DVD Review: LEVERAGE The Fourth Season

Fox Home Entertainment
Release date: July 17th, 2012

Leverage is a show that plays perfectly into a part of story telling of the everyman getting back his own. It’s a time tested formula that works. Burn Notice is similar, The Equalizer did it, Travis McGee was great at it. The key is having an opponent or villain to rally against.

Our heroes are pure in motivation, or close to it and then set about getting back what the bad guys have stolen or swindled. In the Equalizer and Burn Notice it’s people with a background in espionage acting as white knights helping people who have been taken advantage of.  It Takes a Thief had a professional crook helping the government protect American interests.  It’s modern take is White Collar with an amazing thief helping the FBI go after bad guys who are hurting us, regular citizens. In England they have a great show called Hustle which is a group of con men who pulls classic grafter schemes to steal from rich unsavory bad guys.

Leverage is an amalgam of parts of these shows. We have a team of people who are all the best at what they do, a man who chased crooks for years running the show as the brains, a grafter who is a great at thinking on her feet, a break in specialist, a hacker and tech expert and a guy who’s skill at giving a beating is only rivaled by his ability to take one. Together they take on jobs that involve corporate big wigs who are corrupt, criminals who steal from the working joes, and just plain bad guys. The common thread is the people our heroes go after all deserve to loose. Some rich CEO stealing someone else’s work and getting rich while the poor shlub looses hi house, I’m all over watching him get what’s coming to him. Why? Because in the real world we watch these people get away with it. Greedy people on the show don’t win. Another part that makes it work is they operate outside the purview of the government. Who wouldn’t like to make money and never have to share with Uncle Sam?

The really fun part of Leverage is watching the elaborate plans unfold and change as they move in for the kill. One of the real stand out episodes for me involved a rich fat cat holding an annual event to basically torment his rivals. He hold a murder mystery weekend with everyone dressed up as detectives and famous crime solving folks. Timothy Hutton playing Ellery Queen looking an awful lot like his Dad did in the role back in the day.

Season four we see Nate (Timothy Hutton)working with a group of people who have become a family, loners that are now depending on each other. They really gel as a team. The characters are the real driving force of the show, Sophie is no longer just a silly British actress but is now the heart of the team. Elliot Spencer ha sproven to be much more than a guy who pounds on people, though he still does that quite well. Parker (an homage to Stark’s character?) now trusts the others on the team and Alec is actually getting a charge out of helping people.

This show gets better and better and the wonderful part about owning is the show is very easy to view more than once, and now with four seasons our regular marathons are getting longer and longer.

Jon