Reasons You Should Listen to All the Episode Commentaries for Leverage

–John Rogers is always drinking some kind of alcoholic beverage while doing so. He introduces himself at the beginning, pops the can/bottle open, and it begins.

–The writers/directors/producers freaking LOVED just about every part of the show. They are always heaping love onto the actors/the crew/the writers/the locations they filmed.

–Aldis Hodge starts joining in during Season 3 and always introduces himself as either, “DJ Chocolate Skittles,” “Cookie,” or, with a very specific vocal inflection that I don’t know how to describe, “SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!!” He also always has very interesting tidbits about approaching moments he’s improvised (which is almost all the best moments on the show) and about how he views Hardison.

–The creators also always talk about the Portland actors they worked with, because that’s where they filmed just about the whole show, and how talented those actors were. Very rarely did they bring up L.A. actors because they kept finding incredible talent in Portland, such as Detective Bonanno, Peggy, the Irish Mob actors in Boy’s Night Out, almost all of the clients and security guards, etc.

–Speaking of, they also keep talking about how they could imagine entirely other shows surrounding various characters they didn’t have enough time to dedicate to, such Sophie and Tara grifting together or the FBI Agent in the Radio Job having his own story. They wanted to bring back SO MANY different actors and characters who only appeared for brief times during the show.

–They talk about lots of lore that they couldn’t fit into the show. They say that the assassins from the Reunion Job and the Morning After Job are married, that the cop lady (they named her Officer Rose, specifically for fanfic references, because they hadn’t given her a name in the script and greatly regretted that because they loved this actor) that Eliot flirted with/distracted in Boy’s Night Out dated Rizzoli in the past (John Rogers was apparently very bitter that the writers hadn’t committed to Rizzolie and Isles being lesbians, he talks about it in the commentary twice), John Rogers even outright says that he believes that Maggie and Sophie were involved with each other in canon at one point.

–They encourage so much fanfiction ideas, both about the main cast and about minor characters. John says, and I quote, about the Girl’s Night Out scene where Sophie and Tara are searching that hotel bedroom together, “If this scene does not inspire some very raunchy fanfiction, we have failed our audience.”

–They respect their actors and characters. So much. They made a rule during the first two seasons to NOT sexualize Parker’s character unless she was on the grift and in control of the situation. They realized that the way Sophie and Nate were in S1, they hadn’t developed enough as characters be together during that season, so they changed it up because it was what the characters needed. They were very adamant about giving Parker and Hardison the lovely, slowburn romance they deserved, especially with how broken Parker was. So often, the writers said that the actors were so in-tune with their characters that all the directors did was point the camera at the actors and let them do their thing, because often the actors ad-libbed something in-character that ended up in the show., like Eliot and Sophie’s conversation about what’s under Nate’s bed in the Beantown Bailout Job. 

–The big reason Aldis Hodge was casted to be Hardison was because he was the only actor who made about eight pages worth of story exposition sound fun and interesting and enjoyable, and most of Hardison’s dialogue involves exposition. Also, his improv game was STRONG.

–One of my favorite lines in the entire commentary involves John Rogers talking about the Girl’s Night Out Job: “DON’T DISEMPOWER YOUR FEMALE LEADS.”

–They talk about HILARIOUS scenes they wanted to include in the show but couldn’t: Parker’s first introduction to chocolate involving her almost eating through the table, Eliot’s flashback scene in the beginning of S5 involving him coming through Stargate, or Eliot appearing covered in green goo in a flashback in the First-Contact Job.

–There’s also a LOT of really good lessons and ideas about camerawork and set design and costume design and how they write the episodes which I imagine will be very helpful for burgeoning filmmakers.

–Another big rule was to treat every season like it would be the last one, because Dean and John HATED when show pulled that awful cliffhanger trick to get people to come back and watch more, both for Season Finales and from episode to episode. To quote John, “GIVE THE FANS THEIR F***ING ENDING!!”

–Competence Porn. The creators’ favorite term to use, because they know all fans have a competence kink, and Leverage is a show FULL of Competence Porn. They know what the fans want and they deliver.

–Basically, if you’re looking to write Leverage fanfiction and want to enjoy hearing from creators who actually respected and loved the show they created along with the actors and crews who helped make it happen, I highly recommend the Leverage commentary, it’s so enjoyable, they are all so animated the entire time they talk about it, it makes you excited just listening.

My favorite Leverage thing is when the job goes wrong and the Bad Guys are like haha we won you fools screwed up but then there’s the flashback to reveal that the screw up was actually part of the con all along and the Bad Guys faces go slack with disbelief as they go down and the crew does their smug little curtain call. 

4

Leverage 1.09 vs. 3.03. 

Headcanon that Parker laughs at the mention of her father dying in 1.09 because Archie stealing loot from a bunch of rich Parisians and then preforming a highly dramatic fake death that fooled no one is a funny memory for her.

Most People: *give their love interest flowers and ask them out on dates*

Alec Hardison: *lures Parker and Eliot in over the course of five years like he is an old woman leaving a trail of specially designed breadcrumbs because they are anxious pigeons who respond to affection with distrust and disdain*

My new favourite Leverage character: the unnamed extra in The 15 Minutes Job who, when she sees Eliot pretending to steal Parker’s bag, starts whacking him with her umbrella and then, at a nod of encouragement from Parker, whacks him harder while Hardison films the whole thing with a grin on his face.

The French Connection Job Headcanon

So the courier is clearly a regular delivery guy for a shop that Hardison regularly buys things from, and they’ve been at this location for several episodes now, so presumably they’ve encountered each other before.

What if, the first time the courier came over with a package, he got ticketed right by the brewery for not using a cycle lane, even though the cycle lane was obstructed. Hardison witnessed the whole thing and was there going, “That was so not fair, man, let me just take care of this for you.”

And he whips out his phone and two minutes later, the ticket is history.

And the courier asks if he can do the same for parking tickets, so Hardison spends the next fifteen minutes wiping out every parking ticket the guy has, and every ticket his mom has, and his sister has, and his cousins have, and his friends have, and so on.

Finally, the courier delivers the package and Hardison gets out his wallet to give a ten dollar tip, and the courier tells him that for what he’s just done, he never has to tip him ever again.

Next time Hardison orders a package, the guy brings it over and leaves without a tip, but now Eliot is there and sees the whole thing. He lays into Hardison for fifteen minutes about not giving the guy a tip and, after the first thirty seconds of not being able to get a word in edgewise to explain, Hardison decides to just roll with it.

So the next time he orders a package, in the delivery instructions, he leaves a note to play along about not getting a tip, so the two of them make a big song-and-dance about Hardison not giving a tip and how the courier really wants one, just because it annoys Eliot and Hardison enjoys annyoing Eliot.

They get caught when the courier makes a delivery and asks Hardison to do something about his sister’s college loan records and Eliot walks in halfway through the transaction. He refuses to cook Hardison dinner for a week as punishment.