Headscratchers / Leverage

Season/Episode Specific

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    Season 1 
  • In "The Homecoming Job" the team acts like this is their first case together. What about the couple they were talking to at the end of the pilot episode?
    • Doesn't mean they actually took that case, or it took place right after the Nigerian Job.
    • I always assumed that the scene at the end was stylized and intended to take place later on, once they were more established as a team.
  • Okay, I understanding I'm going back a bit here, but I just got into this series, and something is really bothering me. In "The Homecoming Job", are we just supposed to take it at fact that the PMC can just have dudes armed with carbines hanging around their one shipping container in a private port, which has its own specific Law Enforcement Division? And, that they are allowed to just pull over people and threaten to shoot them with guns? I've done a bit of research about PM Cs before, and while I know some of the large ones have small armies and intelligence assets and so on, I'm pretty sure they do not have the legal ability to do some of those things.
    • Rule Of Awesome. Or, as per the commenters on Kung Fu Monkey, "no impediments to the fun train."
    • The entire caper started because this PMC was willing to murder US soldiers in a war zone just for having looked at their precious container. Its not exactly a stretch for them to be willing to break the law detaining and threatening people outside their legal remit. (As for hanging around the port, presumably there was some kind of legal paper trail saying they were hired to guard a shipment; it is, after all, a security company.)
    • Blackwater was the first armed group to deploy in New Orleans after the flood. There is unfortunately a real prescendent for this type of thing. These companies are actually getting domestic contracts in addition to their more common and well known foreign contracts.
  • Maybe I am mistaken in the plot, but in "The Mile High Job," they help protect a woman who a company has put a hit out on. Let me get this straight... a company hires a hit man to kill a woman who knows all their secrets, and then sabotages the plane, making it crash, so as to hide the fact that they hired a hitman? Seems a bit redundant to me.
    • I have not seen the episode in a while, but as far as I remember Team Leverage overhears that the firm put all evidence they wanted to keep hidden an that plane. They board that plane to steal the evidence. Hardison finds out that there two employees on the plane, an accountant and a someone from security. Team Leverage thinks that the accountant knows to much and the other guy is there to kill her, but later find out that both know to much and the plane crash is supposed to kill both. We never see who sabotaged the plane.
      • I get that, but my question is why bother with the hitman? The plane crash should take care of the woman without hiring an expensive assassin. In fact, hiring an assassin just draws more attention to the crime itself. Just sabotage the plane!
      • The second guy isn't a hitman, he was the one the Big Bad of the episode used to bribe some researchers, so that they would fake the safety studies/wouldn't testify in court. Team Leverage thinks at first that he is a hitman, but later find out that he is another target. In fact, he is the reason the big bad had someone sabotage the plane: as a former navy seal who knew he was a liability he was prepared for an assassination attempt (that's why he had the knife) the big bad couldn't get the drop on him easily. As Eliot says "I would take him out in transit." That the big bad could get the accountant with the same plane crash is just a bonus.
      • Short version - they're trying to wipe out EVERYONE who knows about the scheme, which includes the second guy - they've conned him into thinking he's working on a hit to get him and the accountant in the same place.
      • Honestly I'm having trouble figuring why the head of security/that "hitman" didn't find his orders odd: murder this chick on an aeroplane. You know, the one vehicle he couldn't just get off from en route? It's going to be really, really obvious. Isn't the point of putting a hit on someone so it's not obvious they were murdered for a specific reason? Isn't, y'know, discreetness like a huge part of being a hired hit? Murdering someone in a confined area thousands of feet in the air really, really doesn't scream "discreet", does it? If they just wanted her dead, they could have murdered her outside the office, seeing as they don't care if there's witnesses. So... Idiot Ball in the hitman's court?
      • He probably wasn't ordered to do the hit on the plane, but rather to take out the accountant discreetly after they landed. He'd be out of the US already and presumably would find it easy to disappear into the Caribbean. Of course, the orders were fake because they expected the plane to blow up en route; it was just a way to make sure he would be on the same plane as her.
  • In "The Bank Shot Job", Hardison posing as an FBI agent, takes a brief phone call, no more than five seconds at most, and then, to distract the local cops from Parker entering the bank, gives off a lengthy list of the bank robber's "demands" The cops never stop to wonder how he could have gotten so much information from such a short call.
  • In "The Stork Job", why didn't the villain just let the couple keep the kid? It's not like they didn't have plenty more . . .
    • The kid might have let his guard down and said something about their operation. Not to mention that if they had this policy very often, they would soon be out of children to use in scams.

