Leverage: Redemption: The Unwellness Job
October 11, 2021 9:40 AM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

"The Leverage team sets out to discredit a lifestyle and wellness guru targeting desperate people and peddling snake oil instead of actual medicine." (Directed by Noah Wyle.)
posted by brainwane (12 comments total)
Enjoyed the guest casting on this one. Both main villains were VERY clear on "be as creepy-awful as humanly possible." Sophie's spur-of-the-moment trick with throwing the phone at the safe was brilliant -- plausible, even; any number of cryptocurrency types have lost their wallets -- and I loved it.

Even so... this is one of the ones where reality is wildly weirder than the writers' room seems to have felt comfortable with, and the beneficiary of the crew's con felt kind of tacked on. (Nobody serious about improving health care through research should have taken a job at an analogue to G00p, nor have such analogues done anything much legit, as far as I can tell.)
posted by humbug at 1:51 PM on October 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

Needs more raw water.
posted by Marticus at 2:36 PM on October 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

As soon as the jade dildo showed up, I sent up a prayer that Christian Kane would be allowed to brain someone with it. 10/10

Agree about the victim/writing here. I think what I actually wanted from this episode was a Leverage takedown of an MLM. "Leverage takes down an MLM while also making clear to the audience exactly how shitty MLMs are" is fodder for several episodes though - it would be hard to tackle in a standalone.

Between this ep and the Jackal Job, I was kind of expecting more on-screen growth from Sophie about the nature of being a grifter and what it means to grift for good. A callback to the David Jobs would have been good as well - sometimes you grift your own team to do what you want. !G00p lady was conning her R+D lead as much as any of her customers.

They missed a trick, having Eliot as a small part in this episode and not mentioning the aches and pains that inevitably accompany a hitter lifestyle.
posted by snerson at 2:38 PM on October 11, 2021 [5 favorites]

Great to see Kane/ Eliot get to act goofy and chew some scenery.

The FDA in the US is kind of messed up, when it comes to "supplements." A lot of actual regulatory stuff is by the FTC (trade commission) over labeling rather than efficacy and safety, baring egregious adulteration (usually with actual pharmaceutical chemicals).

Canada isn't much better, but focuses on safety/ lack of harm - there are legit supplements backed with plausible mechanisms of action, clinical trials, chemical analysis of ingredients, and then there are homeopathy crap that can also get NPN (natural product numbers, analogous to DIN, drug identification numbers). Homeopathy and the like get a pass on (physical) lack of harm, but disregards harm from not pursuing actual medicine (much like the situation with naturopathic "medicine").
posted by porpoise at 4:51 PM on October 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

I feel like this episode (aside from the tacked on "now the company can go back to doing good science/medicine) had a really good Leverage:TOS vibe. Really good bad guys.

I did have to laugh at how close to the beehives they had all the actors standing. My parents got beehives this summer -- just one 4-box stack, which I think the bee guy said has around 10,000 bees in it? Enough bees to produce 40 pounds of honey in the first harvest. While I'm not afraid of bees, and it's been fun looking at the hive all summer to see how active they are, I do it from a sensible distance, and above all never stand directly in the way of the bees getting in/out of the hive. So, Bronwyn and Sophie just casually chatting right in between all those hives was amusing, and then having umpteen hive boxes plunked inside an enclosed office was downright preposterous. (I guess maybe if they kept the office temperature arctic, the bees would stay sleepy, but, still.)
posted by oh yeah! at 5:33 PM on October 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

Re the jade dildo: somebody in the writers' room gotta be on Tumblr, because that's totally where the dildo-shaped malachite thread blew up. Love to know who.

(And yeah, that absolutely cracked me up.)
posted by humbug at 7:27 PM on October 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

This episode caused me to explain the infamous jade egg to my spouse. Thus I have learned that asking someone "have you heard of the jade egg?" makes it sound like you may be about to offer them a video game-esque quest.

The villains-teaming-up scene where the cryptocurrency tycoon schemed with the influencer about how to misuse her customer database was mustache-twirling in the finest Leverage tradition!

Is it just my fuzzy memory or did Leverage do a Multi-Level Marketing takedown somewhere in the first five seasons? Or affinity marketing fraud more generally?

I love that in the end of this episode two doctors get to team up and nerd out together and take steps towards bringing genuinely useful treatments to market.
posted by brainwane at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

Absolutely loved that the cryptocurrency guy was just blatantly a self-confessed money launderer.
posted by simonw at 4:11 PM on October 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

"It's Parker. Could be it's Knife Day."
"She TASKS me."
"What is it with the knives today?"
"Is this is what crime has come to?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:25 PM on October 12, 2021 [4 favorites]

At the end, when we see Bronwyn in the gas station, and the two women are saying "I think it's her", etc, etc, one of them says "Stark", and Bronywyn corrects her, "Lark", and then the woman says "no, it's Stark".

That's gotta be the writers riffing on Paltrow being in Iron Man/Avengers, right?
posted by Gorgik at 8:08 PM on October 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

The opening description of the MLM targeting sick women is right out of The Dream, which had one season on MLMs and another on wellness. Both are incredibly informative and anger-inducing.

Parker popping up from behind the bar to give Sophie a side-eye was great.

“Privacy is dead.”
“Yeah, my generation doesn’t really know what that means.”
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:11 PM on October 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

That's gotta be the writers riffing on Paltrow being in Iron Man/Avengers, right?

posted by suelac at 7:15 PM on November 5, 2021

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