Leverage

Season 1 Episode 1

The Nigerian Job

8
Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Dec 07, 2008 on TNT

Episode Recap

Nate Ford, an ex-insurance investigator, is drinking in a bar while waiting for his flight when Victor Dubenich, CEO of Being Industries, approaches him. Dubenich claims that he's a fan of Nate's work as an insurance investigator and starts to bring up what happened to Nate's son. Nate threatens to punch him and Dubenich drops the matter. He asks Nate to help him steal back his airplane designs from a rival company that stole them from him. Nate suggests Dubenich go after his rival, Pierson, legally, but Dubenich explains that he has a shareholders meeting at the end of the month and needs the plans back by then. The CEO tells Nate that he's hired three thieves, people that Nate has pursed in the past, but he needs one honest man to watch over them and run the heist. He offers Nate $600,000, double what the others are getting, and also tells him that IYS is insuring the plans, which means Nate can get revenge on them as well. Some time later, Nate and three people approach the Pierson building. Nate sets up in the building across the street and sends the three thieves in: Alec Hardison, a computer hack; Eliot Spencer, a "recovery specialist"; and Parker, a thief. Parker drops down from the roof and enters through an office window, bypassing the motion sensors. She then shuts down the security system so Alec and Eliot can come down in the elevator without setting off the alarms. They get to the computer room and Alec hacks the electronic lock. Parker realizes that four of the guards are unaccounted for and Nate realizes that they are patrolling early so they can catch the playoffs. He jams the guards' radios and then tells Eliot to use Alec as bait. Eliot takes them out in a matter of seconds. Alec hacks the lock and downloads all of the design files, and then plants viruses in the system. As they leave, Parker realizes that the guards have reset the alarms and their escape route is compromised. When they argue and threaten to split up, Nate pulls them back together and tells them to switch to Plan B. They go into the elevator and change into suits, and Parker dresses up as an injured women. Alec and Eliot then take her out past the unsuspecting guards. Nate drives them away, and they then stop and upload the files to Dubenich. They all insist on going their own way, but Alec admits it was cool being a good guy. Parker and Eliot disagree, and Nate insists that he's not a thief like the rest of them. Parker points out that he is now, and asks if he had fun, but Nate declines to answer. The next morning, Dubenich calls Nate and informs him that he never received the uploaded designs. He freezes the payments and asks Nate to meet him at an old Bering manufacturing plant. When Nate arrives there, he finds Alec and Eliot arguing over why they didn't get paid and who really took the designs. Parker arrives to demand answers, and Nate realizes that the only reason they'd come together again is if someone cut off their payments. Realizing it's a trap, they run out but are caught in the blast and knocked unconscious as the bomb goes off. Nate wakes up in the hospital, handcuffed to the bed. The police have captured him and the others. Eliot is locked up with Nate, while Parker and Alec are locked up in the next room. They've been fingerprinted and realize they only have about 10 minutes until the state police run their prints and identify them. Nate organizes the team and has Parker feign illness. She steals the doctor's cell phone and once he's gone, slips it through the vent to Nate in the next room. He poses as a FBI agent while Alec uses another stolen phone to take a picture of himself and send a fax to the local police backing up Nate's claim that he's an FBI undercover agent. They release him so he can take his "prisoners" into custody, and they escape just as the state police call. Alec takes the others to his apartment and checks the files. They realize that Pierson owned the plans and Dubenich hired them to steal the plans from his rival, and then kill them off. Nate offers them payoff and money if they work with him to run a con on Dubenich. When they agree, he tells them that they need Sophie, someone that Dubenich doesn't know. The group goes to Sophie's performance of MacBeth and watches in horror at her horrible performance. Nate assures them that she is a better actress elsewhere and they meet her after the show. Once she realizes that Nate is involved and that he's now working as a bad guy, she agrees to help them. The group returns to Alec's apartment and the hacker runs down everything on Dubenich. Bering is a major government contractor but Dubenich is expanding their commercial division. They go over the copy of the stolen files that Alec kept and Nate recognizes it as a high-demand economy short-flight airplane. He figures that they can use that, and Dubenich's rivalry with Pierson, and take him down using the Nigerian con. Sophie visits Dubenich claiming to be a representative for an African trade consortium that wants to expand their business. She gets Dubenich out of the office to talk, and Alec shuts down the secretary's computer. She calls IT, but Parker intercepts the call. They send Eliot in as a nerdish IT guy and he flirts with the secretary while Parker breaks into Dubenich's