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Finished my Leverage rewatch. Knowing how it ends gave me a renewed appreciation for its series-long arc. It isn't Hannibal by any stretch of the imagination, and I didn't find myself much invested in Nate's random walk through the 2x2 matrix of (absolute vs relative assholery) and (sobriety vs alcoholism), never mind his father issues, but it is a story about mid-life personal change, for all of them, that has nothing to do with "getting more badass," and I can appreciate that.

Also, I found myself constantly comparing the Leverage crew with Dominic Toretto's; both are composed of assembled criminals becoming exponentially more powerful through synergy, but the aims with which they use this power couldn't be more different. The Toretto crew becomes both a family and a Family; the Leverage crew becomes a family and a force for good. A good, by the way, that is more nuanced, realistic, and humanistic than in most other fiction. They both punish evildoers (and they are awfully explicit about, and totally unfazed by, not all crimes being illegal) and help victims — Nate is usually the only one who engages in revenge for the sake of revenge, what I think is why he eventually takes himself out of the picture — and that's something, I think, key to who they are.

And of course there's one of the most explicit and canonical OT3s in the history of OT3s. I'm not convinced that Elliot's relationship with Parker and Hardison is sexual (and I'd have found it believable for Parker and Hardison's relationship not to be, or only sort-of), but that's as utterly irrelevant as to whether Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter will or would ever bone each other (if anything, Hannibal's motto should be Mary Rakow's quote “Some people underestimate how erotic it is to be understood”; not as leading to sex, but as a form of eroticism parallel to and no less strong than (and something that, yes, I very much relate to)).

Elliot and Sophie, on the other hand, I can definitely see as having a physical friendship. They are probably the sanest ones when it comes to sex, as well as the most emotionally mature, and we have scenes that show them connecting on that level. It wouldn't be romance, but it would be fun; if they didn't, I think it'd be due to both of them considering it'd lead to problems with th group's dynamics. By that I mean Nate being an idiot, which is about 93% of all the problems with the group's dynamics.

So apparently I still have Thoughts and Feelings about Leverage. But, c'mon, in how many shows does the series' arc finish — in a mostly organic and slowly developed way &madsh; with the middle-aged male lead proposing marriage and the young female badass becoming the undisputed leader and mastermind of a crew-slash-family unit that includes a psychologically insightful ex-assassin/chef who'd rather hit than kill, and rather *cook* than hit, and a soft-hearted relationship-oriented black male polymath genius whose earliest crime we saw was having a bank paid for his Nana's medical bills, all of them taking on the freaking worldwide financial system one victim seeking help at a time?

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Also: the developmental psychology of group minds.

Marathoning Leverage again (Why do I procrastinate the most during the most deadline-heavy month of the year? Because it's the most deadline-heavy, and hence stressful, month of the year, of course. It wouldn't be a maladaptive behavior otherwise, would it?).

Anyway, one obvious observation is that the Leverage crew is, to all intents and purposes, a Batman gestalt a la More than Human (although this is somewhat true of every such group in fiction). That is, if Batman were more focused on issues of class and political inequality as drivers and enablers of crime.

As he probably should. (My counter-argument is that, yes, Bruce should dedicate his money and absurdly polymath genius to fixing up the politics of Gotham rather than beat up thieves one by one — I know it sounds implausible, but come on, so is Batman — but against a costumed criminal Batman is still the best response, and even if you buy that there would be no rogues without Batman, which I don't really do, there's Ra's and the JLA-level ones. Crime Alley needs a clean GCPD, not a Batman, but the world does need a Batman.)(My counter-counter-argument is that Gotham might be the urban equivalent of an evil metahuman, a semi-supernatural metastable Petri dish of insanity that can only be kept in check by something as insane as Batman.)(But I digress.)

I drafted a quick description of the series arc as a psychodrama about Bruce Wayne (Nate's the Bat, and Season 5 ends up with Bruce growing up and becoming 120% more badass because of it; if you compare the end scene of S1E01 with the end scene of the series, the Nate-driven gestalt does what it does because Nate is broken, and the Parker-driven gestalt does what it does because Parker isn't), but that probably only shows that (a) I need to pause my marathoning, (b) should get more sleep, (c) relate everything to Bruce fucking Wayne.

