Recap / Leverage S 03 E 03 The Inside Job
Hi Guys!!

" Let's go steal a Parker."
Nathan Ford

Early in the morning, in the Wakefield Agricultural Corporation building, Parker is running for her life. Vorhees, the chief of security, waits patiently as he assures his men they'll capture her.

At the HQ, Nate is cooking breakfast for himself. Sophie compliment his cooking skills. Nate says that he learned it in the prison kitchen. Their moment is interrupted by an anonymous phone call telling Nate that Parker's in trouble, and mentions a Steranko system. No time to waste, Nate and Sophie calls Hardison and Eliot to meet them in Parker's place.

Nate is surprised to discover that Parker's home is at a storage facility. Sophie unlocks the door easily, saying that Parker's key code is Sophie's real name. Once inside they're surprise to see a bunch of files, plans, equipment and a bed in the middle of a huge empty room. Once Hardison and Eliot arrive, Nate asks them to search the place for clues. Sophie is impressed that the plan Parker worked out is similar to what Nate would do. Hardison is shocked to see that she's entering a building with a Steranko Security System. Sophie is clueless as to what Steranko, since she's a grifter. Hardison explains that Steranko is the toughest security system in the world and considered the smartest and most dangerous, since it 'learns' and changes strategy based on the actions of the intruder. Nate asks if Hardison can crack it for Parker. Hardison says it's impossible to do it remotely... but he might be able to crack it from inside the building. Nate finds out the location and the team heads to the Wakefield Corporation.

Outside the building, they find out that Wakefield does research on agriculture, namely wheat, rice and corn and earns $200 million a year doing biotech research. However two years ago the company made a bad investment. CEO Charles Rushing is in trouble with the board of directors and has barely avoided two takeover bids. Nate realizes that Parker has a partner and decides to find him, taking Eliot with him. Nate decides to check the rooftops, recalling that the voice on the phone said that he's 'on', not 'in', the building.

Sophie comes up with an idea to get herself and Hardison into the building.

Meanwhile, Rushing and Vice president of R&D, Dr. Anne Hannity, check in with Vorhees on the situation, wanting this fixed as fast as possible. Vorhees suggests a lockdown of the entire building. Rushing refuses to allow it as he still has auditors after him and might not able to explain away something so dramatic. Just then, Rushing is informed that two auditors are downstairs looking for him. Vorhees says that he will have his men go floor to floor doing retinal scans with I.D. Badges, claiming that they'll have the thief in 50 minutes.

Rushing arrives at the lobby with his assistant to meet the auditors — Sophie and Hardison — who announce they are there to see 'who's going to get fired today'.

Meanwhile, Nate and Eliot explore the rooftop of a building nearby Wakefield when they are greeted by Archie Leech, the world's greatest thief. Guards arrive and attack but are swiftly taken down by Eliot(with a bit of help from Leech). Leech tells them that Parker is doing this to rescue her 'father', namely him, her old mentor who taught Parker to be the perfect thief. Nate tells him that if he really cared about Parker, Leech would have taken Parker in as a real father. Leech tells him that his family is full of normal, law-abiding civilians who think he's an accountant. Parker never would have fit in to that life.

Leech tells Nate that, despite having been retired for years, his employer found him and approached him with an offer: break into Wakefield and steal something, or the employer will target Leech's family. He asked Parker for help, intending to run the job together. Without warning, Parker had jumped the gun and broken into Wakefield on her own. Nate reassures him that once Hardison manages to access the system, they'll find a way.

Meanwhile Sophie tells Rushing that she needs him to call all his senior executives and heads of departments into a conference room in five minutes. Hardison requests a room with computer access to check the records. Rushing complies as he doesn't want to get into any trouble. Once Hardison gains access, Nate tells Sophie to cause a bit of chaos to give Hardison some time. Sophie announce that everyone in the room is fired. Hannity tells her she can't do that as she's just a consultant, but Sophie tells everyone that can convince her will be rehired, causing enough panic that Hannity is ignored.

Hardison confirms that Steranko is running at level one, passive lockdown, and Parker is safe as long she doesn't escape until Voorhees completes the lockdown. Eliot checks the perimeters and confirms that it's impenetrable, until he figures that one of the CEOs would have kept their office off of the sensor grid. Alec warns that if he hacks into the sensors to find Parker, Steranko will pick up on it, and all they can do is wait for her to send up a signal. Parker on the other hand, exits the vents steals an ID. She realizes that the guards are doing scans and hides in a cubical. She phones Hardison using the cubical phone. Once Hardison receives the call, Parker tells him she screwed up. Before she can explain what happened, Hardison tells her that the team is already in the building. Realizing she's using the landline, he tells her to hang up before Steranko picks up on her.

Nate and Leech are at the operation base, realizing that the blueprints and plans are actually original documents, which means someone in a high-level position gave it to Leech. Nate asks Sophie to look something out of the ordinary. She realizes that while everyone else is panicking, Hannity is calm and collected, despite the fact that her department cost the company millions and delivered no returns. Hardison checks her background and both Nate and Leech realize she's staged the whole thing to tie up loose ends, meaning that security will kill Parker rather than risk anyone finding out why she was there.

