Walt Whitman Wellesley IV (David Ogden Stiers) never made it to Nate's naughty list, even though he is rich as Croescus. WWWIV asks the team to find his missing bride, Lacey, whom he met at a charity auction. They travel to the Hamptons to infiltrate a bachelor auction and look for one run-away bride. They uncover a ring of "Laceys," all on script with their tripping and soul gazing seduction techniques. It is up to Lady Charlotte Prentice to lure the ringleaders from hiding so the team can "gift wrap" a very special present for the bad guys.
While searching for a philanthropist's missing wife, the team comes up against a grifter ring running a web of sophisticated "Sweetheart Scams". Now, Nate must learn how to steal hearts... or risk losing Sophie's for good.
- Two goons walk into the bar (rimshot). They're coming for Nate, but Eliot fends them off. They're quick, but soon at a mutual standstill of weaponry.
The goons' boss walks in and calls off his dogs.
He's Walt Whitman Wellsley IV, on the board of several corporations and foundations. Nate knows who he is. He wants Nate's help, but Nate tells him he's exactly the kind of guy he helps people against.
The big stately man breaks down sobbing.
Walt tells Nate and Sophie his wife Lacey has been kidnapped. She's been gone four days, with no ransom call. Nate suggests perhaps she left him, but he rejects the idea, even though he's an older man and she's younger. He was married to his first wife Dot for 37 years, but she died, then he met Lacey and was swept away. He offers Nate whatever he wants if he finds her. He begs. Nate tells him yes, but he wants the promise of a future favor when asked. Walt agrees.
In the condo, Hardison breaks Walt down. He looks like every heartless CEO they've taken down, but he's given away more than Bill and Melinda Gates. Lacey "bought" him at a bachelor auction in the Hamptons and they got married a month later. Her bank account shows $2 million in cash withdrawals awhile back and the account was emptied and closed four days ago. Sophie realizes Lacey's a grifter. Hardison has found a bunch of mysterious deaths of rich men after marrying young spouses, all in the Hamptons. They might be dealing with a Black Widow.
There's another auction tomorrow night, they're off to the Hamptons.
At the party, they expect to find Lacey has drastically altered her appearance. Parker snaps photos of women and matches them to Hardison's facial recognition software.
The MC in a hideously garish blazer kicks off the auction, Hardison and Eliot are bachelors. They bet a steak dinner over whoever gets the highest bid. Eliot starts at $1,000. Parker and Sophie drive the price up. Eliot homes in a blonde who's interested in him. She jumps it up to $10,000 and wins him. A society photographer snaps their picture and the French winner bidder falls into Eliot's arms.
Hardison is last. Parker duels with an interested woman in the front. He gets nervous around $6,000 but the woman steps up and bids $15,000. The woman from the society page snaps their pictures. She introduces herself to Sophie as Meredith. When she snaps Hardison, his woman also falls into his arms.
Meredith then walks into the bar that Nate is tending and they bond over good Scotch.
Sophie starts noticing what's going on around her and realizes the women are all using classic seduction techniques. Every woman in there is a grifter.
Parker and Sophie stroll through the ballroom, cloning the women's cell phones. They go over them and the phones turn out to all be burners with no names in the contact lists. Sophie wants to figure out who their leader is. She calls for a distraction and Nate tells Parker to pick a fight with Hardison's date. She takes it too literally and decks her. The ruse works, the woman all flock to Meredith for direction.
Nate follows Meredith out and acknowledges he's not a booze vendor. He suggests they team up and his men can con the women and vice versa. She calls for a test and tells him to prove his skills by seducing the woman of her choosing, who just happens to be Sophie standing nearby (she thinks Sophie is a duchess). Nate's about to make his move, when the MC steps in and whisks Sophie away.
Back in their hotel room, Hardison shows Nate two addresses he got from hacking Meredith's GPS. He's smarting over Sophie being wooed by the MC, Oscar.
Sophie creeps back into their room late at night, trying not to wake Nate up. She accuses Nate of being a little bit jealous and suggests he could learn a few romance tips from Oscar. She doesn't want to know his plans for wooing her, but leaves him with a kiss.
The next morning, Eliot reports on Oscar's night with Sophie. He's getting her into all the best places.
Hardison tries to collect on his steak bet, but Eliot says it's off because it was rigged. After some badgering, Eliot agrees to make him prime rib when it's all over.
Hardison hacked the employee schedule of the fancy restaurant where Oscar is taking Sophie. Eliot is in as the sous chef and Hardison is the sommelier, just as soon as Eliot teaches him about the wine.
At the restaurant, Sophie and Oscar sit down to lunch and Nate sits at the table nearby. Someone brings him an envelope. It's an earbud from Meredith, who spies nearby.
Nate works a crossword puzzle and orders a flight of red wines.
Parker finds the first address is a marina and she can't search every boat, she heads to the second.
At the restaurant, Hardison the sommelier spills wine on Oscar. He goes to clean up and Eliot nabs him. Nate pays Sophie's bill and introduces himself. She helps him with his crossword puzzle and accepts his offer of Italian ice on the water.
Eliot bribes a guitar player in the park to play something romantic.
Parker gets to the second address and finds lots of photos of women on the walls.
Nate lends Sophie his coat as they sit down to Italian ice in a park.
Parker comes up empty, but sees a photo of Walt's wife "Lacey" on the wall, it's signed "Julie." She takes it with her.
In the park, Nate gives friendly advice to a girl with a baseball. Sophie asks about his dad and Nate talks about going to Fenway with his dad. Nate's enjoying his seduction and tells Sophie she's beautiful. Meredith has seen enough and is convinced.
Parker picks Sophie up in a taxi and drives off. Meredith pulls up and tells Nate to get in to discuss their partnership.
Eliot does a quick fingerprint exam on Lacey's picture. Her fingerprint matches a woman named Christine who lives nearby.
Meredith walks Nate to her boat in the marina.
Eliot and Sophie find Christine gardening in a modest backyard. When they mention Lacey she starts pleading, saying she never contacted Walt. When they explain they're there to find her, she burst into tears.
On Meredith's boat, Nate pops open the champagne. Meredith introduces her business partner, Oscar, who's name is really Sanji.
Christine tearfully explains that she sent Meredith $2 million wanting to be free of her, but once Christine/Lacey fell in love with Walt, Meredith didn't trust to keep silent. Meredith promised Walt would have a terrible accident if she didn't keep quiet, just like her late husbands did. She didn't know about Meredith's deadly history until it was too late.
On the boat, Meredith takes Nate's comm and dunks it in champagne. Sanji pulls a gun on him. Hardison sees the comm off-line alert and they race to the marina.
Meredith tells Nate he doesn't have the ruthlessness he needs to do what she does. Meredith leaves Sanji and Nate on the boat. Sanji tells Nate sorry and then, as Meredith walks away, a gunshot rings out, followed by a large splash. Sophie meets her on the dock. Meredith is impressed. Then Nate strolls down the dock.
Flash back to Nate headbutting Sanji and Eliot leaping down from the top of the boat and attacking him, then flipping him into the water.
Nate says he has her records. Flash back to Parker creeping onto her boat and stealing her cell phone then running it back to Hardison, who downloaded it. They sent all her info to every mark she has on file and fingerprints to the authorities.
Back at the bar, Walt and Lacey/Christine have a joyful reunion.
Flower deliveries come, a flytrap for Parker and roses for Sophie. Hardison and Nate have no idea what's going on, but Eliot gives them a knowing wink.
Nate gets a call from the man who wants to pull his strings, Lattimer (Leon Rippy), he says a man had his invention stolen and his team could recover it and get the man millions. Nate thinks it's a con and hangs up.
Lattimer calls someone and reports Nate wouldn't take the job, then says "if you do that, it's war." He gets an answer. "War it is, then."