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LEVERAGE “The Long Way Down Job” Season Four Premiere Advance Episode Review

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LEVERAGE Press Release:  The fourth season of Leverage opens in epic fashion as the team heads to the rugged mountains of Alaska to help a woman whose husband has disappeared, possibly as a victim of foul play. More than any previous job, this one will push the Leverage team to the edge of endurance in one of the world’s harshest terrains, where a single wrong step could send them plunging into an almost certain death. The Leverage crew is led by former insurance investigator turned thief, Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton). His cohorts include Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), a brilliant grifter; Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), a retrieval specialist; Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), a gadget and technology wizard; and Parker (Beth Riesgraf), a slightly off-center thief adept at rappelling off buildings. Prior to the Alaska job, the team was laying low after finally fulfilling their obligation to a mysterious Italian agent who blackmailed Nate into hunting down a nefarious financier. The ordeal seems to have opened up a new side of Nate, who is more determined than ever to focus on bringing down bad guys. He is also reluctant to deal with the uncomfortable dynamic between him and Sophie after the two wound up in bed together. This season on Leverage, the team will face bigger challenges than ever before. They will be forced to face the moral ambiguity of what they do as Nate continues to struggle with his inner demons. Among their upcoming jobs, they will target a public relations expert (guest star Michael Gladis) who protects his clients by destroying the lives of anyone who gets in their way; a millionaire who pays to have himself moved up on a heart-transplant waiting list; a woman who profits from people’s grief through a funeral scam; a big corporation out to bury potato farmers; and a group trying to kill a World War II veteran (guest star Danny Glover) who allegedly has a very rare Van Gogh painting. In addition, the team will once again face their nemesis, insurance-investigator-turned-InterPOL-agent Jim Sterling (guest star Mark Sheppard). They will also discover that someone has been spying on their activities, although the nature of the culprit’s agenda is a mystery.

LEVERAGE “The Long Way Down Job” Season 4 Premiere Advance Review, Airing 6/26/2011

LEVERAGE is back and the team sets their sights on stealing a mountain.  The season four premiere takes the team out of Boston and drops them in the middle of Alaska for a little mountain climbing adventure.  The incredibly talented Eric Stoltz, Cameron Daddo and Haley Talbot guest star in this chilling premiere.  This has to be one of my favorite LEVERAGE episodes and Aldis Hodge shines as Alec Hardison, hacker extraordinaire.

The episode opens with a video message from Alan Scott (Eric Stoltz).  Alan went on an expedition and never came home.  His wife, Karen (Haley Talbot) contacted Nate (Timothy Hutton) for assistance.  Will the team be able to help her?

Eliot (Christian Kane) is quick to point out the obvious to Nate, “this ain’t Boston.”  Eliot may have a hard exterior but on the inside he is all heart and he never leaves Hardison hanging.  Hardison and Eliot share a special moment that allows Hardison to reconnect with his feelings and nipples. Hardison always provides comic relief in tense situations and that is definitely why he is a favorite among fans of the show.  He has the best lines and when asked about mountain climbing, his take on it will leave you in stitches.  I will now forever view mountains as, “danger cupcakes with murder icing.”

Nate explains why helping Karen is the way to help hundreds of families that are going to be thrown out of their homes and on to the streets. Nate brings up Robo-signing, signing documents to seize homes in foreclosure without reading or verifying the documents first.  The team realizes what needs to be done and they take on their most challenging mission to date.
Nate is constantly reminded about his drunken past but he owns up to it and takes their mocking in stride.  No one is perfect and they are especially hard on Nate but it is out of love and respect for him as a person.  They need him clearheaded and able to run a successful operation and there is no room for flaws.

Hardison is not left out of the tough love circle because Parker (Beth Riesgraf) was forced to remind him about all his climbing failures when he was insisting on climbing the mountain with her.  Parker leaves poor Hardison hanging but Eliot picks up the pieces with a very sweet, “Alright!”

Sophie (Gina Bellman) gets an assist from Karen and works her magic.  Sophie is the master of accents and getting exactly what she needs.  One of my favorite lines in this episode is when Karen comments that Sophie is “kind of scary” and Nate simply replies, “You have no idea.”  Just four simple words to the average person but regarding Nate and Sophie’s “relationship” they mean so much more.  Nate’s conversation with Karen about anger and loss is so beautiful and insightful.  We really learn a lot about Nate in this episode.  What does the future hold for Nate and Sophie?  You will have to watch to find out.

Eliot and Parker find themselves in a difficult and stressful situation and they share what it is like to walk in their skin, good or bad, it is what you make of it.  Parker really shows her vulnerable side and that is part of why this episode is one of my favorites.  All of the characters give us a piece of their heart and a peak into what makes them unique and function perfectly as a team.
Is the team able to help Karen?  Well, you are just going to have to watch to find out but I will tell you this, Hardison finally gets what he has been waiting for and Eliot makes a fashion statement in the kitchen.  The team has to brush up on their history and make their next moves count because it is a “long way down.”

Don’t miss the incredible season four premiere of LEVERAGE tonight at 9 EST only on TNT.

Season Four Premiere Advance Episode Review
“The Long Way Down Job”
LEVERAGE Sundays at 9 PM EST, Season 4 Premieres June 26 on TNT
June 26, 2011
By Lena Lamoray

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