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Leverage - 5.12 - The White Rabbit Job - Recap/Review (spoilers)

Last night’s episode starts in Oregon, two days ago

A younger guy is telling an older guy that there is no way to save all the jobs he wants to cut. The older guy reads off numbers and a blonde woman slaps him

The guy tells Nate and Eliot that a third of the company has been recently let go. Eliot suggests a forced retirement for the man because if they don’t do something drastic, the whole town the company is in will die. He wanted Nate to make the younger guy, Charles Dodgson, the way he used to be.

Nate agrees and declares they are running the white rabbit; the ungriftable grift. Sophie sys it’s possible with a little bit of acting magic and a little bit of Eliot’s special sedative from Bocaraton. Hardison runs a news report on Dodgson. They’ve found out that once a week, Dodgson had panic attacks and that’s Hardison's planned in on how they take him to wonderland. Sophie is put in charge.

Sophie, posing as a doctor, asks Dodgson if he ever discussed his dreams with his doctor. He tells her he had intended to fire the doctor she was posing as working under. Sophie tells him, he can cure him in ten days. Eliot poses as Dodgson’s driver and hits Parker. Don’t worry, it was intentional. He tells her she was too close as he helps her up unharmed. The whole goal of this exercise was to force a panic attack.

Back at Dodgson’s company, he starts to have his attack. He takes a couple of pills and calls Sophie. At Sophie’s office, she doses him and then it’s Nate’s turn to make the Dream-nasim happen. Hardison has programmed a real world version of Inception (which according to the Leverage app, is actually how the whole thing got started when writer Geoffrey Thorne joked they should try to do it).

The first dreamscape is Eliot acting out a scene from Hamlet and telling Dodgson it’s his line. Not every day you get to see Christian Kane as Horatio. How very timely as Hamlet is what I’m currently reading, maybe Leverage has Inception’ed me…. Hmm... Anyways, Dodgson walks down a different hallway where Dr. Sophie tells him it’s all a dream.

“Let’s go steal a dream.”

Dodgson is surprised his dream feels so… solid and Sophie tells him that it’s a lucid dream. He looks out the window and sees nothing, explained by his subconscious not wanting him to be there. She takes him to his factory where he doesn’t want to open the door to the first area he closed, Research and Development. Hardison is certain that is the key to the con, him opening the door. Parker lets him out of the dream and they decided to shorten the leash. Eliot places a blue patch on him in his bed and we’re back at the warehouse.

Sophie tells him this is now phase two where he takes control of his dreams. Panic attacks are caused by a lack of control so he should take control of his dreams. He asks when they start and Sophie informs him they already have. She takes her hands off the silver ball she was holding and it floats in the air all Labyrinth-like and people come out from the woodwork dressed as his workers and asking “Why Charles why?’

When we return form break the faceless figures are still there but the setting has changed to a war zone. Sophie tells him he cannot escape because it is all him. Sophie takes him to his dad’s office where he thinks he’s safe and asks if they can get in. She nearly leaves but he calls her back. He brings up the R&D lab and asks what it means. She takes him there and gives him the key. Dodgson waivers back and forth as to whether he wants to open the door or not and Sophie places a red patch, which ends the dream, on him asking to talk to Nate.

Parker isn’t so sure that pushing is a good idea. Sophie wants to know why he is pushing so hard. She thinks it’s because he knows it isn’t real. Nate tells her that they’ll make it real. Dodgson, back in his office, is planning on selling the company and tries to move up the sell-by date. His lawyer isn’t so thrilled about his and Dodgson tells him he gave the employees time to go find other jobs because they were a family “and family time is over.”

Eliot drives Sophie and Dodgson out of the building under the guise of Sophie being Dodgson’s lady friend. Continuing the theme of random Doctor Who references, Sophie introduces herself to him as Sally Sparrow, aka the girl from Blink. She and Hardison pose as buyers trying to take over the company but before they do so, they ask to see a battery he never finished. Dodgson is distracted by Parker and tries to get her out of there. He also calls her Patience.

“Who the hell is Patience?”

Parker, Hardison, and Eliot go thru Dodgson’s stuff while he sleeps. Hardison finds her; she’s his second cousin and fell off the radar when he took over the company. All Hardison can find is an obit. “So Patience is dead?” “Exactamoondo” (A phrase which I have never said before and hopefully never will again….) Eliot accuses Hardison f falling in his planning and Sophie confesses she never completed the White Rabbit. Nate tells her she can’t feel guilty and then it hits him; Dodgson is guilty over the death of his second cousin.

One day he was happy in research and development when his cousin calls him. The next day after not taking the call, he closes R&D. Every time they’ve caused a panic attack, Parker was in play.

“It’s time for a makeover.”

One of Dodgson’s worker’s gives him an energy drink. Will this interfere with the drugs our team wants to give him? As we have a little over twenty minutes left in airtime, I’d say yes. They dose him anyways and a brunette Parker walks into the lab, he follows her calling her Patience over and over again. (By the way 85% of app users prefer Parker as a blonde. Redhead comes in second with 8% vote)

Dodgson catches her and asks why she looks different and realizes that she’s dead. As predicted the stimulant is working against the sedative. Eliot has to keep away a group of people thinking that he’s a mole for a rival company. The lawyer knows the car service was cancelled last month and when a security guard pokes him, Eliot takes him out with a simple Eliot take down. He takes out all the rest of the guards bar one without breaking a sweat. The last, he just walks away from. A couple of them start to get up and his only word from Nate is to keep them distracted.

Parker runs into a stairwell chasing Dodgson up to the roof where he stands at the edge as if to jump off. He says he doesn’t know what’s real anymore and nothing feels solid. He asks her if he’s dreaming and she asks which answer gets him back with her. Parker finally has to tell him he isn’t dreaming so he doesn’t step off the edge. He doesn’t want to commit suicide, he just subscribes to the idea that you can’t die in your dreams; you’d only wake up.

Hardison isn’t happy that Parker is on the roof with the guy they’ve spent four days messing with. Sophie says she doesn’t like it either but they’ve have to deal with it. Dodgson falls off the roof and Parker catches him and tells him Patience is dead, he has to deal. She tells him that she lost someone once and people thought she was crazy and she thought she was alone but she wasn’t and he isn’t. He tells her that all he wanted was to make something.

“It’s your life Charlie, make something.”

The guy who wanted the con came back and says it’s been over a week since they’ve heard from Charlie. Cut to Charlie talking to his employees, he apologies for his behavior and says that his father was kind of an awful person because all his father wanted was to make money. The feds arrive and Dodgson shows them the battery which he had finished all those years ago but felt so guilty over he never showed anyone. Dodgson announces their new partnership with an eco car company.

“Because they’re going to need something to make it go and we’re going to need a lot more hands around here.”

The con failed technically but Sophie insists it worked because they brought the truth to the surface. Parker comes back in looking a little sad but says that they’re good and business is back to normal.

♥ That it wasn’t cut and dry that Dodgson was bad
♥ Parker was the key to the whole thing
♥ They pulled it off – sort of
♥ Completely new concept for the show

≠ The video game graphics -- Those should have gone out with Fox’s VR-5

There was something about this episode that didn’t quite feel right to me for whatever reason. I liked it but it felt slightly … off. And I’m not sure why.

Next time: A dirty winery

Random note: Producer John Rogers said that Dodgson was a difficult villain to write because “you have to not like him at the beginning and be invested in his redemption by the end.”