Episode PremiereJanuary 13, 2009
GenreDrama, Thriller, Action
Show Period2008 - 2012
Production CompanyElectric Entertainment
Five years ago, mob boss Nicky Mosconi had a meeting with another mob operative at Brava Cucina, a neighborhood Italian restaurant. The deal the two men were discussing went sour and Mosconi shot and killed the other man while they sat at their dinner table. Ray Palermo, the owner of the restaurant, saw the whole thing happen, much to his misfortune. As the police sirens screamed closer and closer, Mosconi told Ray that he's pinning the murder on him because he owes him. It was Mosconi's money that allowed him to buy the restaurant. Plus, the man who he'd murdered had killed in the past-Ray could make it seem like he shot him out of self-defense. The powers that be would be much more inclined to believe that story coming from a normal citizen than a big time mob boss. Obviously, Ray doesn't like this one bit-he's got a wife and young daughter to take care of at home-but doesn't seem to have a choice. Mosconi isn't willing to negotiate and promises to take care of his family. He takes off, leaving Ray holding his gun as the police knock down the doors.
At Leverage headquarters present day, Theresa, Ray's wife, tearfully explains the story to Sophie while Hardison and Eliot stand at the back of the room. Ray has ten years left on his sentence. Nathan walks into the office, sees Sophie talking to a possible client, and is miffed-he's been the one responsible for choosing the cases and promises to hold a meeting later to go over "how things work around here." Nonetheless, he sits down with Sophie and Theresa, who are friends, to hear the rest of the story. Theresa begged Ray to tell the truth even though it would bring dire consequences, but he refused. To add insult to injury, Mosconi has yet to come through on his promise-he hasn't given the Palermo's a dime in support. As a result, they lost the restaurant and their house.
Theresa pulls out a news article about Mosconi's daughter's upcoming wedding. He gets to marry off his princess while her daughter only knows her father from the other side of bulletproof glass. The crew is touched. . .except for Nathan. He's still mad about Sophie going over his head and tells Theresa that, while she has an unfortunate situation on her hands, they aren't detectives and don't have the ability to prove Ray's innocence. Not one to back down, she tells him that she went to private investigators, but they all laughed at her. Nobody is willing to mess with Mosconi.
Sophie tries to smooth over Nathan's abrasiveness by telling Theresa he's asking what she wants them to do. That's no problem-she wants the money Mosconi promised them before Ray went to prison: a total of $765,000. Since she's already conceded that Ray is going to have to serve the rest of his sentence, Theresa wants to buy the restaurant back to give Ray something to look forward to. Still, Nathan holds his ground and says they'll get back to her. Theresa obliges. Now, where did her daughter go. . .?
She's with Parker, learning how to pick locks. She has her best time down to six seconds, which everybody, including her horrified mother, gets to see firsthand.
Later, Sophie and Nathan butt heads. Nathan doesn't want to take the job. It's not their typical fare, and, in any case, Ray should've thought twice before getting involved with the mob. Sophie disagrees. Theresa doesn't just want the money back; she wants to get some retribution on the man that ruined her family. Hardison, trying to go at it at a different angle, suggests taking the mob element out of it. By doing so, it becomes a case of breach of contract: Mosconi had a verbal agreement with Ray-if the restaurant owner went to prison instead of the mob boss, he'd compensate his family monetarily. But he never came through. Ray and his family can't take Mosconi to court in this case, obviously, so they have nowhere to turn. This is where the Leverage crew typically comes in to save the day.
But Nathan wants to know, why Theresa?
Sophie takes this one: Because she's planning on waiting 15 years for Ray to get out of prison. That's a long time for someone to keep the faith.
Nathan, still not entirely sold, agrees to the case even though it'll require them to rob a coldblooded mob boss.
The crew begins casing the Mosconi mansion from afar. It's every bit as much the fortress all mob street enforcers hope to achieve some day. Multiple armed guards patrol the place and an unhackable security system is in place-it's the type of program that Israeli military bases use, which puts it a bit out of Hardison's league. Lucky for them, the FBI is running surveillance out of a "Plumber" van outside the house. Since they don't want to go into this job blind, they'll be "borrowing" whatever the feds can give them.
