July 11, 2010

Episode Review: LEVERAGE, "The Double Blind Job"

This week's episode of Leverage was one of those installments where the mark and con pretty much took a backseat to what was going on with the characters. I'm not complaining about "Double Blind", but the actually conning wasn't as good as it's been in the past.

The baddie of the week was a corporate big-wig of a pharmaceutical company that OKed a drug that ended up killing people, and he's trying to cover his tracks by taking out potential whistle-blowers, which leads to the introduction of this week's client, Ashley. Her sister died because of said drug, was given information from a mysterious stranger, and then was being chased down by hitmen. While running for her life she bumped into Hardison and Eliot. The goons say they're FBI, but Alec told them they made two mistakes: 1.) flashing a fake badge and 2.) spilling Eliot's coffee on his shirt. Badassery ensues, and we got one the of the best Leverage cold opens ever.

The Crew decided to help Ashley, they infiltrated the drug company just to find out that the drug that killed her sister was going to be released to the general public despite its lethal side effects. The CEO was your typical slimeball in a suit, and his actions were contemptible but not too far fetched. The combination of another corporate baddie with a "let's release a deadly ____ to make money" scheme was what made "Double Blind" an OK episode.

Like I mentioned before, what made "Double Blind" great was the Crew. Nate's still spiraling out of control and Sophie's still trying to show him the errors of his ways, which has made their relationship a little more interesting.

Eliot's main role was to distract an FDA rep while the rest of the Crew ran the con on the CEO, and he finally got some loving, but she was too interested in sight-seeing, which in turn wore him out. The best part of Eliot's sub-plot occurred when she dumped him because he was not "dangerous" enough. Good stuff.

The best character moments though belonged to Hardison and Parker. Alec started getting cozy with Ashley while working on the con, which made Parker a little bit unhappy. Jealous Parker was awesome, but scary (or scary awesome if you prefer). Watching her interact with Ashley was funny and unsettling all at the same time. Sophie tried to convince Parker to tell Hardison how she felt, which led to a cute moment involving pretzels. If you don't know what that means, Google it.

Unresolved sexual tension is usually overblown and distracting (see Bones as an example), but if the showrunners can use it correctly, magic can happen. Dean Devlin & Co. have been teasing the audience with Parker and Hardison since Season 1, but laid off the gas during Season 2, which has made their little moments this year even better. Since they're not the primary couple, Nate and Sophie are, I can see these two crazy kids ending up together before the end of the season. I doubt their shelf-life together will be very long, but it'll be cool to watch.

So far, Season 3 of Leverage has been pretty good, and "Double Blind" was a decent addition, but something has been feeling a bit off. Ever since Nate's been out of prison, the dynamic has been different (I know that's the point of the season). There are still some great, funny, light moments, but the tension is starting to take over, which has given the season an unsettling feel. I still love Leverage, and so far S3 has been better than S2, but I want the Crew to get along again.


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