On his way to work in the morning, an overweight, unshaven money manager for McTeague Capital investments sloppily chomps on a breakfast burrito as he sings along with the radio. An empty liquor bottle, along with various food wrappers, adorns the passenger seat. After arriving at McTeague, he strolls through the hallways, making pleasant small talk about softball games and the song he just heard on the way there. When, Pam, a coworker, alerts him that she had to tell "them everything," his mood hits a quick decline-he glances into his office and sees a few men digging through his files and chatting with one of his investors. The man makes a quick decision-he bolts.
At Leverage headquarters, the investor, Michelle, begins to tell Nathan what that was all about. As he sips on a beer, she tells him that she is in charge of multiple donations for her employer, a food bank, and the money went missing. That's why she was at McTeague-to try and find out where her money has gone. While she hasn't told anybody at the food bank, including the board of directors, that it's nowhere to be found, she's well aware that she could go to jail. Nathan assures her that this isn't going to happen and asks about her money manager, the aforementioned overweight, Jack Hurley.
Hurley works for one McTeague, one of the biggest investment firms in town. When Michelle told him of her charity's business plan, he enthusiastically told her that, with the right investments, he could grow their money. She describes him as being sweet, going as far to say he was so excited that he was like a "big kid." As far as she could tell, he was legit. Then, she realized something had gone wrong when she had to write some checks for the groundbreaking for a new food pantry. After calling Hurley several times and receiving no answer or call back, she realized he was ducking her, so she called his boss. He proceeded to tell her that he had no record of her food bank ever having any account with McTeague at all. Where did the money go?
Well, Nathan explains, the company is falsifying its records to cover up Hurley's embezzlement of the money. A classy move, Sophie points out. Nathan tells Michelle to be sure of one thing-this isn't her fault. Yes, people trusted her with their money, but she trusted Hurley, who is the real bad guy in the situation.
As Nathan finishes his drink and leads Michelle out of the office, she asks him, in light of her situation, why he does this sort of thing. His answer: The same reason she does it. When he turns around, Sophie has nothing to say about the case. Instead, she nags Nathan about drinking this early in the morning. He doesn't really understand this-what does it matter in the face of Michelle's dilemma?
A bit later in the conference room, the whole team has amassed. Eliot bitches to Nathan-why doesn't Michelle, who has all of McTeague's monthly statements, just sue them? Nathan says that sort of lawsuit would take years and years to be heard in court. Plus, McTeague is a Wall Street firm with Wall Street lawyers. Michelle helps run a food bank that would only be able to pull a small time lawyer if he/she agrees to work pro bono. He doesn't like those odds. Instead, they need to find Jack Hurley. Hardison, take it away. . .
Hurley, who is single, has no criminal, and owns a condo in Marino, is nowhere to be found in Hardison's world. He hasn't been on the internet anywhere, so he's off the grid. Sophie's surmises that he's already liquidated the charity's money and turned it into cash. Eliot points out that this probably means it's burning a hole in his pocket. So, since they don't know where he is, they have to figure out where he's been. Hardison pulls up Hurley's latest credit card statement, which shows transactions up to the point he disappeared. On Sunday alone, it seems that Hurley visited several bars, restaurants, a strip joint, a taco stand, got an Asian massage, and watched Pay-Per-View. Maybe there's a pattern to his movements? Hardison maps out where he'd visited based on the statement, but no discernible regularity to his activity appears. The guy was all over the place the day before he disappeared. There is, however, a little good news-Hardison knows he hasn't left the country because his passport hasn't been dinged. While Parker isn't really optimistic about this because, after all, the US is a big country, Nathan is sure he's still in Los Angeles. Hurley is a booze and food addict and, faced with this situation, he's probably not going to leave his comfort zone.
Nathan tells the crew they're going to approach this case old school style. Parker is going to go break into Hurley's condo to find out what she can; he and Sophie will visit the retails spots he's hit up; and Hardison and Eliot will monitor his hang outs. The most important thing at this point, should they find him, is not spooking him. Follow him and let him lead them to the money, but don't scare him off.
