Season 3 Episode 9

The Three-Card Monte Job

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Aug 08, 2010 on TNT

Episode Recap

Russian thugs beat up Andrei on behalf of their boss, and then give him a red cellphone and tell him to wait for a phone call. They warn him that if he doesn't, they'll hurt his daughters.

The man, Andrei, meets with Nate and explains that he's a telephone linesman. If he's arrested, he'll go away. Andrei has no idea why they came after him. The team assures him that they won't let anything happen to him or his family. Alec puts a tap on the phone and confirms that the mobsters called Andrei once to test the line. He calls them back and tracks the location to a warehouse. Parker and Eliot check it out while Alec identifies the head hitter as Piotr, a Russian mobster who recently lost $20 million in a police raid. He figures they're looking to make a big score. Parker and Eliot go inside and spot a man counting money. Meanwhile Nate and Sophie follow the other mobsters.

Parker and Eliot search the warehouse without success. The man hears them and goes to investigate, and attacks Eliot. Parker tosses him a crowbar and hits him in his head.

Nate and Sophie follow the mobsters and realize that they're at the bar. They figure that the mobsters traced the phone tap and they're going to kill Hardison. Hardison tells them to stall.

Eliot takes down his opponent.

Nate and Sophie go around the back and discover that the mobsters have set up in the back room and are meeting their boss at the bar.

Eliot and Parker discover that their man, Simikov, has a red cellphone, and that he's another blackmail victim.

Nate goes to confront the mobsters' boss: his father, Jimmy Ford. Jimmy sends his men away to talk to his son. He says he was in prison, and says that Nate wasn't there to pick him up when he got out of prison. Nate notes he was visiting his mother's grave, and wonders why a washed-up bookie is working with the Russian Mafia. Jimmy says that he took the fall for the three families, but they didn't take care of him. Now he wants to get his piece. When Nate wonders why he's working with leg-breakers, Jimmy points out that he's a thief but Nate warns him that it's his town now. His father warns that Nate can't be him because he's not ruthless enough and doesn't have what it takes. He remembers the first time that he brought Nate into his office to show him the three-card monte and always fooled him. Jimmy says that Nate couldn't catch him then and won't catch him now, and tells him he'll be setting up in the back workshop for a week.

The team gathers for the debriefing, and the others are clearly reluctant gong after Nate's father. Nate tells them it's not an issue and Alec tries to sugarcoat it. Nate takes up and explains that his father worked as a bookie and then became a loan shark, and then a fixer, matching up bosses and henchmen. The man from the warehouse, Simikov, is into shipping of uniforms. There's a third phone, but they haven't tracked him down and figure he won't talk. Nate figures that Jimmy has something planned but he won't let them see it. Sophie says that Nate should sit it out but he refuses. She insists that Jimmy's not a bad guy, but Nate insists that his father is hurting people and they take down people like that.

Hardison picks up a call to Andrei. They make contact and determine that Andrei has put in a black box at a police station that will let them tap into hardwired phone lines. Using that, Jimmy can shut off the alarms. They can't stop Jimmy without endangering Andrei's family, so Nate figures they help him. Eliot and Hardison pose as cops and take in Sophie as a drunk. Once inside, they claim she's a mobster family member. Meanwhile, Parker taps into the phone lines so that Nate can confirm Sophie's story. They take her down to the drunk tank and then go to the electrical room. Alec installs his own black box to track the signals, and they head outside. However, they discover that Nate has taken the van and left. Eliot realizes what he's up to.

Nate is back at the bar and meets with Jimmy and Piotr. He explains that he cut Andrei loose because he might panic, and offers to demonstrate a more elegant technique. He takes out a remote control and insists that he'll handle it. If Jimmy takes it, Nate will destroy the black box. It's his town, and he wants in. Piotr thinks it's a set-up, but Nate points out that he set up a warden while he was in prison and brought the man down. Jimmy calls Pieter off and tells Nate that he's in. As Jimmy goes over the plan, Piotr warns that he doesn't like Nate.

Nate takes Jimmy's plan to the team. Jimmy plans to make it seem like three banks are being robbed at the same time. When the cops move out, they'll be away from Jimmy's target. However, he didn't tell Nate what the real target is. Nate remembers his dad taking him at three-card monte, and figures they have to track down the man with the third red cellphone. Sophie and Parker go downstairs to look at the equipment, Alec and Eliot track down the third man, and Nate meets with Jimmy to help him plan the real robbery.

Jimmy plays it close to the vest and points out the alarm company man who has the schematics they need. Nate suggests they hit a target using the pill scam rather than have the Russians beat him up. Working together, they take what they need without the man ever knowing.

Hardison confirms that Piotr is ex-Soviet Army and where he was born. Sophie goes in with the information, posing as a waitress and a Russian orphan. While she distracts Piotr , Parker gets in and discovers that Piotr has a barcode scanner among his equipment.

Hardison and Eliot track the cellphone to a coffee cart. The desk sergeant they met at the station is there, and says that they'll be transferring evidence the next day. They have to keep posing as policemen, and Hardison determines that the coffee vendor has the third phone.

Nate and Jimmy arrive and Jimmy boasts of how Nate took care of the situation. Pieter draws a gun on Nate and tells him to get out, and Nate knocks him out. The two go at it. Afterward, Nate and Jimmy share a drink, and Jimmy admits he had his doubts. Nate says he's there because of him, and Jimmy admits that this is going to be his last job. Once he has the money, he's going to head back to Ireland on a private boat to retire. Nate wonders if he would want his wife there, and Jimmy explains that she never understood him, but she loved him.

The next morning, Nate comes in late and admits to Sophie that he still doesn't know what bank Jimmy is targeting. Sophie is concerned that he might have problems bringing down his father, but Nate assures her that he's fine. He goes downstairs to meet with his father, but discovers that he's left with the Russians. Worse, Nate realizes that his father stole the remote during the fight with Piotr.

Sophie finds a map in the alley and Parker knows how many banks in the area match up with the alarm system. They've also discovered that Piotr had a bar-code scanner. They wonder if the coffee vendor might have drugged the policemen's coffee. Nate remembers what his father showed him about three-card monte and remembers that he never had a queen on the table. He realizes that Jimmy and the Russians are going after their stolen $20 million when it's transferred out of the precinct house.

Jimmy sets off the alarms and the police mobilize. Meanwhile, the two cops transferring the evidence were drugged by the coffee vendor. Piotr and his men are wearing uniforms supplied by Simikov, wave the drugged officers down, and get them out of the van. Meanwhile, Jimmy goes to the station posing as a detective. Piotr and his men arrive in the van and go inside with him to get their guns and money.

The Leverage team arrives at the station and Eliot wonders why they don't tell the Russians anything. Nate figures that if they play it quietly, no one will get hurt and he'll get to look his father in the eye when he takes him down.

Jimmy and the Russians get inside and they use the barcode scanner to find the evidence boxes with their money. Meanwhile, Nate and Sophie come in and Nate poses as a lawyer threatening to sue for Sophie's false arrest. The desk sergeant tells them to take a seat nearby and wait.

Upstairs, Jimmy goes to the organized crime division office and finds the safe holding the ledger with evidence on the three families. He cracks the safe and gets the ledger, but finds Nate waiting for him. Nate aims a gun at his head and says that it ends right there. When Jimmy wonders how he figured it out, Nate explains that he knew it was never about the money with Jimmy, it was about the respect. If the ledger disappears, the police have no case and the families know they owe Jimmy. He suggests that they join up, but Nate informs him that it's too late and his people are going to take down the Russians. Jimmy warns that he's not going back to prison and Nate prepares to shoot him. Jimmy doesn't believe he can pull the trigger, and Nate tells him to get out. Jimmy quickly leaves and Nate sits down.

Eliot lures the Russian guarding the van out and takes him down. Meanwhile, Piotr discovers that the barcode scanner is revealing that all of the cases hold kitchen goods. While they search desperately for their money, Alec keeps reprogramming the scanner via his laptop.

Parker breaks into the OCD office and tosses down a rope so that Nate can escape.

Alec tampers with the Russians' electronic timer, so they think they have more time. The gate closes when the alarm activates, and the police arrive to arrest Piotr and his men.

Later, Jimmy calls the families and tells them that he has the ledger. None of them take his calls and they send men to try and kill him. Nate calls to arrange a meeting at the docks. He tells his father that he told the families that Jimmy stole the ledger, and that Jimmy wanted $500,000 to give it back. There's a boat going back to Ireland at the docks, and Nate tells him to take it. Jimmy is impressed that Nate is ruthless enough to betray his father, and admits he might be better than him. He admits that he's proud of Nate and then boards the boat. The rest of the team are there, and Sophie admits what he did was kind. Parker wonders if Nate is going to be nice now, but Hardison warns her not to count on it.