|“||So, girls' night out, boys' night poker, it's character building for everyone.||”|
From TNT: When a James-Bond-like thief targets Parker's friend Peggy, Parker recruits Sophie and Tara to help her and, together, the women of Leverage follow the thief to the Venezuelan Consulate, where they discover an international conspiracy.
The major events of the plot are set into motion when Peggy Milbank, a friend of Alice White (Parker's alias), asks Parker to check out her blind date. At the same time, Sophie is meeting Tara Cole at a nightclub for drinks.
Craig Mattingly, an Australian thief with heavy debts, who is attempting to steal, then sell Venezuelan oil production data to the highest bidder: either a wealthy Texas oil man or Venezuelan drug lord, Octavio Sanchez.
The episode opens with a man in a tuxedo fleeing from two men. The man in the tux cuts through traffic causing one car to skid to a halt inches from hitting the man in the tux. The thugs lose their mark in the traffic. The man in the tux escapes by hanging onto the side of a departing SUV. He winks at the pretty blond woman in the passenger seat, who glances wryly between him and the driver of the SUV, a thin, sickly looking man who is oblivious to the situation.
Parker meets her friend Peggy at a bar. While Peggy is taking a call concerning her catering business, Parker notices the same slick-looking man in the tux, who may be Peggy's date at the bar. She hears him order drinks for himself and Peggy after checking a pocket notebook, ostensibly notes he's taken on his unknown date's preferences. Peggy had previously described her date as a man she knew only as ILovePaws72, his online moniker. Both ILovePaws72 and TabbyFan76 (Peggy's screen name) kept pictures of cats as their profile pictures, so neither correspondent could recognize the physical appearance of the other.
Suspicious, Parker takes several discreet photos with her smartphone, uploads them to the Leverage crew's network, and calls Hardison, who confirms her fears. The man in the tux is Craig Mattingly, wanted for burglary and grand larceny in "a whole bunch" of countries. Parker then calls Sophie, who is out at a nightclub with Tara and looking forward to a "night of unbridled debauchery." Sophie, after some persuasion, tells Parker that she and Tara will help. Parker hangs up before Sophie can finish telling her not to make a move. Sophie sighs and head off with Tara to toss Mattingly's room, having deduced Mattingly's hotel from one of Parker's shots of his wallet which contained a keycard.
Meanwhile, Parker marches up to Mattingly and introduces herself as the cat-loving Peggy. After chatting him up a bit, Parker excuses herself for a moment, leaving Mattingly with the story that she has to call her machine and leave a message so that her cat could hear her voice. Catching Peggy on her way back in, Parker implies that ILovePaws72 has shown up and that he is an elderly man seated at a table. As Peggy leaves to go to her catering job, an important event at the Venezuelan Consulate, Parker snags the invitation to the event from Peggy's purse.
Tara and Sophie search Mattingly's room, with Tara employing a fast and dirty method which she calls the "lightning strike" and Sophie utilizing a markedly slower, gentler, more intuitive style referred to as the "Boylan method." As Sophie waxes poetic on the finer points of her methodology, the women are interrupted by two men breaking into the room. Tara and Sophie hide in the closet and watch through the slatted doors as the two men begin to search the room aggressively. To Sophie's horror, Tara sneezes, alerting the men to their presence. Tara gains the upper hand by slamming the door into the face of one of the men while Sophie rushes the other. Sophie distracts her opponent from shooting her for a fraction of a second by telling him that the safety is on. Tara takes advantage of this, strips him of his weapon, and turns it on the men, who immediately run out of the room. Tara helps Sophie up and tells her the safety was actually off. Sophie replies lightly, "Not to a Grifter."
Downstairs in the ballroom, Parker enters with her date. She keeps up a half-hearted attempt at appearing knowledgeable about cats while watching Peggy, ahead of them in line and oblivious to Parker's presence, struggle with the doorman over her lack of invitation. After Peggy finally rushes off after an incompetent server, Parker and Mattingly enter the ballroom without incident. Parker leaves him to mingle while she contacts Sophie and Tara, who are now in line to the ballroom. Sophie laughs at Tara's proposed grift, that she pose as a secret service agent with Sophie as her deputy. Instead Sophie drapes herself over the nearest man and whispers in his ear that "the agency" sent her. Both ruses work perfectly and the women walk easily into the ballroom. They join Parker, who has just been spotted and confronted by an angry Peggy. Furious over Parker apparently "stealing" her date, Peggy questions their friendship before storming away.
The three women survey the situation, coming to the conclusion that Mattingly must be selling something, noting that there are obvious "buyers" in the crowd. They must now find out what it is that he wants to sell. Parker explains that it is an on-site theft, a "stop and shop," which saves thieves the risk of transport and storage. Whatever Mattingly wants, he is going to steal it tonight. Parker moves off to intercept Mattingly directly as he attempts to obtain his product while Sophie and Tara try to glean some information from the buyers. Sophie poses as a buyer by "allowing" herself to be overheard discussing the upcoming sale over the phone. She and Tara pick out a Texas oilman type and an intimidating businessman that Tara believes works for the drug cartels. They deduce that the cartel man brought the most money, more than a million, and that the Texan does not have much more than half a million. Both women notice that one of the buyers seems to defy categorization. To find out the man's motivations, Tara pulls him outside, posing as a Secret Service agent, in order to question him. The man tells Tara and Sophie that he has come to buy a file with the reserve levels of Venezuela's oil fields, knowledge that could drastically shift the balance of power in Venezuela. He also reveals to them that he brought no money, only the "hopes and dreams of the Venezuelan People," a concept that Sophie finds "lovely" and Tara "hilarious."
