Recap – Leverage 3.12: “The King George Job”

We’re already just two episodes away from the end of Leverage‘s summer run. After tonight, only one more episode remains before our crew ends season three. (At least if you believe TNT’s marketing. There’s a back half coming.) How the time flies by, huh?

Sophie and Nate are at the airport, trying to get close enough to get near the infamous Damien Moreau, who’s been blackmailing them all season. Hardison is doing his best customs officer impression, while Eliot looks smashing in the pilot’s outfit. Their plan is to get their hands on a guy named Keller, who works for Moreau and is using refugee kids to smuggle valuable artifacts into the country. I get excited because Keller is played by James Frain, who gave a really great performance as Paul Raines on 24 before he got killed off. He’s probably not going to die here, but it’s still not going to be fun for him. However, he slips right through their fingers…for the time being.

After their sting goes wrong, Nate and Sophie meet with an immigration lawyer who is representing Keller’s latest victim and tells them all about the artifact smuggling, which funds drugs and weapons and all sorts of unsavory activities. They’re caught in a hard place because if they just take out Keller, they might lose their way to Moreau. To make matters worse, Keller is already leaving Boston for London before they manage to even formulate a plan. Sophie takes it more personally than the rest of the team, wondering about the collateral damage of her own trade, but Nate warns her that getting emotional could mean the end of everything they’ve worked for. His idea is to send her to London and screw up Keller’s impending auction. I adore London (I’ve spent way too much time there myself), so further bonus points for this episode!

The team arrives at the auction house and goes right back to work. Parker swipes Keller’s wallet, in which she finds a bid card for another auction, making them wonder what he’s trying to buy. Sophie traces the number to a signet ring belonging to George the Prince Regent, which she says isn’t worth much compared to what he normally would move. It obviously has some personal significance. Meanwhile, Nate sends Parker to swipe a statue of Ra for later use, and Hardison does his usual file work, albeit frustrated by the fact that it’s on paper. He uncovers some suspicious land purchases in Scotland that no one can yet make heads or tails of.

Nate meets with Keller under the persona of Tom Jensen, an antiques broker, and gives him the statue as a way in. He claims they have four crates of merchandise and that he’s been told Keller can help him move it back to America, but Keller figures him out and Nate gets beaten up instead. It’s Sophie to the rescue (not before a few blows to the stomach) as Duchess Charlotte. She’s more persuasive, bribing him with the promise of “one of the lost baronies.” Vanity gets the better of him and he agrees to meet her again. She then gives the team a quick explanation of what just happened. Keller really, really wants to be someone important, whether it’s buying up land trying to get his own barony or overbidding for pieces at auction. They’re going to play right into what he wants.

Sophie has a second meeting with Keller, and tells him she can get him the private journal of a mistress of King George the Fifth in order to get him the title he wants. Of course, to accomplish this, Eliot and Hardison have to go play with a ton of stuff, including some Eliot wishes he’d never touched. When he and Parker question Hardison, our favorite hacker has a neurotic moment not unlike Steve Zahn in Happy, Texas (although with much more impressive arms). Sophie is busy schmoozing with the Countess of Kensington, who brings up something about how a man she loved died of a broken heart after drinking too much. Uh, remind us of anyone we know? A further wrench is thrown in when Keller insists on moving the shipment the following day, putting Team Leverage behind the proverbial eight ball.

Eliot goes to meet with Keller’s goons – I mean, transport guys. The guys decide they’d rather rip the team off, which is hard to do when said stash of antiquities does not actually exist. Nate tells Eliot to stall, then goes to find Parker, who decides to appear rightbehind him and tells him she chloroformed the auctioneer so she can take his place. She has to get used to that, and Eliot’s idea of stalling is to drive on the wrong side of the road. In other words, things are disintegrating into a comedy of errors. Thankfully, Hardison shows up with the fake diary, out of breath but determined. He’s just in time to get it put into the next lot at auction. They need Keller to bid enough so Hardison can trace the money back to his accounts, which they just barely succeed at. Hardison’s fake passes Keller’s inspection, and that’s where he tells Sophie that he spoke to the Countess, who sold her out. Their con is falling apart in a hurry.

Keller is at the airport, tying to make another flight, but he gets detained by airport police. The box that contained the fake diary? Was assembled out of some Russian icons. Not to mention the fake diary has been outed as a fake. Police subsequently find Keller’s henchmen outside the not really empty storage locker – which Sophie has helpfully filled – and put the squeeze on all involved. Back in Boston, the poor little girl who got detained at the beginning is freed and reunited with her parents (and Eliot) which makes it a happy ending. Meanwhile, Hardison has connected Keller to a hockey player who’s now a federal witness. The trail gets clearer every step of the way…

However, next week is the season finale, and we know from experience that it’ll be a good one. After all, our two previous finales have involved Leverage HQ blowing up, and Nate ending up in prison. It goes without saying season three will probably cap in an equally great fashion. Only one way to find out – see you in a week!

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