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The Best And Worst Episodes Of Leverage According To IMDb

"Leverage" follows a team of modern Robin Hoods, people who steal from the rich and powerful to help those less fortunate. The ensemble cast includes Timothy Hutton as Nathan Ford, Gina Bellman as Sophie Devereaux, Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison, Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer, and Beth Riesgraf as Parker. Each character fills a distinct role on the team, with Ford as the group's strategist, Devereaux the group's professional con woman, Hardison as the team's hacker, Spencer as the fighting and weapons expert, and Parker as the thief.

Running from 2008 to 2012, the show lasted five seasons encompassing 77 episodes. Though the show has been off the air for nearly a decade, the brand has maintained a passionate fanbase — so passionate that the series was recently revived. Titled "Leverage: Redemption," this continuation of the show premiered in July 2021. As of writing, it is unknown if "Leverage: Redemption" will get another season. While fans are waiting on a decision, now is a perfect time to reflect on the best and worst episode of the show's original run. With some help from IMDb, here are the seven worst and the seven best episodes of "Leverage."

Worst: The 15 Minutes Job

One of the many reasons why "Leverage" has such a devoted fan base is that almost all of its episodes are well-produced. Of course, even high-quality series will have episodes ranked lower by fans. For "Leverage," one of these episodes is "The 15 Minutes Job."

This episode has the team protecting Ed Kelly, an old friend of Nate's, who is now a politician and being targeted by a misinformation campaign. The PR person behind Kelly's character assassination is Reed Rockwell. Rockwell proves to be a challenge to the team because he has almost no online presence. In order to lure Rockwell out of the shadows and do away with him, the team creates various scenarios that would turn Rockwell into a celebrity. Once the public knows of Rockwell, the team soon learns that he was involved in a DUI and framed someone else for the death the accident caused.

While all the actors are charismatic as always in this episode, the con to reveal the target's secret is unnecessarily convoluted.

Best: The Broken Wing Job

While "Leverage" is an ensemble show set in multiple locations, "The Broken Wing Job" stands out because it focuses on Beth Riesgraf's Parker in what is mainly a bottle episode. The episode finds Parker left in the team's office with an injured knee while everyone else is in Japan. While she starts spying on people for fun, she quickly realizes that two people are up to no good. Though she is unable to physically engage them, she figures out ways to undermine them.

The ensemble nature of "Leverage", seeing the characters bounce off one another, is the heart of the show. However, "The Broken Wing Job" shines as an opportunity for Parker to discover a mystery and solve it on her own. Helped by references to "Rear Window" as well as "Doctor Who," it's no surprise that this episode is one that many fans see as their favorite.

Worst: The Top Hat Job

In "The Top Hat Job," the crew decide to target a company that is selling tainted meat. To bring down the company, the team will have to steal files that they can release as evidence. Sadly, Lillian Foods has airtight security that employs several ex-CIA agents. Their security is so tight that even an internal whistle blower is unable to download all the files needed to expose the company's crimes, forcing said whistle blower to turn to the Leverage team for help.

After learning that the only people allowed in are entertainers, the team decide to pretend to be magicians. As "Leverage" goes, this episode suffers from a generic "corporate" bad guy, as well as some seemingly out-of-character mistakes being made by the core cast. No character is permanently damaged by this story, but it does little to add depth. Worse yet, the magic show isn't memorable.

Best: The Second David Job

The second part of the first season's two-part finale, "The Second David Job" not only allows viewers to see Nate's vindictive side, it follows up on the destruction of the team's first headquarters and highlights how the team has evolved from professional colleagues into a group of friends. The story begins in Part 1, in which Nate decides that the crew will target the CEO of the company that prevented Nate's son from getting the medical treatment he needed to stay alive.

The initial plan involves stealing two bronze statues from Ian Blackpoole as a means of humiliating him. However, with the reappearance of Mark Sheppard's James Sterling, the plan goes sideways. "The Second David Job" finds Nate and the team going all out to destroy the targeted CEO's career, while also undermining Sterling's team. The episode is a fitting end to Season 1, setting the stage perfectly for the second season.

