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Leverage

Episode 1.02 : The Homecoming Job

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

December 09, 2008

Distributor

TNT

Genre

Drama, Thriller, Action

Show Period

2008 - 2012

Production Company

Electric Entertainment

Cast and Crew


Director

Dean Devlin

Screenwriter

John Rogers

Main Cast


Additional Cast

  • Candice Cunningham
  • Tisha Terrasini Banker
  • Lee Reherman

Synopsis


Nathan Ford watches a homemade video, as recorded by Corporal Robert Perry of the US Army while he was at war in Iraq. It was intended to be a "letter" to his then-fiance, Jenny, back in the States. As Cpl. Perry jokes with another soldier in his unit, the camera pans over to a group of private contractors from Castleman Security loading a truck and, suddenly, heavy gunfire erupts. The camera drops, as does Cpl. Perry's motionless body, right in front of the lens.

Cpl. Perry now sits in a wheelchair across from Nathan in a hospital filled with wounded military veterans. The injury to his legs is the result of the attack recorded on the video. He reveals that, while he's not angry about Jenny breaking up with him, he does want one thing-the rehab he can't afford. It's going to be a long road to recovery for him and, because it was Castleman contractors who shot him, he wants them to pay for his treatment. Unfortunately, this is not going to be an easy feat. When the Army investigated the shooting, they determined that it had been insurgents who attacked the soldier-mostly because Castleman had refused to cooperate with their investigation. No one said otherwise because Castleman has done a good deal of work for the government over the years. After sharing this much, Cpl. Perry's doctor interrupts them...

...and promptly escorts Nathan outside. Not only is she distrustful of Nathan, but she clearly does not appreciate him getting Cpl. Perry's hopes up. The hospital does not have enough money to treat him, or most of the other armed service reservists, so there's no hope of him receiving the treatment he needs. Despite Nathan's reassurances that he's not there running a scam, but actually trying to help, she storms off to go tell Cpl. Perry that, because of the money situation, he's going to be sent home with no further treatment. She leaves Nathan with these words: "People don't just show up to help. That's not the way the world works."

With that, Nathan calls Hardison and instructs him to call their old crew members, who are spread across the world attempting to do their own things...

...When Sophie receives the call, she's in Hollywood in the middle of an audition which, to say the least, is not going well at all-she makes community theater look like Tony-winning material...

...Eliot has just finished pulling a job in Berlin and being double crossed by his partner when his phone begins ringing. Luckily, it's the perfect diversion to get out of a sticky situation...

...Parker is in Monaco doing what she does best-stealing a painting...

...Soon thereafter, all three stroll through the office doors of Leverage Consulting and Assoc.-the crew's brand new digs. Hardison appears and explains that this is their new cover. The company comes complete with a fake history-it was founded in 1913 by Harland Leverage III-and is totally legitimate as far as all governmental and tax agencies are concerned. Each of them is registered as full partners in the firm, with real pension plans, employment records and offices. This is all thanks to Hardison's great aptitude for working the system with his technological prowess...and Nathan's funding. As it turns out, after giving most of the money he earned from the Nigerian job, he used what was left over to create Leverage Consulting.

Hardison takes them into the main conference room, which he has wired into every important database in the world...and every sports channel known to man. After he familiarizes them with it, Nathan walks in and they watch the video Cpl. Perry made in Iraq. Eliot shows off his knowledge of guns and, based on just the sounds of the gun blasts on the video, assures the crew that it was Castleman contractors that shot up the unit. Hardison then fills in some information about Castleman-it's a multibillion dollar company run by Charles DuFort and has US government contracts across the world. While Eliot worries that it's going to be tough to take on a private army, Nathan reveals the company's weakness-keeping the lies straight to maintain a cover up of this magnitude is extremely difficult. All they have to do is steal the evidence and blackmail Castleman into paying for Cpl. Perry's treatment. Should be no problem for a group of thieves like them...

To begin, the Nathan, Sophie and Eliot run game at a private dinner party put on by Castleman for Congressman Robert Jenkins, a man who has become central to their operations. Sophie interrupts a conversation about a new appropriations bill between DuFort and the congressman as Lily McReady, a representative from Executive Orders-a London-based defense contractor. DuFort is somewhat surprised, and a bit suspicious, at the fact that this company would send someone to this party to speak with Congressman Jenkins. After all, they don't have any business with the US government-that's Castleman territory thanks to Appropriations Bill 718. When he calls Sophie/Lily out on this, she candidly interjects that her "employer" might be interested in changing the playing field. Deciding that he likes her, DuFort reveals that he finds "buying" a congressman to be one of the best long term investments a corporation can make.