After what seems to have been a long afternoon together, Hardison and Eliot pull up to bar number twelve. They have yet to see Hurley and it's getting a little frustrating. Eliot's mood isn't improved at all when Hardison accidentally dumps most of the contents of a blue Slushie in his car. As they sit arguing about who is going to have to clean it once they get back to headquarters, Hurley stumbles out of the bar with a very attractive young barmaid. When he tries handing her his car keys, in some sort of an attempt to leave with him, she refuses and ducks back into the bar. A drunken, downtrodden Hurley gets behind the wheel and is about to pull out when. . .a black car with tinted windows screeches to a halt right behind him. A group of three well-dressed, unhappy looking men jump out and close in on him menacingly. This might get ugly. . .
. . .and it does. The three men proceed to grab Hurley, growl at him for thinking he could get away with their money, and beat the living crap out of him. Hardison and Eliot had been fine with just looking on up until this point, but decide it's time for them to jump in. The sprint towards the men and a melee ensues. They manage to pull the men off of Hurley, who jumps in his car and drives away. What an ingrate. Now, Hardison and Eliot are left to dispatch of the three men, one of whom has now pulled a gun. Great.
After a bit of a struggle, the two Leverage men whoop some ass the way they know how and subdue the attackers. Hardison, who ends up with the gun, shoots out their car's engine so they can't follow. When Eliot tells him that was a great idea, Hardison tells him he was aiming for one of the attacker's legs. Eliot snatches the gun from him before he has a chance to hurt himself.
They radioNathan to tell him that Hurley got away, but he says don't worry-they've located him a couple of streets away. He crashed into a light pole.
The entire crew surrounds the car and finds Hurley face down on the airbag. . .sleeping. Not unconscious-unconscious people don't snore. Sleeping. Parker reports that the money isn't in the backseat. Eliot, in a rather menacing way, assures them that if they get him to wake up, he'll get some information out of him. Nathan tells him don't bother-the guy would just send him on a wild goose chase. Plus, that would require them taking him somewhere and tying him to a chair-adding kidnapping to his now long list of crimes is something Nathan wants to avoid. So what do they do?
As police sirens draw closer and closer, Nathan says they're going to run some game on him. Sophie points out that in five minutes he's going to be locked up in jail and they won't be able to get near him. No, nobody's going to lock him up because Hurley is going to lock himself up. . .
Hurley jumps awake suddenly on a bed in a darkened room that looks like it could be in a hospital. Nathan sits by the window and tells him, once he's semi-conscious, that he's hit rock bottom. Welcome to rehab.
Hurley has apparently checked himself into Second Act Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Frank, the Second Act's administrator, reads the profile of and speaks with a Dr. Tanner, who came to them from Cambridge Medical College. She's won awards for her work with addiction therapy and research. He's thrilled that someone of her stature has come on to consult the staff at Second Act. Dr. Tanner, of course, is Sophie.
As they walk the halls, Dr. Frank explains what Second Act is all about. It's not a rehab center that panders to the rich and famous. Instead, it sees everyone as equals and it treats them as such. One of the outcomes of this view is that no patients are allowed contact with the outside-no cell phones, internet or anything of the like. They even don't allow them to dress in their own clothes-they all wear Second Act T-shirts. This breaks the cycle of addictive behavior, Dr. Tanner/Sophie points out. The two of them stop in front of the "Day Room," where a group is currently meeting and the new consultant from Cambridge walks in to facilitate.
The group sits in a circle and Dr. Tanner/Sophie introduces herself. She then asks everyone else to do the same. To her left is Marcy, an angsty teenager who says she's in there because her mom is a "controlling bitch." A grizzled older man named Sam to Dr. Tanner/Sophie's right begins mumbling something incoherent. She nods, gives a half smile, and moves on. Next to that man is a rather sullen patient who, if they weren't in a rehab center, would be making it quite obvious that she's a bad actor. Fortunately, everybody seems to be putting on a fake front of angst here, so Parker, who introduces herself as Rose, gets away with it. She seems to read from a list that might be written on her arm and ticks off her various ailments: she's a kleptomaniac who steals even though her parents are rich. And, the icing on the cake: she hates herself. Dr. Tanner/Sophie tells her that, next time, she should share that with the group by making eye contact and avoid looking at the floor. The person to Rose/Parker's right is Nathan. He introduces himself as Tom who, as he unapologetically states, is an alcoholic. The final person is Hurley, who says he's an alcoholic who's also addicted to nicotine (the patches, not cigarettes) and porn. He also admits to be a compulsive gambler, liar and eater (he can't get enough tacos). He says he thinks it's the result of his stint in the CIA when he was stationed in Beirut, which is an obvious lie. What isn't a lie, however, is the fact that he believes he's hit rock bottom. He completely believes that in his drunken stupor the previous night, he checked himself in to Second Act to get help.
