Aldis Hodge, Beth Riesgraf and Christian Kane in LEVERAGE - Season 5 Series Finale - "The Long Goodbye"  | ©2012 TNT/Erik Heinila

Aldis Hodge, Beth Riesgraf and Christian Kane in LEVERAGE - Season 5 Series Finale - "The Long Goodbye" | ©2012 TNT/Erik Heinila

Stars: Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Beth Riesgraf, Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane
Writers: John Rogers & Chris Downey
Director: Dean Devlin
Network: TNT
Original Telecast: December 25, 2012

It’s very frustrating that TNT decided to burn off the remaining episodes of Season 5 of LEVERAGE and do very little promotion with it. And then they went and cancelled it last week, with little fanfare.

Even worse,  the series finale aired on Christmas night!

Way to burn off an exceptional action series and make sure few people actually see it conclude properly.

That little bit of anger aside, LEVERAGE wrapped up its great five-season run with many callbacks to the pilot episode with “The Long Goodbye Job,” while also showing how much the team has grown as people.

In many ways, all five characters on the show – mastermind Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton), thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf), muscleman Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), hacker Hardison (Aldis Hodge) and grifter Sophie (Gina Bellman) – were incomplete and each working through their inner demons and their insistence on being isolated and alone.

When all is said and done, “The Long Goodbye Job” shows how they’ve come together as a team and family with Nate and Sophie serving as the surrogate mother and father and the other the siblings learning to get along (well, maybe that analogy is a little too warped since Parker and Hardison did get together).

Regardless, everything you would want out of a LEVERAGE finale is here. There are several double crosses, a major fake-out and a return appearance by the Leverage teams’  recurring nemesis Jim Sterling (Mark Sheppard).

Timothy Hutton and Gina Bellman in LEVERAGE - Season 5 Series Finale - "The Long Goodbye" | ©2012 TNT/Erik Heinila

Timothy Hutton and Gina Bellman in LEVERAGE - Season 5 Series Finale - "The Long Goodbye" | ©2012 TNT/Erik Heinila

The episode starts off with a potential case that piques Nate’s interest – a boy, needing a drug that will save his life, is being denied coverage. This echoes Nate’s own personal tragedy with his son who didn’t get an important drug that could have save his life (and ultimately cost him big).

Hence, the con is on as they try to break into an impenetrable building. Before they escape, Parker, Hardison and Eliot are all killed in a horrible way and Nate (with Sophie as a passenger) drives the getaway van off a bridge.

We believe he is the only one that survived, but this is LEVERAGE. There is no way they would kill off the characters for real in the finale. It just isn’t going to happen.

Nate is apparently under arrest and in a mental facility where he tells his story, but he’s playing them all along – he knows where he is (in the INTERPOL office of the building they broke into) and his capture is part of the con.

It also brings Sterling out in the open and, SPOILER ALERT, he actually helps Nate in the end (they’re even now).

The sick kid was all part of a con (it wasn’t real), the rest of the team is still alive and what they’ve been searching for a file called “The Black Book” which has the names of all the people who sent this country into financial collapse that the government couldn’t prosecute.

At the end, they now have a new mission, a sort of Leverage International as Hardison says because now they can employ new people to help them take down the bad guys.

Timothy Hutton and Gina Bellman in LEVERAGE - Season 5 Series Finale - "The Long Goodbye" | ©2012 TNT/Erik Heinila

Timothy Hutton and Gina Bellman in LEVERAGE - Season 5 Series Finale - "The Long Goodbye" | ©2012 TNT/Erik Heinila

Meanwhile, Nate asks Sophie to marry him (or Lara or whatever her real name is) and says he is out of the game to the others. His job is done. That leaves the kids (Hardison, Parker and Eliot) to rule the roost and carry on as a family Robin Hood business.

And surprisingly, the person taking the lead is Parker, not Hardison (still confused about that one).

Mixing the same expert mix of humor, heart and action, the series finale written by creators John Rogers & Chris Downey and directed by Dean Devlin is a love letter to all the fans who followed the show to this point.

There are echoes of the pilot episode, but there are also great moments of showing how far each of the characters have come. It’s great to see Nate mentoring Parker and the nice moment they have early on in this episode.

Five seasons is way too early to end such a great series. TNT made a big mistake pulling the plug, because clearly there were more stories left to tell – and a solid fan base for it as well.

LEVERAGE was also a show that brought more male viewers to the TNT network and it also attracted even bigger talent since then to come to the network with shows and it was all because of Devlin bringing a feature film sensibility to the small screen.

I guess there’s always the possibility of another network or another outlet like Amazon or Netflix to pick up the series, but at least the creators were wise in wrapping things up in the off chance they weren’t picked up. Knowing there’s some closure (with an open door) is the only way to do things in a modern age of TV production.

Still, LEVERAGE did have five great seasons, and just like CHUCK and FRINGE (five season shows too), in some ways it’s better to go out on top, rather than overstay your welcome. I’ll miss the Leverage team, but at least we know they’re still doing good out there and Nate (at least for the time being) has finally worked through his inner demons and is moving on with his life and finally experiencing some happiness.

