Rating: Leverage, Season 3

We’ve been rewatching and rating Leverage and we’re through season 3. (For more on how our rating system works, see here, which also covers season 1 of Leverage.) Here’s how the season looks to us.

Leverage, season 3

  1. “The Jailhouse Job” – 4.5
  2. “The Reunion Job” – 5
  3. “The Inside Job” – 7
  4. “The Scheherazade Job” – 4
  5. “The Double-Blind Job” – 5.5
  6. “The Studio Job” – 5.5
  7. “The Gone-Fishin’ Job” – 7
  8. “The Boost Job” – 5.5
  9. “The Three-Card Monte Job” – 1
  10. “The Underground Job” – 6
  11. “The Rashomon Job” – 8
  12. “The King George Job” – 7.5
  13. “The Morning After Job” – 4.5
  14. “The Ho, Ho, Ho Job” – 8
  15. “The Big Bang Job” – 4.5
  16. “The San Lorenzo Job” – 6

Season 3 has a lot of decent but not excellent episodes in the 4-6 range, but the average for the season is brought down to 5.6 (just a hint below season 2’s 5.7) by one real stinker.

To get the bad stuff out of the way first: “The Three-Card Monte Job” is the season’s worst episode and only total bomb. It’s a story about a father and son who have a bad relationship and are bad at communicating with each other. Snore. We are so, so over father-son angst. Even a few clever on-the-spot caper bits by the team can’t save this episode. This season also includes a half-hearted attempt at an arc which never really pays off, but at least it doesn’t get in the way of the usual heists and capers too badly.

On the other hand, we have two solid episodes tied for best of the season at 8. “The Rashomon Job” is a sparklingly clever take on the heist genre as the main characters all recount, from their own perspectives, how once, before they all started working together, they were all after the same priceless work of art at the same time. The main cast really shines in this one as they get to play out different versions of the same scene, and so does John Billingsley in a brilliant guest performance. “The Ho, Ho, Ho Job” is a feel-good Christmas episode that also features the return of Wil Wheaton’s pain-in-the-ass hacker Kaos. There are lovely character bits in this episode, too, including Parker’s childlike love of Christmas and Elliot playing the grumpiest Santa Claus ever.

Any Leverage fans out there want to weigh in? Got a different pick for the best or worst episodes of the season? Let us know in the comments!

Image: Leverage cast via IMDb

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.

Rating: Leverage, Season 2

We’ve been rewatching and rating Leverage and we’ve got season 2 under our belts now. (For more on how our rating system works, see here, which also covers season 1 of Leverage.) Here’s our take on the season.

Leverage, season 2

  1. “The Beantown Bailout” – 5.5
  2. “The Tap-Out Job” – 2.5
  3. “The Order 23 Job” – 6
  4. “The Fairy Godparents Job” – 4.5
  5. “The Three Days of the Hunter Job” – 8
  6. “The Top Hat Job” – 2
  7. “The Two Live Crew Job” – 8
  8. “The Ice Man Job” – 8
  9. “The Lost Heir Job” – 7
  10. “The Runway Job” – 5.5
  11. “The Bottle Job” – 5.5
  12. “The Zanzibar Marketplace Job” – 4
  13. “The Future Job” – 7
  14. “The Three Strikes Job” – 8
  15. “The Maltese Falcon Job” – 4

This season is a lot of highs and lows. Several weak episodes are balanced out by a number of strong ones. The average for the season is 5.7, which is respectable but a step down from season 1, which averaged just under 6. The show was finding its footing this season and striking out in some new directions, which sometimes paid off but other times just fell flat.