Dr. Tanner/Sophie thanks Hurley for his brave confession and wants to move back to Tom/Nathan because he acted like his drinking wasn't a problem. Tom/Nathan argues rather defiantly that it's not a problem-it helps him relax and focus. Oh, so he medicates with alcohol then, Dr. Tanner/Sophie clarifies. Tom/Nathan will not be done like this. He gives the definition of addiction: any compulsive behavior that has a negative impact on one's life. So, the $1500 boots she has one could be considered an addiction. The two of them go back and forth, not really worrying about veiling their true feelings of each other's habits regardless of the con, until Tom/Nathan points out that it's Hurley who has a real problem. Fine. Dr. Tanner/Sophie moves back to him.
Hurley admits that he's got a real problem with blacking out. For example, he doesn't even remember where he parked his car yesterday. Tom/Nathan tells him he overheard some orderlies saying he totaled it. No, no, he tells him that wasn't his car. He paid to park his car somewhere downtown and can't remember where. He put the receipt in his pocket at the time and needs to find his real clothes. Tom/Nathan and Rose/Parker share a look. Dr. Tanner/Sophie asks if anybody else has anything else to say. Marcy does:
"Fifteen hundred bucks for boots? You got ripped off, lady."
Rose/Parker strolls down the hall until she's sure nobody is looking and picks the lock to get into the storage closet where each patient's personal belongings are kept. She finds Hurley's box and grabs his car keys and the aforementioned receipt. When she sneaks back into the hall, she almost makes a clean escape, but Dr. Frank finds her. He heard she's admitted to being a kleptomaniac and, in addition to group therapy, there's a medication protocol for her. When she says she doesn't do drugs, he tells her that these legal pills will help her overcome her addiction. Rose/Parker has no choice but to take them, but she isn't happy about it.
A bit later, Hardison and Eliot find Hurley's car in a downtown parking lot. When they open the driver's doors, they're disgusted. Flies buzz around old food and drink containers throughout the vehicle. Trying to ignore the mess, Hardison sits down in the driver's seat to find the button to open the trunk, but has to slide it back because it's too close to the steering wheel. Eliot points this out-Hurley is a bigdude and so is the parking attendant, so why was the seat so far forward? Answer: someone's been in the car. With Hardison still sitting there, he takes a peek underneath the vehiocle. . .and finds a bomb rigged there. To make matters worse, its lcd screen reads "ENGAGED." Son of a-
Eliot tells Hardison the situation and he immediately tries jumping out. Whoa whoa whoa! The bomb is mounted right under the seat, so it must be pressure-sensitive. If Hardison moves, it'll blow. They need to come up with a plan to get him out.
Hardison, trying to stay as calm as possible, suggests that Eliot go get a bag of bricks. They'll toss those onto the seat as he gets up so it's like he never moved. Eliot shoots this idea to the ground-that kind of stuff only works in the movies. Plus, they don't have time to do that, anyway. The counter on the bomb has started ticking down from two minutes. Not good.
Eliot explains what he sees under the vehicle. A bunch of wires are running up into the computer system in the dashboard, which is probably how it's hooked into the seat sensor. Hardison knows computers, so he can figure this out. . .hopefully.
He tells Eliot to open up the hood to get to the wires hooked into the electrical system up there. They're going to trick the bomb into thinking it's gone off. In order to do this, Hardison has to reboot the system by touching two stripped dashboard wires in the car while Eliot yanks out two bomb wires under the hood-at the exact same time. Margin for error might be about half a second, but no more than that. Here goes nothing. . .
One. . .
Two. . .
Three. . .
Eliot yanks, Hardison reboots and they both get away from the car alive. Phew. Eliot grabs the bomb. Problem averted. Or not. . .
