Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Leverage, "The Homecoming Job": I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill

Quick spoilers for last night's timeslot premiere of "Leverage" coming up just as soon as I put one in the hopper...

That was another solid, albeit lightweight, episode, I thought. The pilot was more of a traditional caper story, where here we get our first extended look at how Leverage Consulting & Associates (founded by the late, great Harlan Leverage III, of course) does their Robin Hood thing.

I like how some parts of the plan are almost epic in scale (getting an appropriations bill rewritten to make the congressman look bad) while others are almost elegant in their simplicity (blowing open the container next door and counting on the bad guys not to notice).

There are still some flaws, notably the failed attempts to sell Christian Kane's bad-assery (other than maybe "Mission: Impossible," I'm having a hard time thinking of another caper series or movie that featured a muscle man in a key role), but it's been fun so far.

What did everybody else think?

26 comments:

Blogette said...

I accept CK's badassery, but I also think his hair needs its own separate credit.

I really liked this episode, and I can't wait for the rest of the series.

Tosy And Cosh said...

CK's badassery seems more cartoony somehow than the other thieves skills. Especially the bit in the last episode with hik taking out the guards before the bag fell to the ground. It almost made it seem like they were making him a superhero or something.

R.A. Porter said...

I liked this one better than the premiere, and especially liked the way real world issues were incorporated without seeming preachy.

On his blog, Rogers said all the patients at the hospital were played by actual vets, including Cpl. Perry "who was stop-lossed for his fourth year in Iraq." That, and the Tesla (Dean Devlin produced Who Killed the Electric Car) were nice touches.

More of my thoughts in my review here.

Rachel said...

I criticized Kane's acting in the first episode, and while I still think he's the weak link, at least he had slightly better lines this time.

I actually liked this episode better than the pilot. And the timing of this episode with Blago's arrest in Illinois on the same day is pretty hysterical.

belinda said...

I enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Hustle (well, except for the rather disastrous season 4) - it's no masterpiece, but the show is clean, silly and fun, and one of the few new shows this fall that I didn't find offensive, annoying, or plain boring.

I'll probably continue watching it for now even though it does try too hard at being all cutesy and cool - very much like Hustle.

I agree. I'm not sure if it's the acting, the writing, or the hair, but CK's character is the cheesiest so far. Maybe I'm still thinking of him as Lindsey the lawyer. But anyway, the haircut IS distracting, and I hope someone cuts it soon.

But I'm not sure why they'd trust each other so quickly - aren't they all theives and hacks who usually worked alone? Other than Hutton with his agenda, I'm not sure why all the others would follow suit that quickly. But then again, this show isn't rocket science, so probably better to just enjoy the ride and not sweat the small stuff.

Maura said...

Sweating the small stuff would just make you crazy.

This was a very fun episode, although saying it was convoluted is an understatement. I'm sold on it.

I like Kane's hair. I guess I'm just a sucker for long hair.

Zach said...

Ack! OK wait-- Wasnt anyone else distracted by the "Here's 2 giant pallets of free mystery cash for you, in front of half the ward, on a public street" finale?

On the same *day* as their own gotcha media blitz over the stolen money to take down the bad guyz? How could the word of that 'donation' not be *everywhere* by sundown?

I mean, those serial numbers are tracked by Treasury, Secret Service.. SS / FBI would be on site to confiscate, not to mention arrest everyone in sight before breakfast tomorrow! Genius guy can hack a paper bill on the floor of the US congress, but cant figure a way around that?

I mean.. Ack! Just way too bad of a plot point, way too much disbelief to suspend. Really derailed the ep for me. That and featuring the spiffy swan dive rig again so soon after the pilot, felt forced and chintzy. Pfeh.

Tho okay I admit having crazy girl get her page from a ventilation shaft in Monaco did get a laugh out loud..

JustJoan said...

I know it is a bad, bad thing to want to put a dedicated healer through a wall, but Geez Louise, how much did I want to wreak havoc on that "not the way the world works" doctor? Yes, she is supposed to be weary and burned out and passionate in the defense of "her guys," but did she have to be so deadly grim about it? She's up in Timothy Hutton's grille, for cryin' out loud! The most charming guy she'll probably ever meet. She couldn't be a little less ass-buggy about it?

OK, I'm over it. Go about your business.

R.A. Porter said...

@zach, those serial numbers would likely not be tracked. More likely, the dollars sent over to Iraq were old, not fresh off the presses.

Now, if they were sloppy spending a lot of it all at once they'd raise all sorts of red flags, but the bills themselves were going to be clean. Otherwise, why would Blackwater (sorry, I keep doing that) Castleman have bothered jumping through so many hoops to get it back in the states? You don't steal hundreds of millions you know you can't spend.

