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Leverage Main | When Darkness Falls

4x03 The 15 Minute Job

[The Crisis Center]

(Rockwell is manipulating photos of Kelley on a bank of monitors as he talks to Kreese, adding alcohol and a woman, making Kelley look like he’s drunk)

Rockwell: Any trouble planting the evidence, Mr. Kreese?

Kreese: Should turn up in his office within 36 hours. I don't think this one's going to work. The guy's clean.

Rockwell: Now. Our friend the state's attorney is clean now, but he did a stint in juvenile detention, another in drug rehab. All we have to do is add a whiff of scandal and let the media follow the trail all the way back to those old sins.

Kreese: But who cares? The public loves him.

Rockwell: The public has been lied to, Mr. Kreese. Told all their lives they can have the good life, but no one ever gets it. Every year, they work a little longer, and their house is worth a little less, their retirement fund gets a little smaller. And when the people get upset, they start looking for someone to blame, someone they can take down. (turns to look at Kreese) The public has to love him, otherwise, none of this works. Only our heroes fall, Mr. Kreese.


Nate: So, this 13-year-old future State's Attorney steals a concession worker's uniform, we go from food stand to food stand telling them that we've run out of franks in the right-field bleachers. It works.

Sophie: And they never caught on?

Nate: No.

Kelley: Only after we had scammed more free food than we'd eat in a season. I remember they asked us for our ticket stubs.

Nate: Which, by the way, we didn't have because we hopped the turnstiles. Then they asked to speak to our fathers.

Kelley: And Nate says, I'll never forget this, he says, "Who do you think taught us to hop the stiles in the first place?" I've never tried to hide how bad things got for me when I was a kid. But I put the drugs behind me, walked a straight line ever since -- swear on my mother.

Nate: Okay. So... (looks at the photo Rockwell doctored) So, this guy, Reed Rockwell—

Kelley: Professional career assassin.

Nate: He represents your opponent in the next election. He sends you these photographs along with a note. Then the next day, an aide finds a bottle of Vicodin in your office.

Kelley: It wasn't mine.

Nate: Okay.

Kelley: I broke an ankle playing ball with my kids a few years back. I wouldn't even take the painkillers the doctor prescribed.

Sophie: But now all this character Rockwell has to do is file a lawsuit against you, anything, a fender-bender...

Nate: And then the aide has to come forward about the Vicodin, and these photographs, real or fake, come out in discovery.

Sophie: Legal blackmail. It's elegant.

Nate: It's, uh, it's wrong, is what it is. (to waiter) Can I have another...

Waiter: Coming right up, sir.

Nate: Thanks. Do you want some?

Waiter (bringing drink): There you go.

Kelley: Sometimes I don't know who's done more for the people around here, Nate, you or me.

Nate: Well...

Kelley: I need you now. I don't know what to do.

Nate: Go home, Ed. I got this. I'm going to get my team to bury this guy Rockwell. You got my word.

[Leverage HQ]

Parker: Rockwell is bulletproof.

Hardison: Of course. The man is all about C.G. I mean, maybe, maybe you can get some quality C.G. in a still-frame, but when I lay down my ten-fifty old-school practical--

Eliot: Stop! Stop with the "Star Trek" stuff again!

Hardison: "Wars"! Damn it, it's "Star Wars." And-and that C.G.I. Yoda they used in the prequels is an insult to the puppet they—Y-you know what, man? It's not even worth discussing.

Eliot: You're the only one discussing it.

Parker: I kind of like C.G.I. Yoda.

(Hardison gasps)


Nate: Hey, Hardison, what do we got on this guy Rockwell?

[Leverage HQ]

Eliot: Look, Parker, just tell him what he wants to hear.

Hardison: Did my ears...

(Eliot grabs the remote from Hardison)

Eliot: All right, Nate. We're scraping rock bottom here. This guy does crisis P.R., and the whole thing's done on the whisper. He doesn't just defend his clients, he attacks their enemies, by any means necessary.


Sophie: Creating dirt where he can't find any.

Nate: Okay, but, guys, I mean, we've done this kind of thing before. Video, photo frame-ups...

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Nah, not like this, Nate. This man is like a ninja assassin. He's turned it into an art form. We're talking politicians, Hollywood starlets, even cheating spouses. You know, word is, Rockwell made his bones a few years back by taking down a congressman. You see, the rep received some serious praise for the speech that he gave that introduced a bill in D.C., right? Rockwell, the genius that he is, goes and writes a fake political essay, back-dates it, and then bribes a clerk to file it in the Library of Congress. Rockwell leaks the news that the rep plagiarized the essay, the bill dies, and so does the congressman's career.


Sophie: Well, he knew that no one in D.C. was gonna admit to not having read that essay, and how the public were gonna respond.

Nate: Yeah, and how to manipulate the media.

Hardison: Oh, yeah.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Rockwell's brilliant. He's ruthless. Stone-cold solid. It's a shame we got to take the man down. I'd almost consider making him a part of the team.

Nate: Yeah, uh…


Nate: Rockwell has his boot on my friend's throat, Hardison.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: I said, "almost."


Sophie: Listen, what do we know about him personally?

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Nothing. His online footprint is scrubbed clean. Website has an e-mail box, the corporate website, that's it, no phone. Only way I found the office address was by tracing back some old business-license application.

Parker: Yeah, we can tell you where he gets his morning coffee. That's about it.


Sophie: This is no good. Well, the usual play on a guy like this is to ruin his reputation, you know, undermine his credibility.

Nate: Yeah, but he has no reputation, so...

