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Leverage 5×13 The Corkscrew Job Recap and Review

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 12/12/2012

LeverageLeverage 5×13 The Corkscrew Job Recap and Review


Leverage 5×13 opens on a vineyard where workers are picking ripe bunches of grapes. Suddenly one of the men goes down. A co-worker calls him Sam and tries to help, but their foreman says for everyone to get back to work; they’ll handle this.

In the Leverage micro-brewery a young woman shows Nate a check for a million dollars given to her by a representative from the vineyard. She can’t cash it unless she signs a non-disclosure contract about her father’s death. The vineyard claims there was no wrong doing, so why would they do this? Nate says his team will discover what the secret of her father’s death is.

Back in the vineyard, the foreman stands in the bed of the truck, warning the workers that there are people lined up at the gate asking for work. If anyone slows down, they’ll be replaced. He calls out to the “new guy” that he still has paperwork to fill out. He also tells him to speed it up; Eliot Spencer says “Yes, boss” from underneath his cowboy hat.

Eliot carries his bucket of grapes to the pile ready for transport; as a gentleman he offers to carry a bucket for the lady walking with him. He dumps both as they talk, but as soon as Eliot mentions “Sam Knox” the woman gets away from him fast. Eliot tells Nate that the workers are too spooked to talk to him.

Hardison briefs Nate and Sophie on the non-disclosure statement for the winery which is a hundred pages longer than the one for the CIA. Hardison lets Nate know when Parker has gotten into the winery. Parker is signed up as an intern and Sophie has been coaching her on the “long con” so Parker is trying to internalize her part. She is “Intern Parker” now. She doesn’t like it very much when she realizes interns don’t get paid; they get college credit. He plans to increase production 1000%.

In the Leverage office, Nate, Hardison and Sophie discuss the job. Hardison uncovers some facts about Frank Madigan; he’s the new owner of the winery. His old company was a chemical manufacturing company. He pulled the same thing there, paying for silence. When he bought the winery, he got rid of the old staff and hired a bunch of part timers.

Hardison asks if Parker and Eliot are investigating Knox’s death, what are they going to be doing. Nate has him bring up the financials. Madigan has a loan based on his extensive wine collection. Sophie asks what the “jewel in his crown” is and learns that it is a bottle of wine once owned by Thomas Jefferson. It’s priceless; one of a kind.

Sophie’s up for stealing the wine but Nate says it’s insured and probably heavily. The best way to take him down is to make his collection worthless. “Let’s go fake a bottle.”

Hardison goes to the winery to apply for a position as the new vintner. He complains that he knows nothing about being a vintner; Nate assures him that he can and Sophie will have all the answers he needs. While Hardison is interviewing for the job, Sophie is talking to the old vintner. All Hardison has to do is say the opposite of the guy Madigan fired.

Frank Madigan introduces Hardison as Jason Brown; when he says clean they are to ask how clean. While he is being introduced a crew rolls in dollies containing the new computer he ordered. Hardison reaches towards it “My precious.” He growls under his breath. Seeing the look on Parker’s face he whispers that she is his precious, but she’s not buying it.

In his new office space, Hardison explains about the carbon dioxide monitors. His computer reads out the real time CO2 levels. He gives Parker a list of things that he’s going to need and tells her it will take some time. “Age of the Geek, baby; I am the Great Gatsby.” (my favorite line of the night.)

Parker meets Eliot in the field and complains about all the cleaning; she doesn’t see how this job offers a valuable experience.

Back at the Leverage headquarters, Nate and Sophie discuss how she will get in. Sophie says she has her own plan. Nate tries to tell her that some things can’t be faked. She claims that there is fake and then there’s fake. Nate says that he likes to know the difference.

At the winery, Sophie charms Frank Madigan into giving her a chance to be his new “pourer.” She refuses to go to HR, says she can sell a case of wine to anyone here. She tells him she can be very persuasive and he finally relents telling her to start with his toughest customer.

In the meantime, Parker and Eliot are coached by Nate; the most common cause of fatalities in field workers is dehydration and hypothermia. That’s not happening here; and Eliot says that while Leonard, the foreman, is bad, he’s not killing anybody. It must be something else.

Madigan’s toughest customer is himself. Sophie selects a wine and pours it for him; telling him what he’ll taste. He says it’s good but he wouldn’t be reaching for his wallet. She says that she can see he appreciates the finer things in life. The owner must have something special on hand that he keeps for the staff. She says “no peaking” and wraps a bottle in a white towel before she pours. Madigan says it tastes rich and guesses at the vintage. Sophie surprises him by saying it’s the same bottle. “I told you a story; I set the table and you tasted what you wanted to taste.” Madigan is sold; he tells her his plans. The previous owner was turning out 20k bottles a year; he plans on 200k, but needs someone to help him sell them.

