TNT's 2-Hour Leverage Block Wraps with Orchestra-Timed Heist
· Timothy Hutton
· Christian Kane
· Beth Riesgraf
· Aldis Hodge
· Gina Bellman
· Elisabetta Canalis
· Giancarlo Esposito
· Nnamdi Asomugha
Television Review: Leverage, "The Scheherazade Job"
by R.J. Carter
Published: June 27, 2010
The latest client to approach the Leverage team brings a whole country of political intrigue with her. Her concern is well-founded, because the man in line to buy the next election in this small African country is the current president's brother -- only without the scruples of his statesman sibling. He's a diamond smuggler with blood on his hands. He's also in tight with the CIA because he provides names of potential Al-Qaeda terrorists.
To defund the man's campaign plans, Nate (Timothy Hutton) plans to steal his prized possession -- an original Stradivarius violin. But the vault, according to Parker (Beth Riesgraf), is impenetrable unless the sonic detectors are turned off, which they only are whenever a particularly loud concert is played in the hall upstairs. So, as Nate would say, "Let's steal us an orchestra."
Plotwise, this one seems a straight-out heist, but as always there are unexpected wrinkles in the way. This time, the focus is on hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), who has dreams of running his own crew someday, only to be dismayed when Nate tells him he doesn't have what it takes. But that's not Alec's most pressing matter: he's grifting the mark (Giancarlo Esposito) pretending to be a violin prodigy from the home country, which thrusts him into the spotlight when he's got 24 hours to prepare to play the closing solo of "Scheherazade."
Elisabetta Canalis also makes an appearance this episode as the mysterious Italian who has blackmailed the Leverage crew into working a larger con for her over the course of this third season. And Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha takes on a role as a bodyguard, which makes for some fun fight scenes between himself and Leverage's hunky heartthrob hitter, Elliot (Christian Kane), a fight also uniquely timed to the music playing above.
In the grand scheme of the Leverage series, "The Sheherazade Job" has more than its share of disappointments, but to list them here would spoil far too much of the plot, and particularly would give away the big reveal. However, it's a small failure of the writing, and certainly nothing that gets in the way of this ensemble cast doing what they do best -- conning the audience into believing that the impossible can be done with just a little planning and a well-trained crew.
Leverage, "The Scheherazade Job" premieres Sunday, June 27, at 10pm (ET/PT), wrapping up a two-hour block that begins with "The Inside Job."