In 2009, Dean Devlin introduced us to Leverage, a show about five thieves: a hitter, hacker, grifter, thief and mastermind. These thieves use their abilities to work together to take down the rich and powerful to help the people those rich and powerful people hurt. Now, a new series that is a continuation of their story, Leverage: Redemption, is set to premiere on July 9. In this article, we will look at 10 questions that should be answered in this new show.
Before we get into the questions, let's take a quick look at the original Leverage so we have a reference for the new show. Leverage ran for five seasons with a great core of characters in the Mastermind, Nathan Ford (Timothy Hutton), the Hacker, Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), the Hitter, Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), the Grifter, Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), and the Thief, Parker (Beth Riesgraf). These five thieves stole from the rich and powerful on behalf of the little guy. When Leverage went off the air in 2012, Nate and Sophie went off on their own and Parker, Eliot, and Hardison were set to continue with their mission, expanding Leverage and Associates internationally. Leverage: Redemption is set to continue their stories almost 10 years later.
The rich and powerful take what they want, and the Leverage team is back to take them down. Sophie Devereaux, Eliot Spencer, Alec Hardison and Parker have watched the world change over the last eight years. It's become easier, and sometimes legal, for the rich to become richer and the powerful to squash anyone who gets in their way. Sadly down one team member, they find new blood in Harry Sullivan, a corporate lawyer who is looking for redemption after realizing he'd been sitting on the wrong side of the table for his entire career. In this new world, the team will use their collective skills to take down a new kind of villain. From the man who created an opioid crisis from the comfort of his boardroom, to the woman who prefers to deport workers instead of paying them, to the shadowy security firm that helps hide dangerous secrets for a price, when someone needs help, they provide... Leverage.
Where is Nate and why isn't Sophie with him?
Let's start with the big elephant in the room. Nathan Ford will not be in Leverage: Redemption due to Timothy Hutton's legal issues. While it is understandable that Hutton's legal issues are keeping him from being a part of the new series, it immediately changes the dynamics of the crew. Nate Ford was the glue that held the thieves together. As the Mastermind of the crew, Nate was the one to run the cons that the team ran on their targets.
More, Nate and Sophie were getting married at the end of Leverage as they left the team together. They left Eliot, Parker and Hardison to continue with Leverage and Associates (the name of the company they used as a cover) while the two of them went off to finally be together. And yet, Sophie is back for the new show.
So where is Nate? How will his absence be explained? Hopefully, the explanation is such that there is some wiggle room for Nate to reappear in the case that Hutton's legal issues get resolved and he can return to the show. But if he is still alive, why is Sophie not with him? Why did they break up, if, indeed, they broke up? What would cause Sophie to leave Nate and return to the crew without him? Hopefully, the answer is something along the lines of the following:
Sophie got the itch to go back to grifting but Nate wanted to stay retired so he sent her back to the team while he stayed retired wherever they ended up settling. This would leave the door open for a Nate Ford return later in the new series. Worst case scenario would be for them to kill Nate off offscreen. Let us hope that they did not go that route.
How will Harry Sullivan fit into the crew?
"When did I, a corporate lawyer with over fifteen years of experience, suddenly become a jaunty cat burglar stealing from the rich?" -Harry Sullivan (from the Leverage: Redemption trailer).
In the original Leverage, Nathan Ford was a former insurance adjuster with IYS Insurance who left his job after IYS refused to pay for an experimental treatment that would have saved his son's life. He was recruited to lead the team of thieves that would become the Leverage and Associates crew.
In Leverage: Redemption, Nate Ford, as discussed earlier, is not part of the crew. In his place, Harry Sullivan (Noah Wyle) joins the crew. A corporate attorney, Sullivan joins the crew as a "Fixer". In the criminal parlance, a fixer is defined as "a person who makes arrangements for other people, especially those of an illicit or devious kind". This kind of work will be very helpful to the crew.
More, it would appear that the title of the show, Leverage: Redemption, actually refers to the Harry Sullivan character. In the trailer, Hardison says to Sullivan, "Redemption is a process. Only then can you ask for forgiveness". It would appear that Sullivan is working for the team in order to redeem himself for years of working for the rich and powerful. It remains to be seen if he can find the redemption and forgiveness he is looking for.
Why is Hardison not with the crew full time?
Aldis Hodge had scheduling commitments during the filming of the first season of Leverage: Redemption as he was filming the most recent season of Showtime's City on a Hill at the same time. As a result, Alec Hardison won't be a full time member of the Leverage crew this time out. Unlike Nate, though, Hardison hasn't been written out of the show. But he won't be a part of every episode. The question is where is Hardison when he's not a part of the crew? Further, how will the crew fare without their hacker?
Fortunately, Hardison will still make appearances during the season. But his absences do need to be addressed. From the trailer, it appears that his main focus will be running the international operations of Leverage and Associates which now has 11 more teams spread across the globe. It will certainly take a lot of work to coordinate so many teams and make sure they all have the support they need.
How will Breanna Casey fit into the crew?
In Hardison's absence, we will be introduced to the character of Breanna Casey (Aleyse Shannon). Breanna is Hardison's foster sister. Beyond that, we know very little about the character. The Leverage: Redemption teaser listed her as a "Maker". In the trailer for Leverage: Redemption, she explains to Hardison that she works more with drones and physical builds, which she refers to as "relevant skills".
Part of what Hardison used to do with the crew was to make the costumes and gadgets that they used for their cons. So while this would certainly fill a need to replace Hardison in that part of his job, that was really a secondary part of his work for the crew. Who will fill the Hacker role for the crew? Will that still be Hardison in his limited role?
Are Parker and Hardison still a couple?
Thieves are not necessarily known to be trustworthy people. Nor are thieves known for staying faithful to anyone. But over the course of five years, we watched as Parker, a notorious loner, slowly broke down her walls and got closer to Hardison. We watched as they fell in love with each other (although I'm not really sure if Parker would call it that). With Hardison only a part time member of the crew, how will their romance continue? How has their romance progressed in the 9 years since Leverage went off the air?
The author of this article is a hopeless romantic and really wants to see Parker and Hardison make it. The chemistry between Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge is undeniable. It would truly be a mistake not to use that chemistry in the new show, even if Hardison will only be there part time.
Will Jim Sterling show up to harass the crew?
James Sterling (Mark Sheppard) was, possibly, the best recurring antagonist for the crew. Starting as an insurance investigator for IYS, which was the company Nate worked for prior to running the Leverage team, Sterling came up against the team over several different cases. As the original series progressed, Sterling leveraged his success in going against the team into better and better jobs. By the end of the second season of Leverage, Sterling was an agent of INTERPOL.
In the original series, Sterling and Nate were adversaries. They fought and they worked together over the course of the show. But even without Nate being involved in the team, there is an avenue for Sterling to cause trouble for the crew.
Since Sterling is still a part of INTERPOL, it isn't unreasonable that he would keep an eye out for the crew's activity. When he sees the crew actively taking on new marks, it will probably only be a matter of time before they cross paths with Sterling. Will he show up in the first season, though? And if he does, will Eliot attempt to beat him into a pulp? Eliot doesn't like Sterling after all.
With the knowledge that there are now 11 other Leverage and Associates teams active across the globe, it is even easier to believe that the crew will run into INTERPOL over the course of the season. And with all but Nate from the original crew involved, it would only make sense for Jim Sterling to be the officer from INTERPOL sent to investigate their activities.
Will Colin "Chaos" Mason show up to cause trouble for the crew?
Colin Mason (Wil Wheaton) appeared in three episodes of Leverage but they were memorable appearances. A fellow hacker that goes by the name of "Chaos," Colin Mason was a natural foil for Alec Hardison. The two had several memorable encounters.
So will we see Colin Mason again? It is certainly possible. Mason had gone to jail after their last encounter, but it would not be the first time that he had wriggled his way out of jail. It would not be surprising if he showed up to cause trouble, however it would need to be an episode where Hardison would be more involved, as they are natural rivals. Unlike Sterling, who could go up against any of the crew, Mason does need to go up against another hacker.
Are there any other recurring characters from the original series that will show up in Leverage: Redemption?
It's hard to say whether or not any recurring characters from the original would appear in the new show. Much like Sterling and Chaos, there would have to be the right storyline in order for it to happen. And most of the recurring characters that were in the original show wouldn't necessarily have the right storyline for it to happen.
If any one recurring character were to show up, perhaps the one with the best chance would be Tara Cole. (Jeri Ryan) Tara came in for several episodes in season 2 of Leverage to take over for Sophie when she went to find herself. Although she did not, at first, work well with the crew, Tara ended up being trusted (as much as any thief can be trusted) by Nate and the others. She worked in that series of episodes, though, because there was no Sophie helping the team. It doesn't make sense for the crew to have two grifters, after all. But there still could be ways for her to appear. And, other than Starling, Tara is likely the best chance for a recurring character from Leverage to appear in the new show.
The recurring character that actually stood the best chance of returning for Leverage: Redemption in the eyes of this author will be unable to return. Massachusetts State Police detective Patrick Bonanno (Robert Blanche) would have been a good choice to return. In the original series, the Leverage crew would pass along the criminals they conned to Bonanno when they needed to be arrested. Sadly, the actor passed away last year, making his return impossible. But maybe the crew will find another State Police detective to work with.
Will any of Christian Kane's music feature in the new show?
Between John Schneider's brilliant turn as a villain and Christian Kane's song "Thinking of You", The Studio Job was one of the most fun episodes of the original series. It wasn't the first song Christian Kane contributed to Leverage and more than a few people want him to add music to the new show. So will he have music on the show? Let us hope so.
Will Parker stab anyone?
Leverage: Redemption premieres July 9, 2021 on IMDb TV. The original Leverageis available for free streaming on IMDb TV and the Electric Now app.