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Leverage - Episodes 5.09 & 5.10 The Rundown Job and The Frame-Up Job

This week sees the summer finale of Leverage on TNT. As 5.09 and 5.10 are airing back to back, I shall be recapping them together.

5.09 The Rundown Job

Tonight's first episode opens with a farmer yelling at a man in a suit and tie. Things do not go well for the farmer as he is shot in the neck with some sort of serum that means that his "time table has been moved up". Next we see guest star Adam Baldwin as a man who is in over his head at a congressional meeting.

Meanwhile, the then Eliot-Hardison-Parker part of the Leverage team is busy finishing a job. As the three prepare to fly home, Eliot gets a phone call from an old acquaintance named Riley. Riley isn't happy to hear Eliot is out of the unspoken business but they hang up amicably enough anyways. "Just because I'm not doing it, doesn't mean it's not getting done," Elliot informs Hardison.

So, in typical Eliot fashion, he doesn't want to see things go bad for good people so he retrieves the file with a little help from some friends. The target? A woman about to be taken out by a sniper. Elliot distracts the target by asking her for directions before out-and-out moving her as the sniper fires into the crowd.

Woman: "Who are you?"
Eliot: "Right now, we're the good guys."

The woman is handed off to Parker and Hardison while Elliot takes out the sniper with a golf club. The woman is a 9-1-1 operator which leads the team to believe this is a terrorist plot. It's now Elliot's turn to make a call.

Eliot briefs Colonel Vance with the hopes that the Leverage team can pass it on and get on a plane. Vance proceeds to arrest them. He tells them that numerous other people involved in the infrastructure of the city have been killed. He offers to clear their names if they can stop the attack.

After staging an escape, Hardison does his paranoid nerd impression to get past the guard outside and to steal the truck. Hardison is in love with the liberty infringing tech as he discovers the man who matches the fingerprints being run. Parker picks out the relevant information, a cooler full of ice, before announcing that she'll drive.

Across town at the Washington Union, a man in a fake looking disguise hands the woman behind the desk a suspicious looking package with the ominous words, "Your supervisor will want to see this."

Eliot's surly disbelief of Parker's analytical skills is soon assuaged when she points out the previous robbery of the trust was only a ruse to break into the lab next door. The lab which had been shut down since 1939 and a precursor to the CDC. One of the bugs stolen, is the Spanish Flu which sets Hardison on more of an edge than we've ever seen. Eliot assures Hardison that he is the smartest man he has ever known and when he gets his hands on the man behind this, it's done. All the sudden the farm at the beginning with the pigs, what's needed to cultivate the virus, makes sense. When Eliot calls Vance to inform him of their latest development, Vance is too preoccupied by the red herring left by the fake middle eastern man.

Eliot, Parker, and Hardison find the dead farmer as well as a farm full of dead pigs.

Parker: "Not like every other job."

"Well that ain't a maybe." Col. Vance observes. He offers the team passports and to call them when it's done. The team isn't thrilled with this and can't stop working. Why only take out one hospital administrator. All the people that were killed had all gone to a symposium on bio terrorism in Berlin. The only man left is the man who gave he lecture.

Next, Col. Vance is busy being micromanaged by the general in charge or the oversight committee while the Leverage team go to check out the man in charge of the symposium. Hardison steps on a claymore bomb in the man's house leading bendy Parker to have to bend over backwards on him to disarm it. They come to the conclusion that the man they went to check on is the fake middle eastern man from earlier before realizing that all his research is at his house.

Parker: "So, what's the trailer for?"

Eliot calls the general in charge who like many men in charge is incompetent and hangs up. Vance is leading his men into a trap.

Eliot: "And we sent them there."

Hardison's idea to save them is to use the Bluetooth in Vance's car to get his attention by causing the car to honk SOS. As it turned out Hardison was in the nick of time as Vance and his team barely avoided the explosion.

By tracking the terroist's phone, the team ends up at the train station but being able to tell their man from the next proves to be difficult. Parker hitches a ride on the train as their man is in it. Eliot and Hardison commandeer a pedestrian's car so that they can get 11 blocks in less than 2 1/2 minutes. The police car chasing them doesn't help this pursuit. Parker tries to walk along the outside of the train car to the car the target is in. The target handcuffs his deadly briefcase to his wrist as the train pulls to a stop. Will Eliot and Hardison make it? Can Parker stop the mark from setting it off? Those are all questions for after the commercial break. As an interesting aside from the Leverage app, the production crew was also working against the clock as the city of Portland, where Leverage is film, ordered them out of the station before the trains started moving.

Realizing that the professor is immune to the virus, Parker makes her way quickly and quietly thru the train before confronting him. "They all have to die. It's the only way to make the government realize." But as he tries to culminate his speech with a detonation, it's revealed Parker stole the briefcase. Using a diamond to avoid breaking the glass around the bomb, the leverage team is able to shut down the bomb but not the virus. The professor fires on them as time runs out to save the city.

With a kiss from Hardison, Parker takes the man out and uses the concentrated explosion from the bomb with the aerosol can to burn up the virus before it does any damage.

Eliot: "Becoming obsessed with your enemy, it becomes real easy to become them."

Despite Eliot having been shot the three of them walk off into the daylight.

