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Leverage season 2.5 – CliqueClack preview

Leverage Cast Photo

What happened to Leverage? Seriously, can someone tell me what the frak changed? The first season was incredible. Despite the fact that I’d been hearing about the production for some time leading up to its premiere, the show still managed to surprise the hell out of me. Brilliant chemistry amongst a (relatively) unknown cast, a quirky concept, and great writing made Leverage can’t miss television, at least in my house. Then, Season Two happened.

The magic was gone. The acting was still stand out, the writing great, the situations zany, but for some reason, the show didn’t have the spark that it did in the beginning. Unfortunately for us, things haven’t necessarily changed for the better when the show comes back this January for the rest of the second season.

We find our reluctant heroes in pretty much the same place we left them. Sophie is still wandering the world, Nate a little aimless, Eliot still not given enough to do, and Hardison and Parker still aren’t together. Oh, and Jeri Ryan’s Tara is still around.  Which is, you know, OK I guess.

One assumes (hopes) the only reason that Sophie is still out of town has to do with Gina Bellman’s pregnancy, because it’s stopped working within the bounds of the story. As Keith tweeted when he watched the screener, the outfits and backgrounds they put her with are so unbelievable they’re downright laughable. Once everyone, including Nate, started talking to her, they needed to come up with another reason why she’s not a part of the team.

Maybe it is just time for the team to experience some change? Tara adds a different dynamic to the team, especially in her interactions with Nate. Now that the team has gelled, you really don’t know where she fits in, and, more importantly, they don’t know if they can trust her. Unfortunately, though, her addition in the two episodes I watched really didn’t bring back the spark.

It’s easy for me to blame Sophie’s absence as the cause of things, but I’m not sure that is it. Her’s is an important dynamic, specifically because she has a defined relationship with each of the characters (less developed with Hardison, but you’ve got to love her Parker, and Eliot too).

I think what the show needs, to steal some Buffy parlance, is a Big Bad. Mark Sheppard’s Sterling represented that to an extent in first season, but the team truthfully needs a sinister adversary. They need to lose. They need to get hurt. And then? They need to get even.

Photo Credit: TNT

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11 Responses to “Leverage season 2.5 – CliqueClack preview”

December 16, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Honestly, Leverage is having the same problem that HIMYM had last year due to pregnancy. Sophie is the “sexy seductress” part, and without her there to do her job (or her being there but being too round to come on to people on a regular basis so she can’t do what she used to), the show is pretty hampered. I don’t know what else you think is missing, but that’s the big one for me.

December 16, 2009 at 3:35 PM

yeah, thats the only reason sophies still out of town, and i’m pretty sure we’re gonna get some more Sterling this season. The showrunner has a great blog, and does a cool Q&A from the comments after each episode.

December 17, 2009 at 9:41 PM

Yes, and I believe some Maggie, too, which will be great. I really like Jeri Ryan as an addition to the cast, and I do think there will be a big Sophie payoff … Keith an I are guessing there’s more to the costumes and backgrounds than mere campiness, but we’ll see.

December 16, 2009 at 4:19 PM

I think the problem is that there is no unifying arc across the season.

Nates drinking and his yearning to avenge the death of his son gave him direction and focus.

Season 2, on the other hand, seems to be just the caper of the week with nothing really joining it together (I also don’t like the Boston locale).

December 16, 2009 at 11:05 PM

I dunno, I think it’s about the same — pleasant fluffy brain popcorn. You folks hyped up season one too much, it was never that good to start with.

December 17, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Politely disagree. The first season was great. We hyped it because we collectively loved it.

December 17, 2009 at 10:33 AM

More than Sophie’s absence, I hate the bar and Nate’s apartment being used as the “office.” They didn’t transition it well at all and why do these people looking for “justice” come wandering into a bar? It was one too many changes between the seasons. Knowing that she can’t be pregnant forever leaves hope for the third season.

December 17, 2009 at 3:56 PM

definitely not pregnant forever!!

lil’ sophie

December 19, 2009 at 7:54 PM

For me the show has really always been about the quirky characters of Parker, Hardison, and Elliot, and how they each interact and fit in to the jobs. Nate and Sophie are arguably the actual main characters, but yet also seem a lot more incidental and replaceable to me, which is unusual. Of course, the show wouldn’t be the same with Sophie gone for good, but her temporarily not being a part of the action doesn’t detract from my viewing at all. With Tara now being thrown in to the mix, I’m more looking forward to seeing her interactions with Parker, Hardison, and Elliot than anything else.

January 27, 2010 at 4:17 PM

I loved the first season but without Sophie something is missing – and Tara does not fill the bill.

When will Sophie be back?