Nathan wants more information on this appropriations bill, so it's convenient that Hardison and Parker have broken into DuFort's office across town. However, Hardison can't access DuFort's computer without a special security card. DuFort has this on him, so, while he's busy revealing the fact that he thinks "buying" a congressman is one of the best long term investments a corporation can make, Nathan, Sophie/Lily, and Eliot (who's none-too-pleased about playing the part of a server), pull a little three-man pickpocket job on DuFort. Done and done. Hardison now has his security code and he's in. The next step is getting Parker access to the voice-activated safe in DuFort's office. Eliot works his magic once again as the bumbling server to get the proper tones from DuFort's voice to get into the safe. What both Hardison and Parker find is stunning-Castleman has spent a great deal of time studying Cpl. Perry's personal, educational and medical history and spent great deal of money Cpl. Perry running surveillance on him since he returned from Iraq. Learning this brings Nathan to a startling conclusion: the Castleman cover up isn't about the shooting, it's about the trucks they were loading on the Iraq video and Cpl. Perry is caught in the middle as a witness. Nathan and the crew head to the hospital where he's staying because, as Nathan says, Castleman isn't the kind of company that keeps witnesses alive...

Nathan and Sophie rush through the hospital and collect Cpl. Perry, while Eliot searches for the Castleman thugs that might be there to kill him. After a brief and extremely painful encounter with Eliot, the would-be killers are knocked out and the four of them escape unscathed. Back at Leverage headquarters, the crew goes through what Eliot took from one of the attackers and they find that they were planning to make Cpl. Perry's death look like a suicide. Nathan, enjoying a drink, lets them know that Cpl. Perry has been placed in a safe house. The other four are not as relaxed as their fearless leader and show major apprehension towards continuing with this mission now that they know they're facing certified killers. Nathan admonishes the crew. After all, it was they, not he, who asked for another mission. Feeling guilty and a bit reprimanded, they agree to finish this one job. That's it, though. No more after this.

A plan is then formulated. Since Sophie knows Congressman Jenkins is lying about not being aware of the Castleman shooting in Iraq through her conversation with him at the party and Nathan thinks the best way to get secret information out of two people is to pit them again one another, they decide to push DuFort and Congressman Jenkins onto each other's bad sides. After coming to this decision, Sophie, hoping to keep her boss sober and perhaps save a little face in the meantime, takes Nathan's alcohol away from him.

The following day, Sophie/Lily meets with Congressman Jenkins in Washington DC and Nathan meets with DuFort in Los Angeles as Tommy Abrams, an assistant to Congressman Calloway from upstate. While Sophie/Lily attempts to get her mark to waver on his support of Castleman on the new Appropriations Bill 718 by focusing on their habit of being fickle, Nathan/Tommy does his best to make DuFort think that the congressman that's been in his pocket for so many years is no longer a solid supporter as he once was. He makes sure to mention that Congressman Jenkins had agreed to meet with a representative from Executive Orders in Washington and Sophie/Lily makes sure to make reference to the phone calls Castleman failed to return to their supposed #1 guy on the Hill as of late. At the end of their respective meetings, Nathan/Tommy and Sophie/Lily have achieved their goal-DuFort and Jenkins are no longer comfortable bedfellows.

While Eliot does a good job in messing with Congressman Jenkins' home improvement plans-plans he's able to afford because of Castleman bribes-by canceling all materials shipments, Nathan and Hardison watch the next step come to fruition. It involves Parker adding the crew's own little supplement onto Appropriations Bill 718, which basically eliminates Castleman from the defense contracts it's enjoyed over the years. Of course, Parker has little trouble infiltrating the floor of the House of Representatives and getting this done. Leverage Consulting has now officially altered US legislation.

Later that day, the crew hears the result of this effort, as they listen to a recorded phone call that took place between DuFort and Congressman Jenkins. In the heated exchange, not only is it revealed that all of the defense earmarks for Castleman's services were removed from the bill, but Congressman Jenkins also gives the crew a huge clue as to the deal with Castleman's trucks. As it turns out, he himself cleared one of Castleman's shipments that came from Iraq right after the shooting himself and it now sits at the Port of Los Angeles in storage container 541, waiting to be moved in two days...