    Season 2 
  • In "The Maltese Falcon Job" The gunshot wound Nate suffers doesn't make any sense. He's able to completely shrug it off like he never got hurt, stand up straight and walk around for minutes after without showing any pain, the side he was shot on is the opposite side that he was presenting to the shooter, and there's no hole ine his coat where a bullet might have torn through, but when The Plot Demands It he collapses in pain and is nearly bleeding to death.
    • It's very possibly to hide the severity of an injury for a good length of time before it becomes too much and overwhelms you, especially with something like a non-lethal gunshot where the main threat is of blood loss. Even if you're not as willful a person as Nathan Ford.
    • To add to the above, adrenaline is an amazing thing. I'm guessing Nate was in an adrenaline surge when he got shot, and that kept him going. Once he saw that his team was safe, he relaxed, his adrenaline levels dropped, and then then wound started to get to him. (Plus the cumulative effect of a couple of minutes of blood loss.)
  • Another complaint about The Maltese Falcon Job: At the beginning of the episode it's pointed out that they're not going to get out of the city with anything but "the clothes on our backs" before they go hide out in the hotel. Once inside, every member of the team changes clothes at least once (Eliot wears a sweatsuit, Parker wears a maid uniform, Hardison wears a suit, Nate and Tara both put on more casual outfits). Where the heck did these clothes come from? I can imagine Parker lifted the maid uniform, but what about the rest? It especially bugs me with Nate and Tara because what they end up wearing genuinely looks like it came from their own closets and we know they weren't carrying around a change of clothes.
    • You put the greatest thief in the world in a midtown hotel and she can probably scare up clothing in your size without having to think about it too hard.
    • They also had the bag of FBI bribe money that they grabbed from the warehouse and that Nate later gives to Kadjic. They could have used a little of it for extra clothes. (Plus, Tara's remark about "the clothes on our backs" could easily mean "whatever we happen to be wearing when we leave the city" rather than "the exact clothes we're wearing right now.")
  • Yet another question about "The Maltese Falcon Job": they went to a lot of trouble to establish that the metal in Kadjic's boat would interfere with cell phone reception. So how did Kadjic get the call from the mayor when he was standing in the same room where Eliot was getting no signal? (I know the mayor was stashed nearby, but there was still all that metal, and the mayor was also calling from inside a metal boxcar.)
    • They used Verizon.

    Season 3 
  • Maybe I'm just an idiot, but why is the team so awful to Nate during Season 3? Especially in the opening? Eliot says he ran a con on his own team (which Sophie did and was forgiven nigh instantly when they met up again so I don't buy this), Hardison says he lied to them, and Sophie refuses to let Nate know her real name and the rest of the team practically taunt him with it (to the point it almost sounds like they don't even know it and were just told to taunt Nate with it, were it not for Parker). All because he made a deal with Sterling to go to prison in their place, something he almost had no choice but to do? Eliot at least implies it had to do with Nate being "out of control" in the closing of season 2, but Eliot was also shown earlier in the season 3 opener to be rather forgiving of Nate, at least compared to Hardison and Sophie. And even if I did buy "you don't run a con on your own team", they treat Nate a lot more coldly than they did Sophie, who they just sounded disappointed in. Is it because last they knew, Nate was considered a "honest man"?
    • Part of it was their frustration at his refusal to be "rescued" from prison.
  • How did Nate beat up those guys in "The Studio Job"? Eliot even asks, and Nate says multiple times "They got into a fight."
    • He may have talked them into fighting.
    • He could have encouraged it.
    • There is proof they were gonna fight before.
  • At the end of "The Studio Job", it seemed a bit presumptuous of Kaye Lynn to make that "We could be the next Johnny and June" comment to Eliot when asking him to go be a country star with her. Not only does that comment imply she thinks they'll be insanely famous, but it also implies an intent to marry Eliot, who she couldn't possibly have known more than a few days. Even if she meant it only on a professional level, would she really want to keep working with him after finding out he used to be, essentially, a hired killer?
    • Presumptuous, maybe, but it seemed in-character from what we saw of her. Plus, don't lie. If you had a chance to spend lots of time with Christian Kane, you totally would.
  • How exactly did Hardison and Eliot trigger that make shift bomb at exactly the moment they wanted it to go off in "The Gone Fishin' Job"? Even the flashback didn't help make it any clearer....
    • Rogers said that there was a scene cut that explained it.
    • On that note, why did Hardison even pick up the cigarette again?
      • The cigarette served as a makeshift fuse, and these guys are always thinking ten, twelve steps ahead. He probably figured it could be of use somehow.
      • He picked it up in Act 1, because he needed it in Act 3...Oh, for Watsonian? In that kind of situation...ANYTHING is useful.
