the grifters

10

“What is it about Annette Bening’s singular screen persona that has drawn her to characters of a certain severity? One of the most discerning and revered actors in Hollywood, her public persona radiates with soft-spoken, good-humoured charm – and yet what stands out most prominently from her eclectic film career is the robust gallery of visceral, vinegary and headstrong characters who are unendingly encouraged to change their ways by those behind and in front of the camera.” — Matthew Eng

Read: In praise of Annette Bening’s difficult women

This vacation double standard, a coded dog whistle for ‘lazy black guy’, is the core of GOP populism.

$40,000,000/month for the four years = $1,920,000,000.

That’s TWO BILLION vs $87 million. The GOP silence is deafening.

Donald and Melania are grifters.

5

The rich and powerful, they take what they want. We steal it back for you. Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys. We provide… leverage.

Leverage AU: Iris West finds herself working with people she once tried to help put away… but with their combined skills, they’re a greater force for good than she could have ever imagined.

{image: five gifs of various characters from the DCTV Universe overlayed with white text that states their role on the five-person team. the first gif shows John Diggle circling with his fighting opponent with a smile on his face and the word ‘HITTER’. the second gif shows Cisco Ramon rolling from one computer monitor to the next and the word ‘HACKER’. the third gif shows Cynthia Reynolds turning and giving someone a smile, her hair spinning behind her and the word ‘GRIFTER’. the fourth gif shows Leonard Snart giving a measured look from one side to another with the word ‘THIEF.’ the final gifs shows Iris West holding folders and having an intense conversation with the word ‘MASTERMIND’.}

anonymous asked:

tell me about leverage. make me want to, please

alright buckle up motherfuckers, i’m about to school y’all about this wonderful show called Leverage.

let’s start with the premise: they’re a bunch of criminals who come together to work as a team and to “pick up where the law leaves off.” aka: they do illegal shit to legally take out the bad guys, i.e. framing/ruining the reputation of/revealing actual law-breaking by embezzling rich politicians, dirty cops, corporations doing secret shit on the down-low, etc.

each episode is a different bad guy they need to take down for doing something terrible, and each episode they come up with a different scheme to take them out. the team consists of: the hacker, the hitter, the grifter, the thief, and the mastermind behind all their plots. they’re all thieves at one point or another, they all grift, and they all contribute to the plan, but these are their Roles. i’ll go more in-depth on the characters in a sec.

now, i know what you’re thinking already: “wow bruh this show must be edgy af, being about actual criminals doing super illegal shit???” bUT NO. THIS SHOW COULD HAVE BEEN SO DARK BASED ON THE CONCEPT, BUT IT’S LITERALLY THE NICEST, MOST ENJOYABLE SHOW EVER.

it’s also SERIOUSLY unproblematic????? like to unrealistic levels. like Nate’s alcoholism is treated with respect and not just something he “gets over,” but despite his issues, he’s held accountable for when he’s a dick, Parker is pretty clearly neurodivergent and she’s never!! forced to be anything else!!!! anyway i could go on and on.

so let’s meet the gang.

this is Nate Ford:

Originally posted by exactingleverage

he’s the mastermind, he’s brilliant and the genius behind each of their convoluted plans. he’s a jerk sometimes, and grouchy, but he’s got good reason, and he NEVER crosses over into “angsty white man justifies his assholery because of his Issues.” he used to work for an insurance company tracking down criminals and thieves before A Thing happened and he became the Dad of a group of them. he makes bad life choices, so i relate. also his son died and he has a rad ex-wife and he struggles with alcoholism. we love him.

this is Sophie Devereaux:

Originally posted by itsadevereauxthing

she’s the grifter. she’s a great actress but only when she’s breaking the law it’s a running gag. she’s terrible on an actual stage l m a o. she’s the Mom of the group, and she and Nate are lowkey flirting the entire show. she tells it like it is, but is v compassionate. sassy af. british af. would probably console you about your husband leaving you before stealing your rare artifacts. high-class which shows in the fact that she was primarily an art thief before joining the team. i wouldn’t trust her with my jewelry, but i’d tell her all my secrets, and tbh that’s the best summary of her character that you’ll get.

this is Eliot Spencer:

Originally posted by thewanderingace

hooooooooooo boy. where do i begin to describe Eliot Spencer? wel, for starters, he’s the “hitter” of the group aka he beats people up when they can’t sneak their way in or out of a place. or when things go wrong. he’s super fucking badass oh my god??? like i’m pretty sure there’s maybe only one or two times in the ENTIRE. SHOW. that he can’t win a fight?? he also has a Super Secret Dark Past bc he used to be a hitman for hire, which he regrets deeply and is happy to have changed bUT AGAIN!! IT’S NOT A WHITE MALE ANGST THING. he isn’t obsessed with attoning for his actions and his scenes aren’t eaten up with Angst and Melodrama. he also has anger issues, but again, it’s not the same stereotype that you’re used to. he controls it, and he never takes it on on anybody who doesn’t deserve it (aka the bad guys). he gets around with women but he’s not sexist?? he cares about his partners.

also he’s a hardcore chef and will Fite You about food. anyway Eliot is basically the Broody White Man With Dark Past trope turned on it’s head. he’s lovable and sarcastic and could kill a man but would prefer to make you an Omelette Du Fromage or some shit.

this is Alec Hardison, aka My Son:

Originally posted by insertusernameici

this is my baby. he’s a nerd and a geek and I Would Die For Him. he’s basically everything that’s good and pure in the world. the epitome of a cinnamon roll. he’s sweet and gentle and wouldn’t hurt a fly–unless that fly is a corrupt ceo personally doing dirty business, in which case that motherfucker is going down with the help of his epic hacking skills. btw did i mention he’s the hacker? yeah. he’s super fucking smart and his sense of humor could rival the sahara desert in dryness. he always makes star trek references and he has a gr8 fashion style and he irritates Eliot to no end, lmao. #platoniclifepartners, tbh. did i mention he’s the sweetest person ever? no? he is.