Worst: The Runway Job

Despite featuring the second appearance of Jeri Ryan (famously known as Seven of Nine from "Star Trek"), "The Runway Job" falls below average by trying to do too much. Recruited by a factory worker named Florence Ong because she and her co-workers are subjected to cruel working conditions, the crew is brought in to shut down a sweatshop and bring down its owners. In the process of stealing $50,000 from the abusive owners, the team discovers they are connected to the Triad, a group seen as the Chinese mafia.

Not only does the inclusion of Triad members feel cliché, but –- ten years later -– the presentation of a generic Asian criminal organization hasn't aged well at all. Additionally, ending the story with one of the owners now working in a sweatshop as well might seem like "justice," but it also implies the existence of other harmful sweatshops operating while the team just turns a blind eye.

Best: The San Lorenzo Job

Another season finale, "The San Lorenzo Job" is the second part of the third season's two-part closer. Pursuing their nemesis, Damien Moreau, to the fictional country of San Lorenzo, the team finds that he is too close to those in power and poses a threat to the nation. Prior to this, the team were focused on stopping the sale of blueprints for a battery. While a battery would normally not be a big deal, this one -– developed by a Department of Defense researcher –- can be turned into a bomb. The crew does retrieve this information, but Moreau flees to San Lorenzo -– a place he is free to roam and enjoy political connections.

To get Moreau, the team partners with a San Lorenzan military general to dethrone the country's corrupt president. In doing so, they leave Moreau with no allies and no way to escape a San Lorenzan prison.

While this episode lacks a standard client, it elevates the show's template to an international level. Though Moreau doesn't appear again in the series, his legacy is one of forcing the characters to push themselves to their very limits.

Worst: The Fairy Godparents Job

In "The Fairy Godparents Job," the Leverage team is recruited to find the money stolen by a man who ran a Ponzi scheme. Needing to get him out of his house, they decide to put on an event at his stepson's school. Attending this event would get the target out of his house. Of course, the crew manages to find the money as well as evidence of related crimes.

While there is nothing drastically terrible in this episode, the plan of throwing a school event feels unnecessary and doesn't prove particularly entertaining. In many ways, this episode feels like a highlight of all the annoying tropes common to shows set in private schools. Though the initial client who instigates the story — Kay Maher, a volunteer nurse at a local clinic — is sympathetic, the rest of the episode does little to help audiences connect with the random rich people who are not the main target.

Best: The Rashomon Job

Clearly inspired by the legendary film "Rashômon," this episode follows each member remembering their individual attempts to steal an artifact on the same exact night. Called the Dagger of Aqu'abi, the ancient weapon is on display at the Boston Museum of Art. The episode begins with Hardison, Sophie, and Eliot arguing over who really stole it years ago. Nate decides to settle the disagreement by listening to each person's version.

Breaking away from the show's template, the episode functions as a type of prequel in that we get to see what the team was doing before they met. As a result, we get to see how they interacted alone — their untampered strengths as well as their blind spots. Additionally, the contrasts in how each member remembers the night highlights their character development and how far they have evolved. More importantly, it is an incredibly fun episode that even newcomers can enjoy

Worst: The Wedding Job

"The Wedding Job" begins with a restaurant owner taking the blame for a mafia murder he didn't commit. The mob boss claims he will take care of the restaurant owner's family, but fails to do so. Five years later, his wife has turned to the crew to help get back at the mob boss who didn't live up to his promise. Learning that the mob boss and his wife are planning their daughter's wedding, the team decides to use this as an entry point to get the information they need to clean out the boss' bank account. The team not only manages to pull off a wedding, they also steal the mob boss' money, which enables them to buy the family's restaurant back. Also, the initial restaurant owner will get released from prison sooner than expected and return to his family.

While this episode does contain the trademark charm of "Leverage," many fans felt it was bogged down by the clichés common to both wedding and mafia stories. As such, the quality of the episode is inoffensive, but it is rather skippable.

