Leverage Review: A Sterling Reputation

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As the counterpoint to the first half of this week’s two-hour summer  finale, "The Frame-Up Job" featured only Sophie and Nate – along with the return of Jim Sterling, everyone’s favorite Interpol agent. 

Nate's Dilemma

I’m curious: does anyone know when Jim Sterling turned into Robert Palmer? Every one of his agents was an attractive woman with no facial expression. Honestly, had he started humming “Addicted to Love” I wouldn't have been surprised at all. 

His choice of agents aside, I was also surprised how quick Sterling was to accuse Sophie and Nate of stealing the painting. I was expecting him to do a reveal that he knew they weren't behind it but had accused them to get their help. Hasn't Nate and the team saved his ass like a dozen times now? I guess his trust was kind of inferred with his offer to have Nate (and the art thief) come work for him. 

Of course, Sterling delivered the best Leverage quote of the hour when he walked out and off-handedly asked if anyone knew about replacing the painting with forgeries and the curator took off running. 

Did anyone else figure out the son was involved as well when the curator turned up in the pool dead? I felt a bit like Nate when I realized she had no reason to run toward the pool; the odds of falling just right to hit your head on the side edge and still make it into the water that far is pretty high. 

Speaking of Nate and his deductions, I really enjoyed how they showed him going through the motions of with the black and white scenes where only he was in color as the spectator.  I hope we see more of this effect in future episodes, as it give us a more tangible feel for how he figures things out.

Am I alone in my confusion of why Nate doesn't trust Sophie? As she pointed out, they have been working together for five years and sleeping together for the last two. Did I miss an episode where Sophie went grifting and stealing?  

I’m glad that Nate admitted he trusted her at the end. Oh, and I totally called the painting was of her when she wouldn't say why she knew it was a fake. 

Overall this was a great episode and made for a fun summer finale. Don’t forget that Leverage returns in November to finish out its fifth season and TV Fanatic will be here with the latest news and reviews


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (82 Votes)

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


Good article. Great episode! Personally, I can't get enough of Nate and Sophie (I love mind games more than technology manipulations and fist fights)- not to mention that the chemistry between them is so electric! Sterling fits nicely in the picture, as well. Hope LEVERAGE gets renewed for several more seasons!!!


Fun. I'd like to see this kind of Sterling again. He still wins but he gets tricked and made fun of. The series has had several Doctor Who references. They really should do a Doctor Who episode (a convention, a play, Doctor Who impersonator, Hardison/Parker or Nate/Sophie as Doctor/Companion, etc)


On the Doctor Who references...loved it when Soohie said "Spoilers" to Nate. Hardison may be the fanboy but Sophie's still a good British girl who knows her Who.


I really liked the other ep better, not a big fan of Nate and Sophie by themselves. The action was better on the other one. I did like the Doctor Who reference also, that was not the first time this season .


I think that the reason Sterling was so hostile towards Nate and Sophie early on is that he wanted to leverage them into doing the dirty work for him while he took all the credit! It wouldn't be the first time (Faberge Egg, I'm looking at you!), after all.


Love Nate and Sophie's relationship. Rarely do you see an adult love so well presented.
Also enjoyed seeing the parts of the caper through Nate's eyes. Some of it was too complicated for me at 10 PM on Sunday night, but I enjoyed it all the same. Can't wait for November!


I loved this episode. I can't remember the last time a mystery really surprised me with it's reveal, and that's fine. I think the fun is in getting there, and this was super fun. I've had mixed feelings about Nate and Sophie, but this one made me really 'ship them. They were so sexy and fun together! Where has that been hiding?! The writers need to write to that more often, because they're BETTER than Nick and Nora. This was apples and oranges to Rundown, but both were good. Depends on what genre you prefer I guess. Just please don't turn this into the Parker/Hardison/Eliot show! They are fine but the whole team is better together!


LOVED This episode.. the two back to back episode were absolutely great.. couldn't have been more pleased with them the writing and special effects, the cast and crew are the best there is.. so i hope that they will hurry up and renew this awesome show!


Did anyone else catch the sly "Dr. Who" references?? I loved 'em even if I wasn't quite sure why they were there. Mark Sheppard, of course, has appeared as an FBI agent in the more recent Dr Who episodes, but not sure why the sly wink. Sophie introduced herself as "Agent Tennant" (same last name of actor David Tennant who played Dr. #10) and introduced Sterling as "Agent Smith" (same last name as current protrayor of Dr. #11, Matt Smith). A fun episode, though I did figure out rather early on that Sophie was the model for the mysterious painting . . . a bit obvious in the writing.


These two finale pieces were absolutely fantastic writing & acting! Couldn't take my eyes off the screen during the DC one. The Nate & Sophie one was solved by me about 15 minutes in, but was just enjoyable watching them get there...and play with Sterling along the way.
BTW, this is how Sterling sgoukd have been written all along.

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Leverage Season 5 Episode 10 Quotes

Sophie: I know. I'm going to be slaving away in a dusty old theater, while you sit back. Relax and watch alcoholic repressed insurance cops harassing tragically misunderstand femme fatales.
Nate: You're not supposed to root for the criminals.
Sophie: Always root for the home team.

Nate: Oh hey, I just heard from the others, there's gonna stay in DC.
Sophie: I know, Parker just texted me.