“The Juror #6 Job”: Plot Breakdown

And here’s “The Juror #6 Plot” Breakdown.
An underlying motif in this plot is the game of chess, a motif that Leverage references throughout its five-season run. This episode is more blatant than most of the other stories (but not all; Sterling plays their game in “The Queen’s Gambit Job”) because the mark plays chess while she tries to steal the verdict. The plot moves are chess moves, with each side taking a piece from the board until the end Nate shows Earnshaw, the mark, that he’s taken her king, the crystal chess piece from the board in her command center. Lovely use of motif.

Leverage_Season4_keyart

Act One: Let’s Save a Widow
Parker, forced into jury duty because she doesn’t pay attention to people, spots that the fix is in because she always pays attention to her surroundings, particularly the tech in her surroundings (in case she wants to steal something from there later). She goes back to the team and asks for help, and after discounting her, Nate get grief from the team and sends Eliot out with her to find out the truth. The truth is that she’s right, an investor named Earnshaw is buying the company and is fixing the trial to protect the company’s CEO, Quint, and the company’s assets; both Earnshaw and Quint know that the pills the company makes are dangerous, and they don’t care. The team goes to work, supporting Parker as their inside woman, which of course is the problem: Parker is going to have to learn how to be a woman instead of a thief.

EarnshawQuint

The Change of Plans: “Let’s Go Steal A Jury”
The team realizes that, as Nate says, they got into this job way too late and the best they can do is con Quint, the company owner, into a settlement. Then Hardison notices that Earnshaw has just run a credit check on Alice White. Parker says, “Who’s Alice White?” and the entire team says, “You are!” Parker says, “Whoa” and pulls back, still having a long way to go on the human thing. Eliot points out that Earnshaw’s going to buy the jury. Nate says, “Not if we steal it first.”

Parker is Foreman

Act Two: “Conversation, Compliments, You’ll Do Fine”
Earnshaw’s bribed the jury foreman, so the team has to take him out. Nate walks into the conference room and says, “Who plays chess?” Eliot says, “I do.” Nate says, “Of course you do,” acknowledging that Eliot is a lot more than dumb muscle; he’s smart muscle who figures out his moves ahead of time. A chess game, as Nate explains it, has three stages. In the beginning, you want to talk control of the board and protect your king which is the weakest piece you have. Earnshaw’s king is Quint, but she’s already attacked the defense (the widow’s lawyer) and bribed a juror, something Nate describes as “a fast, aggressive opening gambit.” So as their defensive move, Nate tells Parker to get the jurors to trust her: “Conversation,compliments, you’ll do fine.” Parker tries, but it’s a disaster, and when Sophie tries to coach her by asking her to talk Eliot out of the apple he’s holding, it gets worse. But when they find out the foreman has been bribed, Nate says, “Make him go away, Parker,” and she’s fantastic, lifting valuables from members of the jury and planting them on him, then squirting mustard on him so that he’s revealed as a thief. Then she takes charge of getting everything back to everyone and gets herself elected as the new jury foreman, a position where she’ll have to connect to make the con work. Parker’s a lot like Sophie who’s a terrible actress unless she’s on the con; Parker can’t connect with people, but she loves the job, so now she’ll learn. And Nate has taken an important piece in Earnshaw’s attack.

Friends

The Point of No Return: “Let’s Go Steal A Settlement”
But then Earnshaw takes the widow’s lawyer. Nate says, “We take a pawn, Earnshaw takes a knight. Lucky for us, we have more than one.” The team sends a terrified Hardison in as a replacement to stall the trial until they can finish conning Quint into a settlement, something that Parker’s now helping with behind the scenes as not just the jury foreman, but the woman who helped everybody get their valuables back. Then Peggy, a woman on the jury, tells Parker a secret and Parker says, “Wait. That means we’re friends,” and smiles. She’s getting the hang of it. PROGRESS!

Mumbai

Act Three: “I Can’t Do This”
Hardison delays while Sophie cons Quint into making a settlement. But then Earnshaw takes a big chess piece: she buys the company Sophie has been using to tempt Quint into a settlement, blocking Sophie and symbolically taking the team’s queen. And Parker is panicking; this people stuff is just too hard.

Closing Argument

The Crisis: “Let’s Go Steal A Court Case”
Nothing left to do now but win the trial, Nate tells Hardison, with Parker working her new found people skills to sway the verdict in the jury room. Nate congratulates Hardison on a great closing argument, and then points his glass at Parker on the screen, saying, “It’s all on her now.” Meanwhile, Earnshaw begins to notice that somebody is playing chess with her, but then dismisses it; nobody is as smart as she is.

All On You

Act Four: “It’s All On Her Now”
Parker connects with the jury; then Hardison works his magic with Earnshaw’s video feed while Parker leads the jury in lunch selection and a guilty verdict.

Checkmate

The Climax: Checkmate
Earnshaw is blindsided by the guilty verdict, and then Nate delivers the coup de gras: he hands her the crystal king from her own chessboard. Check and mate.

The Denouement/Resolution: “Alice Made A Friend”
Parker gets an invitation for coffee from Peggy, her first real friend, although the team has to remind her again that she’s Alice. “You made a friend, Parker,” Sophie tells her and Parker is pleased. HUGE progress for our little whack-job.

Community Status: “We Really Make Each Other Better.”

14 thoughts on ““The Juror #6 Job”: Plot Breakdown

  1. I love the chess game they had going on in the Juror #6 Job. It was a great way of keeping the 2 masterminds (Nate/Earnshow) at each other while helping formulate the scenes as chess moves and strategy. The developed relationship of “the kids” (Eliot/Parker/Hardison) was one of my favorite dynamics on Leverage. I still remember the ep, after Eliot gets beat up and is all sore, where Parker keeps poking him in the arm. “Does that hurt? What about that? How about this” til finally Nate pulls the equivalent of “Don’t make me pull this car over” and Parker leaves, departing with one more jab, leaving Eliot to grouse to Nate, “She kept poking me!” LOL!

    The First & Second David Jobs are two of my favorite episodes, probably because they bring back Nate’s ex-wife. I absolutely loved the two actors together when they did the A&E series Nero Wolfe together. Such amazing chemistry between them. So anytime they’re together I get excited. 🙂

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    1. I like the two Davids episodes, too. The two together echo the pilot so well, and the con is so damn good. It does what a great season finale should do, it pays off the entire season, So much fun stuff. Plus Maggie and Sterling.

      I just watched “The Twelve Step Job” again because Krissie was here, and she said she’d stopped watching Leverage because they seemed to be taking Nate’s drinking so lightly. I said, no, they treated it seriously, and showed her “The Twelve-Step Job” to show her how they really put how bad his alcoholism was on the page. I think “The Second David Job” does a lot to begin putting that to rest because he finally tells Maggie the truth. They really pull all of the threads of the season together in the last episode. And no damn cliffhanger, either, aside from not knowing if the team will get back together. (As if there was any doubt.)

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  2. I had a hard time sometimes with Leverage’s alcoholic aspect simply because, having lived that as a kid, I find nothing “entertaining” about it on tv shows or in characters. So I did my best to kind of ignore it in Nate Ford and I was happy when they had him open up to his wife so that the show could kind of move beyond it. I remember the actor at the time commenting on how he was ready for something more because how much range could you have playing alcoholic. This probably didn’t help my Arrow issues with Laurel either. LOL. They picked the one “story” that made me step back from her even more. Go figure.

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    1. I think they treated is as serious because it was his flaw. That and his detachment from the rest of the team because they were thieves and he was the honest man, but it was really his drinking that put the team in danger. There were several episodes where the team got on his case about it, and they never did anything like pouring him a drink.

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      1. I remember those episodes. They handled it well and the wear on the team was noticeable for sure. I dislike, for obvious reasons, when shows inject the alcoholic issue only to kind of just plunk it in for drama then pull it out and then poof! it’s gone. If you’re going to include it in a story at least do it well. But again I can’t be impartial on that topic because it’s a trigger for me.

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      2. He gets better after season one, but it’s not just gone after he deals with IYS and finally talks to Maggie. I think I prefer that they didn’t just say “he’s better now” and never go back to it. Instead they start him on recovery and show him backsliding occasionally before he gets there. They do take it seriously (the writers and by extension the characters), and “Bottle Job” shows how the others deal with a relapsing Nate. The Tara episodes are not my favorite, but for some reason I love that one. And they gave him a situation where the mark was insisting he drink – the con gave him an excuse, which tied it to the plot. The only fun drinking I’ve ever seen Nate do is in “Frame Up,” but Sophie also spends that episode pretty sloshed; I assumed at the time it was part of the Nick and Nora thing they were going for. Nobody stayed sober for long in “Thin Man.”

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        1. Yeah, “The Frame-Up Job” is a Thin Man homage, and you have to drink in those. Have you watched The Thin Man recently? They had to have been drunk through the entire movie.

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  3. Darn. I’m not watching these episodes fast enough! I should probably just skip episodes, because I so want to discuss the show, and watching it in order is going to take awhile. Which leads me to the next question: Will I miss anything if I don’t watch it in order?

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    1. I think the only thing you really miss is the character development. It’s not serialized, although some later shows do refer back to earlier shows – and there are some inside jokes you might miss if you haven’t seen them. However, you get a true sense of the growth of the team both as a whole and individually if you watch the shows in order.

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  4. One of the many things I love about this show is the “switcheroo” – they make you think “Oh no! They’ve been caught!” then Wham! The tables are turned because our team planned for it all in advance.

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    1. And after a couple of episodes, you catch on to the rhythm and just wonder how they’re going to do it this time. I love this show.

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