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Characters: Leverage

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    The Team: Leverage Consulting and Associates 

Nathan Ford: The Mastermind

"I'm a functioning alcoholic. The trick is not to get hung up on the 'alcoholic', but celebrate the 'functioning' part of the sentence."

Former insurance investigator at IYS Insurance turned leader of a band of thieves. Played by Timothy Hutton.
Tropes associated with Nathan:
  • Addiction Displacement: In season 2, Nate goes on the wagon, and starts drinking a lot of coffee. And running very scary cons.
  • The Alcoholic: He was one before Season 1 and it showed by the end of the season when he was getting more and more drunk on each episode. He eventually sobers up but fails and in the end simply settles on being a functioning addict.
  • Antihero: While acting towards a moral good, he does lead a group of people in breaking dozens of laws on the local, state, and federal level to pursue said good.
    • Hurting Hero: The loss of his son and Sophie's sabbatical, and his father's murder each have a pronounced affect on him.
  • Amicably Divorced: He and Maggie are about as amicably divorced as you can get. Nate sometimes even forgets to add "ex-" when saying "ex-wife."
  • Awesome by Analysis: He demonstrates he can do this on the fly in the series finale. Explains a lot of how he's able to Indy Ploy his plans throughout the series.
  • Batman Gambit: Being The Chessmaster, Nate is very good at these.
  • Berserk Button: When children are involved he becomes a downright sociopath, lampshaded by Hardison in "The (Very) Big Bird Job". If your plans include harming a child he will hunt you down and not only destroy your workplace, but the ENTIRE field you work in.
  • Big Good/Big Bad: He thinks himself the former before realizing that he truly is a thief now, and so a criminal. No criminal could be a Big Good, so he is simply a very smart and dangerous Big Bad who stands on the same side of the weak and oppressed good people.
  • Byronic Hero: He is a thief who commits fraud, theft, and dozens of other crimes, but because of his emotional baggage, the loss of his son, his drinking, and his social problems, he qualifies for this term.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: And will walk into your living room, use it as a base, and WILL NOT LEAVE.
  • Catch Phrase: "Let's go steal (something crazy)." Examples:
    • "a miracle."
    • "a fashion show."
    • "the man on the street...in Africa."
    • "Parker."
    • "a country."
    • "the future."
    • "a mountain." Twice.
    • "We're going to steal the wake?" "Have some respect. We're going to BORROW the wake."
    • "The Department of Defense." "Isn't that treason?" "Well, we're going to give it back."
    • "a potato."
  • The Chessmaster: His label in the team is Mastermind. He has at least, on average, a dozen plans to take down his targets. He very adapt at not only thinking up a long plan but using spur of the moment bits to help move the plan along. He knows the teams strengths and weaknesses and how best to use them in plans.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As of season five, he likes to begin/end every fight with a single punch to his opponent's face.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Rarely does he come upon a situation either he or his team cannot help them through.
  • Control Freak: Really comes to a head in "The Three Days of the Hunter Job" and "The Gold Job", when Sophie and Hardison take over as leader; he tends to be more on edge if he's not leading the team.
  • Creepy Good: When Parker finds your plans and willingness to really mess with the marks mind creepy you are definitely edging into this.
  • Functional Addict: He's a functional alcoholic, most of the time. There are a few jobs where it screws him up, but not many.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Oh boy. He is acting on the side of moral good and breaking dozens of laws along the way. If you stand between him and helping the client, be prepared to suffer.
  • Guile Hero: Rarely is he unable to think up a way around an obstacle.
  • The Heart: Particularly when he brings the team together at the start of the series.
  • The Hero: If this is a Five-Man Band, anyway.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: While he does fine dealing with people when he is manipulating them or when dealing with the team, he is often incapable of dealing with normal people, most notably shown in "The Boys Night Out Job".
  • It's Personal: On at least two occasions.
    • In "The First David Job"/"The Second David Job", The Mark is Ian Blackpoole, Nathan's former boss—and the man who in effect killed Sam.
    • In "The Cross My Heart Job", the villain is an aged, terminally ill arms manufacturer who tries to hijack a heart transplant from a 15-year-old boy who will die without it. Reminded of Sam's fate, Nate goes a little crazy; he not only tells the villain his real name and gives him an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech, he actually threatens to kill him—the only time he's ever done so.
      • Threatens? The villain will ALSO die without the transplant, albeit slightly later.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie: He can be an all around asshole at times, especially when he's drunk and in a foul mood, but his Freudian Excuse is the loss of his son and how it has continued to affect him years later.
  • The Leader: Type I—he's even called The Mastermind.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Normally he leaves this part of the planning to Sophie, but when he wants to, Nate can be a very good manipulator in his own right. He's not such a good actor, but can even use that to his advantage. He notes this is one quality Hardison lacks to run his own crew because a leader would have to do things others object to for the sake of the goal, like hypnotizing Hardison so he could play Scheherazade. In "The Studio Job", he's locked in a room with two Mooks, who are going to beat the crap out of him. A few minutes later, the crew busts in and... he's just sitting there, and the two mooks are unconscious on the ground. Nate says they got in a fight...
  • Mission Control: Shares this with Hardison.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Sophie and Maggie respectively. They are friends and respect each other, which puts Nate on edge just slightly.
  • Nice Hat: He seems to have a closet full of them.
  • Not So Different: With Starke. When Sophie is saying how brilliant man whose pride has been hurt and personally challenged, it will lead him to do a bigger, more dangerous con. One of the team asks if she's talking about Starke or Nate. This is referenced by interspersing clips of Nate and Starke giving pretty much the same speech and even putting their suit coat on in the same fashion.
  • Official Couple: With Sophie.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Almost always slickly dressed, unless the con needs him to a bit grittier.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: In the fifth season, in preparation for his retirement, he puts the various team members in challenging situations on their own, outside their comfort zones, to see what how they adapt and figure out who's capable of taking over.
  • The Promise: In the pilot, after Nate and his team take down Dubenich for double-crossing them, he warns hims that if they ever meet again, he won't be so nice. Nate makes good on that promise after Dubenich had his father killed in the 4th season finale by tricking him and Lattimer to fight over a loaded gun near the edge of a dam, and they both plummet to their deaths.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Nate would deliver these to some of his marks after he and his team run a con on them.
  • The Shill: To Sophie's Roper.
  • Smart People Play Chess: This is his running motif. He even played in a chess tournament of Grandmasters as part of a con.
  • Team Dad: To the Team, especially Parker in the last season as he slowly pushes her and the others to grow beyond their positions and be able to carry on without him.
  • Time for Plan B: Nate tells Hardison in "The Gold Job" he never runs with Plan A. Plan A has too many coincidences to pull it off right. He starts off lower with a simpler, grittier plan and spruces it up a little. According to Word of God, "When Nate gets past Plan G, things start to get very hairy."
    • In the pilot:
    Hardison: Going to Plan B?
    Nate: Technically that would be Plan G.
    Hardison: How many plans do we have? Is there a Plan M?
    Nate: Yeah, Hardison dies in Plan M.
    Eliot: I like Plan M.
    • In season 4, episode 10:
    Nate: That was Plan M.
    Hardison: Don't I die in Plan M?
    Nate: Yeah, usually. Yeah.
    Hardison: Whatchu mean usually? How many plans do I die in?
    Nate: C, F, and M through Q.
    Hardison: Hold up, C? Man, that's a bit close to home man. Need to switch that up. How many plans does Eliot die in?
    Nate: Uh, none. (turns to Parker) And none. (turns to Sophie) And...(Beat. Turns back to Eliot) But there is one where you come out with a scar.
  • They Do With Sophie
  • Token Good Teammate: Early on, Nate was the only team member who was genuinely interested in helping people. By partway through, this is no longer the case, as he's gotten everyone else to realize that Good Feels Good.
  • UST: With Sophie and Maggie
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: In a weird, kinda twisted and ruthless way, as seen in "The Three-Card Monte Job."
    • Played more straight (and tragic) in "The Radio Job", when his dad is trapped in a warehouse with explosives about to go off, he tells Nate over the phone, "Tell them how much Jimmy Ford loved his son." Nate, who was was about to rush into the warehouse, is so stunned he stops in his tracks and can only watch helplessly as the building explodes.
  • Will They or Won't They?: He and Sophie for most of the show.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Cold cocks a nun in "The Boys Night Out Job." Though, she wasn't really a nun.

