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DVD Review: Leverage – The Second Season

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Look out, world, because Nate Ford is back. And this time, he’s sober.

Having disbanded his ragtag group of con men (and women) at the end of the first season, Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton) soon finds himself and his former “employees” reunited for Leverage: The Second Season. Honestly, how can they not reunite? After all, there are so many corrupt business officials and covert military operations are out there causing great financial and bodily harm to innocent people left and right, that someone has to fight them!

Jim Phelps and the Impossible Mission Force? They’ve retired. Michael Knight? He’s in rehab, so the story goes. It seems Hannibal Smith and Company have got a picture deal going on, so so much for them. And, as for Michael “Mickey Bricks” Stone and his crew — well, they’re way over in England. So, enter Nate Ford and his gang: grifter Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), strongman Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), and thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf).

In case you haven’t seen it (or figured out the series’ formula from my last paragraph), Leverage is a show about bad guys taking on the role of good guys: staging some of the most elaborate cons imaginable in order to take down greedy and crooked bigwigs. This time set in Boston, Leverage: The Second Season follows the further adventurous exploits of the Leverage crew. The season opening finds Nate unable to resist tracking down where a foul stench of conspiracy is brewing from, and he soon discovers that all of his old pals are in Boston, too (for one reason or another).

Coincidence? I think not.

By the end of the first episode, everything is back to “normal” for all (both viewers and the viewed alike). Well, until the mid-season point, that is, wherein Gina Bellman takes a brief hiatus from the series, leaving Trekkie-favorite Jeri Ryan to hold the bag for a few episodes. Also in this season: the writers decide to give some of the supporting characters a little more development (a plus); as well as a humorous episode wherein the mains take on another gang of thieves that resemble themselves (including Griffin Dunne, Wil Wheaton, and Noa Tishby).

Anyone who has been with the series from its start will immediately realize that Leverage: The Second Season isn’t up to par with the writing/production values of its previous season. There were many instances that had me shaking my head and pushing the “Display“ button on my remote to see how much more time remained before the episode was over. Regardless of that, however, most newbies should be able to see why the show has amassed its share of faithful viewers if they start here: it’s good (if relatively brainless) fun.

Paramount Home Entertainment brings Leverage: The Second Season to faithful and potentially new viewers alike, in a four-disc set, which delivers all 15 episodes of the action-packed TBS drama. Being a modern show, the audio and video departments do not disappoint — and the whole season is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic ratio with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.

But the best thing here is the selection of special features (particularly if you’re an enthusiast of the show). First off, every single episode contains commentary with select cast and crew. Also included are a Q&A session, a few behind-the-scenes featurettes, a music video and gag reel, and, most importantly, a spoof entitled “The Hand Job,” wherein actor Aldis Hodge attempts to con his producers out of a pony.

This whole season is worth it for that alone.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
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