December 5, 2012

Episode Review: LEVERAGE: "The White Rabbit Job"

I know that I've been asking for Leverage to stray outside of its comfort zone for a while now, and I have to admit that "The White Rabbit Job" was not your typical episode of the con-man drama, but it was also somewhat underwhelming.

The Crew decided to step in when they learned that a young businessman by the name of Charles Dodgson III was dismantling the company that his grandfather built and was destroying the town that it supported. After learning about the mark, they realized that he wan't a bad person but that something was driving his erratic behavior. In order to figure out what happened, they decided to pull off one of the trickiest cons ever... the White Rabbit. The grift depended on convincing Dodgson that he was in a dream state (with the help of Eliot's psychotropic drugs and Sophie's power of persuasion) as a way to get into his sub-conscience. After a few failed attempts, it became clear that the key to everything was locked behind a door he chained up. Nate continued to push Charles until it was revealed that his was guilty over the loss of his cousin who looked an awful lot like Parker. They tried to use this to their advantage, but they hit a snag when his energy drink interfered with the drugs. A distressed Charles ran to the rooftop and planned on jumping but Parker was able to talk him down. Once he came to terms with the loss of his cousin, Dodgson returned to normal and was dedicated to reviving the company.

Admittedly, the set-up for the episode was interesting enough. Nate and his crew have been able to steal a lot of things, but the idea of them hacking into a person's dreams was a new spin on an old tale. The thing is, the execution didn't stick the landing in my opinion. Maybe it was the perpetual altered state of the episode, but things never quite gelled and its surreal nature made it easy to tune out of the action. That said, I did appreciate how it ended up being a stealth Parker episode as we learned a little bit more about her, but by that point I was only half-watching.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • If Leverage does end after this season, and we don't get the Mod Squad style spin-off that I made up in my head, I'd be down to see more of Eliot's past adventures.
  • I can usually keep plot details and character traits in order, but was this the first time we learned that Parker lost someone?
Now, I'll fully admit that my lack of attention shaded my experience with this episode, but the show's job is to keep the audience engaged and "White Rabbit" wasn't able to do that successfully enough. But kudos for trying something new.


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