Zach said...

No but thats my point -- youd have to give it to the nice deserving hospital lady in a darkened warehouse somewhere, not in broad daylight in a public street in front of a hundred people, the same day that our heroes have broken a giant "PALLETS O' CASH! News at 11" lead story in front of cameras for the local news!

And yes of course I realize it was in service of the touching closing moment. Still, it doesnt work.

Use it to fund a new foundation and present a big Publishers Clearing House check if you have to. Something.

Hell, buy the hospital a Congressman..

Mo Ryan said...

CK's hair, Imperioli's 'stache on Life on Mars -- truly, the two most distracting hair farms on TV.

For some reason the oil painting of Hutton/Leverage made me giggle a little every time they showed it.

Agreed the ending was not credible. But whatevs. My main objection to the show is Reisgraf, who I find appalling. The rest is slightly sub-Hustle fun.

Mrglass said...

Fine start for the show, but it is no 'Burn Notice'.

No House review?

That First Andrew said...

I enjoyed the pilot on Sunday, but I knew it needed to hook me more in order for me to want to stick with it week in and week out, and this episode did that with the stealing of the bill, both in the execution of such an over the top (and technically treasonous) act, and also in the running commentary from Hutton and the computer guy (I'm bad with names). They reached a level where I am looking forward to just spending time with these people each week.

That said, crazy cat burglar girl was toned way down this episode from the pilot, and it made her far less interesting

Alan Sepinwall said...

No House review?

Didn't see it yet. Was up late writing last night.

shara says said...

I haven't watched yet, but after reading everything here I think I will give it a shot. I feel like CK will always be Lindsey from Angel (although didn't he have a nice turn in a Carrie underwood music video...), but at one point I thought Jensen Ackles would always be Jason from Smallville - and then Dean Winchester blew Jason out of the water (with shotgun shells filled with rock salt). . . So I'll withhold judgment at present.

@alan: Out of curiosity (NOT to be a nag, because there are obviously zillions of other things going on worth covering), will there be a Terminator recap this week? This is literally the only site I read with decent T:TSCC coverage, so its always appreciated.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Out of curiosity (NOT to be a nag, because there are obviously zillions of other things going on worth covering), will there be a Terminator recap this week?

Eventually. I'm tied up with other stuff at the moment, but eventually I need to write about that, plus finish last week's Pushing Daisies and watch last night's House.

I smell a grab-bag post...

Mrglass said...

Also, was I the only one to view Sophie's audition as a direct rip-off of Tobias Funke in Arrested Development?

R.A. Porter said...

@mrglass, I suspect it was more along the lines of parallel development. The man in the scene was played by John Rogers and I'm guessing he's sat through many an audition that bad.

Mrglass said...

R.A Porter, you're probably right, and it must be common. I still associate that particular joke with AD, probably because it is one of my all-time favorites.

In case somebody wonders what I am talking about (as if an excuse is needed to link to an Arrested Development clip!):

http://video.aol.com/partner/hulu/arrested-development-fire-sale/rzHNKAQhMLMNcT6rDMvqXfS-RaEz5Ye9

Toby said...

Couldn't Major Casey on 'Chuck' be considered the muscle?

I was also bothered by leaving the money with the doctor like that on the street in broad daylight. Especially after Perry started joking about keeping half for himself - why couldn't one of the other vets think that wasn't a bad idea and call in a couple of his buddies to help him pull it off?

Maybe it was because the third "Librarian" movie aired Sunday night, but "Harlan Leverage III" reminded me of Bruce Davison.

'Leverage' is an easy add to my already burdened DVR queue....

Anonymous said...

No Pushing Daisies commentary tonight? :-(

Anonymous said...

I'm still on the fence after two episodes. It's feeling a little A-Team for me, mixed with the improbably advanced surveillance equipment of Las Vegas. OK, so I just admitted to having followed two ridiculously cheesy and formulaic shows, so why am I undecided about Leverage?

Anonymous said...

There are bigger plot holes and conveniences than Terminator SCC has ever had, but it's a really well paced and interesting bunch of characters for me. The dialogue is very Joss Whedon snappy without being too self referential and "ain't we cool" and LOVED the Tesla shout out.

I can't wait to see what they do with CKs secret character (only one who didn't admit what he did with his money) and please delete the hair!

EmeraldLiz

Anonymous said...

Anyone know who sings the song playing at the end of this episode of Leverage?

Blogette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The song at the end was "Winter" by Josh Radin. I first heard it on an episode of Scrubs a number of years ago and immediately tracked it down and bought it. Great tune; very sad.