Sophie Lara Devereaux: The Grifter

"Thieves find entrances, but grifters? Mm-mm. We make them."

Terrible actress and world-class confidence trickster. Played by Gina Bellman.
Tropes associated with Sophie:
  • Ambiguously Brown: Uses it to her advantage in cons, portraying an enormous variety of nationalities.
  • Bad Bad Acting: Any time she's not conning someone. When she's not conning someone, she is absolutely terrible. So terrible that she should be the patron saint of Bad Bad Acting. It is so bad, when she played Maria in The Sound of Music, one reviewer comments she was so bad he was rooting for the Nazis.
    Eliot: "She can't act.
    Nate: "She can act... When it's an act."
  • The Chick: As the crew's grifter and Team Mom, she fullfils this role as well as The Dragon.
  • Con Artist: She was a confidence trickster before the team formed.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Part of her MO is that her looks help blind male marks to any ulterior motives she might have.
  • The Dragon: If this is a Five-Bad Band, anyway.
  • The Dreaded: According to Chaos, Sophie is such a feared person in the world of professional thieves that they generally get somewhere else when she was in town. It's why Chaos, upon learning there was even a chance of her joining his crew, which he planned on betraying, he simply tried to blow her up.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In "The Experimental Job", Detective Grayson indicates that efforts to charm information out of her might be more successful if they came from Sophie instead of Eliot. Eliot takes it in stride, and Sophie, for her part, seems flattered.
  • Femme Fatale: Channels this in most of her cons.
  • Giftedly Bad: As an actor.
  • Guile Hero: Everything she does is about using her brain to manipulate people into doing what she wants. The show even gets into the psychology behind her manipulations.
    Sophie: I'm a grifter. If I'm doing my job right, they just...turn the alarm off for me.
  • The Heart: Ironically, as Nate was the "honest man" who got everyone to work together, she's become Nate's moral compass and the emotional center of the group.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Whoa, what if Jane was just one of Sophie's cons? She lived in London (i.e. near museums and Buckingham Palace), she had a job that required a helicopter, and no one ever suspects the dumb one.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: In mid-season 2, Gina Bellman hid behind various objects or wore dark, baggy clothes to hide it.
  • Hypno Fool: Her use of neuro-linguistic programming on others verges on this.
  • Journey To Find Herself: Second half of season 2.
  • The Lancer: If this is a Five-Man Band, anyway.
  • Lost in Character: During the middle of season 2, she realized she no longer knew who she was anymore. She was so lost in all her false identities which were more than words on paper because she knew everything about them, from where they were born to how their parents died. She had to leave to find herself.
  • Male Gaze: Sophie's wardrobe, even when not on a con, seems almost calculated to appeal to this.
  • Manipulative Bitch: It's part of her job. She doesn't always mean for it to become a part of her personal life, but it occasionally does.
  • Mysterious Past: We know practically nothing about her from before she met Nate.
  • No Name Given: "Sophie" is one of many, many aliases. The audience doesn't know her real name yet, and Nate... forgot it. In bed.
    • Word of God finally said that the name she gave Nate in the series finale, "The Long Goodbye Job", is her real name.
  • Official Couple: With Nate.
  • Omniglot: Speaks Chinese and Serbian and presumably other languages. Justified because she is a world traveler with a professional need to speak local languages.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Gina Bellman has been doing an incredible job, but considering the number and scope of the accents she has to do, it was inevitable that eventually she'd slip on a couple. Her Southern Belle has been specifically mentioned.
  • Picky Eater:
    Sophie: "Meat" should never be used as an adjective.
  • Plays Great Ethnics
  • Pretty in Mink: At the end of "The Ice Man Job", she's at a high class diner and wearing a hooded white fur coat. It looked glamorous and also helped cover Gina's baby bump during that season.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Bellman's pregnancy forced the Journey To Find Herself.
  • The Roper: Generally plays this role, though sometimes she switches it up with Nate.
  • The Social Expert
  • She's Got Legs: This seems to be something of a default wardrobe for her.
  • She Really Can Act: Invoked in-universe. After seeing her Bad Bad Acting on stage, this is the reaction the team gets after realising she's the best grifter there is.
    Hardison: She's not awful.
    Nate: This is her stage. Sophie Devereaux is the finest actress you've ever seen...when she's breaking the law.
  • Team Mom:
    Hardison: We trust Nate to come up with the plan. We trust you to make sure we're all taken care of.
  • That's What I Would Do: How she works out what antagonist grifters are doing.
  • They Do: With Nate
  • UST: With Nate

Eliot Spencer: The Hitter

"Does anybody wanna do my job, huh? I get punched and kicked!"

