Leverage 5×12: The White Rabbit Job: Recap and Review
Leverage 5×12, “The White Rabbit Job” Summary: The scheme team taps into a most difficult con to thwart a businessman from ruining his company and by extension destroying the town it supports.
Leverage 5×12, The White Rabbit Job opens with a boy on a bicycle riding past a factory. Inside Dodgson Energetics, the Charles Dodgson orders his Human Resources manager Alex to let more of the workers go. Alex tries to argue with his employer but finally relents; Dodgson watches as Alex announces the lay-offs to the crew. “I’m sorry, Edith.” Alex says to the last employee on the list. She slaps him across the face before she leaves. The rest of the employees in red coveralls are told to return to work.
At the Microbrewery, Alex tells Nate and Eliot about his employer. Eliot offers to take him out; then offers forced retirement. Alex tells them that he doesn’t want to hurt Charles Dodgson; he wants to help him. Dodgson was once respected and admired but he changed; Alex wants the team to change him back to the man he used to be.
Nate decides to take on the challenge in spite of resistance from the crew. He says they will run The White Rabbit Job; it is the “Ungriftable Grift” according to Hardison. Nate says that he knows one person who has succeeded: Sophie.
Sophie says that the job can be done; all it takes is the right ingredients a little anarchy, some misdirection, an illusion and “Eliot’s special sedatives.” The team turns to question Eliot and we are treated to a flashback. Eliot is the one who is sedated; he wakes up and takes out his enemies. Eliot says that the psychotropic works, as long as the mark hasn’t taken a stimulant.
The team still argues; Dodgson hasn’t broken any laws; you can’t change a person’s life; “We’re not God.” Nate says that the Leverage team is in the business of saving people; Dodgson needs saving.
Hardison briefs the team on Dodgson’s history and shows video of how he was five years ago, when he started working at his father’s factory. The employees love him and speak highly of him. Dodgson describes the company as a family. The company was built by Dodgson’s grandfather and Charles took the company over four years ago. He improved the company and they were working on a special power source; the Alpha battery. Three years ago Dodgson Energetics stopped making the battery.
Outside of work, Dodgson is isolated; he has no social life. He goes to work and home; Nate decides that “the in” will be a driver swap. Eliot will replace Dodgson’s chauffeur.
Hardison describes Dodgson’s behavioral therapy with a psychiatrist. He has panic attacks. Sophie takes the place of Dodgson’s therapist but he doesn’t like her inquiry about his dreams and so he leaves. Sophie is clearly upset when she lets Nate know that she has lost Dodgson; Nate says she hasn’t lost him, he’s about to have an anxiety attack.
Nate tells Parker to “go” and Eliot strikes up a conversation with his passenger. He takes his eyes off the road to talk to Dodgson; Charles is clearly starting to freak out when he sees the car approaching a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Eliot nearly hits Parker. He gets out and gives her a hard time for getting so close; Parker is elated, she wanted it to look real. Eliot assures Dodgson that she’s okay. Charles wants nothing to do with him!
In his office at Dodgson Energetics, Alex approaches Charles and tells him what his cuts are doing to the company. He says they’ll be ruined in a year; Charles counters that he plans on selling in six months. At that time the company will look lean and profitable. He fires Alex saying that he can make do with Mr. Carroll.
When he’s alone in his office, Dodgson collapses and calls Sophie. He tells her that his episodes are getting worse; he wants her help figuring out what is causing the attacks. Dodgson is drugged in the therapist’s office with a little patch placed on the back of his neck. Eliot says that the red patch is lights out; the blue patch will make him loopy.
Hardison tells Nate about the virtual reality field he has created; one room is the therapist’s office, one can be anything and the hallway is neutral space. He tells Eliot to get ready and then springs Hamlet on Dodgson. Eliot plays a part and then tries to get Charles to say his line. Charles flees through the door. Sophie meets him in the hallway and he asks if he’s dreaming, she says yes; when he asks why it feels so real she says that he is lucid dreaming. This is the only way he can learn to take control. Hardison warns Sophie that everything they see is virtual so they can’t touch anything except the doors. They enter the factory floor and Sophie takes Dodgson to his locked Red Lab; he refuses to open the door and wants to go back to his office. Unfortunately, Hardison didn’t recreate his office. Sophie has to control him until he can be drugged with the red patch. Eliot catches Dodgson and carries him to the couch in the therapist’s office.
The con hinges on him opening that door. Once he sees all of the inventions that have been left to rot then he will want to move forward again. Nate says to let him go to his office. For that Hardison needs photos to set up the office; he already has the floor plan. Nate tells Sophie to push him; shorten the leash.
Sophie puts the blue patch on him and Charles awakens in the therapist’s office. He asks when they will begin the dream therapy and she says that they already have. Dodgson says that if it feels real; he asks how he can tell the difference. Sophie levitates a ball and says “Like this.” Then the room disintegrates into a “Matrix” like grid and then is filled with faceless workers in red coveralls. Their voices are distorted at first but when they can be understood they are all saying “Why Charles? Charles, why?” Dodgson hits the floor and Sophie says “Or that.”
