I caved and am starting a rewatch of Leverage. Barely 10 minutes into the first episode and it’s such a surreal feeling. The core of each character is solidly there, but Hardison in particular is putting off this really weird bravado / player vibe and I’m just like “Oh Hardison, baby, you don’t need to put on an act for them. You’ll know soon enough.” Also Eliot’s hair is kinda blonde? That’s weird. 

Also there’s a part where Nate mentions all his plan / contingencies and there’s one where Hardison dies, and that comes back in a later episode and man I’m going to love the chance to find these throwbacks.

Hardison, friend, why are you pointing a gun at Eliot? That attitude doesn’t suit you at all. But you and Parker smiling at each other after pickpocketing the doctors is good. (Also, Parker, your grifting skills really do need some work. Just you wait.)

Eliot’s delivery is so perfect. He’s got this sarcasm, and the defensive humility that’s practically his trademark (the “distinctive” delivery of his, it first shows up when he takes down the guards and stares down Hardison going “this is what I do”), but he’s got this constant rage going under it. And he clearly thinks the others are off their rockers, but he doesn’t let himself appear soft yet. But then he’s grifting as an IT guy and he’s clearly poking fun at Hardison with this Star Trek bit. Shameless fave Eliot Spencer everyone, man of many talents who obfuscates his soft side so very well but it glows when he lets it. 

Wait. Sophie’s opening performance in the theater, ISN’T THIS THE SAME SOLILOQUY FROM THE FINALE??? And this first interaction between her and Nate is pure. gold.

Have I talked about how dang insightful Eliot is? His conversation with Nate over the pool game is incredible. 

The character development in this episode alone is impressive. Fast paced team development is a beautiful thing. 

And I’m going to leave this rambling reaction here and give the climax my undivided attention because there is some fiiine manipulations to appreciate.