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Recap / Leverage S 03 E 05 The Double Blind Job

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"I just wanted you to see that I would never put any of you at risk if I wasn't willing to take the same chances myself."
Nathan Ford

Three years ago, Ashley Moore's sister died when they were gone out shopping together. Ashley is at a coffee shop and meets a Dr. Roberts, who says he has information about her sister's death. He tells her that her sister was part of a drug trial and was about to explain further when Ashley receives a mysterious call from an unknown number. She turns around to see the doctor missing and notices a list of names with the title "Arcadia." Suddenly she notices two suspicious guys in black and calls the number back to see one of the guys pick it us. They notice her and she makes a run for it until she bumps into Hardison and Eliot. The guys claim to be FBI agents but Hardison snickers as they made two mistakes. One is that they used a cheap fake badge, and the second is that they made Eliot spill his coffee onto his T-shirt. Furious, he goes after them and beats them up while Hardison covers Ashley’s eyes, not letting her see the carnage.


At the McRory Pub, Ashley explains that her sister was in a drug trial for HT1 but later died from acute liver failure. The drug company who sponsored the trial, J.R.P. Pharmaceuticals, claimed that it was just a freak accident and wrote them a check. Ashley talked them out of taking the settlement, and their family tried to sue the company but failed. Ashley spent the last three years trying and failing to find evidence about it but only received the list of names from Dr. Roberts that day. Ashley is very grateful to "Alec" (Hardison, who nobody refers to by his first name) as Parker looks on from the bar, looking grumpy. Hardison does a quick search on the names from Arcadia but finds that they've been erased, only finding Dr. Roberts' address. Ashley is amazed at his talent as Hardison gets her a drink. Now fully jealous, Parker suggests a background check and joins them at the table. Nate mentions that Dr. Roberts works at J.R.P. Pharmaceuticals, which was bought by Pallagen Laboratories. Nate tells Hardison to ask Eliot to check on the address while Parker and Sophie check the names in Arcadia. At the address for Dr. Roberts, Eliot finds a flash drive and find out that he was supposed to meet with Darren Hoffman (CEO of Pallagen Labs) for a two hundred thousand dollar bribe. They realize he didn't take the money as there's nothing in his account, and a few moments later Eliot sees Dr. Roberts' dead body in the next room, making it look like he had a heart attack. Worse, Parker and Sophie tells them that they found the people in a cemetery.


They realize that Ashley's sister was not the only victim, but the people in Arcadia as well. After Hoffman's company bought J.R.P. Pharmaceuticals he erased any records regarding the Arcadia case to make a clean start. Nate and Sophie plan for a double-blind scam on him. Parker infiltrates Pallagen Laboratories as a trainee under the name Laurie Sprang while Sophie replaces Jennifer Pearson, F.D.A Rep while the real one's been distracted by Eliot giving her a tour around the place. Sophie enters Hoffman's office, and says she wants to do some consulting (which Nate mention that 'consulting' is 'bribe' in doctor's language). Hoffman gladly shows her facility while Parker sneaks out of the training and into Hoffman's office. She plugs in a hard drive and copies some files to Hardison's laptop. They then make the shocking discovery that Vioplex, the drug that the company is about to launch is the same drug as HT1, assuring a lot of people are going to die if it is released.


After looking at the list of names that took a bribe, they realized once it's released to the public, Hoffman would be long gone to his next CEO job. Nate asks Parker to check where he keeps the HT1 vials. Nate then tells Eliot to stall Jennifer before she leaves for her flight in two hours time so they can give the HT1 vials to her. Eliot manages to flirt with Jennifer and she decides to stay in Boston for a while Parker finds the storage records. Suddenly it sets off the alarms and guards are coming to Hoffman's office, but Nate insists that she has enough time to finish copying the records and make her escape - and she does. Later, Sophie gives Nate a hard time about risking Parker's life and questions his 'out-of-control' behavior, even threatening to leave if he does it again. At Nate's room, Eliot is tired from taking Jennifer around Boston. Nate enters as Hardison tells him it's going to be hard to find the vials since Hoffman has 10 storage facilities. Nate suggests that Sophie tries to use her 'friendship' with Hoffman and make him locate the vials for them while Nate enters the game. Eliot warns that the last person who pushed Hoffman ended up dead but Nate insists on doing it. Hardison mentions to Eliot that prison has changed Nate.

The next day, while Sophie and Hoffman talk about the profits in his facility, Sophie pretends to be cold and is given Hoffman's jacket. Just then, Sophie receives a call and steps away and Hoffman finds Nate in his seat. Nate tells him that he's a friend of Dr. Roberts and he knows HT1 is Vioplex and is asking for $5 million dollars. Hoffman thinks he has no proof but Nate tells him he should check the vials, claiming he has them. Sophie comes back as Hoffman decides to meet her during the launch of Vioplex while she gives his jacket back. What he doesn't know is that she placed a button cam onto his jacket. Once they see the exact location and the combination codes, Nate gives Parker a case for her to steal it. As everyone's in place, Hoffman calls Nate and agrees to his deal but says he'd prefer to do it in person. Once he hangs up, Hardison and Sophie warn him that it is a trap, worried he might end up like Dr. Roberts. Nate says if he doesn't show, it would tip Hoffman off, so the others have to get the job done before he gets killed.

