The Leverage team sets their sites on a the CEO (Danielle Bisutti) of PEP, a corrupt corporation in control of a cheerleading empire whose cost-cutting measures, substandard safety regulations, and negligence is putting the young women in danger. Parker (Beth Riesgraf) goes undercover as the new coach of a team whose former coach, and the team’s new client, was scapegoated when one of her cheerleaders is hospitalized with serious injuries. Meanwhile, the rest of the team heads to Washington D.C. to take on Congress.
The only way to protect the young women, and force the company to comply with stricter safety measures, it to get Congress to rule cheerleading a sport. The team targets four members of the subcommittee in control of bill Hardison (Aldis Hodge) planted on their docket. However their marks turn out be harder to turn than Nate (Timothy Hutton) originally planned including Elliot’s (Gina Bellman) mark who turns out to be an honest man (Steve Rankin) voting his conscience.
Although Nate gets his vote with a simple lunch, Sophie (Gina Bellman) finds herself horse-trading all over Capital Hill to get the vote of her Congressman, and Hardison finds himself hemmed in by funding restrictions and a Congressman who won’t approve the bill unless the cost doesn’t cut into other education funding. Despite the difficulties the team manages to snag the votes of everyone except Elliot’s mark, but when he’s swept off his feet by CEO who plays on his vanity. Left with one last chance, Hardison’s magic leads the CEO into making the one decision that will not only get her arrested but will help turn the final Congressman they need into the bill’s biggest supporter.
Although unorthodox, and a little scatterbrained with the number of cons the team tries to run, the episode delivers by showing how hard it is (even for grifters and con men) to get something done in Washington. The scenes with Parker coaching the team, and bonding with one of the girls, are also a nice touch.