  • The shooter in "The Morning After Job." He goes to all this trouble to set up the gun, line up a shot..... and fires on full auto. With frightening accuracy. For noticeable lengths of time. And no reloading shown. All from a gun that looks like a sniper rifle. And when the police are on the way, he just grabs his gun and runs. What about the metric ton of shell casings he just left behind? How did he manage to bring so much ammo without attracting attention, for that matter?
    • This troper knows from a conducted study that if you have relatively neutral clothes, a clipboard and look busy, you can carry a large cardboard box just about anywhere. Fairly easy to slip a broken-down rifle into a large box. Depending on the gun (didn'T get a good look) it could be belt-fed, hence no reloading - Valkyrie Armament makes a conversion kit for AR-15 style rifles. A Brass catcher would account for the lack of shell casings.
    • If the show took itself more seriously, I would say this is a valid question. But... this is Leverage. And after what happened in "The Big Bang Job" I feel its safe to say we can throw out most of the logic around firearms in the series.
  • Okay, so in "The San Lorenzo Job" Nate states that Hardison is 'a 24-year-old genius with a smartphone', or something along those lines. Go back to "The Rashomon Job", same season, the team are retelling a story of a night five years ago. Does that make Hardison nineteen when he is impersonating a minister?
    • That's not so farfetched. Between the ages 16 to 18 Frank William Abagnale, Jr. successfully impersonated a pilot, fooling Pan Am and its pilots. He used the identity to catch free rides off Pan Am flights since flight staff get to fly for free. When he was 19 he actually taught sociology at the Brigham Young University by forging a degree from the Columbia University. That's from a real life teenager with self-taught skills. Considering that Hardison is a fictional Renaissance Man, it's not that unbelievable at all.
    • Made even more glaring in light of the fact that the showrunners have already said that Hardison was in his early twenties during the flashbacks, so there's really no way he could be 24 years old.
    • What bugs me about this is during The Renuion Job you see Hardison during his prom hacking into iceland, it looks like a scene from the 80's. Though he would have graduated in like 2004 or so.
    • Keep in mind that Aldis Hodge, the actor who plays Hardison, really was 24 when "The San Lorenzo Job" first aired.

    Season 4 
  • Okay the first episode of season four "The Long Way Down Job" left me feeling somewhat empty, maybe I need to rewatch it but a number of things felt unresolved. 1: Why did Parker need to slip the Russian bad guy the cell, when she and Eliot could have just carried it down themselves, given that they showed up at the tent in time to see the arrest they couldn't have been that far behind him, (they did show up didn't they?) so they couldn't have been that far behind. 2: It seemed like the Russian guy got arrested and if so for what? Yes he effectively kidnapped/took Parker hostage in order to steal the journal but there's next to no proof that he did it, unless Parker managed to somehow record the entire threatening conversation on the cell phone they'd just recovered... which combined with point one is only more proof for why they should have held onto the cell phone. 3: The hiker's dieing words may be admissible in court, doubtlessly enough to get the guy arrested and bring him to trial, but would it really be enough to get the guy convicted without material evidence as well? Unless Parker and Eliot found some in the cave which they took with them before they escaped (since they did listen to it just before they left) but if so there was never anything saying they did that was there? Or was the resolution that the guy would get tied up in legal battles with the murder charge long enough for the Leverage team to prove his wheeling and dealing when it came to the phony foreclosures? Either I zoned out during the episode or it felt like they needed another 3 to 5 min to wrap things up properly....
    • Parker slipped the cellphone to the Russian so he would get it down the mountain fast to a place where it could transmit the recording before the other CEOs left. Parker and Eliot showing up so quickly was most likely a screw up in the script.
    • This troper assumed that Hardison called the mountain patrol guys in the red jackets and they gave Eliot and Parker a ride. He could still talk to Parker and Eliot, knew that the Russian was on his way down the mountain with the phone that contained important information, and needed someone to head him off so that the team could get at it. The Russian didn't know what he was carrying but there's no reason to assume that the rest of the team was totally unaware.
    • Once the police reopen the case, they will probably uncover more evidence to prove that the guy lied about how his partner went missing on the mountain. The Russian might testify as well. There is probably enough for a conviction. More importantly the guy's business is ruined. There will be an investigation of his finances and business practices and all the other banks will wash their hands of him.
