Season 5 Episode 7

The Real Fake Car Job

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Sep 02, 2012 on TNT

Episode Recap

A golfer, Gabe Erickson, is putting when the club's landscaper, Kyle Davis, spots him and comes over to demand his money back. Two government agents stop Kyle, telling him that he's mistaken. The agent in Charge, Marshal Ellie Rose, tells him that the man he's yelling at is named Jack Cole and orders Kyle away.

Later, Kyle sets up a meeting with Nate at the restaurant and explains that he invested the money from his landscaping business with Ericson, who ran a Ponzi scheme and ripped him and his family off. He was out of work for months until a friend set him up with a job at the golf course, and that's where he saw Erickson. Kyle and his family lost everything for their future, and Erickson was arrested a year ago for ripping off $130 million with his scheme. However, Nate confirms that he hasn't been tried and wonders why.

At the briefing, Hardison goes over the golf course security footage and Eliot confirms that the agents were Federal marshals. Hardison hacks the government files and confirms that Erickson is in the witness relocation program. He was laundering money for Don Paul Brancato, a noted mobster, and Nate explains that Erickson set up ties to the mob so that when the SDE discovered his Ponzi scheme, he could buy himself immunity. However, $50 of the $130 million went missing before Erick's arrest. The government is planning to move Erickson out of Portland in a week since he was recognized, giving the team a deadline. Sophie points out that if Erickson was dumb enough to go golfing in public, the mob will soon track him down.

The team goes to work and confirms that Erickson works as a clerk at a local bookstore where he rips off the customers by charging them for the free wifi. When Ellie drops him off, she reminds him not to make contact with anyone from his past life. Eliot is inside and takes photos of Erickson at work, annoying the customers. Meanwhile, Nate and Sophie review the confiscation records of Erickson's belongings, and Parker and Hardison go to Erickson's current home. While Hardison hacks his DVR, Parker hauls in Erickson's garbage and they take it back to the restaurant to examine. While a disgusted Hardison goes through it, Nate tells Sophie that WitSec have Erickson on a tight leash. She wonders if he could handle it and Nate tells her that he doesn't worry thinking about the future much to Sophie's disappointment. Meanwhile, Hardison finds model car boxes of antique cars. That, combined with all of the car restoration programs on Erickson's DVR and his cars that were sold at government auction, leads them to conclude that Erickson is an antique-car buff. Nate proposes that they create their own rare-car competition and then convince Erickson that they have a rare 1934 Packard Roadster Coupe. Hardison heads out to take care of the details while Nate and Sophie wonder what Erickson plans to do with the missing $50 million.

To set up the con, Nate drives an antique car and parks it outside of Erickson's bookstore. He takes an interest and sneaks out the back to avoid Ellie, and then comes over to admire the car. Nate explains that he runs a shipping company and keeps most of his cars offshore, and invites Erickson to the first annual Portland Vintage competition. Once Nate drives away, he checks with Hardison, who confirms that they've set up a tournament in an empty field by advertising on Craiglist. Next they have to steal a real Packard and are sending the local owner of one on a free trip to Bora Bora so they can break in.

Back at the restaurant, Nate goes over the plan. To get Erickson to lead them to his $50 million, they will use Mussolini's infamous Packard as bait. It disappeared after the war so they need to make one: the one that Hardison and Eliot are stealing. While Hardison and Eliot disarm the security systems, Nate explains that they'll sell the car to Erickson and he'll need to tap into his hidden money to buy it. Then they can trace the money, get the rest, and give it back to Kyle and Erickson's other victims. As Hardison finishes bypassing the security systems, he tells Eliot that he couldn't handle an ordinary life. Eliot suggests that he might want to talk to Parker and see if she feels the same way.

The car competition begins and Erickson insists on going despite Ellie's objections. Parker and Sophie stage a conversation near Erickson where Parker mentions her grandfather's c Packard in a nearby barn. Nate distracts Ellie by asking her to judge his car, while Erickson approaches Parker and asks about the Packard. She tells him that her grandfather brought it back after World War II and Erickson eagerly offers to check it out. Ellie knocks Nate away but by the time she gets over, Erickson is gone.

Eliot and Hardison are working to make the stolen Packard look like it's been in a barn for fifty years. They finish just in time and get out as Parker brings Erickson in. Nate advises Parker over the earbuds to push the car's Italian past but Sophie says that she should ease off. As they monitor the conversation, Sophie tells Nate that he's still motivated by the past which is why he doesn't think about the future. She tells him that regardless of whether he's with her or not, she hopes that he puts the past behind him. Meanwhile, Erickson downplays the car's collector value and offers to do some research and then come back and pay cash, making her a fair offer. Once he leaves, Nate has Hardison start forging a history while Sophie and Eliot keep Ellie distracted.

Ellis is waiting for Erickson to come home when Sophie and Eliot stop by, claiming to be the new neighbors. They give Ellie a fruitcake and Eliot comments on the house's security system. Ellie quickly gets rid of them but peers out and sees Sophie examining the door. The marshal throws away the fruitcake but keeps the serving tray... which has a bug in it. Erickson finally returns and Ellie reminds him that he has to stay with her at all times. As Parker and Hardison listen to them bicker, Hardison says that he'd go nuts like that if he wasn't working. Parker agrees, saying she could never retire, but Hardison quickly realizes that Eliot told her about their earlier conversation about retirement. Meanwhile, Ellie warns Erickson that she's never seen Sophie and Eliot before and the house they claim they live in is empty. She figures that they're mob hitmen but Erickson doesn't want to talk about it and leaves for work. He's unaware that Ellie has activated the GPS tracker on his phone to secretly keep tabs on him.

At the bookstore, Erickson tracks the car's history on his laptop and Hardison intercepts the signal and sends him false Internet pages. When Erickson tries to call the car builder's granddaughter in Italy, Nate intercepts the call and has Sophie fake being an answering machine. Next, Erickson calls his friend Charlie Bosco, a rare car collector, in Manhattan. Charlie nervously tells Erickson what he knows about Mussolini's Packard and asks Erickson where he found it. Erickson confirms it was at the Portland show and they both find it suspicious they've never heard of it before. Satisfied, Erickson calls and tells Parker that he'll buy her car. However, he leaves the bookstore with a bag that Hardison, watching across the street, estimates contains $150,000. Nate realizes that Erickson has been charging the customers on the free wifi to build a cash stockpile, and tells Hardison to go to the barn and bid against Erickson and exhaust his $150,000.

While Sophie and Eliot drive past Erickson's house and wave to Ellie as she tracks Erickson's GPS locator.

Hardison gets to the barn just in time and pretends to be an avant-garde artist. He shocks Erickson by explaining that he takes apart rare cars for parts for his sculptures, and starts bidding on the Packard. Erickson finally "wins" the bid at $750,000 and has no choice but to withdraw $600,000 from his $50 million stash. However, he leaves a password on an Internet voicemail. Hardison intercepts the call but warns Nate that without the bank location, they have no way to use the passwords. Meanwhile, Erickson calls Nate to have him ship his newly purchased car.

Sophie and Eliot keep Ellie distracted by going to a hardware store and buy shovels, axes, and plastic bags. As they load up their car, Sophie asks Eliot what he plans to do once he retires. He admits that he planned to open a restaurant but figures now he'll be saving Hardison's restaurant. As they drive out to a field and prepare a shallow grave, Sophie asks him who on the team he thinks could best cope with retirement and Eliot says that he'd figure himself. Meanwhile, Ellie receives word that Erickson has transferred $600,000 and figures that he's using it to hire Sophie and Eliot. She calls in the Portland police and then drives off to find Erickson.

At the docks, Nate is at the warehouse with the Packard and Parker and Hardison head his way. When Erickson doesn't show, Nate calls and gets his voicemail.

