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October 25, 2014

Review: Leverage - The Bottle Job

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 21st 2010 10:00AM
(S02E11) Leverage has the thankless task of walking one of the most difficult tightropes in television writing.

How do you keep an audience interested in a show that they already know how it will end? The good guys always win and have so far for TNT's favorite scheming do-gooders.

The show runners must have a whole bag of plot tricks and devices they use to keep the show interesting and last night's was one of the most interesting diversions to keep our minds off the fact that good is about to triumph evil.

This week, the team has to save Nathan Ford's favorite neighborhood watering hole from falling into the hands of a couple of wannabe Irish gangsters who are looking to collect a dead man's debt. Sure the job's not about saving some poor schlub's living savings from a greedy corporate fat cat or keeping an orphanage's entire supply of cornmeal and gruel out of the paws of some mass cornmeal and gruel producer. Instead, a friendly Irish pub and its cute redheaded owner hang in the balance. Sounds like a worthy cause to me.

But there's a catch. They only have two hours (a half an hour, technically) to get the money to save it and throw the scheming Irish prick out on his ear, which means they'll have to pull the greatest heist in the game. And this time, I really wanted the team to nail this son of a bitch. He's a family wiseguy with aspirations to move into loansharking because of the charity it provides in these tough times of economic woe and uncertainty. Yeah, he's a real Albert Schweitzer because every historian knows that when he treated patients in his hospital, he would break their arm in three places if they didn't pony up the dough for their bill.

The scheme, at times, felt a little far fetched like when Nathan got the loanshark to bet against him on a basketball game on a 15 second delay. It just felt like quick filler that kept the whole scheme from cutting to the big car chase in the end. It did, however, present an interesting obstacle when Nathan, a recovering alcoholic, was forced to drink with the loanshark. Not only did it come out of nowhere, but it really had me wondering if more than a few sips of Grandpa's cold remedy would throw the whole operation into a tailspin.

Other observations:

- Jeri Ryan has done a job so far in her role on the team, but her job mainly seems to be hot and sexy for the weekly target rube, the team's "Trojan whore" if you will. Don't get me wrong, she's done a fine job but what happens when the target is (how should I put it?) down two balls in the bottom of the first? Does that mean she gets a day off?

- When Alec was setting up the fake weather report broadcast, did anyone else find it weird that Nathan Ford has "green screen" colored bedsheets? I'm no Christopher Lowell, but I don't think that "Nickelodeon slime" would ever make a good bedroom theme.

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CJC

Hey, I used to have my bedroom painted Nickelodeon Slime green, and I even picked out the color myself. Of course, I was five at the time...

January 28 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nk

In regards to jeri ryan situation.

I think in this episode she played up the 'sex pot' angle, but gina did the same thing in past episodes.(snow job comes to mind) But in the second-half opener, the fashion show one, her mark WAS female. I don't think she was overly sexy in that con. Though her 'gimmick' in that episode was the fact that she was new and you didn't know if she could be trusted. They can't really reuse that one.

I think they're gonna keep revealing little things about her being some kind of badass superspy, and then just completely write her out of the show when sophie comes back. It seems like something they would do. After all, it's no fun if the good guy team is TOO overpowered.

I personally like the tara character. But I also liked Jonas quinn. So take that how you will.

January 27 2010 at 5:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer

To be fair, "Trojan whore" is pretty much what Sophie did before she got pregnant. That's kind of the "grifter" role if you're a hot chick: the one that promises a good lay.

Jeri Ryan's there due to Gina Bellman being pregnant, and the show being pretty hampered without someone who can seduce the marks (Parker sure can't do it).

January 21 2010 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jennifer's comment
Ernie

Parker can seduce me any time!

January 22 2010 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank

Anyone else find Jeri Ryan completely useless on this show?

Still don't really understand why they added her...

January 21 2010 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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