As Nate arrives at the facility, Eliot meets with Jennifer, only for her to dump him, ironically saying she'd be more attracted to the real Eliot than the persona he's playing. Parker enters the room safely but triggers the motion sensors and barely escapes, telling them that the HT1 vials are still inside. Nate plans to use a syringe on Hoffman but is stopped by the guards and dragged to Hoffman's office. His men brought the case with the vials, and once the guards leave the room they are taken out by Eliot. Hoffman admires Nate's negotiating but mentions that once it's released he'll be running an oil business and won't see any of the backlash. As Eliot gives the signal, Nate tells him that the vials are gone. Hoffman doesn't buy it, although he stops when Nate tells him that the drug is in the champagne he's drinking. Stunned, Hoffman checks the case and finds it empty with a note saying 'Cheers' inside. Parker entered the storage and replaced the case easily, before deliberately locking things back up and getting herself caught red-handed.

While Nate tells him the symptoms of the drug, Hoffman believes he couldn't have drugged it alone. Nate says he's right as he isn't working alone. The real Jennifer enters his office saying his assistant (which happens to be Sophie) told her he's ready. Hoffman is shocked, saying that he met the F.D.A rep but Nate reveals Sophie is his helper as she waves at the camera. Hoffman rushes out of his office as Jennifer is confused. Nate tells him to follow him and take the empty case with her. At the launch, Hoffman tells everyone to go to the nearest hospital as he says someone has put HT1 into the drinks. Just then, the monitor screens shows both the HT1 and Vioplex diagrams, exposing them as the same drug. Jennifer questions him about Vioplex being identical to HT1, but Hoffman insists that the vials are missing. Jennifer opens the case to see the vials are still inside, the case being a magic trick that makes the vials appear to have vanished without ever leaving the case. Hoffman sees Nate toasting him with the champagne while all Hoffman can do is watch, knowing he's been duped as he's is swarmed by reporters. Sophie is next to Nate telling him that there's 50 high-profile doctors, two dozen medical journalists, and an F.D.A. rep which is enough to make sure the drug is never released, but mentions that his actions define 'out-of-control' behavior. Nate tells her that he wants to prove he would never risk anyone's life if he wasn't willing to take the same chance himself. Sophie takes no comfort in that fact.

Back at the McRory Pub, Hardison shows Ashley the good news that Hoffman's been arrested and asks her to help out the people of Arcadia as there are still people who need help who've been affected by HT1. He also hands her a check courtesy from the F.D.A rep as Ashley hugs him. Over at the bar, Parker sees this and casually crushes a glass bottle, not quite understanding what she's feeling until Sophie explains that she's jealous and suggests that she just talk to Hardison. Parker does after Ashley leaves, although she's not able to tell him exactly how she feels. With the help of a couple of pretzels, Hardison understands and implies he reciprocates her feelings.

  • A Glass in the Hand: Parker casually snaps a glass beer bottle in half when Sophie mentions Ashley's name. She crushes the handfuls of glass after Sophie says Hardison's name.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Eliot taking down two mooks. To be fair, they spilled his coffee all over his shirt. Apparently afterwards he had to change his shirt.
    Hardison: He got coffee on it. And some blood and some teeth.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Parker, at the end, regarding Hardison.
    Parker: I might be having... feelings. Like, weird, weird feelings. For... pretzels.
    Hardison: Pretzels. Okay. Well, they're right here, when you want them.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Darren Hoffman covers up evidence that Vioplex/HT1 causes lethal liver damage, knowing that in the time it takes for thousands of patients to die, the company will make billions of dollars selling the drug - and after the court case, the FDA will fine them less than a sixth of the money they'll make selling it. Ripped from the Headlines, too.
    Sophie: These are not small fines. Last year, my department handled a case where the company had to pay out $2.5 billion.
    Hoffman: Oh, yeah. Everybody heard about that. But what the news didn't tell you is that that company made $16 billion on the same drug. That fine was 14% of the profit. 14%. That's like tipping your waiter. "Thank you very much for taking our drugs. Here's a little something for your family." I wasn't hired by Pallagen to cure cancer. I was brought in to take this company to the next level. And Vioplex is gonna do just that.
  • False Reassurance: Vioplex, a painkiller which causes death by liver failure, is being marketed with the advertising tagline "You don't have to live in pain any more."
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Sophie makes a quick exit so Parker can tell Hardison how she feels.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Eliot finds that Dr. Roberts was murdered and it was made to look like a heart attack.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Roberts wasn't willing to take a massive bribe to shut up about the drug trial.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Subverted - when Eliot says he "walked the Freedom Trail" with a girl twice, he means the actual Freedom Trail.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sophie gives Nate one for keeping Parker in a high-risk area far longer than he needed to.
  • You Just Told Me: The plan to get the drug vials is by making Hoffman think they already have them, so he'll go check - thus telling them exactly where the vials are and the codes needed to access them.

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