When they hear sirens, Sophie and Eliot that Ellie has gone away and called the police on them. They drive for the warehouse, while Ellie gets there and holds Nate at gunpoint. She handcuffs him to a chair and explains that Erickson is double-crossing her by hiring Sophie and Eliot to take her out. Erickson comes in and overhears her talking, and wonders what she means. Meanwhile, Eliot and Sophie drive to the warehouse with the police in hot pursuit, and Hardison and Parker tell Nate over the earbuds that they're on their way.

Erickson tries to convince Ellie that he didn't hire assassins while Nate insists that he was just hired to ship the car. A disgusted Ellie punches Erickson and reminds him that he's paying her $5 million to keep him safe until he testifies in two years and then get him out of the country. She figures the government will realize she sold it out and prepares to shoot Erickson to cover her tracks. When Nate points out that if Erickson is dead then she can't get her $5 million, and Ellie decides to shoot Nate and use his corpse to fake Erickson's death in a warehouse fire. Then she'll get Erickson out of the country immediately and collect her $5 million from her.

As Parker and Hardison drive to the warehouse, Nate tells them to bring in a bottle of Hardison's orange soda. He then gives Ellie and Erickson some of the advice that Sophie gave him earlier about moving beyond the past, while Sophie listens in on the earbud. They hear sirens in the distance and Nate advises Ellie to start thinking about the present. Meanwhile, Parker and Hardison arrive and spot Brancato and his mobsters outside. They've found Erickson by interrogating Charlie in Manhattan and have traveled to Portland to kill the witness against them.

While Eliot and Sophie head for the warehouse, Erickson and Ellie argue about whether to release Nate so the police won't think they're holding a hostage. Brancato and his men arrive and explain that they tracked Erickson via the activated GPS locator. Ellie sheepishly admits that one is her fault, and a desperate Erickson prepares to shoot everyone. He trips over his bag of money and shoots out the overhead lights, and everyone ducks for cover. Hardison and Parker pull Nate's chair into the shelves and free him. Nate then starts draining vegetable from some nearby storage tanks into Hardison's pop bottle, explaining that older cars could run on vegetable oil. He plans to fill the Packard and drive out before they get shot. Eliot and Sophie pull up outside and Eliot clears a path between the Packard and the outer doors.

Nate, Parker, and Hardison head for the Packard while Brancato's men chase Erickson and Ellie grabs the money and sneaks out. A desperate Erickson offers the mobster his entire $50 million from his Cayman Island account and Nate hears him as they drive out of the warehouse, brushing past Erickson. Eliot and Sophie open the shipping door and Nate calmly drives out of the warehouse. The police break in and arrest Erickson while Brancato and his men slip away.

Later, the vintage car show is still going on and Nate arranges a meeting there with Brancato. He explains that they've recovered Erickson's hidden $50 million thanks to his tipoff about the Cayman Islands, and they want to return the money to the financier's victims. Brancato has no problem with that but wants to make sure Erickson doesn't survive his time in prison. Nate suggests that Brancato let Erickson rot in prison for his crimes and the mobster admits that he doesn't want trouble with Nate. Brancato wonders what will happen to Ellie and Nate assures her that she'll get what's coming to her as well.

At the airport, Ellie tries to leave the country with the stolen $600,000. The FBI track her down and she realizes that someone left Erickson's cell phone on and the agents tracker her down using the GPS locator.

Nate assures Brancato that Erickson has lost his immunity and will pay for his crimes. Brancato finally agrees, explaining that his organization used to function as the law when the police wouldn't, and that he's lost sight of the past and should look to the future.

Later, Nate meets Kyle at the restaurant and gives him back his money. The landscape is glad to be able to build a future with the people that care about him. Once he leaves, Hardison tells Nate that they returned the Packard to its owner and wonders how Nate managed to predict everything that would happen when. Nate says that he only predicted three of the five things but refuses to tell Hardison how. He then goes over to talk with Sophie and she talks about what he said in the warehouse about putting the past behind. Nate tells her that she was wrong earlier and that it does matter whether she's with him or not when he gets over his past.