Leverage: The Nigerian Job   Rewatch 
November 26, 2019 9:03 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

When Nathan Ford, a former insurance company investigator, is approached by a man asking him to help retrieve some stolen property, he is dubious. When he finds out that the job requires him to supervise and maintain control of three known thieves that he himself caught in the course of his insurance investigations, he's more than dubious. However, the job offers him the opportunity to get some of his own back from the insurance company that allowed his son to die, so he takes it despite his misgivings. When his doubts prove to be well-founded, he persuades his reluctant colleagues to unite once more to reach a more "equitable" settlement. (IMDB)

Episode transcription

Brief twitter explanation of this episode's alternative revenue, + Wikipedia's definition of the put option: In finance, a put or put option is a stock market device which gives the owner the right to sell an asset, at a specified price, by a predetermined date to a given party. The purchase of a put option is interpreted as a negative sentiment about the future value of the underlying stock.

The science behind Parker's window acid trick (with CW for some gross acid burn pics - the narrator warns you ahead of time).


Expanded Leverage title theme
. I'll be including soundtrack highlights whenever I hear something particularly fun happening.

No KF Monkey recap or blog post for Nigerian Job unfortunately.

snerson's nomination for best line this episode: "That makes me cry inside in my special, angry place."
posted by snerson (20 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is .... very timely. We've just started a rewatch! The new puppy has been named Parker; and she (unlike dogs of our past) appears to enjoy watching tv.
posted by mce at 7:51 AM on November 27 [1 favorite]


I love this show and would be totally up for a rewatch - is it streaming for free somewhere? (It used to be on, I think, Netflix but had dropped off last I checked)
posted by rmd1023 at 9:14 AM on November 27


For me, this was one of those shows where you enjoy 85% of it, and then that last 15% kills it for you. The last 15% being the sentimental Nate stuff. I wonder if I could tolerate it better on a rewatch.
posted by praemunire at 10:13 AM on November 27


Ahh, fantastic. One of my favorite shows, and one I feel is due a rewatch. I genuinely adore all of the characters and their relationships and the whole show had so much heart and righteous anger.
posted by PussKillian at 11:47 AM on November 27


is it streaming for free somewhere?

Yes -- it is available on IMDBTV, requiring a free account, or you can access through Amazon Prime. Ads are manageable.

I'll be putting episodes up Tuesday evenings EST. Hope you all come along for the ride!
posted by snerson at 12:28 PM on November 27 [1 favorite]


For me, this was one of those shows where you enjoy 85% of it, and then that last 15% kills it for you.

I always just kinda ignore Nate's hair in the hospital flashbacks, it's bad enough to make up the 15% in and of itself ...

But really, this is such a solid pilot. Makes a good foundation for them to call back to later.

I seem to recall that the bit where Sophie first gets her earpiece and is all "Now you really are inside my head" to Nate, Hardison's sliiiiding by in a chair all "oooh, oooh" was improvised by Aldis Hodge.
posted by rewil at 2:02 PM on November 27 [1 favorite]


Yes, Hodge ad-libbed that bit. And he was only 21 when he was cast.

This is such a good pilot -- right out of the gate the characters are so well cast and well-written, and then we get 5 seasons building on the foundations that were started. And I love the Leverage score so much.

The only thing where I find it hard to suspend disbelief is over the way Nate's son's death went. Like, it's not that I don't believe that insurance company denials of treatment have killed people. But Nate had resources - contacts to cut through the bureaucracy, access to lawyers, etc. I mean, I had to have jaw surgery years ago, and my insurance was supposed to pay for 80%, but barely a week out from when I was scheduled to get operated on they tried to deny it as cosmetic, and my parents and I decided to go ahead with it and fight the claims afterwards, and ultimately all it took was a stern letter from a lawyer friend _threatening_ to file suit and the insurance weasels caved and paid 100%. So I just find it hard to believe that Nate wouldn't have gotten special treatment from IYS in spite of their "deny everything" policy. Or how Maggie could have been out of the loop on it all. (This is a re-watch, so we can talk about future episodes, right? Snerson, maybe you should ask a mod to add the 'Re-watch' spoiler tagging to the post?)
posted by oh yeah! at 2:38 PM on November 27


Yay! I just rewatched the pilot this evening. As fun as I remembered it. I love a fun caper/heist plot.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:35 PM on November 27


Aw, yes, Leverage rewatch. (Please tag as rewatch, I have seen this show so much and won't be reasonably able to discuss without some spoilers.)

