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Leverage Main | When Darkness Falls

3x04 The Scheherazade Job

[Conference Room]

(a man wheels in a cake shaped like a country)

Moto: This is my homeland. Wadata. You may not have heard of it, but you will. We are rich in resources. Diamonds, and a newly discovered oil field offshore. But while we are rich in resources, we are poor in leadership. My brother, the President, is a good man, but he does not have the will to make our country attractive to investors. Hmm. I do.

Man: Mr. Moto, your brother is a very popular leader. How confident are you that you can succeed him?

Moto: Well, some have tried to stop our progress, but we are making every effort to resolve these conflicts.

[Exterior Street]

Jane (on phone): You tell Mr. Moto that Jane Akinyemi from the West Africa Newswire called again.

(Jane sees a ticket stuck under her windshield wiper and takes it off to look at it)

Jane: Wait, this is not for my car.

(a car comes careening down the street. Jane dives into her car and the speeding car rips her door off before speeding away)

[McRory’s Pub]

(Eliot and Hardison walk into the pub together, jostling shoulders in the doorway)

Eliot: Damn it, Hardison.

Hardison: What are you doing here?

Eliot: What do you mean, what am I doing here? Nate asked me to come to the client meeting 'cause somebody tried to kill her. What are you doing here? (they sit at a table with Nate) I thought "Take your daughter to Work-Day" was last week.

Hardison: I'm here to check out what Nate does. For when I run my own crew one day.

Nate: Wait, wait, wait. Hey, whoa. Hardison, that's why you wanted to come? No.

Hardison: What do you mean, "No"? I am the super-skrull. Okay, I have all y'all's skills. I hack, I grift, I thieve.

Eliot: Do you fight?

Hardison: I have a dog for that. Name's Megabite.

Nate: Hey, Hardison. You can't do what I do.

Hardison: Why, y-you think I'm not smart enough?

Nate: Nah. No, you're smart enough. That's the easy part.

Hardison: What's the hard part?

Nate: Jane.

Jane (approaching table): Hello. Yes. Nice to see you again.

Nate: I'd like you to meet my associates here, Eliot Spencer and Alec Hardison. Please.

Jane: Those men have been following me.

(two men move toward the bar. Nate looks at Eliot and nods. Eliot gets up and walks over to the two men, acting drunk

Eliot: Say, man, I think... I think that's my jacket that you got on.

Man: Back off.

Eliot: Look, I left it too long at the dry cleaners. You can't just give away somebody's jacket. This is my jacket. If I could just get it back from you. Yeah, I liked it. My mom gave it to me.

(one of the men turn and punch Eliot in the stomach)

Man: I said back off!

(Eliot twists the man’s arm and straightens, bringing the man to his knees. He punches the second man in the face)

Eliot: What's up?

(the second man swings and Eliot blocks, then punches the man in the face knocking him back against wall. The second man comes back and Eliot kicks him in the stomach. Eliot punches the first man in the stomach then pulls him to his feet and throws him against the second man. Eliot approaches a woman standing near by and takes her drink)

Eliot: Excuse me.

(Eliot drains the drink and hands woman back the glass)

Eliot: Thank you.

(Eliot turns back to the two men and they exit the bar. Eliot returns to the table an sits down)

Eliot (to Hardison): Can your dog do that?

Jane: The conditions there are deplorable. When the children who work in Mr. Moto's diamond mine meet their quota, they earn $1.50 a day. When they don't, they go hungry.

Eliot: Yeah, or worse. I've fought in these countries. I've seen these kids. You make it out of the mine, well, then you get an M16 in the rebel army.

Nate: And Mr. Moto, he smuggles his diamonds into the U.S., and then he launders them through his real-estate holdings here in Boston.

Hardison: I guess it pays to have a brother who's President.

Jane: The President is a good man who has worked hard to raise the standard of living for our people. But his brother is very smart. He covers his tracks. That is why he'll win.

Eliot: This money that Alexander's saving, this--this is for a coup?

Jane: No. An election. Term limits will force his brother out in less than a year. Nothing will stop Alexander then. Rumor has it he's already sold the country to corporations.

Nate: Yeah, for that giant oil field they discovered, right?

Hardison: So, from diamond smuggler to OPEC member. That's a nice bounce.

Jane: In four days, our President will visit his brother here in Boston. That will solidify Alexander as his heir apparent back home.

Nate: Jane, don't you think that when, when that article you wrote comes out, that the Justice Department--

Jane: Will do nothing! I brought them proof of Moto's crimes months ago. They started an investigation, then stopped. Why?