Hardison and Parker approach the two FBI men in the van as Special Agents Thomas and Hagram, respectively. Hardison/Thomas tells them that Parker/Hagram is fresh out of Quantico and he's giving her a tour of the hotspots around the country. He also tells them that he's "passing their memo up the chain," knowing full well that FBI field agents are always sending all sorts of memos, hoping to receive some sort of validation from headquarters. This wins their favor and they don't think twice about letting Hardison/Thomas and Parker/Hagram into the van.
Inside, Parker does what she does best and snags the ID badge off of one agent while flirtatiously distracting him. She hands it to Hardison, who's busy working the other one for information. As it turns out, they only planted one bug inside Mosconi's place. Hardison/Thomas isn't impressed, but feigns excitement for the well-being of their situation. The bug, however, isn't working too well. Hardison/Thomas, offering to try his hand at the problem, "fixes" it by placing his own bug on the FBI's equipment and swiping the ID badge on one of their scanners. This sends an image of it directly to his computer, where Eliot makes a fake ID for himself. As the real federal agents and the fake ones part, Parker/Hagram "picks up" her mark's ID badge off of the ground and clips it back onto the completely smitten fed.
Later, in the Federal Building, Eliot is guided to the room where the server holding the Mosconi files is located by Hardison, who sits comfortably at Leverage headquarters. All Eliot will have to do is plug Hardison's flash drive into the server and it'll do the rest. This is a very good thing, as Eliot isn't too good with computers. Lucky for him, unlucky for his escape plan, he definitely won't have to worry about it in this case-when he opens the cabinet that supposedly holds the Mosconi server, all he finds is stacks and stacks of cassette tapes. It seems that FBI never put any of their Mosconi surveillance into any sort of database. This poses a major problem: how is Eliot going to get out of the building while holding armloads of tapes?
Quite easily, actually. Hardison sets the fire alarm off and Eliot begins grabbing tapes. Why didn't they just do that in the first place?
Back at headquarters, a worn-out Hardison fills the crew in about what he heard while listening to 74 hours worth of Mosconi surveillance. Besides hearing that Jersey Boys is a really, really, really, really good movie, he also discovered that Mosconi keeps all of his money in offshore accounts under his wife's name, Heather. He bristles when Nathan asks him if he can break the codes-of course he can't. Bank accounts in the Caymans are where mobsters, African dictators, and other really bad dudes keep their money. They don't use those types of accounts because they like islands; they use them because they're impossible to crack.
Nathan known Mosconi must keep some liquid assets somewhere, but where? Based on deliveries to the mansion, declared income, and his spending habits, Hardison estimates that he has around $2 million in cash in his house. So, they're back at the beginning: How do they get into the mansion?
The answer is on the tapes. Mosconi and his wife have been arguing about the wedding for weeks. She's overwhelmed by the big production that it's turned into, especially because the nuptials are supposed to be exchanged in two days.
Sophie meets Heather on the Mosconis' doorstep as Ruby Holden, the wedding planner that her husband apparently hired to help her with the workload. Heather is as sassy and feisty as Sophie is cool, calm and collected. She buys Sophie/Ruby's story, but doesn't believe that she can fix the widespread idiocy that has become the wedding planning in two days. That's no problem, though-Sophie/Ruby comes complete with her very own crew made up of a reverend, a chef, a florist, and a tailor. They're in.
Inside, Sophie brings on an awkward moment with Nathan when he asks her, "Where are we at?" Sophie, for reasons becoming clearer and clearer as each case comes and goes, assumes he's referring to the two of them. She freaks out, saying she doesn't know, they work together everyday, it's complicated, etc. When he tells her he asked in regards to finding where Mosconi keeps his money, she resets, tells him Parker thinks it's in the wall safe upstairs (which turns out to be wrong), and exits. Nathan shakes it off.
In the kitchen, Eliot the Chef is busy cutting onions. While Nathan's disappointed that he hasn't begun looking for the money, he's utterly impressed by Eliot's cutlery skills. Apparently, he isn't just the hired muscle-this dude knows his way around a kitchen. Unfortunately, Heather doesn't agree and likens his hors d'oeuvres to that of something served in a food court. Nathan manages to calm him down after she exits and tells him to look for the money.
Outside, the FBI agents in the Plumber van comment on how they saw a bunch of people go into the house, but don't really know what's going on because all they can hear is the sprinkler. The one bug they planted wasn't placed in a very good spot, obviously.
Inside, Hardison the Florist walks around the each room placing bugs in conspicuous and useful locations. . .