Parker finds Mattingly attempting to enter a locked office. Feigning drunkenness, she distracts Mattingly while she picks the lock and gains entry by falling backwards into the room. While Mattingly searches the office, telling Parker that he was searching for a sweater that he had left with a friend, Parker slips out and calls Hardison for help in finding the hidden computer file. Hardison points out the digital photo frame on the desk but Parker hangs up on him before he can question the continued presence of Mattingly. Parker continues her tipsy routine and calls Mattingly's attention to the photo frame by drunkenly admiring it. He fumbles as he attempts to hide the fact that he is copying the drive. When they hear security approaching, both thieves hide. They jump the guards and flee, eventually running into an out-of-order elevator. Mattingly seizes a fire axe from a nearby emergency box and pries apart the doors of the elevator. Parker jumps inside and begins to climb the cables enthusiastically. Mattingly realizes by this time that "Peggy" is not who she seems. On the roof, he questions her and accuses her of being a thief, a "great one." He offers her a cut. Parker tells him that she wants to give the information to the Venezuelan people. He laughs this off. Sophie tells Parker to promise him his money.
Tara distracts the drug cartel by dancing a tango with their leader, Octavio Escobar, while Sophie switches cases, leaving the cartel with the "hopes and dreams of the Venezuelan people" and passing the cartel's money to Parker, who passes it to Mattingly. She leaves Mattingly on the roof
Tara tips off Sophie, who trails Escobar, who meets up with Mattingly. Mattingly has another thumb drive and is selling it to Escobar. Sophie is surprised to see that his briefcase is still filled with money. Parker realizes that Mattingly wasn't inept after all and Sophie and Tara realize that Escobar has stolen the other bidder's money and used that money to pay for the drive. They witness Escobar dispose of the thumb drive. The women deduce that Escobar must work for the Venezuelan government and is trying to destroy all evidence of the information's existence, including the building and all the people in it. They meet up with Parker who has just confronted Mattingly before he could leave.
The four brainstorm over the location of the bomb and decide that it must have been one of the waitstaff. Parker contacts Peggy, telling her one of her employees is bogus. Peggy takes it in stride "Oh, you mean the worst waiter that ever lived?" and moves to confront the man. When the waiter attacks her with one of her own chef knives, Peggy, seeing this in a reflection avoids his attack and turns on him in a raging fury fueled by a night of frustration. She is still beating him when Parker and Mattingly arrive to save her.
Tara and Sophie, after contacting Hardison, find themselves faced with a bomb they can't defuse in time. They heave it out a window in their first agreed upon decision of the night and sit back to share a drink. Mattingly says goodbye to Parker, who introduces him to altruistic lawbreaking.
Peggy forgives Parker as "Alice" over drinks at the McRory's. She leaves happy, excited to know "Alice's" secret spy identity and content that, even if she didn't meet anybody special, she did get to stop a bombing. As Parker and Sophie continue to talk, Sophie reveals that Tara went with Mattingly back to his hotel room.
- Peggy Milbank (Lisa Schurga):
- Craig Mattingly (Wil Traval):
- Octavio Escobar (Roberto Sanchez):
- Professor Humberto Garcia (Enrique Andrade):
- Lisa Schurga (Peggy) originally appears in The Juror #6 Job, where she befriends Parker as Alice White.
- Actors Jeri Ryan and Roberto Sanchez took tango lessons at night after shooting concluded to prepare for the tango scene. Jeri Ryan (@JeriLRyan) tweeted extensively about the experience of learning the dance in a few days.
- Much of the action is filmed at The Governor Hotel, Leverage's informal base in Portland. The ballroom was previously used in The Zanzibar Marketplace Job, as was the hallway with the arched windows.
Links to The Boys' Night Out JobEdit
This episode and The Boys' Night Out Job are what John Rogers describes as "linked" episodes, with the events in one occurring at the same time as the events of the other, with some overlap. Consequently, there will be some duplication of scenes or scenes that begin in one episode will continue or finish in the other. As a result, the story in this episode will not make complete sense until the viewer sees both episodes.
- During the episode's teaser, an unknown man in a black tuxedo we will soon learn is Craig Mattingly slams against the hood of a car which nearly runs him over. In Boys' Night Out, we see that the car is driven by Jack Hurley.
- Hardison steps out of the boys' poker game to answer a phone call from Parker about Mattingly's identity. We see Nate and Eliot at the poker game, but in Boys' Night Out, learn Det. Bonanno and Eliot's friend, Shelley, have joined them.
- The Venezuelan thugs escape after the scuffle in Mattingly's hotel room; in Boys' Night Out, they run into Hardison and Eliot as they leave Hurley's hotel room, and Eliot knocks them out.
- Hardison receives the second phone call from Parker while he's threatening a Mexican gang leader, trying to convince them he's a dirty cop. The scene begins and ends in Boys' Night Out.
- When Sophie calls Hardison about the bomb, he's escaping from dogs at a car impound lot where he's attempting to recover Hurley's car. The scene begins and ends in Boys' Night Out, with the call from Sophie omitted.
- We see Peggy leave the bar, but not what happens next. In Boys' Night Out, she runs into Hurley and the two meet for the first time.
- Someone associated with the writers must have a relation named Margaret; the episode uses three of its nicknames: Peggy, Meg and Marge. The episode also references the recurring character Maggie, whose name is a fourth nickname for Margaret.