Suddenly Dodgson is running through a battle zone; Sophie is with him and the voices can be heard saying “Why Charles?” over the sound of the heavy artillery. “Who are those people; what do they want?” Dodgson asks. “You, Mr. Dodgson. You can’t escape them, Mr. Dodgson; they’re all you. This is all you.”
Safely inside his office, Dodgson asks Sophie to help him to keep them out. She makes him understand that the only way to do that is to open the locked lab door. He panics when Sophie heads for his office door; it sounds as if the people who are after him are on the other side of the door trying to break it down. When Sophie opens the door he sees that it’s safe.
Eliot watches the screen with Nate; “She’s good, isn’t she?” Eliot asks. “Nobody better” Nate replies.
Once Charles gets to the secured lab he still says he can’t unlock it and remove the chains. Sophie tells him that lock is like an anchor. “I am not doing this; you can’t make me!” Charles exclaims. He has to be dosed again with a red patch.
In the Leverage offices, Parker says that Eliot took Dodgson home. Nate says that Charles needs it to be real; they’ll make it real for him.
Dodgson calls John Carroll and tells him to accelerate the sale. He wants to close the doors. Carroll tells him that it could take weeks to close up; there is paperwork that has to be signed to let that many workers go. Dodgson counters that factories close their doors every day. He feels he moved too slowly; he says he gave everyone plenty of warning and they could have found new jobs.
“Make it happen, John, or you’ll be getting a pink slip instead of a golden parachute.” Charles warns him.
In Dodgson’s house he is asleep when the drug patch is placed on his neck. The next scene has Eliot pulling up at the guard shack in front of Dodgson Energetics. Eliot tells the guard that the boss’s new lady friend wants a tour. Sophie acts drunk in the back seat with an unconscious Dodgson beside her. The guard lets them in and the Leverage team con is carried into the Dodgson Energetics Factory.
Inside the real factory floor Charles awakens to Sophie and Hardison. Alec is acting like a buyer and asks to see the Alpha Broadcast Battery, a project that Charles says the company never finished. Parker approaches carrying something under her arm; Dodgson follows her trying to get her to stop. He tells her that she isn’t supposed to be here; says that he has to get her out of here. Parker says she’s taking the battery for a walk and puts it on a cart, but Charles won’t leave her alone. Parker tries to get someone to help her, but when Charles grabs her and says “Patience, I’ve got to get you out of here.” Parker responds with her signature Taser and says “Who the hell is Patience?” as Hardison and Sophie catch the falling Dodgson.
In Dodgson’s home, Eliot puts the man in his own bed. Parker says he called her Patience and the team searches for anything that could give them a clue as to who Patience is. Parker is dying to steal something and has to be told repeatedly that they are not here to steal.
Back at the Leverage headquarters, Hardison shows the team what he has discovered. Patience was Charles’ second cousin. They went everywhere together and she was a real party animal. She dropped off the radar after Charles went to work in the factory. With some further digging, Hardison found her obituary. She’s dead. Eliot is visibly pissed; he keeps harping on the fact that this was a big piece of information that Alec missed. Hardison maintains that he didn’t miss it, he wasn’t looking for it. The job has kept him busy creating virtual realities and monitoring Eliot’s jungle chemicals so that they don’t fry Dodgson’s brain. As they argue, Sophie asks Nate if she can have a moment.
In private Sophie tells Nate that she never completed the White Rabbit con. Her team started fighting and making amateurish mistakes about half way through. Nathan says that this team can do it but Sophie seems to have her doubts. She says that the grift is unpredictable; it could break the mark; it could break the team. Nate is in the middle of telling Sophie that she can’t feel guilty when he abruptly stops and leaves to talk to Hardison. “Why do I even bother?” Sophie asks herself.
Nate asks Hardison when Patience died. Then he tells him to bring up the security footage from the lab the day before her accident. Charles Dodgson is seen working on a project and turning down a phone call. Then the next day he locks the lab doors for good. Dodgson was too busy working on the Alpha Broadcast Battery to take a call from his cousin; the next day he found out she had died in an accident and blamed himself because he didn’t take the call. Parker has been present every time Dodgson had an anxiety attack; she reminds him of Patience. Sophie takes Parker in for a makeover.
In his office at Dodgson Energetics Charles is briefed on the upcoming company auction. John tells him that he is the face of the company as his grandfather was and he needs to pull himself together for a video conference with a car company from Finland. Charles tells John that he hasn’t been sleeping well; he is given an energy drink that is time released to give him a burst every five hours. John stops one of the security guards in the hallway and says that Charles has been behaving strangely. He wants to know if anything unusual is going on.
