The Leverage team agrees to help a local grocer (Willa Ford) who, along with several other local businesses, is being slowly pushed out due to the underhanded dealings of a crooked super-store conglomerate looking to run the entire collection of locally run stores out of business. Elliot (Christian Kane), fueled in part by his own personal history, wants to take down the entire corporation but Nate (Timothy Hutton) is unsure they can do more than take down a single store. So the team sets out to destroy the new store before its grand opening, which is easier said than done.
First and foremost among the team’s targets is the cooperate regional team leader (Brigid Brannagh) but they underestimate their opponent when in a matter of hours the executive turns Sophie’s (Gina Bellman) concerned environmentalist alias into an eco-terrorist in front of the entire city council squashing their first attempt to close down the store. Eliot and Nate lead the second attempt to unionize the workers on opening day which their mark just as carefully sidesteps the situation and leaves the team back at square one. With their first two attempts thwarted, the team tries to slowly sabotage the store with fake coupons and filling the store with unhelpful fake employees from Sophie’s improvisational theater, but their attempts only turn out record opening day profits for the new store and get Eliot fired.
Unable to destroy the store, the team changes tactics and begin gaslighting their troublesome executive in hopes of getting her to do their work for them by taking a second run at their initial con just as the company’s CEO arrives in town to congratulate the woman on the store’s opening. It turns out the last con is the charm as the group is finally successful which leads Elliot to get a possible new love interest (Ford’s character may return for other episodes this season) and take a long-delayed tearful trip home.
The team’s early failures (rather the occasional fake mistakes they sometimes employ in order to satisfy the larger con) are a nice way to jump off the show’s return after a long hiatus. Although not much time is spent on the individual relationships, given the length of the con and Eliot’s personal connection to this particular job, from what we see both Hardison (Aldis Hodge) and Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and Nate and Sophie are still going strong in their perspective relationships. It will be interesting to see what surprises, familiar faces, or other bumps in the road the show has in store for its remaining four Fifth Season episodes.