"The Last Dam Job" (Season 4, episode 18)
(TNT, January 15, 2012)
Writer: John Rogers
Director: Dean Devlin
Timothy Hutton (Nate Ford), Gina Bellman (Sophie Devereaux),
Christian Kane (Eliot Spencer), Beth Riesgraf (Parker), Aldis Hodge (Alec Hardison)
Special Guest Star: Richard Chamberlain (Archie Leach)
Saul Rubinek, Kari Matchett, Wil Wheaton, Robert McKeehen,
Clayne Crawford, Leon Rippy
Episode synopsis The Leverage team must recruit old friends and rivals in order
to take down Latimer and a foe from their past.
Just a sneak peak
Best of the episode
Archie Leach is back!
Archie Leach in action with his taser...
Archie Leach does his stint...
This week's offering, "The Last Dam Job" really made me want more of the team and to see them with their “backups”. Thankfully we will get at least part of that when they return this summer for season five.
While it's not new that Nate and his team brought down a bad guy (in this case it was Latimer and Victor), what made this episode unique from other take downs was the interaction of the team with their counter-part backups. I loved it!
Watching Quinn (Clayne Crawford) and Chaos (Will Wheaton) attempting to work together with Quinn wanting to hurt Chaos, while the latter spoke down to Quinn as he explained the way they were going to break into the computer was refreshingly funny and brought back memories of season one.
The sudden appearance of Maggie Collins (Kari Matchett), Nate’s ex-wife was great. Actually, I want to give kudos to TNT for not showing her in the preview and giving us all a nice surprise when she sat down next to Latimer. Did any else catch her reference to Jim Sterling and her attraction to him? I wonder what the chances that Sterling and Maggie have seen each other again?
By far, it was Richard Chamberlain who stole the show as Archie Leach. I laughed so hard when he tazzered Chaos that I had to pause the show for a minute to wipe my eyes. Then when he and Parker had the heart to heart about how he approved of Hardison, and she cared, it was really sweet.
Speaking of touching and sweet, how awesome was Eliot in his protectiveness of Nate. Between him trying to talk Nate out of killing Victor/Latimer to him nearly killing Victor himself, he showed how strongly he cares for Nate.
Many may think that the conclusion with Latimer was a bit quick; to me it felt like it matched about how often we met him, so I didn’t mind at all. Honestly, I’m glad it’s done and looking forward to this summer to see what Nate and the team gets into.
I do have some questions as we go into season five. First, when Nate says he has to make some changes, does that mean he is climbing out of the bottle? More importantly, why can’t they keep the cave? I like the idea of an “Eliot Signal”. Besides, don’t we still have some other bad guys out there wanting a piece of Nate?
Leverage’ Season 4 Finale ended last night on TNT with a great finale, where Nate and his team recruited some old friends and foes to take down Latimer and another enemy from the past, Victor Dubenich.
It was extremely fun and refreshing to watch Mr. Quinn (Clayne Crawford), Chaos Mason (Wil Wheaton), and Archie Leach (Richard Chamberlain) joining their forces together with the squad. Also, a nice surprise was Nate's ex-wife, Maggie (Kari Matchett),
who returned briefly.
Eliot recruited Quinn promising him money and a favor; Parker pickpocketed Archie, his daughter and granddaughter; and Hardison found Chaos with his suitcase already packed.
First off, Nate pays a visit to Dubenich in jail. They have a serious conversation, and Dubenich tells Nate it's time for him to face the consequences of playing judge and jury with people's lives. He adds that losing "your business, your possessions, your name" makes a man kill. Nate reminded him he wouldn't be nice to him next time they met.
Back to this week's mission, Parker breaks into Latimer's office with Hardison's help who hacked the door keypad. Soon, though, Latimer's head of security detects Hardison's software and discovers that both Eliot and Parker are in the building. Parker, resourceful as usual, finds a way to get out of the building and lands on Hardison's van, while Eliot uses a couple of fire extinguishers to put down a few thugs on his way out.
The first thing Dubenich goes for, once he's out of prison, is Nate's apartment, only to find out no one was there anymore. The squad moved their headquarters, much to Hardison's excitement, to a bat cave. After the new "recruits" were in, they all sat down and planned the job. Their aim was shutting down Latimer's dam and its facilities.
Setting the plan in motion, Eliot and Hardison, although disguised at the dam, are soon recognized, and they only have time to dump a bag full of mussels into the system which would destroy it if it spread. They manage to escape, and the dam is immediately shut down for a year to be cleaned. Chaos and Quinn attempt to work together and try
to improvise, but end up arguing while Chaos tried to explain Quinn how they were
going to break into the computer. They fail, and the only way to get out of there was jumping into the river.
