Leverage returns on TNT with a mini-season of six episodes starting tonight at 10 PM ET. (The first half of the season started last July, and the first season is available on DVD.)
In “The Runway Job”, the team aims to take down a sweatshop exploiter and his wannabe designer wife. This setting of course allows Jeri Ryan to model high fashion as well as providing comedy as Christian Kane (the muscle), Aldis Hodge (the hacker), and Beth Riesgraf (the thief) struggle to fit in a world that they know little about and don’t really care for. I wasn’t surprised to see Riesgraf undercover as a model, because she’s beautiful, although she carried it off with the typical wacky attitude of her character, making for some of the show’s best moments.
Ryan is still standing in for Gina Bellman (Sophie), although Sophie is having webcam conversations with the team from Paris and other global locations. I’m glad, because she’s not as brusque as Ryan’s character. I think we’re not supposed to like Ryan much, just as the team feels a bit off about their lack of history with her. Mixing up the interactions shows us more about the characters, as well as allowing the writers to tweak the viewers, since we don’t have a good sense yet of where her loyalties really are.
I enjoyed watching this episode, like all the others, for its blend of action, humor, and caper. Next week, “The Bottle Job” (January 20) has the team attempting to save a neighborhood bar, in an episode directed by Jonathan Frakes. Future episodes include one where they have to break Nate’s ex-wife out of a Ukrainian jail; another guest-starring Luke Perry as a fake psychic (is there any other kind?); and a two-parter written by series co-creator John Rogers involving baseball and a corrupt mayor.
Here’s a clip from the premiere with Ryan and Kane. Also, a show soundtrack is now available.