"These guys don't fight because they like hurting other people. They fight to gain some sort of control over their opponents, over their environment, over their lives. Have you seen this town? The farms are drying up! The only stores are bailbondsmen and pawn shops, and there's nothing they can do about it. So yeah, they get in the ring and...try not to let it all suffocate them...and it's about two guys trying to beat the crap out of each other."
In Lincoln, Nebraska, boxer Mark Howorth suddenly has a fainting spell and loses a fight. His water had something in it, and his old manager is the responsible party. His father, Jack, asks Nate for help. Jed Rucker is the one who runs the fighting in the area. He will also fix fights when it benefits him. He doesnít have a TV deal so Nate asks what else heís into. One thing is golf.Rucker is at a course when Nate shows up, with Parker as caddy, as the fourth member of their group, and asks for a two grand bet and Rucker agrees. Nate has an advantage, as Hardison gave him balls that will go further, and gets Parker to replace Ruckerís balls with ones he can control.She also lifts his wallet. When Nate wins and demands his winnings, Rucker canít find it, so Nate tells him to bring it tomorrow.At his gym, Rucker is wondering why Nateís in town when he sees Nate there watching Eliot train. Rucker takes an interest and starts keeping tabs on him.Outside, he brings some of his people to take him on. Eliot makes quick work of it, while Parker records it and puts it online. Rucker is impressed enough to take Eliot in and asks questions about Nate. Eliot spins a tale about how heís running a ring in South Dakota and is here looking for talent and meeting a woman soon.The woman is question is Sophieís cover as a TV producer, and Rucker finds things online that make him think Nateís after a TV deal. He also sees the video of the fight online and makes Eliot an offer.Eliot says heís in debt to Nate and Rucker offers to take care of it and get him some fights in return for bringing Sophie to him.When Rucker meets Sophie, and tries to convince her to go with him instead. She says sheís here for a concert by a starlet named Triana and Rucker decides heís going to be there as well.Now thereís only one option:
- Nate: Letís go steal us a concert.
Tropes stolen in this job:
- Batman Gambit: By faking Tank's death in an uninsured MMA match, the team figured it would be enough to send Rucker fleeing for the boarder. At which time, they call that state's state police about a "fugitive" escaping there with a bag of money. They also put $6,000 dollars worth of guns (and a saxophone) in the trunk for the police to find.
- Boxing Episode: With a focus on MMA
- The Berserker: Eliot, according to Sophie.
- Faking the Dead: The doctor arranges for Tank to appear dead to spook Rucker into running.
- Foreshadowing: Rucker is told that since no local bookie could cover the amount he's betting, he had to go online to place the bets. Now who do we know that would be interested in taking that action?
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: A couple. One at the beginning which leaves Mark unable to fight anymore, and then Eliot going berserk on Tank.
- Reality Ensues: Hardison can hack any piece of technology, but he can't make Engel's cousin Jimmy in South Dakota know Nate's fictional persona.Hardison: Look, you know what I can do? I can re-task a satellite. I can get a level-3 NSA security clearance. But I can't hack a hick.
- Sick and Wrong: Sophie's reaction to chicken-fried steak. In her view, meat should never be used as an adjective.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: How Rucker's fixing the fights.
- Teen Idol: Triana, apparently.
- Throwing the Fight: Rucker demands Eliot take a dive so he can collect the money he bet on Tank.
- True Companions: The doctor is this to the clients. When the Team approached him about helping get rid of Rucker, he happily agrees.
- The Unfettered: Sophie describes Eliot as this — it takes so much of his self-control to contain his violent rage that he's actually more dangerous when drugged, because he loses that self-control. Of course, that's a lie. Eliot wasn't drugged and it was all a put-on to frighten Rucker into thinking he had a dead wrestler on his hands.