Recap / Leverage S 03 E 04 The Scheherazade Job

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"Lets go steal the man on the street. In Africa!"
Nathan Ford


Alexander Moto, brother of President Simeon Moto of Wadata, meets with investors and assures them that his brother doesn't have the will to make the country attractive to investors. When the businessman wonder if Moto can succeed, Moto says he's making an effort to eliminate any threats. Meanwhile reporter Jane Akinyemi from West Africa Newswire is trying to call Moto when she is almost killed in a hit-and-run accident. At the McRory Pub, Eliot and Hardison question each other on why they are there. Eliot says he's here due to the client almost killed in a hit-and-run attack while Hardison is checking on what Nate does so he would one day run his own crew since he has all their skills - hacking, stealing, grifting. Eliot points out that Hardison doesn't have the hitter skills Eliot does, to which Hardison replies he has a dog for that. Nate is surprised to hear that Hardison wants to run his own crew one day and tells him that he can't do what Nate does. Before he explains further, Jane comes in, followed soon after by two African bodyguards. Eliot drives off the guards without much difficulty, and asking Hardison whether his dog can do that. Jane explains to them that Moto uses children to mine for diamonds before smuggling them into the US, laundering them, and using them to finance his bid to beat Simeon in the next election. Jane admits that the Justice Department has refused to follow up on her story despite her having proof, and Nate says he can find out why.

To get more information about Moto, Nate visits the Italian. She explains to him that Moto's a paid informant for the CIA, identifying terrorists that are really his political rivals. Before she leaves, she invites Nate for dinner but Nate refuses, worrying he'll get killed. Nate's plan is to cripple Moto by stealing his diamonds. After some investigation, Parker and Hardison find his vault at the basement of the Raines Concert Hall. Hardison then finds that Moto purchased a Stradivarius violin for $4.5 million, giving them a way in. Realizing that Moto isn't well-respected in Wadata, Hardison and Eliot create a fake photo that indicate Moto was drinking and insulting the people of Wadata and then make a fake newscast showing protests from the people of Wadata. Moto and Simeon argue over video chat about the bad press, and afterwards Moto blames one of his guards for not taking care of Jane. Enter Sophie in a new cover, who claims to be able to solve his problems as "Perception Management." What she suggests is to make him a hero by helping an individual rather than a big showy display that only proves his wealth. She shows a picture of 'Temi' (Hardison), saying that he's a taxi driver that emigrated from Wadata with a dream to attend the world-famous New England Conservatory to study the violin. Her proposition is to make his dreams come true.

As he prepares his equipment to recon the vault, Hardison mentions that he did play the violin as a kid, but stopped when he discovered computers. Hardison asks Nate why he thinks he can't do what Nate does. Nate doesn't answer. Sure enough, Moto shows him the Stradivarius in his vault. Watching through a button camera, Nate and Parker check out the vault. Parker tells Nate that the vault is unbreakable since there are no security cameras, meaning it uses motion sensors and Hardison can't hack it. Nate asks Parker to check the log to see when they shut it off and why. It turns out that when the orchestra above plays the 1812 Overture, the vault is shut off because the vibrations would set it off. Nate then tells Sophie about a new plan, having Sophie suggest to Moto that Hardison should play the violin for the concert since his brother is coming to visit in two days. Hardison insists that he can't do it, but Nate presses ahead anyway. Sophie comes in and tells Hardison that he's going to play "Scheherazade" by Korsakov (which ends with one of the most difficult violins solos) and has a rehearsal in two hours using Moto's violin. As he leaves, Sophie questions Nate if he has picked up any new skills during his time in prison but Nate avoid the question. While Hardison attempts to skip the rehearsal, Parker, Nate, Eliot, and Sophie try to find a way to open the door after the motion sensors go off. As Hardison practices at the concert hall, Parker does a walkthrough and tries (badly) to cheer up Hardison.

