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Leverage – Wheaton, Rubinek, Chamberlain and Matchett elevate the finale

Season four goes out on a very strong note, leaving me looking forward to season five's return. They did nearly everything right in this episode, bringing me back to the old days of season one.

- Season 4, Episode 18 - "The Last Dam Job"

All of our talk about Leverage on the CliqueClack team — what’s it amount to? Dissecting season four can’t be done without including this brilliant episode. They did everything right. One of our biggest complaints has been the weak season-long story arcs (aside from my undying love for Sterling). I still wish they’d have more episodes tie into the storyline throughout the season, but what they did with this finale was good TV.

Bringing it back to the pilot episode made me giddy — I did not in the least bit expect Victor Dubenich to be pulling Latimer’s strings, and for every case the team has taken on throughout the last three years to have been manipulated by him. That was cool, but what was even cooler was the way the team was finally able to defeat him — bringing in the bizarro team. Well, not the original bizarro team, aside from Chaos, but assembling the bizarro team from stand-out characters from past episodes was so much fun.

Although it was such a small role, I was so happy to see Kari Matchett back as Maggie (and to learn that she had a crush on Sterling!), and Eliot and Quinn play off one another so nicely. Wil Wheaton’s Chaos gets the best lines and Richard Chamberlain’s Archie, and his approval of Hardison for Parker, was simply elegant. The interactions were seamless, hysterical and so well-written. This cast’s timing is impeccable.

The character development we’ve been longing for showed up in the finale as well. Nate finally seems ready to make some changes, he was able to articulate that he doesn’t want to be like his dad, and he was able to let it go and let natural consequences take care of Dubenich and Latimer. And it was so clear that the team having his back was instrumental in his motivation. Not only at the end, when they were a unified force, but when Sophie gave him “The Gambler” pep talk, and Eliot’s sensitive side came out and made a real impression. Killing someone takes away that person, but also the person you once were. I feel like this speech has been given in some form on every cop show at some point, but the impact has never been as real as when Eliot’s version was delivered to Nate. You know, Dubenich told Nate that he wanted there to be consequences for what Nate has done; I think Dubenich got his wish. I’m very curious to see how Nate will be changed in season five.

This and that:

  • “I want my usual fee plus expenses and Parker dresses up as Starbuck from Battlestar Gallactica.” – Chaos
    “Hey! It’s not happening.” – Hardison
    “I’ll accept Sophie as Counselor Troi.We’ll negotiate on the flight.” – Chaos
  • “Wow, you are super old. Thank you for the history lesson. Maybe later you can tell us about that one time you punched Hitler in the face. …” – Chaos
    “I own two canes: One, with a taser capable of delivering 10,000 volts; the other ¬†extends a 6-inch stiletto blade.” – Archie
    “Which one is, is this one?” – Chaos, referring tot he cane Archie had pressed against his neck
    “Well, I don’t seem to remember; I am super old.” – Archie
    The only thing that quite possibly topped that interaction is when Archie actually does taser Chaos later in the episode.
  • “How many fingers do you need to type? Round down.” – Quinn, irritated with Chaos
  • “Wow. This must be how Eliot feels. I just realized this is how he feels all the time. I just want to hit something.” – Hardison
  • “You know I have a gun.” – Latiner’s goon
    “I know. That’s what makes it fair.” – Eliot, as he attacks
  • It’s not just Hardison who wants them to keep the Batcave … we all do. If they don’t bring the “Eliot Signal” into an episode at some point next season, I will be sorely disappointed.
  • One last wonderment — is it even possible that Jimmy Ford is still alive? Every part of me wants to believe it, and I half-expected to see him walk out onto that overlook with the rest of the team. He is a con, after all. …

 

 

Photo Credit: TNT

3 Responses to “Leverage – Wheaton, Rubinek, Chamberlain and Matchett elevate the finale”

January 16, 2012 at 6:41 PM

This episode was perfect! I loved it. But as for one of your afterthoughts, John Rogers said on his blog that Jimmy Ford is absolutely dead. :-/ RIP

January 20, 2012 at 6:52 PM

yup – as Ali Kat said – John Rodgers has unequivocally stated that Jimmy Ford is dead on his blog Kung Fu Monkey.

I agree with this review that they did a solid job of finishing the season and building the character arcs. Wil Wheaton is always fun, and clearly enjoys playing Chaos. Hardison’s annoyance at him really shows his growth from the beginning of the show – he wasn’t competitive as much as wanting Chaos to grow up and take the situation as seriously as it deserved. the slow growing relationship between Parker and Hardison is nicely reflected in the growth between Sophie and Nate. But they really downplayed Sophie this episode – she deserves to be more than just the jiminy cricket to Nate.

April 26, 2012 at 1:03 AM

I had never watched this show until this month. I am hooked outstanding action reminds me of the Sting. I am currently recording all episodes daily from the past. I am going to purchase DVD’s of past seasons. Great Show

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