Recap / Leverage S 05 E 09 The Rundown Job
A lot of dead pigs, and one giant problem.
: That bug in there killed 50 million people! 50! And that was when the population was lower! Parker
: Now? Hardison
: Now? 150 million people. 150 million dead.
At a pig farm, a man in a suit is confronted by a farmer who wants him off his farm, but the suit injects him with some kind of liquid and tells him, “You’ll be saving a lot of lives.”
In Washington a Colonel Michael Vance is in front of a congressional hearing
about some operations he’s run that skirt or flat out break the rules on inter-departmental conduct. Vance tries to explain how America’s enemies are using smaller, faster teams, because they know the U.S. government is big and slow. The congressmen don’t want to hear it and warn the colonel that if puts together a multi-agency team again, he and everyone involved will be discharged and thrown in jail.
: These slow, giant agencies you mock were designed by very smart people. Colonel Vance
: So was the Titanic
At a Castelman facility Eliot, Parker and Hardison break in and steal some diamonds from a foreign dignitary for an unseen client to build schools with. Afterwards Eliot gets a call from one of his old contacts, Riley, about a job, the kind he doesn’t take anymore. He refuses, but worries that someone else will accept.
He decides to pay Riley a visit, with Parker and Hardison taking care of his failsafes. Eliot takes the information on the hit, target Teresa Darnell. They go to the target area and Eliot figures the best way would be a sniper shot from the roof. He goes to take care of that, leaving Hardison and Parker to get her out of there.
As the target comes into view, Eliot comes up keeping himself between the shooter and her, and pulls her under cover, while Hardison throws some jury-rigged smoke bombs and Parker gets her out on a scooter she…appropriated. The sniper tries to get away, but Eliot puts him down.As the cops are coming up, Eliot has Teresa tell the others what she does: she’s the administrator for the D.C. area 911 system. This is terrorism. Eliot calls Vance, but he arrests them. As they’re being transported, he tells them of other hits, the FEMA director and the head of the largest hospital, which means there’s something in the works. He doesn’t have time to go through channels, so he asks for their help in return for getting charges dropped. But first they have to escape, which means they have to knock Vance unconscious. Three hard punches from Eliot later ("He didn't always wear a suit.") they break out of the van.
Back at the scene, there’s a van there with all sorts of technical goodies for them that Vance told them about. Hardison and Eliot bluff their way into it and make off with it. Hardison is impressed, and a little disturbed, by the setup and the government’s running prints on the shooter. Eliot helps them narrow it down and they come up with Charlie Scalzie. Checking his parking habits, they find out what he’s been up to.At a basement hideout for a recent robbery, Parker finds a place where an underground lab was cut into through the wall. They find information on the Spanish Flu
. Hardison predicts that if it’s released, there could be 150 million dead. Hardison wants out, but Eliot convinces him to see it through.
Hardison figures that in order to weaponize it he’ll need pigs. The truck finds a pig farm that seems promising. He calls Vance with the news, and finds out that a letter was just delivered to a newspaper from someone named Ahmed, a crazy one. Vance wants them to check it out before he can do anything. At the farm they find the dead farmer, and a whole lot of dead pigs.
Vance is convinced and Parker hands him some papers they found from some leasing company which recently made another one on the outskirts of town. Vance calls in a Anti-Terrorist forces to deal with it.
It seems to be over, but something is bothering them, if the terrorists are going for chaos and panic, why just the head of one hospital? There’s something they missed. Going over the financial records of all three targets, they find that all of them went to a symposium on bio terrorism headed by a Dr. Everett Udall, the one who’s been going around doing all this. He’s apparently developed a bunch of possible scenarios for attacks on Washington, and Eliot figures since he’s likely dead, his research could be useful. They head to Udall’s home.
Meanwhile, Vance is preparing to assault the suspected terrorists hold, when the congressman come to ask if he’s got a warrant. He holds off until they get one while the team gets to Udall’s house and find the front door rigged with a bomb. Parker manages to disable it and they figure that Udall is actually Ahmed. Inside they find that he’s been suspended from the CDC for erratic behavior, which Eliot finds very comforting. Apparently he was pestering people about his scenarios and becoming frustrated that he wasn’t being taken seriously. They also find plans for the bomb itself.They suddenly realize that all Udall’s research is in the house, which means the trailer that Vance is looking at is a trap
. Eliot tries to call him, but Vance is already moving in. Hardison hacks into Vance’s car so they can warn him.
