Tbh my favorite thing about the glimpse we got of Len in that episode is that it confirms my belief that Len’s attitudes toward stealing and money are identical to those of Parker from Leverage. Like he doesn’t care about buying shit and will happily live in a garage and wear the same outfit every day, he just wants to HAVE ridiculous amounts of money.

Alec Hardison and representation

I’ve been thinking about this issue ever since reading a post that talked about schema, how the brain creates templates for things, and how this applies to racism. Here’s the example the OP used (paraphrasing from memory): Every time you see a black man on tv, they’re wearing baggy trousers and an oversize white t-shirt. They mouth off to a cop, reach under the t-shirt, pull out a gun, blam! blam! So when you’re dealing with a real-life black man wearing baggy trousers and an oversize white t-shirt, when he reaches under that shirt, do you wait to see what will be in his hand? Do you even really see what is there–his wallet, a bag of Skittles, spare change? Or do you see a gun because that’s the shortcut your brain has been taught by thousands of hours of media?

Then there’s Alec Hardison. John Rogers says in one of the episode commentaries that the original conceptions for Hardison and Eliot were that their hacker should be a large man, not the standard skinny wimp (e.g., Cha0s), and their hitter should be smaller and precise, not physically intimidating at first glance. They could have cast a black Eliot and a white Hardison. Once they had their actors, the actors shaped their roles.

So you have Hardison, the black guy. Who is the least violent of anybody on the team. The only one who can’t handle a gun. The least effective in a hand-to-hand fight. The one whom both Eliot and Nate call “the smartest man I know”. Who has a romantic relationship with a pretty blonde white girl that is completely non-fetishized. Who forms a close friendship with an ex-military country boy. There are a few flashbacks where you see teenaged Hardison in the oversized t-shirt and hiphop bling–and braces on his teeth. He’s not knocking over a grocery store with a gun; he’s knocking over the Bank of Iceland by hacking*. 

Hardison is a triumph for representation. He subverts just about every expectation for a black male of his age on television. And he does it with style and humor and comedy, which sneaks into your brain and makes you feel good. Aldis Hodge and John Rogers deserve a lot of credit for Alec Hardison, and I look forward to Hodge having a long and brilliant career because I think he deserves it. 

*so he can pay his Nana’s medical bills.

Leverage Con Names

This a list of all the cons/scams/grifts that the Leverage team names during the show. Included is everything from a small one-on-one interaction between a grifter and a mark (eg. Little Orphan Annie) to full blown multilevel integrated cons (eg. The White Rabbit). If it had a name, it’s here.

If it has a black star beside it, it has a canon explanation or demonstration (eg. The Moonwalking Bear). If it has a white star, there were hints or comparisons made about it (eg. The Apple Pie is “like the Cherry Pie, but with lifeguards”). If it’s hyperlinked, it’s a real life scam and the link is to Wikipedia. If it’s totally unmarked, then the name was mentioned but never elaborated upon and is a part of the team’s beautiful argot. :)

  • The Lost Heir ★
    • S1E3, S2E9 
  • A Rip Deal ★
    • S1E5
  • The Spanish Prisoner Scam
    • [in reference to Irina’s adoption con]: “It’s just like the Spanish Prisoner Scam.”
    • S1E6
  • The London Spank 
  • The Geneva Paso Doble
  • The Apple Pie ☆
    • “It’s like the Cherry Pie, but with lifeguards.”
    • S1E9
  • The Cherry Pie 
  • Glengarry, Glen Death ★
    • S1E9
  • The Turnabout ★
    • S2E1
  • Ponzi Scheme
  • The Mona Lisa Variant ★
    • S2E7
  • The Wire Game
    • S2E11
  • The Swedish Rail Con
  • The Cairo Flyer ☆
    • Sophie: “No way, I’m not wearing that dress again.”
    • S3E5
  • The Double-Blind ★
    • S3E5
  • A Fiddle Game
    • S3E6, S3E10
  • The Pill Scare ★
    • S3E9
  • The Berlin Shuffle
  • Little Orphan Annie ★
    • S3E9
  • The Skagway Shuffle ★
    • S3E10
  • The Mummy’s Tiara ★
    • S3E12
  • The Vegas Wake-Up Call ☆
    • Like the Cuban Sandwich except “the boyfriend shows up.”
    • S3E13
  • The Cuban Sandwich ★
    • S3E13
  • An Edward Albee ★
    • S3E14
  • The Spanish Turnabout ☆
    • Sophie: “I’m thinking the Spanish Turnabout.”
    • Parker: “Hmm, no, he’s not going to leave the country. The [Spanish] Turnabout pays off in an airport.”
    • S3E16
  • The Peking Watch
  • The Moscow Circus ☆
    • Sophie, to Nate: “I’m running the Moscow Circus con, you’re the ‘Ivan’. Go.”
    • S4E1
  • The Romanian Circus ☆
    • Nate: “What [Sophie]’s doing is she’s running a variant. It’s called a Snipe Hunt. It’s the [Romanian] Circus, but it’s leaner and faster.”
    • S4E5
  • The Snipe Hunt ★
    • S4E5
  • The Roman Wedding ★
    • S4E6
  • The Peruvian Slide
  • The Boca Backlash
  • The Oklahoma Little Chucky
  • The Chilean Custard
  • The Moonwalking Bear ★
    • S4E8
  • The Big Store ★
    • S4E8
  • The MassDOT Special ★
    • S4E9 (also in S3E7, but unnamed)
  • The Wicked Stepsister
  • The High Minne Scam Variant ★
    • S4E15
  • The Lazy Dachshund
  • The Pizarro Pressure Point
  • The Double-Pronged Monkey Con ★
    • S4E16
  • A Radio Play ★
    • S4E17
  • The Oligschlager Shuffle ★
    • S5E2
  • The Arkham Ascent ★
    • S5E3
  • The White Van Speakers
    • S5E4
  • The White Rabbit ★
    • S5E12
  • A Swap-and-Whisper Campaign
    • S5E13
  • The Trojan Horse ★
    • S5E15

i think about the fact that eliot’s counterpart for the “anti leverage” team was a woman a lot. and by eliot’s counterpart, i mean their team’s brute. their hitter. the one who beats up and attacks anyone who threatens the team’s plan. and eliot isn’t like “oh she’s a woman” even tho hardison was like “u weren’t gonna hit a girl.” and he was like “she killed a man with a mop.” he was scared of her. he respected her. he never once thought he could get the upper hand just because she was a woman.

oh my god ok but like every time eliot-the-mercenary-killer says he knows certain things because he dated a woman in that profession– like, perfect example, he’s trying to find a model-worthy outfit for parker and he’s like “the A line drape and the empire waistline is nice but the neckline is a little weak … what? I dated a lot of models”. do you know what that means?? that means that he LISTENED TO THEM. When they were talking about the thing that they were passionate about, he LISTENED TO THEM AND PAID ATTENTION. He REMEMBERED AND LEARNED THE THINGS THEY TOLD HIM BECAUSE IT WAS IMPORTANT TO THEM. DON’T LOOK AT ME.

the best parts of leverage in no particular order

-when everyone goes to parker’s place and it’s just an empty warehouse with a bed in it and elliot’s like “idk why you guys are surprised, this is exactly what I expected”
-hardison and elliot handcuffed together in the woods
-“hey sterling, GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!”
-when parker calls sophie for advice