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Leverage - 5.13 The Corkscrew Job - Recap/Review

We start tonight’s episode in a vineyard where workers are plucking grapes. One named Sam passes out and lots of people rush over to him. After examining him briefly, the foreman orders everyone back to work.

In the bar, Sam's daughter tells Nate his autopsy showed heart failure but the day after he died, the vineyard gave her a giant check. She contacted him because she wants to know how they killed her dad and Nate agrees.

“You don’t pay people to keep secret, unless you have secret to keep."

Back at the vineyard the foreman yells at Eliot while he wears a woven hat. (On Twitter Christian Kane said that it was a cowboy hat but I don't think it is) He introduces himself to the first woman that rushed to Sam’s side. He asks her about him and she leaves. Nate orders background on the vineyard. Hardison tells the team that the nondisclosure agreement is a hundred pages longer than the CIA non-disclosure agreement and people are still surprised he would know how long the CIA non-disclosure agreement is. Then they get confirmation Parker is in. Apparently she’s playing an intern. Parker all excited but a guy in a suit tells them that they are going to increase output of vineyard in exchange for college credit. Parker argues with Sophie that Intern Parker deserves to be paid.

Hardison tells the team that the guy in the suit, Madigan, has a history of paying off deaths. While Parker and Eliot work on the winery, Nate, Sophie, and Hardison go for a Thomas Jefferson owned bottle of wine. Sophie declares “Let’s go steal a bottle.” No, they can’t do that because it would give Madigan a big check. They need to make the wine useless so our real battle cry for the episode is “Let’s go fake a bottle.” Sure.

Nate sends Hardison in to be the resident geek but Hardison insists that he makes beer and that’s completely different from wine. Don’t worry, Sophie’s got all the answers; she’s interviewing a guy who used to work there. Madigan introduces Hardison to the interns. Actually, Aldis Hodge does know his wine according to the sync app meaning he probably knows what he was saying better than I, a firm teetotaler, ever could. Parker complains to Eliot about the type of work she’s doing after Hardison gave her a list of things to get and Nate and Sophie argue over whether they can fool a scientist at his job.

“End of the day, there’s fake and then there’s Fake.”

Sophie, in an attempt to find out more about the bottle, offers to sell a case of wine to any person in the room to land a job. Madigan accepts her challenge and sets her on his toughest customer; himself. The foreman yells at the workers as Parker and Eliot decide there is no visible risk to the workers. Sophie tries to sell wine to Madigan. He tastes the first wine and is not impressed the he tastes the second she offers him, which is supposedly a wine kept for employees, and likes it a lot better. She reveals they are the same wine but she told him a story. He likes that idea and tells her that the people before him didn’t care if they made a profit and offers him a job.

Parker peels back the label on a canister of fertilizer and reveals a short sequence of letters –SN 12. Eliot tells her that’s not fertilizer. Parker dips in her water bottle to take a sample for Hardison to analyze. Madigan tells Sophie his orders for next year are through the roof and want to celebrate. She agrees and they go to the roof. She says she likes the tower and he tells her the original purpose was to flush out the carbon dioxide. They go out to the winery and she asks to see the Jefferson wine. He informs her of the “license plate” on the wine. He’s unimpressed that she’s so unimpressed. She tells him that her old boss found the Jefferson wine bottle in the collection of a Saudi prince. He insists his is the real bottle but Hardison thinks Sophie got to him.

Eliot orders the chemical moved. When he goes to do so, it falls off the back of the truck. He says he’ll tell the foreman and asks Hardison what it is. Hardison replies that it should accelerate the plants’ growth but in humans it causes all the symptoms Sam had. Hardison tries talking Parker thru a hack which goes nowhere fast while he finishes his whisper campaign. Parker accidentally triggers an automatic system wipe which would destroy all the evidence. With one second left, Hardison saves the system and Parker tells him what they’re looking for. He looks and finds nothing because Madigan wiped the records but before he did so, there was a copy of the file.

Sam's daughter is less than happy to hear that the workers are still being exposed to the chemical. Hardison checks the system for when the data was copied. Jumpy girl from earlier, Betty, is a potential ally in shutting Madigan down. Parker and Hardison leave the office before the foreman walks in but he notice something off on his computer right away and calls the boss.

Nate tells them that they need to hack three state-of-the-art tests while the owner is standing right there. Sophie claims the first and presses her fingers to the bottle which added a letter with the wrong kerning making it look laser printer 2012. He tests the composition of the bottle which Parker skews by placing a filter into the machine. While they wait on the last test, Betty is forced to run as the foreman is after her.

The last test involves a Geiger Counter because all bottles after 1948 were made in an atmosphere with cesium as a result of nuclear testing. Hardison dips the auditor’s gloves in the isotope. By all counts this bottle should be fake but the auditor declares it real. Eliot has tracked the girl but they’ve taken Betty. Nate concludes they did their job too well; Madigan knew it was going to be fake and bribed the auditor.

Sophie offers to celebrate with Madigan but he's overly brisk with her and giving everyone a vacation day. According to Hardison all the Co2 monitors have been taken off-line. Nate theorizes that they plan on blaming this on Betty. Parker reminds Hardison of the vent tower up top and Eliot gets ready for another take down but this time in thin air. He knocks one guy out but starts to stumble. The other puts on an oxygen mask and Eliot’s vision goes blurry.

Parker Spider-Mans up the stairs while Hardison takes out the men below them on the stairs. Oxygen Mask taunts Eliot and Eliot kicks his ass. Parker continues up the stairs trying to open the doors. She succeeds.

“I think it’s time Intern Parker starts getting paid.”

Eliot as always, saves the girl. Nate is unconcerned by the Jefferson wine because he knows Madigan is going to try and off-load it onto him. He does and is promptly arrested because Nate convinced the auditor to talk.

Betty tells Nate back at the bar that the winery is now company owned. Sophie and Nate drink the Jefferson wine or did they? Nate refuses to tell Sophie whether they did or not.

Next week: Broken toys.”We’re going to steal Christmas” So two parter ending on Christmas?

Random note: 74% of Leverage fans want to be saved by Eliot. I feel sorry for Nate who’d fallen into last with only 4%.

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