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Leverage on TNT : 5X08 : “The Broken Wing Job” Recap

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 09/09/2012

Leverage on TNT :: 5X08 :: “The Broken Wing Job”


The Broken Wing Job

Leverage on TNT gives fans something new each week  and episode 508 “The Broken Wing Job” takes that to a whole new level. We start off with our Leverage crew in Tokyo, Japan with the promise of an episode filled with the usual wit and mystery, where bad guys make the best good guys and take on big corporations, leveling the playing field for the rest of us. A Japanese man is suddenly dragged around the corner and we can hear him getting beat up. Eliot appears and says to Nate “I told you there was a ninth guard.” Sophie enters carrying a golden monkey and Hardison comes in from the other side of Nate with a chattering animal in a small box. The time is set and Hardison is complaining about the close quarters where he’s got to rig the wiring. Parker chimes in on the com “three minutes, I’ll keep count.” The Leverage team is adamant about her staying out of this job.

The flip in this episode is that while the Leverage crew is in Japan,  Parker has been left in Portland nursing a torn ACL that she refers to as a sprained knee. The usual “walk it off” attitude won’t work for our heroine this time. Stuck at home, obeying Doctor’s orders and taking pills that make everything go wibbly wobbly is just not Parker’s style.

Amy from the brew pub has been tasked with taking care of Parker. Under direct orders from her boss, Alec Hardison, she is not going to fail.  She checks on the “patient” in the Leverage back office, with breakfast and a cheery good morning, complete with a get well bear.

Left to her own devices during the day and warned to “Stay off the coms” by Nate, a Parker Montage shows her watching a wide variety of TV shows before realizing she has access to the security feed from the bar.

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Parker entertains herself by making up dialogue for the customers and is content with amusing herself when she zeros in on two guys that stand out for some reason. When Amy returns she has nicknames for all of the customers and shares her gossip. Parker follows along until she gets to the two guys that she is interested in: “V and K” Amy informs her.  Parker uses wax pencils to add up all of the visual evidence she comes to a foregone conclusion, they’re thieves.

“You guys picked the wrong brew pub.” She says to the Leverage monitor.

Parker shares her frustration with the teddy bear when she finds there are no microphones hooked up in the bar. She calls Eliot in Japan; he’s dressed in black and appears to be meditating with a samurai sword strapped to his back.

“Parker Breathe” he tells her, “Identify your disadvantages, adapt.” A shadowy figure appears on the screen behind him and he tells Parker that he’s got to go.

Parker thinks out loud,  ”Can’t use my leg so I’ll use someone else’s.” She looks around, finds a bug, then dumps the water from her flower vase and sets up her own listening device. She meets Amy in the hallway and tells her to take the flowers to table five; that’s where the two guys up to no good always sit. When Amy goes back to the table to water the flowers, Parker must climb through the Leverage air ducts to plant another wire.

As the episode moves on Parker uses her detective skills and the Leverage gadgets to figure out what these two guys are up to. The few words she hears and the actions observed lead her to her final conclusion. The amateurs plan to rob the armored truck that shows up regularly for the jewelry store across the street. She notices that one of the guys is packing heat. “Whoa, you brought a gun into my bar?”

In the next scene Parker is trying to build a gadget but she can’t get it to work. She calls Hardison to get help. He tries to find out why she needs a “pinch phone” but he’s in a rush and gives a quick run through of the steps. Parker tests out the device, while in Japan we see Hardison is posing as a foreign dignitary.

Parker is forced to take Amy into her confidence. Since she can’t do it herself, Amy must do the leg work for her. Nervousness brings clumsiness in Amy but she succeeds in cloning the thieves’ phones and all of the other phones in the bar as well.

Back at the Leverage base Parker says “whoops” as all of the phones start to show up on her screen. She can’t help but snoop into the lives of the patrons to find out what they’re really up to. Is “Sid” really cheating on “Nancy”? Why are “Romeo” and “Juliet” sitting at separate tables when they clearly belong together? And seriously, what is up with “Chicken Parm guy”? I had already figured out what his problem was but when Parker listens to a few of his recent messages she is visibly saddened.

When Amy returns to see how she did she shares more information about “V”s habits. He always orders four coffees and takes two of them to go. In order to find out where those cups go Parker sends her away with a miniature GPS device to put on the bottom of one of the cups. They follow the map and realize that the cups do not go far. Parker hobbles out to the alley on one crutch and spies on the van realizing it has all the earmarks of a getaway vehicle.

Amy enters and sees the highlighted texts from the phones she identifies them as time splits. Two minutes ten seconds, sixty seconds, but she doesn’t know what the first number means. It takes parker awhile to figure out that the first number stands for an actual start time, 2:30. That would mean the strike time is “Right Now”. She sends Amy back to the bar and sends data from “Sid’s” phone to “Nancy’s” phone creating the perfect interference. When “V” tries to hit the Armored truck he’s stopped on the way to the door by a pitcher full of iced tea.

Amy is elated when she returns to Leverage headquarters and Parker tells her that she did well; she’s  upset when she finds out they will have to do it again tomorrow. Parker says they can’t call the police because what they’ve been doing isn’t quite legal. Setting up the bar that night to create a delay in the thieves’ exit strategy; Amy gives Parker another great idea.

The next day, with all of their plans in full swing, Amy decides to take the trash out early so that she will be in place when V and K make their move, but while Parker tells her not to forget “2:30″ she notices that the men text that it’s on now while Amy is still taking out the trash. Why would they make their move twenty minutes early? Unless Parker had it wrong all along; they’re not thieves after a heist, they’re kidnappers… and the target is Amy.

Parker has learned to get around while favoring her “broken wing” and she flies to the alley. Her contingency plan of drugging the coffee for the getaway drivers adds a much needed delay and she has enough time to free Amy and get back to the Leverage offices before the criminals know what happened. Not to be out done, V pulls the fire alarm and inside everyone is told to clear the bar.

When V and K come in they end up in a face-off with Portland PD. The blind dates that Parker set up for Romeo and Juliet end up being cops, and the kidnappers have fallen into her trap. The male officer leaves to check the alley and call for back-up as the female cop tells the men to stay where they are. V decides to take the risk and moves closer before pulling his gun and shooting her in the side. The officer goes down. V assures K that they will not leave without the girl and he has suddenly figured out how everything “went sideways.” He is looking directly into one of the cameras. “Things are about to get a lot worse.” Parker tells Amy.

Once V and K enter the Leverage office the lights go out and a scuffle is heard in the darkness. Although shots are fired Parker turns the light on from the opposite side of the room. K is unconscious and V is still standing. Parker uses her crutch as a weapon and  disarms V knocking him out as well.

“Chicken Parm Guy” is a doctor and saves the day for the injured police officer and the bad guys get hauled away in handcuffs. The next day Parker meets with Chicken Parm guy to find out the whole story. His wife used to make it for him and since she’s been gone he keeps trying but it’s not the same. Parker tells him that they’ll just have to find him a new favorite food. The staff comes out and serves him multiple dishes so he can try them and figure out what he really likes.

When the rest of the Leverage crew returns from Japan they tell Parker it was boring and she claims she was bored too. Nate, who notices everything, sees the bullet holes in the ceiling. The crew settles in to watch what Hardison says is “not just any zombie movie, it’s the original zombie movie.” Nate says they’ll need more popcorn, then leans down and tells Parker that she did a good job while they were gone.

Leverage on TNT winds up the Summer season next Sunday with a two hour season finale. Leverage will return to finish out season 5 later this year.

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Highlights from Leverage on TNT “The Broken Wing Job”



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