[Leverage HQ]

Eliot: This guy's a ghost, Nate. He operates like we do. His clients are by referral, and he stays in the shadows. How we supposed to take this guy down?


Nate: The same way we would destroy me. I mean, what we're really asking here is, how would I destroy myself?

[Leverage HQ]

Parker: Yeah, and you can't say "booze." Hmm.


Nate: If somebody lives in the shadows, you want to bring them into the light. I mean, what if we made this guy...famous?

[Leverage HQ]

Parker: No. Bad idea.

Hardison: We shouldn't do that.

Eliot: Absolutely not.

Sophie: Nate's right.


Sophie: It's a siren song. Who do we know that can resist the warmth of the spotlight? We give him just one little taste.

Eliot: First of all—

[Leverage HQ]

Eliot: --we don't even know how this guy's gonna react, okay? And say, what if it does blow up, huh? What if we get too close to the spotlight?

Hardison: Look, Nate, we already got enough unwanted attention, a la somebody listening in on the apartment.

Nate: Okay, here's the plan.


Nate: We are not gonna take Rockwell down. We are gonna build him up. We're gonna turn him into a hero. We'll then find all the grimy little secrets that he has, and then we are going to discredit him, and no one will ever trust what he has to say about Ed Kelley.

(Nate and Sophie get up from the table)

[Leverage HQ]

(Parker, Eliot and Hardison get up and head for the door)

Hardison: Parker! I'm not gonna be able to unheard that "C.G.I. Yoda" thing. Cut me deep, woman. That cut me deep.

[Exterior Restaurant]

Nate: I can resist the spotlight, by the way.

Sophie: Of course you can. Never see you taking any kind of victory lap after you've pushed us all to the edge, or sticking around to gloat over the bad guy being dragged away.

Nate: Hmm. Is that sarcasm?

Sophie: A mild amount.

[Exterior Street]

(Rockwell is walking down the street when Parker backs out of an alley, trying to pull her purse away from Eliot)

Parker: Hey! Hey! Give me the purse.

Eliot: Give me the purse, lady, and nobody gets hurt.

Parker: Hey! That's my paycheck!

Eliot: Give me the purse. Give me the purse.

Parker: And my mother's medicine! Help!

(Hardison is standing by a nearby car, filming. A woman comes up and starts hitting Eliot with her umbrella)

Woman: Hey, leave her alone!

(Eliot looks at the woman and she stops. Parker gestures for the woman to continue and she starts hitting Eliot again)

Eliot (to Parker): Really? (to woman) Stop. (walks away)

Parker: Good job.

[Exterior Street]

(a runaway baby carriage rolls down a sidewalk as Rockwell bends over to get a paper. Sophie runs after the carriage)

Sophie: My baby! My baby! Help! Help!

(Rockwell crosses the street)

Sophie: Huh?

(brakes squeal and a vehicle hits the carriage. Sophie scoffs and turns to look in the store window)

Sophie: Ooh. Wonder if that comes in a higher heel.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: I choked on a hot dog. On purpose. And Rockwell was checking his e-mail, and some huge dude came over and... I-I got heimlich'ed.

Nate: Yeah, all right. All right, listen, guys. This is gonna be harder than we thought.

[Coffee Shop]

(Eliot and Sophie walk into the shop and look around)

Eliot: Who the hell shops here? It's $3 a banana.

Clerk: Coffee, sir?

Eliot: I don't think so.

Clerk: Oh.

[Exterior Shop]

Hardison: Hey, Nate. Can I just reiterate that I have almost no frame of reference for what I'm being asked to do here?

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Okay, both feeds are up. Hardison, you're gonna be fine.

(monitors show the inside of the coffee shop, Eliot walking around, Rockwell pulling up outside)

Nate: And...here he comes... Right on schedule.

[Coffee Shop]

(Rockwell walks into the coffee shop, picks up a banana, and walks to the counter)

Eliot: 20 seconds, Hardison.

Rockwell: Uh, medium half-caf Indonesian civet, with soy milk.

Clerk: Great. Just one moment.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Okay, Hardison, you're up.

[Coffee Shop]

(Hardison walks in with a ski mask on, brandishing a gun)

Hardison: All right, everybody chill out. Just relax.

Clerk: Aah!

Hardison: Everybody calm down. Hey, hey! Shut up. Chill. Relax. Sir, go back to eating your scone. Everybody just cool out. Everybody calm down. Be cool. You can go home with a story to tell your grandkids. (to Rockwell) Sir, please get back. Back up. I'm not playing. Now, look here. It's gonna go like this. A'ight? (to clerk) Money in the bag. You know how it goes. Or I'm gonna start cappin' fools. I'm not playing.

Eliot: Nate, I told you you should have let me do this.

Hardison: Come on, now. Faster.

(Rockwell begins to walk to the door)

Hardison: You taking your time?

Sophie: You're gonna get us all killed!

Hardison (to Rockwell): Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! What's up, cat?

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Okay, Hardison, you've got to get him away from the door.

[Coffee Shop]

Hardison: Where you going?

Rockwell: Just let me get out of here with my coffee, man.

Hardison: I'm sorry, I thought I'm the one that had the gun up in here. W-what is this? What is -- Mmm. (takes Rockwell’s cup and drinks it)

Eliot: Moving into position.

Hardison: This is disgusting. Sir, get your ass on. Get your ass.

(Rockwell walks further into the store)

Hardison: Should shoot you for your bad taste. (knocks Rockwell’s hat off) Come on. Looks like I got me a little hostage for when the popo come. How you want it, man? East coast, west coast?

Sophie: Hardison, don't hurt him.

Rockwell: You don't -- you don't want me.

Hardison: I want you.

Rockwell: No, no, no. You don't want me. When the cops get here, they see you got a male hostage, no one's gonna care. Who's gonna watch that on the evening news, man? Y-you want her. (points at Sophie)

Sophie: Huh?

(Eliot moves up behind Rockwell)

Rockwell: I'm telling you, she'd make a much better hostage than me. They'll be falling all over themselves giving you whatever you want.

[Leverage HQ]

Rockwell: You want her as a hostage.

[Coffee Shop]

Rockwell: She'd make a much better hostage –

(Hardison points the gun at Sophie)

Sophie: What?! No!

(Eliot edges closer to Rockwell)

Sophie (to comm): Okay, Hardison. Hurt him as much as you like.

Nate: Eliot, now!

(Eliot pushes Rockwell into Hardison, knocking them both to the floor. Hardison gets up and limps to the door, heading outside and down the block)

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Okay, we got it. Hardison, when you finish your jog, I want you to scrub the footage. I want to see his face clear as a bell. Sophie, you stay with him. Stay in his pocket. We got to get him to stick around and sign some autographs.

Parker: Uh, Nate?

(on the monitors, Rockwell runs out the door)

Nate: What?

Parker: He's taking off. This guy's not a hero.

(Rockwell gets in his car and drives away)

Nate: No. He's the only thing better than a hero. He's a mystery.

(later Hardison watches the doctored video tape)

Hardison: Unh! Now, that is a practical special effect. No computer-generated cheat. That's something the audience can really invest in. Oh, you see that? Boss move, ain't it?

Eliot: What do we got on the web?

(Eliot hits a few keys)

Parker: Whoa! 320,000 hits?

Hardison: Mm-hmm. And that's just in a few hours, ladies and gentlemen. I'm fixing to add another zero to that by tonight!

Parker: How?

Hardison: Well, you see, in order to share our video with people all over the virtual world, you first have to be confirmed as somebody's friend or contact. Unless you're me. Security was a holy terror, but I managed to upload a worm that will backdoor this dummy profile into users' friend lists and expand this network at a geometric rate.

Parker: So, "underhill24601"...

Hardison: Just made 11 million friends today.

Sophie (on newscast): Yeah. I'm -- I'm still...

[The Crisis Center]

Sophie (on newscast): This man saved my life.

Reporter: Reports are in about a rare instance of true heroism, where a man foiled an armed robbery in a local coffee shop.

Secretary: Mr. Rockwell, sir, you're on the news.

Reporter: ...Who is this as of yet unidentified hero? This "Venti Vigilante," as he's being called...

Rockwell: It's a mistake. Turn it off. Get back to work.

Reporter: Though our sources here at WODC are still searching high and low to track him down.

[Coffee Shop]

Man: Hey, hey. That's him.

Man 2: Oh, hey, man.

Man: That's the guy.

Man 2 (gesturing for Rockwell to move to the front of the line): Come on.

Woman: Go ahead.

Man: Go on, yeah.

Clerk: A medium half-caf Indonesian civet, with soy milk, on the house. Thank you.

(Rockwell looks at the cup, which reads ‘My Hero’)

Rockwell: Thank you.

[Exterior Street]

(Eliot and Hardison are dressed like construction workers as Rockwell and Kreese walk by)

Eliot: Hey. Hey! You. I know you. Yeah, man, I know this guy. You're -- you're a hero.

(Eliot starts clapping slowly. As he picks up speed, others join in)

Hardison: Ha ha ha! (to Eliot) Really? The slow clap?

Eliot: Yeah. Yeah, man.

Hardison: That's stupid.

Eliot: I got them all the time in high school. You didn't get one of those in high school?

Hardison: For jackass of the year?


Reporter:...The man who, at great risk to himself, disarmed and chased off a masked gunman...

Parker: My friends over there said you're famous. Is that true? Are you a drummer or something?

Rockwell: No.

Parker: Or are you one of those big Internet-company guys, like the kids in that movie?

Rockwell: Um, you might have seen me on the, the TV.

Parker: Oh, TV star. Squee. My friends are throwing a party this weekend. (writes a number on a napkin) Call me.

Rockwell: Okay. Cheers.

(they both drink)

Parker: Now. Call me now. So I have your phone number in my phone. You're not dialing.

Rockwell: Ooh.

(Rockwell dials the number and Parker’s phone rings)

Parker: Oh. Got it. (whispers on comm) I think I'm getting better at this.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: I'm cloning Rockwell's cell right now. Good work, girl.


Parker: I didn't even stab him.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Yeah. W-w-we are so proud of you. Uh...No-stabbing Wednesdays, new tradition.

[The Crisis Center]

Rockwell: Thank God for an appointment. Maybe we can get back to life around here. What business is he in?

Nate: I'm in the household-name business, Mr. Rockwell. Just a sec. (into phone) Yeah, uh, cancel it. Congresswoman ends up on my schedule one more time, I'm gonna have to fire you. Gotta go. (hangs up) Gillis. Henry K. Gillis. How do you do?

(Nate tries to shake Rockwell’s hand, but Rockwell refuses)

Nate: All right. Nothing to worry about, a little rough around the edges, but we can work with that.

Rockwell: You're a media consultant.

Nate: Same line of work as you are, except I build people up.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Nobody better at it than me.

[The Crisis Center]

Rockwell: Then why have I never heard of you?

Nate: Well, the same reason I've never heard of you until I turned on my TV last night. Careful design. Laws, sausages, and celebrities, kid. A lot easier to control the spotlight when you're not standing in it.

Rockwell: Well, then, with all due respect, Mr. Gillis... (walks toward the door)

Nate: Oh!

Rockwell: ...why would I want to be standing in it?

(Rockwell opens the door to find a crowd of reporters waiting, light bulbs flash)

Reporters: Mr. Rockwell, one question!

Nate (closing door) Thank you. Thank you. (to Rockwell) You got no choice. What are you up to now, 2 million YouTube hits? I mean, this thing, it's not gonna go away. Now, the media, they're gonna hound you day and night , you know that, we both know that, until you give them something, or they'll make something up on their own. Now, listen. I know you, Rockwell. You can't be satisfied just standing just outside the spotlight forever. Nobody ever is. These people that you take down, they don't deserve their wealth, their fame. You do. You're better than they are.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Don't abandon this opportunity—

[The Crisis Center]

Nate: --this opportunity to step out of the shadows and onto the stage.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Trying to convince a man to step onto the third rail.

Sophie: Without getting too close to it himself.

[The Crisis Center]

(Rockwell walks into his office, Nate follows)

Nate: Your public wants to meet you.

Rockwell: That's because you're gonna tell them I'm someone they want to meet. The public will buy any lie we push on them. They still believe the good life is out there.

Nate: Look, I'll tell you what. Why don't you give me a week? Let me show you what I can do. You know, I already got you booked on "Washington Week."

Rockwell (scoffs): That's not even the highest-rated political show in its slot.

Nate: Three stages, my friend -- pundit, sage, and guru. "Washington Week" is fertile ground. You make a splash, you drop some controversial comments. I mean, you do that on the highest-rated show, you know, it’s ah, the hair-dos, they'll be coming after you guns a-blazin'.

Rockwell: This way, I gain some traction.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: You gain some traction. Exactly. Now, you play this right--

[The Crisis Center]

Nate: --pick every punch, we're gonna ride this wave all the way to the top. You are gonna be swimming in a river of money. Just don't give them your best stuff until we -- we get the 7-figure book deal. Are you with me so far? Because I would like to start this off with a bang. Now, my team has already secured an auditorium, standing room only, place is packed to listen to you tonight give a motivational speech on ordinary heroism.

(Rockwell walks out of his office)

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: We do?

[The Crisis Center]

Nate: Oh, yeah, just as soon as you get a place and clear it out. (follows Rockwell)

Rockwell (to Kreese): Run a background check on Gillis here. I want to know everything.

[Leverage HQ]

Sophie: He's in.

Hardison: Background check -- got it. Nate, we're on it.

[The Crisis Center]

Nate: All right. Do this right, guy, we got him. We're right on the verge.

[Leverage HQ]

Sophie: Yep, we most certainly are.


Nate: I mean, you know, he took the bait. I mean, it's the only way to fix Ed Kelley's whole --

Sophie: Wait. You're not doing this for Ed Kelley. You're pushing this hard 'cause of Rockwell.

Nate: You know, you want to do a confidential client list, phone records, and financials.

Hardison: Nate, I got it.

Sophie: He works from the shadows deciding who to take down, convinced he's making the world a better place, implying a certain moral superiority over his victims. Any of this sound like someone we know?

Nate: That's good! But, no, you got all that right, but I think you want to be careful you don't make me a little bit too --

Hardison: Nate, look, if there's nothing embarrassing for him to find on you, it makes you look like you're not for real.

Nate: I know, but here's the thing. You are saying that I helped the dictator of Mogutu rise to power. He committed genocide, Hardison.

Hardison: Problem?

Nate: Apparently not.

Sophie: Don't get so focused on him, you forget the bigger game. We all know that fame's a monster, and here you are poking at it with a stick.

Nate: Uh, Eliot, Parker, how we doing on the seminar?

[Poker Room]

Eliot: Well, it takes time, Nate. There's over 100 motivational speeches in Boston every day. Like "Emotion is Your Friend."

Parker: Ooh! That's good.

Eliot: "Aspire or Expire."

Parker: This woman right here. She talks for two hours about all the things she misses doing with her kids on an average day. Look.

Eliot: Why, did they die?

Parker: No. No. They just went to college.

Eliot: All right, stop. Stop. Back away from the brochures. Back away from the brochures!

Nate: Guys, guys, guys.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Can we please speed this up? Time is a factor here.

Eliot: Well, what do you want me to do, Nate? Huh?

[Poker Room]

Eliot: How's this guy gonna play to a crowd that shows up for... "You can't love him until you love you"?

Parker: We should go to that one, anyway.

[Conference Center]

Sophie: Well, the guy we're clearing out was a fireman for 43 years and just donated a kidney to his best friend.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: We're not gonna hurt him.

[Conference Center]

Sophie: I'm just saying, it's lucky we don't believe in hell.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Nate believes in hell. Shoot, I believe in hell.

[Conference Center]

Sophie: Oh, yeah. (sees the mark) Mr. Jamison! What an honor!

Jamison: Ah. Hello.

Sophie: 80 years old (tapes his chest with her clip board and takes his glasses) and still saving lives. This way, please.

Jamison: Oh.

(Sophie and Jamison walk off to the right. Nate rushes Rockwell in the door and up the stairs)

Nate:: Ah, just right through here. Come on, let's go.

Rockwell: Where's my speech?

[Auditorium 1]

Sophie: The auditorium is through here, Mr. Jamison. I have to warn you, the lights are gonna be very, very bright. You're not gonna be able to make out any of the faces in the auditorium, but just pick a spot on the back, ooh. (reacting to bright lights) On the back of the wall, and just let it rip.

(applause rings out as they walk on stage)

Jamison: Ooh.

Sophie: Ladies and gentlemen. Wow, what a fantastic turnout. Thank you so much for coming. I give you the man who... did something that... made a difference!

(Sophie turns up the applause on the speakers in the empty auditorium)

Jamison: Hello. Oh, my. It's terribly bright. I can't see any of you.

[Auditorium 2]

Nate: All right, Hardison, how'd that speech come out?

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Oh, it's some of my finest work. How is he?

[Auditorium 2]

Nate: Well, building people up isn't exactly his thing.

(Rockwell looks out at the audience)

Nate: All right, Rockwell. Hey. Listen. Now, this is not some corporate snoozer with a bunch of bored-to-tears executives. These people paid good money to be inspired.

Rockwell: What am I supposed to do with this? "You can be a hero, too." Who the hell wrote this crap?

Hardison: Excuse you?

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Let's see you do better on such short notice. People are just ungrateful.

[Auditorium 2]

Nate: Listen. Do you have any idea why these people are here? Do you have any idea why everybody wants a piece of you? Because everything you ever wanted in your life is at your fingertips right now! The good life. This-this "crap", this is how you get what you want. Everything you want is in front of this audience...

Announcer: ...Reed Rockwell.

Nate: ...right now. Recognition, validation, those are the things that are gonna fill that hole that is somewhere deep inside you, take away the pain. Now, you go out there and take it!

Announcer: ...I give you the Venti Vigilante.

(Rockwell walks out onto the stage to applause)

Rockwell: I... I... I-I don't even know what I'm doing up here. I just... I-I didn't have my caffeine yet one morning, and...

(audience laughs)

Rockwell: Well... You can be a hero, too.


Rockwell: W-we all like to think what when we find ourselves in the heat of danger, the moment of truth, when we have to make a decision and act, that we will rise to the occasion, but I'll let you in on a little secret. I wasn't sure that I could.

(time passes, Rockwell takes off his jacket and stands in front of the podium)

Rockwell: We all have phenomenal capacities to do good, to make the world a better place, more than we give ourselves credit for. I'm the one with the cameras pointed at me, but... There's heroism everywhere, in each and every one of you. We can all be heroes. Thank you.

Nate: Wow. They love him.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Even better than that, Nate -- the amount of tweets and status updates that have come in since the speech -- they're talking about him.

[Auditorium 2]

(Rockwell walks off stage, Nate helps him with his jacket)

Rockwell: How'd I do?

Nate: Masterful! Better than I ever dreamed. I'm telling you, we're gonna go on to the next step now. News interviews, um, everything -- but no time to waste. Now, I'm gonna set up meetings –

Hardison: Nate.

Nate: Oh. Yeah. I'm talking to my client right now.

[Leverage HQ]

Hardison: Hey, tell him that "Washington Week" called.

[Auditorium 2]

Nate: Yeah. Listen, something huge is going on. I'm working on something really big. So I'm gonna work the phones for about an hour. Why don't you go to the office? And I'll meet you there in about an hour.

Rockwell: Okay, what can I do?

Nate: What you can do is start jotting down things for your memoir.

[The Crisis Center]

(Rockwell is watching the news in his office when Nate walks in)

Reporter: The Venti Vigilante has been identified as Reed Rockwell...

Nate: Hey. Phones are ringing off the hook. The Globe wants to do an interview with you. Corporate speaking gigs are lining up. And CNN would like to do a story. They want to bring you in end of the week. You know, we can just do a background check and kind of, you know, wait for the YouTube hits to pile up, and...

Rockwell: Background check?

Nate: Oh, yeah, nothing to worry about. They just want to bring you in, see if they like you, put you on tape, that kind of thing. (shakes Rockwell’s hand) Good day's work.

Reporter: ...Rockwell's manager, Henry K. Gillis, released a statement praising his client's heroic deed.

[Leverage HQ]

(Nate comes downstairs to find Hardison waiting for him)

Nate: Morning, Hardison. Ah. We're in the homestretch. We're going to take this guy to the national level, create and leak falsified evidence against him. And we'll take him down hard.

Hardison: Nate, Rockwell just withdrew 25 grand from his account in small bills.

Nate: Why would he need so much hard cash?

Hardison: Don't know. It doesn't sound like a positive development. What do you want us to do?

Nate: Follow the money.

[Exterior Trailer]

(Eliot and Sophie pull up in Eliot’s car)

Sophie: Why wouldn't you let me drive?

Eliot: This is my car. All right, Nate. We just got off at Lowell, about 20 minutes out. Tailing Rockwell's friend with the suitcase full of money.

(Eliot parks the car and they watch Kreese get out of his car)

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Hometown?

Hardison: Rockwell's not from Lowell. He's from Methuen. Went to Tenney.

Nate: Illegitimate kid.

Parker: Or Reed used to be Rita.

(Hardison and Nate look at Parker)

Parker: What? We were all thinking it.

Hardison: Really? That's like the line right there, and you just cartwheel --

Parker: Could have been a woman.

Nate: All right, guys, guys, guys, guys. So we have no idea what Rockwell's up to here.

[Exterior Trailer]

Sophie: Hey, I wonder if Nate still thinks he's got all the angles of this fame thing covered.

Nate: You know, Sophie, I can hear you.

Sophie: Really?

Emma: Go away. I'm going to call the cops.

Kreese: Mr. Rockwell --

Sophie: Okay. There's a woman in a trailer who's arguing with Rockwell's thug.

Eliot: Nate, this is gonna get physical in about 30 seconds.

Kreese: Open the door, now!

(Eliot undoes his seat belt and gets out of the car, running across the street. Sophie rolls up her window. Eliot runs up the porch stairs as Kreese is trying to force his way inside)

Emma: Get out of my house!

(Eliot grabs Kreese and pulls him away from the door, throwing him against a post)

Kreese: Who the hell are you?

(Kreese swings at Eliot, who blocks him and kicks his leg)

Eliot: Neighborhood watch.

(Eliot throws Kreese against the trailer. Kreese turns around and grabs Eliot around the torso. Eliot knees Kreese several times, making him back away. Eliot blocks a kick, then punches Kreese in the face, knocking Kreese to the floor. Kreese gets up and swings at Eliot again, but misses. Eliot punches him in the side. Kreese picks up Eliot, who knocks him against the trailer and punches him in the face. Kreese picks up the briefcase and swings it at Eliot, then hit him in the stomach with it. Eliot pushes him away and Kreese swings the briefcase again. Eliot swings the door into Kreese’s next swing, which breaks the door. Eliot punches him in the stomach and Kreese stumbles away)

Nate: Eliot, let him go.

(Kreese gets in his car and drives away. Some time later, Sophie is sitting with Emma while Eliot fixes the screen door)

Emma: Until that guy showed up on my front steps, I hadn't heard from Reed Rockwell in forever.

Sophie: How did you know him?

Emma: He grew up a couple towns over. He dated a girl from my class. Night of the prom, me and my boyfriend, P.J., were in a car with Reed and this girl Missy, all blitzed out of our mind. And we got into an accident, and Missy was killed.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: I wonder why he's trying to buy her silence.

Hardison (pulls information up on screen): This is all that comes up about the accident. Wasn't even mentioned in the Globe, only local papers.

Nate: Rockwell's worried about a background check. Rockwell, he knows how to prey on people's dark secrets, it’s because he has one himself. I think that Rockwell was driving the car and afterwards, made it look like he wasn't.

[Exterior Trailer]

(Sophie gives Eliot a pointed look)

Eliot: Rockwell the one driving?

Emma: I swear. I even took a picture, of everybody from the backseat after we left the party.

Sophie: But he was never arrested.

Emma: No. I don't understand what happened. When I took the camera to the police a couple of days later, the negative showed P.J. in the driver's seat.

(Sophie turns to look at Eliot, who smiles)

Eliot: What? It works. (closes the screen door)

Emma: P.J. went to jail for vehicular manslaughter. And Reed Rockwell went free. (starts crying) P.J. would have never been driving that car if he had been drinking. You have to be-- He had a wrestling scholarship waiting for him at B.C. He was talking about proposing. I've been trying to tell the cops this for the last 14 years.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Okay, we got it. Now, here, Rockwell is in the passenger's seat, and he's smiling. Hardison, is there any way that Rockwell could have doctored the film negative?

Hardison: We're talking prehistoric technology. He'd have to switch out the entire roll, put in a new one with the same pictures, except the one he changed. It's epic but not impossible.

Eliot: Nate, this girl's got almost nothing.

[Exterior Trailer]

Sophie: You didn't take the money, Emma.

Emma: I don't want anything from Reed Rockwell. He sends a guy here with 25k trying to get me to stay quiet about the accident. I told him to get lost.

Sophie: Look, thanks for talking to us.

Emma: Yeah. You guys know Rockwell? Is he famous or something?

Eliot: We're gonna make sure of it.

(Sophie and Eliot leave)

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: Okay, I want you two to go get the doctored film negative from the police evidence archive. Do whatever you have to do. Just get it.

(Hardison and Parker leave)

[Police Archives]

(Hardison and Parker look through the windows into a store room that looks very disorganized)

Hardison: Oh, man. Can you find the Ark of the Covenant back there?

Parker: How am I supposed to find anything?

Hardison: I don't know.

(Parker walks off down the hall as Hardison enters the store room)

Hardison: Afternoon, ma'am. How you doing? I'm writing a piece for the Police Gazette, right? On the unsung heroes of the justice system. The civilians like yourself who keep the archives from...catching fire.

Woman: Will you be needing any photographs for your piece, mister...

(Parker pops up behind the woman)

Hardison: Par...dison -- "Pardison" is my name. That's Pardison -- it's Swahili. Um... I've noticed that you have a very unconventional filing system for your archive.

(Parker ducks behind a shelving unit before the woman turns to look)

Hardison: So, where would one such as myself find, like, a-a prosecutor from the late '90s, like a... Tom Randall?

Woman: Oh, him! I keep him right back there.

(Parker slides a chair across the floor)

Hardison: Back -- back – him, he's in the southeast corner? In...

(Parker slides the chair back the other way)

Woman: What was that, Mr. Pardison?

Hardison: I didn't sa-- I said -- I said what you said.

(Parker makes her way through the shelves)

Hardison: Him -- he's in the southeast corner?

(Parker rattles a filing cabinet, trying to open it. Hardison coughs to cover the sound)

Woman: Oh, dear.

Hardison: Ha! It's dusty. Caught the back of my throat, right up in there, right up in there.

(Parker finds the negatives and shows them to Hardison)

Hardison: You know what? I-I think I'm gonna actually go ahead and get some pictures, to -- Yeah. So, all right. you take care. A-all right.

(goes out the door)

Woman: All right. All right. Bye-bye.

[Leverage HQ]

Nate: All right. We can still make this work.

Eliot: I don't know why I'm sitting here listening to a new plan.

Parker: Well, the first one's not going all that well.

Sophie: This playing-with-fame thing, it's reckless.

Eliot: You're not controlling the mark. All right, we're operating without a net. Somebody's gonna get hurt.

Nate: Eliot, why don't you just take the rest of the job off?

(Eliot gives Nate a long look before pushing back his chair and leaves the table. Parker does the same)

Sophie: Consciously or not, I think you look at Reed Rockwell and see everything you hate about Nathan --

Nate: Any way I can get you to not finish that thought?

Sophie: Every time something goes wrong, you push harder, and now you're pushing to ruin Rockwell so hard, you're going to end up ruining yourself. Maybe that's what you're trying to do.

Hardison: Nate, I think he developed and then took a new shot of every picture on the roll. The one he alters right here in the middle, man, I mean, the tech at the time was primitive at best, but it's really a seamless job.

Nate: Just skip to the last page, please.

Hardison: We're not gonna be able to nail Rockwell for the car accident.

[The Crisis Center]

Rockwell: What do you mean it didn't work? How the hell did you screw this up?!!

Kreese: There was somebody with her.

Rockwell: Somebody?

Kreese: He -- he beat me up with the screen door.

(Rockwell’s phone rings and he walks over to answer it on speaker phone)

Rockwell: What?!

[Interior Trailer]

Emma: Is that girl's life really only worth $25,000, Reed? How's about 14 years of prison for my man?

[The Crisis Center]

Emma: That part of the payoff?

(Rockwell picks up the phone)

[Interior Trailer]

Emma: See, after your friend left, I started looking through some things from back then, and I found a picture you may have missed. Pretty sure it's worth more than 25k.

[The Crisis Center]

Rockwell: Tell me what figure you had in mind.

[Interior Trailer]

Emma: How's about 250?

[The Crisis Center]

Rockwell: Or what?

[Interior Trailer]

Sophie (whispering): Or you go to the local news.

Emma: Or I talk to the first reporter who will take my call.

(behind Emma, Hardison is standing at a counter with a briefcase)

[The Crisis Center]

Rockwell: Do you have any idea who you're screwing with?

Emma: I'll be in an old Buick. You wait for me under the bridge.

[Interior Trailer]

(Parker touches her wrist and holds up one finger)

Emma: You got one hour. And it better be you personally, Reed. Climb into the back of the car, hand over the money, I hand you the evidence, you get out of the car. Simple as that.

[The Crisis Center]

(Rockwell hangs up the phone)

[Interior Trailer]

(Emma hangs up the phone)

Sophie: Very good.

Parker: You did great.

Sophie: He's all yours, Nate.

[The Crisis Center]

Nate: Looks like I missed something.

(Rockwell slams a glass onto the floor)

Nate: Calm down, Rockwell. Use your words. If there's a problem, we'll fix it.

Rockwell: I'm being blackmailed! This bitch I knew half a lifetime ago, 14 years, she just... I-I was in a car accident in high school. This girl I know got killed. We were all drunk. I was not the one driving. I swear to God. But the cops came. I was still on the scene. (pours another drink) And now, now this girl who was in the car with us wants 250 grand or she's gonna go public and say that I was the one at the wheel.

Nate (pulls out his phone): Uh-huh. Wow. That's really something.

Rockwell: Look. Look, I-I already tried to make this go away.

Nate: Not hard enough. Sit down. (they both sit down) We are at the goal line here, Rockwell. Now, you can't afford to have a scandal like this. We both know that it doesn't matter if it's trumped up or real. Look. This request for the $250,000 maybe it's not such a bad thing.

Rockwell: What? W-w-what are you talking about?

Nate: Comparatively, it is a lot of money, but it means that the girl doesn't want to string this out over a bunch of payments. She wants to take the money now and disappear. Okay? You both win.

Rockwell: No, Gillis. She wins. I'm out $250,000!

Nate: I wouldn't worry about that. I mean, look, you'll make that money back in a month of speaking engagements, you know, one week of book signings. Don't worry about that. The thing is this, you are now... You're not in the shadows anymore, Rockwell. Okay? You are, you are at the whim of the media. And we both know what they'll do with a story like this.

(minutes later Rockwell walks out of his inner office)

Rockwell: No way I'm letting that bitch get away with this. She gives me her evidence, I get out of her car, (puts the money in a briefcase and closes it) you make sure this is over. (tosses Kreese a set of keys) Take the Land Rover.

Kreese: You got it.

[Interior Car]

(Rockwell stands under a bridge. A car pulls up and he gets in the back seat)

Rockwell: Long time, Emma. (pushes the briefcase between the front seats) Just hand over the photo.

(the driver steps on the gas, taking off quickly, throwing Rockwell back against the seat)

Rockwell: Hey. Hey! What are you doing? What the... Where the hell are we going?!

Parker: To get the evidence. I wasn't stupid enough to bring it with me!

Rockwell: Just pull the damn car over! This is amateur crap.

(Parker, wearing a hoodie, glances back at Rockwell)

Rockwell: Wait. Wait, I know you from the… I've seen you before. I-I, What the hell is going on here?!

(a Land Rover slams into the side of the vehicle Parker and Rockwell are in, setting off the airbags and the horn. Rockwell comes to and looks at Parker, seeing that she isn’t moving)

Rockwell: Oh, my God. Oh, not again. Not again. Not again.

(Rockwell opens the car door and stumbles from the vehicle, running away)

[The Crisis Center]

(walking into his office)

Rockwell: Where the hell are you, Kreese? I'm back at the office. Give me a call the second you...

(Rockwell sees that the door to the office is ajar. He opens it to find a room full of police)

Officer: Evening, Mr. Rockwell.

[Interrogation Room]

Detective: Why are you trying to deny this, Mr. Rockwell?

(two detectives are in the room with Rockwell, and behind the reflective glass stands Nate, Parker and Eliot)

Rockwell: Because I didn't cause any accident. I was the victim. I just got finished telling you. What, did you pull that badge out of a cereal box?

(the detective laughs and looks at the other detective, who goes to a television and pushes playback on traffic camera footage that shows Rockwell getting out of the Land Rover that hit Parker’s car


(Kreese walks up to the Land Rover to find Eliot standing next to it)

Eliot: Give me the keys.

(Kreese punches but Eliot grabs his arm and breaks it. A few minutes later Eliot drives away in the Land Rover, leaving Kreese unconscious against a tree. Eliot is driving when the Land Rover hits Parker’s car but the Land Rover is empty when Rockwell stumbles away from the accident. Parker wakes up, cracks her neck, and gets out of the car. Hardison makes changes to the traffic cam footage to show that Rockwell gets out of the Land Rover, not the car)

[Interrogation Room]

Detective 2: Any interest in changing your statement there, Froot Loops? (throws papers down on the desk in front of Rockwell)

Rockwell: What is this?

Detective: Oh, those are your phone records, Rockwell. Which show dozens of calls and texts to the number of that girl who was in that car you just smacked up.


Parker: Call me now, so I have your phone... (phone rings) Oh. Got it.

Hardison: I'm cloning Rockwell's cell right now.

[Interrogation Room]

Detective: Cute little blond girl like that, what, were you stalking her? See, what we're getting at here is called intent.

(Eliot, Nate and Parker continue to watch from the observation room)

Rockwell: I was, I was not stalking that girl. I-I hardly knew her. The only reason I was in her car is 'cause she was trying to blackmail me. I swear to God!

Detective: Blackmailing you?

Rockwell: Yes. For this drunk-driving accident 14 years ago.

(the detectives exchange a look)

Rockwell: No, I wasn't at fault!

Detective: For which accident?!

Rockwell: Neither! You guys have my briefcase. Get my briefcase. There's 250 grand in there. It's the payoff money. It'll prove that she was trying to extort --

Detective 2 (puts briefcase on desk) Would that be this briefcase?

(Detective 2 opens the briefcase to show pictures from that night 14 years ago, but with Rockwell in the driver’s seat)

Rockwell: Wait. How...


(the Land Rover slams into the car, knocking Rockwell unconscious. Eliot gets out of the Land Rover and tosses a briefcase across the roof before climbing over the car. He opens the back door, takes out Rockwell’s briefcase and replaces it with the one he was carrying)

Eliot: Sleep tight, my man. (walks away)

[Interrogation Room]

Rockwell: I-I... (looks at picture) No. No, no, no. This evidence has been digitally altered! This is not the real photograph. I-I... (sees Kelley walking in)

Kelley: Tell me about it.

(Kelley looks toward the observation room and smiles. Nate and the others walk away)

[McRory’s Pub]

Reporter: State's Attorney Kelley personally oversaw the Lowell native's release after spending the last 14 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.

Hardison: Think they're happy now, wait till they see what's in that briefcase waiting at home for them.

Sophie: Enough to fix their screen door.

Eliot: Couple hundred thousand of them.

Reporter: ...Yet sadness over the death of an innocent girl in the car accident...

Nate: All right.

Reporter: …that led to his incarceration 14 years ago.

Nate: It was reckless.

Parker: It was worth it. (gets up)

Eliot: Yeah, this time. (gets up)

Parker (to Hardison): Bet you're starting to like that C.G.I. Yoda a little bit now?

(Eliot and Parker leave, Hardison following)

Hardison: Yeah, when he gives back the childhood he stole from me. Why don't you just ask me to join the dark side? Go ahead.

Nate: "Well, Nate, winning isn't everything."

Sophie: You know, for a while there, you were an honest man. And then for a while, you were a thief.

Nate: Yeah, maybe I'm both.

Sophie: You can't be both. I'm just not sure at this point which one I want to win. (kisses him on the cheek)

Reporter: Now to return to one of the top stories tonight, the shockingly brief rise and fall of Reed Rockwell, whose foiling of a coffee-house robbery on Tuesday was overshadowed by his arrest and subsequent confession. New evidence suggests that Rockwell was the driver who caused the accident that resulted in P.J. Tiernan's incarceration 14 years ago.

(Nate’s phone rings. He answers it)

Nate: Yeah.

[Interior Car]

Latimer: Mr. Ford, that was a hell of a piece of work.

[McRory’s Pub]

Nate: The gentleman that was listening in on my apartment, I presume.

[Interior Car]

Latimer: Wiretaps without warrants are a felony. Listen, here's the thing. We had some outstanding contracts with Mr. Rockwell.

[McRory’s Pub]

Latimer: I don't suppose you'd consider taking them on for a substantial fee.

Nate: I don't work that way.

[Interior Car]

Latimer (laughs): You honestly don't, do you? You actually think you're one of the good guys.

[McRory’s Pub]

Nate: You care to talk this over face-to-face?

Latimer: Congratulations again.

[Interior Car]

Latimer: Getting rid of scum like Rockwell, you made the world a better place. (hangs up)

[McRory’s Pub]

Reporter: And information from the original accident scene states that Rockwell was under the influence of alcohol at the time. And in a bizarre twist, Rockwell was caught on a local traffic camera tonight causing yet another car accident.

(Nate walks into the poker room, reaches up and turns out the light)

The End

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