Leverage 5×15 The Long Goodbye Job Recap and Review
Leverage 5×15, The Long Goodbye Job, Synopsis: “In the Leverage series finale, Nate takes on a case connected to his son’s death and leads his team into one of their most perilous schemes.”
First off, let me warn you, if you haven’t seen this Leverage episode yet, you’re in for a wild ride. I can honestly say that the first forty minutes or so of “The Long Goodbye Job” had fans typing “WTF?” into Twitter and Facebook as we felt an impact none of us saw coming. In spite of warnings that this was going to be a tough one to watch, who expected this?
The Long Goodbye Job starts with a confused and battered Nate Ford, assaulted by the question “What was your mistake?” When Nate doesn’t respond right away, he is prompted, “How did it start?”
It’s now a month ago, and Nate is listening as a new drug is described that could save a little boy’s life; a drug that isn’t getting approved because there isn’t a market for it. That’s how Nate’s son died. When he promises to make sure that Danny Sullivan gets the drug that may save his life, Hardison comments that he’s never seen Nate hug a client before. Sophie enlightens the team; Nate hasn’t seen the woman since Sam’s funeral. Dr. Gallo was Sam’s pediatrician.
We are treated to the usual rundown of the job, Highpoint Tower, the drug is on the tenth floor; it sounds like an easy job. Then Hardison breaks the news; there are computer servers that carry classified information from the FBI, CIA and Interpol. There is no such thing as “The Cloud”; files are shuffled from one server to another, all over the globe for minutes or hours. Eliot and Parker enter the building on a recon mission and suddenly their coms cut out. Parker and Eliot figure it out; there’s a Steranko security system. Eliot and Parker get out as Hardison explains that the system has been upgrading based on their slim escape from the same system two years ago. The Steranko has learned from that mistake.
Nate insists that there must be a way around it, and Hardison solves the puzzle with the aide of cameras, mapping the lay of the land. There’s a trunk line that is unprotected; Hardison can get into the phone lines. They choose the Dolan Theater across the street. Sophie sets up a production of Macbeth, to be held in that theater in three weeks. On the roof, Nate and Parker calculate her trip from the roof of one building to the other. Parker takes this moment to ask Nate why he has been including her on planning the jobs lately. Nate explains how different they are, how she fits the pieces together, He trusts her judgment. Inside the theater, Nate takes a moment to observe Sophie as she directs her theater troupe. She says that she feels this is exactly where she belongs.
“What was your mistake?” the woman asks Nate again. “When you were pulled from the river, you said you made a mistake. Mr. Ford, How did your friends die?”
Okay, so we’re six minutes in and I feel as though Eliot landed a blow to my gut. This can’t be right. I know without looking that there are multiple WTFs going up on the social networks and in living rooms and chat rooms all over the country.
Ellen Casey introduces herself now, she says that Nate is in the hospital; the police are awaiting her evaluation. She says there were reports of an attempted break in at Highpoint Tower, shots fired.
We get transported back to the theater; Sophie is forced to take the stage because her Lady Macbeth hasn’t shown up. Fans know that acting isn’t Sophie’s strong suit, but Nate says she’ll be fine because it’s part of the con. The play is starting and Nate counts down to Parker “3,2,1” Parker says “Showtime” and shoots her zip line across to the other roof. On the ground below, Hardison and Eliot watch as Parker goes sweeping across the sky. “20 pounds of Crazy.” Alec says “5 pound bag.” Eliot finishes.
Parker has moments to send her zip line back to the other roof, and get inside the building before the roof guards arrive, due to the alarm. Nate loses contact as soon as she is inside the building. Parker sets off an alarm inside the building. Nate takes the intercepted call from Highpoint Tower. He gets the code, then calls Steranko Security and gives them the code to disable the alarm. Hardison and Eliot enter the building as alarm technicians; they say they need access to the tenth floor. No sooner are they on their way than an armed police officer enters and says he has to walk the building anyway. Nate is watching the security cameras and realizes that the man’s radio will still work, even when other forms of communication would not. Steranko tells the officer that they did not send any techs.
Eliot, Parker and Hardison are trying to get into a room on the tenth floor when the officer and two security guards catch up. Eliot takes out the two guards, but the officer has gone the other way to cut them off. As Parker and Hardison are sliding down an elevator shaft, the officer fires and hits Parker; she loses her grip on Hardison and he falls to the floor below. Nate and Sophie respond to a tearful Parker; Hardison’s leg is broken, he’s smashed up inside. The race is on to save the team. Nate and Sophie back Hardison’s black van, “Lucille” up to the loading dock, and she helps Hardison into the van. The officer bursts through the door and is about to fire when Eliot comes out behind him and disarms him. He takes the gun apart and almost makes it to the van, but the officer has an ankle holster. We watch as the bullet goes all the way through Eliot’s back and exits his chest. He falls towards the van, and Parker drags him inside as the van pulls away. The three link hands; Nate is going for the rising bridge. The Portland PD pursues the van; there is a barricade at the bridge. Nate and Sophie look at the three in the back; their dead eyes stare vacantly. Nate runs the barricade to the top of the rising drawbridge.
