Nov 14, 2013

[TV] Leverage: Season 4

My partner Tobie and I got into Leverage a little late in the game and once the momentum really got going, we heard the news that the show was already set for cancellation by the end of its fifth season. And thus we ended up dragging out how many episodes we'd watch at a time in order to make the most of the show.

And thus the delay for these reviews - I mean come on, we still have finished watching the fifth and final season of the show. We're funny that way and it happens over and over again given how Tobie hates it when good shows end. You can only imagine how difficult it was to get to the end of shows that Tobie really loved like Lost and The Office.

And we've certainly enjoyed the unique character dynamics between the Leverage crew - the biggest part of why we've committed to the show through all these seasons. And this penultimate season remains pretty good, but admittedly not quite the best that the show has come up with.

Synopsis: Leverage is a drama TV series produced by Electric Entertainment and aired on TNT. This fourth season still garnered a good 3.42 - 3.9 million viewers across episodes, which was actually a little better than the third season.

After successfully bring down Moreau in the last season, this season seemed to step away from the heavy-handed meta-plot across the entire season and went back to rather independent stories. Sure the season starts with the Leverage team discovering that their headquarters has been bugged, but on the whole it wasn't a story element that played out too strongly in the season. I felt this was sort of a bad thing given I'm a big fan of meta-plots that really tie things together.

The season still had its share of interesting episodes that rather stood out. "The Van Gogh Job" included a quirky love story that tied into a lost Van Gogh painting and of course we get to see the story with the Leverage crew reenacting the prior events in narrative flashbacks. "The Boiler Room Job" involves this team of con me trying to outwit a master con man in turn and thus they need to come up with completely different strategies to win. And of course there's the two episodes, "The Girls' Night Out Job" and "The Boys' Night Out Job" where the team aims to have nights out separately but end up getting into little capers of their own.

This season requires that we take a look at "The Grave Danger Job" whose climax includes Hardison (Alec Hardison) being buried alive and the team must scramble to find him somehow. The episode was used as a fulcrum to push Parker (Beth Riesgraf) off her emotional cliff and for her to come to terms with her feelings for him. I felt this was a bit of an extreme direction to take in order to push their characters forward but then I suppose it still managed to achieve the goals it set out to do.

Other than that though, not many episodes particular stood out for me. The final was okay but the build-up just wasn't there and so it still wasn't all that amazing. And while I still enjoyed the interaction between the different characters and how they tried to advance the relationships between Parker and Hardison and of course Sophie (Gina Bellman) and Nate (Timothy Hutton), I feel like not much else happened to really push things to that level of me being able to say that the season was great or something.

This penultimate season of Leverage was still a lot of good fun but I can also understand why the show eventually wrapped up. There's just only so many stories that can be told about these characters without totally jumping the shark or something in order to make new plot twists and such. Thus the season gets a respectable 3.5 hastily put together plans out of 5.

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