    • Simply having the phone might have been enough to take the Russian into custody. Combined with the confession happening on screen it's proof that he went gone up the mountain illegally for the possessions of the dead man who was now claiming foul play. With the conditions on the mountain the missing climber would have been a proverbial needle in a haystack, so the natural suspicion would be that the only way the Russian could have found the body was by inside knowledge because he was somehow connected to the killing. Maybe not an open and shut case but certainly enough for the rangers to want to hold him for some more questioning. As for the rest, the edits make it a little hard to follow the dead man's speech but if you listen closely he says something about how his research showed the company's crimes were bigger than he thought and that he was e-mailing something right now. Presumably that e-mail contained the same incriminating information written in his journal and was transmitting like his final message to base camp now that his phone was far enough down the mountain. Word of God admits that Parker and Eliot shouldn't have been able to get down the mountain that quick, but they wanted to have them there for the emotional payoff of Parker seeing the widow get the final message because Parker had been so adamant about "bringing him back to her."
      • Also, consider the fact that the climber was in a mountain crevasse with a broken leg, freezing to death. Legally admissable as "dying declaration" as in "You know you're dying (yes, you have to have knowledge that you are going to die for this to work), so why the hell would you lie at this point?" That makes everything he says actionable in court, including the fact that he was murdered (left in the cave on purpose), not to mention that there is probably other information sent on that same call, I think, from memory, they mention an email.
  • In "The 10 Li'l Grifters Job" the Corrupt Cop mentions that Nate was arrested five years ago for making threats against IYS. Clearly this was pre-series, but if this occurred before his divorce wouldn't Maggie have wondered why Nate was suddenly threatening the company? (She did not know about IYS/Ian Blackpool's role in Sam's death at the time.) Or did she just assume that Nate was doing crazy stuff because he was drunk? Or did that happen after the divorce? It's only brought up once.
    • It's possible that while he was arrested, he actually spent a night in a detention centre, not the actual prison part of the building, and was only there for a night (if that) or he was arrested but not really detained. His old bosses don't seem to regard him as much of a threat, so they may have dropped charges and he was only arrested because he was caught making the threats there at IYS. Maybe Maggie passed it off as mingled being drunk and being mad with grief. I was under the impression they divorced months after Sam's death, and that his death was a huge cause of their split.
    • It's also possible that Maggie was away working on a case at the time.
  • This can probably be explained away by Dubenich not being as cool/smart as he thinks he is, but did he forget that Nate had chased everyone on the team BEFORE Dubenich ever assigned him to run them? Furthermore Nate chose Sophie, not Dubenich, which is specifically mentioned in "The Lonely Hearts Job." How can Dubenich possibly think he knows them better even than Nate with these things taken into consideration?
    • Just like you said; ego.
  • Why didn't the team take Latimer's offer? I mean sure they'd be working for him, but they could have taken down people they didn't even know about! I mean the only way they even found out about the guy in "The Cross My Heart Job" was due to luck! If Nate had taken Latimer's option there is the possibility that they could have prevented the entire situation. And when they had what they needed from him, they could burn Latimer at almost any point!
    • The point was that is exactly how a con works. It looks like there's no downside, everyone wins, everything perfect...except they would have been working for a guy who would eventually sanction the murder of Nate's father. How long do you think it would have been before they were just taking down people Latimer wanted out of his way. Not to mention, Latimer was working for Dubenich, who really only wanted revenge for being put in jail. Eventually, they'd be working on something for Dubenich without even knowing about it. How long would it have been before one of their cons went bad? Obviously, foresight would have let Latimer be able to call the cops in the middle of the con and get everyone arrested...at the very least of things that could go wrong.
    Latimer: A finderís fee. You punish. I profit.
    Nate: Well, it sounds tempting, Latimer, Iíll give you that. Something I want, no downside. Problem is, Iíve made that offer a hundred times to a hundred marks. I know a con when I spin one.
  • In the episode in which Hardison is buried in a coffin and Parker tells him to move to the left because she's going to shoot a gun into one side of the still buried coffin, you could tell the length and width of the coffin by the outline of disturbed earth, but how could she be sure which way the coffin was oriented? That could have been a really unfortunate Your Other Left moment if he had been facing the other direction.
    • They'd unearthed enough of the coffin by then to be able to see part of the lid. Otherwise there would have been no point in Parker shooting an airhole for Hardison.
    • That particular model of coffin had a hatch to put special items in; Hardison found the compass that way, which helped Parker to find him with the metal detector. Once the lid of the coffin was uncovered, they could see where the hatch was and know that Hardison's head was at that end.
  • In "The Guys Night Out Job" while the ending was heartwarming, and I loved the Foreshadowing of Jack talking about how he has a cat now, in the previous episode did Peggy ever directly talk about how she liked tacos?
