Season 5 Episode 1

The (Very) Big Bird Job

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Jul 15, 2012 on TNT

Episode Recap

A young girl, Jenny Sanders, is making a video for her deceased father. She's outside the courthouse where CEO Scott Roemer, owner of Global Transit, is giving a press conference announcing that the jury cleared him of all charges in the civil suit against him for the murder of Ken Sanders, Jenny's father. Jenny's mother Anne comes out, calls Roemer a murderer, and leaves with Jenny... and they find Hardison and Parker waiting for them, ready to help.

Nate is sailing his ship near Portland and comes ashore. Sophie is waiting for him and says that while they were taking a break, she was keeping in practice. Nate wisely doesn't ask how and tells her that he was reassessing his priorities... and then kisses her. Hardison calls and interrupts them, sending directions to a restaurant and microbrewery. When Sophie and Nate arrive, they find Eliot waiting for him. As he takes them to the back, he merely comments that he spent some time with a friend while the team briefly separated.

The back room of the restaurant has been converted into a new headquarters and Hardison tells them that Global Transit runs the largest cargo freight airline in the world. Three years ago Roemer sent all of his maintenance work to Mexico. Before he can continue, Sophie asks what is going on with the new building and Hardison explains that it's their new cover in Portland. Parker drops down from the ceiling while Hardison explains that the FBI and CIA are watching their old headquarters in Boston, forcing them to move. Sophie isn't happy and neither is Eliot... who warns that beers are hard to match to meals. Nate is happy that they can use the restaurant to generate new IDs and cover their income from the IRS. Sophie is the only one who objects to Portland and wonders if there's anything else, and Parker tells the others that she and Hardison are dating and just came back from an around-the-world trip.

Hardison continues with the briefing and explains that one of Roemer's cargo planes crashed, killing the pilot and co-pilot. The pilot's widow, Anne, is the one who needs their help. Nate and Sophie meet with her in the restaurant and she explains that Ken made maintenance runs for Global. He knew something was going on and informed her that Roemer was paying off the maintenance inspectors. Now with her husband dead, she has no way to pay for Jenny's education. At the bar, Eliot talks to Jenny, who explains that she still emails videos to her dad. Eliot understands and assures her that Ken still gets them.

Nate tells Anne that they're going to help her and she doesn't need to pay because they have "alternate revenue streams." As Anne and Jenny leave, Eliot notices a man, Samuel Busey, watching the family from the across the street. The hitter goes after them and arrives just in time to save them from what appears to be two muggers. The supposed muggers get into Busey's car and they drive off.

Back at the briefing, Hardison tries to work out why Roemer is still after the Sanders since he won the civil suit. Nate follows Roemer to an airplane museum while Sophie applies at Global as a Russian janitor. Hardison checks Busey's background and confirms that he works for Global as Head of Security and is ex-CIA. As she waits in reception, Sophie hears Roemer's accountant looking for him and realizes that he's missing an important meeting. Nate decides to find out what and approaches Roemer, who is wearing a 1940s-suit. Ignoring Hardison, he creates a fake ID on the spur of the moment and introduces himself.

Once Parker is in the building, Hardison notifies Sophie, who gets the key to the woman's restroom. She then removes her coat and reveals she's wearing an exec's clothing, steals an ID and some files, and goes into the building. Meanwhile, Nate chats with Roemer and the CEO explains that he's there for the museum's annual startup of millionaire Howard Hughes' famous Spruce Goose, the world's largest wooden airplane manufactured in 1947.

Sophie finds the deliveryman with the box containing Parker, makes sure the cost is clear, and signals her teammate to get out. Parker goes to the server room and accesses the files, careful to avoid the pressure-sensitive floor. Meanwhile, Roemer's account sees Sophie, mistakes her for a representative of an Australian company there for the board meeting, and calls the grifter away. She goes through the files that she stole earlier as she waits for the meeting to begin, while Parker sends the information to Hardison.

After the museum starts up the Spruce Goose, Roemer takes Nate inside and talks about how he admires Hughes and emulates his dress and appreciates how the 1940s millionaire took his own risks and flew the plane himself. Nate mentions the crash and Roemer complains that even though he had to pay a government fine, he was still sued but beat the civil action. The CEO claims that he's trying to save the airline industry after 9/11 and casually dismisses Ken's death as the cost of business.

While Parker confirms that Busey is running surveillance on the Sanders family, Sophie tells the team that Global is planning a merger with two passenger airlines and sending the maintenance of those planes to Mexico as well, putting hundreds of passengers at risk. Hardison tries to stop Nate from doing something rash, but Nate ignores him and tells Roemer that he set up the meeting with him. Thinking quickly, Nate claims that he's a representative for a nation that doesn't want itself identified but wants to obtain the Spruce Goose. Since non-Americans can't buy a historic item like the plane, Nate's backers want Roemer to buy it. They'll transfer the money into Roemer's account and he'll make the purchase and loan it to them. Roemer agrees but on two conditions: he wants to meet the backers and he wants to be the only one who flies it.

After Nate agrees to the CEO's terms, he returns to headquarters and they try to put together a con. Sophie finds it romantic that Nate is using one of her old cons on Roemer. Hardison figures that they can access Roemer's bank account when he gives them the info and take the money for Jenny and Anne. However, Nate wants to take it further when he learns that Roemer hasn't assigned his proxy vote. If he isn't at the merger meeting then the deal will fall through. To keep Roemer distracted, Nate figures that they must come up with a mystery that the CEO, an engineer, will be distracted enough to solve. He gets an idea and tells Hardison to come up with a fake ID for a sheik.

Elliot goes to Anne and Jenny's apartment and tries to figure out what Busey wants from them. As he goes through Jenny's belongings, including her school backpack and teddy bear, Anne mentions that Ken's laptop was lost in the crash. Eliot calls Hardison, who checks the Global server files and finds a video fragment of a payoff to a maintenance engineer in Mexico. Ken took the footage using a hidden camera and Hardison figures that if they can find the camera with the rest of the footage then they can prove negligence. Eliot figures that Busey recovered the laptop from the crash, saw the fragment, and has come to the same conclusion.

As Parker and Sophie head back, Sophie complains about Portland and Parker says that she's happy as long as they're all together... including her money. As they walk down the street, Sophie sees an abandoned theater and gets an idea. She calls Nate, who is at a warehouse setting up the meeting with Roemer. When the CEO arrives, Nate introduces Hardison as an Arab sheik. They ask for Roemer's bank information, but his men come in with guns and the CEO explains that he did a background check and Nate failed. As he demands answers, Hardison draws a gun on Nate while Sophie comes in posing as Hardison's accomplice and demands the device. Claiming to be terrorists, Hardison hustles Nate and Roemer out and they hear gunshots as Sophie "shoots" Roemer's men. Actually she fired shots into the ceiling while Parker tasered them unconscious.

As Roemer drives away, insisting to Hardison that he has no idea what is going on, he sees a bomb under the dash. They pull over and get out of the car as it explodes, and Roemer grabs Hardison's gun and shoots him. Nate gets the CEO away, pointing out that the police will arrest him for murder if they catch him.

At Global, Busey tries to find Roemer since the board meeting is occurring shortly. He gets Roemer's call but Nate warns the CEO that anyone with CIA connections could be involved. Roemer hangs up and Busey tells his people to trace his boss' cell phone. As he leaves, he gets a report on the decrypted video fragment. Meanwhile, Nate warns Roemer that he can't transfer the money in his account because it's tied to the terrorists. Roemer goes to take it out in cash and leaves with Nate, while Hardison and Eliot watch the exchange. Hardison finishes decrypting the video fragment and they realize that it was made on a nanny cam. Eliot realizes where it's hidden and goes to find Jenny.

Once Roemer takes out his million dollars, he draws a gun on Nate and demands answers. Nate says that all he knows is that the terrorists wanted to take Spruce Goose apart and he doesn't know what "device" they want. Roemer tells Nate to come with him to the museum so they can study the plans for the plane.

Parker catches up to Jenny just as Busy finds her and takes her teddy bear. When Busey drives away, Parker latches onto the bottom of his SVU and rides along. The security chief gets a report on Roemer's location and drives to the museum.

That night, Nate and Roemer find the plans in the museum. Hardison has substituted their plans, redacting much of the information on radar and the plane's wooden construction. Roemer concludes that since drones are made of the same wood compound that Spruce Goose was, and that wood doesn't carry an electromagnetic pulse, then Hughes' plane was a prototype stealth bomber made in 1947. He comes to the conclusion the team wants him to, that the terrorists plans to reverse-engineer it and then sell stealth technology on the open market. Nate suggests that they tell the police but Roemer figures he can use it himself and sell the stealth technology.

Busey and his men pull up outside and Nate warns Sophie and Hardison. Eliot confronts the security team while Sophie and Hardison open fire on Nate and Roemer. Nate fakes being hit and Roemer gets him onto Spruce Goose to hide. He panics and decides to start the plane up and fly it away.

When Eliot disposes of Busey's men, the security chief goes for gun. However, Parker comes up and distracts him long enough for Eliot to take him out. Meanwhile, Roemer taxis the plane out of the hanger and into the sky... unaware that Hardison has rigged up a laser projector and mocked up the engines to create a giant flight simulator. He then starts a crash sequence and Nate punches Roemer out.

When Roemer wakes up the next morning, he finds himself in a field atop what appears to be the Spruce Goose's debris. He checks his phone and finds a report on the stolen relic, and then calls Busey. Busey tells the CEO that he missed the board meeting and that the FBI has tapped the phone lines. The panicked Roemer ignores him and rants about how he was responsible for a plane crashed and killed a man. The CEO then hangs up, gathers the million dollars, and heads for the Canadian board, while a nervous Busey looks at the FBI agents listening in on the phone.

Later, Anne and Jenny come to the restaurant, While Eliot bonds with Jenny, Nate gives Anne a check. When she wonders where it came from, Nate explains that it's settlement money since Global refused to go to trial. Ken's video proved negligence so the merger deal fell through. When Anne wonders what happens to Roemer, Nate points out that no one will believe his story.

Once the FBI bring Roemer in, they interrogate him. Since Spruce Goose is still at the museum, they have no idea what he's talking about when he claims that he stole the plane to keep it from being sold to terrorists.

Anne realizes that Nate and Sophie are a couple and asks if they're as happy as she was with Ken. As she leaves with her daughter, Hardison and Parker serve their first bottle of the microbrewery's beer and Eliot provides chili.

Later, Nate and Hardison meet privately in the briefing room and Hardison complains that he doesn't like lying to the others, particularly Parker. Nate says that it's for the best and Hardison tells him that the money is locked in. Nate says that all good things come to an end, thanks Hardison, and they share a toast.