Synopsis for
"Leverage" The Top Hat Job (2009)

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Lillian Foods International Dr. Leigh Jameson does something sneaky on a computer. We know this because she glances around furtively as she copies some files. Then two scary looking dudes walk up behind her. She makes excuses, but is very nervous. They spy her flash drive and see she was copying a study on food borne pathogens. She scrams.

The security guard calls to security downstairs.

In the elevator Dr. Jameson gets a call from her home security system telling her there's been a break-in at her place.

On the ground floor, she takes off her lab coat and walks out, ignoring a man who tells her to stop. She makes it away.

Leigh meets with Nate and Sophie. Her place was trashed yesterday but the only thing stolen was her hard drive. She tells them a month ago a quality control inspector found salmonella on a shipment of frozen dinners. The entire frozen food division was contaminated. The VP, Eric Casten, did a cost benefit analysis that found it'd be cheaper to pay off lawsuits than to pull bad products.

She tosses back a few whiskeys as she's telling her story. Casten decided the number of deaths was acceptable. She's worried Lillian products will kill people. He promises that won't happen. Then the hot young blonde holds Nate's hand. Sophie encourages her.

Leigh says the CEO knows nothing about it, which is why she was copying the report. Nate says he's gonna go tell the team, but Sophie says she'll do it and he should stay with Leigh. A few moments of awkward silence later, Nate decides he needs to go brief the team.

Eliot delivers a pizza to Lillian Foods with a hidden camera inside. Scoping outside, Parker says the first ten floors are free climbing heaven, but after that it's a slip n slide. She brushes off the grimy homeless guy sidling up to her on a park bench.

Back at the condo, Sophie tries to convince Nate to go for the doctor. Inside, Nate's irritated to find Hardison running recon on Lillian Foods without his say-so. Nate tells him to pull Eliot out. Hardison thinks he's got it covered.

Cut to Eliot in pizza gear getting pulled aside by security. He reports to Hardison that he has a problem. They're MRI-ing his pizza and they're standing like ex-CIA. It's a very distinctive stance.

Then Hardison's computer screens start flashing loud alerts. He tries to fend them off, but he gets locked out of his computer. Then the lights in the loft go out.

Mid-fight, Eliot radios Parker that he's coming out "hot." She starts to respond, but the homeless guy on the bench next to her reports into his earpiece that he's "got one" out there.

Eliot makes it through his attackers as outside, Parker jumps on a handrail over the river and backflips off to get away from the homeless guy/security guard coming at her. There's no splash. She's hanging from a beam underneath.

In the condo, Hardison works the keyboard to get the power back on.

Later, with the Leveragers gathered, Hardison tries to defend his infiltration approach. Nate explains that food companies guard their patents like government secrets.

They sit down for another Hardison brief on Erik Casten. Nate thinks they need to get in the building to download the report.

Hardison's way ahead of him. He shipped a cell phone with an extended battery to someone who's on vacation. It used its bluetooth to scan for the server. But all he got was employee emails. He found out who likes who and who doesn't like who, who has a crush on who and how everyone is pissed off that they have to go to the State of the Company meeting the next day.

Nate realizes this last item is their way in. He explains to the others (who, having never held real jobs, have no idea what he's talking about) that the State of the Company meeting is a mandatory all-day event in which the entire company is forced to listen to a bunch of boring speeches and rotten entertainment. It's the one time of year where everyone will be away from their desks. But they can't go in as caterers because they get all their food in house. And the entertainment is...magicians.

Hardison and Parker check out the act. A sleezy guy named Chronos with multiple sexual harassment charges against him. Parker notices that even his assistant seems to hate him. He asks for a volunteer and, reluctently, Parker makes sure she's selected. Hardison shows her the box of mystery schematics on his phone as she goes up.

Parker steps up. After she an Hardison, playing a couple so in love that it's disgusting, share a few too many "love you!"s, she steps into the box. The magician stabs a sword in and hears Parker screaming for him to let her out. Hardison rushes to the stage to help his "girl". Parker pops the door open, totally fine, and announces she was kidding.Then Hardison homes in on Chronos' other acts, revealing the fakery, provoking Chronos into punching him.

The next day, Sophie calls the Lillian head of security to report Chronos won't be able to make it. She just needs him to put the replacement magician team on the security list. In walks Nate in a top hat and tails, doing a showman's routine as Harry Turner, the illusionist.

He introduces his team. The security guy wants to scan their boxes of tricks, but Nate refuses to divulge his secrets. They start to leave. Mr. Price, the CEO, walks by and tells the security guard to lighten up. They're in.

On an empty stage, they let Eliot and a white rabbit out of the box of mystery.

Nate assures Eliot he knows how to perform the tricks. It's all about the rabbit, which they appear to have lost.

The VP will be giving a speech for an hour, giving them time to hack the server.

Seeing how into the magician routine Nate is, Sophie says he really does need a girlfriend.

Later, Sophie chats up the CEO, saying she's doing research for background Nate can use for the act.

Eliot, Parker and Hardison sneak around the building.

Then we see that Sophie isn't really taking notes in her PDA, she's scanning Price for his wifi ID signal. They use it to unlock the elevators.

At the presentation, Price introduces Erik Casten. Instead of the hourlong speech he was scheduled to give, he gets up, says thanks and introduces Nate as Harry the magician. He's without his assistant Parker, who's off breaking into company files.

When Nate comes out on stage, Casten runs off. Nate vamps.

In the elevator, Parker takes off the top panel and prepares to rappel down the shaft. Eliot hooks the other end of her tether to Hardison's belt. When she reaches the end of the rope at the bottom, Hardison is hauled to the top of the elevator and hangs there. Then Parker crashes through the floor and lands on the stage. And, voila, the assistant has arrived!

Hardison crashes to the floor when Parker unhooks. "Really, man?" Eliot says, "You didn't see that oming?"

Nate continues to vamp as Erik tells his security guy he's got some things to take care of, alone.

Upstairs, Eliot and Hardison find Casten going into the server room. Through handy wifi, Hardison electronically spies on his actions. They watch on Casten's camera as he logs on and starts to delete the files.

Nate continues his lame vamping as Sophie tells him to stall. Hardison calls Leigh, asking for a secondary access to the servers. She answers from the bar, sending them elsewhere. Then she orders another drink.

But they're stymied by a biometric lock on the door.

Sophie's on it. She finds Price in the audience.

Nate brings Price out on stage and, as part of a trick, gets him to press his thumb on a phone. They send the print to Hardison, who happens to have a machine on him that can print it out.

But it doesn't work. Luckily, Hardison has some gummy frogs on him, which he uses for their thumb-like consistency as backing for the printed out print. But that doesn't work either. And then there's a retinal scan.

Hearing this news on stage, Nate juggles with one hand and spins a plate and tries to figure out how to get Price's retina. "How many of you would like to see your boss disappear?" he asks the audience. They bring him back on stage. Into the box of mystery he goes. Then they pass the box behind a screen and switch it with another one. Sophie wheels Price down the hall to the elevator as Nate sticks swords in the empty box on stage. He opens it, revealing no Price. Sophie continues transporting him, leaving him in an elevator.

Eliot grabs him upstairs and pushes him to the retinal scanner as Nate makes a dove appear and disappear on stage.

They scan Price's eyes and Eliot takes him back as Hardison slips in the secondary server room.

But he sits down to see Casten has deleted all copies of the report. Hardison relays this to Nate.

Castone calls his henchman to report the files are deleted. Then he notices someone else logged on. The henchman checks with security and locks down the moving elevator. Then he locks Hardison in the secondary server room.

On the elevator, Eliot, with Price in the box, is confronted by a security guy.

Eliot takes on two guards as Price shouts for them to stop.

Hardison radios to Nate that he needs help as Parker hacks up scarves on stage.

Someone reports to the lead security henchman that the magician's assistant took some security guards out.

Eliot meets Sophie outside the elevator and they radio Nate that the show's over, they're blown.

Nate announces it's time for the grand finale as Hardison pulls some drives in the server room.

Then the henchman and Erik find Hardison in the server room, greeting him with a punch to the gut.

Parker and Nate cover themselves with a red velvet fabric rube on stage and count to three as security closes in on them. On the count of three, they disappear, leaving only a cuddly white rabbit in their place.

Erik searches Hardison and finds only magic tricks on his phone. The security guard chokes Hardison and then escorts him out.

The magician's van outside is gone. So is Casten's cell phone. Hardison gets a call from it. It's Nate. He explains that misdirection is the key to magic. He asks what's really valuable on those servers.

Flash back to Hardison saying the copies of the report are all gone. Then Nate telling him to get the food patents.

Casten tells him they didn't get the patents out of the building, but Nate says Casten did, on his phone.

Flash to Parker lifting Casten's phone outside moments ago as Nate explains that the patents will be found on his phone the day he entered the server room. We're also reminded of Hardison's ability to tap into his phone wirelessly.

Nate tells Casten to let Hardison go and pull the frozen food. Leigh and Price walk up behind him. She also wants a letter of apology. Price tells Casten he'll also be resigning.

Back at the condo, Hardison tries to impress Parker with a card trick (she keeps stealing the cards) and Sophie suggests again that Nate call Dr. Jameson. Eliot assures her Nate's fine, he's not even drinking. Sophie worries that Nate's success at their cons is teaching him he can control everything. She's worried about what happens when he loses. Last time, it nearly broke him and she doesn't think he could recover again.


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