"Leverage" The Studio Job (TV Episode 2010) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • One of Christian Kane's many talents is showcased when Eliot works a musical con. This is appropriate, since Eliot is the only one who gets why the songbird client, Kaye Lynn, dealt with the thuggish country music producer, Mitchell Kirkwood (Jon Schneider) at all. Parker is sporting more skirts for her casual wear; Sophie is the one with punk blue clip-on hair weave and Terminator glasses. As she goes rock and roll, Nate goes country. Eliot is a genuine hottie, Kenneth Crane (whether one likes lite country or not.) Hardison and Parker must grab the digital masters. Will Eliot follow a new star with Kaye Lynn, to be a part of the next Johnny and June?

  • When Eliot poses as a country music singer to help run a con against a corrupt recording studio executive, things get complicated when he becomes a bona fide star.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A young woman sings a plaintive country tune as her brotherstrums along on the guitar. Suddenly, two goons and a guy in a leather blazer bust into their house. The head guy reminds the kids he warned them not to talk to lawyers. They stomp on the brother's hands.

    Cut to the girl, Kaylin, talking to the Leveragers in their bar HQ. She tells them the guy was Kirkwood and he owns a record label that they've been writing songs for. Her brother will never play the guitar again. She and her brother got a bad deal and he pretty much owns them, even though he owes them hundreds of thousands in royalties.

    He offered to let them make their own record, but he took it when it turned out great.

    Up in loft HQ, Hardison briefs them on Mitchell Kirkwood (John Schneider), who had a one song career as a recording artist. They want to steal the digital masters, get Kaylin's money back and make sure Kirkwood doesn't come after them.

    Nate and Sophie both decide they need to use "the Fiddle game," which involves selling one for a lot more than it's worth.

    Kirkwood strolls into the Saddlebag Saloon where he immediately sees Sophie is at his regular table. He sits down at the bar next to Nate. Hardison makes his way to the sound booth where he checks out the sound guy's iTunes and finds he likes Brooks & Dunn.

    Parker twirls through the crowd picking pockets until she finds tickets to the show that night. She slips them under the door of the sound booth where Hardison uses them to get rid of the sound guy for the night.

    At the bar, Nate pretends to be a music manager and chats up a talent of his and a European lady who offered them $25,000 for the rights to a song. He points to Sophie. Kirkwood offers to talk to Sophie for Nate, you know, out of the goodness of his heart.

    Parker's still confused about what the fiddle is in this scenario. It walks through the door: Eliot.

    Above the crowd, Eliot admits he's nervous. Hardison says he's going to be able Autotune him as he sings.

    Kirkwood joins Sophie and introduces herself as Virginia Ellington. She leaves her stuff at the table as Kirkwood leads her on a tour. One of Kirkwood's goons goes through her laptop and cell phone, which make her look like a big music player.

    Backstage, Kaylin shows Eliot a few chords on the guitar by sidling up really close to him. She tries to put him in the right heart broken frame of mind to sing.

    Kirkwood's goon tells him Sophie's a record exec. She tells him one of her rappers wants to sample Kenneth Crane's song (Eliot).

    Eliot takes the stage and sings Kaylin's song. (Fun fact: Christian Kane actually has a country music career.)

    Back stage, Hardison tells Nate the Autotune isn't working, but Eliot's on stage doing just fine without it. Kirkwood's interest is piqued.

    After, he joins Kaylin backstage. She tells him he was amazing and hugs him. Then kisses him. He takes out his earbud.

    Kirkwood's goons come for Nate to escort him out. Nate asks for Eliot, but he can't hear because he's earbudless.

    The sound guy comes back to Hardison in the booth, peeved that the ticket he gave him is for tomorrow night.

    And Kirkwood makes a pitch to Sophie to intercede on the deal.

    In a backroom, Nate watches three very large men prepare to beat the tar out of him. Eliot finally puts his earbud backs in and rushes to Nate, but pauses to sign an autograph.

    Later, Kirkwood joins Nate to find his goons knocked out at his feet. Kirkwood throws him an envelope of cash.

    Later, they present the cash to Kaylin, just 10 percent of what Kirkwood is going to give them later at the studio when Eliot records. Parker will break in then and steal the digital masters.

    At Kirkwood studios, they prep for the arrival of major recording stars. An assistant meets Parker as a Bjork-like sensitive artist in a duck dress and Hardison as a blinged out rap star.

    Eliot is having some trouble getting to the studio because he's being followed by a pack of screaming teenage female fans. Via earbud he tells Hardison he's not happy about the publicity because there's a price on his head in three different countries, and possibly a fatwa. Hardison promises to take down the fan page.

    Nate chows down on a plate of ribs for breakfast with Sophie when Kirkwood finds them. She immediately gets in character and slaps Nate, then tells Kirkwood she knows he went behind her to buy the rights to the song she wanted.

    At the studio, Eliot and Hardison go to record as Parker goes to look for a "meditation room." Hardison keeps interrupting Eliot offering advice as Parker checks rooms in the studio. She swipes the assistant's pass to get into a secured room. She hears Eliot playing beneath her, which is weird because the studio is supposed to be soundproof. She finds the floor safe with the masters inside as the sound guy gives Kirkwood's goon the master Eliot just finished.

    Sophie has lunch with Kirkwood, who tells her he'll give her $100,000 for the rights to Kenneth Crane's song if she leaves Crane alone. He's thinking about getting back in the business using the song himself.

    After he leaves, Sophie tells Nate that Kirkwood, who's supposed to be buying the metaphorical fiddle, now thinks he is the fiddle.

    Meanwhile, Kirkwood gives his goon an order. The goon takes out a gun.

    Parker joins Hardison. They find the master for Krikwood's one song and find the artist's name is blacked out. Kirkwood stole it from someone and recorded it himself.

    Meanwhile, Parker and Hardison completely fail to notice Kirkwood's goon going after Eliot in the sound booth. They find that neither the master nor the single Kirkwood released are actually him singing. It's someone named Jesse Jenkins. As Eliot beats the tar out of Kirkwood's goon, Nate accurately guesses that Jenkins died under mysterious circumstances and Kirkwood was suspected but not charged.

    Back at the hotel, they realize they don't have Eliot's master. He goes to check on Kaylin. She's in tears, having just learned Kirkwood is taking her spot in the big music festival and planning to sing her song.

    Eliot asks the gang what they can do, but with the festival that night they think it's too late. He climbs on a motorcycle and takes off with Kaylin.

    Leaving the hotel, the team sees a crowd of Eliot's fans. They block Kirkwood's SUV, giving Eliot time to catch up. Inside, Kirkwood is practicing singing to Eliot's recording.

    At the festival, Sophie doesn't think they can stall Kirkwood. But Parker, still in her Bjork costume, takes the stage and starts doing vocal chicken exercises to delay things. Eliot and Kaylin pull up to the venue. Eliot confronts Kirkwood on stage with the curtain still closed and accuses him of trying to kill him the same way he killed Jesse Jenkins. But Kirkwood socks him in the gut, saying he won't confess in a room full of microphones.

    The announcer presents Kirkwood. He stars singing Eliot's song (in his voice) and gets one verse in before Kaylin starts singing acapela from the second floor. Then Kirkwood's whispered confession to Eliot is played over the loud speakers.

    Flash back to Kirkwood punching Eliot and whispering into his earbud. Kirkwood tries to leave, but Eliot stops him with the proper gut punch.

    Later, Eliot gets his master back as Kirkwood is taken away by police. Kaylin gets a lot of A & R guy's business cards. He gives the master to Kaylin, who invites him to Nashville with her. He kisses her but says he's too far down a road in another direction.

    The gang regroups after a job well done. Eliot wants to know how Nate took out Kirkwood's goons on his own. Sophie wants to know where Eliot was. A girl comes up to Eliot and he thinks she wants an autograph. But she only asks the time. So much for fame.

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