"Retrieval specialist" and mercenary. Played by Christian Kane.
Tropes associated with Eliot:
  • The Ace: He is consistently excellent at whatever he tries his hand at, from combat to cooking to country singing to professional baseball.
  • Adorkable: Most of his disguises simply involve pulling his hair back into a ponytail, donning a pair of glasses and faking this. Up to eleven when he tells a lady cop working an impound lot that "I uh, a thing for womninunforms... is your job hard?".
  • All Men Are Perverts: Eliot is often frequently seen flirting with women before after and during a con, most notably in the MIDDLE OF A FIGHT when his opposite lost her shirt he stopped attacking to check her out.
    • And let's not forget how he learned knives are like people...
  • They Really Do Love Each Other: With Hardison, driven hard in "The Experimental Job" and "The Funeral Job".
  • As Himself: Christian Kane plays a wannabe country music star named Kenneth Crane in "The Studio Job". In real life, Christian Kane has a successful country music career.
  • The Atoner: Very much so, though he doesn't seem to hope for his personal redemption as much as he tries to fix what he put wrong in the past. He'll do whatever it takes, too.
    • Word of God is that Eliot is more or less at peace with the fact that there is no redemption for him. But he'll fight to the last drop of blood to stop anyone else going down that road, especially his teammates.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Very much so. He can tell the make of a gun by the sound it makes when it fires, and identifies the Mooks as ex-CIA/Marine/dirty cops by the way they stand, their haircut, their shoes. Can we say Genius Bruiser?
  • Badass: A colossal one.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Harming a member of the team or children (watch "The Order 23 Job", "The Carnival Job" or "The Experimental Job" to see just how scary he can be when either of those two are in danger) will result in him turning his violent tendencies Up to Eleven but Nate becomes MUCH worse.
    • People who run cons on their own team earn his dislike really quickly.
    • As seen in "The French Connection Job", he has an extreme dislike for people who don't appreciate his cooking, or food in general since he's a highly trained chef.
  • Brick Joke: He casually jokes about watching hockey videos because he never knows when he'll have to fight a guy on ice. "The Blue Line Job" has him doing so.
  • The Big Guy: If this is a Five-Man Band, anyway.
    • Subverted because he's the shortest guy in the group. Shortest person in the group, when the girls are wearing their heels.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: A rather mild example, he seems full ready to throw himself into action at any given moment. In "The Boiler Room Job" he is happy towards the end when a Mook tries to take him by stating he "hasn't been in a fight for 2 weeks".
  • Brains and Brawn: When partnered with Hardison he's the Brawn.
  • The Brute: If this is a Five-Bad Band, anyway.
  • The Casanova: If we take his claims about his own love life to be truth. To put things in perspective, he also claims to grow his own food and sleep ninety minutes a day.
    • Then again, he's been shown to pick up women quite easily, so it's pretty likely he's telling the truth.
    • Then again, he's only claimed to have dated one neurologist and having slept with one flight attendent, which is very possible.
    • Don't forget the supermodels.
    • And the Japanese policewoman who taught him how to trim a bonsai.
  • Catch Phrase: "Dammit, Hardison!" (which is lampshaded by Hardison in a few episodes) and "It's a very distinctive (impossibly small detail he can use to identify something or someone)."
    • Given that it was recently used as an identity verification, "We'd be the cavalry" may now qualify.
    • Not to mention "I used to date a (random career)" as a reason for knowing details about a specific job. Examples include flight attendants, neurologists and supermodels.
      • He's claimed to have been with only one of each of those, but it could still count since he's said it twice.
  • Chef of Iron: Elliot is well versed in fighting with kitchen utensils.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: We don't know what Eliot did when he worked for Damien Moreau. This is almost certainly for the best.
    • We're also still waiting to find out about the monkey.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a very sharp tongue when in the right mood.
    Nate: Hardison's gonna pretend to break into the vault.
    Eliot: Yeah, well, hopefully the Russians will only pretend to kill him.
  • Determinator: In the penultimate episode of the first season, he fights someone who's almost as good as he is, who asks, "WHY WON'T YOU GO DOWN?"
  • Dirty Business: Both his current career and his Mysterious Past are full of it. Little has been given in detail, but he has clearly done some awful, awful things. season 4 outright states he was doing wetwork.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The only thing so far to throw Eliot's focus is a pretty woman.
  • Does Not Like Guns: He will disable guns but prefers to not fire them. Given his abilities, it's to the point he doesn't need guns to take them down.
    • In the third season, this is inverted in "The Big Bang Job" when he uses some to commit the first onscreen killings by a Leverage member.
    Mook: (as Eliot holds him at gunpoint) I thought you didn't like guns.
    Eliot: I don't. (Empties the clip in the mook's chest) Never said I couldn't use 'em.
  • The Dreaded: Anyone who knows Elliot's reputation takes him very seriously. When he announces himself by name to Moreau's bodyguards, an entire roomful of people draw guns on him and the closest ones actually look worried.
  • Even Evil Has Standards, sort of: He's not evil, but he is a ruthless hit man, con artist, and thief; but he's the one who comments when the bad guys cross the line by, say, shaking someone down at a funeral.
  • Expy: Possibly of the Steven Seagal character Casey Ryback from the Under Siege movies. Both are ex military with covert operations, both have an interest in culinary arts, and both tend to not use guns though Ryback does, just not his own and is far more brutal but mostly uses his hands or an enemies own gun or knife.
  • Friend to All Children: Surprisingly and rather scarily. He has particular compassion for kids who've drawn the short stick of life, but even spoiled rich kids love him. Then there's the hissy fit he throws in "The Morning After Job" until Hardison agrees to detour from a job to stop a domestic dispute because there could possibly be children involved. Non-fluffy reasons for this have been strongly hinted.
  • Genius Bruiser: Word of God compares Eliot to Batman.
  • Genre Savvy: He knows how things will fall and move to make sure things go well for his team. He showed signs of this when in High School when, despite being the Quarterback he took Home Ec. when his friends leave, a large chested girl leans over to correct his technique and her breasts press into his shoulder.
  • Guttural Growler: His common manner of speaking.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: A man spilled coffee on his shirt. Eliot knocked out a few of his teeth. Sterling walked into a bar. Eliot threw him over a table. A woman insulting his appetizers. He went after her with a knife (the last example was Played for Laughs but still true all the same) to sum up what's above. DON'T. MESS. WITH. ELIOT. SPENCER.
  • Handsome Lech: We hardly ever see him actually hook up, but he is indubitably this.
  • Hates Being Touched: Portrayed subtly, but confirmed by Word of God. Played for laughs.
  • Heel-Face Turn: At some point pre-series.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: Eliot prefers to fight bare-fisted or using an object as a club, even when faced with guns. He constantly says he Doesn't Like Guns, thinking they're too sloppy.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Begrudgingly one with Hardison.
    • Really driven home in "The Experimental Job" when after discovering Hardison was kidnapped he IMMEDIATELY turned the tables on his captor and in the span of 30 seconds figured out where he was held and busted out of his cell to go get him.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Kane played Lindsay on Angel.
  • Hidden Depths: Out the wazoo. And he keeps uncovering more.
  • Hired Guns: An ex-mercenary.
  • Invincible Hero: For a while early on, Eliot didn't even fight anyone who gave him a challenge. Since then, he's taken a few serious beatings, but has yet to actually lose a fight. It certainly makes him immune to The Worf Effect.
    • Until "The Carnival Job"... He ends up unconscious on the floor, unable to help a little girl. He does still win the fight in the end, though.
    • Word of God (on John Rogers's blog) is that Eliot could probably fight Batman to a tie. He's that good.
  • Knife Nut: Aside from his experience with a knife in both combat & dining, Word of God is that Eliot prefers to use knives over guns in general, as seen in Season 5's opener.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He specializes in quick disabling strikes.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In a pretty obvious way.
  • The Napoleon: A rather minor version. As shown in the Season 5 premiere Eliot is implied to be slightly insecure about his height when with one of his old friends even though he is about average at 5"9".
  • Omniglot: Speaks Hebrew and Arabic and possibly other languages. Justified because he is a world traveler with a professional need to speak local languages.
  • Papa Wolf: Eliot has a tendency to find various strays that strike a chord with him for whatever reason. He becomes extremely (read: scarily) protective of them for the rest of the job. (Safe to say, if you're a child, a soldier or ex-soldier, or a working-class stiff, he'll probably be kindly-disposed towards you.)
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: As mentioned, he's not especially big (Not very short either). But he undoubtedly has the asskicking capabilities that go with this trope.
  • Rated M for Manly
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He takes his cooking very seriously. (And he actually is shown wearing a pink shirt several times.)
  • Really Gets Around: A male version.
    • Justified as Eliot is considered very attractive in universe
      • And who are we kidding? It's Christian Kane
  • Salt and Pepper: Frequently detailed to work with Hardison.
  • Shipper on Deck: He sent both Parker and Sophie flowers with the implication that it was really Hardison and Nate had done it, helping the guys out as they aren't the best at being romantic.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: As an instructor at a culinary institute in "The French Connection Job."
  • Stout Strength: He usually wears shirts that show off his shoulders and arms, but he loses the shirt when he goes under cover as an MMA fighter, showing that, unlike Hardison, he's not sporting a six-pack.
  • Supreme Chef
  • Talk to the Fist: His usual MO.
  • Tin Man: Particularly in the first season. He is developing a sense of compassion and empathy, though.
  • Technical Pacifist: Refuses to kill people. Has no problem kicking their knees backwards to make them scream like a girl.
    • Also, seriously, start tallying the number of innocent people just doing their job he has to wade through just to keep the team safe. If he did kill instead of merely incapacitate/knock out, the crew would probably lose any hope of that "good guy" status they're trying to maintain.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In terms of development, he went from a brilliant fighter, to a capable grifter able to see what the mark wants and use that to get it for them.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He claims this of himself.
    You have no idea who I was before all this started. That guy—kid—he had God in his heart, a flag on his shoulder. Clean hands. I haven't seen him in the mirror in over ten years. And believe me, I get up every morning looking for him. So you can trust me when I tell you that if you pull that trigger, two men die: the guy you kill, and the guy you used to be.
  • Violence is the Only Option: Subverted, for the most part
    Eliot: What are you talking about. I only use violence as an appropriate response.
    Sterling: Hello, Nate.
    (Eliot's nostrils flare, his eyes narrow, and he punches Sterling in the face. He doesn't stop there. )
    • Occasionally Eliot does this for laughs: like in "The Homecoming Job".
    Hardison: I just have to spoof the IP address and overlay a digital duplicate on the wi-fi—
    Eliot throws a rock at the camera
    Hardison: —Or that.
    Eliot: Let's go.
    Hardison: I'm sorry it was too far away for you to punch, I'm sure that really frustrates you.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Hardison.
  • Would Hit a Girl: But only if she hits him first.

