Do you like heist movies? Do you like madcap adventure? Are you a fan of competence porn? Do you think nerds are awesome? Do you like crime shows and people being badass? Are you not already watching Leverage?

If you answered "yes" to the previous questions and "no" to the last one, what the fuck are you waiting for?



THE CHICAGO BULLS OF CRIME

The Team

Leverage is actually a pretty straightforward show: a bunch of criminals--hitter, hacker, thief, grifter, mastermind--work together to bring down criminals and get vengeance (and, occasionally, a financial payout) for their victims. It's like The Mikado and Ocean's Eleven had a baby.


THE MASTERMIND: NATE FORD

Nate

Nate Ford is a misanthropic, alcoholic jerk who basically fancies himself to be an archangel, meteing out justice and smiting those he deems worthy of it. He is by no means a people person. His friends think he's a dick. He is also crazy enough to headbutt Russian mafia muscle and waltz into a corrupt president's office and tell him he's gonna put an international criminal behind bars for life before Nate finishes his drink. This is because NATE FORD IS FUCKING AWESOME.

To be fair, this all started when the insurance company Nate worked for wouldn't okay an experimental treatment for his son's cancer, leading to the kid's death and the eventual dissolution of Nate's marriage. He was hired to put together, as executive producer John Rogers calls it, "the Chicago Bulls of crime" by a guy who lied to the team and double-crossed them, then tried to kill them. This, naturally, put Nate's back up, and they took the guy - the head of an aerospace engineering firm - down, then decided together and play Robin Hood. Well, everyone else thinks they're Robin Hood; I'm pretty sure Nate thinks of himself as The Spectre with a bottle of Bushmills and better outfits.


THE GRIFTER: SOPHIE DEVEREAUX

Sophie

Sophie's a grifter. Sophie's also not her legal name; by now, everyone on the team does, though we don't and it took Nate kind of a long time to earn it. She's also an actress, though on par with Cordelia Chase, which...should tell you something. Hilariously, when she's conning someone, she's maybe the best actress you've ever seen. ("She can act...when it's an act.")

She can talk you out of anything. Anything. No, really. Check your wallet. Yeah, you gave it to her. While you were reading this post. This happens a lot, with Sophie.


THE THIEF: PARKER

Parker

Parker, described as the world's best thief--literally; she's the only one of them to never get caught--is not what you would call "normal". Admittedly, none of them are, but...put it to you this way: one time Sophie asked her to imagine her father dying. Parker burst out laughing. This is way more endearing than it sounds.

She regularly fits into tiny spaces, hates horses, and loves money. She loves money more than stuff, actually. She has six different apartments, none of which she stays in for very long, and has developed a really disturbing tendency to tase people. Her idea of a fun weekend is casing all the banks in the greater Boston metropolitan area, just in case. She also cleans up like gangbusters and once stabbed a guy with a fork.

She also really likes Hardison. You shouldn't poke her about that, though. She's still figuring out how plants work.


THE HITTER: ELIOT SPENCER

Eliot

Eliot Spencer is the guy you want watching your back: period, full stop. He sleeps 90 minutes a night and grows his own food, is equally proficient in martial arts and UFC, and hates baseball because there's no way to play defense. He also has an amazing singing voice, once had a hit country single, and (not really) did a sports drink commercial in Japan.

He hates guns. This does not, however, mean he cannot use one.


THE HACKER: ALEC HARDISON

Hardison

Alec Hardison is maybe the world's greatest computer hacker. (Fun fact: go to a con, walk into someplace where there are a lot of fans and booze, and ask who's better, Hardison or Garcia from Criminal Minds. Then get the hell out of there, because there's gonna be a fight inside of two minutes.) He's maybe the most altruistic of the group, though that's not saying a lot; he's also a proud geek. He is also a terrible grifter, though not in one- to five-minute bursts. Anything beyond that, though, and you get into trouble. He still gets mocked for the time he tried to be a British diamond forger when Sophie was away. And rightly so, because that was just awful.

He has not had a lot of luck with vans. He might have better luck with Parker, though. Here's hoping. (PRETZELS.)


GRIFTER 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: TARA COLE

Tara

An old friend of Sophie's, Tara stepped in to help the team (and secretly keep an eye on Nate) when Sophie left to "find herself" halfway through S2. Like Sophie, she's a grifter, but that's where the similarities end. Sophie might get along with some of her marks after the fact; Tara tends to leave buildings shortly before they explode, while carrying a blood-stained suitcase full of money.

Despite getting along pretty well with the team once she got used to Nate randomly proclaiming things and walking away, she was pretty quick to leave when Sophie came back. That doesn't preclude her coming back at some point, though.


THE OBLIGATORY MARK SHEPPARD CHARACTER: JAMES STERLING

Sterling

Formerly with Nate's old company (and his best friend), currently an Interpol agent, James Sterling is basically the Sheriff of Nottingham to Nate's Robin Hood. Except in this case, the Sheriff of Nottingham is less a murderous, backstabbing, king-betraying douche than a glory hog who is actually good at his job and not really a bad person.

...look, I never said it was a good analogy.

Sterling and the team have crossed paths three times now, once because he actually asked for their help; the third time ended with Nate in jail and trying not to bleed to death from a gunshot wound to the stomach. He's actually the good guy in this scenario, though it's easy to get confused when your heroes are, in fact, criminals. He's also fairly baffled that Nate's started committing crimes; when Nate ended up arrested and bleeding out, Sterling was legitimately shocked Nate wouldn't give him his team.

Something you should never, ever forget: Sterling. Never. Loses. The best you're gonna get with him is a draw.

The new season starts this Sunday, June 26, at 9 PM EST. GET ON IT.
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