specific con deserves a bullet point all on its own. Because y’all, this team faked a signal from deep space. They also made it alternate the numbers of pi. THEY ALSO CONNED SOMEONE INTO BUYING A SATELLITE. A satellite! That you put in space!!!! I can’t even deal with the thought of the alien abduction. IT’S TOO MUCH. (Well, it’s also a little disturbing when you do think about it. It’s one of the more extreme ways in which the team has gaslighted someone, no? I mean, they construct a super elaborate reality in order to traumatize Kanack, and then they show up at his press conference in order to make him question that reality. It’s… really fucked up, isn’t it?)
  • Don’t think I didn’t notice that Doctor Who reporter in the press conference. I SAW THEM.
  • This episode is just a joy to watch, and ultimately, that’s why I felt so good about it. There’s so much camaraderie amongst the characters at this point, and I know it’s because they’ve spent so much time with each other. It’s an entirely different dynamic from where they were at in the beginning of the show. That’s not an easy thing to convey over time. Admittedly, the way in which I’m watching this show makes that easier to spot, but it’s still there. I think Leverage is a perfect example of a show that I can love that’s not heavily serialized, despite that that’s what I normally watch.

The video for “The First Contact 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.
– 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.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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