We're just a few days away from the end of Leverage. TNT has announced that its series about a team of clever tricksters and thieves conning rich bad guys for the cause of good will finish up its run on Christmas Day.
I have a weakness for grifter/con artist/thief shows, what with It Takes a Thief, Mission Impossible, Remington Steele, Hustle and White Collar, which is pretty much a remake of It Takes a Thief without the groovy 60s wardrobe, on my TV watching resume. TNT's Leverage has fit nicely in that company, with Timothy Hutton as a brooding ex-insurance investigator now heading up a gang of experts who know how to extract money from marks, including Sophie, an actress who specializes in fake identities, Hardison, a computer wiz, Parker, a second-story girl, and Eliot, who serves as the team's muscle. As their cards have been played, they've been termed The Grifter, The Hacker, The Thief and The Hitter, with Hutton's Nate Ford as The Mastermind.
And every week through their five seasons, they've found some big, powerful baddie taking advantage of a little guy, and then pulled an elaborate scam to right those wrongs and settle a score. That has sent them from the top of a mountain to the depths of a coal mine, inside chess and cheerleading competitions as well as baseball and hockey games, and up close and personal with paintings, diamonds, gold and every other kind of treasure available.
Last week, in an episode called "The Toy Job," they took down an evil toy magnate planning to unleash dangerous stuffed doggies on unsuspecting kids at Christmas. Gregg Henry played the big bad toy boss, while Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek fame directed and popped up behind Hutton in a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't cameo.
Sometimes their schemes have been outrageous, sometimes a little too incredible, but they've always been fun to watch, with clever plots and the feel-good message that justice will out, that greed and arrogance will lose.
When Leverage pulls out one last con in the series finale called "The Long Goodbye Job" on Christmas Day, it will find be hard to see the end of the con. But, like It Takes a Thief and Remington Steele, Leverage will live on on DVD.