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Related:Exclusive Interview with TNT President Michael Wright on the cancellation of LEVERAGE

Related: TV Review: LEVERAGE – Season 5 premiere – “The (Very) Big Bird Job”

Related: Breaking News – Timothy Hutton gives the scoop on LEVERAGE – Season 5

Related: Exclusive Interview with Aldis Hodge on Season 4

Related: Dean Devlin interview on LEVERAGE – Season 4

Related: Exclusive Interview with LEVERAGE star Timothy Hutton on Season 4

Related: Mark Sheppard on why you can’t get rid of LEVERAGE’s Sterling

Article Source: Assignment X 
Article: TV Review: LEVERAGE – Season 5  – “The Long Goodbye Job” – Series Finale

 

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Comments:

  1. ARGHHHH…. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The ONE good show is over? Please say it isn’t so!

    ann
  2. Do network executives have their brains removed? I love Leverage and the entire cast. At least the writers had the forethought to make this finale. You are right, they really didn’t promote the show and the Christmas night airing was idiotic. Thank goodness for Tivo.

    Ellie
  3. TNT executives are no different then then rest networks. They air the worthless reality shows to avoid paying professional actors. TNT KEEP LEVERAGE ON !

    Ray
  4. I am sad knowing that Leverage has come to an end. I will miss Parker and Hardi, the rest of the team very much. I just hope that some networks will be picking them up, Leverage is a very good material to work on.At the same time, Leverage has a huge fan base, because a lot of the viewers really love it. Some of them are asking TNT to postpone cancellation. Please have the cancellation be stopped. I am from the Philippines and there is no stopping not to watch this wonderful masterpiece.

    Lousy Lucy
  5. I was surprised and sad when I found out LEVERAGE was cancelled. I love the series, stories and actors. The finale wrapped everything up nicely. Perhaps another network will pick it up. It happened that way with FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. We can only pray. Goodbye, Nate, Sophie, Eliot, Hardison and Parker.

    Shelly
  6. Whenever a really good show is aired for some reason the executives (term loosely used) make some momentous decision to end the show. What a bunch of dumb asses. Keep the damn show on the air you fools.

    jimbo
  7. I’m so upset, what agreat show, great family show. Filled w a great cast. Why would they cancel such a great show. Well written and developed characters. Action, adventure, comedy, and there a few episodes that were tear-jerkers…drama. This is like attending a funeral, I’m so sad and didn’t even know that it was their last season, what a bummer.

    Yese
  8. My wife and I are very upset they cancelled Leverage. It was one of our favorite shows. Definitely our favorite show on TNT, and what got us to even notice the network in the first place. Losing that show gives us little reason to look to TNT for future entertainment.

    Chris
  9. As others have said, are you kidding??? While my husband and I have not always been able to catch the show at its regular viewing time, we always knew we could catch the replay at some point in the week. We were visiting family in the ATL and just happened to tune in on Saturday morning to catch the replay. We also had not heard the series was ending and did not realize we were watching the last one until I looked up info on the show to see where things were leading with Nate and Sophie leaving. We echo the “oh no” and “OMG’s” voiced here. Just another example of the dumbing down of our country. Most likely too cerebral for the reality show crowd. I love what AMC has been accomplishing over the last few years. Maybe they will pick it up. To the cast of Leverage, if we don’t get to see you all together again, we hope to see you working again soon. You have all been too over-looked obviously, but for what it is worth, you have a place in the hearts of two Louisiana folks for sure!! May the New Year bring you new opportunities and success.

    Elain
  10. I HAD SUCH A HEAVY HEART WATCHING THE FINAL EPISODE…DID NOT KNOW IT WAS SERIES FINALE UNTIL I READ THE INFO. THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS ON TELEVISION SO WHY WOULD YOU CANCEL IT?? I DON’T WATCH REALITY TV … WHAT HAPPENED TO REGULAR TELEVISION? I LOVED LEVERAGE :(

    DEB W
  11. Ugh, I am super late to the party. We rarely watch live tv and stumbled upon a few episodes. Just as soon as we are hooked I see that it’s over? Am I doomed to watching it online?

    sandra
  12. I had no idea they were ending this show. When I watched the final episode, I finally figured it out at the end and was shocked. TNT sucks!

    Greg S
  13. I, too, am very disappointed with Leverage being pulled. But most TV series, no matter how good, shouldn’t last more than 5 years anyway. “Cheers”, while spun off ad nauseum, should have been chopped at the 5-year mark. Same with “House”. Shows like “Babylon 5” were designed to end after 5 years….and they did. And besides, I have always felt that actors need to avoid acting ruts where they get stereotyped to the point to where they can’t be hired for anything else.

    Goodbye “Leverage”! You’ll be missed! Thanks for a GREAT series!

    Mike W
  14. While I was surprised to hear a few days before Christmas that that night’s showing would be the last, I thoroughly enjoyed the series finale. Even though I *knew* that Parker, Hardison, and Eliot couldn’t have died in the van, the shot of their lifeless bodies holding hands with each other was incredibly moving, as was Sophie’s and Nate’s “Thelma and Louise” moment as they prepared to drive off the bridge.

    At the very least, we got a satisfying sendoff. Not so with Men of a Certain Age, which ended after only 6 episodes in their second season, without warning, without fanfare, and without resolution to the storyline (the three friends getting colonoscopies together – if you didn’t watch the show, it’s not as weird as it sounds).

    Leverage was a lot like Mission:Impossible, with its complex storylines and intricate plot devices, but Leverage had more light and more spirit. It was definitely quality TV, and it will be missed. By me, at least, and most of the other posters here.

    TLD

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