Sophie walks in as Parker the Tailor adjusts a bridesmaid's dress. When the maid of honor asks if it makes her look fat, Sophie says no. Parker, always the people-person, doesn't give the same answer, however: Of course it does-otherwise the waist wouldn't have had to be let out. Duh.
Nathan the Reverend is invited into the bar room by Mosconi, who's having a drink with his future son-in-law, Adam. When offered a drink, Nathan declines at first, but he's easily swayed into having one. They both thank him for agreeing to do the wedding on such short notice, as the local clergy refused because of what they called Mosconi's questionable business practices. Adam is more mouse than man-he went whale watching for his bachelor party-and this clearly disappoints Mosconi. When he leaves the room, Mosconi tells Nathan that he had just offered Adam $200,000 to disappear, but he refused to take it. When he says that he knows it's not very Christian of him, Nathan says the two of them have more in common than he thinks. When one of Mosconi's subordinates walks in to tell his boss that his "friend from Brooklyn" is on the phone, Nathan exits and tells Hardison to tap into the call.
The crew hears is quite a heated exchange. Mosconi growls at the person on the other end of the phone. If he wants the money so bad, he can get it at the wedding reception. Nathan surmises that this deal is going to involve most of the cash Mosconi has at the house, so they have to find it before it can go down. This isn't going to be easy, though; not only will they have to find the money, but they'll also have to run the wedding and get the cash out without 200 guests seeing it. When faced with this realization, Nathan goes off on a rant about how much of a con job a wedding really is with the overproduction and the dresses and the guests and the gifts. The rest of the crew agree and finds his outburst hilarious. . .except for Sophie. She looks off into space longingly, as if she'd get married tomorrow if possible, then slights Nathan: "Aren't you romantic?" she says.
Right after Nathan's tirade against weddings, Hardison and Eliot talk about them in the kitchen. Hardison says he can't imagine ever getting officially married, but Eliot reveals that he came close once with someone with whom he grew up. What happened? Apparently, liberating Croatia was more important at the time.
It's wedding day. As everything is getting set up and ready for the show, Hardison walks in on Parker zipping up into a bridesmaid dress. Why? She says that wearing that is like having an all-access pass to the wedding. He helps her put the finishing touches on and pins a corsage to her chest. Before she leaves the room, Hardison says she looks "perfect." She's beyond flattered.
Downstairs in the kitchen, Heather is on the phone yelling at someone who was unwise enough to call her. Nathan walks in, but is quickly shushed away. Her flipping out is constructive, in a way-it gives Hardison more time to plant more bugs all over the house. He opens up his computer and, bam, he now can listen in to audio surveillance all over the place.
Wedding guests begin arriving and Nathan recognizes one of them-Sergei, "The Butcher of Kiev." He tells the crew to drop what its doing and meet him outside, but Sophie is delayed. She finds the bride, Maria, sobbing over the fact that her wedding is exactly the opposite of what she wanted. She pictured a small, intimate affair, but Heather forced her into this extravagant production, mostly because it would suit her father's business purposes. It's like her opinions didn't even matter. Sophie, trying to console her, lets her feelings get a little too mixed up into it. Her main piece of advice?
"Do not put your faith in a man."
A very confused Maria listens to Sophie as she goes off on a tirade about men not communicating or taking a woman's feelings into account. They're emotionally vacant-all they care about is "the job," according to Sophie. Some guy has gotten to her and it's pretty clear who that guy is. . .
Sophie storms out of the room, leaving Maria befuddled and feeling even worse.
Outside, Eliot receives some bad news: he's told that The Butcher is at the wedding. As it turns out, the two of them had a little run-in back in the day and it wasn't pleasant. The Butcher promised he'd kill Eliot. Nathan is more than ticked off. How did Hardison miss a world class killer getting an invite to the wedding during his 74 hours of listening to FBI surveillance? His defense: nobody on the guest list made the FBI raise a red flag (Little does he know that almost every guest RSVPed with a pseudonym and the two field agents in the Plumber van never bothered to do their research).
Nathan has no choice but to pull the plug on the case. A murderer who will recognize Eliot is at the party and they're not prepared for it. Everyone is to meet him out front after they pack up their stuff. Sophie refuses and takes a stand for Theresa and Maria. She seems to think Nathan's fear of intimacy is driving him away from the case, not The Butcher. Solid in her position, Sophie says she'll do it by herself if necessary.
Fine, she wins.
Nathan tells Sophie, Parker and Hardison to find the money, and advises Eliot to stay away from The Butcher. He himself has to go officiate a wedding. . .