The same three thugs who attacked Hurley zoom up to where the two of them are standing, along with three more. They're surrounded.
The three men from before, who are Mexican, tell Hardison they want the money Hurley took from them. They assume he has it. The three new guys, who are North Korean, say they want their money first. With the quick thinking, Hardison speaks to them in a Jamaican accent. As it turns out, he also wants the money Hurley promised him. The two groups should lower their guns so they all can work something out. Both the Mexicans and North Koreans refuse and begin counting down to when they'll start shooting. Meanwhile, Eliot has re-rigged the bomb and announces that it's now set to go off in once second. Sure, he might not make it if he tosses it their way, but they'll surely die, too. Both groups assume that he's Chilean representing another group after Hurley. Hardison is truly amazed at how many people want this guy dead.
Convinced by the bomb, both groups jump in their respective cars and drive away. Problem averted for now.
Back at Second Act, Sophie finds Nathan in sleeping in his room. She's there to tell him that Hardison and Eliot are on their way, but is taken aback at how awful he looks. He's also shaking. Nathan says it's because they have the air conditioning really jacked up in that place, but Sophie knows better. He hasn't had a drink in 48 hours and is going through withdrawal. Nathan gets defensive-he's putting on an act as cover AND he reminds her that it's Hurley, not he, who's in rehab right now.
At the front desk, Eliot and Hardison tell the cute receptionist that they're here to see a patient-Tom/Nathan. They're told that only family members are allowed to see patients. Eliot, in an overtly flirtatious gesture, takes the receptionist's hand, kisses it, and introduces himself as Tom/Nathan's brother, Mark. She enjoys the attention, but asks who Hardison is. Him? Oh, Hardison begins explaining, he's with Mark/Eliot. With him? Yeah, as in boyfriend. Mark/Eliot likes to think the flirting with woman bothers him, but it doesn't. Eliot, the lady killer of the crew, is clearly not happy about their new cover, but can't do anything about it. He just glares silently as Hardison drags him away before the receptionist can ask any more questions.
In the Day Room, Eliot and Hardison fill in Nathan and Sophie. Hurley didn't only rip off a charity-he also ripped off several countries. North Koreans are big into counterfeiting, so they were probably using Hurley's company to launder they're fake stuff. Based on the Mexican accent Eliot heard from the other group, he's pretty sure the guy was a hit man from some drug cartel from the Oaxaca region-a place famous for drug running. Unfortunately, the only guy who knows the location of the money is a compulsive liar. Nathan, who is clearly struggling to make it through this meeting, puts his head in his hands, then gets up to walk off what is probably a wave of nausea. Sophie doesn't skip a beat-they need to learn about the other people in Hurley's life. They've found nothing at his office, car and condo, so someone else must be holding it for him. Sophie will get their names and Eliot and Hardison will follow up with them. What about the gangs? Nathan says they still have an advantage: they have Hurley.
Back at group therapy, a newly-reformed Rose/Parker (the drugs?) talks about why she steals more from her heart than from the need to run the con. She had always assumed her foster parents only wanted her to get the government money that comes along with having foster children, but she sees now that the money wasn't it. They didn't love each other and thought a kid could fill in that gap. When that didn't happen, they withdrew and Rose/Parker began stealing. When Marcy points out that Rose/Parker had said her parents were rich in their session earlier, she semi-snaps out of it and says they were. . .until they found gold buried under their trailer. Before this has the opportunity to get out of hand, Dr. Tanner/Sophie changes the subject. In the five minutes remaining in their session, she'd like to discuss the power of apology. Sam mumbles something unintelligible, but Hurley and Rose/Parker seem to understand. They smile broadly back at the man. Dr. Tanner/Sophie thanks him graciously and asks if anybody else wants to go.
Hurley raises his hand, but Dr. Tanner/Sophie calls on Tom/Nathan-is there anybody he'd like to apologize to as a result of his drinking? Of course, this is met with major resistance, but he spills out a big piece of information-he believes that he might be a better person to get along with while he's drunk, as opposed to sober. Dr. Tanner/Sophie tells him he's setting a poor example for Hurley, who might actually want to apologize to some people-some people that he's burdened with his responsibilities as a result of his addiction. Hurley affirms this, saying there are many individuals to whom he'd like to say sorry. He's told to write the names of these people down and call them to apologize. After he walks away to do so, Dr. Tanner/Sophie and Tom/Nathan are left to glare at one another.