It's Archie's turn to show his skills. He wheels a huge cake—with Parker inside—at an event. A very important and valuable item was at the event, the emperor sword. Archie makes a smooth move, and the power goes out. He then switches the sword with a smaller one, which had a bomb in its handle. Once the power is on again, Dubenich takes the sword to Latimer's vault which blows up afterwards.
Meanwhile, Latimer is supposed to fly to DC and Sophie wants to join him, but she's led away by Dubenich and his men. Maggie, Nate's ex-wife, has a tête-à-tête with Latimer. She later joins Sophie and they both meet with Nate. As Sophie leaves them alone, Nate assures Maggie that nothing happened between him and Sophie while they were married. Maggie brought up the name of Jim Sterling and her attraction to him.
Back to the culprits, the next time Dubenich calls Latimer he finds him in Cayman Islands, drugged. When Latimer looks into his suitcase, all the values from his vault are in there, so that it looks like he's on the run. The news start reporting Latimer's scams, and Dubenich attempts to transfer Latimer's funds into his account. Unfortunately for him, Nate's team already took those funds themselves.
Dubenich finds the dam patent, the same one Nate's father found in the last week's episode. Now Nate is out on his own to get Dubenich. The team tries to stop him from doing something foolish, blinded by his anger.
At the power plant, Dubenich follows Nate and shoots him in his shoulder. Nate had his father's gun with him, and he put five bullets in it. Dubenich, on the other hand, runs out of bullets. Here they are, face to face. The moment of the truth. Nate backs him towards the edge of the dam. Dubenich tries to save himself by throwing Latimer under the bus. Nate is not sure who to start with. He still has five bullets in his gun. He turns around and sees Eliot, Parker, Sophie, and Hardison. Then he slowly turns back, takes a few steps, puts the gun down between Latimer and Dubenich, and leaves. The two men struggle to get it and fall over the edge.
Back to his team, Nate decides it's time to make some changes in his life. As he kisses Sophie, Hardison, and Eliot fight over keeping the cave.
It's been a nice ending to a season in which Nate, Sophie, and Parker find some sort of an emotional closure, leaving the door open to future adventures in Season 5 when they will be providing Leverage again. "Let's go break the law," says Nate in the end.
Leverage "The Inside Job" (Season 3, episode 3)
(TNT, June 27, 2010)
Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Director: John Rogers
Timothy Hutton (Nate Ford), Gina Bellman (Sophie Devereaux),
Christian Kane (Eliot Spencer), Beth Riesgraf (Parker), Aldis Hodge (Alec Hardison)
Guest Stars: Richard Chamberlain (Archie Leach), Lisa Brenner (Dr. Anne Hannity),
Glen Baggerly (Charles Rushing), Kirk Mouser (Voorhees)
Co-Guest Stars: Sophie Song (Janet Lin), Josiah Bania (Brian),
Kendall Wells (Guard #1)
Music by Joseph Loduca
Best of the episode
"I made no attempt to impersonate Cary Grant..."
"Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, Parker takes a side job and finds herself in a life-threatening bind. She calls on the team to help her. They find out that Parker is doing the job for her mentor, Archie Leach (Richard Chamberlain), who met Parker as a young pick pocket and trained her to be the thief she is today. But Archie is surprised when Parker and the Leverage team take the original mission a step further and attempt to spoil plans they uncovered that would cause a drastic tragedy in the public food supply."
Leverage is a U.S. television drama series on TNT that premiered in December 2008.The series is produced by director/executive producer Dean Devlin's production company Electric Television. Leverage follows a five-person team of thieves, computer experts and con artists, headed up by former insurance investigator Nate Ford, who use their skills to right corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on common citizens.
The first season of Leverage consisted of 13 episodes, which writers John Rogers and Chris Downey and producer Dean Devlin intended to be a complete story should the series not be renewed. The second season, for which production moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon, ran in two parts: a nine-episode summer season which premiered on July 15, 2009, followed by a further six episodes the following winter. On August 27, 2009, TNT announced that Leverage had been renewed for a sixteen-episode third season, which will move to Sundays beginning June 20, 2010.
Photographer: Erik Heinla
Lisa Brenner (TNT's Blank Slate microseries), who guest starred in "The Inside Job" next to Richard Chamberlain, had the following to say about the actor in an
iF Magazine interview:
In an interview by Jim Halterman (The Futon Critic), Dean Devlin, Leverage creator and executive producer, answered the question
"How do you weave guest stars into the show without their celebrity taking you out of the show?"