Dodgson goes to sleep in his bed and then is transported back to the factory. He awakens as “Patience” walks by and he follows her. Patience leads him to the lab door. Sophie coaches her “This is your show.” Just as Charles is ready to open the door he looks at Parker and says “You look different now… Why do you look different?” When she doesn’t answer, Charles tells her that she’s dead; and runs away. Hardison realizes that Dodgson took an energy drink; meanwhile, Eliot has company at the gate.
The guards and John Carroll confront Eliot who tells them that the boss has a lady friend inside. Carroll knows he is lying; he thinks that Eliot is a mole for one of the companies looking to get a better deal on the factory. Nate tells Eliot to stall them which forces Eliot to do what he does best. He disarms all of the guards except for one who keeps aiming a gun at him. The guy is paunchy and Eliot doesn’t want to hurt him. He knows the man won’t shoot him. Dodgson is fully awake and confronts Sophie and Hardison “Who are you people, what’s going on?” then he panics and runs and Parker chases him up the stairs to the roof. The door closes and Hardison can’t get it open to help her. Nate says that he thought Hardison had control of the security system. He is told the lock isn’t part of the system.
Eliot asks what’s going on and is told to keep stalling so he takes all the guards out again, finally taking the gun away. The guard leaves when Eliot tells him to; he doesn’t want to get hurt and Eliot doesn’t want to hurt him.
Charles is on the ledge when Parker reaches the roof. He says that the ball didn’t float and she says “They usually don’t.” Then she asks “What are we talking about?” He asks her if he was dreaming then or now. Dodgson wants to jump; he claims that you can’t die in your dreams, you wake up. He says he’s tired; he just wants to wake up.
Parker tells Dodgson that he’s not dreaming, “If you step off that ledge, you’re gonna die.”
Sophie asks Hardison what he’s doing with a wrench outside of the door to the roof; he says he’s hacking. She tells him to stop; Parker can handle it.
Up on the roof Parker tries to talk Charles off the ledge but he won’t budge. He says that he’ll fall and then he’ll wake up and maybe she’ll still be alive. Parker asks to sit on the ledge and says she won’t try anything. She tells him that she isn’t Patience; “Patience is dead and that sucks, but you’re alive.” Charles doesn’t buy it and he slips over the edge but Parker catches him and won’t let him fall. She drags him back up to the rooftop. He says that when he started to work in the factory he just wanted to make things.
Charles says that he’s all alone. Parker tells him about herself; “I lost someone too and I thought I was alone but I wasn’t. You’re not alone.” Parker confesses that the team is here because the people of his company asked them to help him.
“It’s your life Charlie, it’s your choice. Make something.”
At the Leverage headquarters Alex says that no one has seen Charles for a week. Eliot calls for Parker but she’s not there. Hardison says that she went to see the Finns and brings up the camera to check on her. Alex sees the activity outside the factory as the Finnish car manufacturers arrive. He says Charles is doing it, he’s selling the company.
Inside the factory Charles is clean cut and his beard and mustache is trimmed. He speaks to the remaining workers about his grandfather’s motto “Keep moving forward.” He talks about what he wanted for the company when he took over, and says that we all have regrets. He says that he recently underwent a sort of intervention. Then he sees the new arrivals: “Hey, the Finns! Your timing is impeccable; have I got something to show you.”
The workers and the Finns follow Charles as he goes to the lab. He uses bolt cutters to remove the lock and chains then opens the doors to let everyone in. “Someone reminded me that we can’t change the past but we can make the future.” Charles says; he announces a partnership with the Hybrid Car manufacturer. They will need something to make it go. He reveals the Alpha Broadcast Battery and announces that he is going to need a lot more hands around here. He makes eye contact with Parker before she leaves.
Sophie is leaning against the railing as Eliot approaches. “Why the long face?” he asks her. Nate and Hardison are not far behind. Sophie says she is just thinking and Hardison jumps in on the failure of the plan. Sophie claims that the plan was a complete success. The men argue the point but Sophie defends her stance as Parker arrives “Are we good?” Parker asks. “You tell us.” Sophie replies. Parker thinks for a beat, “Yeah, we’re good.” She says and the team walks away together.
Author’s note: I wanted to let you know that this is officially Leverage episode 5×08 on DVD and on demand, but the shows have aired out of sequence this season. You will probably notice that more because of the length of Christian Kane’s/Eliot’s hair. Needless to say, I enjoyed tonight’s episode but I did notice a couple of things that I thought were noteworthy. “Keep Moving Forward” was also the motto in a Disney movie. Can any of you recall which one? The motto comes from a Walt Disney quote. The White Rabbit Job has a lot in common with the mythical job in the movie Inception. I love Leverage and I loved the movie Inception but I wonder how viewers will take this episode. Finally I would like to know how many of you noticed the reference to Lewis Carroll; Charles fires Alex and says that he will make do with Mr. Carroll. I half expected Nate to show up as a new consultant named Mr. Carroll. What are your thoughts?
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