Back in town, Hardison and Eliot visit one of the people on that list-the barmaid Hurley seemed to be trying to get to leave with him before the Mexicans jumped him. She said he actually just called her to apologize. When Eliot brings up how they saw him harassing her the other day at the bar, she corrects them. He wasn't harassing her at all-he was trying to give her a car. Hers broke down so he bought her a new one. This explains why Hurley was driving a car that wasn't his when he crashed into the light pole. Yet another twist in an already strange case.
That night, back at headquarters, Eliot and Hardison report what they found out about Hurley to Sophie. Based on their questioning of people to whom he apologized, they discovered he's not all bad. He actually bought some of them things they needed with the stolen money. Before than can really give a full report, Sophie gets a call from Second Act-it seems that one of her "patients" tried to escape. . .
She's lead into the Day Room, where some orderlies clean up broken glass and, wow, Nathan sits with his head in his hands. Is he ready to go back to his room now?
As Dr. Tanner/Sophie leads Tom/Nathan through the hallway, they overhear Hurley on the phone. He's apologizing to Pam, the co-worker from a few days ago who warned him of the men searching his office. Apparently, she'd picked him up from the bar many times when he was too drunk to drive. She forgives him and hangs up to speak with the men standing in her office. They say they're from the SEC and are curious about Hurley's whereabouts. In reality, they're the North Koreans looking for the man they'd like to kill for stealing their money. They ask Pam if he told her which rehab facility at which he's currently staying. . .
The next morning, Nathan tries to tell Sophie that he's fine, even though he's definitely not. She knows he was trying to get out so he could have a drink. Not only is that hazardous to his health, but it almost ruined the con. He needs to be better than that. Nathan does all he can to put off what he's really facing, so he tells Sophie to just give him something to do. Knowing she's not going to win this argument, she concedes. She reports that Hurley isn't quite as bad as they'd first thought. He actually gives back to people as he feeds his addictions. While she doesn't think they should pat him on the back exactly, she believes they could take it easy on him. Nathan isn't of the same mind. He knows how addicts work-both his father and grandfather were addicts. Once that cat's out of the bag, Sophie says no more. She leaves to allow Nathan to take that one in.
Left alone in the room, Nathan hallucinates. He sees Sterling, his old nemesis from his former employer. Sterling says the company is going to pay for his stay in rehab-they wouldn't pay for his son's treatment, but they don't want Nathan to drink himself to death. When Nathan takes a swing a him, all he hits is the wall. Sterling appears across the room and tells him the first step to recovery is admitting you're powerless.
Later, Nathan looks on as Hurley, who is clearly benefiting from the treatment, socializing with other patients, including Rose/Parker. It's all that Nathan can take-he doesn't like seeing Hurley succeed at being nice for some reason. Later, he corners him in his room, pushes him around and demands the truth.
The truth? The truth is Hurley is in there because his wife left him and everything changed.
Meanwhile, the North Koreans arrive at Second Act. Rose/Parker, who almost bounces through the halls happier than ever seen before, runs into one of them. After they pass by, she looks back with a bit of a guilty look on her face.
Back in Hurley's room, the newly-reformed money manager explains the situation. No, he didn't just steal from scumbags-he stole from Michelle's charity because she's a genuinely good person. He wanted to help her, so he cleaned out her account. With the tricks he learned in the investment world, he could quadruple her money. He fully intended on giving the money back. After all, he asks Tom/Nathan, lying, cheating and stealing is okay if it's done with the best intentions in mind, isn't it?
Before Tom/Nathan can answer, Rose/Parker walks into the room apologizing. Old habit, she says, and holds up a gun. She snagged it off of some dude in the hallway. Tom/Nathan immediately knows what's going on and tells them they need to get out of there. Hurley peeks out into the hallway and, upon seeing the North Koreans, runs back into the room completely agreeing with Tom/Nathan. They need to get the hell out.
But, wait, Rose/Parker doesn't want to.
She feels like she's making real progress there and wants to continue with the treatment. They don't have time for this, so Tom/Nathan grabs the gun, shoots the lock on the window, and he and Hurley jump out., leaving Rose/Parker in the room.
