LEVERAGE “The Queen’s Gambit Job” Review

LEVERAGE “The Queen’s Gambit Job” Season 4 Episode 10 – Sterling makes an appearance in this episode seeking the aid of Nathan and his cronies. The team head to Dubai to fetch a device which can cause a nuclear explosion – always a bad thing in my book – and face off some dweeby kid in a chess game. Well, she’s not so dweeby and she’s not really a kid, but she is particularly good at chess. The world chess tournament is being held in Dubai, and Nathan has enlisted as a contestant.

There’s a lot to like about this episode: Sterling is back, one step ahead of the crew, and this time he has a good reason to dupe the team. The star chess player, the aforementioned dweeb, is his real daughter, who has essentially been held hostage by the guy with the nuclear device, AKA the MacGuffin. Though she’s a MacGuffin herself, she’s the rare MacGuffin who is not contrived or false.

Leverage has always been a fun show and it continues to be, but sometimes the episode just does not work. I’m a big fan of the Hardison and Parker relationship, mainly because individually I feel like they’re the show’s best characters and together they offer a lot of emotional and fun chemistry. However this time the writers just milked their relationship a little too much – I don’t need to see Hardison comforting Parker and reassuring her that he’s there for her in every single episode. I don’t need to see Parker realizing that she’s not alone. And I really don’t need to see Hardion humming some melodramatic tune while Parker thumps her way across a room. The writers are clearly aware that these two are the show’s best assets, but they also need to be aware that less is more.

The case itself was fun and there were, briefly, stakes raised when Eliot was knocked out. But the biggest problem I have with the show is that for a network which purports that it knows drama, the stakes on Leverage, despite threats of nuclear holocausts and suicide jumps from very tall buildings, the stakes are disappointingly low.

What did you think of this episde?

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