The team reminisces about a night they each tried to steal the Dagger of Aqu’Abi in the change-of-pace “The Rashomon Job” episode of LEVERAGE. Watching news coverage of a present-day exhibition of the dagger reminds the team of a night five years before when the dagger was also on display and when each team member claims to have stolen it, they decide to each describe their adventure and have Nate judge which one is the true thief. Their stories intersect and build on each other’s until Nate’s version gives the most complete picture of both the theft and the team members as they were before they started working together. In the end, there is no theft because the dagger the team had lusted after was actually a fake, planted by the owner who was running an insurance scam.
Pulling off a multiple point of view story is as hard as stealing a priceless dagger, but the Leverage team is more than up to the task. Each version of the tale fits perfectly with its storyteller and there is remarkably little repetition, so the pacing is brisk. Best of all, we see each team member’s first impression of the others, and while it’s not pretty, it is hilarious. Hardison saw Eliot as a psychotic nutcase since he, while impersonating a doctor, was going to use a carving knife to open Hardison’s airway. Parker viewed the rest of the team as blathering idiots because that’s how Parker sees everyone.
Each team member’s attempt is exactly what you might expect, from Sophie’s elaborate con with dual aliases to Parker’s gutsy, straightforward theft–she even carried the dagger in plain sight as she left through the ventilation shaft. I love that each team member played a significant role in the others’ stories and absolutely didn’t remember each other, and my favorite part of the episode is the running gag about Sophie’s accent. In Eliot’s flashback, she sounds like Eliza Doolittle, so she amends her memory to turn Eliot into a hillbilly, In Hardison’s, she has a butchered Irish brogue, and in Parker’s, she speaks gibberish, leading Sophie to declare, “I hate you all.” Gina Bellman is terrific all around here, and I love that only Nate heard Sophie as she was.
The team was working together long before they intended. Eliot cleared Sophie’s path when he knocked out a security guard to steal his uniform. Hardison tampering with the security system helps Parker, Parker drops the dagger right into Nate’s hands, and Nate saves Eliot`s life by setting up his boss for the theft. At the episode’s end, the team watches with identical expressions of disgust as the dagger’s new owner, the CEO of an oil company that just had a massive spill, speaks callously and then leaves, one by one, to really steal the dagger this time.
Creative and very funny, “The Rashomon Job” is one of my favorite LEVERAGE episodes so far. The witty writing is tight, the cast seems to be having a blast, and there`s some interesting backstory. There’s even a mention of the almost forgotten Moreau job. What more could I ask for?
What did you think of “The Rashomon Job?” Is it worthy of Kurosawa’s film?