Nate: I don't know. But I know how to find out.

[Interior Car]

(the Italian approaches Nate’s car and gets into the passenger’s seat)

Nate: Well, thank you for seeing me on, uh, short notice.

Italian: You are helping me to catch Damien Moreau. It's just good manners.

Nate: Did I drag you away from a-a party or something?

Italian: A date. With a fugitive who is no longer a fugitive.

Nate: Oh. Oh.

Italian: Mr. Ford, I don't have time for this. You come here about Alexander Moto, right?

Nate: Yes, yes, yes. Diamond smuggler, aspiring kleptocrat seemed like, uh, your kind of guy.

Italian: You wanted to know why the US leaves him alone?

Nate: That's right.

Italian: Here it is. He identifies jihadists in Africa.

Nate: You mean terrorists. He's a paid informant.

Italian: Yes. Once a month, he gives CIA a name, and they give him back money. It's... Come se dice? A side job? Have you had dinner? 'cause I don't like eating alone.


(Nate pictures himself eating with the Italian, toasting each other with wine. A man moves up behind Nate and uses a garrote on him while the Italian watches dispassionately)

[Interior Car]

Nate: Y-yeah, I got plans.

Italian: Well, it will be for the next time.

Nate: Yeah.

[Leverage HQ]

Eliot: Wait a minute. This guy makes money off the backs of children, and nobody goes after him, because he feeds the CIA a bunch of names?

Sophie: And what are the odds that these co-called "Jihadists" aren't terrorists at all? They're more likely to be Moto's political rivals back home.

Nate: I'll take that bet. And if the government won't go after Moto, we will. Now, he bought his real estate at the top of the market, so he's leveraged up to his eyeballs. And the only thing keeping him afloat from not going bankrupt is the steady flow of diamonds. And what's the best thing about smuggled diamonds?

Sophie: Oh, I know this one. It's the way that they shimmer. On the deck of a billionaire's yacht in the moonlight.

Eliot: Because they're uninsured.

Nate: Right. So, we go after Moto's diamonds, and we end a political career before it starts. We just have to find out where the vault is.

[Exterior Street]

Nate: Parker.

Parker (taking photos): Okay, we are at stop 4 on our tour of Alexander Moto's Boston properties.

[Interior Van]

Hardison: Records show he just renovated the place with state-of-the-art security tech, but he wouldn't put a vault in here.

Nate: Why is that?

Hardison: It's Raines Concert Hall, where the Massachusetts Chamber Orchestra plays. Why--

[Exterior Street]

Parker: They have concerts here? Look at that foundation. I thought this was a bank.

Hardison: Like... like I said—

[Interior Van]

Hardison: --it's the perfect place for a vault.

[Exterior Street]

Parker: Aww. (picks a lock on a mechanical panel) Junior High. And they thought Jackie Thomas' report card was safe. Guys, they have a dedicated air line that goes straight down to the basement. Used for storing extremely delicate items. That's where your vault is.

[Interior Van]

Hardison: Hey, guys, I think I may have found his fragile item. Moto just purchased a Stradivarius violin for $4.5 million.

[Leverage HQ]

Sophie: This all fits. Moto's made himself a patron of the arts in Boston. To, you know, up his profile with the old-money crowd.

Nate: And what's his vulnerability?

Sophie: His ties to America. His father sent him out of the country at an early age. He was educated in Europe, got his MBA at Harvard. His brother's a national hero. But Moto doesn't even speak his native language.

Eliot: He's gonna have to kiss a lot of babies, or stuff a lot of ballot boxes.

Nate: So Moto's problem is, is that he's an outsider to his own people.

Parker: Yeah, well, what about my problem?

[Exterior Street]

Parker: I can't break into a vault without seeing the inside first.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Yeah, okay, so, you need a tour of the vault, and Moto, our mark, needs to look good back home. Let's go steal the man on the street. In Africa.

(later, Eliot talks on the phone with Jane)

Nate: Jane, has Moto ever given you an interview?

Jane: Never.

Eliot: Does he drink?

Jane: On occasion. Why?

Nate: No reason. Listen, stay away from your apartment, and call me at the first sign of any trouble.

Jane: Okay.

(Hardison modifies and image of Moto to make him look like he’s holding a bottle of champagne, surrounded by beautiful women)

Eliot: That's nice. Make him, make him look drunker. And then richer.

Hardison: What you want me to do, give the man a pet tiger?

