Episode: Leverage 1.10 – “The 12-Step Job”
Original Air Date: February 3, 2009
This episode begins a little differently from previous episodes. We see a man driving down the street, clearly distracted by the music, his food, and trying to get something from the passenger’s side floor (where there is an empty whisky bottle). We’re clearly not supposed to like this guy. He arrives at an office to find that law enforcement is going through the files. He turns tail and runs.
Turns out he’s an investment broker (Jack Hurley — Lost reference, perhaps?) hired by a woman who runs a charity (Michelle) because he promised he could double her money. She was suspicious, but he checked out as legit. Now, however, it seems he’s run off with her money. She hires the Leverage team to get her money back.
Hurley is on the run, but he’s sticking close by. He clearly has addictions — he’s visited taco stands, strip clubs, massage parlors, and bars according to his credit card purchases. His movements seem to be random, so Hardison and Eliot are sent to tail him. They find him at a strip club, but some Mexicans show up demanding their money from Hurley. Eliot and Hardison chase them off, but Hurley escapes. He doesn’t get far, though, crashing his car around the corner because he fell asleep at the wheel.
In order to keep him out of jail (and thus under their control), the team has him check himself in to rehab without his knowledge (yeah, I don’t know quite how that works, either). He is joined by Nate (Tom Baker, the alcoholic) and Parker (Rose, the kleptomaniac). Sophie plays their newly-arrived shrink. The plan is to get Hurley to tell them where the money is so they can get it back to Michelle.
Unfortunately, things aren’t as they seem. Turns out it’s not only the Mexicans who want their money, it’s also the Koreans. And the Chileans, as we discover when Hardison triggers a bomb on Hurley’s car while looking for the money. It also turns out that Hurley isn’t really a bad guy — he just got in over his head trying to help people.
The team decide that helping Hurley will also help their client, so they set up a meeting with the Mexicans and the Koreans so that Hurley can give them their money. Hurley triggers a bomb when he goes to get the money from his car, and the car explodes (“Chileans?” the Mexican leader asks. The Korean leader replies, “Jamaicans. They must have figured out where the money was, wanted to keep it all for themselves. That’s what I would do.” “My boss will not be pleased,” says the Mexican leader as they both leave).
Of course, Hurley isn’t dead. Eliot and Sophie rescued him just before the car exploded. Hurley reveals that the money was in one of the tires, which managed to survive the explosion (“steel-belted radials,” he explains). Michelle gets her money back, and the Leverage team gives Hurley a new identity.
This was a really fun episode. Eliot and Hardison had some great “bonding” while tailing Hurley. When they discover the bomb that Hardison triggered, he tells Eliot they need to reboot the system. “You want me to kick it?” Eliot asks. “Oh, god, I’m gonna die,” Hardison opines. After Hardison survives, Eliot tries to get him to help him search the car. “I’m gonna go and freshen up a little bit, maybe cry a little,” is Hardison’s reply. When Eliot uses the bomb to chase off the Koreans and the Mexicans, he tells them he should have just enough time to jump under the truck. “Hey, Eliot,” Hardison asks after the gangs leave, “when you said you were gonna dive under that truck, you were gonna drag me with you, right?” Eliot hesitates briefly: “Sure.” Hardison isn’t reassured: “I’m serious, man, don’t play with me. I’m serious.” He gets his revenge later when they visit Nate in rehab: Eliot poses as “Tom’s” brother while Hardison poses as his gay lover. Eliot is not amused.
Meanwhile, Parker is really getting into her role as the kleptomaniac Rose (I’m betting her last name is Tyler). She really bonds with Hurley, presumably because of the anti-depressants she’s on (the scene where she first takes them is absolutely hysterical). Near the end, when Nate wants Parker to climb through the air ducts to get them out of rehab (the Koreans found out where Hurley is and have come for him), he puts his hands on her shoulders. She giggles, saying he never touches her or anyone else on the team. “It’s the hole in your heart, Tom, it doesn’t allow you to get close to people,” she says. “She’s right,” Hurley agrees. And in the end when the team extracts Parker from the center, Eliot isn’t really happy with her jumping on him and hugging everyone. “When do the happy pills wear off?” he asks. “Usually about 24 hours,” Nate replies. “It’s too bad, I kinda like this Parker,” says Hardison after getting his hug. Normally I’m not a ‘shipper, but I really want them to get together.
This episode also continues to highlight Nate’s drinking problem. Despite his protestations to the contrary, he really does need to be in rehab. We see him go through the DTs and make an attempt to escape. Throughout the episode he progressively worsens until he eventually hallucinates his nemesis, Sterling (Mark Sheppard’s character) coming to taunt him. Although he ends the episode saying that he needs a drink, the hallucination did seem to rattle him.
Finally, I really like the way this episode sets up your expectations of Hurley only to have him turn out to be a guy with a big heart after all. Yeah, he doesn’t exactly use the most honest means to get his money, but neither does the Leverage team. As he explains to Nate, “Tell me something, Tom, lying, cheating, stealing — if you’re doing it to help someone, doesn’t that make it okay?” Kinda hard to argue with that when the heroes of the show do exactly that every week.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars