This week on The J Files -
I will be diving into an episode of one of my favorite shows - Leverage.
The episode in particular is from Season 4 Episode 7, 'The Grave Danger Job'
In this episode the crew takes on a corrupt funeral home director and her two sons who are conning elderly and sick people by taking their money, promising to take care of all the details and planning but when the person dies they claim they never heard of them. Lovely people.
Enter the Leverage Crew.
Themes: There was really only one theme in the entire episode, Faith. Or rather the question of faith and most of the questioning comes from Parker. From almost the immediate beginning of the episode Parker asks Nate how the woman that they're currently trying to help had faith that her recently deceased dad was 'in a better place'. Most people would just credit this to Parker's less than normal understanding of human emotion. But later on in a scene with Sophie we see Parker's real motive for wanting to understand faith.
For someone like Parker who's almost always been on her own, I don't think she ever really cared for anyone or ever really put herself in a position where she had to. But now that she has this team, this family, that has opened up this whole new world to her it's understandable that things like this were eventually going to come up.
And it seems that there's one person in particular that serves as a catalyst for these new emotions
When Hardison's life is put in danger, Parker's faith is put to the test as they rush to rescue him. (And major acting props to Beth Riesgraf for conveying this with barely a word spoken - until she finally does and then it just gets better!)
In the end it's Parker and Hardison's connection that helps both of them through this ordeal and in the end I think Parker learns that it's more important to show the people you love how much you love them, because no one's here forever. I am always a fan of character growth - especially when it's done as well as it was in this episode.
Flashbacks and Foreshadowing: There weren't many flashbacks or callbacks to previous episodes that I saw - although I'm sure a re-watch or two of the whole series would've probably helped with that but I'm on a tight schedule. And as far as foreshadows are concerned, there weren't many that eluded to future plot or story lines in the season or series as a whole, but there were a bunch in this episode for something in particular, and that's Hardison and 'The Admiral'.
The first time we see Hardison he and Elliot are coming back from retrieving records from a basement of sort and due to Elliot's remark of
"I'm never going into a basement with you again."
We can guess that Hardison made the experience less than pleasant for him.
Then when Parker is asking why she is the one that had to scan the embalming room at the funeral home for the hidden safe, Elliot once again points out that Hardison was 'too scared to get in the body bag' which was how they would get into the room without suspicion in the first place. To which Hardison responds with a long winded speech about claustrophobia which apparently he has a doctor's note for.
So we already have a pretty good idea of why Hardison is the last person you want next to you in a elevator if it stops suddenly - and that's the point. The writers want you to understand the severity of Hardison's condition so that when this happens
You can't help but feel his pain. And it also adds an emotional intensity we've barely seen from our resident funny man. (Character growth - gotta love it!)
There's also a big foreshadowing in the scene with Darlene Wickett AKA The evil Funeral Home Director when she's showing Hardison caskets and tells him
"I believe I have just the casket for you."
Right before introducing Hardison to 'The Admiral' (AKA the casket he ends up getting buried in). Now even though she wasn't the one to actually put him in there, (that title goes to Javier the Mexican Drug Cartel kingpin) Hardison's in there because of her greed so I'm willing to giver her 50% of the blame on this one.
- The Elliot/Hardison Bro-hug when he comes out of the grave
- The misdirection with the envelope of identities (This show is famous for it's misdirection)
- Parker and Hardison bar scene cheek kiss .... AWWWWW
- Stealing the cop car and the ambulance for the rescue (These guys literally have no fear of authority)
- Elliot showing up to the room full of cops; priceless
- Sophie and Nate's fake eulogy for Cousin Adam as Parker dangles out the window
- Family meal time (The Chinese Food scene)
- Sophie's full speech to Parker about love - I'm not gonna lie it brought out the romantic in me for a full 30 seconds before reality came knocking on my door
- Props to the compass which proves that nothing we see on-screen is a coincidence
- Parker dodging bullets using her gymnastic abilities had to be just about the coolest thing I've ever seen
- "Welcome to Texas." Maybe my favorite line and delivery in the whole episode
- "Hardison, when I see you, I’m going to hit you so hard your ancestors hurt!" Oh Elliot, you big softy
That's it for this week's 'The J Files'
See you next week!