Eliot: Can you do that?

(Hardison places the photo into an article. Later, Eliot pretends to walk in front of a green screen while Hardison films him)

Eliot: The protests were sparked by an interview with the President's brother in which he referred to the Wadata National Soccer Team as "Little Schoolgirls"! In any... (ducks) whoa. That was a close one. Uh, in any case, Alexander Moto's status as his brother's heir apparent is clearly in jeopardy. I'm Guy Hamilton, reporting from Wadata.

[Moto’s Office]

(a video of Eliot walking through the streets of Wadata is on a computer monitor)

Eliot: ...Referred to the Wadata national soccer team as "Little Schoolgirls" in any... (ducks) That was close.

(Moto pauses the video of Eliot and turns toward a laptop where he is video conferencing with his brother, the president)

Moto: I never said any of these things! This is a smear campaign orchestrated by my enemies!

President: Enemies you wouldn't have. If you were here solving our country's problems.

Moto: It's easy for you to judge me from your throne in the Presidential palace, isn't it?!

President: I serve the people of this country. The fact that you see it as a throne makes me sadder than you can know. (disconnects call)

Moto: You are...

Wallie: Do you think your brother could have something to do with this?

Moto: No. It is that reporter, Jane Akinyemi. You should have taken care of her!

Wallie: You're right. And it is more difficult now, but--

Moto: What do you want me to do?! Just sit here while my entire country turns against me?

Wallie: You had a phone call this morning. From a woman who says she can handle these types of matters. Her name is...

(later Sophie hands a business card across the desk to Moto)

Sophie: Kristi Connelly from Bulger-Maple.

Moto: I appreciate your time, Ms. Connelly. But I am skeptical that I could benefit from public relations.

Sophie: Oh, I prefer the term "Perception Management". Perhaps you'd like to see a reference from one of my recent clients, the leaders of Uzbekistan or... Myanmar.

Moto: Those are two of the world's most notorious dictators.

Sophie: Whom I am rebranding as effective CEOs, leading their countries into the 21st century, just as I can rebrand you as a force for good in your own country.

Moto: Ah, yes. The "Oprah" Way. Open a school. Open a clinic. Get out the checkbook.

Sophie: We're much more sophisticated than that now. Have you heard the phrase "One death is a tragedy, a thousand deaths is a statistic"? Well, the same holds true for acts of charity. Build a school, and you just remind people of your wealth, But, help one single child, and you're a hero.

Moto: It certainly sounds more affordable. What do you have in mind?

Sophie (hands Moto a file): This young man's name is Temi. He's a taxi driver that emigrated here from Wadata with a dream to attend the world-famous New England Conservatory to study the violin. You're gonna make his dream come true. The poor need schools and clinics, but what they want is heroes. You're gonna give them what they want.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: You know I played violin until I was 14? I was pretty good, too. I never thought it'd help me in a con.

Nate: Well, why'd you give it up?

Hardison: I discovered computers, man. Turns out you can't see naked pictures of girls on a violin. (attaches a camera to his collar)

Nate: So, we need to get inside that vault here. Now, Moto, he keeps his Stradivarius in a climate-controlled case. What you need to do is you need to get him to take you inside there, right? The entire heist depends on it. So, uh, show me, show me what spy gear you got.

Hardison: Got a button cam, GPS Smartphone, and I got a hidden WI-Fi scanner that's gonna hack into the building's security system automatically. Now, all that data is gonna wash up on this big screen right here. So you and Parker can orchestrate the break-in.

Nate: Okay. Good. Sounds good.

Hardison: Nate, you know, um, I was serious about what I said. So, what's this thing that you think I'm missing? What, is it, like, uh, uh, thriftiness or, like, friendliness, or big-picture thinking or, aloofness, what?

(Nate walks away)

Hardison: Rudeness?


Moto: So, Temi... I have read stories about you. They say you are a prodigy.

Sophie: He first picked up a missionary's violin aged 5, and just knew how to play.

Hardison: I am here for my family. The violin can wait.

Moto: Don't make excuses, Temi. You have been given an opportunity.

Hardison: I must respectfully disagree, sir. In my taxi, I've been beaten, I've been robbed. What opportunity do I have here?

Moto: Come. Let me show you what you can achieve in America.

Nate: Good work, guys. He's taking you to the vault. Let's find those diamonds.

[Raines Concert Hall, Basement]

Moto: Down these stairs, I think you'll find something very inspiring.

