Hardison finally gets the chance to run his own con, targeting a brother and sister who run a fake "gold buy and sell" business. However, his scheming may be too much for his own good.
Tropes stolen in this job:
- Break the Haughty: A friendly example as Nate tells Hardison he had to learn a lesson in hubris and "perfect" plans in order to know how to work a real con in the future.
- Chekhov's Gun: In the beginning of the episode, Nate writes down something in an envelope and gives it to Hardison. At the end, Hardison opens it to reveal the three things Nate needed to make his backup plan work.
- Complexity Addiction: Hardison in spades as his desire to create the "perfect" con just ends up being too complex to work. It's even pointed out by the rest of the team how this is too much.Sophie: Let me great this straight. The watch, the chest, the cipher, the Cantonese Bible, the tunnel cave-in, a staged, tragic death... for a land deal? I once pulled off a land deal with half a glass of champagne and a low-cut dress!
- Framing the Guilty Party: How the team takes the siblings down, making it look like they stole their own gold for the insurance. The agent laughs that "is the worst insurance scam story I've ever heard."
- Mundane Solution: As seen above, Hardison's plot was straight out of a video game and too many steps to count. Nate's plan that worked? Trick the duo into putting their gold into a vault, drill into the vault to steal it and make it look like the siblings did it themselves for insurance fraud.
- Note that this is LITERALLY what the team tried first without Hardison, only the gold wasn't IN the vault.
- Rage Quit: Nate cites this as the reason the whole plan fell apart, that Hardison made the various hoops to jump through too much for the overall prize.
- A Simple Plan: Nate reveals that he never goes for the ultra-complex plan to start but a "down and dirty Plan G" and works his way up, keeping Plan G as backup if all else fails. As Nate tells Hardison, clever is good but the simple plans are always the best.Nate: The perfect plan, it just has too many parts. You have to expect the perfect plan to fail, that's what I do.