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Leverage starring Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman and Christian Kane

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Leverage and Timothy Hutton as Nathan Ford

I didn’t post on the blog on Friday because I was busy catching up with my Leverage season 1 episodes. I was hooked on the show from episode 1 and became a Timothy Hutton fan. In fact I can’t believe I published an article called Television’s 3 Most Brilliant, Emotionally Broken Men and forgot to make it a 4, by adding Leverage’s Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton) to the list.

Leverage starring Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge

Leverage starring Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge. Image via istediginiizle.com

Leverage is basically a modern Robin Hood Tale- only this time, Robin’s team were already thieves before Robin, Robin used to catch thieves for a living and it is all very 21st century with the latest tech gadgets and toys. Let me elaborate…

Nathan Ford used to be a very successful insurance agent, who caught a lot of thieves and saved the company he is working for millions of dollars. However when Nathan needed the company the most, the CEO did the worst thing he could do: When Nathan’s son was sick, he refused to pay for his treatment, calling it experimental. Nathan lost his son, his marriage fell apart and to say the least, he is not a very happy man.

But worry not, Nathan’s back story is given between the lines and through some flashbacks and despite his tragic past, the show is anything but depressing. With the exception of some moments, this is an action/comedy- and a brilliant one at that.

How Nathan turns to a modern day Robin Hood

The very rich and powerful CEO of a plane manufacturing company finds Nathan and asks him for his help. His designs for the latest plane has been stolen by the rival firm and he needs those designs back before the upcoming shareholders’ meeting. Nathan states that he is not a criminal but this is exactly why the guy needs him- he has hired great thieves to do the job but he does need a honest man to lead them- after all why trust thieves, right? He persuades Nathan using his one week spot: the insurance company he used to work for. Apparently, the rival company is insured by Nathan’s old firm and stealing the plans will do them more than a little damage. Nathan can’t resist so the big heist starts…

The Team of 3: Parker, Eliot and Hardison

Parker (Beth Riesgraf) is a very acrobatic and capable thief. She has been stealing ever since she can remember.

Hardison (Aldis Hodge) is the computer whiz.

Eliot (Christian Kane) is the retriever. Loosely translated, he is the muscle. And he is very knowledgable about fighting techniques and all sorts of weapons.

The problem is, they are used to working as freelancers and they find it really hard to adapt to team work. But Nathan manages to lead them well and the job gets done. The idea is for the team to never see each other again.

However things go awry, as their current employer decides to pull a number on them. After all, why pay them when you can get rid of them?

But the 4 of them survive and realize, the party they worked for wasn’t the victim but the villain after all. So they come together for payback. Problem is, they need a new face as the guy knows them all so enter Sophie (Gina Bellman).

Sophie

English Sophie is a grifter- she steals very valuable staff. But she has become an American citizen and she is laying low. Nathan knows her well because he chased her a lot during his agent days.  Sophie is now working as an actress but she is terrible on stage. However as Nathan tells the others (and is later proven right), Sophie is a brilliant actress when she is pulling a con. Sophie can’t resist working with Nathan when he has switched sides. It later also becomes obvious that there is a certain romantic and sexual attraction between the two.

The Payback

The team does get their payback marvelously. No, I won’t give the details but it is smart, funny and original. What they end up doing makes them rich and they have had so much more fun than they thought they would. And despite their differences, they realize they can pull bigger and better cons together and they want at least one more gig together…

——

You just watch the show. It’s just top notch entertainment; starting from the pilot episode. It has fun but well-developed characters but of course many times, the other characters may seem one-dimensional as most of the burden and back story falls on Nathan’s soldiers but it is OK. The combination of good writing & acting, fun one-liners come together seamlessly. After the first gig, they start choosing rich and guilty parties. They get the victims’ money back, help other people and make “a little” profit too. But of course, as fun as it is, Nathan might have developed a drinking problem. After all, nothing he does will bring his son back. So when the opportunity arises, the team will take it to bring Nathan’s ex boss down…

The show has a wonderful first season and I am currently enjoying season 2. The show will hopefully have a 4th season. I heard that it is based on the British show Hustle, but frankly, I couldn’t have cared less as I adore this cast and not to mention the city the plot takes place in: Los Angeles! Plus, Leverage has a different back story and protagonist.

Timothy Hutton is great but I am most impressed by Gina Bellman who you will no doubt remember as Jane from the hilarious British sitcom Coupling. While she is acting to get a role, it seems like she brings Jane back because she is totally an exaggerated and crazy when she is acting on stage or for the camera. But there are only tiny moments- in fact there were only 2 little scenes. Apart from that, Sophie is pretty, intelligent and sane- with her only vice being that she is addicted to stealing. And now she gets to do it with a clear conscience as she ends up helping others.

This is the first time I see Beth Riegraf and Aldis Hodge  as actors but I previously watched Christian Kane on Angel, The Buffy spin-off starring David Boreanaz. Kane co-starred as Lindsey McDonald, a lawyer who worked for an evil law firm that did business with demons as well.  And while, he is a good actor- I have to say, Eliot is much more fun to watch, not to mention a lot easier on the eye. What can I say? I love long-haired boys. And I guess it is up to the boys to decide but I do find Gina Bellman and Beth Riesgraf  quite pretty.

10/10.

Favorite Scene from Episode 1 of Season 1

As Hardison and Eliot are on the job, Hardison complains that he doesn’t know what Eliot does as his skills aren’t apparent. A little later, they are surrounded by 4 security guards and Eliot takes them down almost in a blink. Hardison stares in amazement and Eliot replies, smiling: “This is what I do.”

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