Recap / Leverage S 01 E 09 The Stork Job

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/leverage_-_s01xe06_4895.jpg
Tell me you didn't see this coming

"Now, we steal a movie."
Nate


A couple, the Mortons, ask the team to retrieve their adopted son, Luka, from a crooked adopted agency in Serbia. The Mortons paid out $120,000 - even taking a mortgage out on their house - but only had Luka for a week. The team finds out that Irina Larenko is running an adoption scam using orphans from the recent war. The team goes to Belgrade to infiltrate a party Irina will be attending at the American embassy.

At the embassy, Eliot has to play the grifter (due to the fact that Sophie conned the ambassador before) and squeeze Irina. Meanwhile, Hardison identifies Irina's date as the man who picked up Luka. Parker moves in to hook him. Despite her less-than-stellar people skills, she manages to get his name: Nicolas Obrovic.

Hardison looks into Obrovic and finds that he's a former gun runner turned legitimate businessman. Parker finds it all to easy to imagine herself in Luka's position, panics, and stabs Nicolas with a fork. The party is thrown into chaos and Parker makes her escape through the window.

Nate tells Eliot to tell Irina that he's producing a film and is looking for a leading lady. Irina takes the bait, giving him her card. Sophie asks how Nate knew that would work. Nate tells her that a European grifter who wants to be an actress would fall for it — just as Sophie would have.

After regrouping, they try to find a movie being produced the following day. They manage to clear out the producer (after Hardison makes the film's production cash disappear) and the director (by sending a false message saying there's another, better movie that wants him as director). Nobody tells that to Parker, worrying that she'll jeopardize the mission.

Eliot brings Irina onset and Nate, posing as the director, casts her as the mother. Outside, Hardison has a talk with Parker, telling her that the rest of the team needs to know they can trust her to follow the game plan.

Eliot arrives for the script, and finds that Sophie has made a few changes — from a two page scene to a ten page scene with stunts, special effects, and two death scenes. Sophie wants to be in the movie as 'Sister Magda'. Reluctantly, Nate agrees to let her do it, unable bring himself to tell her the truth about her acting skills.

As the movie plays out, Sophie puts on a stunning performance, to Eliot's bafflement. Nate explains that "she can act when it's an act". As they bring Irina in, they pretend to panic, claiming the actor who was suppose to play the son didn't show. Once they describe the general appearance of Luka, Irina promises to bring a boy who could work, begging them not to cut her scene. As Irina leaves, Nate gives the signal for Parker to follow her.

When Parker arrives, she and Hardison (watching via camera) discovers that Irina and Nicolas have more than a dozen children in their orphanage. Worse, the whole scam is doubling as cover for Nicolas' arms dealing.

At the harbor, Hardison insists that they need to change the plan and rescue all the children. Parker disagrees, saying that putting them in the system will be just as bad — they'll only end up like her. Hardison says that she doesn't mean that.

Hardison: And I like how you turned out.

The team regroups and once again Hardison petitions to rescue all of the kids. Nate tells them that they have to stick to the original plan as they're not prepared to take down this kind of operation. Parker agrees with Nate, though Hardison again insists she doesn't mean it.

The next day, Irina brings Luka to the set to get ready to start filming. Luka is placed inside the cabinet and Irina "dies". After a long pause, she realizes that Nate and Eliot are missing...and so is Luka.

The team travels to the Mortons and return Luka. As the Mortons leave, the team notices Parker is not with them. Luckily, Hardison planted a GPS tracker on her shoes after losing her at the party.

At the orphanage, as Nicolas is getting ready to sell weapons to a buyer, Parker sneaks in and tries to tell the kids to follow her. Since she doesn't speak the language, she can't get them to follow her until she mentions 'Haagen-Dazs'.

Unfortunately, Nicolas is on the other side of the door. After a brief fight, Parker wins and quickly leads the children out. She tries to sneak her way out with the children, but is diverted by Sophie, who leads them out the back way. One of the children coughs, catching the men's attention, and everyone runs.

The men hear a policeman shouting that they have the place surrounded. Parker gets everyone onto a bus. Only a few miles away, Nicolas and his men show up and shoot Parker point-blank. Parker isn't hurt. Nate and Eliot switched the guns with props. On cue, Hardison blows up the orphanage and leaves with the crew.

Nicolas' buyers return, unhappy with their purchase. As the money rains down on them from the explosion, all Nicolas can do is laugh in shame and defeat.

Eliot replaces the license plates so they have a clean shot at the border while Nate tells Parker that the kids are going to be turned over to the World Health Organization, who are expecting them. As for Irina, Nate tells her they've taken care of her. Hardison transferred the 'missing movie funds' to her account. The real producer sees the transaction on his account and calls the FBI.

Irina is happy to see the money inside her account but her good fortune is cut short as she is dragged away by the cops. Sophie asks Nate if he kept a recording of her death scene for "her reel". Before Nate can find a delicate way to tell her no, Eliot tells her there was no film inside the camera. Fuming, Sophie tells Nate that they're going to Paris after this.

Hardison scolds Parker for doing something that might have ended up getting her killed. Parker apologizes for rushing in, and Hardison reminds her that they're a team. Parker tells Nate to stop and get some Haagen-Dazs while the children cheer in joy.

Tropes stolen in this job:

  • Arms Dealer: The actual operation.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Everyone's expecting this from Sophie, but she surprises them all with an actually decent performance. Nate explains that she can act, when it's an act.
  • Blatant Lies: When Nate asks if Sophie uses the techniques she's giving Eliot to manipulate Irina on him, she says, "No," even as she's doing it.
  • Complexity Addiction: Sophie. She gets REALLY carried away with the movie.
  • Foreshadowing: Of the blink-and-miss it variety: when Nicolas' buyer holds up the gun, you can see the white X's chalked onto the barrel just like the ones Hardison was putting on the prop guns at the movie set.
  • It's Personal: Parker can't keep her cool in a job with bad guys running an adoption scam.
  • Literal-Minded: Parker takes instructions on dealing with Obrovich a little too literally.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Parker's grasp of Chechen is a little rough. "I will make your tomato shiny. Come with me."
  • Tough Love: Hardison's description of his Nana.
  • You Were Trying Too Hard: "Haagen-Dazs?"

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/LeverageS01E09TheStorkJob