Nate pounds his fist on the table, trying to rid himself of the memory. Ellen Casey shows him photos of the body bags by the river. She says the identities have been confirmed. It’s 20 minutes in and the team is dead. I almost changed the channel; I didn’t know how much more I could take. Tell me it’s only a TV show, but the show just got cancelled on Friday. If the team is all dead, then we’ve been conned all season.
Ellen Casey leaves Nate in the room, and in the hallway we see that it’s not a hospital; Nate’s at Interpol. Now I wondered if she was trying to con Nate! She said that he was disoriented and his short term memory wasn’t intact. There had to be something I was missing! Ellen Casey walks out of the Highpoint Tower building. After checking the roof and going to the theater, she returns to ask Nate one more question: why is he lying to her?
Agent Casey tells her own version of the story based on the evidence she has collected. His story makes no sense. She found the entrance to the building, underground. The roof wasn’t the way in, the elevator shaft was. The team is dead, so why would he lie? Nate screams “why would I lie” as he loses control. That’s when Casey realizes that he knows he’s not in a hospital. Nate knows the sounds he would have heard if he was in a hospital; he also pegs her as an agent because of a few significant tells. He even knows where he is. He tells her about the servers, the way that the agency files are shuffled. She says there are no active cases on the 20th floor servers. Nate looks at the camera and says “No active cases.”
Sterling enters and pours Nate a drink. He knows what Nate would risk everything for; the most secret file at Interpol “Black Book” which is on those servers for three hours once a month. Five years ago, when the “too big to fail” financial system fell apart, a huge robbery was discovered. 1/3 of the world’s wealth disappeared and the government agencies decided not to prosecute the “rich and powerful” on that list. There are 1000 big names on that file; the Holy Grail.
The coroner’s van arrives and Sterling asks for a body count; three. Everyone goes to the 20th floor. Sterling and Casey realize that Nate was lying to protect Parker and give her time to escape. As they enter the server room, Sterling aims a jibe at Nate, “Does Parker know you got Hardison Killed?” Nate grabs Sterling as if he’ll strike him, but doesn’t. The server room is empty, and the hard drive is active, so they close up the room and head down to look at the bodies.
Nate turns away as Sterling opens the body bag and folds it back to reveal Hardison’s face. My heart stopped for a third time. I wonder if he’s faked his own death; Parker has, more than once. Then Sterling pulls his gun and tells everyone to get out of the way. He fires six shots into Hardison’s corpse as Agent Casey asks if he’s crazy and I almost lose my dinner. Sterling says the body is very lifelike, but it is made of ballistics gel.
Finally we are let in on the full depth of the con. It’s all been a lie! Sophie was the one manning the phone for all the calls, including those made by Agent Casey and everyone at Interpol. The flashback shows Eliot, Hardison and Parker stripping off coveralls after the bodies were delivered, and becoming security guards; they went into the servers when Sterling went in searching for Parker the first time. Sterling is the Trojan horse. Agent Casey says there’s no way out; but of course she has found the way out. Sterling tells her, she just thought it was the way in. Casey sends agents to search the crowd at the theater; but the three are disguised as guards in the cast of Macbeth.
In the parking garage, Sterling and Casey sign Nate over to the transport that will take him to prison. Nate asks Sterling to forget that he got the Black Book. “Send me away for life, just don’t tell them.”
Sterling says “Nathan, you and I are not the same. We don’t believe in the same things.” He signs the transfer papers, puts Nate in the black SUV and tosses the papers inside. He has written a note “Nate we’re even; tell Sophie to drive carefully.” As Sophie drives away, Casey remarks “That couldn’t have been easy.” Sterling replies “Justice is always easy.”
At the risk of this reading too much like a screenplay I will recap the last ten minutes as this: Nate asks Lara (Sophie) to marry him; they leave the business to Eliot, Hardison and Parker; on the way out the door Sophie leaves us with yet another mystery. “You do know that Lara is not my real name.” So, even that spoiler that Gina Bellman spilled on Twitter after the show was cancelled, was a con; as was the reaction.
Recalling season one, a couple tearfully talks of their plight. Now, instead of Nate, it is Parker sitting in the armchair. “People like that, corporations like that, have all the power to make people like you go away. Right now, you’re suffering under an enormous weight; we provide LEVERAGE.”
So, I ask you, was the cancellation a con too? I don’t know; what do you think?
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