Alec Hardison: The Hacker

"Age of the geek, baby. We run the world."

Computer expert and technologist. Played by Aldis Hodge.
Tropes associated with Hardison:
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: In "The 12-Step Job" he takes out a loan shark's engine block while aiming for the man's leg. This probably helped more in the end.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's no Eliot, but Hardison learns to handle himself in a fight after a few seasons.
  • Badass Moustache
  • Beta Couple: With Parker.
  • Black and Nerdy: He's a hacker. What do you expect?
  • Black Dude Dies First: Discussed. Of Nate's many back up plans, Hardison is the only one person on the team who's potential death is planned for.
  • Brains and Brawn: Often plays the Brains to Parker or Eliot's Brawn.
  • Break the Haughty: In "The Iceman Job" and again in "The Gold Job," in which he allows his Insufferable Genius tendencies to rage out of control and ends up having to be bailed out by the rest of the team.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He has shades of this in season 1, most notably in "The Mile High Job", but he gets over it as the series progresses.
  • Buried Alive: During "The Grave Danger Job".
  • Butt Monkey: More and more so recently. Probably because the production crew is taking advantage of the fact that Aldis Hodge knows how to act as one in an especially funny way.
  • Catch Phrase: "Age of the geek, baby."
    • Used just as often is "Oh, hell no!" (his stock dismayed/indignant reaction).
    • And before that, "Seriously!? Seriously!?"
  • Character Development: By the third season, he's started thinking about someday running his own crew.
    • Ironically, it is PARKER who gets to run the crew...likely, The Gold job pointed out why he shouldn't.
  • Cowardly Lion: While he often complains about the situations he is involved in, he never backs down.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Hardison: Hey, Eliot, what is that blocking your button cam? Oh yeah, it's your ego.
  • Distressed Dude: So far, he's had to be rescued the most out of everyone of the team.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In a less obvious way than Eliot, but the costume director sure likes to show off Aldis Hodge's fine figure in a suit or tank top. They also get him to strip down a few times. One episode has him join a fraternity...
  • Everything Is Racist: Often uses the race card as a deflection the moment someone begins to question him as to why he is in a given position or place. It works every time
  • Evil Genius: If this is a Five-Bad Band, anyway.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: He's a technological genius who pretty much runs solely on orange soda and gummi frogs.
  • Happily Fostered: He calls his foster mom "Nana" and speaks of her with great fondness. She was apparently a powerfully positive influence in his life.
    • A flashback has him using his skills to steal money to may her medical bills. Mainly Played for Laughs
    sitting at his computer "..and Nana's medical bills are.. paid"
  • Hollywood Hacking
  • Insufferable Genius: Interestingly, he's so charismatic by nature that he's generally easy to forgive when he gets into a bragging spiel. The other characters aren't quite as charmed as the audience, though.
    Hardison: You're wondering if I have an answer? I do! BAM!
    • Taken Up to Eleven in "The Gold Job." Hardison comes up with a new con that actually works pretty well. And he spends nearly every one of his scenes reminding people of how "perfect" his plan is. Cue the end, where his con is just about to succeed when the plan falls apart. Nate points out that the problem with his plan was that games needed a delicate balance between boredom and frustration, with Hardison's plan being too frustrating. Basically, the Aesop was that there is no perfect plan and that it's always good to have some backups.
  • Last Name Basis: Everybody else is called by their first names, but the creators loved the sound of "Dammit, Hardison!"
  • Mission Control: Often holed up somewhere safe, hacking and providing support.
    • But no one seems to appreciate his contributions.
    Sophie: You monitor all of us the whole time?
    Hardison: And analyze your actions and provide intel. (Beat) You didn't think I did all that, did you? Does no one respect the van?
    • RIP Lucille.
    • Again.
  • Mr. Exposition: Usually the one who briefs the mission. Shares the role with Nate.
  • New Skills As The Plot Demands: While everyone on the show necessarily expands their skill-sets, Hardison is the one who usually gets called upon to do things completely outside the team's experience. In addition to being a hacker, he can make spot-on forgeries and land planes.
    • Sometimes averted, as in the King George Job, when he doesn't have the skill necessary and has to research it and master it on the fly.
  • One of Us: He's a big fan of Doctor Who and becomes annoyed when it takes a long time to torrent because of a poor internet connection.
  • Playful Hacker
  • Proud to Be a Geek: "For the Horde!" *fistbump*
    • Age of the geek, baby.
  • Punny Name: He's a smart Alec.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing
  • Renaissance Man: Paints, sculpts, hacks, plays violin, and he's a decent actor to boot. Oh, and he taught himself a crash course in creating period-looking art that holds up to pretty amazingly close inspection.
    • Also lawyering on the fly.
    • Sophie and Nate often ask him to do things trusting on this trait. He either has the skill, or can learn it pretty quickly.
  • Salt and Pepper: Frequently detailed to work with Eliot.
  • Science Hero
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: When he wants to, Hardison cleans up very nicely.
  • The Smart Guy: If this is a Five-Man Band, anyway.
  • Technobabble: So. Much.
  • Techno Wizard
  • Took a Level in Badass: From just a physically lacking, but supreme hacker, by the end of the series he became a more than capable fighter and forger, as well as a minor thief and grifter.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Orange soda and gummi frogs. He needs his gummi frogs.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Parker. A bit more one-sided than some cases, as she's pretty hesitant about it, but he's willing to wait.
    • They're now together as of "The Long Way Down Job"
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Eliot.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The team really becomes his family, with Eliot his big brother, Sophie a foster mother, and Nate a distant and demanding father. On several occasions, Hardison makes it clear that he wants to succeed Nate some day and really wants the latter's approval on that.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Hardison is highly allergic to dust and is a bit of clean freak. Unfortunately for him, sometimes he's forced into very dusty or dirty places when in the field.
    • He's also not comfortable in small spaces. This causes something of a problem when he's Buried Alive.

Parker: The Thief

"Looks like Parker's gonna have to crawl through the air duct again. God forbid anyone else would have to learn how to fricking crawl on their stomach through a tiny space. It's not rocket science, people."

