Nathan walks into Imperial Valley Bank in Juan, California, a desert town, with Judge Roy, a corrupt, egocentric, and completely inappropriate man. The judge hands Nathan a briefcase full of thousands of dollars after what seems like a very long courtship. Nathan has been running a con on him for two weeks-Roy thinks they've set up a money laundering scam, but Nathan intends to bankrupt him. To help him, Sophie has been playing the part of a banker. Across the street in a sweltering van, Hardison complains about agreeing to do a "rip deal." He thinks they take too long, especially when it has to take place in a town hotter than hell in the middle of nowhere. Parker, who likes Juan, calmly explains that it takes a long time to convince the mark that he's getting deal so that they can then rip him off. She lights what looks to be pages from a ledger on fire. When Hardison places a call to Eliot to confirm that he's shutdown all of their fake addresses and p.o. boxes, it becomes clear that they're all destroying evidence of ever having worked in Juan. They think that they'll soon be free to leave Juan with Roy penniless...
...but they unexpected happens. As Nathan walks out with Roy's money in hand with the judge in tow, two gunmen hold up the bank. They tell everyone to hit the floor as they have one of the tellers empty all of the tills. The entire Leverage crew knows what's going on immediately because they're all wearing earpieces, as usual. Through this means of communication, Nathan tells Hardison to pull the van away from the bank.
Inside, one of the gunmen, expresses his anger, and a bit of fear, when the amount of money from the tills doesn't seem to be "enough" for whatever his intentions are. When the teller lets him know that the vault can't be opened because it's on a timer, he becomes even more distressed. Taking his cue from this, Roy slides his briefcase full of money under a desk, completely hidden from the gunman who is now asking for the money in the hostages' pockets.
After the police arrive outside, Roy points out that the two men robbing the bank seem to be a bit green when it comes to committing crime. Nathan agrees-it's pretty obvious that these two men are robbing the bank out of a desperate futility, not by skilled choice. Through a bit of deft maneuvering, Nathan passes this information along to Eliot through the earpiece while making it seem like he's talking to Roy. In the background, the older of the two gunmen tells the younger to calm down and go count to money because it's almost 5:00pm, whatever that means.
Roy gets up to speak with them. The blowhard judge tries to convince them that he's the only one that can get them out of this situation because, as he puts it, "he's the law in this town." He can call off the police if the gunmen agree to walk out the front door. The older gunman says the situation isn't that easy. Taking in this little exchange, Nathan tells the crew that they're the ones that have to take over the situation-not the local police.
Hardison and Parker "arrive" on the scene as FBI Agents Leonard and Elmore, respectively, and "take over" the investigation from Sheriff Bill Hastings. The two of them work him over for information to find out what kind of police force they're dealing with. After a moment of hearing his answers, it's pretty clear that it's not much of one. They have no SWAT team and Virgil, who appears to be a local hunter, is perched in a building across the street as their "crack shot." Inside, Roy notices that the FBI has shown up outside and begins to get a bit nervous about the money he's about to have laundered.
Hardison hacks into the bank's security cameras and runs the images of the two gunmen through several identification databases. The older man is Derrick Clark, a retired Navy officer. Earlier in the day, he cashed out all of his bank accounts and credit cards. Hardison sends Eliot Clark's information and he heads to his house.
The local police cuts the power to the bank-shutting down everything, including the fans keeping it semi-cool. The place is going to become a boiler if the situation isn't averted soon.
Thinking she's the branch manager, Clark takes Sophie to the vault hoping she'll be able to get it open. When she can't because she doesn't know the code, she comes clean and gets Clark to tell his story. Across the bank, Clark's son, Michael (Eliot gets this information when he gets to their house), answers his cell phone. Frantically, he tells whoever's on the other line that they're "working on it" and "don't hurt her" before being hung up on. Nathan then approaches him and gets his story. Over the past couple of years, Michael's been running crystal meth for some local drug dealers. A short time ago, an entire shipment when missing and they blamed him for the drug's disappearance. He didn't take it. Unfortunately, the dealers didn't believe this and went to his house to look for it, but all they found was his mother. They kidnapped her and, as ransom, have told him they want $100,000 or the drug shipment by 5:00PM today. Nathan assures Michael that he can help them.
Back across the bank, Sophie has just received the same story from Michael's father. When she also tells him that she can help him, Clark balks. Why should he trust her? Because she's a thief, of course. For the past couple of weeks, her and her friends have been scamming Judge Roy-for years, he's been taking bribes and dirty money from meth dealers and other scum. A couple of months ago, he let a man who killed a young girl, Beth Delgado, walk free. Her crew has been conning Roy into handing them all of his dirty money so they can then turn around and give it to the Delgado family. When Clark hesitates, Sophie and Nathan explain the plan-they're going to give the meth dealers Roy's money while not breaking their cover. Of course, this is going to be easy because, as Hardison reveals, the local cops have called the real FBI and they're on the way. They have 45 minutes to pull this off...
