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Recap: Leverage S 02 E 07 The Two Live Crew Job
Let’s go steal ourselves a masterpiece.
-Nate...and Starke


Nate and Sophie are talking to an elderly couple who tracked down many stolen pieces of art after World War II, but there’s one they never got a piece that belonged to his father. He’s searched for it his entire life. It’s being held by a private collector, the head of Montgraft & Associates. They agree to take the case.

At the Montgraft office, Nate and Sophie come in as detectives as a cover so Parker, Eliot and Haridson can look for the Clifton. Mr. Montgraft’s office is too locked down to break in to, so they’re trying to circumvent it. Parker doesn’t like it, but Hardison explains what they would have to do to take it head on, unaware that another team is doing just that even as he speaks. Eliot finishes sawing through the wall and turns around to show the painting, but it’s the wrong one! Someone got there first! As Nate and Sophie come to see what’s happened, one of the members of the other team spots her, and knows who she is.

Back at the pub, the team discusses what went wrong, but Sophie isn’t there and no one knows where she is. Eliot finally gets a hold of her, but there’s a problem. She’s currently in the apartment holding a motion-sensitive explosive device. Parker has a solution to trick the bomb, and Sophie shoos them all out while she sets it off. She raises it over her head, and drops it, an explosion decimating the apartment.

At Sophie’s…Katherine’s funeral the members of the team say a few things about her, while Nate and Eliot keep an eye out for possible suspects. As the casket is lowered, Sophie comes up behind Nate. After the casket had been closed, she dropped into a hiding place below the display table, and an empty casket was buried.

After she walks off, the man who recognized her comes up. They exchange a few words and Nate hurries Sophie off. Back at headquarters, she identifies him as Marcus Starke, grifter and forger, a former partner of hers. His method is to put together one-shot teams for a particular job after which they scatter, but usually there’s a practice run, which is what they were doing at Montgratf’s.

She realizes that he’s about to pull one of his favorite scams, the “Mona Lisa Variant”, stealing a painting then making copies and selling all of them. She has Hardison look up all the art auctions in the area. Among the items on sale she sees a Van Gogh, a particular fondness of his. That’s what he’s after. Now they need to get to it first.

At the auction site, Nate, Eliot and Parker canvas security, while Sophie and Hardison watch from Lucille. Suddenly Hardison starts getting some interference from another set of comms, while another thief makes off with the manager’s credentials, right out of Parker’s hand! Meanwhile Eliot runs into a Hebrew speaking woman, while Starke comes up to Nate.

Sophie urges Nate not to tell Starke what they do, and just let him think they’re common criminals. The two teams start getting in each other’s way, but the manager suddenly notices he’s missing a few things and decides to close for the day. Then he calls for tightened security.At headquarters, Nate begins going over the other members of Starke’s team, a thief named Apollo, an ex-Mossad commando named Mikel Dayan, and hacker Colin Mason, aka “Chaos”. Nate, his pride on the line, declares that they are going to get to the painting first. To do it, they need to get to it tonight, before the auction. Elsewhere, Starke gives his team the exact same objective.

That night as Nate poses as a drunk banging on the gallery doors, the others sneak in. Things go awry when one of the motion sensors goes off, but the guards find a bird loose in the building. They turn the sensors off until they get can get it out. Parker is wondering how the bird got in when she runs into Apollo…with a birdcage. Eliot finds Mikel in the basement, and Hardison and Mason start a hacker war, and Starke finds Nate outside with the guards…using the name Nathan Ford!

As Eliot and Mikel fight, Apollo goes for the painting, Parker arriving moments later, but she can’t get to him because Mason actives the laser grid, and disables Lucille. Everything seems to be falling apart, and just then a cop car pulls up.

Starke: All out of tricks, Nate?
Sophie: Oh, I think he has one more.

Starke is astonished to see she’s not dead. Parker makes it through the lasers and grabs Apollo, and the painting, while Hardison reboots with a hand-cranked generator, and Eliot subdues Mikel. All of them, posing as cops, walk their counterparts out as if arresting them, and take the painting to “dust for prints”.

Nate and Sophie tell Starke how they initially thought he was the one who set the bomb, but after getting to know his team, they were able to find footage of Mason sneaking into her apartment. Starke isn’t too concerned about it, until his car explodes, right about when he was planning to get into it. Mason makes a run for it. Nate and Sophie arrange a trade, Starke's team for the first painting he stole. They’ll even throw in the Van Gogh. Faced with that, or losing his street cred, he agrees.

Nate brings the clients back to the pub, and Starke presents them with their painting, for which they are extremely grateful.After they leave, Starke remarks that the Sohie Devereaux he knew would never do something like that, and Sophie remarks that she died. Starke is still happy that he got what he wanted, but as he leaves it turns out they gave him one of the fakes. Apollo had taken Parker’s phone earlier and they were able to use that to locate Starke’s hideout.

Meanwhile, Mason is trying to get on a flight out of the country, but there’s an issue with his checked baggage, which turns out to be a crate with the real Van Gogh, and four copies. Mason tries to come up with an explanation as the TSA agent simply stares at him.

Sophie is in the graveyard, thinking about who she is, noting that Nate’s the closest thing she’s had to a real friend and he doesn’t even know her real name. She needs some time to put them to rest before she can continue.

Tropes stolen in this job:

The Top Hat JobRecap/LeverageThe Ice Man Job

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