[Leverage HQ]

(Nate and Parker watching monitors, which show video and other information about where Hardison and Sophie are walking)

Nate: Okay, guys, look inspired.

Parker: Electromagnetic lock with retinal scanner can withstand 2,000 pounds of pressure.

[Raines Concert Hall, Vault]

Moto: You want to know what you can achieve in America?

(Hardison nods. Moto moves forward to a retinal scanner)

Scanner: "Retinal scan completed".

(door to vault opens. They enter and Moto gestures toward a violin in a case)

Moto: Come. Antonio Stradivari made it himself in 1705. It's magnificent, isn't it?

Hardison: With all the technology in the world today, you—

(Sophie clears her throat)

Hardison: --you couldn't make a violin that sounds as good as that one. No one understands why.

Nate: S-Sophie?

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: I need you to zero in on the lockers.

Parker (looking at monitors): Security log shows a delivery from Wadata a week ago that was placed in locker number allegro.

Nate: Allegro. Musical terms. So he's named his lockers after musical terms.It sounds like our diamonds. Okay, Sophie, what I need you to do right now is go stand next to--


Nate: --locker allegro so Hardison can get us a shot.

(Sophie moves to the correct location)

Moto: I can tell from your reaction that we are a good match.

Sophie: I think you'd agree with that, wouldn't you, Temi?

(Hardison continues to look at the violin)

Sophie: Temi? Temi!

(Hardison reluctantly turns to look at Sophie)

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: All right. So how do we break in?

Parker: We can't.

Nate: What? Excuse me?

Parker: Did you see any video cameras anywhere?

Nate: No, bu--

Parker: Want to know why?

Nate: Why?

Parker: Because video cameras require people to watch them, people who fall asleep. This vault is a state-of-the-art Glen-Reeder. It works off motion sensors and is unhackable. Even for Hardison.

Nate: Okay, well, I mean, if we can't turn it off, we got to get them to do it for us.

Parker: Mm-hmm.

Nate: So check the logs and see if there was ever a time where they shut it down, and--and why.

Parker: Uh, it looks like they shut it down once. When the orchestra played the "1812 overture" because they were afraid the vibrations would set it off. Guess that's what happens when you build a vault under a concert hall.

Nate: Uh, Sophie, listen up. I'm gonna change the play.


Sophie: I've just had a thought. The story of you helping Temi, i-it's gonna raise your profile in the cities, but what about the rural areas? They don't have televisions or newspapers.

Moto: No. Only radios.

Sophie: Which is why this is perfect. Your brother's visiting in two days. You're gonna host a concert in his honor in your concert hall, and Temi, Temi will be the star.

Hardison: Mnh-mnh.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: …think I can play the violin like it’s a kazoo.

Nate: What were you doing up there? Napping? I told you, we got lots of work to do.

Hardison: Don't. Don't talk to me. Don't talk to me right now. Y-y-you know what you've done? You asked me to play the violin in front of people.

Nate: Yes, well, you said you were good.

Hardison: As a child. That was 10 years ago.

Nate: Now, come on, come on, Hardison. Listen, you know, you told me you could do anything. You told me you were super-skull!

Hardison: "Skrull," "Skrull." Get it right. Super—sup--super-skrull, Who has the combined powers of the fantastic four, one of whom is not Itzhak Perlman.

Sophie: Hey. I just helped Moto pick out the music for the concert. Look what it is. (hands Nate the music)

Nate: Ah! Yes, yes. No, this is, this is perfect. I mean, you know, because it's--it's big, and it's--it's loud, and they're gonna have to turn off the motion sensor for this. Perfect.

Hardison (grabs the music): Seeing as how I'm the one who's got to play it. What is it?

Sophie: It's "Scheherazade" By Korsakov. It's based on a story from the "Arabian nights" about a sultan who marries a new bride every night and has her killed by morning, until Scheherazade. You see, every night, she tells him a story with such a suspenseful cliffhanger that he daren't execute her for fear that he'll never know the ending. She told her stories for 1,001 nights. Until the sultan fell deeply, deeply in love with her. Ah. Scheherazade. She's one of literature's all-time great grifters.

Nate: Mm.

Hardison: Let me tell you what I know about some "Scheherazade." okay? It ends with one of the most difficult violin solos, my solo.

Nate: That's--that's right. You'll be the star of the piece.

Hardison: While I go to my storage locker and pull out a very dusty violin.

Sophie: Oh, no, Moto wants you to play his violin.

Hardison: The strad?

