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Recap / Leverage: Redemption S 1 E 4 "The Tower Job"

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One member of the team seeks redemption and justice by convincing Leverage to con a developer out of an entire luxury apartment building.

Tropes stolen in this job:

  • Anti-Hero Team: A Discussed Trope, revealing that Sophie doesn't see Team Leverage as heroes.
    Breanna: Hey, look. We're gonna mess [Jason] up pretty hard. Are we the bad guys here?
    Sophie: Oh, yeah. Never forget that, Breanna. We're not heroes. We're just necessary.
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  • The Atoner: This continuing aspect of Harry's character is spotlighted here. He helped the Crawleys escape justice after the Lantern Building collapsed, which is why he gets his teammates involved in bringing them down; however, his guilt prevents him from telling them about it at first, causing friction in the process. Later, when Harry has to interact with Jason, he can't conceal his loathing of his former client and delivers a "Reason You Suck" Speech that forces Sophie to take him off the case.
  • Broken Pedestal: Krista and Jason's partner and his daughter (Krista's college roommate) are not happy to find out that the Crawleys abused their trust to get them involved in a shoddy building project and tell Krista that she'll "never sell so much as a timeshare ever again."
  • Catchphrase: Krista loves to brag about how "I did a year at the Royal College of Art in London!". Naturally, Team Leverage takes advantage of this: Breanna and Sophie pose as an eccentric artist who's interested in moving into Axios Tower and her agent, while Eliot ingratiates himself to Krista by complementing her on her taste.
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  • Dark Secret: Mateo's brother Xavi has a rather sympathetic one. He and Mateo were both working on the Lantern Building when it collapsed, and Xavi overheard his brother warning Jason that the structure was dangerous. He never came forward because he's an Illegal Alien (as was Mateo), which the Crawleys exploited; they bought his silence in exchange for disability payments, and if he hadn't accepted they would have had him deported, forcing him to leave Mateo's daughter Isabella alone in America. Harry gets him to testify against the Crawleys and promises to protect him.
  • Dirty Coward: Jason has PTSD from barely escaping a collapsing building but it is based on the fact that he almost died rather than that his criminal negligence killed four people. When he thinks that the new building is going to collapse as well, he runs for safety leaving everyone else in the building, including his wife and investors, to their doom.
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  • Driven to Suicide: At one point it looks like the team has pushed Jason too far and he is going to kill himself by jumping off Axios Tower. Subverted when it's revealed that he is a Dirty Coward and is running toward a spiraling chute escape system, abandoning his wife and investors in a building he thinks will collapse.
  • Eye Scream: When Parker discovers Jason's safe has a retinal scanner, she says she needs Jason's eyeball and contemplates chopsticks. Breanna has her fool it with a hi-res photo of him instead.
  • Ignored Expert: In the flashback that opens the episode, construction foreman Mateo Navarro warns Jason that he's cutting too many corners and the Lantern Building is unsafe, but Jason orders the crew to continue anyway — mere moments before the collapse. Later, Mateo's daughter and brother tell Harry that he spent the entire project vainly trying to convince Jason not to cut corners.
  • Internal Homage: The meditational tape Jason is listening to in the car is the same one Alex (played by Christian Kane) is listening to in the first episode of Almost Paradise, another show produced by Dean Devlin.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Krista believes she's an art expert and tastemaker because of her single year at the Royal College of Art (which she incessantly brings up), but is clearly not.
  • Lack of Empathy: As noted, when Jason is in danger his first, last and only thoughts are for himself.
  • Lady Macbeth: Krista is significantly worse than Jason, always pushing him further when he's having second thoughts.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Interestingly, the villain of the episode has PTSD from the building collapse that has the team gunning for him. Jason is constantly listening to tapes to make himself relax. It's less about how he got four construction workers killed by Cutting Corners than it is about how he was inside the building when it collapsed and barely got out in time.
  • Spanner in the Works: The team nearly get this when the elevator on the floor of their hideout opens to show Krista entering with her assistant, as they've been having an affair. She recognizes the team which nearly mars the con.
  • Thrill Seeker: When Parker discovers the fire escape, she treats it as a thrill ride and wants to ride it down the building as fast as possible!
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The team are not happy to discover that Harry neglected to tell them he took this case because he was the one who killed the lawsuit against Jason (especially because this almost gets them made). Sophie snaps at him that they're not his personal redemption squad, and seriously considers kicking him from the rest of the con. When Harry loses his temper and gets himself kicked out of Jason's dinner party, she's incensed and says he's "officially out of second chances".

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