September 13, 2012

Episode Review: LEVERAGE, "The Broken Wing Job"

I've been known to be too critical when a show like Leverage phones it in and heap on a lot of praise when it tries something new, and I get to do a lot of the latter thanks to "The Broken Wing Job."

While the rest of the Crew is in Japan on a job, an injured Parker had to stay back in Portland to recuperate.  Since Parker's not the sit at home kind of person, she quickly started to get stir crazy because of the lack of things to keep her occupied which in turn affected Amy, a waitress Hardison asked to keep an eye on Parker. While looking for stuff to do, Parker stumbled upon the security cam feed and did some people watching until she noticed some shady looking characters. After monitoring their actions, she realized that they were thieves who were planning to rob a nearby jewelry store. With the help of Amy, Parker came up with a plan to thwart the would be baddies, but things took a turn for the worse when it was revealed that she was wrong. The men were there to kidnap Amy, who was the daughter of a rich businessman. Luckily, Parker was able to think on her feet and catch the thugs by manipulating various bar patrons and using her handy crutch.

What I probably appreciated most about "Broken Wing" was the fact that it was pretty straight forward. Parker did have to use her smarts to put together a very orchestrated scheme, but it lacked the twists and turns that sometimes make Leverage episodes a little muddled. We also didn't need to spend a ton of time learning about the mark-of-the-week and how he or she was screwing over the honest working man, which did make the capture of the thieves a little anti-climactic, but the episode wasn't about them. In the end, "Broken Wing" was another strong Parker-centric hour that allowed her to grow as a character. Sure, the whole "she has problems trusting and relying on people" angle is getting a little worn out, but it's still working for me. Plus, Parker being left to her own devices is a surefire recipe for hilarity.

If I had to quibble about something, I'd have to point to the fact that while it was fun watching Parker on her own, there were times when the lack of action made the episode drag a little bit. I remember checking the time and was surprised that we were only 35 minutes in because it had felt like longer. I suppose part of the slower pace was informed by Parker's cabin fever, but I would've been happier if things were brisker. I also rolled my eyes a bit at the fact that Amy was just brought into the fold, but this show's let in outsiders before so I can let that one slide.

Other Odds and Ends
  • While I don't care about the Tokyo Job, I do want to see more of Hardison and the monkey in the box.
  • I'm still getting a kick out of Parker and Hardison's relationship because it feels so natural, and that's probably due to the fact that we didn't have to dwell on them struggling to figure out their feelings and courting one another. Sometimes keeping a will they/won't they simple is the best approach.
  • Oh, Parker and her robot friends.
  • We need more of Samurai Spencer.
  • Once, Hardison said he was the Super Skrull (the one who could do everyone's job), but it's pretty clear that Parker's the true Super Skrull and probably the one who could take over if/when Nate steps away.
I don't know if I can rank "Broken Wing" up there with some of Leverage's best episodes, but it was hands down one of the strongest of this current season because it was fresh and fun, and we got more of Parker doing her thing. All of that adds up to a win.


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