Leverage

Season 5 Episode 12

The White Rabbit Job

9
Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Dec 04, 2012 on TNT

Episode Recap

In Oxford, OR, CEO Charles Dodgson is preparing to lay off workers at his family's company, Dodgson Energetics. The plant manager, Alex Liddell, advises against it but Dodgson ignores his protests and tells his assistant Mr. Carroll to assist as necessary. Alex reluctantly calls the employees together and then lays off half of them. One woman, Edith, slaps him in the face as she leaves. Everyone else goes back to work, walking past the closed R&D section.

Later, Alex goes to see Nate and Eliot and asks for their help. Eliot is all for eliminating Dodgson, but Alex insists that Dodgson isn't a bad person. He doesn't want revenge or reimbursement: he wants the team to fix Dodgson and make him the way he was when he first inherited the company and was a caring employer. If the company is sold than the economy of Oxford will collapse.

The team gets together and Nate tells them that they're going to do what Alex wants. To pull it, off they're going to run the legendary White Rabbit Con. Both Hardison and Eliot object, warning that it's impossible and that it changes people. When Parker wonders what they're talking about, Hardison tells her that the point of the con is to get into a person's dreams. He thinks that it's impossible but Nate tells them that Sophie has pulled it off. She admits that they could do it and will need some sedatives that Eliot obtained. When Hardison and Eliot warn that they'll be changing Dodgson's personality, Nate insists that they're saving him from himself and helping Oxford in the process.

To assess their target, the team watches a news piece on Dodgson from when he took over the company. Four years ago, DE was a pleasant place to work. However, three years ago the company was working on a high-tech broadcast alpha battery. The project was shut down abruptly and Dodgson has been slowly dismantling the company ever since. Nate plans to switch Eliot in as Dodson's driver, while Hardison confirms that Dodgson has been going in for secret behavioral therapy treatments at the Nemnich Medical Group. He suffers from panic attacks and is seeking a cure. Nate puts Sophie on point and tells her that it will be up to her to give the go-ahead on the con.

When Dodgson arrives for his session, Sophie introduces herself as a replacement for his regular physician. The CEO prepares to leave but Sophie offers him a complete cure in ten days and Dodgson agrees. He explains that his father also had panic attacks but that he was able to control him. Sophie starts to explain her treatment using guided dream therapy, but Dodgson wants nothing to do with it. As Eliot drives the CEO home, Nate sends Parker out. Eliot "accidentally" hits her. The stress gives Dodgson a panic attack and he retreats to his office. However, Alex is waiting for him and warns that the company will go under in a year. Dodgson tells the plant manager that it won't because he plans to sell it in six months. All of the changes have been to cut costs and improve the factory's image so that he can sell it and turn a profit. When Alex protests, Dodgson fires him on the spot and orders him out of the building. Once Alex leaves, Dodgson calls Sophie and agrees to therapy with her.

When Dodgson comes in for his session, Sophie hits him with a sedative patch and Eliot hauls him out of the building. They go to the warehouse where Eliot has set up his "dreamnasium" and puts Dodgson on a virtual set. They begin by putting Dodgson in Hamlet's castle with Eliot as a fellow actor. Dodgson runs out into the hallway and finds Sophie waiting for him. She takes him to her office, the other end of the virtual set, and explains that he's having a lucid dream. When Dodgson tries to look out the window, Sophie tells him that he can't see anything because his mind doesn't want him to see anything. She then leads Dodgson back to the room into a virtual set of DE. As they walk, Hardison warns his teammate that only the doors are real and Dodgson can't touch anything else.

Sophie takes Dodgson through the virtual factory and notices the R&D doors. Dodgson refuses to go in, saying that there's nothing there, and Hardison confirms that Dodgson shut down the lab shortly before he started making the changes. Nate figures that the contents of the room, Dodgson's inventions, represent his vision of the future and figures they need to get him to open the doors and see them. However, Dodgson refuses to open the doors even though Sophie tries to convince him it's safe. The CEO wants to go back to his office but Hardison warns them that he doesn't have the schematics for it. Nate has Hardison switch over to the Hamlet Castle set and sends Parker in. When a confused Dodgson sees her, he has another panic attack but she sedates him and they carry him out. The team tries to work out its next move and Sophie figures that they need to convince Dodgson to open the R&D door. Hardison confirms he can get the floor plans to Dodson's office and Nate figures it's okay to let him go there as long as it convinces him to open the door. As they go to work, Nate tells Sophie to keep pushing Dodgson.

Twenty-four hours later, Dodgson wakes up in what appears to be his office and Sophie welcomes him to Stage 2. Now that he's acclimated to his dream state, he takes control of it and overcomes his panic attacks. Dodgson says that he wants to get started and Sophie tells him that they already have. She levitates a ball and the room falls apart as voice call out to Dodgson, asking him why. Faceless figures in red overalls emerge and Dodgson runs out of the office.

The CEO finds himself in a battlefield and the figures follow him. Sophie appears and explains that they want Dodgson, who runs off and comes to the R&D door. He turns away and Sophie says that all of it is him. He runs back into his office and hides, but Sophie says that he has to listen to her if he wants to get well. She offers him his hand and he hesitates, and then asks what they want. Sophie says that she's just a guide and says that once he opens the R&D door, he'll know what they want. Dodgson reluctantly gets up and goes to the door, and the shouting stops.

As they approach the door, Nate watches on the monitors but isn't sure that everything is going as planned. Dodgson starts to open the door but then says that he can't do it and Sophie can't make him. She drugs him unconscious and tells Nate that they have to talk. As Eliot takes Dodgson home, Sophie admits that there's something about how he's so resistant. They figure that he knows the dreams are false on some level so Nate says that they'll make it real.

The next day, Dodgson goes to his office and tells Carroll that he wants the factory sold within a week so that he can move on and forget about it. Carroll warns that it will take longer and they may lose money, but Dodson says that it isn't about the money. He insists that he took things slowly so that the workers could find alternative employment but he's done waiting.

Eliot drives Dodgson home and then sedates him and drives him to the plant. Sophie gets in the back and they tell the guard that she and Dodgson are going inside to party. Later, Dodgson wakes up on the factory floor and Sophie pretend to be buyers. They insist on seeing the alpha battery in the R&D lab and Dodgson starts to take them there. Parker goes by carrying the battery and Dodson chases after her, demanding to know who she is. The thief is at a loss and tells Dodgson that she's taking the battery for a walk. He calls her Patience and tells her to get out, and Parker drugs him as the others arrive and wonder who Patience is.

Eliot, Parker, and Hardison take Dodgson home and then search his house and download his computer files. When he goes over the data, Hardison informs the team that Dodgson had a second cousin, Patience Mortell, and they spent much of their childhood and college years together. She dropped off the radar when Dodgson took control of DE and Hardison didn't check further at the time. Now he's confirmed that she died in a car accident after attending a party and drinking heavily. While Eliot complains that Hardison didn't vet the information properly, Sophie draws Nate off to the side. She finally admits that she didn't pull off the White Rabbit successfully but just let people assume she had. It went bad halfway through, breaking the target and causing the team of experienced grifters to fall apart from within due to bickering. Nate doesn't think it will happen to their team and tells Sophie that she shouldn't feel guilty for failing when she was younger... and then gets an idea.

Nate plays his hunch and has Hardison access the security footage from DE on the date that Patience died. They watch as Dodgson takes a call but ignores it. The next day, the R&D lab is closed and Nate figures that Dodgson blames himself for Patience's death because she called him for help and he ignored it to work on the alpha battery. Since Parker looks a little like Patience, Dodgson suffered from a panic attack each time he saw her. To get through to Dodgson, they have to make him stop feeling guilty and need Parker to do it.

The next morning, Carroll reviews the bidders interested in buying DE. After the meeting ends, Carroll tells Dodson that they need him to make some calls and reassure the bidders. Dodgson agrees to talk to them and Carroll gives him a time-released energy shot to help him stay awake. Dodgson takes it and leaves in his car, while Carroll tells a security guard to follow Dodgson and discover why he's been disappearing for several hours a day.

That night, the team drugs Dodson again and takes him back to the factory. Parker encounters him dressed as Patience and then goes to the R&D lab. Dodgson follows and hugs her, and Sophie tells Parker to do the best she can and follow Dodgson's lead. She asks Dodgson why he's sad and says that she's there for him, but Dodgson realizes that she's dead and runs off. Hardison finds the bottle of energy booster in Dodgson's jacket and realizes that the stimulant is interfering with the drugs they've given him... just as Dodgson runs into his office where they've set up their command center.

Carroll and his men arrive at the gate and Eliot tries to convince them that Dodgson is inside with a woman. They don't believe him and figure that he's a mole from one of the bidding companies, trying to lowball the price. Nate tells Eliot to stall them but Carroll already knows that they planted Eliot as a driver. His security men attack Eliot, who takes them down repeatedly while the elderly security guard draws a gun. The hitter brushes it aside and keeps fighting the other men.

In the factory, Dodgson tries to make a ball levitate and realizes that he can't control the "dream." He runs out and Sophie and Hardison go after him. Parker joins the chase and sees Dodgson go up to the roof. She goes after him and the fire exit closes behind him and mechanically locks. Upon the roof, a shattered Dodgson tells Parker that he can no longer tell dream from reality. He goes to the edge and figures that if he jumps and "dies" in his dream then all that will happen is that he'll wake up. Dodgson prepares to step off but Parker insists that he's not dreaming.

Hardison can't hack the lock on the exit door and prepares to break through it with a wrench to save Parker. Sophie tells him that they'll have to trust that Sophie can see it through.

Dodgson tells Parker to stay away and she sits down nearby. He stumbles and falls off and Parker grabs his hand. She tells him that it's not a dream but Dodgson begs her to let him go so he can wake up. Ignoring his plea, Parker pulls him up and then yanks off her wig. She tells him that Patience is dead, life sucks, and that's the way it is. When Dodgson says that she doesn't understand what it means to be alone, Parker says that she had someone and she lost them. People thought it made her crazy, but she never was. Parker tells him that there are people that care about him and that they sent her and the others to help him. A sobbing Dodgson says that he never wanted to take over the company but Parker tells him that now he has to choose.

A week later, the team is packing up and Parker has left to check on one of the bidding companies. Alex checks in with them and informs them that Dodgson has disappeared. However, no one has purchased DE yet. Hardison brings up the security cameras at the plant and they watch as Carroll escorts the Finnish buyers in. As they go in, Dodgson is addressing his employees, apologizing for hurting them. He admits that he lost sight of his vision for the company but that he recently had an intervention.

As the buyers arrive, Dodgson goes to the R&D doors and cuts the chain apart. He then ushers everyone in and tells them that someone recently told him that he can make a future. The CEO then tells everyone that rather than sell the company to the Finns, they're going to enter into a partnership with them. The Finns are building a hybrid city car and will need batteries, and that the company will need a lot more workers to meet the demand. As everyone applauds, Dodgson sees Parker watching him from the door and smiles at her before she slips away.

The team is waiting outside and Nate admits that his plan failed. However, Sophie says that the con worked and like any good con, it took the truth and brought it over. However, the trick with the White Rabbit is to make sure that they don't break when they try to help the mark. Parker comes over and asks if they're good. Sophie asks her if she's good and Parker assures them that she is.

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