The world's greatest thief. Played by Beth Riesgraf.
Tropes associated with Parker:
  • Action Girl: Can definitely hold her own, as seen in the "The Stork Job". Word of God says she's the most dangerous team member (even more so than Eliot).
  • Ambiguously Bi: Eventually gets together with Hardison but has had some suspicious Les Yay from time to time.
  • Badass Adorable.
  • Beta Couple: With Hardison.
  • Blondes are Evil: Not especially evil, but she is a professional thief, and probably the most ruthless member of the team after Eliot.
    • Or more, given her sociopathic tendencies; she's simply not much of a fighter.
  • Brains and Brawn: Sometimes plays the Brawn to Hardison's Brains.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Word of God is that Parker may have Asperger Syndrome.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: But Hardison understands.
    • He's her pretzel.
  • The Chess Master: When the series ends, Parker takes on this position as Nate and Sophie leave.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Well, a cat burglar, anyway... she has the look, but none of the attitude.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander
    Parker: What is it with women and shoes?
    Sophie: There's something wrong with you.
    Eliot: That's what I said.
  • Cool Pet: In the Tie-In Novel The Zoo Job, Parker bonds with a capuchin monkey. To Hardison's chagrin, she calls it Alec: "I named him after someone I've always been able to rely on to be there for me".
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Bordering on Hilariously Abusive Childhood at some points.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She wears a lot of comfy black clothes, even when she's not on the job.
  • The Dark Chick: If this is a Five-Bad Band, anyway.
  • Evil Is Sexy: While she isn't truly evil, she does fit in that she is an exceptional thief that has a look of extreme pleasure at being surrounded by money.
  • Exact Words: Sometimes, though it decreased as her time with the team increased, she would take an instruction to its literal meaning. One instance is when Nate asked her to start a "fight" with a woman near Hardison. Instead of a yelling match, as Nate hoped for, Parker starts out with punching the woman. Nate later apologized for his vagueness and said next time he would use "argument" when he wants just the verbal fight.
  • Foreshadowing: In "The Miracle Job" Parker showed quick insight onto how best to take down the mark. It hints at her capacity to eventually become the Mastermind in the finale.
  • Friend to All Children: Not just orphans, either. In "The Wedding Job," she is seen teaching a young girl how to pick a lock. There are pretty specific reasons she is drawn to kids.
  • Fun Personified: Beth Riesgraf is this, if the gag reels are anything to go by.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She becomes jealous when Hardison is a little too friendly with other women. This was most notable in "The Double-Blind Job."
    Parker: (Discussing a woman with whom Hardison is flirting) Did you do a background check on her? She could be a spy, or a terrorist.
    Hardison: She's not. She's just a nice girl who needs our help.
    Parker: She looks like a terrorist.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: To the point that when she claims to have put a razor blade in an apple Eliot not only stops eating but tears it apart to make sure she didn't actually tamper with the food.
  • In Harm's Way: She's a heck of an adrenaline junkie.
  • Literal-Minded: Early on and occasionally afterwards, Parker would not understand subtly or metaphors.
    Eliot: She is hot.
    Hardison: Hot.
    Parker: Hot.
    (beat)
    Parker: Warm? Cold? Why are we staring?
  • Master of Unlocking: It comes with the job.
  • Money Fetish: "I don't like stuff, I like money." Nate even gets her to stay in the first episode after they were almost blown up by Dubenich by saying if the plan worked she would get lots of money and possibly some payback.
  • Never Live It Down: She once stabbed the mark with a fork.
  • No Social Skills: At first but as her time with the team increased, she has become more like a nice young lady with some strange quirks.
  • Only One Name
  • Phantom Thief: According to Word of God, Parker alone of the group has never been caught. Word of God may not be taking "The First David Job" into account.
    • From John Rogers' blog, post-"The Ice Man Job":
    "Sophie's been arrested, Hardison's definitely been arrested, Eliot's been in prison in a lot of places where due process isn't a big part of the culture, Parker's never been caught."
    • But she has been in Juvie.
    • This would seem to be contradicted in "The Broken Wing Job," in which she reminisces about briefly serving time in a French prison.
    • Note that she mentions being in a French prison, and not being there as long as the French thought she'd be. It's never explicitly stated that she was serving time.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: You have to be pretty strong in her line of work.
    • And make no mistake, if she thinks you've threatened anyone on the team...
  • Required Secondary Powers: Mentioned in "The Maltese Falcon Job".
    Tara: You're really strong.
    Parker: I hang from buildings with my fingertips.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Wastes no time switching between disguises, to Hardison's chagrin. Or joy.
    Hardison: Why am I looking away?
  • Single Tear: She sheds one during Hardison's violin solo in "The Scheherazade Job".
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Parker sometimes tends to appear suddenly right next to her surprised targets. In "The Stork Job", after running away when she stabbed the mark with a fork, the rest of the team wondered where she had gone.
    Hardison: "She could be halfway around the world by now. Trust me, she's gone."
    Parker: "Who's gone?" (pan to right to show Parker standing by)
    • Does this again in "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job" when she suddenly appeared sitting on the bar counter and casually explaining how the supposed theft had occurred. Sterling questioned where she came from while Nate doesn't even bother anymore.
  • Sticky Fingers: The girl's a kleptomaniac.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Hardison.
    • They're now together as of "The Long Way Down Job"
  • Weapon of Choice: Parker likes tasers.
    Parker: "He could've just let me tasered him."
  • When She Smiles: Parker is quite pretty regardless, but something about her smile/laugh is just so ridiculously charming and heartwarming (especially when paired with moments of her being goofy). It's grown steadily more frequent as she adjusts to being on the team.
  • Woman Child: Has a few vague traces of this, especially of the "emotionally stunted" variety. When a con man posing as a psychic does a cold read on her to suss out that her brother died in a car accident while riding a bike when they were children, she gets very upset and is convinced he's for real. The entire team (including Sixth Ranger Tara) gathers round to explain exactly how it was done and that everything's going to be okay.
    Parker: But I didn't say anything.
    • She also still believes in Santa.
      Parker: Please. You know how many chimneys Santa has to go down tonight? You only had to go down one.

    Allies 

Maggie Collins

"Nate, you can't just make people do what you want."

Nate's ex-wife, expert in art. Played by Kari Matchett.
Tropes associated with Maggie:
  • Amicably Divorced: She still tries to be friends with Nate.
  • Blondes are Evil: Despite what one would expect, given that she's a main character's ex, no. Not even close.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Really needs to pick boyfriends and business associates better... Nate is...Nate. Alexander Lundy as an idiot, though not crooked. Nate's old boss was crooked as hell...and in Season 4 we don't get a glimpse of what she did.
  • Honey Trap: In the season 4 finale, she plays this as Dubenich has tunnel-vision on just Sophie and keeping Sophie away from Latimer, Dubenich doesn't notice Maggie approach Latimer and drug him.
  • Hot Art Expert: She is well-versed in various forms of art and histories of certain pieces. And she looks very good in certain dresses.
  • Insistent Terminology: She must remind Nate to call her his "ex-wife" because of how few times he does say it.
  • Sixth Ranger: Temporarily.
  • Spotting the Thread: In the season 1 finale, she is meeting with Eliot's alias for coffee and starts talking about how bad, emotionally and in the bed, and forgetful a husband Nate was, especially forgetting she got him the button camera that Eliot was wearing right there for Christmas.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returned in the season 4 finale as the team couldn't approach Dubenich and Latimer knew all of the team's faces and tactics.
  • UST: Still seems to have some with her ex-husband.
    • And possibly with Sterling.

