Recap / Leverage S 01 E 06 The Miracle Job
On the third day of Christmas, Hardison gave to me three fake statues.

Eliot: Weíre gonna need a miracle to save this church.
Nate: So, letís go steal ourselves a miracle.

A priest, Father Paul, is going to speak to the city council to try and keep them from selling his church to a developer when a bunch of thugs jump and beat him up. At the Leverage office, Nate gets a call from his ex-wife and goes to see Father Paul. Neither of them thinks the attack is a coincidence. Paul seems resigned to the sale, but Nate has other ideas. At the church, Hardison identifies the company that bought it while Nate finds himself reminiscing about happier times.

Eliot and Hardison go looking for the thugs but the leader of the gang they run into isnít willing to help, until Hardison points out that one of them has a dislocated shoulder which Paul gave him. The leader isnít happy and demands the guy answer Eliotís question. The guy doesnít know much, just the number he had to call. Thatís all Hardison needs. He manages to figure out who paid them, a guy named Andrew Grant. He goes through publicists like crazy so Nate figures thatís their in.

Grant is at a construction site, where Sophie approaches him as a reporter. Parker bumps into him and slips him some new anxiety pills. Then he and Sophie get trapped in an elevator where he starts panicking and freaking out. He takes some of the pills, which are caffeineÖand speed. Before long heís pounding on the walls and wailing down the shaft. Once he realizes the press is still there, he gets worried. Sophie tells them to start it back up and has Grant pick her up. At the bottom, he carries her out like he caught her after she fainted, making him look like a hero.

He grants her an interview, which he cancels and makes her his new publicist. He takes her to show her his project, a lifestyle center. They have almost no time, and nothing really to work with. They need a miracle, so Nate decides to steal one.

They need three things: a miracle, publicity and keeping Paul out of the way.

Parker goes to the hospital to keep Paul there, while Sophie leaks Grantís plans for a mall. Heíll be rattled, perfect for Sophie. She also takes the opportunity to talk to his assistant, Tomas, who it turns out grew up there. When she speaks to Grant she convinces him to do a press conference at the church to give his side.

Meanwhile, Hardison has been making copies of the statue of St. NicholasÖwith some technical problems.

As Grant gives his speech, someone rushes out calling everyone to come inside. The statue is crying! As the team comes to see their handiwork, they notice a lot of people. It might be working too well. Paul comes up to Nate and demands to know what he did. Nate tries to brush it off, but Nate insists he canít tell him anything.

Sophie is with Grant, but heís not reacting as expected. Heís come up with a new idea, Bibletopia! ďCome to pray, stay to shop.Ē

Nate is trying to figure out what to do, when a black SUV pulls up. Apostolic visitation, the Vaticanís team to investigate possible miracles. Paul is furious, but Nate him pulls him into the confession booth to talk (but sits at the Priest side much to Paul's displease). Paul tries to dissuade him from this course, but Nate is adamant. Grant is pleased with the situation, figuring he canít lose now. Tomas, however, is feeling a heavy conscience and goes to confession booth while Hardison too intend to do the same.

That night they go over where they are. As soon as the forensic equipment arrives the fraud will be exposed, but if they steal the statue, Paul will be blamed for a coverup. Nate decides they wonít do either of those. Instead the statue will miraculously vanish in the middle of Mass.

The next day, as Paul gives his sermon, the team goes into action. Parker comes down from the ceiling and takes the statue, actually a fake that they switched for the real one the night before. As Paul leads the congregation in prayer, he pauses as he notices the statue missing. He sees Parker outside near a black van and rushes out, saying he knows who stole it. Just then Hardison comes out and names Andrew Grant. Pretending to be a bystander, Eliot shouts that heís the guy that bought the church while Hardison says he's a monster for faking a miracle for a profit. While Eliot tries to persuades everyone not to believe him Grant tries to allay accusations by saying it was Paul's fault and even bring Tomas to help his claim that he plans to fix the neighborhood. Unfortunately, Tomas finally spills the beans about how he gain his properties by bribery, intimidation and violence even added he's the one who hired a group of thugs to beat up Father Paul. Before this happens, it turns out that Nate is still inside the confession booth when it was Tomas' turn after Father Paul left and encouraged by Nate to do the right thing to confess; allying Tomas' fears of going to jail. As Grant is arrested, he looks at Sophie and ask her to save her but Sophie drops the act and he realizes she's part of the set-up.