It's a really solid pilot, setting up for a really solid series. Though the hints about Elliot and Nate's back history (here, some stuff in the Rashomon job, probably others) never really get fleshed out.
posted by jeather at 7:17 AM on November 28


OOOOoooooohhhhhh.

I think I can find an hour a week to get back in to this show. By it's nature, the episodes were pretty formulaic, but the characters are just so damn awesome.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:32 AM on November 28


Though the hints about Elliot and Nate's back history (here, some stuff in the Rashomon job, probably others) never really get fleshed out

Ooh! I need to check that out. I completely missed them.

Is this the ep where Eliot mentions the name of a village in Vietnam, Sophie says "Oh, the Chinese border", and he gives her a flat stare and says "It's interesting that you know that"?
posted by Mogur at 10:38 AM on November 28


In this episode, it's where Elliot (how is his name spelled anyhow?) says stuff about "a guy like you leaves, everyone knows". We get a lot of detail about Nate's history with Sophie.

But this just sets up a lot of stuff, and I hope we officially call for rewatch so we can discuss it. Yeah, the cons are generally fun but whatever, it's the relationships.

(I agree that Nate's son's story makes no sense -- I read it as he was denied experimental treatment that might have worked, not an actual treatment that was known to work, but even then it seems hard to believe.)
posted by jeather at 10:51 AM on November 28


I read it as he was denied experimental treatment that might have worked, not an actual treatment that was known to work, but even then it seems hard to believe.

Yeah, I think it was a treatment which was new/experimental at the time which was since proven to be effective. I think the 'smoking gun' is supposed to be that IYS had started deliberately using a 'deny every first claim possible' policy, in the hopes that people would give up/die and save IYS the cost of paying out, so the actual effectiveness of the treatment was irrelevant. But the whole subplot just always left me with a "that's not how hospitals/insurance/sickness works" feeling, like it's just one of those pilot premise inconsistencies you have to give a show a pass on.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:59 AM on November 29


asked the mods to add the "rewatch" label to this post and I'll post future eps as rewatch as well.

Here's the fanfare discussion page, if you have any Fanfare discussion related to the rewatch but not the show itself, please go ahead and post it over there.
posted by snerson at 6:21 PM on November 30


One detail I love in this episode -- in the aftermath of the bar shootout in the Eliot flashback, they put the sound of crickets chirping into the silence. Such a wonderfully silly little joke.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:14 PM on November 30 [1 favorite]


This is the favourite tv show of Rick Sanchez.
posted by Pendragon at 8:48 AM on December 1


Very solid pilot, as good as I remembered!

They did a very good job of establishing five characters, their motivations, a bit of backstory, and a surprising amount of chemistry.

It's a bit silly but good heist shows always are, and the actors really make it work.

Nothing fooled me since I've seen it before, but I do remember being shocked that Saul Rubinek was the bad guy the first time around. Great twist.

I'm in for the rewatch, I remember tiring of the show after a couple of seasons but we'll see.
posted by mmoncur at 11:29 PM on December 4


I keep thinking this is mid-90s but it's definitely mid-'00s. It was pretty "cute-sy."

Brilliant pilot, in my memories, the show got good and then gracefully exited.

I was in love with Beth Riesgraf/ Parker.

Hustle is also excellent, but a little bit more serious. But I remember loving 'Leverage' because it tries to at least do one fun thing, each and every episode.

*edit: found a way to view, looking forward to rewatching with FanFare!
posted by porpoise at 7:14 PM on December 7 [1 favorite]


Such a wonderfully silly little joke.

... and the "package" is a baseball card.
posted by porpoise at 3:37 PM on December 8


One detail I love in this episode -- in the aftermath of the bar shootout in the Eliot flashback, they put the sound of crickets chirping into the silence. Such a wonderfully silly little joke.

Ugh, the way this show uses flashbacks for storytelling is just so good. You really get a sense that they're, I don't know, the legends/reputation of the characters, as much as the truth of them.
posted by snerson at 1:55 PM on December 9


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