Tara Cole

A grifter who replaces Sophie on the team during Sophie's Journey to Find Herself. While little is known about her, a few details are clear. She worked for the army, and was trained by either the FBI, or the Marines. Since Sophie returned, the two women have been meeting off-screen, but did not work together due to their clashing styles. Played by Jeri Ryan.
Tropes associated with Tara:

Archie Leach

Retired thief who was Parker's teacher in the arts of theft. He was formerly known as the "World's Greatest Thief" Played by Richard Chamberlain.
Tropes associated with Archie:

Patrick Bonanno

Police detective with whom the Leverage group occasionally crosses paths. Played by Robert Blanche.
Tropes associated with Bonanno:

FBI Special Agents Taggert and McSweeten

Two FBI agents Leverage Consulting & Associates tends to come across from time to time. They're not aware of the Leverage group, however, as they believe that Parker and Hardison are FBI superiors. Played, respectively, by Rick Overton and Gerald Downey.
Tropes associated with Taggert and McSweeten:
  • Day in the Limelight: We find out a lot more about McSweeten and meet his father in The D.B Cooper job.
  • Foe Yay: McSweeten has a crush on Parker, thinking she's a fellow FBI agent.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Played with, as they have a conversation at one point about seeing other partners.
  • Hidden Depths: They may appear to be your run-of-the-mill bumbling cops, but in season 3, Taggart is revealed to be a Krav Maga instructor for the FBI.
  • Agents Lestrade: To some extent. Leverage works alongside them as if they were FBI agents sent as reinforcements; Leverage delivers the bad guys so they can make the arrest.
  • Put on a Bus: Taggert. The latest appearances of McSweeten always had him offhandedly mention a reason why Taggert couldn't be with him.
  • Those Two Guys

Jack Hurley

An investment banker with a large number of addictions, he steals from a charity in a flawed attempt at helping them, making himself the target of one of Leverage's cons. He proves to be an alright guy underneath everything, and returns in a later episode. Appears in "The 12-Step Job" and "The Boys' Night Out Job." Played by Drew Powell.
Tropes associated with Hurley:

Peggy Milbank

A friend of Parker's whom she met while on jury duty, Peggy is the only person outside of the team whom Parker regularly talks to. Appears in "The Juror #6 Job" and "The Girls' Night Out Job." Played by Lisa Schurga.
Tropes associated with Peggy:
  • Badass Adorable: Briefly becomes one when she whales on a would-be assassin with a frying pan. The fact that she caught him totally by surprise probably had a lot to do with it.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ruin her kitchen knives. A Venezuelan assassin tried to stab her with one of them, and she was angrier about the damage to the knives than the fact that he tried to kill her.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When an assassin tries to attack her, instead of getting scared, she gets angry in a way that implies the rage had been building for a while and beats him with a frying pan.
  • Foil: Literally everything Parker is not.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Beats a Venezuelan bomber up with one.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Meets guys through websites about cats. One of the flat-out nicest people to ever appear on the show.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Thought Parker was a bookkeeper and then a spy; has no idea she's good friends with the world's greatest thief.
  • Nice Girl: If rather frustrated when it comes to dating. Subverted when someone targets her kitchen knives.
  • Took a Level in Badass: First appears to be a meek young adult, but can lay it out when properly armed.

Colonel Michael Vance

An old friend of Eliot's who fought alongside him in their Black-Ops days. Now employed on the anti-terrorism business. Makes a brief cameo in "The (Very) Big Bird Job" and has a substantial role in "The Rundown Job". Played by Adam Baldwin.
Tropes associated with Colonel Vance:

    Recurring Antagonists 

Victor Dubenich

"I am Victor Dubenich. I am gonna beat this."

The first antagonist of the series, Victor Dubenich of Bering Aerospace brings the Leverage team together to steal files from a rival of his, while claiming that they were originally his. His attempt at murdering the team to cover up his own tracks makes him the victim of their first con; he returns in the Season 4 finale to get his revenge. Played by Saul Rubinek.
Tropes associated with Dubenich:
  • Best Served Cold: Spends three years setting up his vengeance on Nate and the team.
  • The Big Bad: Of Season 4, where he's The Man Behind the Man to Disc One Final Boss Jack Latimer.
    • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Latimer, though he's definitely the senior partner. He needs Latimer's money, Latimer needs his brains.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted during his final confrontation with Nate, when he gets too enraged to keep track of how many shots he's fired.
  • Bullying a Dragon: After getting taken down by the Leverage team the first time and getting a firm warning by Nate to never mess with them again, you'd think he'd learn to take the warning to heart. Unfortunately he doesn't as he wanted petty revenge on them. He REALLY should've listened to Nate's warning because then at least he'd still be living..
  • The Bus Came Back: Returned in the Season 4 finale.
  • The Chessmaster: In Season 4.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Heads the civillian wing of Bering Aerospace.
  • Dirty Coward
  • Disney Villain Death: He falls off of a dam's concrete platform in a struggle with Latimer going for a gun Nate set down at the edge to kill the other.
  • Evil Genius: Something that Nate is more than willing to admit to in the Season 4 finale.
  • Evil Is Petty
  • Fat Bastard
  • Fatal Flaw: Greed and Wrath both cause him serious problems, as he can't seem to commit a crime without profiting in some way, and tends to utterly lose focus when he gets mad.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Uses Nate's messiah complex and Jimmy's need to protect his son against them in "The Radio Job." In "The Last Dam Job" Nate turns the tables and uses his own greed and anger against him.
  • The Fixer: He hired Parker, Hardison, and Elliot to be the underlings for Nate.
  • Greed: Dubenich's defining trait, and arguably his Fatal Flaw, as his refusal to abandon a plan without profiting from it to the max is what brings him down twice.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The Man Behind the Man to Latimer
  • It's Personal: With Pearson Aviation and Nate after he gets sent to prison.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The brains behind Jack Latimer's attempts to manipulate the team.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • The Mark: By partway through the first episode.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: He single-handedly formed the team of operatives who turned around and made him penniless. Congats.
    • They also only turned around and made him penniless in the first place because he tried to kill them instead of just paying them for their services and letting them go their separate ways from each other.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Masterminds the entirety of Season 4's overarcing plot from his jail cell. He certainly wants out, but he doesn't need to leave in order to be a problem.
  • Out-Gambitted: Come on Victor, did you really expect Nate and Sophie to lose control of the situation for more than a minute?
  • Revenge by Proxy: Kills Nate's father to get to him.
  • The Rival: Seems to see Pearson as his personal rival as well as a financial one.
  • Smug Snake: Rarely was he oozing anything but overconfidence and smugness. He really believed he had the upperhand in any situation.
  • Starter Villain: In an interesting way, he hired the team, sans Sophie, to steal goods that he claimed were stolen from him. Had he just let things lie and pay them, the Team would have not been a danger to other corrupt forces. He chose to become their enemy by trying to kill them (and not paying Parker).
  • Stupid Evil: If he just paid the team off instead of trying to kill them to get out of it, he would have gotten away with it.
  • Too Clever by Half: This is largely how he is defeated in the pilot epsiode. If he wasn't smart enough to figure out what they were doing, the Kansas City Shuffle would have never worked. It was helped by the use of Nigerians which is so obviously a con they couldn't possibly be real.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Nate calls him out on this, saying Dubenich had been too angry and unfocused to pay attention to the small details, like keeping track of how many bullets he had fired, and didn't realize he was empty until it was too late. He practically started pissing his pants when Nate pulls out his father's FULLY-LOADED gun on him and proceeds to beg for his life. Nate then also brings out Latimer and mocks out a dilemma that if he kills one of them, the other would profit in some way from their death. Instead, Nate doesn't bother and leaves the gun between them on the ledge of the dam before walking off. Predictably, Dubenich and Latimer take the bait and immediately began to fight over the gun, then both wind up falling over the edge to their deaths, saving Nate the hassle.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While no dullard in his first appearance, he seems a lot craftier when he returns in Season 4. He's also far more willing to get his hands dirty, even if he isn't much of a fighter.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He was a prick in his first appearance, but he was a pragmatic prick, whose attempt at killing the team was far from personal. In his second appearance he's become a gloating sadist who takes a sick delight in having killed Nate's father.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Averted in his final confrontation with Nate, wherein Dubenich does just try to shoot him.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In his first appearance, wherein he pretends to have been robbed by Pearson (in reality he wants the team to rob Pearson for him).
  • Wrath: Nate claims this is Dubenich's biggest problem, as he gets so angry that he loses track of the little details.
  • You Killed My Father: After using his son to get him to do the first job, Nate has this reason too.

