Leverage

Season 5 Episode 2

The Blue Line Job

2
Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Jul 22, 2012 on TNT

Episode Recap

Danny, the son of minor league hockey enforced Craig Marko, approaches the Leverage team and explains that his father is paid to punch other players. Craig used to be a promising player, but now he's paid to work as an enforcer. The damage from the fighting is starting to take its toll, and Craig comes home confused and rambling, and forgets that his wife died three years ago in a car accident. Danny figures that his father has concussion syndrome but the team doctor, Dr. Matsuda, has given Craig a clean bill of health. There are only two games left in the season but Craig refuses to quit or see a specialist even after the season is over. Danny asks Nate and Eliot to save Craig from himself before he gets crippled or worse.

At headquarters, Hardison is demonstrating a rare electromagnetic for Parker, attracting Nate's watch from across the room. The others come in and Hardison runs the briefing on the Oregon Otters. Craig plays wing for the team and works as an enforcer, protecting the elite players when things get too rough. Pete Rising, a former hockey player, inherited money and bought the Otters, and has tripled the team's financials by making the fighting the main part of the game. Sophie knows all about hockey and Nate realizes that she's stole something hockey-related, and the grifter admits she stole the Stanley Cup but can't remember where she has it hidden. They return to discussing the case and Nate figures that they have to find Craig's real medical files and use them as evidence to convince Craig that he's in danger.

Parker meets with Dr. Matsuda, claiming to be the wife of one of the players, and asks him to look at her (fake) injury. She offers his some drugged gum and he takes it. After he passes out, Parker downloads the files from Matsuda's computer and sends them to Hardison and Sophie. They show that Craig has major trauma and that the next injury could be his last, and that Rising is hiding the extent of the damage from his player.

Rising is on the ice at the arena afterhours, practicing his shots, when Nate comes in posing as an agent. He wants rising to take a look at his new player, Eliot, but Rising needs fighters, not players. Nate offers him a wager best on each of them shooting ten pucks in. If Rising wins, Nate loses everything. If Nate wins, Rising hires Eliot. Thanks to Hardison having rigged the net and the pucks with his electromagnet, Nate wins and Rising agrees to take Eliot on.

Eliot is introduced at the next Otters game, the sixth out of seven games. Once the game begins, Eliot runs interference for an increasingly frustrated Craig, taking out his targets before he can get to them. Craig finally tells Eliot to stay out of his way. Rising and Nate watch and Rising comments that he might be able to use him as an enforcer next season, even though he has Craig. Nate picks up on his comment and, once he has a moment alone, tells Hardison, Parker and Sophie over the earbud to break into Rising's office and check his financials.

While Eliot draws cheers from the audience for fighting, Rising notices that he's not letting Craig enforce. Meanwhile, Parker steals ID badges and Hardison and Sophie use them to get into Rising's office. Hardison finds info confirming that Craig has a deal with Rising. He gets a bonus for enforcing but has to fight every game. Meanwhile, Sophie finds an accounting book with specific dates listed. Nate checks the dates and confirms they match with the games where players came after Craig. He tells the others that Rising is playing other teams bounties to take out his own player and make sure that Craig gets taken out and fails to make his bonus. When the team returns to their base, they figure that they have to track the money that Rising is paying. Sophie tells Nate that her old partner, Vlad, can help them out.

After the game, Craig is nursing his wounds when Eliot comes in. He suggests that Craig let him cover his back but Craig refuses, saying that he needs the work and the fans depend on him. As they argue, Danny comes in and goes to his father's defense. He assures his father that he was as good as always and helps treats his injuries, and Eliot tells the teenager that he should be proud of his father.

Vlad Basiak arrives and Nate recognizes him as a famous hockey player from a few years back. When Vlad threatens Nate if he doesn't take care of Sophie, Nate threatens him right back and Vlad takes an immediately liking to him. Once they come up with their new con, Nate and Vlad head to the ring where the Otters are practicing. Rising recognizes Vlad and is eager to meet with him, but Vlad will only say that he's on vacation. Nate gets Vlad out but Rising gets an idea and calls his lawyer. Thanks to info that Hardison has planted on the Internet, the lawyer confirms that the World Hockey League is trying to start a new franchise. Rising goes after Nate and accuses him of actually being a Russian scouting for an American team. The owner wants to meet with Nate's superior, and Nate warns him that he'll have to make friends with "the zacato" before Sophie will agree to negotiate.