We have a four-way tie for the best episode, all at a solid 8. In “The Three Days of the Hunter Job” the team manufactures a government conspiracy in order to discredit a ruthless reporter. In “The Two Live Crew Job,” they compete with another team (featuring Wil Wheaton as a pain-in-the-ass hacker!) to steal a priceless painting. In “The Ice Man Job,” Hardison, the hacker, gets in over his head while trying to show that he can get out from behind the computer and do an in-person grift, and the rest of the team has to improvise a heist around him to get him out. In “The Three Strikes Job,” the whole team get in over their head as they get tangled up in a larger plot involving the mob, the FBI, and a corrupt mayor. All of these episodes play with the heist/con formula in interesting ways and give the actors a chance to stretch their wings and tackle something new. In these episodes, we really see the creative team’s willingness to tinker with the mechanics of the procedural format pay off well.

The lesser episodes of the season also show attempts to vary the formula, but they don’t come off as well. The worst of the season is “The Top Hat Job,” at only 2. In this episode, the heist is pretty simple and most of the screentime is taken up by the team’s distraction event: Nate, the most mediocre and uninteresting character on the team, putting on a mediocre and uninteresting magic show.

Any Leverage fans out there want to weigh in? Got a different pick for the best or worst episodes of the season? Let us know in the comments!

Image: Leverage cast via IMDb

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.

Rating: Leverage, Season 1

We like to watch tv together and we enjoy rewatching the best episodes of series we’ve seen before, but how do you remember which episodes were worth seeing again and which to skip? We came up with a solution to that problem: now when we watch a series, we rate each episode. Each of us gives each episode a rating from 0 to 5, like this:

  • 0 – Terrible, I never want to see it again.
  • 1 – Pretty bad, but had a few redeeming features
  • 2 – Not awful, but kind of lacking
  • 3 – Decent, solid, nothing special
  • 4 – Pretty good
  • 5 – Awesome!

(We also sometimes give half-points, so a 3.5 might be for an episode that is a little better than average.) Then we add our scores together to get a total rating from 0 to 10. We note this score down on a slip of paper that we keep with our discs. (We like to watch shows on disc. We’re old-fashioned like that.)

We often end up giving the same rating to an episode, so a rating of 6 usually means we both gave it a 3. Part of the fun of watching and rating is chatting about the episode afterwards to see how we both felt about it.

Now when we go back to rewatch a show we can decide what kind of mood we’re in. If we want to plow through everything—good, bad, and indifferent—we can. If we want to just skip the worst episodes, we can watch everything that rated above a 2. If we want only the good stuff, we can stick to 6 and above. If we only want the highlights, we can go for 8 and up. (Or straight to the tens.)

We recently finished rewatching and rating the first season of Leverage, an adventure/comedy show about a gang of thieves and con artists who decide to go straight(-ish) and start using their skills to take on wealthy criminals and evil corporations. Here’s how we felt about season 1.

The average of the ratings this season’s episodes is just under 6, which is respectable and pretty solid for the first season of a show.

The highest rating this season was an 8, for which two episodes tied. The first was the pilot, ep. 1 “The Nigerian Job,” about how the team all comes together for revenge on a corrupt executive who used them to steal a rival company’s plans and them sold them out. The other was ep. 8, “The Mile High Job,” in which the team stumbles into an attempted murder on an airplane and has to improvise their way through to keep the target safe. Both of these episodes give all of the characters plenty of time to shine and throw lots of interesting problems in their way for them to solve.

Our lowest-rated episode this season was only a 3, ep. 11 “The Juror #6 Job,” in which Parker, the team’s not-exactly-social thief, finds herself doing jury duty under one of her aliases. We found the case uninspiring and the character interactions a little icky.

Our full ratings:

Leverage, season 1

  1. “The Nigerian Job” – 8
  2. “The Homecoming Job” – 6
  3. “The Two Horse Job” – 7
  4. “The Miracle Job” – 5
  5. “The Bank Shot Job” – 5.5
  6. “The Stork Job” – 4.5
  7. “The Wedding Job” – 5
  8. “The Mile High Job” – 8
  9. “The Snow Job” – 6
  10. “The 12-Step Job” – 7.5
  11. “The Juror #6 Job” – 3
  12. “The First David Job” – 5
  13. “The Second David Job” – 7

Any Leverage fans out there want to weigh in? Got a different pick for the best or worst episodes of the season? Let us know in the comments!

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.