Hardison manages to mail Parker a package containing an earbud. Once the com is on, Leech scolds her for rushing in solo, but Parker says that if she didn't they might have hurt his real family or even worse. Leech ask her to look around. Before she can, Parker is confronted by an employee who mistakes her for a semi-anonymous fling, since she's sitting at Cubical 27. He drags her to the severance party with the other co-workers.

Hardison finds a gap in the sensors in the 38th floor, which happens to be the CEO's office. Nate tells Eliot to get up there and inside the building. Eliot is not pleased. He say that it's impossible to climb up the outside of a building in broad daylight, only going up there in broad daylight, only to spot window cleaners preparing a platform.

Hardison announces that Hannity cost the company 60 million dollars losses last year to create some sort of 'wheat'. Nate tells Sophie to get Hannity worked up enough to let something slip. Sophie asks everyone but Hannity to leave.

When confronted, Hannity reveals what she spent the last year and $60 million studying; a rare blight called UG99 with the potential to destroy all known strains of wheat - all save a GMO variant that she has created. Release the blight, and Wakefield's monopoly on UG 99-resistant wheat would make them a fortune beyond compare - while millions starve to death. Nate realizes that Hannity hired Leech to steal the blight so as to distance Wakefield from the catastrophe she seeks to unleash.

Nate and Leech argue about what to do next. Leech wants Parker to escape, while Nate says she needs to get the blight. Parker escapes the party and manages to head into the CEO office as Eliot arrives outside the window using the window cleaner platform. Parker refuse to leave. Leech taught her to be a thief, but Nate and the team taught her to care about other people. She's grown a conscience. Leech explodes in anger at Nate, telling him that he 'ruined Parker' and has gotten her killed.

Parker leaves the office but is caught by a security guard caught. She is saved by Eliot and Hardison leads the two downstairs using the staircase because she knows where the vault is. Hardison tells them to do it quickly as Steranko is locking him out fast. Worse, Vorhees tells Hannity that Sophie and Hardison are impostors. He decides to take care of them first, and then deal with Parker. Hardison and Sophie make a break for it while Parker and Eliot manages to enter the room using a scanner that Eliot steals from one of the guards. Parker manages to steal the blight but causes Steranko to reach a level 4 Hazmat Containment Breach. Soon, fire engines surround Wakefield as everyone evacuates the building and news crew comes in to do a report.

Nate and Leech steal a couple of Hazmat suits. Leech pulls a gun and points it at Nate, again telling him that he's ruined Parker. Nate retorts that they're trying to protect Parker and gives Leech the Hazmat suits. Back at the office, Hannity and Vorhees realize that the team plans to disguise themselves as members of the Hazmat squad. They decide to cut them off in the middle and when ambush them at the elevator at gun point. As they lead them to the vacant office, one of the people reveals himself to be Leech. Leech tells her that she breached his contract and demands they make a new deal. Hannity says that instead, she'll kill Leech and his crew and make them take the fall for blight.

Hannity asks him how they prefer to die. Leech says he refuses either and the crew reveals themselves to be reporter Janet Lin and her crew from Channel 6 news. They announce they have been broadcasting live since they set foot in the building. A flashback informs the audience that before Hardison leaft the office, Nate had him to create a fake Hazmat alarm and open the elevator door for them. Nate and Leech promise Janet Lin a Pulitzer worthy story, convincing her to enter the building with her crew. Confuse and shocked, Hannity and Vorhees then see Nate and his crew leaving the building using the window cleaning platform.

At the meeting point under the bridge, Leech thanks Nate for saving Parker. Parker then goes to Leech, who congratulates her for her performance. Parker tells him that she doesn't blame him for never bringing her into his real family, as she knew she would never fit in. She's happy with their relationship just they way it is. They share a hug. Before they part ways, Leech asks Parker for his wallet back.

As they leave, Nate asks what they discussed. Parker only mentions that they were talking about thief stuff.

  • Brandishment Bluff: Sophie has no true power to fire anyone, but her calm, cool demeanor armed with a folder apparently filled with Hannity's work and resume, is enough to get under the evil doctor's skin and get her to confess.
  • Call-Back: The code to Parker's real home is Sophie's real name.
  • Cane Fu: Archie uses a little on one of the men who has to guard him.
  • Character Development: Parker shows some fine development when she stands up to Archie, rejecting his philosophy "We get out" when the things get bad, defending the need to stay and steal the blight to stop Hannity from hurting more people.
  • The Dreaded: The Steranko is this. Even the US government thought it to be overkill.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Janet is one. All Nate has to do to convince her to walk into a building locked down due to an apparent biohazard leak, is tell her the story might win her a Pulitzer.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Hannity would like to unleash an apocalyptic plague on the country to increase her company's profits.
  • Noodle Incident: Nate and Archie have met before. They aren't entirely sure where though.
  • Papa Wolf: Archie is willing to shoot Nate, feeling Nate "broke" Parker and turned her into a Windmill Crusader with a Robin Hood fantasy.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: While Sophie doesn't know the heads of the departments, after her announcement to fire all of them but rehire the "necessary" ones, it creates chaos and infighting as different heads try to work together to prove their work is needed. Dr. Hannity just sits there cool as a cucumber despite her department having spent over $100 million on a failed project.
  • Old Master: Archie may be old, but his thieving mind and Cane Fu are sharp as ever.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: This is Archie's philosophy. If a job gets too serious, too dangerous, he gets out regardless of the consequences.