Leverage: The Final Con

The other day I posted a little look back at Merlin, a show I enjoyed that just aired it's final episode. The day after that final episode aired, another show I love, Leverage, aired its final episode as well. Both shows started in 2008 and in a connection that isn't immediately clear, both shows are based on a classic British legend. Merlin's is obvious, but what about Leverage?

The Leverage, Inc. team, l. to r.: Sophie, Eliot, Nate, Hardison, and Parker.

Leverage is the story of Nate Ford, a former insurance investigator who gathers a team of the people he used to investigate: Sophie, a grifter; Eliot, a former soldier, now a hired hitter; Hardison, a super hacker; and Parker, a thief. He brings them together to start helping the little guys of the world get back at the rich and powerful who have unscrupulously screwed them out of money or property or whatever else. Sound familiar?

It's a modern day Robin Hood. They're Robin and his merry man for the current age, fighting against the rich using cons and computers instead of swords and arrows.

The show is pretty brilliantly done. There's a different con every week, but the kick is that it operates on two different levels. There's the steps the audience sees as the show unfolds... and then there's the con within the con that the audience sees in flashback after the fact, seeing it as the mark sees it, experiencing just how badly they were screwed.

That's not the true joy of the show, though. The true joy is watching the four people he gathered, people who dislike and distrust each other ad all dislike him, joining together as time unfolds, learning that helping people feels better than hurting people and building real bonds of friendship and more by the time the show eventually ends. The show is all about character, as each con becomes personal to at least one of them, and there are cons that involve their families at one point in time or another... or their enemies, as in the case of an evil super hacker played by Wil Wheaton, or the team's ultimate nemesis, Interpol agent Sterling, played by Mark Sheppard, an incredibly famous "that guy."

Trust me, you've seen him in something: Leverage, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Warehouse 13, Chuck, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, 24, Firefly...

The show's run is full of guest stars and great plots and even better acting, and there's even a two-part con in which they overthrow the dictator of a small African government. In short, i can't recommend this show enough. So, you know, if I've interested you, find it and watch it. You won't regret it.