Stars: Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf, Eric Stoltz, Cameron Daddo, Haley Talbot
Writers: Joe Hortua & John Rogers
Director: Dean Devlin
Network: TNT, Sundays @ 9 PM
Airdate: June 26, 2011
LEVERAGE returns for its fourth season with audience-pleasing camaraderie reigning between all the regular characters and some impressive location work as our heroes have to climb a mountain – literally for once as well as figuratively – in order to bring down a businessman (Cameron Daddo) who is engaged in a reprehensible mortgage foreclosure scheme.
“The Long Way Down Job” opens with a hiker (Eric Stoltz) camera-phoning an affectionate greeting to his wife from a snowy slope. The video is rudely interrupted. Soon the hiker’s grieving widow (Haley Talbot) is at Nate’s (Timothy Hutton) doorstep. Nate initially doesn’t want to look into the case, but when the widow explains that her husband had the goods on his business partner, who is making money by throwing people out of their homes, the LEVERAGE gang swings into action.
This involves infiltrating an elite climbing expedition, with Sophie (Gina Bellman) convincing the bad businessman that she’s a former sexual conquest he’s forgotten about, Hardison (Aldis Hodge) jamming electronic signals so our team can control what calls (and video images) do and don’t go out, and Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and Eliot (Christian Kane) go searching for the hiker’s body – and his notebook, which contains evidence of the businessman’s crimes. Eliot and Parker find the body in a cave under the ice by falling into it themselves. They also find the notebook.
The businessman has his goons to destroy this evidence, but fortunately, the hiker’s phone contains a dying declaration that he fell as a result of his partner cutting his climbing rope. The phone also contains a goodbye message for the widow. Meanwhile, Nate and Sophie struggle with keeping the new intimacy in their relationship a secret and Hardison discovers an electronic eavesdropping device in Nate’s home.
The tone of “The Long Way Down Job” is in some ways more serious than the usual LEVERAGE episode, given the long shadow cast by Stoltz’s doomed hiker, especially his anguished farewell to his wife. Stoltz and director Dean Devlin bring a jolt of powerful emotion to this.
On the other hand, with everybody getting along and nobody threatening to leave the group, “The Long Way Down Job” doesn’t have the sense of angst that pervaded a certain portion of previous seasons. Nate and Sophie are still dancing around one another despite their liaison, but it’s a much less fraught tango now, while Hardison and Parker are getting closer. Eliot does give Parker a little dose of reality while they’re down in the cave with the corpse – the two of them put pragmatism above doing what is “right,” which doesn’t make them wrong, it just makes them who they are. This is an especially good character moment in the script by Joe Hortua and series co-creator John Rogers.
Director Devlin, the script and the cast make the most of the great natural settings, continually pointing out the risks and limitations posed by hypothermia and treacherous ice while basking in natural splendor that is rare for urban hour-long episodic network series. “The Long Way Down Job” has been a long time coming, and it is very welcome on arrival.
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Click on link: Christian Kane’s HOUSE RULES CD review
Click on link: LEVERAGE – “The Big Bang Job” review
Click on link: LEVERAGE – “The San Lorenzo Job” review
Click on link: LEVERAGE – “The Ho Ho Ho Job” review
Click on Link: Interview with “The Ho Ho Ho Job” guest star Dave Foley