"We have phenomenal guest stars this year. We have everyone from Richard Chamberlain, Tom Skerritt and Bill Engvall all coming in this year. It always starts with the character. It always starts with what do we want from this character and what do we get from them? We always start with, "If we could get anybody, who would it be?" and we throw it out there. We've been amazingly fortunate at who has said yes! Years ago, I was an actor on Richard Chamberlain's last television series. I loved working with him and thought he was such a unique personality. We had this character [on "Leverage"] that was really unique and old school and we couldn't think of an actor who could play it. I said, "What about Richard Chamberlain?" And he said yes!"
Dean Devlin performed in two episodes of "Island Son",
"Painkillers" and "Icarus Falling" (Henry Metrano).
Richard Chamberlain elevates a great “Leverage”
Only a week into its third season, TNT’s Leverage airs one of its best episodes ever tonight.
“The Inside Job,” airing at 9 p.m. and the first of two back-to-back episodes, features a winning guest turn by Richard Chamberlain as a world-reknown thief. Chamberlain’s character is also the mentor of Parker, aka the Thief in Nate Ford’s (Timothy Hutton) band of do-gooder criminals.
Richard Chamberlain talks about his guest role on the series in an interview to iF Magazine
iF Magazine: In Leverage, you play a character called Archie Leach, which is Cary Grant’s real name. Is this a tip of the hat to the notion that this is the sort of character Cary Grant might have played?
Richard Chamberlain: Yes. I made no attempt to impersonate Cary Grant which would have been hopeless anyway – but he is supposed to be kind of wordly and sophisticated.
iF: How did you come to be on Leverage?
Chamberlain: I had been living in Hawaii for a long, long time and I just moved back to Los Angeles, because I was interested in working, so I got my headshots and I got a new agent and I got a new manager, and I felt like the new kid in town. And it’s really been fun. My new manager sent me out on a bunch of interviews, one of which was for LEVERAGE, and apparently they thought I’d be okay, because they hired me.
iF: Were you familiar with Leverage when they offered you the part?
Chamberlain: Yes, I was. I hadn’t watched it a lot, because I don’t happen to watch a lot of series television, but I had very much liked what I saw. And you know, it’s [somewhat similar to] a BBC British production called HUSTLE, which I also was on. So I feel like I’m a kind of second-generation LEVERAGE,-er. HUSTLE was wonderful and I think LEVERAGE is equally wonderful. The main characters are so superb and terrific and so utterly different, one from the other. I think it’s a terrific show.
iF: A lot of the projects you’ve done have either been long-running episodics or miniseries or big-budget movies with long shooting schedules. Is there a different way that you approach somebody who’s in a single episode, versus a character you’re going to play over the long haul?
Chamberlain: Yes. The miniseries was a wonderful golden era, which I was lucky enough to be a part of. It was sort of halfway between series television and moviemaking. Moviemaking can be maddeningly slow and series television can be maddeningly fast [laughs]. The miniseries work I thought was just right, sort of like the Three Bears’ porridge. We shot five pages a day. In LEVERAGE, we shot maybe nine pages a day, and of course in movies, you shoot one or two or three pages a day. The quickness of series television – you really have to come in pretty much with your character [planned out], because there isn’t a lot of rehearsal on this stuff. But actually, the speed of series television is quite exciting.
iF: Do you do anything different when you’re appearing as a guest star as far as how much you’re revealing about the character versus how much the script is revealing as a character, simply because there isn’t as much script for you as there is in a feature film or a miniseries?
Chamberlain: Probably yes. You’ve got to come in with a lot of things in the back of your mind about who this character is and what the relationships are. For instance, in this LEVERAGE, I had a long-ago, but very close relationship, a very intense relationship, with the character of Parker. And so that had to be thought out and planned, because when we meet at the end, it has to be so full of all kinds of experience, bad and good, and a lot of affection that I think he had never really been aware of before.
iF: Your character is essentially Parker’s mentor …
Chamberlain: Yes. He taught her practically everything she knows about being an excellent thief [laughs].
iF: Now, does Archie have any major stunts? Because his protege Parker is constantly jumping off of buildings.
Chamberlain: I think that’s basically Parker’s character. I think the extreme difficulty of her early years made her quite slightly mad, in the sense of taking risks and loving taking risks. I think she absolutely loves jumping off of buildings and things like that. She’s a real adventuress. But I don’t think he had anything to do with that. I think that’s all her development and creation.
iF: So Archie is a brilliant thief, but walks out of rooms rather than leaps out the window?
