Leverage: The Homecoming Job
If you haven’t yet caught up with Leverage on TNT, you are depriving yourself of the best new TV series of 2008.
It’s co-created and produced by John Rogers — who is One Of Us (except, you know, he has a glossy job, a gold resume, a true understanding of physics, plus access to our TVs! — but in all other essential respects he’s Geek!), so you just know it’s something that we’re all gonna love.
Episode 2 aired on Tuesday and I finally saw it this morning, due to, um, time-shifting.
Let me show you some of what you missed. But first, let me roll the credits so everyone can take a bow:
Episode two surprised me by dispensing with a theme visuals roll in favor of credits over the story itself. This is not a trend I like in TV as it deprives us of theme music to hum! (Ah, for the days when TV themes actually made the Top 40 and Top 10!) Nevertheless, bam! we’re now right into the story from the first second.
Some of the dialogue under those credits:
Iraq Veteran: Doc, he’s cool. I found him on the Internet.
Doctor: Yes, that never goes badly.
And then, outside, the doctor berating Nathan with: People just don’t show up to help. That’s not the way the world works.
Rogers is skillful at mixing levity and gravity — and it continues throughout the episode.
Under the directing credit, Nathan calls the team to assemble. None of them are just sitting around waiting for his summons. They all have lives!
Sophie is auditioning:
“I want to be clean!!!”
Guess who that guy on the right is?
Yes! It is John Rogers himself!
Aw, now he’s embarrassed I outed him!
Meanwhile, Eliot is busy …
… tempting death yet again.
And Parker is exercising …
… her thieving skills.
They all assemble back in …
… to discover that Nathan Ford …
… has set up a company with actual offices …
… and a hacked history, with the firm founded in 1913 …
… by Harlan Leverage III.
They also see the new conference room with its Wall of Wonder …
… that has a surprise Eliot just loved!
And now I begin some fast skipping to prevent further spoilerage.
Castleman is, of course, a real-world infamous mercenary group.
Parker ends up on a rooftop again.
And here comes the tech pr0n:
Oh, it gets real puzzly — with phonemes!
Guess the final one needed!
But where did Hardison’s iPhone go to?!!?
Oh yes. Webcams via cellphone. There’s a monster-priced iPhone app!
We have digital tabletry too!
And, of course …
… something going Boom!
There’s also a Harry Stephen Keeler effect: a clutch of cellphones all called at once with streaming video delivered!
Rogers closes the script circle:
Doctor: The world doesn’t work this way.
Nathan: So change the world.
You’ll get misty-eyed. Really!
And then we go into the Cisco Kid denouement, a bit of which is:
Parker: I bought a plant. What do they do?
And did I mention that John Rogers is Geek? Oh yeah …
… Dig. That. Geek!
Well done, everybody!
Rogers really gets away with murder in this script. He must have cackled with glee writing it. And Devlin must have laughed like hell in the editing suite piecing it all toegther.
Rogers is playing with television, doing things that only pieced-together film (or in this case HD video on RED cameras!) can do. He reminds you from time to time that you’re watching TV. That doesn’t distract you, it heightens the thrill. He also outright and blatantly lies to us — over and over. He sets up A only to reveal B, then tells us, no, it’s really C — no, wait, it’s D!! I wouldn’t ever shake hands with him. He’ll wind up with extra fingers!
And now, because this is my blog, dammit, I present some drool-o-licious Parker pr0n, baby!!!
Dear Beth Riesgraf: I do know the difference between you the actress and Parker the character you play, so fear me not!
To all the rest of you: If you’re watching this program and saying to your female roommate, “Except for that jumping off a roof, you’re just like her!” — send her to me!
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