Episode: Leverage 2.04 – “The Fairy Godparents Job”
Original Air Date: August 5, 2009
In this episode, the team is hired by a nurse whose clinic is being shut down due to lack of funding. She invested with a financial advisor named Fowler who turned out to be running a Ponzi scheme on the entire private school his stepson attended (as well as several other people). Yeah, I guess someone on the Leverage production team really doesn’t like Bernie Madoff (not without reason, of course) since this is the second guy like him to appear on the show in as many episodes.
Fowler has been put under house arrest, so getting the money he stashed away before the Feds caught him will be difficult. He’s allowed out for family events, however, so the team is going to “steal” his stepson’s private school and arrange for his stepson to do… something… that can get the father out of the house. Unfortunately, young Widmark (yeah, what an awesome name!) doesn’t actually seem to be capable of doing anything exceptional. Until they hear him sing on the hidden camera Hardison hacked. Sophie doesn’t have time to arrange a full musical so instead she arranges a musical science fair — a sciencical (I’m totally making up the spelling on that one).
The complication in the episode is that Fowler’s handlers are Taggart and McSweeten, the FBI agents from two previous episodes. And McSweeten still has a thing for Parker and follows her everywhere. This means that Hardison is going to have to break in to Fowler’s house while he attends his stepson’s sciencical. Hardison does manage to pull it off with some help from Parker, who has to pretend to be talking to McSweeten (who is nearly as socially awkward as Parker) while still helping Hardison.
Turns out that Fowler has an accomplice, Sandler, the head of the parent organization for Widmark’s school. They have arranged to make an exchange — Sandler’s audio tapes implicating Fowler in his monetary misdeeds (and, it turns out, his own role) for the money Fowler tucked away. Nate manages to figure it out just before the exchange goes down, nabbing both the tapes (which he then puts on the school auditorium speakers, to be heard by all in attendance) and the money (which he uses to help his client). Another win for the Leverage team!
This episode was more of a moments episode than a dialogue one. Parker really shouldn’t be allowed to attend the initial meeting with the client — at one point she “reassures” the nurse that “We all do stupid things sometimes.” Perhaps not as helpful as she wanted to be… Nate posing as the replacement German headmaster was particularly memorable. When he called public schools “The Dante’s Inferno of mediocrity,” even I, a public high school English teacher, had to laugh. And using the threat of public school on the concerned private school parents was certainly a genius tactic to get them to let him do what needed to be done.
Eliot played the gym teacher (the “body” to Sophie’s “mind”) and at one point taught the students some form of martial art. His best scene was when he told them all to come at him. They swamped him and knocked him down. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the bad ass get taken down by a group of kids. Sophie really took a shine to being a fairy godmother to Widmark, getting into her part and truly helping him to come out of his shell. As she pointed out to Nate, the clinic wasn’t the only victim of Fowler.
But definitely the best part of the episode was the music for the sciencical. I just wish somewhere there was a “soundtrack” for the songs since we only hear snippets. Clouds, photosynthesis, a spontaneous number about fusion, and mold (Widmark’s own show-ending song) all figure as topics both for science as well as music. I don’t know who on the Leverage production team decided create the sciencical, but it was pretty darned awesome!
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars