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The Top Hat Job

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Title The Top Hat Job
Season 2
Episode 6
Airdate August 19, 2009
Written by M. Scott Veach
Christine Boylan
Directed by Peter O'Fallon
Guests Kevin E. West
Jack Armstrong
Previous episode The Three Days of the Hunter Job
Next episode The Two Live Crew Job
Episode list Season 2
It's a real magic hat, man.

Alec Hardison


The crew squares off against a corrupt corporation that has been marketing tainted food. The Leverage team has a trick up its sleeve: They put on a faux magic show in an effort to slip through the corporation's tight security.

The ClientEdit

  • Leigh Jameson

The MarkEdit

  • Erik Casten, Vice President of the Frozen Foods Division of Lillian Foods.

The ConEdit

In the beginning, Hardison tries to run recon on the food company with Eliot posing as a pizza man and Parker as an ordinary by-stander on a bench. The moment Nate enters the apartment, he berates Hardison for running surveillance and predicts that in two seconds, the whole thing will become a "trainwreck".

Nate's predictions come true as the company's security men (who just happen to be ex-CIA) begin MRI'ing the pizza box Eliot delivered and they begin counter-hacking Alec's systems. When Hardison tries to fight back, it results in the computer and power systems in the building being shut down as Nate looks on. Outside, Parker discovers that the supposed bum hitting on her is part of the security team. Inside, Eliot is forced to fight his way out while Parker escapes by somersaulting off a bridge and hiding by grabbing the edges underneath for support.

Back at the apartment, while Eliot nurses a bruised arm which Parker keeps poking much to his annoyance, Hardison defends himself and Nate then requests that Hardison share the information with the rest of them.

As they head to begin the briefing, even Nate can't resist poking Eliot's arm, which annoys the other man to no end. Hardison revealed that he sent in an active phone hidden in a standby package in order to hack the emails to find a way in. Nate then finds their way in through the company's state of the company address (which was Greek to the other 4 since they never had REAL jobs before). That is the time when all employees will be away from their desks, and would be the perfect time to get into the company harddrives and extract a copy of the health reports needed to convict Casten of his spoiled food coverup. The team also learn that the only outside people allowed in is the entertainment, which this time is a magic act. Parker and Hardison take measures to detain the magician scheduled for the act in order to take his place.

Once the team gets in, they discuss the plan that while Casten does his speech, which would take an hour at least, Parker, Eliot, and Hardison will get to the restricted floors where the harddrives are. Unfortunately, Casten had shortened his speech, forcing Nate to do his act earlier than planned. Parker was also forced to get back down to help since she was playing the assistant. As this happened Hardison and Eliot were surprised to see Casten already up on the floor deleting the reports. The two were forced to take another route in their plan and go to the main database room to extract at least one copy of the report, but it was highly secured with a fingerprint scanner AND retinal scanner. Nate, Parker, and Sophie had to get both by involving the boss of the company into the magic act.

When Hardison gets caught trying to regain the files, a few of the extra security guards find out that he was in the server room, getting Hardison caught. The man calls Nate saying that they will give them their man if they give them their files. The team sums up the Con, as Parker grabs his phone and the crew calls him From that telling them that he was the one who got the files out of the building.

Episode NotesEdit

  • The close up scenes were Nate is performing card tricks feature the hands of Apollo Robbins. He was also the consultant teaching Timothy Hutton and Beth Riesgraf how to perform the magic tricks.
  • In the elevator fight scene, Christian Kane (who plays Eliot Spencer) broke the skin on his forehead and needed 17 stitches. This injury can be seen in the next episode, The Two Live Crew Job.
  • At the end of the episode, where Hardison is performing a card trick for Parker, The card starts as the 7 of Clubs (It was suppose to be a Queen of Spades, Parker is sneaky) but it the very next shot it "magically" changes to a 10 of Diamonds. Mistake? or small Easter egg in an episode?

Major EventsEdit

  • Eliot reveals that he grows his own food and that he sleeps only 90 minutes a day. He also reveals that as a child he was claustrophobic but got over it after staying in a shed for a few days.
  • Parker revealed that as a child, she was afraid of the dark but got over it, by placing herself in a small chest and having two friends bury her.

TriviaEdit

  • Eliot points out that former CIA agents have a "distinctive" way of standing.
  • This was the first appearance of gummy frogs, Hardison's favorite snack along with orange soda.
  • Eliot says that Hardison "left that out there like a hanging curve ball", despite claiming to dislike baseball in The Three Strikes Job.

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