James "Jim" Sterling

"You know your entire plan depended on me being a self-serving, utter bastard."

Formerly an insurance investigator at IYS, now member of Interpol (which, in the Leverage universe, is akin to U.N.C.L.E. or S.H.I.E.L.D.). Played by Mark Sheppard.
Tropes associated with Sterling:
  • Affably Evil: He may be a bastard but he knows how to treat his enemies well.
  • Ambition Is Evil
  • Back for the Finale: He came back for the season 1 finale, season 2 finale, and series finale.
  • Badass: Sterling. Never. Loses.
  • Beard of Evil: As of "The Frame-Up Job". And inversion, since he is a good guy.
  • Berserk Button: Don't even think about hurting or kidnapping his daughter. He will hire the best team in the world to get you and you won't like it.
  • Catchphrase: He is fond of introducing himself with "Hello, Nate."
  • The Chessmaster: There is a reason Nate is fearful of him and always careful. He is a brilliant tactition who will always play to ensure his endgame comes out, regardless of the consequences.
  • Evil Brit: Inverted because he is a good guy, just antagonistic to the Team, most of the time.
  • Evil Counterpart: "He's like Nate... Evil Nate."
  • Guile Hero: Guile Anti-Hero if one views him as the good guy. The creators do.
  • Hero Antagonist: Depending on how you look at it. Definitely in "The Frame-Up Job".
  • Interpol Special Agent: He becomes one, thanks to the Team helping him.
  • Karma Houdini: Keeps getting promoted through the hard work of Leverage Consulting and Associates. Also, Sterling. Never. Loses.
  • Last Name Basis: Even Nate, who has known Sterling a long time, never calls him "Jim."
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Papa Wolf: Revealed in "The Queen's Gambit Job" where he must rescue his daughter, also his mole in her step-father's business. He uses Nate and company to do another job just to be able to do what is spoiled.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "The Frame-up Job", one of the few times Sterling is (more or less) on Nate's side. When Nate brings up that the curator as a suspect of stealing paintings and replacing them with forgeries, Sterling casually brings it up before the suspect, which causes said suspect to run in panic.
    Nate: "Very slick interrogation."
    Sterling: "I didn't think that would work."
    Sophie: "She's getting away."
    Sterling: "I didn't think that would work!"
  • Smug Snake: Falls into this in "The Frame-Up Job". BARELY keeps his "always wins" title.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Despite what Sterling says, his one-upmanship with Nate is treated as a game of wits — not the pursuit of some high ideal.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: According to Nate, sometimes you can only pick "Justice" or "Order", and sure enough, Sterling struggles with this in the series finale. In the end, he picks good when he lets the team get away with stealing the ultimate black book of corrupt CE Os. To qoute the man himself, "Justice is always easy."
  • Villain with Good Publicity
  • We Used to Be Friends: Though Nate would beg to differ. Sterling later admits that he no longer recognizes the person Nate has become.
    • And Nate admits they were friends!
  • Wild Card: Whose side he's on generally depends on which side will serve him best. So basically his own.
  • Worthy Opponent: Even Nate concedes that Sterling has integrity — even if he's not awash in the kinder human traits.
    • Sterling himself considers Nate to be one as well, since he considers Nate one of the best thieves in the world. Also, he even offers to let Nate and Sophie join Interpol.

Was it mentioned that Sterling. Never. Loses?

Colin "Chaos" Mason

"Hardison? I heard you sucked! Guess I was right."

A hacker with skills that rival Hardison's. Initially hired by Marcus Starke, he betrays Starke and sets off on his own. Played by Wil Wheaton.
Tropes associated with Chaos:

The Italian

Name unknown, origin unknown. What is known is that she has a lot of behind-the-scenes power (she can keep Nate out of jail and in Boston after he has escaped a Massachusetts state prison), and has blackmailed the team into taking down the world's most powerful criminal banker. Played by Elisabetta Canalis.
Tropes associated with The Italian:

Damian Moreau

"I'm a banker, Ford. Some banks buy land, I buy politicians. Some banks invest in business, I invest in countries. And I think big. And I don't judge the men I do business with. That's not a sin. That's vision."

The world's most feared criminal banker and target of Season 3's Myth Arc. Played by Goran Visnjic.
Tropes associated with Damian Moreau:

Jimmy Ford

Nate's father, and a former South Boston bookie, loan shark, and fixer, Jimmy has a strained relationship with his son. He appears in "The Three-Card Monte Job" and "The Radio Job", and is played by Tom Skerritt.
Tropes associated with Jimmy Ford:

Jack Latimer

A professional investor who's been keeping tabs on Leverage Consulting since their run-in with Dubenich, Latimer repeatedly tries to get the team to work for him. A recurring menace throughout Season 4. Played by Leon Rippy.
Tropes associated with Latimer:

    Other Characters 

The Butcher of Kiev

Hardison: "Have you ever been to Kiev? The Cake Maker of Kiev could whup all our asses, and this is The Butcher."

A hulking giant from the Russian Mafia, with a grudge against Eliot, a penchant for using cooking ware as weaponry, and a very ugly reputation in the underworld. Appears in "The Wedding Job."
Tropes associated with the Butcher:
  • Badass Moustache
  • The Brute: A nearly unintelligible psycho who's too stupid to be The Dragon, and relies entirely on his size to overpower his opponents, he escapes being a mere Giant Mook by virtue of his reputation.
  • The Butcher: Lampshaded by Hardison and justified by the fact that he favours cleavers and kitchen knives as weapons. His fight with Chef of Iron Eliot is truly hilarious.
  • The Dreaded: Nate, Sophie, Hardison, and Parker have all heard of him, and are tempted to abort the mission when he shows up alongside the other Russians. See the page quote.
  • Dumb Muscle: He certainly doesn't do much to demonstrate his intelligence, spending almost all his onscreen time ranting "I kill you!"
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep
  • Eye Scream: Eliot defeats him by shoving appetisers in his eyes. The lemon juice does bad things to them.
  • The Giant: He's huge.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: His last encounter with Eliot left him with some very evil burn scars on one cheek.
  • Improbable Weapon User: His and Eliot's fight using a large amount of kitchenware, including knives and his trademark cleaver.
  • Ironic Echo: "It burns!" Shouted in flashback when Eliot smacked him in the face with a burning piece of plywood, shouted in the present when lemon juice is sprayed into his eyes.
  • It's Personal: With Eliot
  • Knife Fight: With Eliot, complete with the requisite fighting for control of the blade.
  • Knife Nut: Uses butcher knives and a meat cleaver as his Weapon of Choice (though it's quickly established that he's perfectly capable bare-handed as well).
  • The Cameo: Was originally planned to appear, or at least his daughter to do so, in "The Studio Job", but the scene was either deleted, or never filmed.
  • The Mafiya: A career killer for Sergei of the Russian Mob.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Very large, very bulky, and portrayed as frighteningly strong.
  • Professional Killers: A world-class killer in Nate's words.
  • Revenge: Why he attacks Eliot.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: Both he and his boss, Sergei.
  • Slasher Smile: Only has two facial expressions—grimacing and this.