Back inside, Paul and Nate talk about what happened. He decides to simply accept his miracle.

Nate: Ah, but there was no miracle.
Paul: Nate, five thieves saved my church.

As Paul leaves, Nate and the team go pay their respects to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of thieves.

Tropes stolen in this job:

  • Badass Preacher: Father Paul manages to dish out a few punches against several younger thugs and even dislocates one's shoulder before getting hospitalized.
  • Blatant Lies: After the statue "miracle"...
    Paul: Tell me you had nothing to do with this.
    Nate: I had nothing to do with this.
    Paul: You're lying to me. You're lying to my face. In a church!
  • Confess in Confidence: Paul and Nate have a conversation in the church's confession booth. Paul even notes that Nate is invoking this to prevent him from going to the police.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Grant and a standard for Leverage.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The team expect that the "miracle" will cause Grant to back down from buying the church, either because of a genuine crisis of conscience or because persisting would paint him as a villain in the eyes of the public. Instead, he begins planning to turn the site into a theme park centered around the miraculous statue in order to turn an even bigger profit. In addition, Nate managed to forget that the Vatican would send priests to investigate the miracle's authenticity.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Grant's comeuppance eventually occurs because his longsuffering assistant Tomas, who Grant has been treating badly throughout the episode, finally has enough of him and calls him out in front of the crowd at the church.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The gang leader is affronted by the suggestion that he or his followers would attack a priest. When he learns that one of them really was responsible, he informs the young man that he's got some penance coming.
  • A Friend in Need: Nate and Paul have known each other for years. When Maggie calls him about the attack, Nate rushes over to do his best to help Paul.
  • Groin Attack: What Eliot threatens to do to the head thug since the guns were placed at a very convenient positions.
  • In Mysterious Ways: In the end, Father Paul is grateful to Nate and his crew saving his church and considers himself blessed by God's miracle. When Nate tries to counter that they did fake the crying statue, Father Paul retorts that "Five thieves saved [his] church." Considering St. Nicholas is the Patron Saint of Repentant Thieves, a good category for the main team using their thieving skills to help people, his faith in this miracle might have some good basis.
  • Insistent Terminology: Not a mall, a Lifestyle Center.
  • Morton's Fork: See Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!. If the Vatican investigators approve the miracle, Grant makes a killing building Bibletopia around a bona fide holy site. If they reveal the hoax, Father Paul will be disgraced and will cease to be an obstacle to Grant's acquisition of the church. The team opts to Take a Third Option: steal their fake miracle statue during mass, and have Paul catch them in the act, which they will then play off to frame Grant as the faker.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Not only did the team's fake miracle end up inspiring Grant instead of discouraging him, it also attracted the attention of the Vatican, resulting in an apostolic visitation to verify the miracle. Since Hardison's hastily-assembled efforts can hardly stand up to the expert investigation, Father Paul is now in danger of being publicly discredited and possibly even defrocked. Whoops.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: How the thugs carry their guns when they meet Eliot and Hardison. Elliot simply grabs the gun and keeps it there while cocking it.
  • Preacher Man: Father Paul.
  • Share the Male Pain: Hardison really looks uncomfortable with Eliot's threat.
  • Tears from a Stone: Invoked and exploited. Hardison creates a statue that can cry so that the team can save a church from being demolished. Though with the first attempt, the statue was bleeding ears.