Leverage is typically clever and brilliantly written.
But this week? I was reminded of the old saying, “If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullsh*t,” as Nate and his team took on Congress... I think. Or was it a CEO? Was it a CEO and Congress?
Beyond being baffled, it felt like this episode started with a clever play on words for the title "The Gimme a K Street Job" and then the series tried to build the story around that instead of writing a clever story first. Many of the things we love about Leverage got left out or glossed over in this process. Allow me to point out a few of them.
Who was the true mark? Was it the CEO? Was it the sub-committee? Both? Normally we get a really nice break down by Hardison and that allows the audience to follow the bouncing ball all the way to the end.
By the time Nate confronted the CEO did the big reveal, I didn't care. In fact I’m referring to her as “CEO” because I don’t think they ever said her name and even if they did, she was such a flat and boring part of the story, it doesn't matter.
Going through the motions. Since when does it take Parker longer than 10 minutes to break into anywhere? When would Nate send the same team member (Eliot) after a mark three times? Does nobody in Congress verify whose walking into their office? Sophie was changing accents and cloths mid-stride!
It felt more like someone had an idea of what the characters could do more than really knowing what makes them tick inside and what they should do. While I get that Nate was trying to get Eliot to expand his skills, the rest of the team interactions were caricatures of the characters we love. For example, I really thought Parker would have trained a squad of “Little Parkers” while coaching the girls, yet they barely touched on them using them once with a shotgun microphone to listen on the CEO.
Muddy plot equals lame payoff. There were too many moving parts in this episode and it resulted in me (and others I’m sure) not seeing the big picture before (or even after) Nate’s reveal. Had this been a job about getting Congress to pass a safety bill for cheerleaders OR about a corrupt CEO playing the system to make millions, it might have worked better. Mixing them together was just too much and caused both plots to fall flat.
I know that not every episode is going to be great. As Eliot said last week, sometimes you crush it and sometimes you don’t. Here is hoping that this one is a fluke for the season and we get back to the team we love and the crushing it next week.
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.