. . .and it doesn't go well. As the bride and groom stand on the altar, his true feelings about wedding bonds come through in his "sermon." He scoffs at the very idea of marriage. Like any bad contract, he implores, one person always invests more and gets the short end of the stick in the end. Sophie looks on in horror as the crowd cringes at his callousness.
Inside, Parker reports that they have yet to find the money to Eliot, but he's more concerned with playing chef and poaching his peaches at the moment. There's only one place left where the cash could be-the screening room.Back at the service, Nathan goes on, despite Adam trying to stop him amidst the groans of the crowd. It's surprising that the high-strung Heather hasn't murdered him yet, but it can't be far off now. Finally, Nathan subconsciously gets to his point. He says some people need time before they can start dating someone from their past again. That's when he looks up at Sophie, who's teary-eyed. Realizing what he's done, Nathan snaps out of it and tries to talk his way out of the huge mess he's created.
Somehow, he pulls it off by saying that Maria and Adam don't have to worry about all of the bad things that can ruin a marriage. He knows by the way he looks at her that he knows she's made him a better man. Nathan can also tell she knows the same. Now that Adam has met her, he can't go back to anything else. After saying this, Nathan looks up at Sophie and smiles; he probably wasn't just talking about Adam and Maria there. When he pronounces them man and wife, the crowds breaks into applause. Even the hard-nosed Heather is in tears, but soon thereafter, it's back to business for her husband. Mosconi stands and leads The Butcher away from the crowd.
Inside, Parker picks the lock to the screening room and snoops around.
Nathan tells the crew that Mosconi is about to go make the deal and everyone takes their places. Hardison listens in to Mosconi's conversation-The Butcher says he has a meeting in London in the morning and his plane awaits. Eliot sees them heading towards the screening room and gives Parker the heads up. Unfortunately, she still hasn't found the money, but it's too late for her to try and sneak out of the room. Uh-oh.
Thankfully, she ducks behind a curtain right before the two men walk into the room.
Mosconi says he doesn't like doing business on the day of his daughter's wedding, but The Butcher speaks of the "deals" he has going down on three continents and his policy of not working on credit. The mob boss opens a secret compartment and pulls out a locked briefcase that holds the cash he's received as from his union, which has "fat" contracts with Homeland Security. Unfortunately for him, it's empty when he opens it. Needless to say, The Butcher puts a gun to his head unhappy about this turn of events. Mosconi threatens to call his men; The Butcher threatens to tell his men to start shooting up the wedding. Parker reports all of this to the crew from her hiding spot through her ear bud.
Nathan tells her to sit tight until he figures out what's going on and then fills Sophie in. Someone has beaten them to the money-this person set Mosconi up to hand The Butcher an empty briefcase. He scans the party for possible perpetrators and his eye lands on the feistiest of them all-Heather. He remembers overhearing part of the phone call she was having in the kitchen before the wedding when she shushed him out. She was yelling, "It's in the screening room!" He sends Sophie to retrieve her cell phone so they can look at the call log. . .
Back in the screening room, things worsen for Mosconi. The Butcher reveals that the man the mob boss shot in Ray's restaurant was his brother. Mosconi doesn't deny it; in fact, he pretty much apologizes for it out of fear for his life. Then The Butcher's phone rings. When he answers, nobody says anything on the other line. . .
. . .because it's Sophie and Nathan calling from Heather's phone. Now things are really getting interesting. Nathan tells Eliot to head to the screening room and he obliges, but he's cut off by The Butcher's men before he can make it. One of the thugs remembers him from their past meeting, and with good reason-his scarred face is the work of Eliot burning him with a flaming log. The three men surround him in the kitchen as the burned dude pulls out a cleaver. . .
. . .back outside, Nathan explains Heather's con to Sophie. She didn't do it for the briefcase full of money. She did it so when Mosconi couldn't come up with the money, The Butcher would kill him. With her husband out of the way by means other than divorce, she gets access to all of his offshore accounts. They're in her name, after all. Nathan notices, she's disappeared, though. Sophie goes to find her. . .
. . .while in the kitchen, Eliot fights off his attackers. He easily dispatches two of the thugs, but the burned dude is a bit more work. With the help of various kitchen appliances and utensils, Eliot holds his own.
