Judge Dawn Hunt pulls The Review Job at least once a week.
Our reviews of Leverage: The Second Season (published May 25th, 2010), Leverage: The Third Season (published June 7th, 2011), Leverage: The First Season (published July 13th, 2009), and Leverage: The Fourth Season (published August 4th, 2012) are also available.
"Two good old boys, behind the wheel, chasing down bad guys in Lucille."
Fresh off their 2013 win at the Peoples' Choice Awards for Favorite Cable TV Drama, the gang is back for this, their fifth and final season. In what's becoming an increasingly rare occurrence, the show is able to have a proper send-off complete with series finale. And these final fifteen episodes simply drive home what fans have known since day one: Leverage is a cool, fun, engaging, funny and occasionally even touching show.
Facts of the Case
Nathan "Nate" Ford (Timothy Hutton, Secret Window) is the mastermind. Sophie Deveraux (Gina Bellman, Coupling) is the grifter. Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane, Angel) is the muscle. Parker (Beth Riesgraf, Alvin and the Chipmunks) is the thief. Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge, Red Sands) is the hacker. Together they are Leverage Inc, a group of (former) bad guys who employ their particular skill sets to help those whom the law has forgotten about or who simply cannot receive help anywhere else. People turn to these guys because there's nowhere else to go.
In terms of surprises, Leverage: The Final Season may offer few, but I appreciate the show's doggedness in presenting fifteen more examples of what makes this show a favorite. Another show may have gone off the rails in its final season, sort of a devil-may-care attitude; after all, if you know this is the end of the line, why not have a little fun?
But that's exactly why these final fifteen episodes of Leverage work and work well—because that's been the show's attitude since the pilot. This is not only a fun show to watch it's the kind of show where the chemistry and camaraderie between the cast and crew obviously shines through. You can tell Leverage is a fun show to make, and that only ups the watch-ability factor.
This final season sees us delving into the backstories of the characters a little bit more. We get a couple of Eliot-centered episodes, one featuring the wonderful Adam Baldwin (Firefly) and one in which we learn a bit more about Eliot's culinary background. Parker struggles to find a passion of her own outside of thieving, and she learns to appreciate what the rest of the team do. Hardison worries about the future, and since he's in a new relationship with Parker he begins to understand his future decisions will need to be filtered through that relationship. Sophie invests in a theater group and her students help the gang out a few times over the season. And in perhaps the most sobering look into a backstory we return to the subject of Nate's son and it brings us full circle, back to season one.
I mentioned Adam Baldwin, yet he isn't the only one to make an appearance. This final season boasts many guest stars including Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Treat Williams (Eve of Destruction), and perennial favorite Mark A. Sheppard (Battlestar Galactica).
Yes the show stretches credibility at times, but it's not a how-to show, after all. A little suspension of disbelief is rewarded with genuinely fun capers. And while the episodes are admittedly stand-alone in terms of plots and storylines they are united by a growing bond between the characters. It's easy to recommend Leverage: The Final Season.
There's little to complain about in terms of technical specs, either. The video transfer is a standard 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and tends to run a bit flat in terms of palette saturation. This is only apparent during explosions, however, as the rest of the time nothing dims or pops enough to draw attention. The audio track is Dolby Digital 5.1 which is good considering how much music plays a part in the show. Leverage has always used quirky, upbeat mixes to highlight important moments or montages and the 5.1 track offers the depth the sound needs to breathe in the space.
Special features include a gag reel and deleted scenes. However there is something the set presents which puts it over the top. Few shows are willing to put in the time and effort to commit a commentary track to each and every episode of the season. But that's exactly what we get with Leverage: The Final Season. Knowing who exactly presents factoids about the episodes may or may not influence your purchasing decision. In case it does I've listed the episodes below along with who's talking.
• "The Blue Line Job"
• "The First Contact Job"
• "The French Connection Job"
• "The D.B. Cooper Job"
• "The Real Fake Car Job"
• "The Broken Wing Job"
• "The Frame-Up Job"
• "The Low Low Price Job"
• "The White Rabbit Job"
• "The Toy Job"
• "The Long Good-bye Job"
I've always enjoyed Leverage. The premise of a bunch of reformed bad guys who turn Robin Hood could have gone a much darker path. But this is a fun show about engaging characters coming together to form a new kind of family. The plans are interesting and the execution is always guaranteed to put a smile on your face, if not cause you to break into laughter. The team is led by the charismatic Timothy Hutton who is surrounded by a group of actors who up their game this season to truly bring a sense of cohesion and family to the team. These final fifteen episodes will leave you wishing for more.
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