The following day, Nathan and Sophie hang outside of the container yard while Hardison, Eliot, and Parker attempt to access the locked and heavily guarded container 541. After Parker successfully picks the lock, they're surprised what they find inside-hundreds upon hundreds or stacks of US currency. Back at Leverage headquarters, they determine around $2-$3 million sits in the container. Everyone wonders how that much American money got to be in Iraq and Nathan has the answer-the US sent it there. He tells them that, at the beginning of the Iraq war, the insurance company he worked for in his past life helped insure the biggest currency transfer in history. Billions of US cash was sent to Iraq to pay for the reconstruction effort. At some point, $9 billion of it went missing. This is what the Castleman contractors were loading into the trucks and what some of them assumed Cpl. Perry saw through the lens of his video camera-this is why they started shooting. Why does a billionaire dollar company like Castleman want this money? Well, because it's cold hard cash for one thing, but it's also a valuable asset when it comes to money laundering. They use the stolen money to get a congressman elected, the congressman gets them no bid contracts with the government, and the government then pays them for their defense services with legal money. Castleman has turned the US government into one big money laundering scam.

After taking all of this in, the crew wonders how they're going to steal all of that money. Nathan, however, lets them know that they're not going to steal it, but give it back. After all, they're the good guys now, much to they're visible chagrin...

The day the money is to be moved, they return to the Port of Los Angeles. Nathan and Sophie distract the security guards watching container 541 by doing a great impression of an obnoxious tourist couple, leis and all. This allows Parker to sneak in. Eliot, manning the security booth, encounters Congressman Jenkins, who is on a mission to find his missing home improvement supplies that somehow weren't shipped...Eliot, as the kindly security guard, hands him a key and a map depicting where he can find his mahogany cabinets.

On the other side of the yard, Parker employs an effective way of opening the locked container-with explosives. The resulting ball of flames is less than somewhat discreet and, when they see no money in the blown-open container, security guards go after a white moving truck that sped away from the scene right after the explosion. They manage to converge on the truck, which is being driven by Hardison, stop it, and force him from the driver's seat.

Meanwhile, DuFort has shown up to oversee the move of the money and is less than pleased when he's told by his head of security that it's gone. He's even more displeased to find Congressman Jenkins standing in front of the empty container (Does he think his cabinets were in there?)-both men exchange heated words, thanks to their being manipulated by Lily McReady and Tommy Abrams. That's when the press shows up, asking Congressman Jenkins if he's standing in front of the container he called about. He, of course, never called the media about any container...

This is also about the time Hardison is forced to open the back of his truck to reveal...nothing, absolutely nothing. The truck is completely empty. So if the money's not back there and it's not in the container...

...Parker must not have blown open container 541. The CNN reporter points this out when she swings the door shut to show the 542 painted on the side of the empty container. The wool had been completely pulled over their corrupt eyes. The one they're looking for, the one Congressman Jenkins "called about," sits unopened right next to it. The reporter also points out that he's holding the key to the lock-the key Eliot the kindly security guard handed him at the gate. How fortunate. With the cameras rolling, Congressman Jenkins can do nothing but open the container and show everyone the millions of dollars hidden in there. Of course, they attempt to explain their way out of it by saying they uncovered a plot to smuggle money into the US weeks ago, but a well-timed phone call to every cell within a three-mile radius takes care of that lie. What the media hears is the incriminating conversation between DuFort and Congressman Jenkins regarding the movement of the container-the one the crew had heard at headquarters. This all looks pretty bad for the two crooked players. Career-ending bad. Prison time bad...

The crew makes one last stop-at Cpl. Perry's hospital. They bring him and his doctor out to the white truck from the container yard. Again, it's opened to reveal nothing in the back...or is it? Hardison tears away the "empty truck" backdrop to reveal hundreds of hidden stacks of cash. The crew is giving the money back to US taxpayers-injured taxpayers who need serious (and expensive) medical treatment. Cpl. Perry is stunned, but thankful, and his doctor, who can't believe what she's seeing, finally gets it-people can just show up and help. The world can work like that...

The smiles on the faces of the partners of Leverage Consulting and Assoc. say it all-giving the money back wasn't so hard. Maybe being the good guys isn't that bad after all. Maybe, just maybe, they're in it for one or two more jobs...

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