In the screening room, Mosconi promises he can get the cash if he's allowed to make one phone call, but The Butcher denies him this. Before something drastic can happen, Parker stumbles out from behind the curtains acting like a drunken bridesmaid. Babbling like an idiot and playing the part quite well, she tells Mosconi that everyone is looking for him; he needs to come outside. Not quite sure how to react to the hammered young woman, Mosconi can't do anything but follow her out of the room when she yells, "HE'S IN HERE!" Before he steps out, The Butcher assures him that he'll kill everyone at the wedding if he talks about what just took place in the screening room.
Meanwhile, Eliot still works on getting rid of the burned dude, who still holds a knife. When Eliot reaches behind him to get his own weapon, his adversary laughs at what he grabs: an egg beater.
Outside, the maid of honor is making her speech, which is less than entertaining. When Parker lets Hardison know that Mosconi and The Butcher are trying to sneak out of the wedding, he reacts accordingly. He grabs the mic from the maid of honor, tells her she looks beautiful in her dress, and calls to Mosconi. With the crowd looking on, Mosconi has no choice but to follow Hardison to the dance floor to dance with his daughter. The Butcher is none-too-pleased.
The battle in the kitchen rages on, but the burned dude gains the advantage and begins choking Eliot. Grasping for anything within his reach, Eliot grabs a couple of his hors d'oeuvres and shoves them in his attacker's eye.
"It burns!" he yells.
Lucky for Eliot, the recipe called for lemon juice. He didn't do it with flames this time, but Eliot still managed to burn that dude once again. He smashes him on the head with a serving tray while he writhes in pain for good measure and knocks him out just as Nathan strolls in with a duffel bag full of money. He tosses Eliot a set of car keys and tells him to put the bag in the trunk of the car to which they belong.
Outside, Hardison ends the wedding by jumping on the mic again. He tells the crowd that a storm is brewing in the Rockies and, if Maria and Adam want to make it to their honeymoon safely, they need to go now. Right after Parker leads the newlyweds out, Mosconi calls his men over to The Butcher. Nathan whispers in the killer's ear "You are a dead man" in his native tongue and tells him that his men are in the kitchen. Mosconi's thugs then lead him off in that direction rather ominously.
Sophie, meanwhile, has located Heather. She confronts her and tells her that her scheme is about to be discovered by her husband. Heather, never one to back down, hits Sophie with a purse the size of Lake Erie, runs to her car, and takes off.
In the kitchen, Nathan is pouring himself a drink when Mosconi bursts in asking about his wife. He tells him that she left. Mosconi exits as the rest of the crew walks in. What the hell is going on?
Moments later, they see on the kitchen phone that Mosconi is making a phone call from his library. Nathan picks it up and hands it to Hardison, who hears Mosconi giving account numbers and password changes to all of his offshore accounts. Now that Heather has run off, he thinks he's protecting his money from her. Unfortunately, with Hardison on the line listening to everything, he's not protecting it from everybody. The Leverage crew will soon have access to all of his money.
But where's the duffel bag with the actual cash in it?
The car keys Nathan handed Eliot belong to the newlyweds' car. When they pulled away from the wedding, they didn't realize that they have hundreds of thousands of dollars in their trunk. That'll make for a nice honeymoon surprise.
Later, as they're getting ready to leave, Nathan confirms that Mosconi's accounts have been cleaned out with Hardison, but he tells him that they haven't been completed drained.
"I left him five dollars for socks," Hardison says.
Nathan the Reverend has a conversation with Mosconi after that. He asks if he's heard from Heather. He hasn't and speaks of his disgust at her breaking her vows on a wedding day. Nathan alludes to an age-old adage-what you do to others will eventually come back around. Before walking off, Nathan hands Mosconi his Bible and tells him to keep it. Even if he's a busy guy, he never knows when he might need it. . .
At Brava Cucina, the crew surprises Theresa by getting it all set up and ready for business. Sophie hands her the keys-the place is all hers once again.
Hardison has another surprise up his sleeve. He shows Theresa the news story playing on his laptop. It's being reported that Mosconi has been arrested for the five-year-old restaurant murder. But how did the FBI find out about it?
When Hardison helped Parker zip her bridesmaid dress up and pinned that corsage on her, it wasn't just a regular flower. It had the FBI's one bug planted inside of it. When The Butcher talked about Mosconi killing his brother in the screening room and the mob boss copped to it, Parker was recording their conversation! With that sort of evidence in the books, it won't be long until Ray finally comes home. . .