Recap / Leverage S 02 E 13 The Future Job

The job becomes personal for Parker when their mark, Phony Psychic Dalton Rand, unexpectedly uses his cold-reading skills to dig up a painful secret from her past. In retribution and to stop Rand from bilking any more money from his clients, the crew sets him up for a fall by using their superior grifting skills to make him look like the greatest psychic who ever lived, planning to expose him as a fraud in front of a live network audience.

However, the plan goes awry when a criminal becomes convinced of Rand's psychic abilities and kidnaps him, demanding that Rand help him find a stash of hidden money from a bank robbery.

Tropes used in The Future Job:

  • Engineered Public Confession: How the team exposes Rand as a fraud. They record footage of Rand admitting that his "psychic" abilities are all a scam and explaining how he does it, then play the confession for all to see at the taping of his network show.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The plan is to first build up Rand's reputation as a psychic so that when they expose him as a fraud he'll be thoroughly humiliated and his credibility irreparably destroyed. They do such a good job of it that bank robber Danny Kusen becomes convinced Rand's powers can help him find the hidden money and kidnaps him. Whoops.
  • Granola Girl: Tara makes use of the trope for her psychic persona of "Bethany Noble," dressing in peasant blouses and a fringed suede jacket and holding her psychic consultations at a coffee shop.
  • It's Personal: They were going to take Rand down regardless, but when he singles her out for a cold read and manages to dig up a trauma from her past that makes her flee in tears, Parker wants him dead. Even Hardison says "He should be shot."
  • Phony Psychic:
    • Dalton Rand uses a setup not unlike what the Leverage team themselves use for their cons. His assistants dig up information online on his marks, and at his shows he has hidden microphones and ringers amidst the audience to help him glean significant details, with one of his assistants feeding him information via earpiece from a control room. This combined with his skills at cold reading - taking cues from small changes in his mark's facial expressions to guide his guesses - enables him to convince people that he has psychic abilities.
    • The con the team runs on Rand involves convincing him that Tara is psychic, which they accomplish in large part by having her feed him a stream of apparently meaningless babble and then engineering events around Rand to make it seem like her cryptic predictions are coming true by pure chance. Once the con goes off the rails, they maintain the fiction of "Bethany"'s visions to help guide Kusen and his thugs where they want them to go.