Out in the fields Parker and Eliot discover that what the workers are using as fertilizer is a chemical. The labels have been changed. Parker gets a sample to take to Hardison for analysis. Parker is to follow the paper trail.

In the meantime, Sophie has impressed Madigan with her sales. He takes her up to “The Tower” for a glass of “the good stuff.” He explains the tower’s purpose was to vent out the CO2 that would accumulate around the vats. The winery has air handlers and HVAC systems that do the job now. He asks how she likes the wine; she says it’s good, but she thought he’d have better. Frank asks if she wants to see his cave. Unfortunately, even though the plan was foolproof to switch the bottle, they find out that he has a “license plate” on the bottle. If anyone took it, he would know.

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Sophie lays on the doubt campaign; she dismisses Madigan’s prized bottle because her ex swears he found it in another collection.

Out in the field, Eliot “accidentally” dumps a truckload of the chemical that probably killed Sam Knox. Hardison says the chemical would cause palpitations; high blood pressure and possibly heart attacks. Hardison tries to talk Parker through getting the paper trail from the main computer. He’s too busy to do it himself. Hardison creates a hefty profile for Nate’s character; Sophie’s ex that found the “real Thomas Jefferson bottle.” It doesn’t take long before Frank makes a call to a wine auditor to verify his bottle as genuine.

Parker has an emergency with an exception that could wipe out all the evidence so Hardison races to rescue the computer. He makes it just in time but finds out that the file has been erased anyway. There’s no data but someone copied the file before it was deleted. Nate calls Kristin Knox and asks if anyone else from the winery paid her a visit and she confirms that a woman came by to see her.

Betty Carter took the data to get an OSHA investigation going. Parker sees Leonard and she and Hardison get out of the office; but when Leonard comes in, he can tell someone was in the computer. Madigan says for him to shut Carter down.

Hardison, Parker and Sophie work to make sure that Madigan’s bottle won’t pass the age tests. The three tests include checking the font on the label which Sophie changes with a thin film disguised by a kiss from her lips for luck. Then the glass is tested for manganese; Parker slips I offering wine and changes a lens on the testing device. Finally the radioactivity test; all wine after 1947 will make a Geiger counter click because of the cesium level. For this, Hardison had to steal a radioactive isotope. “The things I do for Nate.”

Quote of the show may go to Parker “So I’m radioactive? Why don’t I have super powers?” Hardison assures her that we all feel cheated.

Even though the tests have all failed the auditor declares the bottle genuine.

Eliot tells Nate that he tracked Betty; three guys took her. Nate says for Eliot to get her back.

Now the team realizes that they played the con too well; Madigan doubted his bottle so much that he bribed the auditor. Sophie is alarmed when Madigan gives everyone the rest of the day off. He’s closing the winery; but what is he planning?

In the meantime, Hardison says that all of the CO2 sensors have been shut off.  Nate thinks they have set Betty up to look like a saboteur. He says that they plan to leave Betty by the fermentation tanks. Hardison plans to access the HVAC but finds out that Madigan disabled that too. Hardison warns Eliot that the air is gonna get a little thin as he and Parker go to open the tower.

Eliot is on the catwalk when two of the men bring an unconscious Betty in to leave her by the tanks. He quickly takes care of one, but his vision goes blurry and the other guy has an oxygen tank and mask.

Meanwhile, there are two more guys blocking Parker and Hardison from getting to the tower. They back up as the men approach, then Hardison goes in, taking a punch as Parker leaps over the men and starts climbing the railing inside the stairwell. She leaps from railing to railing without any gear. (Do not try this at home, although it looks like fun.)

He tells Eliot that he’ll be out in 30 seconds; Eliot claims this will only take 10 and fights the guy; by the third blow he has disabled the oxygen hose and then dumps the man into an open tank.

Parker makes it to the tower with one of the thugs on her tail. Hardison wraps his arm around the man’s neck and cuts off his airway until he passes out. Parker gets the door open so they can all breath. Eliot has Betty and says she’ll be okay.

Nate claims the job is a B+ but Eliot is not so sure. Nate says that Madigan can’t keep the bottle since he bribed the auditor. It’s just a matter of time.

Nate meets Madigan in the field and makes a big deal out of buying the Thomas Jefferson bottle. As soon as the money changes hands, the feds arrest Madigan for selling the worthless bottle. Nate hands the agent the bottle but she says “Keep it, it’s a fake anyway.”

Back in the brew pub, Nate meets with Betty Carter and Kristin Knox. He has enough evidence for Kristin to pursue a lawsuit against Madigan. Betty says that the money he gave them let the workers buy the winery.

Sophie is curious where Nate got the money; he says he found a buyer for the Jefferson bottle as they share a very special glass of wine. Sophie thinks it’s a bit too special, but she’ll never know. Nate says that the buyer wouldn’t ever drink the wine, it’s too valuable.


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