Leverage

Season 3 Episode 14

The Ho, Ho, Ho Job

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Dec 12, 2010 on TNT

Episode Recap

At the office, Parker is trying to find a weather station that predicts snow, and insists that it isn't Christmas without snow. Nate goes down to the bar to drink, and Parker comes over to tell him they have a client they can't turn down: Santa Claus.



The mall Santa, Frank, explains that his boss, Eben Dooley Jr., framed him for drinking on the job and had him publicly dismissed. He insists he hasn't drank in years and wants his reputation restored. Dooley has fired all of the old Santas and has hired criminals to replace them. Frank runs the Toys for Tykes drive every year, and figures that Dooley framed him since he couldn't fire without cause. Nate tells him that they'll talk it over, and Frank gives him a candy cane as he leaves. Parker is eager to take the case, and insists that they can't turn Santa away.



Alec goes to the mall as a substitute photographer and takes photos of the new Santa at the North Pole station. Meanwhile, Nate and Sophie go shopping and Sophie notices a bracelet. He suggests that he could get it engraved and asks for her real name, but she refuses to give it. Nate approaches Dooley in the mall as a developer, while Eliot goes to Dooley's office as a deliveryman and distracts the secretary so Parker can break in. She confirms that Dooley drinks heavily, and framed Frank using his own bottle of Scotch. Meanwhile, Nate tries to convince Dooley he can improve business, but Dooley isn't interested.



Back at the office, Parker is playing Christmas music and making gingerbread houses for the briefing. Alec explains that Dooley inherited the mall and has run it into the ground ever since. It's on the edge of bankruptcy and Dooley has major gambling debts. He's on a flight to San Lorenzo on Christmas Eve. Alec has used facial recognition software to confirm that the new Santas are all ex-cons. Nate figures it's an insurance scam. The new crooks will rob the mall, while Dooley is in San Lorenzo with an alibi. He tells Sophie to keep Dooley off the plane and everyone else to infiltrate the mall.



Eliot ends up working the North Pole station as a new Santa. One of the kids complains that the North Pole has been moved, and Eliot tells him to get lost. Parker as Santa's assistant tells him to get into the Christmas spirit. Nate and Alec are in the van, Lucille Two, and use an EMP gun to take out the car of the chauffeur taking Dooley to the airport. Sophie steps in as chauffeur. As they go, Sophie talks about the Christmas preparations and uses vocal prompting to get him to call his accomplice. Alec can't rack the signal, and Eliot checks the break room and confirms that Dooley isn't talking to his new Santas. They wonder if Dooley is working with someone else.



Dooley complains to his accomplice about how he's on the line, and tells Sophie to hurry. She releases his safe belt, accelerates the car, and runs it into a concrete barrier. Dooley is knocked out in the crash.



Eliot talks to the new Santas, who suspect him at first until he claims that Dooley hired him for the job. They put him at a charity donation bucket, and Eliot complains that he wants to take out the bad guy snow. Eliot tells him that he'll have plenty of time later. As they talk, they're unaware that someone is watching Eliot on the monitors.



When Dooley wakes up at the hospital, Sophie is there and suggests that the universe has a plan for him. He insists that he's beyond saving, but Sophie disagrees. Dooley hits the control for more morphine.



Nate and Alec come to see Eliot, and they realize that donors can use credit cards. When Alec takes a photo, he detects a RFID signal coming from a nearby wreath. Parker confirms that they're at every entrance, and Nate realizes that Dooley and his people are stealing identity information from people using their credit and debit cards. Fraudulent charges won't show up until well after Christmas Eve, giving Dooley a gap to steal millions of dollars. It would take a skilled hacker to pull it off, and Nate calls Sophie to have her get Dooley to call it off.



Sophie calls Frank and asks him to come to the hospital. He arrives in full Santa regalia, and a drugged-up Dooley mistakes him for the real thing. Frank tells him that they know about the credit card fraud, and Sophie tells Dooley to call his hacker. However, the hacker calls and asks for Sophie by name. The hacker introduces himself: it's Colin "Chaos" Mason, who tried to kill her. He knows the rest of the team is listening in, and boasts that it was easy enough to get out of Federal prison where they put him. The new Santas have all disappeared, and Eliot confirms that they're gone. Chaos assures them that there's nothing they can do to stop him, and he then steals Alec's EMP gun from the van, shorts out Lucille Two, and drives away.



The team takes out the RFID satellites, but Alec confirms that Chaos is using a trunk line to pick up the credit card transmissions. Chaos pulls the trigger and they have to turn off the trunk line at the Yakamoto Building. It's a major government facility, and the team gets together to break in and shut down the trunk line.



Nate and Sophie poses as a bickering couple to distract the front desk guard. Parker drops down the elevator shaft with Alec. Eliot, posing as Santa, gets the front desk guard's security card from Nate, and then takes out the guard in the monitor room. He then shuts off the alarms to the server room so that Alec and Parker can get in and shut down the trunk line.



The team goes back to base to celebrate, but Nate realizes that law enforcement agencies are closing in on Yakamoto. They realize that they also shut off the line to the nearby Federal Bank Depository.



At the mall, Chaos and his Santas confirm that the depository is now wide open.



The team argues about who is blame, and Nate finally admits that he was the one who failed to do his job because he didn't anticipate Chaos. He apologizes for not taking the entire situation seriously. Chaos went to Dooley and got him to sign onto the credit-card scam, got Frank fired, and convinced him to go to Nate to get help. Nate says that they'll have to come up with a plan en route.



Chaos and his Santas enter the abandoned pedestrian tunnels beneath the North Pole station at the mall, and go to the wall adjoining the depository. Once Chaos confirms the motion sensors are off-line, he has his men cut through the wall.



The Leverage team arrives outside the depository and Nate realizes that Chaos is using the pedestrian tunnels from the 60s. Eliot remembers the annoying kid who mentioned that they moved the North Pole, and figures the entrance is underneath it. They get there and discover that Frank and Dooley are running the Toys for Tykes program after all. Dooley has the Christmas spirit at last. Nate sends Eliot after the bad Santas while the rest of them do some shopping.



Eliot confronts the Santas, who attack him while Chaos goes to the van. In the fight, a steam pipe gets broken, and the Santas use the steam as cover to escape. Nate says he'll take care of things.



The Santas emerge from the North Pole entrance and find the kids waiting for them. As the FBI arrives, the bad Santas discover that there are toys in their bags, rather than stolen money. They don't know that Parker, Sophie, and Alec got presents from the stores, and then went down into the pedestrian tunnels and switched bags when Eliot "accidentally" broke the steam pipe. Parker poses as an undercover agent and tells the FBI where they can find the money, and has them wait until the kids leave. The bad Santas hand out their presents, and are touched when the kids thank them. The annoying kid spots Eliot, who gives him a hard-to-get toy and tells him not to tell anyone what he did.



Chaos emerges into a basement tunnel, only to find Alec and the FBI waiting for him. Alec planted a bug on him back in the tunnels so they'd know where he was coming out.



Later, the team celebrates back at the bar, and Nate and Sophie say that they got teams for everyone. They give Eliot a samurai sword, Alec a Prototype 7, and Parker a bundle of nonsequential bills. As everyone enjoys their new gifts, Nate gives Sophie a present: the bracelet, with "Your Name Here" still on. In return, Sophie writes down her real name and gives it to Nate. It begins to snow outside and Parker goes outside to celebrate her white Christmas.