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Leverage

Season 5 Episode 5

The Gimme a K Street Job

1
Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Aug 19, 2012 on TNT

Episode Recap

Coach Heather Cornell is taking her cheerleading team, the Wolves, to a competitive cheerleading contest sponsored by PEP Athletics and held at their company in Washington D.C. When CEO Wendy Baran and her assistant Snyder arrive, Heather complains about the poor safety standards. Wendy tells her to take the Wolves home if Heather doesn't like it but warns her that the entry fee is non-refundable. One of the cheerleaders, Marcy, is injured in a fall when the safety mat isn't thick enough and Heather runs to her side.

Later, Heather meets with Nate and explains that Marcy was injured because of the company's negligence. Marcy is insurance but it was purchased through a subsidiary of PEP Athletics and they won't pay out. Wendy has made sure that Heather took the blame for the accident and the coach has been banned from the team. Heather insists that her team is at danger when she's not there and Nate promises that his team will guarantee the Wolves' safety.

Nate sends Parker to coach the team because of her athletic skills and she's less than happy since she knows nothing about young girls. Hardison checks the company records and confirms that Wendy has a number of holdings, all of which are disguised between false-front holdings. Wendy is a former cheerleader who retired and then went into business for herself in cheerleading and all of the subsidiary related companies such as clothing, equipment, and television rights. The industry isn't covered by government safety standards because cheerleading isn't considered a sport. Nate figures that they have to get the government to declare that cheerleading is a sport so they have to target the Federal High School Athletics Committee.

The team goes to Washington to see the committee meeting and Nate is confident that they can grift the government. Hardison has hacked the computer systems and put the bill on the committee's agenda, figuring that no one would object to safety. However, the committee chairman, J.J. LeGrange, speaks up against it, warning that it's an overreach of government power. Wendy and Snyder walk in, surprised that the bill is coming up for vote. Sophie analyzes the committee members' body language and warns Nate that none of them will vote in favor of the bill, and Nate has Hardison hack the sound system and overload. LeGrange is forced to table the meeting for a week but Nate notes that Wendy is smiling at the outcome and wonders why since it was to her benefit to have the bill shot down. He calls Parker and tells her to break into Wendy's office while they target the committee members.

With Parker coaching the Wolves, the others meet and Hardison informs them that there are four Congressmen that they have to target to get the votes they need. Congressman Jane Berkus is big on women's issues, Juan Caballo needs a boost in his home district, John Zahn is under investigation for fundraising irregularities, and LeGrange is a Washington insider who can tie up any bill he doesn't like with procedural manipulation. Nate is confident that they can deal with politicians.

Hardison infiltrates Berkus' office posing as an assistant. He tries to bring the bill to her attention as a women's issue but she points out that it will cost schools $20 million and there's no money in the Federal budget to pay for it. She also doesn't consider cheerleading a women's issue. Meanwhile, Sophie goes to see Caballo and offers him a donation. However, he tells her that he can't do anything because he needs corn subsidies to bolster his standing in his district.

Parker discovers that Wendy has a high-tech security system covering her office and the competition stage. When Parker has the cheerleaders practice using a laser grid, they're less than thrilled and Nate tells her that she has to bond with them. The team notices that Nate is surprisingly upbeat and he tells them that he was easily able to get Zahn's vote by buying him. Eliot admits that he wasn't successful with LeGrange. The hitter poses as a lobbyist and tries to bribe LeGrange with a donation, but the congressman insisted that he has integrity and refused to sell out.

Hardison, Sophie, and Eliot go back to work on the three congressman. While Hardison juggles numbers, Sophie tries to negotiate a deal to get Caballo his corn subsidies. Unfortunately the Arizona congresswoman, Greenhill, wants to trade for solar subsidies. Nate and Eliot try to work out how to approach LeGrange and they figure that since he doesn't want money, he wants power.

Once Hardison works the numbers, he tells Berkus that he's found $20 million in government funds they can take from a military project. However, Berkus warns him that it's

Alec tells Berkus that he's found $20 million from military spending, but she says that it's a separate educational appropriation and that they couldn't transfer the money without sending both bills back to Congress. Meanwhile, Eliot tries to offer LeGrange funding to make a run for the Senate but he assures Eliot that he's satisfied as a congressman.

