Leverage Review: Close Con of The Leverage Kind

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Nate: Lets go steal us a close encounter. 

This season has really had a different flavor to it. I’m still putting my finger on it, but it seems to be a bit more savory and certainly seems to relay how close Nate and the team have grown. Much like a stew or soup left overnight to let the flavors merge and strengthen, Leverage Season 5 has enjoyed the benefit of time.

This week’s "The First Contact Job" was a prime example. Watching Eliot and Hardison singing a duet of Hardison’s improvised song “Two good ol’ boys” got it stuck my head and Parker and Hardison betting their next date on who could get to the server room first was awesome. 

Hodge & the Science Job

We even got to witness Eliot do something other than hit people. Okay, he hit some people too. But before that he got to play a fun character, I could not stop laughing at the near vacant stare Christian Kane kept doing as “Willy." I really enjoy Leverage the most when we get to see team members doing new things. 

The only fly in the ointment really was Nate and his jumping to the wrong conclusions about the client wanting money. Then again, the episode’s overall message was about listening, so I guess someone had to “not listen” for the story to really hit home. I’m willing to go with it. 

It was sweet at the end that Parker had listened to Hardison, and tried to give him a picnic under the stars. And, of course, Nate had come around and listened to the client... even more sweet was that Sophie waited for Nate to come around and had faith that he would. 

Is anyone else worried that the some of the con's “presentation” are escalating to a point where they will become to unbelievable? First, the team faked stealing the Spruce Goose and now it faked an alien encounter. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the little touches at the end of this Con with Sophie appearing to be abducted and the flashing lights. I’m just worried that these “bigger effect” cons are going to end up crossing a line of realism.

Of course, that said, my inner geek wouldn't feel right without giving kudos to all the nods this episode made to other sci-fi shows and movies. I picked up on E.T., Men in Black, and Star Trek: Next Generation. Be sure and check out the Leverage quotes to read these nods. Did you see any others I missed?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

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


Watched this again last night and caught that Hardison was the one that suggested Eliot's alias for the con.


I'm kind of getting sick of Parker and Hardison not kissing. They're officially dating, Hardison set up the stars, and they just hugged? Yeah, right. Is the show that afraid of losing the rascist demographic?


like other reviewers, loved this one too. absolutely one of my all time faves. all the geeky goodness one could wish for. question, who was the "man in black" when eliot got kidnapped from the trailer? could not figure out who that was. a new overarching character?... or am i just dense? love it! love it! love it!!!


I hadn't realized Jonathan Frakes had directed... that makes the "Willy Riker" name make so much more sense!


Wow, what a fun episode! I agree with what the others have already said here. Leverage is the only show my whole family loves. Eliot & Hardison singing--priceless! I really loved how Christian Kane portrayed his character in this ep. He is soooooo underrated as an actor! With such exceptional writers and directors, and an extraordinary cast & crew, it's no wonder LEVERAGE just keeps getting better & better! I hope it goes on for many more seasons.


Another great episode of Leverage! Loved all the inside jokes that the writers put in. Always love watching the interactions between the characters and how they are one big family. Parker channeling ET, the Hardison/Eliot rap in Lucille, Eliot as Willie Riker... I loved it all! Thank you for your review, and #RenewLeverageTNT.


I absolutely loved The First Contact Job last night!! My whole family was laughing. There was never a dull moment. The whole cast is amazing. All the Sci-Fi show references were great. My favorite moment was Eliot and Hardison singing in Lucille. Who knew Hardison could even sing! I am loving Season 5 of Leverage and looking forward to many more seasons of this great cast and crew.


I absolutely loved this episode, as for the cons getting too unbelievable the Leverage writers always know how to bring it to a close with a twist. They have the best writers, cast and directors for this show they know how to leave us wanting more. Thanks for the great write up.


This was by far my FAVORITE episode of the season so far! I'm a SciFi geek and was SO excited for this one... even more so when I found out Star Trek alum Jonathan Frakes (Commander Will Riker from TNG) directed it!!! My whole family was laughing so hard. This was just amazing and really showing Leverage at its best! :)


I loved last nights episode and I completely agree with you about this season. I think it has enjoyed the benefit of time. I loved that I laughed through most of this episode and a lot of it had to do with Christian Kane. I liked seeing him do something other than just hitting people (even though I usually enjoy those parts because he creates such great fight scenes). I caught all the little references last night(inner geek). Everyone did a great job.

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Leverage Season 5 Episode 3 Quotes

Nate: We can have the research back in 2 hours. Right Hardison? Hardison?
Hardison: Less. I would actually like to enjoy the rest of my Sunday.
Parker: He wants to get to his online Orc battle.

Elliot: What kind of guy names a toilet after himself?
Sophie: Someone who cares more about fame and then respect, that's for sure.