Mr. Quinn

"They told me you'd be tougher than this."

A nondescript mercenary employed by Sterling in "The First David Job", Quinn ambushes Eliot and gives him an absolutely brutal beating, before being taken down himself. Portrayed by Clayne Crawford.
Tropes associated with Mr. Quinn:
  • Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: He's got the attitude but we haven't really seen enough of him to determine which one it is.
  • Attack Hello
  • Badass: He's the first person we see inflict any damage on Eliot. Definitely a badass.
  • Brains and Brawn: With Chaos in the Season 4 finale.
  • The Brute: He's got just enough personality to escape being a Giant Mook or Elite Mook, but isn't important enough to Sterling's plan to qualify as The Dragon. Definitely this.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returned in the season 4 finale.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: He didn't seem fazed when he was surrounded by men with guns and when Eliot showed up to discuss a job offer, while systematically beating up the aforementioned men with guns, Quinn chats pleasantly back while taking down some men as well, still wearing handcuffs.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Sucker punches Eliot at the start of the fight, then proceeds to Kick Them While They Are Down. Definitely.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Very much so.
  • Foil: He's very similar to Eliot, but with higher-class tastes, a sauver demeanour, and greater amorality. See Lightning Bruiser below for how their fighting styles mirror one another.
  • Hired Guns: Sterling actually refers to him as "not as good as advertised."
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Literally. Quinn uses his first punch to knock Eliot to the floor, than proceeds to try and kick him into submission.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Of the "hard-hitting Fragile Speedster" variety, as opposed to Eliot's "fast-moving big bruiser." Quinn's fast and can really dish out the damage, but can't seem to swallow the same level of punishment as Eliot.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste
  • One-Scene Wonder: Shows up out of nowhere, gives Eliot his toughest fight to date, and then vanishes from the show. It's been noted that this is exactly how Eliot himself probably appears to your average Mook.
    • As of Season 4 this is no longer the case. Still a One-Scene Wonder in that episode though.
  • Only in It for the Money: He has no personal stake in this, and doesn't even seem particularly sadistic (especially when compared to The Butcher or Roper). He's doing this because Sterling pays his bills, nothing more, nothing less. This is given further credence in "The Last Dam Job" when Quinn is shown to be on perfectly amicable terms with Eliot and even willing to work with him when it's not his job to kick Eliot's ass.
  • Punched Across the Room: Does this to Eliot.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Shades of this, along with Only in It for the Money, as seen above.
  • Smug Snake: Has an arrogant bearing and displays a very cocky attitude throughout the fight.
  • Talk to the Fist: Belts Eliot mid-threat.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Very much so. He's the first person in the show to genuinely threaten Eliot's life, and his attack (much like the rest of Sterling's plot in that episode) serves to demonstrate that the show is about to get serious.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Demands to know why Eliot won't go down and stay down.
  • Worthy Opponent: He sees Eliot as one after their first encounter. When Eliot finds him handcuffed in a warehouse, the two greet each other with respect and discuss Eliot needing Quinn for a job while beating down the men who just had Quinn at gunpoint.

Ian Blackpoole

Nate's former boss at IYS, and the man who let Nate's son die. Serves as the final mark of Season 1. Played by Kevin Tighe.
Tropes associated with Blackpoole:

Marcus Starke

A superb grifter and forger who operates out of Europe. He shows up in "The Two Live Crew Job," where his and Nate's cons cross paths. He plays both The Mastermind and The Grifter on his team. Played by Griffin Dunne.
Tropes associated with Starke:
  • The Chessmaster: He is pretty good at planny things out. But he failed to fully see Nate's plan or Chaos'.
  • The Dreaded: He thought himself to be a fearful, and powerful figure. This was not the case. He was only seen this way because he was working with Sophie, the real dreaded.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He trusted Chaos. Not the best move there, buddy.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Part of his job.
  • Not So Different: With Nate. When Sophie is saying how brilliant man whose pride has been hurt and personally challenged, it will lead him to do a bigger, more dangerous con. One of the team asks if she's talking about Starke or Nate. This is referenced by interspersing clips of Nate and Starke giving pretty much the same speech and even putting their suit coat on in the same fashion.
  • Only in It for the Money
  • Out-Gambitted: By Chaos and Nate in rapid succession.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man
  • Similar Squad: His team is set-up along very similar lines to Leverage Consulting & Associates, though the lack of a Sophie counterpart shakes things up a little. He's The Big Bad, ex-mercenary Mikel Dayan is The Dragon, Colin "Chaos" Mason is The Evil Genius, and world class thief and infiltrator Apollo is The Dark Chick.
  • Smug Snake: Of the "failed Magnificent Bastard" variety. He's very good, but just not up to Nate's (or presumably Sterling's) level, and makes the key mistake of trusting Chaos.

Mikel Dayan

A former Mossad agent who serves as The Hitter in Marcus Starke's crew. Has a Foe Yay-filled confrontation with Eliot. Portrayed by Noa Tishby in "The Two Live Crew Job."
Tropes associated with Mikel:

Apollo

Starke's Thief, Apollo specialises in infiltration, corporate espionage, and bypassing physical security. Played by Apollo Robbins in "The Two Live Crew Job."
Tropes associated with Apollo:

Bradford Culpepper III

The Mayor of Belbridge, Massachusetts and apparent Final Boss of Season 2. Played by Richard Kind in "The Three Strikes Job" and "The Maltese Falcon Job."
Tropes associated with Culpepper:
  • Dirty Coward
  • Disc One Final Boss: Episode 1 Final Boss anyway. He's set up to be the season's toughest challenge, much as Ian Blackpoole was in Season 1. Yet it's quickly revealed that he's an imbecile and that Kadjic is the real brains of the operation.
  • The Mark
  • Mayor Pain
  • Permanent Elected Official: He's a third-generation corrupt mayor. Thanks to his connections with the FBI and his own spin machine, other people inevitably take the fall for his actions.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Uses his status as an FBI snitch to stay abreast of state police investigations into his activities and keep law enforcement away from Kadjic's business.

Tony Kadjic

Mayor Culpepper's partner-in-crime and the real brains of the operation, Kadjic makes his living running guns from Third World countries to American gangs. Portrayed by Paul Blackthorne in "The Three Strikes Job" and "The Maltese Falcon Job."
Tropes associated with Kadjic:

Doctor Anne Hannity

A psychotic doctor in the employ of Wakefield Agricultural who conspires to unleash a blight on the world's wheat so that the company can benefit. Appears in "The Inside Job". Played by Lisa Brenner.
Tropes associated with Dr. Hannity:
  • Axe Crazy: She practically vibrates in every scene she's in.
  • Blondes are Evil: Possibly the most evil villain the team has yet to face.
  • Lack of Empathy: To put this in context. She is willing to kill all the wheat in the world, the most common grain and source of food, just so she can have a monopoly and make a profit. The death toll from the resulting famine would easily be greater than any other villain in the entire series
  • Mad Scientist
  • The Mark
  • Only in It for the Money: Seeks to engineer a genocide so she can profit from it.
  • Smug Snake: God yes.
  • The Sociopath

Roper

"The great Eliot Spencer, heh."

A nasty piece of work who seems to have some history with Eliot, he appears in "The Carnival Job", where he provides the muscle for the Russian Villain of the Week. Played by Urijah Faber.
Tropes associated with Roper:


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