Sophie ends up juggling deals among a half-dozen congressman to get the corn subsidies. Meanwhile, Parker has her cheerleaders perform routines with parabolic mikes and listens in on Wendy. The CEO makes a call to raise money and Parker relays the information onto Nate. He says that they still need to break into Wendy's office to find out what she's up to.

Nate is still sure that LeGrange wants something and tells Eliot to work out what. Eliot thinks that LeGrange may be an honest man and Nate tells him to play on that. When LeGrange comes out of committee, Eliot approaches him and offers him a job in punditry. LeGrange still isn't interested but Eliot says that they have polling data that suggests that LeGrange will be voted out in eight years. With some info from Nate, Eliot convinces LeGrange that his polling data is valid and the congressman gives him two hours to show it to him. While Nate and Eliot leave, Snyder takes photos of them and shows it to Wendy. They realize that they're up to something and Wendy calls LeGrange to make sure she has him under control.

Nate and Eliot put together the fake polling information while Sophie continues trading to get the corn subsidies. Hardison discovers that there are hundreds of arcane laws that prevent him from reallocating the $20 million to the cheerleading bill. Meanwhile, Parker plans to use the upcoming tournament as cover so she can get into Wendy's office. However, she discovers that one of the cheerleaders, Madison, has gone missing. Nate and Parker interrogate Madison's friend Ashley and ask where Madison went.

While Sophie continues to get further embroiled in wheeling and dealing, Hardison asks her to help him try and find a way to get cheerleaders identified as haberdashers to get funding set aside for haberdashers. Meanwhile, Nate and Parker find Madison in the basement. She explains that she doesn't want to compete because she was Marcy's spotter and blames herself for her friend's accident. Parker reluctantly tries to bond with her and assures her that even though she can't understand failure, she's sure that Madison's friends would rather have her there as a spotter than to have no one. Madison agrees to compete and as she leaves, points out that there's no security in the basement.

Hardison and Sophie get Berkus and Caballo on-board, but LeGrange cancels his meeting with Eliot. They realize that Wendy has set him up to be the sponsor of her new scholarship in her name. Nate and Eliot realize that they were making things too complicated and that LeGrange just wanted his name out front. Meanwhile, parker gets into Wendy's office through the basement air vents and discovers that she's buying out PEP. The team realizes that once Wendy owns the company, there will be no safety oversight at all. She was happy that the bill wasn't voted on because she hadn't raised the money yet. Once the bill goes through, she'll make a bundle. Nate figures that they have to accelerate the voting and put pressure on Wendy.

The cheerleading team begins and the Wolves wait to perform their routine. Nate approaches Wendy and tells her that he's paid off Zahn with another lunch to get the committee to vote on the cheerleading bill the next day. Wendy, unimpressed, walks away and tells Snyder to start pulling together money from her other companies to perform the buyout. Hardison has hacked Snyder's computer and, monitoring his activities, keeps bringing up obscure Federal laws to prevent them from transferring the funds. Wendy tells Snyder to get the money however he can and leaves/.

Parker gets back just in time to meet with the Wolves and tell them to do it for Marcy. Wendy comes back and tells Nate that she has the money and she now owns PEP Athletics. As the Wolves finish their routine, Nate assures Wendy that he didn't underestimate her just as her phone rings. It's Snyder, who tells her that government agents have issued a warrant for insurance fraud. Wendy realizes that Snyder had to take the money from her insurance company subsidiary because Hardison blocked off all of her other companies.

LeGrange comes to get Wendy, holding the scholarship trophy, as she insists that she didn't authorize Snyder to make the transfer so she's in the clear. Nate agrees... if she hadn't tried to bribe LeGrange. The congressman discovers a bundle of money in the trophy, unaware that Parker stole it from Wendy's safe and planted it there. Wendy points out that they have no proof but Nate says that under RICO, all she has to do is have an underling that broke the law. Federal agents take Wendy away while Eliot suggests that LeGrange should put as much distance between him and PEP Athletics as possible.

The next day, LeGrange chairs the committee meeting and speaks in favor of the bill. The committee passes the bill and the Wolves applaud. Afterward, Heather thanks the Leverage team for their help as LeGrange gives Marcy his new scholarship for injured athletes. Sophie gets a set of airplane tickets and admits that she's taking a trip to the Gulf to see the new military base that she negotiated to have built... with her name on it. Parker is glad to be back with her teammates while Nate congratulates Eliot. Eliot figures that something is up because Nate let him take the lead and work out how to get to LeGrange, but Nate just smiles and walks away.

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