Television Review: Leverage, "The Miracle Job"
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(L-R): Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Timothy Hutton, Aldis Hodge, Beth Riesgraf
image copyright 2008, Turner Broadcasting System
by R.J. Carter
Published: December 23, 2008
It's the most wonderful time of the year, when even a group of thieves turning their talents over to the side of the angels can feel even a little more altruistic than usual. In this holiday episode of TNT's Leverage, viewers are introduced to an old friend of Nathan Ford's (played by Timothy Hutton) -- Father Paul (D.B. Sweeney) of St. Nicholas Church, providing even more interesting history of Leverage's business leader.
St. Nicholas's has fallen on hard times these days, and the land is within days of being sold to a developer. As Father Paul tries to prevent this, he ends up being mugged, which prompts Nathan's ex-wife to call him in for assistance. Although Father Paul resists Nathan's efforts, fatalistically assuming that whatever the fate of the church is the result of God's plan, Nathan decides he can help move God's plan along.
Like previous episodes, "The Miracle Job" takes advantage of opportunities to reveal more backstory to the characters that are really beginning to endear themselves to the viewers. The twisted yet childlike Parker (Beth Riesgraf) continues to see the statue of St. Nicholas as a representation of Santa Claus, and it's for this that she lends her efforts to the cause. It's not until the end when Sophie (Gina Bellman) lets Parker know who Nicholas truly is, and why he should have a special meaning for them all.
Ford's big idea to save the church is to drum up publicity that the developer won't be able to overcome -- and the best way to drum up publicity for a church is to perform a miracle. A reluctant Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) provides the necessary techniques, complaining about commiting a mortal sin the whole time. The miracle, however, works -- too well, in fact, as the Vatican sends forth an apostolic visitation ("Like the Pope's CSI," explains Ford) to investigate. Now the team is going to need a real miracle to save Father Paul, St. Nicholas's, and themselves.
Leverage continues to be smart and entertaining. It's always fun to see how the team infiltrates their mark and sets him up, and "The Miracle Job" is no exception as the greedy developer pays for his sins -- nobody's going to beat up a priest on this team's watch and get away with it.
Leverage, "The Miracle Job" debuts on TNT Tuesday, December 23, 10pm|9pmc.