Episode: Leverage 1.07 – “The Wedding Job”
Original Air Date: January 13, 2009
In this episode, Sophie’s friend approaches the team to help her get back the restaurant that her family lost when her husband was set up for murder. He took the rap for Nicky Moscone, a mobster who promised the restaurant and money to the family after the murder. No surprise — he reneged. Nate doesn’t want to take the job. He claims it’s because of the mob connection (“Yeah, let’s go rob Nicky Moscone, a guy who kills people and lives in our city”), but it’s clear that he wants control of the jobs. He relents when the rest of the team is on board.
The plan is to figure out where Moscone is hiding the promised money (at least I think that’s the money they’re looking for — I may have missed something) while posing as a group who is helping to set up a wedding for Moscone’s daughter. They were going to piggy-back on the FBI’s surveillance, but it’s the same FBI guys from the Bank-Shot job, and they aren’t any more competent than they were in that episode (as Parker and Hardison find out while visiting them — although Parker has more luck flirting with the younger one than she did with Nicholas Obrovic in “The Stork Job”).
Sophie is portraying the actual planner, and she really gets into it. She clearly wants to get married herself — and it’s pretty obvious it’s to Nate. They will have several encounters throughout the episode, but more of that later. Eliot is the chef — and he’s actually quite good at it (“Hold a knife like this, cuts through an onion. Hold a knife like THIS, it cuts through eight Yakuza in about four seconds. Screams, carnage — people are like knives, everything is in context.”). Hardison is the DJ, and he hides bugs around the house that he monitors from his DJ station. Parker ends up becoming a bridesmaid because she insulted one of the other ones. Plus it gives her an “all-access pass” that is quite useful later on. Finally, Nate plays the priest. Not much of a stretch for the former seminary student.
To be honest, I had a bit of trouble following the actual con, mainly because the character interactions are so good in this episode. Moscone and a Russian mobster, Sergei, have a “deal” going down at the wedding that involves the money that’s supposed to be for the Palmer family (I think, though I’m not sure of the details). The Leverage team attempts to interrupt the exchange, but it turns out Moscone’s wife has actually taken the money. She plans to take everything since all of Nicky’s off-shore accounts are in her name. Since the money isn’t there, Sergei should be pissed enough to kill Moscone — so no messy divorce. Unfortunately for her, the Leverage team disrupts that plan. They put the money in the trunk of the bride and groom’s car, wipe Moscone’s accounts dry (“People that break their promises get what’s coming to them,” Nate the priest tells Moscone), somehow get the restaurant back for the client, and even manage to get the FBI evidence that overturns their client’s husband’s conviction.
But, like I said, it’s definitely not the con that’s the best part of the episode. I’ve already mentioned the obvious tension between Sophie and Nate. She clearly wants him to commit to her, but he clearly isn’t ready, and he doesn’t even quite acknowledge that they might have a relationship. They use their positions to snipe each other, starting from the time that Nate calls weddings a big con (he later points out that he never said that was a bad thing). One example: “Sophie, where are we at?” Nate asks, clearly referring to the con. “I don’t know, Nate,” Sophie says. “I think you need to ask yourself that question. You called me, remember? And now we’re working together every day; I don’t know what you want! And to ask me that, dressed like a vicar — You’re a very strange man.” And Nate’s wedding sermon is clearly directed more at her than at the bride and groom.
It’s Eliot that shines in this episode, though. He takes his fake job as chef quite seriously. From the time that Mrs. Moscone criticizes his stuffed mushrooms (“For the finishing touch, lemon juice”), we see that he actually knows his stuff. Of course, her criticism doesn’t go over well — he turns his knife around into the “killing” position he mentioned to Nate, but Nate stops him. Apparently that lemon juice is pretty potent, too — as he takes out one of the bad guys (the Butcher of Kiev, who is, according to Hardison, much tougher than the rather kick-ass cake baker of Kiev) that recognizes him from a previous encounter, he tells him, “It’s the lemon juice.” And then Nate asks him if he just killed a man with an appetizer. “I don’t know, maybe,” is Eliot’s reply. When Hardison compliments the appetizers, Eliot once again emphasizes the lemon juice: “Thanks, man, I squeezed, like, fresh lemon juice on it.” Good stuff!
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars