Episode PremiereJuly 22, 2009
GenreDrama, Thriller, Action
Show Period2008 - 2012
Production CompanyElectric Entertainment
The Tap-Out Job opens with a mixed martial arts fight between two men. One of them is obviously winning, until he becomes dizzy. He is easily overcome by his opponent, who continues to beat him despite his non-responsiveness until he is forced off by the referee. Next, we see an older man with Nate. The man is Jack Holworth, who informs our mastermind that the man who lost the match we saw is his son Mark. Mark is currently in the hospital from his injuries. The doctor who worked at the fight, Johnny, is a friend of the family and told Mark he will never fight again. It turns out that the owner of the gym, a man named Rutger, drugged the son's water when he refused to purposefully lose the fight. Nate and Hardison explain the situation to the team, with Eliot commenting on the fighters on Rutger's website. Our team travels to Nebraska to start the con!
Hardison found out that Rutger loves golfing, so Nate gets into Rutger's game and bets him 6k on an eighteen-hole game, with Hardison using his technical prowess to manipulate the golf balls! Of course, Nate wins the game and Rutger (because Parker stole his wallet) agrees to pay Nate at his motel. But Nate shows up unexpectedly at Rutger's gym to collect his money. While he's there, Nate makes sure to be seen talking to Eliot, who's working out at the gym. Rutger sees Eliot practicing and notices his skills. When Eliot leaves the gym, Rutger and over a dozen other guys surround Eliot in the parking lot. Rutger send some of the guys to attack him, and Eliot quickly dispatches two of them before catching the third in a headlock. At this point, Rutger tells Eliot to let the man go and invites him back inside.Rutger asks Eliot about his boss, Bill Wells (Nate), and why he's come to town. Eliot 'spills' that Nate has a meeting with a producer the next day. Rutger looks up the producer, 'Debbie Dreiling', online and finds an advertisement for a pay-per-view company, complete with Sophie's picture. Hardison puts out a news alert to Rutger's computer with video Parker filmed of Eliot's fight outside the gym. When he sees that the video already has over 310,000 hits, Rutger immediately offers to pay off Eliot's fake debt to Nate so that Eliot can fight for him. All he wants is for Eliot to divert Nate's meeting with Sophie.On the way to the meeting with Rutger, Sophie tells Eliot how she feels that the fighting is barbaric. Eliot explains how the fighting isn't about violence, but about people taking control of their environment and their lives. Sophie seems to take Eliot's speech to heart.
Sophie uses a convincing American accent to tell Rutger about her deal with Wells. Rutger explains to her that Wells can't deliver the fighters, but he can. When Nate makes a timely interruption, Rutger offers to talk to Sophie at the concert she's producing. Of course, this means that the team has to pretend they're producing the concert. Nate diverts the director and Hardison takes his place. After showing Rutger the impressive setup at the concert, Sophie accepts an offer of $500,000 from Rutger to cover production costs with the expectation of $5 million gross for each pay-per-view.
Rutger goes back to his gym happy, ready to give Sophie the money, but one of his employees tells him that no one in South Dakota has heard of 'Bill Wells', Nate's cover. Rutger figures out the con and decides to force Eliot into taking a dive, or else he'll kill the Holworths. The team tries to come up with another plan, but Eliot convinces them that his fighting is the best plan. Sophie expresses her concern that Eliot will lose his control over his surroundings, which he told her was the reason for fighting. Eliot assures her that he doesn't need to control the situation to feel safe, he just needs to control himself.
The next night at the fight, Rutger has had his employee bet everything on Eliot's match with several online bookies. Eliot's opponent is Tank, the fighter who beat Mark Holworth. Rutger tells Tank to show no mercy to Eliot. During the fight, both Eliot and Tank land some good hits. Eliot is holding his own in the fight until suddenly Tank's punches start to have a lot more of an effect. Nate checks Eliot's water to find that it's been drugged. Rutger said he didn't trust them, and Sophie tells the doctor to end the fight immediately. Rutger says it'll be over soon, but Sophie shouts that Eliot fights to survive, and the drugs will only make him lose his inhibitions and fight harder. Eliot suddenly turns the tables, beating Tank violently and holding him in a headlock until the referee forces him off, ignoring Tank's tap-out. Johnny searches for Tank's breath sounds and injects him, but after Rutger clears all the spectators out of the gym the doctor announces that Tank is dead, to everyone's horror.
Rutger spooks when Johnny says he has to call the police, clearing out his safe and driving away. When he leaves, Hardison tracks his GPS and Johnny announces that the sedative he injected will wear off in a few minutes. Nate explains to a confused Jack Holworth that the team had found the drugged water before the fight had begun and replaced it with clean water. They had also gotten Johnny to sedate Tank and declare him dead in order to trick Rutger into running. Hardison made a call to the Iowa state police that a fugitive is trying to cross their border with a bagful of money. That would look suspicious enough, even without the guns Parker purchased using the six thousand dollars Nate won from Rutger in golf. The team also tipped the IRS off to the money Rutger made from the fights and never claimed in his taxes. On top of it, the online bookies with whom Rutger bet the entire income of the gym were actually created by Hardison. Jack Holworth thanks the team for their work, especially Eliot, commenting on how he took a lot of punishment. Sophie quotes Eliot, saying 'That's what he does.' Nate tells the Holworths that the gym is theirs, along with Rutger's money, and Eliot assures Mark that he'll be a good manager for the fighters, since he was like them.