...First and foremost, Parker is going to have to break into the bank through an old security deposit chute to get Roy's briefcase. When they move the hostages, Clark kicks the briefcase out from its hiding place without Roy noticing. Outside, Hardison pretends to take a call from the bank robbers in front of the local cops in order to create a diversion so Parker can sneak into the deposit chute. While he runs down their list of demands, which includes an order of 12 pizzas with various toppings and a grill for tailgating, she gets in. Clark delivers the briefcase to her, but not without some reservations. Parker's words of reassurance: "Sometimes bad guys are the only good guys you get."
Judge Roy gets antsy. When Nathan suggests that he just sit still and not talk to Michael, he doesn't listen. He tries to appeal to the boy and goes as far as to tell him that he's got a lot of money that he might be able to lend him. Roy goes to prove it to him and is a bit miffed when he sees that his briefcase is missing. During the tense moment, Michael's phone rings-the kidnappers are calling. When he turns to Nathan to ask him what to do, Roy jumps on Michael and grabs for his gun. During the struggle...CRACK! It goes off and Nathan is shot. He lays in Sophie's arms as Clark point his gun at Roy, who now has a gun pressed to Michael's head.
Outside, the cops heard the shots and are ready to go in guns blazing. Hardison talks them out of it for the moment, but they have another problem. Inside, Roy has figured out that he was being played by Nathan and Sophie because in the moment after the shooting, she calls out his real name. Originally, he'd introduced himself as "Carl" to the judge. Now, Roy thinks the bank robbery is fake-just a scheme to get his money. Clark tries convince him otherwise by telling him the real story behind the robbery, but Roy thinks that story is a bunch of bull. Fully in charge, he will let nobody leave-not even a wounded man in need of medical attention-until he gets his briefcase...
...which isn't exactly possible at the moment. Eliot has already taken it to the drop-off point for the kidnappers, who are running late.
This isn't Roy's first rodeo-when Sophie tells him that the briefcase isn't in the building, he realizes that they have people on the outside and wants to know how they're communicating with them. She and Nathan are forced to give up their earpieces to him, which he then smashes. Hardison, Eliot, and Parker are now cut off. Thankfully, one thing goes right: the kidnappers finally show up to pick up the briefcase. As they count the money, Eliot does what he does best and takes all three of them out. Mrs. Clark is now safe.
Inside the bank, Sophie accesses the damage done to Nathan's shoulder. The bullet went through and through, and it missed his artery, so it appears that he'll come out of this if he gets some medical attention in the near future. Currently, however, they need a new plan, which Nathan doesn't have. Nonetheless, Nathan assures the Clarks that Mrs. Clark is going to be okay.
Hardison/Agent Leonard knocks on the locked bank door and lets everyone know that the pizzas have arrived. When Roy balks at opening the door, Nathan jumps at the opportunity. He tells him that he should probably open up because the man standing there has his money. Roy does exactly this and, much to his pleasure, finds that one of the pizza boxes that Hardison/Agent Leonard delivers has money in it. Unfortunately for him, this isn't where it ends. By some clever maneuvering, Hardison makes it appear as though Roy was the bank robber all along. He yells for the local cops to come in and arrest the incredulous judge. Roy finds selling the fact that he actually wasn't the original gunmen somewhat difficult. After all, he's holding a gun while a wounded hostage is being loaded onto a stretcher across the room. Then he notices that the pizza box full of money has gone missing. When he asks about it miraculously disappearing just like his briefcase, Sheriff Hastings happens to find said case in its original hiding place-under the desk right behind him. This time, it doesn't have any money in it, just enough meth to put Roy behind bars for a while. With all of this facing him, Roy gives getting out of it one last big effort. He attempts to finger the Leverage crew and the Clarks as the perpetrators but, in the moments when everyone's attention was turned to the briefcase, Eliot and Parker, who came into the bank posing as paramedics, switched clothes with the father and son. The two real gunmen, along with Natha, have made a clean escape in an ambulance...
...in which they get a huge surprise. Mrs. Clark is driving.
Bank at the bank, Sophie and Eliot talk to the local cops and put the entire bank job on Roy, who receives no help from the bank staff thanks to his proclivity for being a jerk. Not even the tapes from the security camera can help him-Hardison has altered those to make it look like he robbed the bank and shot Nathan. The video is the final straw-Sheriff Hastings takes him away.
Hardison, still dressed as an FBI agent, makes his escapes just as the real feds arrive. They find the meth dealers who kidnapped Mrs. Clark tied up in the back of a van. How convenient for them-these guys have outstanding warrants for their arrest.
Driving out of town on their way to deliver the money to the Delgado family, the crew sits in the back of the ambulance while Eliot stitches their fearless leader up. In turn, Nathan bestows them with a major compliment-he says, in light of the situation at the end, he couldn't have come up with a better plan.