Chamberlain: Yes. He was clever about being a jewel thief and all that Cary Grant stuff. He could climb around rooftops and shimmy up ropes and things like that, but I don’t think he did anything remotely like what Parker gets up to.
iF: Do you get to be physical in the part?
Chamberlain: Not much. There was one place where I showed my skill with a cane and battered this one guy who had a gun on us and sort of won the day, but that only took about three seconds [laughs]. I had a three-second stunt.
iF: Did all of the old swordplay from the MUSKETEERS movies and playing Hamlet come in handy there?
Chamberlain: Well, a little bit. Just a tiny bit. Yeah. I’ve done an awful lot of that in my career. And it’s all very, very carefully choreographed, of course.
iF: Do you miss doing that sort of thing?
Chamberlain: I’ve had enough of it, thank you very much. There are other things I don’t do any more. One is ride horses, two is fight scenes of any particular madness – and running long distances I don’t do any more [laughs].
Courtesy Richard Chamberlain to iF Magazine
iF Magazine: Back to LEVERAGE, had you ever worked in Portland, Oregon before?
Richard Chamberlain: I think I did MY FAIR LADY there on the stage, but I had never worked there in film. It’s a wonderful city – I like Portland very much.
iF: Executive producer John Rogers directed the episode. How is he as a helmer?
Chamberlain: Oh, he was terrific. I think it was his first time directing. He’s been writing a lot – he’s a live wire, very quick-witted and fast-talking and extremely helpful and he knew exactly what he wanted from the character and let me know. I think he got the best out of everybody. I loved working with him. Again, there was this wonderful, wonderful enthusiasm for the project. iF: Had you worked with any of the LEVERAGE cast before?
Chamberlain: No. I’ve been a longtime admirer of Timothy Hutton. He’s such a really fine actor and a really good guy. He had his little boy on the set – he has a little boy of eight – and they have this wonderful, wonderful relationship, the kind of relationship that you wish you had had with your father [laughs]. And they play together and Timothy gives him serious little jobs to do around the set, and the kid does them very well. So it was wonderful being with them. Most of my [scenes were] with Timothy. He’s absolutely terrific. I don’t know how he does it. He’s got pages and pages and pages to learn every night, and it’s largely technical stuff – you know, “I need the cowdafatus to put in the hobadooboo and then we jump off the thing and do this” [laughs]. It’s very hard dialogue to learn. And he’s very, very good at it, and very natural, extremely natural, at doing that kind of acting, which is not easy.
iF: How was working with Beth Riesgraf as your protégé Parker?
Chamberlain: She is totally delightful. She is such a good actress and so appreciative of everything and so giving, even when she’s off-camera or has her back to the camera or that sort of thing. Actors can get a little lazy, but she’s right there, very present. I loved working with her. I’m hoping the character [Archie] reappears, because I liked working with Timothy and her. She’s a very, very special actress. iF: What was the key to playing Archie for you? What’s his essence?
Chamberlain: A kind of extremely able professional - cool. I think it’s a part of himself that he’s had to develop to do the kind of work – i.e., thievery – that he’s been extremely good at all his life. And so feeling, emotion, et cetera, has been way in the background with him, I think, especially with Parker. And it wasn’t really until the end of this film that he actually realizes that he loves this girl a lot - like a daughter.
iF: Might Archie come back to LEVERAGE?
Chamberlain: Well, they say he might. I’m hoping, because I’d love to do it. I like the guy and I like what he has to do and I liked working in that whole company, so I hope he comes back. I’m really excited to be back in town and excited to be getting work. It’s a
bit more like play than work now. And I like that – I like the fact that one is still very serious about it, but it’s more for, in a sense, the fun of it than the rather hard work
of building a career. iF: Was it fun when you were building your career, when you were so famous that people were all over you at every waking moment, or was that just sort of stressful?
Chamberlain: Well, it could get stressful, but mostly it was great. I started out with very, very big self-esteem problems and all of that, so being famous and all that went with it was a real pleasure [laughs], because it made me feel like I was worth something. I don’t need that so much any more. It’s always nice when people come up and say they liked this or they liked that. It’s always very pleasant. But I don’t need it the way I used to.
iF: So if fans would like to come up and tell you that they liked you on LEVERAGE, you would welcome that?
Chamberlain: Oh, of course. Are you kidding? Gosh, an actor is so lucky to be remembered for anything, and to receive any kind of recognition. It’s a profession that is a real gamble and we’re lucky to have whatever attention we can get.
iF: What have been some of your favorite projects over the years?