this is Parker:

Originally posted by dj-jenn-b

she’s the thief, and predictably, she loves money and expensive things. tbh she’d probably stab you faster than anybody else on the team would (and has) but also she is smol and needs to be protected. she’s a killer rabbit. she’s an oddball and in the beginning, most of the others don’t know what to make of her, but they grow used to her. she’s nd af, probably autistic, and Does Not Understand Socialization. same, Parker, same. guess what? she’s never forced into acting like somebody she’s not!! when she has to be the grifter for the con job and interact with people, she’s patiently coached by Sophie, who never belittles or mocks her, and explains it in ways she can understand. she’s weird and i love her.

did i mention how unproblematic this show is? i did? well too fucking bad because i’m gonna say it again: this show is so unproblematic. like what i already said with Nate’s addiction and Parker’s neurodivergence, but wAIT! THERE’S MORE

Eliot hates guns–detests them–and won’t use them, he’s like constantly grabbing the mooks’ guns and unloading them and tossing them somewhere and it’s basically a huge trigger for him. and it’s always respected. also there’s scenes where like in the middle of a job Parker has to change into a costume and neither of men who are attracted to her–Eliot and Hardison–sneak a peak at her. they both look away during that shit and there is like, never any gross sexist jokes about it. or other things. i love it. also any romantic relationship that develops takes season of growth and shit. there’s nothing particularly Gay, but while heterosexual, it’s not Het.

the recurring antagonist is played by Mark Sheppard, a character called Sterling, who is basically a lawful good Crowley.

also one time they stole an entire country. 

Leverage is fucking rad, and the concept is amazing and it coulda been so edgy and shit, but it’s literally so pure and sweet and friggin hilarious and about a bunch of people becoming a family and you need to watch it, my friend. now.

like immediately go google a page to watch it i’m not fucking kidding do it.

The idea that the only meaning that can be gleaned from hearing Silver’s backstory is that the world is “full of unending horrors” completely shifted my idea of why Silver never divulged it in the first place.

I always saw the secret of his story as a tool - as a way to have something over other people. For grifter Silver, for loner Silver that was an asset in manipulation because he could be whatever he wanted to be in any given moment.

But after this interaction, I think it’s possible that he’s ashamed of his backstory, and of his life. His childhood was perhaps a million times worse than anything that we could have ever imagined, and he is ashamed of it.

And so he stands opposed to Flint in this sense, because while Flint acknowledges how his past shaped him, how it motivated him, how it still motivates him, Silver absolutely and resolutely refuses to be defined by his past. He needs it to not have meaning, while Flint needs it to mean everything.

But in a way you could argue that it has already had meaning. The fact that Silver was so determined to be a loner always suggested to me that he’d been hurt by people. But the aspect of shame is a surprise. Because you can tell on some level he wants to give Flint what he wants; he’s not being stubborn or defiant. He’s - in a lot of ways - apologizing. You know all that I can bear to be known, I’m sorry.

So I feel like this gave us a window, even though it’s a backstory that’s not a backstory. But in a way that’s beautiful too - our imaginations are pretty strong. So if you give me a backstory that’s too hard for Silver to even relate to his closest friend, my imagination is going to go to all the horrible recesses of the world.

I also feel like this explains a lot. He started out a loner, a decided loner. But once he’s offered a community - once he finally finds a home - the lengths to which he is willing to go for the sake of that community starts to make so much sense.

Every move he’s ever made starts to make sense; all of season 3, his attempts to gain Flint’s respect, and his attempts to finally have people, a crew, a home. He goes to such extremes to guarantee that he somehow holds onto whatever he’s got now. He holds his world together with both hands.

If his childhood was so horrible, and he was such a decided loner, it’s like he didn’t have the muscle memory to know how to do relationships. Even though he was really good at reading people - that’s something that people who have experienced abuse know how to do very well.

So this could explain why he eventually becomes so tied to people. Why he became so devoted to his crew, why he became so devoted to Flint, and why he becomes so devoted to Madi. Because suddenly he was offered something he’s never had - a whole slew of things he’s never had, and perhaps even things that he never even knew he wanted.

And it’s in this conversation with Flint that we get another beat of whether or not something is enough, mirroring his earlier conversation with Madi.

“Can that be enough, can there still be trust between us?”

The tragedy is that you can see very clearly on Flint’s face that the answer is no. Flint didn’t answer - but the non-answer said enough.

And yet, in this episode, even though you can tell that the answer is no, Flint is so willing to get past that, to take the leap of faith. He still shows absolute trust in and loyalty to Silver, but he cannot be certain. When it comes down to it, he cannot know for sure whether or not Silver will make the right call.

Flint knows how much his backstory, how much his baggage with Thomas and with Miranda influences his actions and keeps him from seeing what is true. But he doesn’t know Silver’s backstory. By not divulging the secrets of his past, Silver leaves room for Flint to guess. And for a man like Flint - one who needs to be in absolute control all the time, who needs to see the inner workings of every single piece on the chess board so he can strategise accordingly - for a man like that to take a leap of faith like this, at a time like this, is as astounding as it is beautiful.

The old Flint would have most likely killed Silver and gotten him out of his way rather than go for such a risky and potentially astronomically costly gamble. And it’s this divergence that reinforces what we see clearly in this whole episode - that Flint does love Silver. It’s that simple. He desperately wants Silver to live and to be a part of this.

—  Fathoms Deep, 409; on Silver’s backstory and his relationship with Flint