Episode: Leverage 1.06 – “The Stork Job”
Original Air Date: January 6, 2009
In this episode, the Leverage team is hired by a couple trying to adopt a child from Serbia. As it turns out, the adoption agency is really a scam run by a Serbian grifter named Irina. The couple doesn’t want any money (they’ve spent over $120,000 already); they want the child, a boy named Luka.
The team infiltrates yet another party (it’s getting to be a bit of a tired way of finding the mark, and it will actually continue) where Eliot poses as a Texas rancher who is trying to make a movie. What a coincidence — Irina is an actress! Who would’ve guessed? As it turns out, Irina has an accomplice, Nicholas (“Do my cape and fangs frighten you?”) Obrovic. Parker is sent to flirt with him to get more information. Being socially awkward, however, Parker doesn’t do so well. In fact, she ends up stabbing him with a fork and disappearing. Good stuff (for the viewer, not so much for Nicholas)!
When Parker returns, she is sent after Irina to find Luka. Luka is in an orphanage, but there’s a couple of complications: first, Parker herself is an orphan and has trouble leaving, and second (and more importantly), Nicholas turns out to be an arms dealer. Parker is insistent on rescuing all of the orphans, not just Luka, but that isn’t the plan.
The plan is to set up Irina to bring Luka to the movie set so the team can spirit him away, which is exactly what they do. Unfortunately, Parker also takes off to rescue the rest of the orphans. This is actually one of the best parts of the episode. When she arrives, she uses her Serbian phrase book to come up with, “I will make your tomato shiny.” I’m fairly certain that wasn’t nearly as reassuring to the orphans as she intended, though they do laugh at her. Finally, she realizes she isn’t getting through and comes up with, “Häagen-Dazs?” The orphans respond with, “Häagen-Dazs!” and they start to leave. Of course they are confronted with Nicholas’s men, and Parker manages to take them out. But she doesn’t have an exit strategy. Fortunately, Sophie comes to the rescue, along with the rest of the team.
They manage to escape in the prop truck, though not before the arms dealers try to shoot them with what turn out to be prop weapons. The team switched out the real ones and used their movie equipment to distract the bad guys while Parker and the orphans escaped. The explosives they used to blow up the building, however, were quite real.
Luka ends up with his new adoptive parents, and the other orphans will be taken to the WHO. After a stop at Häagen-Dazs, of course.
This was a good episode. It started a bit slow, but from the time that Parker went back for the orphans till the end it was quite enjoyable. There was the usual banter, this time between Nate and Eliot. “What happened to you?” Nate asks at the beginning of the episode, noting cuts on Eliot’s face. “How was I supposed to know it was a lesbian bar,” Eliot responds. They also comment on Sophie’s surprising ability to act in the stolen movie: “She can’t act,” Eliot says. “She can act, when it’s an act,” says Nate. Try wrapping your brain around that one: Sophie can’t act when she is actually acting, but when she’s pretending to act, she can. Nice!
There is also more role-switching in this episode. Sophie is the one who lifts the cell phone from the director of the movie and switches it with another one so that he can receive the call about a newer, better movie that he can direct, thus getting him out of the way. “Wait a minute, you did the lift?” Parker asks when she finds out. “Why wasn’t I involved?” Hardison replies, “Because somebody decided to jeopardize the mission when a certain somebody shish-kabobed a certain mark,” referring to her previous stabbing of Nicholas. “Yeah, that was me,” Parker says, laughing.
We also get some more background about Parker and Hardison. That Parker was put through the foster system is no surprise, but we also find out the Hardison’s Nana wasn’t actually his grandmother but his foster mom. She did, however, treat him much better than Parker’s foster parents. Their bond continues to grow over this revelation. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m quite certain there will be a romance between these two. I certainly hope so!
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars