Leverage Transcripts derived from the closed captions available online and formated by slaysvamps. Feel free to download and share, but please give credit and a link back to me here.
Leverage Main | When Darkness Falls

5x05 The Gimme a K Street Job

[Cheerleading Competition]

(Cornell walks through groups of cheerleaders, correcting and encouraging as she moves through the crowd)

Cornell: Thatís it, girls! Lono, harder! Pull back! Back up! Arms! Tighter! Tighter! Angela, arms straight. Thatís it. Good girl. 5, 6, 7, 8. 1, 2, 3, 4...

(Barron moves into the area, trailed by Snyder)

Woman: 5, 6, 7, 8! 1, 2!

Cornell: Hey! Are you the morons in charge?

Barron: Well... Iím the company C.E.O., So, yes, Iím the ďmoronĒ in charge, miss...

Cornell: Coach Cornell. Your set-up here is a mess. These are one-inch mats. We should be working on 12-inch mats.

Barron: Not according to the safety standards.

Cornell: The safety standards are a joke.

Snyder: Pep Athletics doesnít set the safety standards for competitive cheer. The gymnastics and tumbling safety administration does.

Cornell: Pep owns the safety administration.

Barron: Listen, if you donít like the way we run our competitions, Miss Cornell, uh, feel free to take your team home. Of course, your entry fees are non-refundable.

Woman: Okay, here we go. Come on, Marcy.

(girls move through a cheerleading routine. Marcy is tossed into the air, but falls badly)

Girl: Oh, my god!

Cornell: Marcy! (runs over to Marcy) Marcy! (to another cheerleader) Get the medics! Call the medics!

Boy: Okay.

(Cornell beings performing CPR on Marcy)

Boy (on phone): Hello? Yeah, we need an ambulance right away.

(Barron sighs before she and Snyder walk away)

[Brew Pub]

Cornell (showing pictures of Marcy in the hospital): The doctors think sheíll eventually breathe on her own, but her legs...

Nate: But it was an accident. It wasnít your fault.

Cornell: This wasnít an accident. It was negligence.

Nate: Negligence is hard to prove. What makes you so sure that it was this companyís fault?

Cornell: Pep athletics controls competitive cheer. They write the safety standards, and not to protect the girls... to be cheap. 3% of female athletes are cheerleaders. 66% of female athletic injuries come from cheer.

Nate: Hmm. Is Marcy covered by insurance?

Cornell: You have to be to participate in pep competitions. But you have to buy it from Pepís subsidiary insurance company.

Nate: I see. And let me guess... they donít pay out.

Cornell: Mr. Ford, Pep has blamed me for the accident and banned me from coaching. Iím a fully qualified gymnastics coach. Pepís coach-training program... A fry cook gets more training. My teamís not safe without me.

Nate: Well, we are gonna make sure they are.

[Washington D.C. Pep Athletics Headquarters]

(cheerleaders run through a routine)

Parker (into video camera on phone): Do you hate me? You hate me. Is that why youíre making meó

[Leverage Headquarters]

Parker (on display): ódo this?

Nate: No, Par-Parker, these girls... they need a coach, and youíre the best gymnast I know.

Hardison: Besides, it puts you on the inside at Pep H.Q. In D.C. Theyíre running cheer camp for the next week up until championship.

Parker: But theyíre teenage girls. What do I know about teenage girls?

Nate: You were a teenage girl?

Parker: Only sort of.

Sophie: Look, did you know about this? Girls being dropped from 20 feet. Itís unbelievable.

Parker: I know, right? 20 feet? Psh! Walk it off.

Sophie: Parker, you do know that normal people donít just ďwalk offĒ a 20-foot fall, right?

Parker: So... all those times I pushed Hardison off a building and he was all ďaah!Ē... he wasnít just being funny?

(Hardison shakes his head)

Eliot: I thought it was funny, Parker.

Hardison: No way in hell was it funny.

Eliot: Youíre always upside down, man.

Hardison: I fell off a building. I was upside...

Eliot: Like a Himalayan tree frog.

Hardison: You calling me a frog? You calling me a damn frog? Say it again. Say it to my face.

Nate: Guys... maybe focus, guys. Focus.

Hardison: Damn frog. (changes display) Pep Athletics. They started out selling workout clothes, then they turned into 22 subsidiaries and shell companies that run competitive cheer. They set safety standards, they train coaches, they sell uniforms, they sell insurance, and they also televise very lucrative competitions. And they profit off of teenage girls the whole way. Now, because of their corporate structure, it lets them hide the fact that itís the same company.

Sophie: The mafia has a less-complicated set-up.

Nate: Yeah, and with them, you need a Federal task force and a RICO case to bring them down.

Hardison: Mm-hmm. Now, this is the C.E.O., Wendy Barron. Sheís an ex-cheerleader, and sheís the one who moved pep into cheer. She took them from selling sweat pants into running a sport.

Nate: Ah, thereís the crux of the problem right there. Technically, legally, cheerleading is not a sport. Itís an activity.

Sophie: Whatís the difference?

Eliot: A sport has legally mandated safety standards.

Nate: Yes, and a for-profit company cannot run a sport, which is why pep wants to keep Competitive cheer from becoming a sport. Unless, of course, we made it one.

Sophie: Thatís when the safety standards kick in.

Nate: Yes, and then Pep would be doing a free-fall without a mat.

Parker: So how do we make something a sport?

Nate: Well, we donít, actually. The Federal High School Athletics Committee does. This is a job for Congress.

[Congress Building]

Sophie: Ah, I love government. Shady deals, back-room meetings... It is grifter paradise.

Eliot: This is wrong. We work outside the law, not smack-dab in the middle of it.

Nate: Relax, Eliot. Elected officials are the easiest marks in the world. Between their ego, the greed, and the politics... More hooks than a bait shop.

Eliot: Iím just saying, weíd be better off running a stock scam or maybe a little heist.

Hardison: Hey, the governmentís just a system, baby. And if itís a system, we can hack it. I already got the cheerleader protection act, H.R. 505, up for vote in about 20 minutes. Poor bastards wonít know what hit them.

Eliot: Right. Assuming it passes.

Hardison: Assuming what? Itís a bill to keep high-school girls out of wheelchairs. Whoís gonna vote against it?

[Congressional Meeting]

LeGrange: Ladies and gentlemen, this bill is a staggering... I say a staggering overreach of government power.

Eliot: You were saying?


Barron: How the hell did this bill come up for a vote without us knowing about it?

Snyder: I donít know. I-Iíve been trying to keep tabs on things, but...

[Congressional Meeting]

LeGrange: Now, I was a quarterback in high school, so I think I know a thing or two about cheerleaders. And one thing I know is that they do not want big government getting all up in their business.

(Barron and Snyder enter the room)

LeGrange: Cheerleaders are strong, independent young women. They donít need a bunch of white-haired old men from Washington telling them what to do. They donít need a nanny state dictating their every move.

Nate: Sophie, can you get a head count?

LeGrange: They got parents to do that for them. Now, I know itís hard for parents to raise a teen.

Sophie: Judging by the body language, Iíd say... Zero for, seven against.

LeGrange: These parents are hard-working Americans.

Nate: Hardison, we got to stop this now.

Hardison: I canít hack the agenda while the meetingís in session.

Nate: No, weíve got to stop this now... not the agenda. The sound system.

LeGrange: What weíre talking about is having this august body March into their towns straight down the neighborhood streets and right into the front door of our high schools. And make no mistake, once we let big government into our high schools, well, who knows where that might...

(Hardison uses his phone to create feedback on the sound system. A technician struggles to fix it while Hardison hands Eliot his phone)

Hardison: Just press this button.

LeGrange: I said, who knows what...

(Eliot presses button and the feedback gets worse)

Technician: Sorry. (tries to fix the problem, after a few moments shakes his head)

LeGrange: Anyone... anyone mind if we table this until we can get things working around here? (no one answers) Uh, folks, weíre gonna put this off till next week, and thank you all for coming.

Barron: Looks like we have some time. Maybe this wonít be a complete disaster.

(Barron walks out with Snyder)

Nate: Did anyone else catch that? Barron, the C.E.O. of Pep... The bill was about to be voted down. I mean, thatís the best thing that could happen for Pep, right?

Sophie: Youíre right. She should be thrilled. Why the long face?

Nate: Okay, Parker, I need you to break into Barronís office and see what sheís up to.

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Parker (walks through a group of cheerleaders who follow her): Sure. No problem. Itís not like Iím dragging around a flock of cheerleaders or anything.

[Congressional Hearing]

Nate: Yeah. The rest of us... Letís go steal us some congressmen.

[Empty Office]

Hardison: And hereís our committee. (shows pictures on display) According to Sophie, weíve got seven nay votes. We need to flip four to win. The good news is we got tons of data on these politicians... Voting records, financial records, all that. It makes it easy to figure out whoís the most influential and whoís the easiest to influence.

Sophie: Whoís our best buy?

Hardison: These are our four right here.

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

(Berkus is talking to several people in a meeting)

Hardison (voiceover): Congresswoman Jane Berkus. Sheís very numbers-driven. Impeccable on womenís issues. We make her know that this is about protecting young girls, sheís in.

[Congressman Caballoís Office]

(Caballo is talking on a cell phone)

Hardison (voiceover): Thereís Congressman Juan Caballo. Now, he won his seat in a populist upswell that heís having trouble maintaining. We keep him in office, he votes how we want.

(desk phone rings)

Caballo (into cell): Hold on. (answers desk phone)

[Congressman Zahnís Office]

(Zahn sitting with several men, drinking and smoking cigars)

Hardison (voiceover): Congressman John Zahn. Heís currently being investigated for some fundraising irregularities. Now, we make his problem go away, he makes our problem go away.


(LeGrange talking to a group of reporters)

Hardison (voiceover): Finally, we have Congressman J.J. LeGrange. Heís a consummate Washington insider. His father held that seat and his grandfather before him. Now, this man loves the cameras, and he loves his power.

[Empty Office]

Hardison: Heís also the committee chair, which means if heís against us...

Nate: It means heís got 100 procedural tricks he can use kill the bill. We need him, or we got nothing.

Eliot: Wait a minute... youíre talking about running a con on four separate marks.

Nate: No, not... not marks. Elected officials. We do this right, weíll have them eating out of our hand by dinner.

(hours later, Hardison enters looking exhausted. The others are seated around looking tired as well)

Eliot: ďEating out of our hand by dinner,Ē huh?

Hardison (sits down): Anybody else feel like weíve been chewed up and spit out?

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Berkus: All right. Anything else? Weíre done.

Hardison: Uh, actually...

Berkus: Yes, new guy.

(other participants of the meeting get up and begin to leave)

Hardison: Iíd like to discuss H.R. 505.

Berkus: The cheerleading bill?

Hardison: Right you are. (moves to Berkusí side) Here. You see, there are some numbers that I think youíll find...

Berkus: Numbers. Like the $20 million the bill will cost schools in equipment and training? I am not taking money away from arts, music, school lunches, or, god forbid, actual womenís sports so that Candi, Mandi, and Brandi-with-an-I can flounce around in their miniskirts and midriffs.

Hardison: Right. But...

Berkus: So unless you can find $20 million lying around unclaimed in the federal budget, weíre done. (walks away)

Hardison: Noted. Copy. I feel you. But, um...

[Empty Office]

Nate: You know, Hardison, you said it yourself... governmentís just a system.

Hardison: It is a system. Itís also ďWar and PeaceĒ with math.

Sophie: At least youíre dealing with money.

[Congressman Caballoís Office]

(Sophie enters while Caballo is on the phone and sits down)

Caballo: Thatís why the voters sent me here. Hold on. Sorry. How can I help you, miss...

Sophie: Amber von Cleve of the Cleveland von Cleves. The family would like to make a sizable donation to your re-election campaign. There is, however, one thing weíd like to make sure we see eye-to-eye on.

Caballo: The corn subsidies.

Sophie: The... excuse me?

Caballo: I know how important they are to the district, but Iíve been stonewalled. You really want to get me re-elected? Find me a way to land those corn subsidies. I got to take this. (returns to phone call)

[Empty Office]

Sophie: Now, wait a minute. You said you like back-room dealings.

Sophie: I like stealing things that are real. Cash... of course. Land... sure. Art... yes, please. Corn subsidies? Not so much.

Parker (on phone): At least youíre stealing.

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Parker: Theyíve got this place sewn up so tight, I can barely even case it.

(cameras are watching as the cheerleaders move through their routines. Parker sees Barron and Snyder walk through the area)

Barron (on phone): No. No, I told you... I donít have time right now. Yeah. No...

Girl: Um, coach?

Parker: Right! Okay, whoís up for some basic gymnastics drills?

(Parker presses a button and LASER light lines shine between orange cones. A girl in the back raises her hand)

Parker: Yes. You. What are you called?

Madison: Madison. Can I be excused? I donít feel well.

Parker: But... We have... laser grid, Madison. Laser grid. Huh?

(on phone call)

Parker: Theyíre so jaded.

[Empty Office]

Nate: Parker, you just got to figure out how to connect with them. You have more in common than you think.

Sophie: Why are you so upbeat about all of this?

Hardison: Yeah. I mean, howíd you do with the distinguished gentleman from being-investigated-for-fraud?

[Congressman Zahnís Office]

Nate (enters): Congressman, sorry to interrupt.

Zahn: Itís no problem, pal. Just tell me this. What do you want, and whatís it worth to you?

(men laugh)

Nate: Letís talk. Lunch?

Zahn: Sounds great.

[Empty Office]

Hardison: For real, man? You telling me you bought a Congressman with a lunch?

Nate: It was a nice lunch.

Nate: Iíve been saying it all along, guys. Elected officials are the easiest mark in the world.

Eliot: Oh, you think so, huh?


Eliot: Congressman. Steven Turner, Rossi Consulting. How you doing?

LeGrange: Just fine, Mr. Turner. Just fine.

Eliot: Youíre a busy man. I can appreciate that. Listen, we have a client that runs a political action committee for womenís athletics, and weíd like to know your stance on H.R. 505.

LeGrange: I made my stance on 505 pretty clear. I think itís government overreach, pure and simple.

Eliot: I hear that, I tell you. but, however, our client does want to make a substantial donation to a congressman...

LeGrange: No, no. Listen carefully, son. Now, people donít donate to me to buy my vote. People donate to me because they already know how Iím gonna vote. People donate to me because of my integrity. Now, if your people are interested in me, Iím happy to have your money. But if you think you can buy a vote off of J.J. LeGrange, well, you got another think coming.

[Empty Office]

Sophie: You mean...

Eliot: Yeah, I mean the guyís got integrity. Elected official or not, you canít con an honest man.


Nate: Okay, people, letís grift.

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison (sits down at laptop): Hello, numbers. You ready to dance?


Sophie: Corn subsidies? Why did it have to be corn subsidies?

(Congresswoman Greenhill walks by, Sophie falls into step with her)

Sophie: Congresswoman Greenhill. Iím Debra Scott of the Scottsdale Scotts. The family would like to make a sizable donation to your re-election campaign. (pulls a check from her checkbook) There is one thing, however, weíd like to make sure we see eye-to-eye on. Corn subsidies.

Congresswoman Greenhill: Corn subsidies? Do you know what corn subsidies are code for?

Sophie: Excuse me?

Congresswoman Greenhill: Ethanol. And do you know what the problem with ethanol is?

Sophie: No, but I sure would like to find out.

Congresswoman Greenhill: Well, people think that itís clean energy, but itís still burning carbon. It takes attention away from real sustainable energy. And do you know what Arizona has more of than any other state?

Sophie: Sand?

Congresswoman Greenhill: Sun. Limitless, clean sunlight. I wonít subsidize corn in Ohio unless thereís at least as much for solar subsidies in Arizona.

(Greenhill walks away and Sophie crumples check)

[Empty Office]

Eliot (pacing): This is a bad idea. You canít con an honest man, Nate.

Nate: Heís not an honest man. Heís an elected official.

Eliot: Really? ĎCause he turned down PAC money, which, by the way, is legal.

Nate: That just means moneyís not his hook. You got to figure out what is.

Eliot: All right, heís a politician. He likes power. Donít offer him money. Offer him more power.

(Nate turns around a laptop with an ĎElect LeGrange for Senateí flier on the screen)

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison: Uh, congresswoman?

Berkus: New guy.

Hardison: Hey.

Berkus: What do you need?

Hardison: Uh. Ah. Bam. What?! The money. Look, x-12... Itís an armored-vehicle prototype. All right, $50 million was earmarked for development this year, but the Pentagon says they donít want it. They said they donít need another armored car. So Iím thinking we take that money, put it into cheerleading, right? We fund the bill. We have plenty to spare. Holla.

Berkus: You canít touch that money.

Hardison: But the pentagon does not want it.

Berkus: Itís defense spending. Itís a separate appropriations bill from education. Youíd have to send both bills back to the floor and start all over.

Hardison: Right... right, but just l-listen real quick. They do not want the money.

(Berkus shrugs and walks away)

Hardison: But they donít... they donít want the money.


Eliot: Congressman. Hi. Steven Turner, Rossi Consulting.

LeGrange: Yeah. Fella came around yesterday looking to buy my vote.

Eliot: That was not my fault. I wanted you to know that was my bossís idea. I respect integrity, sir. I respect the hell out of it. As a matter of fact, itís how, uh, itís how I choose a leader. Now, my firm happens to have a client that wants to sponsor a primary challenge to Senator Fischer.

LeGrange: You grooming me for a higher office?

Eliot: Well... (holds up poster of LeGrange for Senate)

LeGrange: Sorry, son. I spent a lot of time becoming the big fish in my little pond. And thatís the way I like it.

[Another Hallway]

Congressman: Hey, Ms. Rochester, those solar subsidies are earmarked for New York. My constituents are counting on them.

Sophie: Come on, congressman. One New Yorker to another... Arizonaís got more sun. Canít we just split the difference?

Congressman: Maybe I can swing it, but Iím gonna need a little favor from you.

(congressman walks away. Greenhill walks by and smiles at Sophie)


Nate: Hey, Parker? Any progress getting into Barronís office?

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Parker: Not yet. Securityís tight, but... (to cheerleaders standing in a pyramid) Okay, good. Now, just like we practiced.

(cheerleader points electronic listening device at Barron)

Barron: The projections are great, but this whole thing hinges on having the cash on hand in time. Are you in?

Parker: Sounds like sheís trying to get money together, but I donít know what for.

Nate: Okay, wellÖ


Nate: Öyou got to get in there and find out.

Parker: Yeah, I know.

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Parker: But thereís cameras everywhere. Itís almost like they know thereís a jillion pesky teenagers crawling around.

Madison: Coach? Coach, uh, do you think we could let her down?

Parker: Why? Sheís fine.

Madison: Well, she might get dizzy. Or... or something.

Parker: Bring her down.


Nate: Okay, so whatís your next play?

Eliot: Well, youíre supposed to be the mastermind. He doesnít want power. He doesnít want money. Maybe he really is an honest man.

Nate: Everyone has a hook, Eliot. Everyone has a weakness you can exploit.

Eliot: Do you?

Nate: No. You?

Eliot: No. Look, maybe this doesnít fit into your world view, Nate, but there are some people out there that just want to serve. Trust me. I served with them.

Nate: Okay. Well, if all they want to do is serve, you can exploit that, too.

(Nate walks away and LeGrange walks by. Eliot follows him)

Eliot: Congressman! Hi. How you doing again? Steven.

LeGrange: Turner. Back again.

Eliot: Right.

LeGrange: Very tenacious.

Eliot: Thank you. Listen, I was wondering if you ever considered taking a job on the punditry circuit.

(LeGrange begins walking away)

Eliot: Not... not right now. Iím talking about later, you know, so you can keep fighting the good fight after your termís over.

LeGrange: Iím not interested.

Eliot: Come on, man! Why the hell not? Sorry.

LeGrange: ĎCause Iím not planning on leaving office any time soon. (walks away)

Eliot (follows him): Well, no, no, no, no. No, no, of course not. I mean, you probably got this re-election All sewn up this cycle. Yep. Probably the next one, too. But, you know, after that, it could get a little bit rough. Iím thinking maybe eight years tops, and youíre looking for other work.

LeGrange: What are you talking about?

Eliot: Polling numbers.

LeGrange: Eight years out? You donít have those numbers. Nobody has those numbers.

Eliot: We do. Itís a computer model. Some of the boys whipped it up back at the office. Now, it shows demographics, and it shows social trends. And can I be honest with you? I donít know the first thing about any of that stuff, except for the fact that it works.

LeGrange: It sounds like snake oil to me.

Nate (in comm.): Okay, tell him to look at Tracey Collegeís 10-year expansion plan.

Eliot: Well, if youíre not interested I understand. You should, though... You should tell your campaign manager to take a look at the Tracey College 10-year expansion plan.

LeGrange: What about it?

Nate: When a college expands...

Eliot: Well, when a college expands, young voters come in, and thatís not your demographic, is it? That and many other things is what the model accounts for.

LeGrange: I want to see this model of yours. Two hours. My office.

Eliot: Yes, sir. (walks away, rejoining Nate)

Nate: Not bad.

Eliot: You can fake all that polling stuff I was talking about, right?

Nate: Hope so.

(Snyder watches Nate and Eliot walk away, taking pictures with his cell phone)

[Barronís Office]

Snyder: Ms. Barron?

Barron: Hmm?

Snyder: You should see this. A man on the hill tipped me off. This guyís been talking to Congressman LeGrange on and off for the last two days. (shows her a picture of Nate and Eliot)

Barron: Iíve seen this one, too... at the committee meeting on H.R. 505.

Snyder: You think theyíre trying to push the bill through?

Barron: No sense taking chances. Letís make sure Congressman LeGrange stays where we want him.

Snyder: Are you sure you can control him?

Barron (dials phone): I was a cheerleader in high school. I think I know a few things about quarterbacks.

[Empty Office]

Nate: Okay, Eliot and I are circling LeGrange. Sophie, where are you?


Sophie: Trying to improve the air-quality standards in Massachusetts.

[Empty Office]

Nate: Okay. For corn subsidies?

Sophie: No, to get me the fishery concessions that I then tradeó


Sophie: ófor logging rights to get me the redistricting deal, that gets me the grant funding, that gets me the solar subsidies, that finally gets me the bloody, stinking corn subsidies. I donít know how anything gets down around here. You have to be a grifter to run government. Iím gonna need an assistant.

[Empty Office]

Nate: Okay... Hardison? How you doing?

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison: Look, Nate, Iím good with systems. You know that. But this... this system hacks back. I got $7 million sitting right here, set aside for mad-cow testing, which nobody uses, because, I mean, you know, nobody wants to know that they got mad-cow cows.

[Empty Office]

Nate: Yeah, so, uh, give them to the cheerleaders.

Hardison: I canít, man. Thereís a law right here tható

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison: ósays that there has to be money set aside for mad-cow testing, which nobody does! Makes no sense. Thereís no rhyme, no reason, no... Itís cool. Donít pop a nerve. Donít pop a nerve. Donít throw a book.

[Empty Office]

Nate: Okay, well, you two just keep doing what youíre doing. Letís wrap this up fast before somebody snaps. Uh, ParkerÖ

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Nate: Did you find anything?

Parker: The meetís in an hour. If I use it as cover, I can sneak up to the roof, short out the security system, then get down into Barronís office while everyoneísÖ here. Whereís Madison? Where is Madison?!

Girl: Madison? I havenít seen her in a while.

Parker: Great. I lost a cheerleader.

[Empty Office]

(Eliot and Nate look at each other)

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

(Parker and Nate look at one of the cheerleaders)

Parker: Okay, Ashley, whereís Madison?

Ashley: Can I have some water?

Nate: In a minute. Why donít you tell us again, from the top?

Ashley: I donít know where Madison went.

Parker: Donít give us that. The girls say youíre her best friend. Best friends talk, Angela. Are you gonna talk? Huh? Are you? Huh?

Nate: Easy. Easy. Easy. Your coach gets a little hot under the collar.

Ashley: Am I in trouble? Are you gonna call my parents?

Nate: You can parent up. Thatís your right.

(Parker turns on a light in Ashleyís face)

Ashley: Madison talked to me in confidence.

Parker: A big word for a little girl.

Nate: Whereís Madison?

(Parker leans down into Ashleyís face, growling)

[Sophieís Office]

Man: Ms. Von Cleveís office.

Woman: Ms. Scottís office. Ms. Scottís not available.

Man: Ms. Von Cleveís office.

Woman: Ms. Von Cleveís office. How may I help you? Iím sorry, senator.

(Sophie is dressed in Middle Eastern garb talking to several men)

Sophie: So, youíll see to it that Massachusetts gets the contract for the new military personnel database. And youíll see that the land is leased to the general for the new air base in the Persian Gulf. Think you can shake on that?

(the men stand and shake)

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison: Okay, $5 million earmarked for... Vocational training for millers, blacksmiths, and haberdashers... by an 1884 statute. Hey, anybody got a way to legally defineó

[Sophieís Office]

(the men leave the room)

Hardison: ócheerleading as haberdashery?

Sophie (removes garb): Iíll see what I can do. Ginger!

Ginger: Yes, maíam?

Sophie: Get me Congressman Finke on the phone.

Ginger: Okay, right away, maíam.

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison: All right. I mean, yeah. ĎCause thatís what we do. Thatís how we get it.

[Pep Athletics Headquarters Basement]

Parker: Madison? Madis... (sees Madison) Madison, hey, what are you doing down here? (helps Madison up) Everybodyís freaking out. Come on, we got to get you to the competition.

Madison (jerks away): I donít want to compete.

Parker: What? Why not?

Madison: I donít want to mess up again.

Parker: What are you talking about? When do you mess up? Youíre great.

Madison: Seriously?

Parker: Oh. You were Marcyís spotter.

Madison: I donít know what went wrong. Weíd done it a hundred times. Everything was going perfectly. (sits down) I just donít want anyone else to get hurt.

(Nate clears his voice. Parker sits beside Madison)

Parker: Look... Iím not afraid of heights or falling or... Anything I probably should be. But do you know what I am afraid of? Letting down the people I care about. Look, you donít have to compete if you donít want to compete. But I think your friends are gonna feel a lot safer knowing that youíre there, instead of having no one there.

(Madison nods)

Parker: Right? Did, uh, that work? Because I kind of got to get all the way up to the roof, so... (leaves the area)

Nate: How did you know how to get down here?

Madison: All the girls know how. Thereís no security or cameras down here, so we all just come down here to do stuff.

Parker (reenters): No security?

(Parker looks at a heating vent)


Sophie: Well, the corn subsidies are locked up.

Hardison: Budget is, too. And counting Nateís lunch buddy, weíve got three of the four votes that we need.

Eliot (joining them): Just leaves me and LeGrange and... (phone rings) Thatís him. (answers phone) Steven Turner. (to Sophie and Hardison) He just canceled. (into phone) Iím so... what came up?

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Barron: And so it is with great pleasure that I announce to you The Pep Athletics J.J. LeGrange Cheerleading Scholarship. Ladies and gentlemen, Congressman LeGrange.

(a cheerleader hands LeGrange a statue)

LeGrange: Uh, well, uh, thank you, Ms. Barron. And thank you, Pep athletics! (raises statue) Come on. Letís hear it. I... I am... Iím very proud to be associated with such a fine example of American entrepreneurial spirit. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Eliot: Thatís it. Thatís his hook. To get his name on a scholarship and a big yearbook picture blown up.

Nate: Yeah, we were thinking too big.

Eliot: Well, he just publicly tied himself to Pep Athletics, so thereís no way heís gonna vote against them now.

Parker: Thatís not the only bad news.

[Barronís Office]

Parker: Iím in Barronís office. Sheís planning to buy Pep, take it private. Thatís why she was pulling all the cash together.

Nate: Yes, and why she was so upset the bill almost failed...

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Nate: Because if the bill fails, Pepís stock price goes through the roof.

Eliot: She canít afford that. But if she already owns the company before the bill fails...

Nate: She cleans up. We accelerated things too fast. We put the bill up for a vote before she had a chance to get her money together.

[Barronís Office]

Parker: If she buys Pep, that means even less oversight. How do we stop her?

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Nate: We accelerate things even more.

(later, during competition)

Announcer: Ladies and gentleman, Pep Athletics is proud to present, the 17th annual tournament of champions.

Cheerleader: Ready! Ready!

Announcer: Letís hear it for the MHS Badgers!

Announcer: Ready! Ready! Letís go!

Nate: Ready?

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison: Ready.

[Sophieís Office]

Sophie: Ready.


Eliot: Ready.

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Parker: Ready.

Nate: Letís go.

(Nate approaches Barron as the competition continues)

Barron: You seem to be popping up all over the place.

Nate: Yeah. I do that. Listen, I-Iíve moved up the vote again on H.R. 505 first thing tomorrow.

Barron: Howíd you pull that off?


Eliot: Congressman, sorry to interrupt.

Zahn: No problem, pal. Just tell me this. What do you want, and whatís it worth to you?

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Nate: The bill is gonna fail before you have a chance to put your money together. Then itís ďbye-bye, buyout.Ē

Barron: Youíre very well informed, mister...?

(Nate looks at her without answering)

Barron: Okay, then. Bring it on. (walks away)

Nate: Sheís on the hook.

[Barronís Office]

Barron: We need the rest of that money right now. I want the buyout done today.

Snyder: Weíre still short on funds. (sits at desk)

Barron: Weíve got 22 companies under our umbrella. Pull anything you can.

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison (looking at laptop): Okay, Nate, you were right. They just pulled up the org chart to dip into other companies.

[Barronís Office]

Snyder: There are only a few with liquidity.

Barron: Well, try Cheer Wear, the uniform company.

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison (watching their computer screen): Oh, no, you donít. Youíre swimming my pool now, guppy.

(types quickly, making a legality warning pop up on Barronís computer screen)

[Barronís Office]

Snyder: Um, Ms. Barron, the systemís giving me an alert. Iím not sure that transfer is legal.

Barron: Why not?

Snyder: It says thereís a 1938 labor law requiring textile companies to keep cash on hand to pay overtime.

Barron: Is that for real?

Snyder: Iím checking, but it does seem to be legitimate.

Barron: What about the All-Cheer Competition League? We run a competition a week. They must have plenty of cash on hand.

[Congresswoman Berkusí Office]

Hardison: Oh, keep it coming. Keep it... do what you got to do.

[Barronís Office]

Snyder: We canít use that money, either, because... Because weíre a sweepstakes?

Barron: Weíre what?

Snyder: Weíre not a sport, so technically, this says, weíre a sweepstakes. There... there are a lot of restrictions on what you can do with sweepstakes money.

Barron: Go for C.T.V.C. All those broadcast contracts... they must have cash.

Snyder: Um, maíam, C.T.V.C. Is under investigation for indecency.

Barron: Well, when the hell did that happen?


Sophie (to man in her office): Oh. There. Right there, sir. That is a wardrobe malfunction. I can see her hoo-hah! Her hoo-hah, sir! Are you blind?! Do I need to call Congressman Caballo? Or Congressman Greenhill? I will call my whole rolodex, sir!

[Barronís Office]

Barron: Find that money. I donít care where you get it, but you find it! Call me when the transferís done. (leaves office)

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Nate: Keep on him, Hardison.

Hardison: Iím on it.

Ashley: Whereís coach?

Madison: Sheíll be here. She wonít let us down.

Man: Wolves, youíre up.

Female announcer: Letís give it up for the Wolves.

Parker: Iím here! Iím here! Iím here! All right, letís huddle up. I bet you guys could use a pep talk right about now, huh?

(cheerleaders agree)

Parker: For Marcy?

Madison: For Marcy.

Parker: Go, wolves.

All: Go-o-o-o, wolves!

(cheerleaders perform an outstanding routine. Barron approaches Nate as he watches)

Barron: You play a good game.

Nate: Thank you. Itís not over yet.

Barron: Oh, wrong. My assistant found the money.

Nate: Mm.

Barron: I bought Pep while youíve been standing here... Gawking. Two, four, six, eight. Who did we annihilate?

(wolves continue with their routine, performing the one Marcy was injured performing)

Barron: Ah, you underestimated me. People underestimate cheerleaders all the time. I didnít. I saw a niche, and I exploited it. Every girl wants to be a cheerleader. Every girl wants to be pretty. Every girl wants to be popular. And they will pay anything to get it. Cheerleaders built me a $300 million-a-year company because I didnít them underestimate them.

Nate: Mm.

All: Wolves!

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, letís hear it for the Northfield Wolves!

Nate: You know, I-I really donít think I underestimated you. In fact, I think I estimated you just... About... wait for it.

(Barronís phone rings)

Nate: Right.

Announcer: Letís give a hand for all our teams.

Nate: Youíre gonna want to get that.

Barron (answers phone): What?

[Barronís Office]

Snyder: We have a problem. There are Federal Agents here with a warrant.

(FBI agents search the office behind him, including the computer)

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Barron: For what?

Snyder: Insurance fraud.

Barron: What? Why are the... The money. Where did you pull the money from?

Snyder: The only place I could.

[Barronís Office]

Snyder: The National Cheerleading Insurance And Underwriters.


Nate: Hardison, that insurance company that the cheerleaders have to buy from... How much cash on hand do they have?

Hardison: Oh, they never pay out. They got a lot of premium money sitting there.

Nate: Okay, so hereís what weíre gonna do. We are gonna make sure that thatís the only money she can draw from.

Hardison: All right.

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Nate: Uh... What happened?

Sophie: I-I didnít do this. I didnít...

Nate: You didnít what?

Sophie: I didnít...

[Barronís Office]

(FBI agents lead Snyder from the room)

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

LeGrange (talking to reporters): Okay, just wait a second. Iím gonna go get Ms. Barron. Ms. Barron?

Barron: I didnít...

LeGrange: Ms. Barron, weíve got another photo op.

Barron: I did not authorize that transfer. Snyder did it on his own. This will fall on him.

Nate: Well, that would be true if it werenít for the bribe.

Barron: What bribe?

LeGrange: What bribe?

Nate: The bribe that you gave him, thatís hiding in that trophy.

Barron: What?

(LeGrange shakes the trophy. Money falls from the bottom)

Nate: Oops.

LeGrange (holds up the money): Ms. Barron?


(Parker takes money from the safe in Barronís office)

(While LeGrange watches the competition, Parker puts the money in the base of the statue)

[Pep Athletics Headquarters]

Barron: I did not do that. I did not do any of this, and no one can prove that I did.

Nate: Well, actually, thatís the best part. No one has to. All they have to prove is that people that work for you committed insurance fraud and bribery. And you, as the C.E.O., that opens you up to Rico charges.


Sophie: The mafia has a less-complicated setup.

Nate: Yeah, and with them you need a Federal task force and a RICO case to bring them down.

FBI agent: FBI, maíam. Come with us.

Nate: Oh.

(Agents grab hold of Barron and begin leading her away)

Barron: What?! Let go! Let go of me!

(the rest of the Leverage team join Nate, who watches them walk away)

Nate: Cheers!

LeGrange: What the hell just happened? Did I just accept a bribe?

Eliot: Well, technically... Maybe. But you didnít know, so it probably... Iíll tell you what I would do, congressman, is I would put as much distance between me and Pep Athletics as possible.

[Congressional Meeting]

LeGrange: Ladies and gentlemen, this bill protects our children... our children! And if we cannot protect them, well, then, what is this august body for? I call for an immediate vote on H.R. 505, the cheerleader protection act. All in favor?

(enough raise their hands to pass the bill)

Nate: Motion passed.

Man: Yeah!

(cheerleaders, including Marcy and Madison, cheer in the crowd)

LeGrange: Motion passed! Well done. (exits the bench) All right, coming through.

Cornell: I donít know how to thank you, Mr. Ford.

Nate: Well, donít thank us quite yet.

LeGrange: All right, now, excuse me. (takes Marcyís hand) Young lady, I just want you to know that every decent American feels for you. And it gives me great pleasure to declare you the first recipient of the J.J. LeGrange scholarship for injured female athletes. (gives Marcy the statue) I figured Iíd put that to better use.

LeGrange: Hi. (to Parker) How are you? J.J. LeGrange.

Parker: I donít vote.

LeGrange: Oh, you will.

(Parker laughs, then hugs Madison)

Clerk (to Sophie): Your tickets, maíam. Here you go.

Sophie: Oh, thursd... thurs... (correcting accent) Thursday. Thatís great. Thanks.

Clerk: No problem.

Hardison: And what was that about?

Sophie: Huh? Oh, I was j... I was, um, just planning a little trip to the gulf. The military are breaking ground on Fort Devereaux.

Hardison: Fort Devereaux?

Sophie: Mm-hmm. I love government.

Parker: Missed you guys this week. Good game.


Nate: Good job on this one.

Eliot: I know what youíre trying to do, Nate. You could have told me how to hook LeGrange the whole time, but you wanted to see if I could figure it out on my own. I trust someday very, very soon, youíre gonna tell me what kind of game youíre playing.

Nate: Good job on this one.

(Nate walks away. Eliot smiles, but watches him walk away)

The End

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