Sophie: He said, um, it's the first time he's met someone worthy. You made quite an impression.

Hardison: Oh, lord, tell me this isn't happening.

Sophie: And the conductor needs you there in two hours.

Hardison: Aw, come on, man!

Nate: Yeah, see, I told you, you shouldn't napping. You gotta go. Gotta go. Gotta go.

(Hardison leaves)

Sophie: Nate?

Nate: Yes?

Sophie: You know when, when criminals go to jail, they inevitably pick up a few skills, like a pickpocket might learn, um, I don't know, safecracking. Well, is there anything you want to tell me?

Nate: You know, I always like to pick up an extra wrench here and there for the old toolbox. You said it yourself, he's, uh, he's the best candidate.

(sets a metronome swinging)

[Concert Hall]

Bartholdt: Ah, hello, Simon. How are you? Good to see you, James. Yes? Marshall. Ah! You must be Temi! I'm Karl Bartholdt, the conductor. Hmm? It is our great honor to have you join us, hmm?

Hardison: No, no, the, the honor is, is mine.

Bartholdt: Thank you. Now, let us discuss this wonderful piece, yes? "Scheherazade" Is, uh, an argument between the Sultan, represented by the brass, and Scheherazade, represented by the strings. Now, as the Sultan begs his new bride to please tell him the end of her story, the music becomes more and more furious, until finally, Temi, you play the solo.

Hardison: Okay.

Bartholdt: All right! Let us rehearse, hmm? Everyone, please. Let us take it from the beginning, hmm?

(the orchestra lifts their instuments)

Bartholdt: And...

Hardison: Wait! Wait. This... buzzing. (answers phone) Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Hello? Yes. Uh, no, no, no, I'm in a rehearsal, yes. No, no, I understand. I understand. I’m sorry, there’s been an accident involving my mother and a moped.

Bartholdt: Please, Temi, I have read about you. I know you can play this in your sleep, so, we will see you at the concert, yes?

Hardison: Yes.

Bartholdt: I hope your mother is all right.

Hardison: Oh, no, she's fine. She's a big woman. But the moped... I-I don't know.

Bartholdt: Well, our best wishes go with you to her.

Hardison: Good wishes, yes. (leaves)

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: How's the plan?

Parker: Mm. I'll walk you through it. We have three main obstacles - two doors and a guard. At the first door, there's a six-digit keypad. You got the code yet?

Nate: Let's find out. Sophie?

[Concert Hall Lobby]

Sophie: Minutes away.

Wallie: Oh, Ms. Connelly, right?

Sophie: Oh, yes.

Wallie: Please, let me help you.

(Wallie and another man take Sophie’s bags)

Sophie: Oh! Oh thank you. Yes, I'm helping to organize the concert, and, um, I just wanted to check the acoustics, because we're broadcasting it on the radio, and—

(Wallie and the other man begins going through Sophie’s bags)

Wallie: Well, I-I hope you don't mind. I have to check your bag.

Sophie: Oh, no, no, go ahead. 'cause we're also filming it, for te--television. And that lens, that lens is very, very sensitive. Please, put it down gently.

(Eliot passes by behind them)

Wallie: I'm sorry.

Sophie: They're very, very, very fragile.


Eliot: All right, I'm at the door.

(Eliot sprays something on a key pad. Wallie walks up behind him and puts a hand on his shoulder)

Wallie: What are you doing here?

Eliot: I got downstairs. I, they told me - I got the work order right here.

Wallie: No, no. Who authorized you? This area is for authorized personnel only! Leave.

Eliot: All right. (moves away from the door)

Wallie: Leave.

Eliot: I gotta call my supervisor. You know what? This is typical. Huh? He's probably gonna blame it on my bad attitude.

(Eliot uses a mirror on the back of his phone to watch Wallie at the keypad, but doesn’t see anything as Wallie blocks the view with his body. Wallie enters the room)

Eliot: All right, it's a six-digit code. The first two numbers are 6 and 4, in that sequence. (uses a blue light on the keypad) Next four numbers are 2, 3, 8, 9.

[Leverage HQ]

Eliot: Not in sequence.

Parker: Okay, that means I'm gonna have to punch in all the combinations. That's gonna take time, and there's a guard.

Nate: Well, Eliot can take care of the guard.


Nate: Right, Eliot?

Eliot (rubbing his shoulder): Yeah. Sure.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: That puts us through the first door, and it's a straight shot down through the stairs, which leads us right into the vault.

Parker: Where we have the retina scanner, which we don't have time to hack, so I would skip the stairs and blow a hole in the floor right there.

Nate: Okay, great, so, so, we get to the vault through the ceiling, we get the diamonds, we wait for the concert to end, and we slip out with the crowd.

Parker: Nope.

Nate: What do you mean, "No"? That's what you just...

Parker: Our only window to break into this vault is during the concert when the motion sensors are turned off. Right?

Nate: Right.

Parker: Okay, well, this is a concert for a foreign dignitary with a full secret service detail. Okay, we have to take out the guard, blow a hole in the floor without anybody hearing anything. It can't be done.

Hardison: Yeah, I-I can't do it, either, man. I'm out. Mnh-mnh. You know, I'm sorry for the people of this country, I really am, But this is the most frightening thing I've ever had to do. No, I'm sorry, I can't. Mnh-mnh. I'm out.

Nate (picks up the music): How much time we need for the break-in?

Parker: Seven minutes, minimum.

Nate: So, here's where Eliot takes care of the guard, (points to music) and then here's where we blow a hole through the floor, the last seven minutes of the piece, of course, depending on tempo.

Parker: What are you talking about?

Hardison: Nate, you're trying to time the heist with the music?

Nate: Yes. Yes.

Hardison: No, no. It can't be done.

Nate: Why?

Hardison: Look, everything would have to be in sync, perfectly in sync. Nate, we would need our own--

Nate: Conductor! (walks off)

[Concert Hall]

(Hardison is attempting to practice, badly. Parker clears her throat)

Hardison: Pa--Parker, what are you doing here?

Parker: Establishing my cover. Doing a walk-through. How's it going?

Hardison: How do you think it's going? In 24 hours, right where I'm standing, I'm gonna make a fool of myself.

Parker: Yeah, it's actually a lot worse than that.

Hardison: What do you mean?

Parker: Well, the whole heist depends on you being able to play. If you can't, the mark's gonna know something's up, and then he's gonna kill us all.

Hardison: Is this a pep talk?

Parker: Then he'll take over the country, rob his people blind! I mean, imagine the suffering!

Hardison: Come on, man, with the pressure.

Parker: I'm just trying to get a little adrenaline flowing here. That's all you need, okay? It works for me.

Hardison: If I get adrenaline flowing, my giant hands are gonna snap this priceless violin in half.

Parker: You'll be fine.

(Parker walks away. Hardison sits down and practices. Gradually the other members of the orchestra arrive and the audience begins to fill. Sophie nods to Hardison from the balcony)

Moto: Oh, Ms. Connelly. Allow me to introduce my brother, President Simeon Moto.

Sophie: Oh, Mr. President, I think you're gonna be so impressed with what this young man achieves tonight.

President: It will be nice to read something positive about my country for a change.

Sophie: Oh. Please. (gestures toward the chairs)

[Back Room]

(Nate takes out the music and lays it on a crate along with a laptop. He walks to an opening in the curtains and looks out on the crowd)

Sophie: I spotted secret service guys on the balcony.

(Nate closes the curtains. His phone rings and he answers)

Nate: I don't have time.

Italian: Meet me in the prop room now. (hangs up)

[Concert Hall]

(the conductor greets the audience, who applauds. The spotlight shines on Hardison. The conductor sets the orchestra playing)

[Prop Room]

Nate: Can't I enjoy a concert without you following me?

Italian: I need something from Moto's safe. And don't play games with me. I know why you're here. And I think it's cute. But this is a matter of national security. Find the envelope in Moto's safe, and leave this behind. (hands him a folder)

Nate: I'm not your mailman. (moves away)

Italian: This envelope is a link in the chain that leads to Damien Moreau. You will get it for me, or your team goes down. That was our deal.

Nate (in Italian): I thought we were friends.

Italian: Don't you know? I don't have any friends. (hands him the file and walks away)

[Concert Hall]

(concert is in full swing)

[Back Room]

(Nate looks at the folder the Italian had given him)

[Storage Room]

(Parker moves things around and knocks something from a crate. Eliot catches it)

Eliot: Parker. Explosives!

[Back Room]

Nate: Okay, guys, buckle up.

[Storage Room]

(Parker and Eliot get things ready on a cart)

Nate: You have seven minutes, but it depends on how fast the conductor leads the orchestra. I'll follow his pace and cue you.

[Back Room]

Nate: Here we go. On my mark. (hits mouse) Now!

[Storage Room]

(Eliot begins to push the cart)


(Sophie gets up and exits the balcony as the orchestra continues to play)


(Eliot and Parker move the cart past a security checkpoint where Wallie watches them)

[Projection Room]

(Sophie moves up a flight of steps and begins to unpack her bags)


(Wallie watches Parker push a mop bucket down the hall alone. He heads down the hall. Parker begins trying codes on the keypad as Eliot keeps watch. Wallie sees him at the end of the hall)

[Back Room]

(Nate continues to watch the progress of the orchestra and compare it to the timing he had planned)


(Eliot and Wallie square off at opposite ends of the hallway while Parker continues to try and get into the room. Wallie runs down the hall toward Eliot and tackles him, knocking Eliot to the ground, sliding into a wall)

[Concert Hall]

(the orchestra continues to play)


(Wallie straightens his jacket and heads for Parker. He grabs her and throws her away from the door)

Eliot: No!

(Eliot gets to his feet and takes a punch to the face. He blocks a second punch and hits Wallie in the face. Wallie returns the punch then hits him again. Parker gets up and resumes trying to get into the room. Wallie hits Eliot in the face again. Eliot leg sweeps Wallie, knocking him to the floor and punching him on the way down. Parker gains access to the room. Eliot grabs a bag from the cart and they enter the room)

[Back Room]

Nate: It's a faster tempo. I'm moving up the timetable. You guys have 4 1/2 minutes.

[Storage Room]

(Parker lays det cord along the floor as Eliot checks the door. Wallie punches Eliot in the face, knocking him from his feet. Parker keep laying det cord as Eliot is thrown back into some chairs, then is kneed in the stomach. Eliot hits Wallie several times in the stomach and they continue to fight as Parker finishes laying the det cord. She holds up the remote to show she’s done. Eliot kicks Wallie back into the circle of det cord and they wait. Eliot looks down, as does Wallie, who finally realizes where he’s standing)

[Back Room]

Nate: Now!

[Storage Room]

(Parker hits the detonator and it explodes. Wallie falls through the hole)

Wallie: Aah!


(Sophie has regained her seat)

[Back Room]

(Nate grabs the folder and runs for the door)


(Parker and Eliot look down the hole, then Eliot throws down a rope. Parker opens the locker and takes the diamonds. Nate jumps down into the vault and gestures toward a locker)

Nate: Open up.

(Parker begins to open the locker as Eliot pulls an unconscious Wallie toward a corner)

[Concert Hall]

(Hardison looks nervous as the time comes for him to begin his solo. He glances as Sophie, then stands and begins to play beautifully)


(Nate, Eliot and Parker pause to listen)

[Concert Hall]

(Hardison continues to play, entrancing the entire audience)


(Eliot and Nate listen while Parker has tears running down her face as Hardison finishes his solo)

[Concert Hall]

(the audience gives Hardison a standing ovation)

[Back Room]

(Nate’s laptop shows motion sensor triggered and alarms begin to blare)


Parker: What are you doin’ here?

Nate: I-I'll explain later. Let's just get out of here.

(the rope is pulled up from above)

Eliot: You got an exit plan?

Guard: Hold it right there.

Nate: Ah, working on it. Uh, Sophie, any ideas?

[Concert Hall]

(the conductor shakes Hardison’s hand)

Sophie: Stall.

Hardison: Uh, guys, Moto and his brother just left. And I don't know about y'all, but it wasn't me, 'cause, uh, I just rocked it, you know.


Nate: Okay, listen, Hardison, just stay where you are and don't blow your cover.

Hardison: Roger that.

(the vault door opens and Moto and his brother enter, with security guards)

Nate: How's it going?

President: What's going on here?

(a guard helps Wallie to his feet)

Moto: A burglary. We turned off the motion sensors for the concert. They're very clever. My men can handle it.

(Wallie moves forward but Moto motions him back)

Moto: Call the police.

(Wallie moves back)

Moto: You see? I told you it wasn't necessary to follow me.

President: Yes. You did.

Moto: This is why you can never have too much security.

Nate: Mr. President, wait. Can I tell you a story about your, your brother here and how he lured you here tonight to assassinate you?

Moto: Oh-ho, the thief speaks! Who knew we would be entertained twice tonight? Please, go on.

Nate: Think about it. Last-minute concert in a hall your brother owns, him wailing over your bleeding body live on the radio, instantly bonding himself to the thousands listening back home.

Moto: And who would foil this plot? You and your team of burglars?