    • It's never actually stated, no, but it could be handwaved by the fact that she likes to cook/is a caterer, and so her liking tacos isn't too out of the blue? (I mean, I'm not saying that making food = liking tacos, just that it's not too out of the realm of possibility.)
  • At the end of "The Last Dam Job," where did Nate get Latimer from? They sure were able to retrieve him from the Caymans pretty quickly.
    • He was never in the Caymans. They just made him believe he was in the Caymans so that he would persuade Dubenich of it and Dubenich would try to double-cross him.
  • In "The Last Dam Job," why does Nate go to Archie Leach for help? He says he's going to people that Dubenich and Latimer wouldn't know as friends of the team and, under that criteria, Chaos and Mr. Quinn are logical choices, but Leach is the closest thing that Parker has to family. Shouldn't Dubenich know about him, if he's familiar with all of the team's known associates?
    • Archie lives under the radar and was mostly retired at that point. Also, only he (and now the team) know he trained Parker.
    • Also, according to Nate, Archie faked his death a while ago [he is legally dead], so there's literally no way for Dubenich to know about him.
    • Process of elimination. There are three people who could have taken over for Parker: Apollo, Craig Mattingly, and Archie. Apollo (and by extension, Mikael and Starke) is out because the only hacker they could use was Chaos and it would be unwise for the team (and writers) to use mostly people from "Two Live Crew Job". That leaves Mattingly and Leach. Seeing as Nate never even knew about Mattingly, he was out. That left Archie. Who, by the way, is not legally dead, considering he works as an accountant, and is known to be alive, just not to Nate, seeing as Anne Hannity knew he was still alive. Further, it was Parker who picked Leach, not Nate, seeing as Nate didn't pick Maggie. Parker probably doesn't like Mattingly for using Peggy, and probably didn't even consider using anyone but Archie. Plus, between Mattingly and Archie, Archie is the better and more subtle thief. AND due to his age, he's a lot less suspicious than Apollo or Mattingly. Oh, and, someone had to taser Chaos for his sexual harassment of Parker.

    Season 5 
  • In "The French Connection Job," why doesn't Lampard notice that, you know, Eliot doesn't actually work for him and just sort of showed up one day?
    • Because Eliot was hired to replace the previous head chef, who went on a paid vacation courtesy of the Leverage team. As far as Lampard knew, Eliot was just a very talented new guy.
  • It seems a little weird that, in "The Rundown Job", nobody seems to be even vaguely worried at Eliot getting shot in the chest (at most, Hardison says off-handedly "You're all right, man?"), even though he has visible difficulty to walk and the wound is bleeding.
    • At that point, they were worrying about a bomb that was about to release a weaponized version of the Spanish flu and infect at least the entire D.C. area. Anyways, at the end of the episode, Hardison comments "I told you, he takes getting shot very lightly."
  • In "The White Rabbit Job," why doesn't Dodgson ever wonder how the dream version of his therapist can explain to him what a lucid dream is and how it works? If she's really just a construct of his subconscious, then she can't know anything he doesn't know. (And even if we assume that he couldn't think of it at the time because he was drugged, there were still all the long stretches of time when he wasn't drugged when it could have occurred to him.)
    • The therapist said the treatment involves she literally getting "inside his dreams" á la Inception, not that a subconscious reflective of her would be inside his dreams, but quite literally her [somehow].
  • So, the team is up against a Steranko in the last episode, and the rules of Steranko are fairly clear: Everyone in the building has to be authorized, at all times. Anyone on the grounds who is not authorized by the Steranko quickly gets detected and security is alerted. And, indeed, this is how it works for 99% of the episode, with the team cleverly getting themselves authorized and unauthorized as needed throughout the episode, and it's how it worked in the previous Steranko episode. (Except Hardison managed to distract the Steranko a bit.) And then, at the very end...Sophie inexplicably drives a van in. Huh? What? How'd she get past the Steranko? Or does security not include the parking garage, for some crazy reason? But if it doesn't, why were the 'coroner van drivers' authorized when they came in?
    • In the end, Sterling was supposed to send Nate to prison, so Sophie's pretense was that she was there to take the prisoner away.
    • They were given clearance without being checked by Agent Casey.
  • It bugs me at the end that Parker is the new Mastermind. She's never run a con herself, she doesn't have the "do anything it takes to your own people" quality that Nate thinks is important, and while she's improved, she's still got a lot of social awkwardness. Also, we never saw him groom her for this position, or show any personal interest in this position (unlike Hardison, who was practically ready and just needed a few lessons) so it seems weird she's suddenly thrown into the foreground like this.