Vance is about to open the trailer door when his car horn starts going off, spelling out S.O.S. in Morse Code. Vance orders his team back, moments before the trailer explodes.
Now they need to find Udall before he releases the virus. He’ll need a public place...the subway, unfortunately this is like finding a needle in a haystack. Hardison tracks him via phone on one of the trains and Parker jumps on it…literally. Eliot and Hardison take a car, literally taking the keys from the owner, and moments later have to cops after them. Udall heads to the main station where the virus will do the most damage as Parker manages to get to the train cab and put the brakes on. As the train stops, Udall activates his device, while Parker makes her way through the train, looking for him.
She manages to find him at which point he pulls out a gun. He says he has to do this to make the government wake up to the threat. The passengers think he has a bomb and rush off the train as Parker takes the briefcase he had handcuffed to himself
. Eliot rushes him, and Parker opens it, finding the circuits covered with wired glass. If they break it, it’ll go off, but Parker kept one of the diamonds from earlier and cuts through it.As Hardison tries to disarm it, Udall begins crawling toward his gun. He gets the detonator, but there’s a sprayer that will contaminate the subway. Before they can do anything about that, Udall starts shooting. While Eliot takes Udall down, Parker takes it outside and uses a blowtorch to vaporize the spray as it comes out.
Afterward, Eliot is being treated for gunshots while Vance tries to convince him to come back and work for him. Eliot turns him down, since he works with the team now.
Tropes stolen in this job:
- Chekhov's Gun: Parker kept one of the diamonds. Comes in handy later.
- Colonel Badass: Vance.
- Continuity Nod:
- Darker and Edgier: Despite focusing on the three funnier members of the Leverage team, the whole episode is way more serious than usual, concerning a terrorist intending to unleash The Plague on Washington, D.C. and it's all Played for Drama.
- Drives Like Crazy: Parker.
Hardison: “Hold on.”
- For Want of a Nail: Vance shows us what Elliot would have been like if he had stayed in the military
- Handcuffed Briefcase: Udall transports his bomb this way.
- Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: Colonel Vance is introduced appearing before Congress.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Eliot warns Vance about this.
- Hero of Another Story: Maybe not hero exactly, but the individuals involved in Vance's operation makes it sound quite awesome. It involved a CIA agent operating domestically, an FBI profiler who ended up shooting up a cafe in Rome, two electrical engineers from NASA that lack security clearance, a naval aviator, plus Vance himself.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Hardison seriously loses it when he learns that they're tracking the Spanish Flu and that somebody wants to use it to kill people; mass biological terrorism is simply too far outside his expertise. Eliot has to talk him down.
- Kill It with Fire: How Parker destroys the virus so it cannot harm anyone.
- Laser Hallway: In the Castelman vault.
- Lured into a Trap: Udall does this with the trailer home.
- Military Maverick: Vance's methods tread on a lot of toes and he's getting heat for it.
- No-Sell: Udall shoots a charging Eliot in the shoulder, and later in the thigh. Doesn't even phase him. At least, not until after the job is done.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Congressman Yount keeps getting in the way.
- Oh, Crap!:
- When they realize the virus is live.
- Another when they realize Vance is walking into a trap.
- Patient Zero: The farmer Udall kill in the beginning.
- The Plague: In this case, the Spanish Flu.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Seems to be Vance's philosophy until Congress shuts him down, though it's more "Screw the rules, I'm doing what's necessary". At the end of the episode, Eliot points out how similar his argument is to Udall's.
- Take a Third Option: Between letting a terrorist attack take place while the government gets its act together and being thrown in jail for using his usual methods, Vance opts to let a group of criminals escape so they can foil the plot.
- True Companions: Parker: “For better or worse, we change together.”
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Udall wants to protect the United States, but his method of "waking up" the government...