office, plants a flashing transmitter under the desk, and downloads all of his files and passwords. Thanks to Nate briefing her over a hidden earbud radio, Sophie is able to pass Dubenich's test. He offers her his new plane and she says that her employers want to buy the plans and manufacture the plane in their own factories, and then distribute it worldwide. When Dubenich refuses to deal, Sophie says she'll take it to Pierson and Dubenich caves. She asks for him to come to her office to seal the deal and leaves. As the group goes over their plans, Nate and Eliot play pool. Eliot offers his condolences about the death of Nate's son and says that everybody knows about it. Nate warns that Eliot doesn't know anything about him, and insists that they'll never be friends. As they talk, Nate remembers how IYS denied payment on his son's medical coverage because they claimed the treatment was experimental, and how he watched his son died. As Eliot walks off, Sophie comes over and flirts briefly with Nate. The next day, Dubenich arrives at the building where the group has their "office." Sophie is running behind, and Nate warns that if she doesn't get there to meet Dubenich in time, he'll check the building directory and realized they don't have an office. With time running out, Nate breaks the nearby car windows and sets off the alarms to create a distraction. Parker grabs a line and drops down the stairwell holding Sophie. She gets to the lobby just in time to intercept Dubenich before he can take the directory. As she takes him up to the office, she explains that Dubenich will receive "compensation" for bringing the planes to them. Eliot attaches an African trade commission sign to the office door and gets out of sight as Sophie and Dubenich arrive. A few minutes later, the Nigerians come in and Sophie closes the deal. She takes a piece of paper from the head Nigerian, Babatunde, and shows it to Dubenich. It has their $1 million "compensation" fee written on it, and Dubenich agrees to help them. When Dubenich returns to his office, he checks with his assistant, Jenkins, and shows him the flashing transmitter that Parker planted earlier. The CEO has photos showing Sophie together with Nate, and realizes that they're playing him. He tells Jenkins to call the FBI and that they'll turn in Nate and the others at the shareholders meeting for running what he believes is a fake Nigerian scam. The next day, Sophie and the Nigerians arrive at the shareholders meeting after Dubenich finishes his presentation. The CEO invites them into the conference room and then has Jenkins bring in the FBI. However, Dubenich is surprised to learn that the FBI is there to arrest him for soliciting a bribe from the Nigerians, who are authentic. While Sophie quietly slips out, the head FBI agent, Higgins, explains that the Nigerians have accused Dubenich of giving them a $200,000 bribe. They believe that Sophie set up the whole thing as Dubenich's employee, and brought them to a Bering suboffice to do the final payoff. What Dubenich doesn't know is that after he entered the fake office, Eliot put up a fake Bering sign that the Nigerians saw when they came in later. When Dubenich insists that he never received any money, they explain that they gave him a check for $200,000: Sophie wrote their "offer" on the back and gave it to Dubenich, who unwittingly accepted it. Now Jenkins insists on taking Dubenich's computer files, noting that since he has government contracts he has to give them up. Dubenich tries to slip away without success, while Jenkins starts shredding files and tossing them out the window to rain down on the shareholders. They're all unaware that Nate, Parker, Eliot, and Alec have posed as FBI agents and stolen the real files. Later, Nate goes to meet Pierson and gives him back his design files. Pierson agrees to drop the investigation into the original theft. As Nate leaves, he informs Pierson that he doesn't need to be paid because he has an alternate revenue stream. Dubenich is in his office watching Bering's stock crash on the news while the FBI goes over his office with a fine-tooth comb. Nate calls to tell him that he planted the transmitter, knowing that Dubenich would find it and figure he was being conned. Dubenich figures he can dodge the charges as long as the FBI doesn't find the bribe money. They find the bribe money, planted earlier by the team. Nate tells Dubenich that he and the others bought up and then sold their Bering stock, and then warns him that if he tells the FBI about them, they'll do something much worse the next time. Later, the team meets in a park and Alec gives them the checks for their stock investments. It works out to $32 million each. They figure that they can retire and Nate admits that it's been a pleasure to work with them. As he walks away, the others go after him and suggest that they might keep working together as a team of good guys. Eliot warns that Nate will fall apart if he has no bad guys to chase, and Sophie suggest that he pick the jobs and find them bad guys to go after. Nate gets to go after the bad guys... and the team gets to take the money. Later, the team meets with the Waldmans, who lost their daughter in an "accident" staged by the company she worked for. Nate tells them that the corporations may have the power and money, but he and his team provide... leverage.
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