Season 2 Episode 11

The Bottle Job

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Jan 20, 2010 on TNT

Episode Recap

At McRory's, the patrons have gathered for the wake of John McRory. In the back, Mr. Cabella is playing poker with his friends, who offer their condolences to his daughter, Cora. Mark Doyle and his two thugs come in and tell Cora that her father owed him $15,000. John put up the pub as collateral and Doyle is there to collect. She tries to slap him and the two thugs restrain her. Doyle gives her two hours to check her assets and make a decision.

Out in the bar, the Leverage team come by and Nate explains that his father played there for years. He explains that his father helped him educate him in the finer points of crime. As Cora comes out, Nate notes that they grew up together and tries to deter Elliot, who is interested in her. As the team watches, she takes the money out of the register and gives it to Doyle, who notes that it's only $210 and says she has over $14,000 more to go.

Upstairs, Cora explains to Nate and the others what happened. Nate suggests that she go back downstairs and tend to the guests while they try to figure something out. Parker suggests that they call in the police, but Nate warns that Doyle will simply deny it and burn down the bar later. Elliot suggests he break Doyle's knees, but Nate wants to do some reconnaissance and wonders why Doyle has a two-hour deadline. He tells the others to call in Tara and inform her that they have a job.

Tara arrives and Nate sends her over to find out what she can from Doyle. He flirts with her and Tara flirts back. As they talk, Parker steals Doyle's wallet and slips it to Elliot, who scans his driver's license and sends it to Hardison. He doesn't find any background on Doyle. Meanwhile, Doyle admits that he's a loan shark and claims that society needs him.

Hardison finds info on Tim Doyle, Mark's father, who also runs guns to the IRA. Mark has started up an operation in Boston on his father's behalf. As Doyle talks with Tara, Parker secretly returns his wallet. Hardison learns that Doyle is heading to Ireland in a couple of hours, and Nate has Tara ask him what he's doing next. He admits he has an audit to conduct and shows her a bag full of money. Doyle explains that he's going to use it to prove to his father that his operations in Boston have been profitable.

Upstairs, the rest of the team insists that there's no way they can pull off a con in two hours. Nate insists they can pull off the wire scam, and wants to borrow the wake for two hours to save the bar. They go back downstairs and Tara continues flirting with Doyle while Nate prepares the con. He needs money, but Hardison warns that it's a Friday night and he can't get his hands on actual cash. They realize they have no choice but to use the emergency fund: cash hidden all around the apartment in furniture, cereal boxes, and paintings.

Elliot then brings the money, $9,000, to Nate, and stands by to take care of Doyle's muscle. Hardison prepares to splice into the television camera to the bar upstairs, and then tells Nate it's ready. Nate starts by groping Tara, who walks off. Doyle is unhappy that Nate chased Tara off, and Nate explains that he used to go out with Tara until he broke her brother's kneecaps when he welshed on a bet. Impressed, Doyle has a drink with him.

Hardison taps into the television and puts the signal of the Celtics game on a twenty-second delay. In the bar, Doyle offers a bet on the next shot and throws the first bet. Meanwhile, Elliot mocks Doyle's two thugs and gets their attention by scoring dart bull's-eyes without looking. Parker comes down and takes over for Cora, and brings the thugs their beers. Parker steals their cell phones and their wallets, and Doyle's ledger. Tara discovers that it's written in code.

Nate continues to bet and lose, but Doyle notices that Nate isn't drinking and refuses to bet as long as Nate has the advantage. Nate reluctantly picks up the glass and takes a sip, while the rest of the team watch him. They explain to Tara that it isn't good. She tries to decode the ledger while Hardison tries to track Doyle's GPS and find his office. He notices that one of the players misses an easy shot and passes the info on to Nate, who starts winning.

Tara finishes decoding the ledger and passes on the names to Hardison, who confirms that they're all of Doyle's victims. He calls Nate, who ignores him as he takes one final bet for $10,000 with Doyle. Doyle looks at his bag full of money and considers, but says that his cash has other obligations. He offers John McCory's marker, but Nate stalls. The rest of the team warn him to take the bet and not get cocky. Nate finally accepts and wins the bet, just as planned. Doyle, disgusted, tells Nate that Cora is his business now and suggests they do more business when he returns. As Nate walks away, he tells the team that they're not going to let Doyle go, and the night is just getting started.

Nate explains that Doyle will come back once he shows his father the money, and that he'll take over the entire neighborhood. He insists that now is their only shot, but admits that the next con is a little more difficult.

