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Recap: Leverage S 02 E 06 The Top Hat Job
"The secret of magic is misdirection"
Nathan Ford

Leigh Jameson is in the Lilian Foods Company downloading some files until her boss, Erik Casten and security chief, Markland comes in suspecting her in illegal downloading. Knowing she gets caught she makes her escape and manage to exit the company but she receives a call from the Forrent Alarm Systems that her home alarm has been activated indicating a break in. The next day, she meets up with Nate and Sophie telling her situation about her house been ransacked but only her hard drive’s been stolen. She tells them that one of our quality-control inspectors found salmonella bacteria on a shipment of frozen dinners but discovered that the entire frozen food division was contaminated. She even finds out that her boss is avoiding lawsuits by not reporting it. She asks for their team’s help, worrying of the safety of the food due to Erik’s actions. Nate asks further about the CEO and she tells him that Mr. Price doesn’t know about this matter and was trying to report this matter to him.

What Nate didn’t know is that the team was already pulling a recon on the company. Eliot dresses as a pizza delivery guy, Parker stands guard outside while Hardison’s in the office checking the progress. Sophie was suppose to stop Nate from finding out but fails. Nate finds out about this and tells them to pull out but Hardison refuse since it’s going smoothly. Suddenly Eliot tells Hardison they have a problem as ‘ex-CIA’ guards are MRI-ing the pizza. It gets worse as Hardison gets lots of alerts and eventually lead to a black out. Parker is shocked about it and even realizes the homeless guy that she’s standing beside is a guard. Luckily they both manage to escape and Hardison manages to restart his com.

After everyone regroups, Hardison complains that he had this since it was an easy target. Nate tells him that he used to work with food companies at IYS. Anyone who gets their hands on the food patent will cost them billions, which explains why the company is heavily guarded. Hardison then briefs the team about the company and explain that Erik is trying to cover up the problem so he doesn’t need to pay from the recall. He manages to send in a ‘Trojan horse’ using a Smartphone inside the package but he manages to collect the employee messages instead due to the tight security. Just as Hardison mention about the ‘state of the company’ thing tomorrow, Nate tells them that’s their way in. Confused since Nate is the only one of them who's had a real job, Nate tells them that that companies usually host some boring speech, entertainment and food but that’s the only time that all the employees leave their office since it’s mandatory. Since catering has already been done itself by the food company, they have to replace the one who’s doing the entertainment. Hardison checks it to reveal that Chronos the Magnificent is hosting it.

To replace him, Hardison and Parker go up as guest and expose his magic tricks; making him rage at Hardison. The next day, Markland was reported by Sophie (pretends to be the manager for the magic show) that Chronos was detained for 24 hours and found a replacement that is coming his way. Just then Nate shows up as Harry Turner, the Illusionist (that he mentions magicians do kids party). His team was about to enter but Markland wants to check his equipment. Luckily Mr.Price was there and lets them in without checking it. Backstage, what they didn’t check is that Eliot’s inside the magician box. Hardison briefs the team that the show opens Erik Casten delivering the company’s speech, which may last for an hour, giving him, Eliot, and Parker enough time to go down to the server room, hack and download the report, and return upstairs. Nate explains he might not need an assistant as all he has to do is have a magic rabbit but unfortunately he seems to lose the rabbit in the process. To make Nate’s speech longer, Sophie ask Mr. Price help with some of the employee names and their habits, unaware that Sophie used one of the employee’s ID card for them to enter the office.

As the speech starts, their plan changes as Erik gives a brief speech, asking Nate to bring in Parker as his assistant (confusing Sophie on why he didn’t pick her). Eliot and Hardison hasten to enter the server room while Parker manages to enter the stage (in her own way by accident). It turns out that Erik has the same idea on going up the server room only to ‘take of some business’ upstairs. Using the help of Dr.Price (in false pretense that he’s use for the magic show and place him inside the magic box) Hardison and Eliot gain access to the room (with the help of Jameson). But they were a bit late due to the fact that Erik got to the room first, deleting all the files during the process. As Erik is watching the files been deleted, he calls in Markland that there’s a breach in the junction room as it’s one of the areas to access. While Eliot is in the elevator with Dr. Price inside, Hardison is in the junction room, gets locked. Eliot ditch Dr. Price after dealing with the guards and tells them that their cover is blown. Nate and Parker makes their escape by their ‘disappearing’ act as the guards heads to detain them only to find the rabbit that Nate lost. Hardison gets detain but only to find his hard drive fill with magic tricks instructions.

As Hardison was pulled outside with Markland assuming there’s a van that Hardison says outside, Markland receives a call from Erik which he’s surprise that his phone is missing. At the end of the call happens to be Nate. Nate tells him the secret of magic is misdirection. Sure that Erik deletes the files but what he didn’t know is that Nate tells Hardison to download all the food patents into his phone and all they need to do is Parker to steal his phone when he went outside. Erik is stunned as he as Nate what he wants, Nate tells him that he wants his friend to be release and pull the entire frozen-foods line from the market with the help of a specialist for the recall. Just then Jameson and Price exits out the building, telling him to give a formal apology and his resignation letter telling Markland to escort Erik to clean his office.While Hardison and Parker are learning some magic tricks and Nate is busy checking out his clients, Sophie discuss with Eliot that she’s worried that Nate keeps winning despite him not drinking and the team begs him to take them back. Eliot assure it’s alright but couldn’t answer Sophie’s question when she ask what happen if he loses.

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