    • There are a few gradual hints toward this though. But I think the point here becomes that they no longer need a mastermind to function. The whole point of the mastermind bit was that Nate was the only one who knew everyone's skills and how they could function together. But as the one episode where its just those three shows, they have gotten to that point where they understand each other enough to work without Nate directing.
    • People seem to assume that Parker is 'in charge', because she's the one talking to the client. But Nate, as he leaves, never says that she's in charge. And it's pretty clear in that scene that the entire team is 'in character'...they're pretending to be 'serious business', with her as a professional and the two guys as 'muscle' in the background looming. So I'm not sure that scene tells us anything about the actual inner workings of the team. By the end of the series, we see that all three of them can plan in different ways. Parker thinks three, or even four, dimensionally, works perfectly under pressure, and doesn't let feelings get in the way, but sometimes doesn't understand people. And Hardison can plan and does most of the research, but over-complicates his plans and sometimes freezes under pressure. Whereas Eliot is really good at just knowing things and understands people, and can get everyone out when things go south, and will keep the gang on the moral path because he knows what it's like to veer off it, but is often more direct than wanted. I suspecting the team ends up basically being a democracy after Nate leaves, because everyone now understands each others' strengths and weaknesses. Or better than a 'democracy'...everyone just understands what needs to be done, and who would be best doing it.
    • The last season has a couple hints that Parker is being considered as the new leader of the group. At the end of "The White Rabbit Job", when they are talking about how the con had actually worked, Nate says "Parker, huh?" and Sophie nods and says "Parker", as if they'd come to some sort of decision. And then in the last episode, Parker asks Nate why he's been explaining all his plans to her more than before, and he says that he likes the way she thinks.
      • On the contrary, however, it could be that they want to make sure that all three are able to lead if necessary. They knew Eliot would be fine with his background, and Hardison seemed to be coming along. Parker had a lot more to learn. Once Parker showed that she could grift and mastermind as well as the other two, that was the sign that Nate and Sophie could leave. That would fit in with the "it's a democracy now" theory above.
      • More support for the "democracy" theory: In the DVD commentary for "The Double Blind Job," the writers point out that although Nate started out as the group's boss, he becomes much less so over time. In particular, his near-meltdown over the course of season 2 makes the rest of the group less subordinate to him than they used to be. So if Nate wasn't really "the boss," there's no reason to think Parker will be.
    • Parker's also the only one who ran a con without the help of the rest of the team, and her only help was from a waitress. She figured out their plan on her own, and even though she called Nate to get his specific area of expertise, he didn't give it, and Parker was able to figure it out by herself. Parker conducted a con, albeit a small one, all by herself. With a torn ACL/sprained knee/broken leg (depending on who you ask). She foiled a kidnapping, and wasn't detected until the last few seconds and was able to come up with a plan on the fly. Also, Parker is the fastest thinker of the group- she can do maths in her head very quickly, she knows security systems like a priest knows their religious text- she knows how to piece something together without overcomplicating it. She does go for the simple methods and builds on it, rather than going for broke. Parker knows how to run a con on a security system, and she shows in "The Broken Wing Job" that she knows how to conduct a heist. Parker does start contributing a lot to the plans, and even runs part of the "Girls Night Out Job". Sophie and Tara followed more of Parker's orders than she followed of theirs. Nate didn't need to "groom" Parker for the position- Parker already proved she could do it without even really thinking. "Inside Job" refers to Parker constructing a plan as good as Nate's to break in. Everything she does to prove she's just as good, if not better, than Nate is not in your face unless you know to look for it. Parker is good at improvising, Parker knows how to not get emotionally invested (which is a problem Hardison and Eliot have), Parker knows how to keep a clear head. Eliot and Hardison lack the qualities to be a Mastermind- Hardison always overcomplicates things, and Eliot tends to put the job second to his other tasks (such as in "the French Connection Job" and "The Underground Job" and "The Three Strikes Job"). Eliot is also Hardison's opposite in that he's too direct. Parker knows how to keep a con simple, not get distracted, quit when there's no choice, and yet, not make it all obvious. Parker makes the most sense. Just re-watch the series and look for moments, especially in seasons 4 and 5, where she demonstrates Mastermind traits.
    • Alternate answer: Any of them could do it. Nate and Sophie pick Parker for reasons of their own—maybe because her management style is closest to Nate's, or because they know the others will forgive her if she manipulates them in the course of a job—but not because they think the others aren't capable. In the same episode, Nate goes out of his way to tell Hardison that he's the smartest guy Nate knows, so it's not just about cleverness. Hardison also clearly learned from his mistakes in "The Gold Job," plus he earlier ran a small con virtually solo in "The Mile High Job." And Eliot is very capable of toning down the threatening aura when he plays various doctors or geeks, or when he's turning on the charm. He can also plan, assess, and adapt on the fly, and that scene between him and Parker in "The Long Way Down Job" was all about how they were both capable of making the hard decisions. Frankly, the team has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to potential leaders; they have to choose someone to be in the chair, but they'll most likely each take the lead sometimes.

