|Title||The Hot Potato Job|
|Airdate||July 24, 2011|
|Written by||Jenn Kao|
|Directed by||John Harrison|
|Previous episode||The Van Gogh Job|
|Next episode||The Carnival Job|
|Episode list||Season 4|
|“||I keep telling him, you can't fake country||”|
— Eliot (about Hardison)
From TNT: The LEVERAGE team infiltrates the corrupt world of corporate agriculture to recover a stolen object worth millions: a one-of-a-kind potato.
Emily Margold, played by actress Katy Beckemeyer, developer of a nutrient rich potato that she plans to make available at no cost to poor families. Agricultural conglomerate VerdAgra is determined to buy, or steal, the potato from her in order to profit from it.
Colin Saunders, C.E.O. and Jana West, Vice President of Operations of VerdAgra, a major agribusiness that spends more on security than many countries. Saunders is power-hungry and loves aquisitions; he remains in his long-standing position as C.E.O. despite periodic battles with the company's board of directors. As V.P. of Operations, West is responsible for carrying out Saunders' orders. Saunders maintains a safe distance while West uses lawyers, and force, to claim Emily's tuber is VerdAgra's property, eventually entering her home by force to steal a potato and a seedling.
- The Romanian circus - i.e. faking an internal enemy.
- Sophie runs a variant of this con called the snipe hunt - "a leaner and faster version of the circus" which requires a lockdown until the "enemy" is found.
When Verd Agra steals the potato from the client the team races to intercept it before it reaches Verd Agra headquarters because once there it will be almost impossible to steal. Hardison creates a diversion with a cart of hay and tries to be country. When that fails Sophie "calls an audible" by stepping in as a security consultant and neutralizing Hardison's diversion by punching him to sell her cover.
Once inside Sophie brings Eliot in as her forensic accountant, Hardison gets in as a delivery man and Nate and Parker hijack a group of school children on a tour of Verd Agra. As the team searches for a mole to distract security from Parker's attempt to heist the potato, Sophie uncovers a janitor who has stolen millions of dollars from the company. Throughout the con Nate and Sophie fight over who is controlling the con though in the end they both make important contributions.
Parker inflitrates the vault as the CEO begins to suspect that the security consultants are trying to frame him. He hits the burn switch and almost incinerates Parker who gets away with the potato. Meanwhile Hardison takes the money the janitor stole and uses it to frame Jana West and the CEO by making it look like Jana paid Saunders destroy all their recent acquistions by hitting the switch in the burn vault.
- Despite framing Jana West for bribing CEO Saunders at the end of the episode she is cleared and made interim CEO of Verd Agra. This is the first hint we have of an outside influence interfering with the Leverage team's cons. It would later be revealed that Latimer saved Jana's position so that he could buy up land plots from Verd Agra to own the water underneath.
- After they meet the client Nate and Sophie have "dinner" which leads to a repeat of the events in San Lorenzo. Nate is worried Sophie wants a relationship but Sophie convinces him to continue their "friends with extras" arrangement and by the end of the episode they are off to have "dinner" again.
- The back of Parker's jacket is shown to be slightly singed as a result from escaping the fire that had engulfed the burn room when CEO Saunders triggered it from his office.
- The aerial shot of VerdAgra HQ contains several inconsistencies. Notably, traffic is travelling on the left and road markings are inconsistent with US roads. The building used for the aerial shot is actually James Cook University Hospital located in Middlesbrough, a city in the north east of England. The bright yellow vehicles are NHS ambulances.