Leverage: Redemption: The Jackal Job
October 12, 2021 6:45 AM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

"The Leverage team explores the failing memory of a legendary grifter to try and find her greatest score before her abusive Elder Guardian gets his hands on it and takes over her life."
posted by brainwane (8 comments total)
Joanna Cassidy was absolutely STUNNING in this. Wow. Consider my heart comprehensively broken. The ending was as positive as it could have been under the circumstances... but... now Stella's loved ones get to basically watch Alzheimer's take her away from them? Ouch. (Though, honestly, I'm glad the writers didn't soften that much. Doing so would have been fundamentally inappropriate.)

I admit I winced and flinched all the way through this ep, though, because I'm a single woman getting older, so talk about dramatizing one of my biggest fears. ARGH.
posted by humbug at 9:56 AM on October 12, 2021 [4 favorites]

Joanna Cassidy is so amazing and charismatic in this, and yeah, the subject matter is terrifying and tragic.

Naming Alzheimer's "her thief" is bittersweet and ironic - if not terribly self-aware. I loved the community and respect the con team has for a legend. I can't help but think about what Nate would think about this "score" and I suspect, uncharitably, that he would have scant empathy for Stella/ The Jackal's situation.

I wished they could have come up with a name other than "The Jackal" - the Robert Ludlum books which the Bourne movies are (very loosely) based on feature a Carlos the Jackal; the later/ last book(s) revolve around Bourne and Jackal as old men having one last go at one another.

The theme feels super familiar though. I can't remember if elder guardianship is a retread, or from another show.

That aside, this episode hits a lot of classic Leverage notes for me. Eliot being a curmudgeon, Parker reveling in acting out and being inadvertently humanistic, Sophie being kind, Breanna (placeholding Hardison) being insightful but insensitive.

Was a little weirded out casting Sophie as young Stella in flashbacks, but I couldn't in good conscience cast an "outsider" for Cassidy. Mary Elizabeth Winstead might do, but too rich for this show.

Sophie in another leather jacket. Quality, but didn't fit her well.
posted by porpoise at 8:31 PM on October 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

I kept thinking of The Jackal from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which was a far more appropriate Jackal role model for this one ;)

Awwww. The romance between the con artist and the gangster's wife was very sweet, though yeah...any plot involving Alzheimer's depresses the shit out of me too. This was "as happy as it gets" there.

I read somewhere that Breanna was gay and I thought "huh, how is that gonna come up on a show where nobody dates?" I guess now we know.

Joanna Cassidy was amazing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:15 PM on October 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

Yeah I ultimately loved this but holy wow it was uncomfortably intense. I watched it before the rest of my circle and gave them trigger warnings for dementia, elder abuse, spouse abuse, and queer bashing.
posted by rhiannonstone at 9:16 PM on October 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've been watching this revival with an eye to sharing it with my parents. To date, l've only been able to recommend four episodes: the first two and the last one from the first half of the season to be released and the second episode from this half (the Goop/wellness one). As strong an episode as this is, it's certainly not going on the list of recommendations for my aging parents. Nope. No way.

Personally, my main issue with this one was having Sophie portray the young Jackal. I understand why that was the route chosen, but I don't think it was the correct way to go.

I echo the sentiment that Cassidy gave a strong performance and deserves recognition for her work.
posted by sardonyx at 8:39 AM on October 15, 2021

Also, like porpoise, I wasn't keen the the nickname. Sure, Ludlum appropriated the character (somehow, I don't think he was expecting the Bourne books to generate enough sequels that he would have to bring the character back) but Carlos the Jackal was a real person.
posted by sardonyx at 8:44 AM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Seeing an elder losing her memories is very tough and I definitely cried.
posted by brainwane at 8:44 AM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

I kept thinking it was CJ's "The Jackal" from that one episode of The West Wing but that was a different thing altogether. Cassidy was fantastic and should win all the awards for this performance.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:24 PM on October 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

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