General
  • The team goes through con after con without making any real effort to cover up their faces and fingerprints. We know from the Pilot episode that their fingerprints are on file. We know that the bad guys have access to tech too. So why is it that they're not being arrested and/or tracked preemptively in their schemes?
    • The same way that organized crime like the Mafia is well-known, but ultimately can't be easily arrested. They always manage to pin everything on the Big Bad of the week, so really all they can be accused of is impersonating officials, and whenever that happens they pull a Bavarian Fire Drill.
    • Also, Hardison spends some boring off-camera time between jobs clearing out their paper trail. And of course, as we know, someone does indeed track them pre-emptively in season 4.
    • I wonder why they don't at least use makeup to defeat the face scanners they run into sometimes, like in the final episode. You'd think that a little putty (or whatever you call it) to build up the cheekbones and chin would be enough to fool the system.
    • Thing about facial recognition is... you need actual records to compare it to. Most law enforcement agencies donít actually share information that much, due to professional jealousy or even just jurisdiction (thatís why they had to build the Intersect in Chuck). They might make exceptions for things like sex offenders or serial killers, but thatís about it. So while, say, Eliot might have a file with the CIA, the DEA wouldnít know him if he walked into their headquarters. Not to mention, facial recognition software isnít actually all that common, because itís expensive as hell to acquire and needs constant records updating. In fact, the most likely place to find it as standard is in a place like a casino, because they use it to spot cheating rings Ė and they do share records. Come to think of it, I donít think the team ever did a job in VegasÖ
    • AND Thereís also the part where Hardison has built several disposable, but high-quality IDís and personas for each of the teamÖ the whole reason for the Juror #6 Job back in s1, was that one of Parkerís Hardison-made aliases was so good that ĎAlice Whiteí was called up for jury duty. Hardison can hack into pretty much any US government agency there is, and seems to have several permanent backdoors into each of them. Heís very probably got an automated system embedded in the government network that means every law enforcement agency that could run a facial recognition scan on them gets a different result.
  • There seems to be an unfortunate tendency to cast unrealistically sociopathic Card-Carrying Villain types as marks. The ep "Experimental Job" has a college student getting all lulzy about how he gets to torture people for just $50 each a day! Of course, there's also the way there seem to be no good rich people. Basically, rich=evil. Not exactly subtle.
    • It's not so much that rich=evil its just that you don't find yourself in a position where you can commit the kind of wrongs that the Leverage team get called into solve unless you have enough power of one form or another to be able to beat the system, which is why the villain is always "rich"/"powerful". As for their being no good rich people, Nate, Sophie, Hardison, Eliot and Parker. Given that in the very first episode the payoff was described as "It's go legit and buy an island money," it'd be foolish to think that they don't count as being rich.
    • "The Lonely Hearts Job" addresses this. The client is quite rich (it's noted that he donated more money to charity than Bill and Melinda Gates) but apart from Nate's initial apprehension, which is quickly dismissed, he's not treated as a bad guy.
      • And according to Word of God, most of their marks are based upon REAL people whose actual crimes and deeds were actually far worse than their fictional counterparts. They actually had to tone down them down to make them believable. Scary thought.
      • One can do the research as well to find the various real life people who these ones are inspired by. For instance, Season 3's opening mark who sent prisoners to private prisons on minor charges purely to make a profit is actually toned down compared to the real life person he's based on, Mark Ciavarella Jr. The real life equivalent is the Kids for cash scandal. He made money giving lengthy sentences to juveniles for such offenses like mocking a principal on Myspace, trespassing in a vacant building, and shoplifting DVDs from Wal-mart. As they comment on the DVDs, they never actually make up what the actual Kick the Dog moment for the mark is. Also, the reasoning they give is generally based on the same logic these real life people tend to use to justify themselves. Reality Is Unrealistic.
