Leverage aired its summer finale on August 28 with “The Queen’s Gambit Job,” which took the crew to Dubai and a chess tournament after Sterling hired them for a job.
Nate was involved in a high-speed car chase and pulled to a stop blocking the other driver’s path. Three days earlier, Nate and Sophie were discussing their past encounters, and though she headed upstairs, he was held up by a return from Sterling. Over a game of chess, Sterling explained he needed them to steal a weight from Robert Livingston before agents from Kazakhstan could buy it to use to keep a nuclear machine steady. Sterling said he’d owe Nate a favor. Though he agreed that they couldn’t trust Sterling, Nate said they had to take the job.
A chess tournament was their way in. Livingston’s stepdaughter, Olivia, was a chess prodigy and they just needed to keep her in the tournament to keep his attention focused off the weight. Sterling pointed out the agents from Kazakhstan, and he and Eliot detoured them. Meanwhile, Hardison set himself up to talk to Livingston about a business opportunity and got a look at his safe (and the weight). His security was invisible and unhackable.
Sterling didn’t want to compromise his informant, but Eliot didn’t believe he had one. Hardison explained they could fool the alarm system long enough by introducing a gas of a different density and gave Parker a case to transfer the weight. She only had about half a second to do so. They had to figure out the security, and Nate realized the code was Livingston walking into the elevator first with a weight/gait sensor.
At the tournament, Hardison made sure Olivia played the low-rankers to stay in, while Nate had to take on the grand masters. The goal was to have them face off in the finals. They got Livingston’s weight/gait with Parker posing as a photographer so Hardison could analyze it. Sterling brought Eliot coffee while they kept an eye on the Kazakhstanis, and Nate told Eliot not to kill him. During the tournament, Sophie distracted some of the players as Nate realized he couldn’t quite beat them on his own. Eliot noted the coffee’s taste as he and Sterling argued (but Eliot had the upper hand because he knew he was right since he did it). Sterling read the Kazakhstani’s lips, and they headed out to intercept them.
Hardison weighed down Parker’s boots to mimic Livingston’s gait and helped her get used to them with some dancing (and Dance Dance Revolution). She didn’t like being weighed down because she survived being quick and light. Hardison pointed out she only needed to do that when she was alone, but that’s not true anymore. One player complained about seeing flashes (Sophie using a mirror) while playing, but of course they didn’t appear when the officials looked into it. Security took him away, and Nate won the game. He also won the following game and was set up to play Olivia in the finals. Down in the tunnels, Eliot passed out—Sterling did put something in his coffee.
As Nate got ready to play Olivia, Hardison reported that Eliot was off-grid. And the game began. Parker entered the elevator successfully as Eliot woke up and found his earbud smashed. Hardison hummed to help her make it to the weight. Nate began talking about risks and fears with Olivia. She wasn’t afraid about being afraid—something she stole from her real father, who also taught her how to win. Nate noticed her tapping the table with a chess piece—something a certain rival of his did when they played at the bar. Parker’s right boot broke and ball bearings rolled out. Sterling tipped off the disgruntled player about Sophie’s mirror and she was taken away. The Kazakhstani entered the room.
Hardison spotted piping that might hold Parker—it could, because she was already hanging from it and injecting the gas into the tubing. Olivia won the game just as the alarms went off from Sterling stepping in the elevator. Parker had to get out, and as everyone began evacuating and Nate ran into some trouble, Eliot joined them and got to throw some punches. Parker’s only way out was the elevator, which was being sent to the top and locked down. Nate spotted Sterling driving off and took chase in a red sports car. Sterling was escaping with the real target.
Hardison and Eliot met up in the lobby and the latter got to hit some more as they freed Sophie. Parker’s only way out was to jump off the building—good thing Hardison packed her a parachute and she had those weights in her shoes. She base-jumped, and Eliot, Hardison, and Sophie were in a van waiting for her when she landed.
Meanwhile, Nate found out the real reason Sterling went to them. He had to get his informant—Olivia, his daughter—out of there. Olivia told Nate her father didn’t have a choice because it wasn’t safe there. Sterling turned to Nate because he needed the best thief. Nate cashed in on that owed favor and asked Sterling for everything he had on a name.
Livingston made the deal with the Kazakhstani for the weight, but Nate had implemented a Plan M. He ruined the weight by putting salt in the gas Parker injected into the weight’s environment. The terrorists still lost. Nate always has alternate plans, and in a number of them, Hardison dies. Parker and Eliot survive all of them, and Nate skipped over Sophie.
Leverage season 4 continues November 27 with eight new episodes on TNT. What did you think of the summer finale, “The Queen’s Gambit Job”?
Read more about Leverage, including news, reviews, and character profiles.
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Subscribe for the latest in Leverage news.