Best: The Last Dam Job

Another season finale, "The Last Dam Job" finds the team facing off against two longtime enemies. These being Victor Dubenich — who originally united and then betrayed the team — and Jack Latimer. Given that Victor knows the team so well, Nate is forced to put a new team together. The episode also finds people questioning if Nate will become a murderer or not.

There are two key reasons why this episode is beloved. One, it introduces a new team that mirrors the early dynamics of the Leverage team coming together in the first episode. This team is not only composed of other fan-favorite characters, it also brings back Wil Wheaton's Collin Mason. Beyond fan service, this episode shows just how methodical Nate can be when destroying an opponent as he ruins Latimer's life by damaging his business, his property, and his name. "The Last Dam Job" is a reminder that Nate and his plans can destroy a person without ever physically harming them.

Worst: The Two-Horse Job

Set in Kentucky, "The Two-Horse Job" finds the team investigating a horse stable that was burned down, killing the horses inside. It turns out that a Wall Street broker committed the crime to get the insurance money. Sadly, horse trainer Willie Martin (played by David Carpenter) is now a suspect in the crime. Given that Willie's daughter was once engaged to Eliot, the team is contacted to help out. In addition to dealing with this case, a new character named James Sterling is introduced.

Like most episodes of "Leverage," this one isn't terrible. As the third episode in the entire series, it helps solidify the show's template. However, it isn't as focused as it could be. In addition to introducing audiences to Eliot's ex-fiancée, a character that is never seen again, it also introduces Mark Sheppard's James Sterling as Nate's rival. While Sterling goes on to be a great character, his arrival leaves this episode feeling bloated.

Best: The Rundown Job

While Dean Devlin didn't create "Leverage," the man who revolutionized the action sci-fi genre in the 1990s (alongside frequent collaborator Roland Emmerich) directed 16 episodes in the series. "The Rundown Job" reflects his expertise at creating over-the-top action thrillers. While this episode lacks Gina Bellman's Sophie Devereaux and Timothy Hutton's Nathan Ford, it follows the rest of the cast in a race against the clock to stop a terrorist attack.

Given that this episode is a '90s action thriller injected into the series, and that there is practically a ticking clock adding to the suspense, it's interesting that this episode focused on the three younger members of the team. Also, given how we now know the series ends, this provides a unique look at how the future of the franchise could have looked.

This episode might be a break from the show's standard formula, but it's a frantic rollercoaster ride from beginning to end.

Worst: The Miracle Job

Despite "The Miracle Job" introducing the reoccurring line of "Let's go steal a...," it's an early example of the show suffering from just including too much. As it stands, the episode deals with an old friend of Nate's, Father Paul, who is fighting to keep his church open in the face of a buyout attempt from a real estate baron named Andrew Grant. The team decides to undermine Grant by faking a miracle.

The developer is said to be using underhanded tactics, but nothing in the episode establishes his motivation to target this specific church. Additionally, the show brings in fake miracles, the Vatican, and Sophie getting hired because the mark has a panic attack. It seems things only happen because the ending of the story needs them to happen, not because the story organically grows in that direction. Overall, this episode represents the series stumbling early on as it was finding its identity.

Best: The Long Good-bye Job

Series finales are hard. Many shows fumble them, and much of the time they're just lukewarm. However, "The Long Good-bye Job" manages to reach back to the beginning of the series while creating a heist that stands on its own. In this final episode, the crew secures a black book that has a record of illegal transactions that caused the 2007-2008 financial crisis — information which can be used to expose wealthy criminals. The episode is also told with the use of several flashbacks. While flashbacks aren't new in "Leverage," the finale is able to use them to add an extra layer of drama to the story, while keeping the audience guessing as to what will happen next.

Though the episode ends with Nate and Sophie departing to get married, it highlights Parker, Eliot, and Hardison staying together to fight the good fight. Moreover, the series' original run ends with the suggestion that the remaining three will take their mission global.