5.10 The Frame-Up job

Meanwhile, Nate and Sophie are being shot at despite, as is shown a few seconds later, they were supposed to be at a film festival and at a play respectively.

So... Neither one of the goes to their schedualed event. Sophie is shown at an estate auction. Nate surprises Sophie by showing up at her high end art auction. After stealing the tickets from a pair behind them, Sophie and Nate see the last painting by Metias revealed. Or rather it should have been. It's been stolen and Sophie swears she didn't take it. Somehow, I don't think Sterling will see it that way that.

He doesn't. Sterling informs his "favourite art thief" that he's there pro-actively as a member of Interpol because of how high profile the auction is. The couple's bantering continues to annoy Sterling as he insists that they did take the painting and have hidden it on the premises. He has them handcuffed and that lasts all of two seconds before Sophie uses her hairpin to free them.

Nate still disbelieves Sophie about taking it but decides that if she didn't, they should figure out who stole it. Using the cover of "undercover Interpol" they gain access to the room with the safe. Sophie insists that she only lied to Nate about where she was going because she thought that he would think the whole event was boring. Which clearly it wasn't. The pass code to the safe was recently changed. The only thing that would make sense would of course be if he changed it the day of his death.

Nate: "This is no longer an art theft, it's a murder"

Sophie and Nate go to inform Sterling.

Sterling: "If you're trying to escape, this is a very bad attempt."

They then inform him that the same person who killed Johann Gault is the same person who took the painting.

"Sophie killed Johann Gault?"

Sterling gives them one hour to figure out who did it. So Sophie and Sterling go to interrogate the people with Nate listening in. The currator says that she was having a disagreement with the daughter at the time that Gault was dying. Her motive? She was about to be fired but if she killed him, she would still get her commission from selling the art. The daughter says she was having a disagreement with the fourth wife. The motive? The fourth wife mentions her conversation with the lawyer with whom she thought she was going to have to split her share. (Which is the motive BTW). Sophie and Sterling interrogate the lawyer with an obvious nod to Doctor Who (Agent Tennant; Agent Smith). The lawyer mentions being asked to be part of an extortion scheme by the son but turning him down. His real motive? He was embezzling. According to Nate, the son had no motive to commit the crime because he had nothing to gain from his father's death.

The butler is accused by Sophie when he walks in on Sophie, Nate, and Sterling. Sophie then checks behind the settee and finds a wrapped painting. The curator confirms the identity of the painting found in the butler's room but since this is only halfway thru the episode, the butler has been framed. Sophie confirms this by saying that the painting wasn't Momestare.

Sophie suggests stealing Momestare and another painting to prove that Momestare is a fake. Sophie is adamant it's a fake. Nate goes to outsmart Sterling to get the painting. Sophie goes to steal the painting by insisting that she's a duchess. It works because Sophie has a separate conversation with the curator that ends with "Just give it to her." One painting down. Nate swaps his painting with a fake and the two set to work in a stable with rubbing alcohol, some vodka, and a little bleach mixed with a sample of the paintings and set on fire. The paintings match in chemical composition so they either have the real Momestat or the entire collection is fake. From the way Sophie reacted when she found out they matched, I'll bet she's hoping they're all fake.

Sterling is justifiably outraged at the claim that every single painting is a fake. The curator is looking more and more guilty. Sterling's declaration of "Hey has anybody been replacing the Metias over the last few years without anybody looking?" works better than anyone would have thought. While escaping, the curator slips, hits her head, and is killed. Sterling solves the case and learns the new Leverage HQ location.

Back at HQ, Sophie tells Nate that she wishes she could have told him how she knew the photo was a fake. Nate tells Sophie how he knew where she was and it all came down to the shoes. Informing Nate of her change of clothes, Sophie slips into the other room. Unfortunately for her, this enables Nate to figure something out. He goes back to the safe's room and realizes that no matter how many times the curator went in or out "she couldn't crack the second alarm. But you knew that already didn't you?" Who votes Sterling?

When they came back from their last commercial break for a while, Nate is held at gun point by the son who earlier in the show, had no motive. Except that he was selling the paintings on the black market. When his father found out, unfortunately, the man had to be offed. And now we're back to the shoot out at the beginning. What do you think teaser for the end at the beginning, yay or nay? Sound off in the comments.

After throwing the man in the not shallow end of the pool, Sterling is called.

Sterling: "Any more people in the same vicinity you would like me to arrest for the same crime?"

The man is hauled away and it was revealed that the son hid it by building a fake wall. The painting? A very young and very naked Sophie. Stealing the painting back, Nate and Sophie walk off into the night.

With no new episodes until November, fans are left with nothing but fond memories until the return.

On a season break note, you can follow Timothy Hutton (@timhutton), Christian Kane (@ChristianKane01), Beth Riesgraf (@BethRiesgraf), Gina Bellman (@Ginabellman),Aldis Hodge (@AldisHodge), Mark Sheppard (@Mark_Sheppard), director Jonathan Frakes (@jonathansfrakes), producer Dean Devlin (@Electric44), and of course you can follow me (@FireflyTARDIS) for more information about Leverage or for your other favorite shows check out SpoilerTV (@SpoilerTV).

All photos belong to the people in charge of the Leverage app.