Recap / Leverage S 03 E 01 The Jailhouse Job

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Nate escorts Billy Epping to freedom.

"Nate, did you find us a client in prison?"
Alec Hardison

The series picks up with Nate, already charged for his crimes during the Maltese Falcon Job, in the courthouse - when his crew arrive to rescue him. The plan works flawlessly right up to the point where Nate refuses to get in the car; smash cut to him in Rockford prison, explaining to Sophie that the plan wouldn't really work - how did Sophie get from the courtroom to the getaway car so fast? Also, is she aware that they record all conversations over prison phones? Naturally, Hardison has taken care of it.

Nate isn't interested; he tells the team that he got caught and he's going to serve his time. The team cuts his comms, and Sophie leaves - mentioning to him that she now uses her real name, which Nate will not get to know until she forgives him. Oh, and they slipped him a kielbasa sausage with an earbud in it, in case he feels like talking.

Meanwhile, Adam Worth IV and his Chief Security Officer, Bellows, are being visited by a shadowy Italian lady - literally, she's standing in some very deep shadows - and her translator. She wants everything they have on Nathan Ford - visitor logs, video, court documents, everything. Worth refuses, but the Italian abruptly reveals that the translator was not necessary, switching to English and threatening him with multiple investigations by the government if he, as Warden, doesn't play along. Worth tries to reassert his dominance by reminding her that he's the CEO and not the Warden, but she has a zinger handy as she lights a cigarette; "Rome was not built in a single day. But it burned in one."

Back inside the prison proper, Billy Epping has found Nate a copy of the works of Seamus Heaney, for which Nate is duly grateful. A moment later, Nate notices Billy being pulled away by a few inmates and tries to tell Bellows - but the guard ignores him. Suspicious, Nate heads out into the hallway just in time to save Billy from being shanked by a tattooed lowlife. Epping explains to Nate that he found the body of a gangbanger during a recent incident, but in the absence of any kind of investigation the rest of the gang think he's the one who killed the guy. He doesn't even know why he's in prison - he's an accountant who went to New Hampshire to meet his girlfriend with beers in the trunk and was arrested for trafficking alcohol across state lines, thought he was getting a fine, and ended up in prison before he even knew what was going on. Nate isn't entirely convinced by the hard-luck story and digs the earbud out of the kielbasa to talk to Hardsion, which earns him a justifiable "What The Hell?" from poor Billy, who's halfway convinced he's just been saved by a crazy man who stuffs sausage in his ears and talks to people who aren't there.

Hardison quickly finds that Billy's story checks out - he didn't have a lawyer in court, and although he was indeed charged with transporting liquor across state lines, the sentence was way higher than would be usual. Nate apologises to the wary Billy, who is now pretty certain he's dealing with a crazy man, an impression reinforced when Nate casually stabs him with the gangbanger's shiv. Nate tells Hardison to get the team to do a background check on the warden; Hardison is impressed that Nate has somehow managed to find a client in prison.

Later, Worth talks to Hardison (as Lester Barrington-Jones from England) about the success of his justice business. Nate takes Epping into the infirmary where Eliot, disguised as a doctor, looks after them. The infirmary is the safest place in prison, doubly so if Eliot is your doctor. Nate fakes a toothache to have some time alone with Eliot. Eliot briefs Nate about Adam Worth: though the man comes from a political family, he couldn't win a single elected seat, no matter what position he tried for.

Sophie and Parker are in the courthouse stealing any records they can find that might relate to the case. Back at HQ, the team finds that several judges were bribed after sending normal citizens to jail with extremely heavy sentences for minor infractions. It turns out that Worth is making money by sending innocent citizens to prison, to ensure that his prison maintains the necessary headcount. Nate says he has a plan: they'll offer Worth his heart's desire.

The next day, Sophie approaches Worth and tells him that he's going to be elected as a Senator. She takes him to a nearby Election office, and explains that the current senator is about to have a scandal. She lays out photos featuring a scantily clad Parker and Senator Camp, photo-shopped by Hardison. Sophie tells Worth that when this scandal gets out, the senator will have to resign, leaving the party scrambling for a new candidate. Worth tells her that he doesn't have any campaign people but Sophie calmly plays an already-made campaign video.

Worth's on hook...sort of. He balks at putting down a large sum of money for a woman he just met, so Sophie says she'll create a separate fund specifically for the campaign. She'll put in the first two-hundred and fifty thousand, and then he'll put in his. and Sophie promise her he'll do it once she transfer him a quarter million dollars first before he put his.