Later, Nathan places a phone call to headquarter to tell Sophie, Eliot and Hardison the situation. Hurley has told him that the money is in his car. Apparently, they need to go back and take a look at it. Sophie wants to know how he got the information out of him and is disappointed when she learns the answer-Nathan took him to get tacos. He's enabling him and completely not helping with his recovery. At the same time, Eliot wants to know why they just don't take this guy to the cops. It seems Nathan's come around a bit. He doesn't exactly want to celebrate the guy, but if they leave him by himself, he's a dead man walking.
Okay, fine. What's the plan?
Hurley and Nathan meet the North Koreans and Mexicans at the place where Hurley's car is parked. Nathan tells the clearly nervous Hurley to relax-they won't kill him until after they get their money. When the two gangs ask him where it is, he says it'll take a minute for him to get it. He walks to his car, opens it, and sits down on the driver's seat. That's when a familiar beeping noise begins. . .
One of the Mexicans looks underneath the vehicle and sees a bomb ticking down from 30. Not this again. . .
The two gangs quickly retreat to their cars where they look on waiting for an explosion. Meanwhile, Nathan stands next to Hurley, who tells him to get away from the car. Nathan runs off and. . . BOOM! Hurley's car explodes moments later, knocking all of the gang members to the ground.
Who blew up the car?
The North Koreans say the Jamaicans-the must've found out where the money was and wanted to keep it all to themselves. Nathan watches from behind another car as both gangs peel off. After they go, Sophie, Hardison and Eliot come out of their hiding places. That explosion wasn't as big as Nathan thought it'd be and Hardison apologizes-that's what happens when you use other people's equipment. As it turns out, he and Eliot never disposed of the original bomb-they hooked it back up hoping they'd catch Hurley. Thankfully, this could be used in Nathan' plan. And, speaking of Hurley. . .
. . .he comes stumbling into the group. He's fine, but not entirely sure what just happened. . .
Right before the bomb went off, Sophie, rolled out from underneath his car on an auto mechanics' wheelie board thanks to Eliot pulling her by rope a few parking spots away. She told Hurley to lay down on the board connected to hers. Distracted by the impending explosion and the heat of the moment, the gangs didn't notice him get out of the car, get down on the board and get pulled away by Eliot. They were all safe and sound when the bomb went off.
Hurley is grateful. Dr. Tanner/Sophie and Tom/Nathan must really like him if they can put their differences aside and save his life. Eliot, however, isn't exactly touched. Where is the money? When he and Hardison looked over his car once again, they couldn't find anything. Oh, it's there, Hurley assures. It's in the tires. Sure enough, when they cut into one of the steel-belted tires that survived the explosion, they find hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash inside.
Later, back at Leverage headquarters, Hurley hands Michelle a bag full of her money. She hugs Nathan and Sophie and thanks them, but snubs Hurley, who is a bit depressed about this. When Sophie leads Michelle out, Nathan hands him an envelope with his new identity-license, passport, gym membership, etc. Hardison suggests hitting the weights to work off some of that taco bulk he's built up. They crew killed Jack Hurley, so they had to give him a new life. It's his chance to start over.
Grateful, Hurley wonders if Michelle will forgive him after she gets the pay out from his life insurance policy. Nathan tells him just to take the win. He also tells him to take advantage of his second chance-if he screws up, they'll know. Hurley promises to find a support group once he gets to his new home and offers to be Nathan's sponsor if he ever needs it. Nathan thanks him, but declines.
After Hurley makes an exit, they have one job left to do. . .
Dr. Tanner/Sophie finds Rose/Parker playing Win, Lose or Draw in the Day Room with Marcy and Sam. She tells Dr. Frank that this environment isn't right for her-she needs to be around people who understand her mental state; people who are more like her. . .
When Parker, who's still high on happy pills, sees the crew standing outside, she jumps into their arms happy as a lark. She missed them. Nathan lets them know that the meds typically wear off in about a day. Hardison and Eliot lead her to the car.
This leaves Sophie and Nathan looking at the outside of Second Act. Sophie asks Nathan if he's ready to finish what he started. After a moment, he laughs and says, "I'm ready for a drink."