Television Review: Leverage, "The Mile High Job"
· Official Leverage Website
· IMDb: Leverage
(L-R): Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Timothy Hutton, Aldis Hodge, Beth Riesgraf
image copyright 2008, Turner Broadcasting System
by R.J. Carter
Published: January 20, 2009
When an agricultural company covers up results that their fertilizer product may cause health concerns, Leverage gets involved at the request of one of the tragically effected families. But it's not just money the crew is looking to extract -- that the company impacted the life of a child makes this case personal for team leader Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton), who decides that the company is not just going to pay -- it's going to be taken down.
Learning that the company is sending assets to the Cayman Islands for liquidation, the team -- minus IT genie, Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) -- board the same plane with the intent to seek out those assets before the plane can land. (Trivia: When Hardison asks Nathan what false identification papers he has available on his person, Nathan responds that he can be Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, or Tom Baker, with Sophie (Gina Bellman) adding that she has papers for a Sarah Jane Baker. Doctor Who fans everywhere would like to thank the writing staff.)
With Nathan and Sophie flying first class as a married couple -- complete with some actual bickering over events in their lives, hinting less than subtly at the growing sexual tension between them -- martial artist Eliot (Christian Kane) is stuck flying coach, with the sociopathic Parker (Beth Riesgraf) hilariously taking over the role of a flight attendand. No one could possibly be less of a people person than Parker, and it's this kind of levity that keeps Leverage high on my viewing list -- it's an action drama with a light touch, but not so light that it devolves into becoming The A-Team.
Unfortunately for the team, they discover that the assets being liquidated are quite different than what they anticipated, and all their lives are in imminent danger, unless Hardison -- operating alone back on the mainland -- can perform hacker magic on a plane in flight! To do his part, Hardison insinuates himself into the corporate structure of the agriculture company, spoofing office politics and relationships with an Eddie Murphy flair.
Leverage, "The Mile High Job" premieres January 20, 2009 on TNT, 10/9c.