Leverage Review: Bring on the Cheese!

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Nate and the team had their hands full when tasked with bringing down a man who pulls the strings from the shadows to hurt good people in "The 15 Minutes Job."

If you have ever asked, “What would Nate Ford be like if he used his powers for evil instead of good?, you got the answer in the form of Reed Rockwell, professional career assassin. When Hardison, Parker, and Eliot went through the details about who Rockwell was, we were set up to really hate him.

Michael Gladis on Leverage

He had his own team, his strong guy dressed a lot like Eliot, and he had all the makings of a great bad guy. I even wondered if we might be meeting this year’s recurring villain when the episode opened.

Sadly, a good concept was all the character had, as he turned out be boring and one dimensional in delivery. Even if I forgive the writers for dropping the ball on Rockwell, I'm hard-pressed to forget the amount of “
Gee, Scooby, let’s get back to the Mystery Machine” attitude that was used. In fact, there are three scenes that were so cheesy that they almost made me lactose intolerant.

The first was when Eliot was pretending to mug Parker and Rockwell walked by without a word. Parker and Eliot were shocked to find a woman standing there whacking Eliot with her umbrella in the arm. When this was written, I'm sure it was hilarious; I just wish it had been a bit more dairy-free on screen.

The second was the very next scene: we got to see Sophie chasing a runaway baby stroller, as she stopped to gawk at Rockwell for not helping and the stroller was presumably crushed by a car. She then looked the direction the stroller went, only to shrug it off like she couldn’t be bothered.

Lastly (but the most offensive) took place when Hardison and Parker went to the police archive to retrieve the film negatives. From the records keeper not hearing Parker right behind her (multiple times) to Hardison coughing to cover Parker rattling a file cabinet, this scene should have come with crackers or wine.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the cheesy goodness when used as small tidbits to move the story along throughout an episode; but, the thing I enjoy most about the show is how clever the team is. I look forward to seeing this revealed each week at the end of the episode when we get the breakdown of how they pulled off the job. 

The 15 Minutes Job Scene

Granted, this installment was better than last week, resulting in the Leverage equivalent of a Twinkie: sweet and entertaining, yet no nutritional value whatsoever. But, like all Twinkie devourers, we keep coming back for more!


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Pardison! I liked that the con was harder and more complicated than normal but the quality wasn't up to par. Mysterious/Bad Guy!


I LOVE this show. I love the characters and how they interact. I smile from the time the show comes on to the time it ends and then I usually find myself watching the same episode multiple times and still enjoying it as if it were the first time I've seen it. I love that it's so fun and different then the usual dark cop drama type of stuff (which I also happen to be a huge fan of but Leverage is a nice reprieve). All that being said, I've been kinda disappointed with this season so far. I kept hearing (and at first bought into) the hype that this was their best season yet. So far I just haven't really seen it. I enjoyed the premiere.It left me a tad confused at times, but I enjoyed it for what it was, despite it being light on the humor. The second episode I literally fell asleep on and this one was better than the last two but still not nearly as good as any of the episodes in the previous three seasons. I love that they are giving Parker and Eliot more scenes together, because Hardison, Parker, and Eliot are the most enjoyable when they are sharing time with one another. I find Sophie to be more nagging than usual though, to the point where I just don't care anymore about hearing about Nate. I'm kind of over Nate's functioning alcholism and bitterness too, they can't dwell on that as much as they've done. Hardison, hands down usually has some of the best witty quips in lines in the series, and while he's had some enjoyable ones, he's been lacking. I miss seeing Eliot fight. There is something magical about watching Christian Kane, swing fists of fury, flashing feral grins, and grunting, or barking out orders in his southern drawl. The cons haven't been all that interesting either. It fell so flat. I'm still a die hard Leverage fan and will be until the bitter end. Next week looks to be an emotional and poignant episode. It appears to be a good one. I hope to see that! I hope to also see a little bit of headway being made with whoever's bugging them. I hope that the episodes to come will have the same amazing balance of action and humor that the previous season's have had.They can still grow as a series and grow as characters without abandoning the charm that they're known for.


The problem with this show, and particularly this episode, is that the writers think we care more than we do about Nate's problems. Every episode now, Sophie is pushing Nate's struggle's down our throats and I couldn't care less.


It's true the series has gotten away from the usual darker side of taking care of bad guys. On the other hand, it's nice to see a lighter, humorous side before they go into the darkness again. I miss seeing Eliot fighting - Christian Kane with fists and hair swinging is always a pleasure to watch. I'm going to be honest and say I haven't enjoyed the last 2 shows as much as the last 2 seasons but, I still love the show and the characters and even the "cheesy" humor. I had to grin at the Hardison-Kane-Parker interchanges about Star Trek-Star Wars and CGI Yoda. That's the brother-sister stuff we love!


I like Leverage. I "loved" the Nero Wolf series co-produced by Timothy Hutton so I'm already a fan of his, but the thing I really enjoy about Leverage are the characters and their personalities. A great mix! I laugh at their antics and enjoy watching how they (Nate) figure out how they're gonna foil the "bad guy" at his own game and how it all plays out. To me this is a different twist than is seen is most of the "law and order" type productions out today, a refreshing change of pace, different, clever and entertaining!

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Leverage Season 4 Episode 3 Quotes

Eliot: How are we supposed to take this guy down?
Nate: The same way we would destroy ME

Sophie: Legal blackmail, it's elegant.
Nate: It's wrong, that is what it is.