  • Word of God always went out of its way to mention that our protagonists are the bad guys—-but we surely wouldn't realize that from watching the show. Eliot is a hitter whose main job is knocking people out - some of which are just doing their jobs. We never see any of them suffering injuries, although every single one of them has at least a concussion and is at risk of serious brain damage. Hardison never screws up and deletes data which will set half the company back several years, or causes sensitive data to leak out and destroy the entire company's business. Not to mention the collateral damage (also mentioned in YMMV) caused by taking down these huge companies. Innocent workers being thrown into unemployment, pension funds being flushed down the drain, investors, any other company who relies on this one, be it as huge part of their supply chain or as their main customer... Never explored. Sure, we get a lot of info on how being criminals affected THEM (Eliot's life changed completely by killing people, Parker never got a chance to develop normally, Sophie's grifting leads to an identity crisis...), but for a show that's so proud of its Black and Gray Morality, the heroes appear as exactly that - heroes.
    • You say it yourself: "we never see..." who is to say what the Domino Effect is on the Leverage-verse in general or on the Economies of LA, Boston, or Portland. We only got to see a small slice of their world from their perspective for maybe 5 years.
    • It's Hollywood, and even among such, the writers seem to get their ethics from Occupy. The idea that economic might actually be a lot of interrelated things doesn't occur; the so-called Black and Grey Morality is in fact simply large business=EVIL.
    • I always assumed it was like a controlled explosion. They knew the parts they wanted to take out and set up contingencies for when their plans failed. We probably just didn't get to see a lot of the off-camera boring-type stuff that the team does to make sure the employees aren't harmed by the fallout.
    • It wouldn't surprise me if they claim they are the bad guys for legal reasons, or stuff. The show itself never claims they are bad guys except in the phrase "sometimes bad guys make the best good guys" which is using the context of them being thieves. I'm sure Nate has contingencies in place to minimize/repair the collateral damage he does. As for Elliot, it's Hollywood fighting, so we can assume that there's no lasting damage.
    • I sincerely doubt the Leverage team would leave a company so thoroughly destroyed it has to liquidate and fire people left and right- it would go against everything they do. They probably leave measures in place so that a new, better person can take over. Eliot is by far the hardest on members of the mafia and hired hits, people who WILL kill him. Security and the pink-shirted men who get their clothes stolen (seriously- two men in pink shirts at least!) only get knocked out, and Eliot is supposed to be very, very, very skilled- he probably only hits them hard enough and in just the right spot to knock the out- no more, no less. And they are bad guys- they frame people for things they never did all the time. Just because the crimes are related to what they were hired for doesn't make it right. Take "The 15 Minutes Job" for example- the mark is mostly just your garden variety douche, rather small potatoes compared to Monica Hunter even though they do the same thing. Later they find he killed his prom date while driving drunk and framed his friend for it. So what do they do? Build him up as a great vigilante and public hero, then rip him down by framing him for an additional DUI which he ran from, and provide evidence to the police that he committed the first DUI. Two counts of murder. Nate fully intended to use a child to get to his scheming father in "The Fairy Godparents Job" and wanted Sophie to just leave him once he fulfilled his usefulness in getting his dad out of the house. At the end of the first season, Sophie did exactly what Dubenich did at the start- used Nate's son's death selfishly. In her case, she wanted to target Blackpoole to get the First David, with Nate's revenge as just a nice plus. Her doing that forced the team to break up. They're not good people- they're just noble. They care about justice, but not the truth. It's the end, not the means that matter.
  • Why does Parker wear her hair loose when breaking into buildings? It can get caught on things, and particularly when she's flipping through lasers, can get caught in the beam. It's especially strange because she wears a cap in the pilot.
    • Possibly because Parker is just that good, and also possibly because the cap makes her look more conspicuous. We see in Rashomon Job that she infiltrates, she doesn't just break in from outside all that often. While she could stash it with her gear, it would be a deterrent in the end, because getting it and tucking her hair in it would take precious time. In the pilot, she was there to be in then out, there and gone, but once she works with the team, she's always grifting or there's always a danger that she has to grift, so her hat would just hinder her, even for just a few seconds. Oh, and they have to hide that it isn't Beth Riesgraf performing those gymnastics stunts.
  • If Parker's never been caught, and considering how good she's shown to be, how can she be a wanted criminal in different countries, and how can she be so well-known amongst thieves? She's so good that she can steal something in the time it takes a guard to just turn around for a second or two without being seen. Does that mean she's been seen? And even if she has been seen, how does anyone know who she is? She claims to have spent time in prison, implying she's been caught, but since Word of God says she never has been, it could well mean she was there to either steal something or use the prison to get to something she was paid to steal (explaining why she commented that she wasn't there for as long as people thought).
    • "Never been caught" isn't the same thing as "no one knows she did it." She's been known to freelance from time to time, which is how she meets the rest of the team in the pilot episode, and she has all manner of contacts in the business. What it does mean is that no one has ever had enough evidence on Parker to come after her, or if they have, they've never been able to put her away.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Headscratchers/Leverage