[Header: Max Baker as Billy the Gent and Gina Bellman as Sophie Devereaux | Freevee]
Leverage and Leverage: Redemption has always known exactly how to tug at your heartstrings but this second season has just gone above and beyond. I’ve mentioned it in most, if not all, of my reviews so far but there really is such a strong focus on character, often delving into their past as well as what they’re currently going through, while also focusing on the dynamics between them.
Going into this episode, I never would have guessed this job would have brought out such emotion. It’s a very straightforward case of dealing with a pyramid scheme at least until the mark becomes impossible to lie to. It’s an issue that requires the often-needed skill to adjust at the drop of a hat and switch the plan up in order to get the desired final result. This time around because Sophie can’t get away with lying, even just a little bit, she has to result in telling the truth.
It’s been clear since season one of Leverage: Redemption how hard Nate’s death was for Sophie and from this season, we’ve seen how much doubt she’s had in herself to be the leader the team needs. All of this being dredged up again was hardly surprising. It felt like things were building for some big heart to heart but for part of it to happen like this, I wasn’t expecting that. While there’s another, clearer, reminder that Sophie is having doubts about her ability to lead the team, we also got further confirmation that her driving force is to be there for them because they’re her family and that everything she does is for them. Even though we may have already heard bits and pieces that tell us these things, to hear it all come from Sophie in one scene was really wonderful.
There definitely needs to be a bigger follow-up to this. While Harry is the one most in the know about Sophie’s doubts and fears, they all need to have a conversation. Each of them heard Sophie telling her truth in this episode and the fact it was one-sided was fantastic because it made sure she got her moment but now, everyone needs to be involved. We know that they all work together so wonderfully even when they hardly know each other (like when Leverage first started) and even when they’re not on top form. They’re always there for each other — which is something we’ve seen countless times so far this season — so it would be nice to see them come together for this very personal discussion.
Beyond that, the job was surprisingly fun to watch be pulled off. Breanna being stuck in a position she hates was really great, especially seeing her within the workplace and engaging with Ronald as she gradually brings him to the realisation that he is, in fact, working as part of a pyramid scheme and to see her also encourage him to seek out something better, dreams he already has.
Alongside that, pregnant Parker was a treat! She’s such a delightfully, funny character so this little twist added another level to that. It would also be interesting to see (presuming the show goes on for that long) how kids might play into Parker and Hardison’s future, if they do at all. It’s not something I’m in a hurry to see but this episode plus how Parker interacted with the kid in 2×04 has me curious about that scenario. It was also fantastic to see her talking both Sophie and Harry through parts of the job. We know she can lead a team but seeing it in action was so good.
A quick little side note, it was also hilarious that Eliot knew exactly what Magiq Baby was and to see him freaking out over the fact that Harry might have to drive his car. He’s such a big grump sometimes and it’s fantastic because we know (and have seen countless times) that he’s got the biggest heart and is such a softie.
In the end, this episode was mostly funny and light but with that emotional punch from Sophie. Gina Bellman was as fantastic as ever and really stole the show this episode. Like with all the episodes so far this season, I’m left eager to see what might come next but in particular with that ending and also the comment of a daughter. My curiosity is definitely spiked.