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You Should Watch… Leverage

You Should Watch… Leverage


Leverage was a TV show that aired from 2008 to 2012. John Rogers and Chris Downey created it and it aired on TNT. It only has five seasons (with 77 episodes) but it also has some spin-off novels and a pen and paper RPG. But all in all Leverage is the kind of show for when you want to watch something easygoing and fun.

“The rich and powerful take what they need. We steal it back for you.”

Leverage starts with Nate Ford drinking in a bar. Nate is a former insurance investigator who has quit his job after a family tragedy. A man approaches and convinces him to lead a team of criminals to recover stolen data. But, as it’s expected in these cases, they’re betrayed.

And if that wasn’t enough they discover the guy lied to them. So, after this temporary setback they decide to regroup and play a long con on that guy to get their revenge and set things right. So, despite all their assurances of ‘Just one job and we’re quits’ they find out their skills complement each other’s and work well together.

They decide to keep working as a team operating under the front of Leverage Consulting and Associates and offer their services to people who have been wronged and have no legal recourse.

Most episodes focus on a specific job the team is doing, sometimes they might belong to the overarching arc of a particular season but they’re pretty stand-alone, with the occasional two-parter at the end of a season. You can expect a lot of twists, turns and flashbacks explaining how the team manages to pull some of their stunts off.

“Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys.”

The reason why I love this show is the characters, and the actors playing them.We have Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton), who approaches the clients and makes the plans (and the contingency plans). Then we have Sophie Devereux (Gina Bellman) a grifter with a lot of different names with whom Nate has story, Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) the hacker, who is also responsible for comms, identities and similar stuff (as he puts it “Age of the geek, baby!). And lastly, we have Elliot Spencer (Christian Kane) the muscle (also ladies man and occasional chef) and Parker (Beth Riesgraf) who grew up as an orphan and became the best thief in the world after a lot of training.

As the show goes on we will see them go from being strangers with trust issues to them actually becoming a family of sorts. Their subplots and interactions with each other were what made the show memorable, for example we have Nate and Sophie’s sexual tension, Parker being a barely functional adult, or Elliot and Hardison getting on each other’s nerves frequently, you’ll hear Elliot mutter “Damn it Hardison” quite often.


The secondary characters that recur on the show are quite interesting too. The main one is James Sterling, played by Mark Sheppard, who is Nate’s nemesis. He’s a former coworker and their paths cross a lot. Although sometimes they have to put their differences aside and work together. We also have Jeri Ryan in several episodes, playing a grifter who helps the team during a period Sophie goes absent or the FBI agents that tend to bump into Hardison and Parker whenever they’re pretending to be from the FBI. And Wil Wheaton appears a couple of times as a rival hacker.

“We provide… Leverage.”

The show has an interesting sense of humour. It never takes itself too seriously it’s pretty self-referential. The team adopts a lot of false identities, including names taken from Doctor Who, Star Trek, or other TV shows. And some episodes play around with the format. An example is the video you see above. Apart from spoofing The Office, it also parodies Werner Herzog.

Some of the episodes also resemble current events. The team will face  Bernie Madoff, TV psychics or TV journalists of dubious reputation to just name a few. They even do their own take on the DB Cooper mystery.

But the heart of the show is in the characters. As the series goes on we will see them evolve, and they get a lot of time in the spotlight too. Some cases focus on certain characters, it can either be back story stuff or because it’s something that makes them tick. But others they just need them to play the important role in the con (Elliot becoming a country singer or Hardison pretending to be a violin prodigy are examples of that).

My only issue with the show is that it’s over, although I find the last season a bit weak in comparison to the others. The cast members have said that they’d be on board for a reunion, so I just hope it happens. Give this show a chance, you will have a lot of fun.

leverage team



  1. Leverage is the best show ever.. Christian Kane and the rest of the Robinhoodlums .. Timothy Hutton.. Gina Bellman.. Aldis Hodge.. and Beth Riesgraf worked amazingly well together and surely shows.. Dean Devlin makes good tv the family can watch together.. check out The Librarians also starring Christian Kane as it has its 3rd Season premiere November 20th on TNT Drama Channel! gotta love it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Definetly one of my favorite shows. The things they do to help people who no one else can. It is easy to see yourself as the client they are helping and let the stress of the day/week slide off. It helps that the cast is so great such as Christian Kane, as the hitter Eliot, who does his own stunts and choreographed his own fight scenes. Beth Riesgraf who learned how to do pick pocketing for the role. I could go on and on but you can get my message just by watching an episode.

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