Leverage mid-season return -- An early look
by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 12th 2010 10:30AM
My TV has been waiting for a show like Leverage. It's also been waiting for a new TV stand and a more slender, attractive person to look back at, but it's not getting either until it drops the attitude.
It's one of those few shows that blends together the things that make other TV shows so great. It's got the action packed, tense drama of an episode of 24, the wry and sharp wit of Frasier and the complex and twisted plot logic of any episode of Lost.
The only difference is unlike 24, the action doesn't overtake the front seat from the drama at gun point. Unlike Frasier, it doesn't find comedy by talking so far over the average audience's head that frost has to form on their forehead in order for them to appreciate it. And unlike Lost, your head doesn't explode by the end of every episode.
The mid-season return is no different. The first few episodes pick up right where it left off with Sophie still detached from the group, despite Nathan's desperate pleas to get her to return. Instead, Sophie, played by Gina Bellman, enlists the help of a friend who still owes her, a sassy lawyer turned con woman named Tara Cole played by the always delightful and pretty Jeri Ryan.
And even though the team has a new member on its payroll, she doesn't take the focus away from the rest of the group's contributions both to the con or the action. The first episode of the new season, premiering this Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern on TNT, puts the team in "The Runway Job" in which they take down one of their sleaziest enemies yet: a sweatshop baroness with eyes for the top of the fashion heap by putting the work in the tired hands of her abused workers. It not only provides the team with one of their most dangerous assignments yet, but it also gives Nathan, played by Timothy Hutton, a chance to play one of his most outrageous disguises and characters to date: an eccentric Austrian fashion maven who looks more at home in one of Tim Burton's Elizabethan nightmares.
Then in next week's episode titled "The Bottle Job," Nathan's finds himself trying to pull off the con of the century that could cost him his favorite neighborhood bar at the hands of some ruthless Irish loan sharks looking to make a break in the numbers game. The only problem is that Nathan and his team have around two hours to hatch their meddling plan and Nathan finds himself reacquainted with his oid arch-nemesis: booze.