The next day, Sophie is introduced to Simeon by Moto. Moments before the concert starts, Nate is called to the props room by the Italian to steal an envelope from Moto's safe that links to Damien Moreau for her. The concert starts in full and the team moves into action with Nate timing the concert to make sure the musicians provide sound cover. Eliot fights a guard to cover Parker brute-forcing the combination on a door keypad and rigging some explosives. They blow a hole throuhg the roof of the vault, bypassing a retinal scanner that they wouldn't have time to hack. Nate, Parker and Eliot manage to take the diamonds but stop their tracks when Hardison's solo starts (which he nails). Unfortunately, once it ends, the motions sensors turn back on, and the alarm in the vault goes off - with Nate, Eliot, and Parker inside. Moto, Simeon, and their security team arrive in the vault. Moto brags about his security, but Nate tells Simeon a story about Moto trying to assassinate him by pinpointing the last-minute concert that Moto arranged, and suggesting that Moto wailing over Simeon's bleeding body live on the radio, would instantly bond himself to the thousands listening back home.

Moto laughs at him until Nate pulls out the list of terrorist names in Africa that Moto supplied to the CIA. Moto thinks it's a joke but Simeon believes it, knowing about the rumors about him and asks him to open it. Moto refuses as he says it isn't his until one of the security guards mentions there's a rifle in the projection room with a clean print on the scope. Before the performance Sophie brought a camera bag through the security inspection and one of Moto's mooks touched the lens, which was actually a scope for the rifle that Sophie planted. Simeon believes it was Moto's and has him arrested, bowing to Nate as they leave without further issues. Back at the prop room, the Italian asks if Nate opened it but Nate just tosses it to her. He points out that the envelope isn't a link to Moreau but to her, which is why she had him steal it.

Back at the Pub, Jane thanks the team about Moto's arrest. Nate adds that the assassination charges aren't going to stick against Moto, but it was enough to warrant a search at his vault containing the smuggled diamonds, crushing any hopes of Moto being president. Nate then gives her a check to use for the betterment of Wadata, having sold the Stradivarius. Hardison and Parker are talking at the bar, Hardison saying he can't believe that he could play that well. Nate reveals that he hypnotize Hardison and made him play as he did as a teenager, the last piece he played being Scheherazade. Hardison is upset, saying that hypnotism is done to the mark, but not your own crew. Nate reveals that this is supposed to be done, as you need to 'push every buttons' to get the job done, and this is what Hardison doesn't have but Nate has. Hardison angrily and Parker follows him to comfort him as Sophie comments that he likes being alone before leaving Nate all alone.

  • Call-Back: Sophie uses the Kristi Connolly persona that she used in "The Miracle Job".
  • Chekov's Gun: The metronome sitting on the desk where Nate is working turns out to have been used to hypnotize Hardison.
  • Child Soldiers: When the kids that are forced to work in the diamond mines manage to get out, they get handed a rifle and are forced into the rebel army.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Twice, thanks to that beautiful Stradivarius.
    • First, Hardison is stuck staring at it, forgetting entirely about the job.
      Hardison: All the technology in the world... and we still can't make something that sounds as good at that one. No one understands why.
    • Second, when Hardison is playing the Scheherazade solo, everyone stops and listens. Long enough to get caught.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": Nate had no idea if the list of targets Moto was giving to the CIA was in the envelope.
  • Imagine Spot: Nate has a brief one when the Italian invites him to dinner. He assumes he'll get killed if he accepts.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Hardison when Sophie suggests that he play the violin in a concert. He hasn't played in ten years.
    • The guard that was giving Eliot a hard time, when he looks down and realizes he's standing in a ring of detcord that Parker's holding the detonator to.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Hardison's fake Wadatan accent slips when he's checking out the Stradivarius.
  • Single Tear: Parker sheds one during Hardison's solo.
  • The Unfavorite: Moto's brother is the president and a national hero. Moto himself doesn't even speak his country's native language.


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