Rising agrees and Nate and Vlad have him meet with Sophie, who has a turtle in a fish bowl next to her. The owner makes his pitch, insisting that he can give Sophie an American team. Sophie talks to the turtle, a rare zacato, and tells Rising that it likes him. She'll tells Rising that he'll have to invest $500,000 up front and he agrees.

As Eliot leaves after practice, Craig attacks him in the parking lot. Eliot manages to hold him off, and warns Craig that one more hit could cripple or even kill him. Craig insists that he's sacrificing his health for Danny, and once he finishes the seventh and last game of the season, he doesn't care what happens to him after that. When he tells Eliot that he can't understand because he doesn't have a family, Eliot tells him that he doesn't have a family, but he made lots of bad choices for good reasons to help his brothers in arms. However, they were still bad choices and that those choices tore him up without him even realizing it. Craig walks away and Eliot yells after him telling him that Rising has put a bounty on him. The enforcer just says that there's nobody who can take him and leaves.

The next morning, Hardison goes over Rising's financials and takes them to Nate. Before he can get there, Rising meets with Nate, Sophie, and Vlad. He tells them that he figures that they're going to squeeze him out because they have much more money than he does, and that he's filing for bankruptcy and leaving the game. Rising offers to let them buy the team, but warns them that the Otters are $5 million in debt, and $4 million of it is his deferred salary. Once he leaves, Vlad points out that the team did too good a job of threatening a buyout. They return to headquarters and Nate notes that Hardison did too good a job on the web information. When Rising declares bankruptcy, he won't have to pay Craig's bonuses. The owner will come out ahead because he's been skimming from the team's money all along. Rising had to drop out of the WHL offer because if he had bought in, they would have asked for an audit and revealed his embezzlement. When Vlad arrives, they figure that Rising will have to launder the embezzled money, and Parker tells them that she know show Rising will do it and she already has a contingency plan to deal with it.

At the arena, the Otters prepare for their seventh and final game. Meanwhile, Parker and Nate go over the process for shipping out the box office take. Parker figures that Rising will put the laundered money into the lockbox and put it on an armored car to the bank and they have to steal it before it gets on the bank and the insurance covers the loss. Meanwhile, Vlad meets with Sophie. He makes sure that she likes Nate and admits that he likes Nate as well, takes his pay for the job, and leaves after kissing Sophie.

As the game begins, Eliot tries to draw as much heat on him as he can, keeping Craig out of the fighting. As he fights, Eliot keeps whispering what appear to be threats to the opposing players. Even when he ends up in the penalty box, he keeps mouthing the other players. Meanwhile, Rising adds the laundered money to the lockbox and has a guard take it down to the loading dock... and Hardison follows the guard.

Eliot ends up back in the penalty box and Craig takes to the ice. However, when he tries to pick a fight, none of the opposing players will take up the challenge. Earlier, Eliot told them about Craig's condition and how any fight could kill him. An angry Craig tries to get them to fight, believing his bonus is at stake. Everyone in the audience watches Craig, including Danny... who smiles and nods an okay to his father. Eliot skates out to Craig and tells him that it's time to play real hockey, and the audience gives Craig a round of applause.

The guard brings the lockbox to the loading dock and waits for the armored car. When it arrives, he discovers that neither he nor the delivery guard can pick it up. They call an accountant in to open it up and discover that the lockbox is empty. Meanwhile, Hardison, having held the lockbox in place with his electromagnet, slips away with the money after cutting through the floor and the bottom of the box.

At the rink, Craig scores the winning goal for his team.

Later, Rising is out practicing on the ice in the empty arena when Nate comes in. The owner figures that Nate stole the money and admits that he can't go to the cops. When Rising asks why, a dozen hockey players in street clothes come out. Eliot explains that they're league enforcers, paid to step in when things go too far, and they know that Rising put a bounty out on one of their own. As they circle around Rising, Nate tells the owner to sign over the team to the players. Rising reluctantly does so and then swings at Nate, who floors him with one punch. The enforcers bang their sticks on the ice and Eliot gives Craig the check he was promised for the bonus.

Later, the Leverage team watches from the stands as Craig takes over as the new coach for the Otters. As he gets Danny out onto the ice as an assistant coach, Nate still tries to find out where Sophie hid the Stanley Cup.

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