Nate: Burglars? No, no, we're not in it for the money. We wanted this. (holds up folder) See, Mr. President, This envelope contains the names of terrorists living in Africa that your, your brother supplies us with at his leisure for a price. This is what happens when you play with the CIA, Mr. Moto. We take what we need.

Moto: You can't be serious.

President: I turned a blind eye to these rumors about you for too long.

Moto: This is insane! Can't you see? He's telling you a story! Every detail more outlandish than the last.

President: If he is lying, then go ahead. Open the envelope.

Nate: Yes. (holds out the envelope) Open the envelope.

Moto: It is not what he says. I can't open it. It doesn't belong to me.

Secret Security Agent: Mr. President, there's something you should know. We just found a rifle in the projection room with a clean print on the scope.


Sophie: That lens, that lens is very, very, very sensitive, So if you could just...

(Sophie puts together a rifle in the projection room)


President: It was my brother. He is responsible!

Moto: No. No, i-it's--

(secret security agents grab Moto and pull him away)

Moto: she's behind this! No, she lied to me! Come on! My brother's being duped by these thieves!

(the president nods to Nate, then gestures for Wallie and the other guards to leave the vault with him)

Parker: How'd you know what was in the envelope?

Nate: I didn't. It made for a good story, though, right?

Sophie: Scheherazade would have been proud.

Nate: Yeah. Thank you.

[Prop Room]

(Nate tosses the envelope onto a crate)

Italian: You didn't open it.

Nate: I don't open other people's mail. It's a pretty serious crime. So you owe me now.

Italian: We have a deal, to get Moreau.

Nate: That envelope is not a link in the chain to Moreau, is it? Otherwise, you would just hand it over to me right now, wouldn't you? No, it's a link in the chain to you. That's why you knew it was in Moto's safe and what it looked like. You saw him put it there, didn't you?

Italian: Mr. Ford, in the service of good, sometimes we have to deal with bad people and do bad things.

Nate: Really? 'cause I work with a bunch of bad guys who are more honorable than you will ever be. If we're gonna have this arrangement, never play me again. (walks away)

[McRory’s Pub]

Jane: I still can't believe it. My article is finally published, and the lead is, "Alexander Moto is in an American jail".

Nate: Yes, well, it turned out that the secret service did not take kindly to people trying to assassinate foreign leaders on their watch.

Jane: But, Mr. Ford, that is just a story, right?

Nate: Well, right, I mean, yeah, the charges aren't gonna stick. But it was enough to get a warrant to search his vault, which turned up a mess of smuggled diamonds.

Eliot: And the fact is, he's never gonna be President now.

Nate: We, uh, we have this for you. (hands her a check)

Jane: No, no. The diamonds--

Nate: Have nothing to do with that. No, see, what happened is, we, ah, we ended up with this Stradivarius. We thought that the money could be used for the good people of Wadata, maybe a music foundation for the kids? You could set that up. It was his idea. (leaves table)

Eliot: Still, I wish we could do more.

Jane: What is it your friend said to Moto? Help a single child, you are a hero? Small acts can have ripple effects.

Parker: You had a recording of the solo in a gizmo that made it come out of the violin.

Hardison: No. No, Parker. You don't just jam a gizmo into a strad, okay? I just, I let it rip. It was…

Parker: Well, I still can't believe you can play like that.

Hardison: You? I can't believe it.

Nate: It's because I hypnotized you.

Hardison: You serious?

Nate: Yeah, I-I put you in a deep-trance state and regressed you back to when you played violin as a teenager. I mean you knew how to play all along, I just cleaned out the cobwebs. I just gave you the confidence to be the best version of you you needed to be.


Nate: you are now back to when you were the most promising young violinist in the city at the height of your abilities. What was the last piece you played?

Hardison: Scheherazade

Nate: What were you doing up there? Napping? I told you, we got lots of work to do.

Hardison: Don't.

Sophie: Is there anything you want to tell me?

Nate: You said it yourself, he's, uh, he's the best candidate.

[McRory’s Pub]

Sophie: A Vegas hypnotist can pick out a candidate in a crowd, and so can I.

Hardison (stands up): Nate, hypnosis is somethin’ you do to a mark, not your own crew.

Nate: No, no, it’s exactly what you do to your own crew. No, you push whatever button you need to to get them to do what needs to be done. You wanted to know what other quality you needed to run your own crew. Well, that’s it, and you don’t have it.

(Hardison walks out angrily. Parker follows him)

Sophie: Alone again. If I didn’t know you better, I’d think you like it like that. (leaves)

The End

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