Tara returns and Doyle asks if he can look her up when he comes back. She notes that it's snowing outside and couldn't get away. She suggests they check the weather, and Hardison gets the message. Meanwhile, Nate explains to Elliot and Parker that they're going to run a crooked game, and he'll slow-play him with the money he won. Once Hardison finds Doyle's address, Parker and Elliot will break into Doyle's office, steal his money, and get it back so Nate can use it to take Doyle for the money he'll be turning over to his father. Eliot wonders if Nate would even consider the scam if he was sober. Nate admits that he'd consider it.

Hardison rigs up a makeshift weather screen using odds and ends from Nate's apartment. He then dresses as a weather caster using Nate's jacket and taps into the feed, and broadcasts himself explaining that Boston is snowed in. Doyle is convinced and decides to stick around and talk with Tara. She casually tells him that Nate cheated him by tapping into the cable. When Doyle asks why she didn't tell him the first time, Tara says it was between him and Nate. Doyle goes to beat up Nate, who is in the back. Nate tells Tara the plan over the earbud, and she explains to Doyle that mobsters play poker in the back room, and Nate is back there with them. Doyle wants to get his money back, but Tara warns that Nate makes his living cheating. He remembers that Nate was sweet on Tara, and wants Tara to help him con Nate.

Nate assures Cora that his plan will work. He then asks Cabella and the others to help him. After Cora introduces him, Cabella asks if he's anything like his father.

Doyle asks Tara to help him and she agrees in return for 10%. He has her cozy up to him and then pass on signals to inform him if Nate has good or bad hands.

Cabella and the others are reluctant to play, but Nate promises to take the heat. Cora appeals to them on behalf of their father, and Nate runs down the plan with them. Tara comes back in and notes that Cabella and the others don't look like mobsters. Nate assures her that everything is fine and then checks in with Hardison. He's directed Parker and Elliot to a warehouse where they're trying to find Doyle's safe. Nate then tells Tara to work Doyle slowly until they're ready to take him for everything. He drinks again and Tara notes that Sophie warned her that Nate was a drunk. Nate says that it's different, because now he knows that he's not okay.

Doyle goes in, but not before telling his men to follow Nate if he leaves with any money and take it back from in. He then barges in and Nate warns that it's a private Mob game. Doyle drops his cash on the table and they agree to let him play. They start playing poker and with Tara's help, Doyle keeps winning against Nate. Nate says that Cora will be coming in with more money for him, and he steps out to get another drink. He checks in with Parker and Eliot, who have found the safe. As Parker tries to open it, Eliot hears someone outside and goes to investigate.

As they play, Doyle suggests that he and his father will be moving into the neighborhood. He starts talking about some of the Mob business they've been involved in, and the players try to bluff it out as best they can.

Eliot finds two of Doyle's crooked workers. He holds them off while Parker works on the safe and Nate tries to stall. Eliot finally drops two of them as a third one runs off... into the office with the safe. Parker tells Eliot to keep it down and he finally kicks the man unconscious... and gets the safe open. They take the rest of Doyle's money and leave.

Nate returns to the table and play. Parker comes in with the money and Nate uses it to bet. However, Doyle realizes that it's his money because he marked it earlier. He draws a gun on Nate and demands an explanation. He admits that he's a loan shark and that he knows the other players are locals. Doyle tells them to put all their money in the bag. The men explain that they are all detectives.

Earlier, Nate told the three detectives that he would set up Doyle to come in and admit that he had committed crimes. They didn't believe he'd be dumb enough to do it. However, everything went exactly as Nate described. Doyle described his crimes and incriminated himself. Doyle admits it's a fair cop and offers them a bribe. Nate grabs him and slams him onto the table, and tells him to get out of town and tell his father that his business went bust. If he doesn't, Nate says that he'll tell Tim Doyle exactly what happened. He breaks Doyle's finger and tells him to get out. As Doyle leaves, the cops note that Nate is exactly like his father. When Tara offers to take the money back to the victims, the cops say they didn't see anything and leave.

Parker and the others reluctantly return the money while Nate is happy to announce they pulled off both cons in 90 minutes. Cora brings over some drinks to celebrate, but Nate passes and says he's going up to the apartment. Hardison suggests that he stay downstairs so he doesn't see the mess, and the rest of the team are more than glad to leave Hardison out to hang. As they go, Tara tells Cora that Nate's the one she should thank. Cora sits down with him and admits that he reminds her of his father sometimes. Nate is offended, but Cora notes that his father has some good qualities and takes care of his friends, just like Nate does. She admits that her father would be happy for what Nate did, and Nate admits that he's a good man. Nate glances over at the bar sat where his father used to be, then picks up a glass and offers a toast to fathers.