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Just finished watching a couple of Leverage episodes. I had forgotten how much I love that team and their unnecessarily convoluted and oftentimes comedic shenanigans.

The final scene, Parker saying "we provide... leverage" is, of course, everything I could ask for, but I'm not sure Nate knew... Nah. I think he knew very well that Parker's Leverage will be much more, well, "ruthless" isn't quite the right word — Parker's heart is huge, they are all sweet people, which is why they fell in together so easily — but dangerous might be. Because Nate was an essentially lawful person lashing out for revenge and redemption, and very good at it, but with a certain holding-back. Doing a good job, a necessary job, and sort of enjoying it, but not always comfortable with the fact that he enjoys it.

Parker — Parker has never been what Nate was. She doesn't run Leverage because she got broken, she runs it because she got better, and, for the kind of people and systems they are going to go after now, her mind and her spirit are going to be a much better fit. For Nate it was always personal, there was always a face behind things, somebody to punish. Parker feels more in terms of systems to crack. Marks get their painful due, yes, but &madsh; and I'm probably over-reading, and certainly haven't had enough sleep lately &madsh; Parker's gesture as she said that last "leverage" was exactly right in its (very properly unsettling) difference.

I still got all the Nate-to-Parker transition feels, apparently.

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Caveat Reader: I'm not in a good mood right now, and that led directly to writing this fic. It's a non-nice Leverage AU, and as Leverage is kind of fandom's comfort show, it's probably not really interesting even to fans of the show.

Title: Reverse Leverage
Fandom: Leverage AU.
Rating: PG18, just to be in the safe side.
Warnings: Probably doesn't induce happiness, so it's not really Leverage, I guess.

The bedside lamp exploded. Sophie kept her rhythm.Collapse )

Yes, I watch Leverage with a week of delay

I think The Two Live Crew Job is one of my favorite episodes yet. Not that the cons weren't very predictable ---and I think the premise could have been exploited in a deeper way--- but it was a very fun episode, and after all that's what I watch Leverage for at this point.

Some of the highlights for me: Wil Wheaton. Wingspans. Parker, like a dozen different times (the two or three things about ghosts were awesome). Eliot and Mikel's Batman-Vision (yes, that's totally how I called it! cf, for example, the "Tao" story in, IRCC, "Legends of the Dark Knight"). How everybody is in professional awe of Sophie, beginning with Nate.

There were some rather unsubtle points in the plot, but the interesting one was about the difference between a crew and a family.

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Fic: The Purloined Conman (Leverage, PG13)

Title: The Purloined Conman
Rating: PG13
Fandom: Leverage
Summary: Everything is a con. The only variables are your leverage, your intentions, and the scope of it.


Nobody else in the team had thought they could pull it off. They knew what each of them were capable of, but even after working together so long, they hadn't grasped yet what they could do together.

Nathan had always known, though, and it hadn't surprised or unnerved him. They were conmen, and everything was a con.The only variables were your leverage, your intentions, and the scope of it.

Still, when sessions got particularly boring, Nathan wished he hadn't let Sophie talk him into stealing a Senate seat, even if congressional politics offered him a dozen daily chances to screw the corrupt and do some good. He hadn't thought about drinking in months, and there were days when the client mattered to him more than the final twist of the con.

He had the nagging suspicion his team had conned him good.

.finis.
... I'm actually approaching them from the other side of spacetime.

I haven't seen Leverage S02E04 yet, but for a second I misread its title as "The Fairly Oddparents Job," and my heart grew three sizes. A Leverage/Fairly Oddparents crossover! Timmy needs to re-steal the magic cupcake and wishes to have the best thieving crew in the universe! Etc, etc. Cosmo trying to participate in a con would be hilarious.

Leverage!

It was made of awesome and thievery. Not a great scam, but everybody was funny and rocked, from their description of what they did between seasons to, well, everything. Parker is still my favorite, but there's no bad in them.

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