Leverage Review: A Break from the Norm

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Nate and the team took a trip back in time to solve the mystery of a lost painting in "The Van Gogh Job."

The episode was a break from the norm, as the squad really didn't have to pull a huge con in order to service the client. Nor were we treated to a typical “whodunit." This was more of a "whereisit."

Danny Glover on Leverage

When we first meet Charlie Lawson, we see him as a peaceful old man who's come back home after being away a long time. He seems sincerely sweet and charming, revisiting memories that include his long-ago job from his younger years. Even when a stranger approaches him, accusing Charlie of something he claims he didn't do, we still believe in Danny Glover's character, though we start to worry for him.

Shortly afterwards, we meet another man named Owen, an old colleague of Nate's from his insurance days.  He, too, seems harmless enough, explaining to Nate why he's there seeking help.

And where the story goes from there is beautiful and endearing tale, with just a touch of sadness.

The installment was a refreshing change. Normally, we have an established bad guy that needs to be taken down with some elaborately pieced together con by Nate and his team. Here, we got a simple story that tugged at our hearts.

I love the seemingly complicated, yet easily executed, cons the team pulls off, but this hour proved that sometimes you don't need a whole lot of bells and whistles to figure everything out. Sometimes, all you need to do is listen.

It was fabulous to see Eliot's skills in his former line of work: retrieval. It was also interesting to glance a little into his past in regard to him knowing some of the others seeking the lost painting. They were a first name basis with each other, citing old jobs where their paths crossed.

In addition to the gift of Charlie's life story from childhood to adult, we were blessed with his tale being reenacted by our talented Leverage stars. Aside from their regular weekly personas, we saw them portray people from Charlie's past who were in some ways slightly similar to their characters, but largely very different. Versatile stuff all around.

Standout performances by Aldis Hodge and Beth Riesgraf, especially. Who wasn't moved by their portrayals of the two main characters of Charlie's biographical tale of friendship and true love and their attempt to defy prejudice and society? (Charlie and Dorothy's relationship also seemed to parallel Hardison and Parker's relationship a little.)

Overall, this week was funny, heart-warming, nostalgic and, most importantly, believable. Glover was absolutely tremendous. Charlie spent most of the episode with Parker and those scenes (including the ones with Parker and Hardison together) made me weep happy tears that warmed my soul.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (60 Votes)

I actually cried when Charlie left Dorothy at the train.
Nice episode. Really nice one.


I actually cried when Charlie left Dorothy at the train.
Nice one episode. Really nice one.


I normally don't like these sorts of episodes as they tend to be smothered in tons of melted cheddar but, this one was great. In fact it reminded me of one of my favorite TV series of all time, Cold Case. Aldis Hodge and Beth Riesgraf were brilliant!


Every time a show does the roll-switching thing, it gets lauded as revolutionary television so this is probably not the popular opinion, but I really hated the episode. I watch Leverage because I like the show: the tech, the chemistry, the jokes, the schemes. This episode had none of that. If I wanted to watch a period love story, I would. Beyond that, while Hodge is a great actor, what the heck was the accent he was trying to put on? It sounded like he was trying to do an English accent, but forgot about it half the time.


THE VAN GOGH JOB was the Best episode of LEVERAGE EVER !!! It was so charming & pretty true-to-life. Save for the fact that my Negro Uncle, during WWII, Heroically killed a nest of German Nazi snipers & was Awarded a whole chest full of medals for saving countless American lives.


Hands down the best episode of the new season thus far.It did not disappoint with a talented guest star (Danny Glover) and Aldis Hodge did a truly exceptional job. Beth was a gem as well.

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Leverage Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

Nate [to Eliot after he plays with the video chat image of Hardison on the screen]: Not a toy.
Eliot: What? Man's telling me to learn technical stuff all the time.
Nate: Well, that'll never happen.

Eliot [on a video chat with Hardison]: Where you at?
Hardison: I'm in a damn storage closet. Smells like moth balls and old people.