Chamberlain: [The miniseries SHOGUN] was a great one. That may be my favorite project. iF: It was an epic adventure, but you were also learning something all the time. Chamberlain: Yes, he was. [Anjin-san] was a very different man than he was at the beginning of the show. I’m very proud of that one. Everyone who had anything to do with it was topnotch. THE THORN BIRDS was wonderful because of the splendid story and the splendid cast – oh, my gosh – and a play I did with Dixie Carter a long time ago at the Public Theatre was one of my favorite experiences, FATHERS AND SONS. She played Calamity Jane and I was Wild Bill Hickok and it was all quite crack and wonderful. That’s another one of my favorites.
iF: You’ve done some indie films over the last decade. How are those compared to the big studio projects?
Chamberlain: [Independent films are] usually done with a lot of love, because there’s hardly any money involved. And you get to play extremely different characters. I just finished one called PERFECT FAMILY with Kathleen Turner and it was wonderful working on it, but it again was done fairly rapidly and mostly because everybody working on it was really interested in making this film. Nobody was jaded, nobody was kind of too casual about it. Everybody was working very hard, and with a wonderful kind of esprit de corps. And I find that often the case in these independent films.
iF: Do you have a preference between film and stage and television?
TNT kicks off a double-feature for fans of "Leverage" this Sunday, June 27, with two brand-new episodes of thrills and thievery.
The two-hour block kicks off with "The Inside Job," which guest stars Richard Chamberlain ("The Thorn Birds") as Archie, the only father figure Parker (Beth Riesgraf) has ever known. He found her as a runaway, and taught her everything he knew about being
a master thief.
Archie's long since retired, but he's been brought back into the game by unknown persons threatening his family if he doesn't steal a mysterious canister from an extremely
well-guarded agri-business headquarters. He turns to Parker for advice, but the headstrong young thief takes it upon herself to do the job -- without the backup of her "Leverage" teammates, who learn too late that she's in over her head and being cornered by the most stringent security system known to man. With no time to plan, the rest of the "Leverage" crew must rely on quick thinking in order to extract their partner -- but upon learning the true depth of her failed theft, Parker suddenly doesn't want rescuing without first finishing the job! And the overkill security team is closing in.
"Leverage" has often given the viewers glimpses into the past of the players, but this one goes that extra mile with one of the show's more enigmatic members, showing not only where she's come from, but where she's ultimately come to in her development as a person and her newly acquired worldview (although her personal living space still reflects just how broken inside she still remains).
The comic book, adventure story inclinations of the writers shows here in the name of the security system, as well as the cover identities assumed by Sophie (Gina Bellman) and Hardison (Aldis Hodge); the story of how Charlie first met Sophie may also strike a familiar chord with Uncanny X-Men fans familiar with the story of how Professor Xavier first met the mutant called Storm. Lisa Brenner guest stars in this episode as a calculating research scientist employed by the agri-company, and she pulls off the whole "ice queen" persona with disturbing ease. While Brenner's acting chops are top notch, Chamberlain's a classic persona and natural scene stealer every time he's on the screen.
The Inside Job
Parker’s gone AWOL. No one knows where she is until Nate gets a call from Archie Leach (played by Richard Chamberlain — seriously!), the greatest thief of them all. Parker is trying to take on a Steranko security system (the best there is, according to Hardison) by herself. Leach has been hired to steal a container from Wakefield, an agricultural corporation. He in turn hired Parker to help him since he is no longer as physically dexterous as he once was. Parker was his protégé; he even refers to her as his daughter. She’s been trapped by the security system, which is an adaptive system that even Hardison can’t crack, although he can temporarily bypass pieces of it.
Since they can’t hack the system, they have to get inside the old-fashioned way, and so Sophie and Hardison pose as auditors of the company so Hardison can gain access. He manages to get Parker to an escape route with Eliot there to rescue her, but there’s a problem. The whole reason that Leach was hired in the first place was because of an inside man (or in this case, a woman, Dr. Hannity). She hired Leach to steal a container of UG99, a wheat blight that she hopes will infect the entire US. Why? Because Wakefield has the only resistant strain. Because of this, Parker refuses to escape until they’ve brought down Hannity (Nate’s been a bad influence on her, according to Leach), which of course they do in the end. After Hardison triggers a Level 4 alert on the Steranko system, Leach poses as part of the biohazard clean-up crew. Leach reveals himself to Hannity, who then spills her guts about what she’s been doing (memo to self: when I become a villain, never reveal my plans to anyone, ever). And it turns out the rest of the biohazard team aren’t Leach’s team, but a TV crew that Nate found. Hannity’s revelation went out live on national TV.