Meanwhile Nate is checking the prison area for their escape while the team mentions that they're using all of HIS savings to match the "campaign funds".

The next morning, Worth is happy to see the money has been transferred to his account. Bellows congratulates the new Senator. Worth says he needs to make sure there are no loose ends, and he wants Bellows to take care of everything, including killing Epping. Bellows goes to the Security room and tells his men to kill the cams and use shivs to make it look like a prisoner-led killing.

Meanwhile, Worth is visited by Hardison again. Before Hardison can get a word in, Worth receives a call from the Italian telling him to check Nate's visitor logs. Worth takes his leave and heads to the security room. Hardison tries to check the cameras, only to discover that they've been "rebooted". Nate tells them it's time to break out and warns Eliot that they're coming for Epping.

Worth sees the security footage of Sophie visiting Nate and panics, rushing out of the room. The guards try to take care of Epping in the infirmary but are easily waylaid by Eliot. Nate and Epping run from the infirmary and make it through the lockdown doors.

Worth tries to call the bank to close the account but Sophie (having intercepted the call) says that with an account of that size, he would need to do it directly at the bank. Worth runs back to the office to take his stuff, apologizing Hardison for taking off so suddenly. Hardison reminds him to take the dry cleaning he's been hauling around all day.

Nate and Epping elude the sensors, and eventually split up to make escape easier. Bellows and his men check the camera to see if the prisoners head for the roof or the parking lot. To their shock, the camera reveals that a helicopter is approaching the rooftop.

They rush to the roof...to find a small model helicopter that Parker's playing with it. The guards rush back down to the parking lot and spot two figures disappearing into a van. They fling the doors open and find Parker and Hardison — or rather, Lester Barrington-Jones and his secretary — making out.

At the bank, Worth decides to withdraw not just his own money, but the money Sophie put in the account as well. A call from Bellows tells him that Nate and Epping have escaped. Worth runs back to the prison just as Captain Bonanno arrives.

For a moment, Worth is glad to see him. Then Bonanno asks why Worth was smuggling convicted felon Nathan Ford from his own prison in his own car. There's even security footage.

It turns out that Nate and Hardison (pretending to be Epping) both got into Hardison's van, but Nate left out the side door and got into Worth's trunk while both Worth and Bellows were distracted.

The prisoners begin to gather as the con begins to unfold. Bonanno shows Worth his 'favorite' part: Nate getting into the back of Worth's car in his prison uniform, and leaving wearing Worth's dry cleaning.

The problem is, Bonanno has met Nate before and he's a bit taller than Worth. It's pretty clear that Worth is Nate's accomplice. What Worth didn't know is that Hardison switched Worth's dry cleaning with one of Nate's suits. Shocked, Worth denies and say it was Epping. Bonanno tells him he got two problems. The first is Epping is STILL in prison (cue Epping waving cheerily from a balcony). The second is that Worth was at the bank accepting a bribe from Nathan Ford — the money that Sopphie used to fill the campaign account. The police even checked his car and found a list of state judges. Worth denies any knowledge of them. Bonanno, a long-time friend of Nate's, tells him that Nathan Ford is 'a very bad man', and that he'll be issuing warrants to talk to the judges as they might be in trouble. He arrests Worth and Bellows for aiding and abetting an escaping prisoner while the inmates cheer.

Back at HQ, the team is packing, ready to go to ground again. Hardison passes out tickets and tells them he'll contact them with a meeting spot when it's safe, only to be interrupted by the arrival of the Italian and her muscle. She requests a private conversation with Nate, who complies. He tells her that he knew she was involved when Worth got an early tip off about Sophie — he was supposed to discover it on his own. That combined with Nate just happening to be incarcerated in a jail run by a corrupt CEO told Nate immediately that this was some sort of audition. Impressed by his deduction, she gets straight to the point: take down Damien Moreau.

When Nate tells the team, they are far from happy. Damien Moreau is the The Big Bad to end all Big Bads. He's powerful, ruthless, and untouchable. Nate tells them they have no choice. They have six months to bring him down before the Italian gets them all arrested.

Nate tells everyone that they just do what they've always done, but this time they'll focus on clients who have been hurt by people that can lead them to Moreau. As the team leaves Nate thanks Sophie but fails to get her real name.

Tropes stolen in The Future Job:

  • Batman Gambit: The whole crux of framing Worth revolves around Worth taking all the money out of the campaign fund.
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