Note: Contains spoilers of the series finale of Leverage
Sometimes, there are endings that leave you hanging, there’s ambiguity that makes you want more, and then there’s The Sopranos where they ended the series in the most abrupt way imaginable. Bottom line, I’m a sucker for a happy ending that ties everything together because otherwise, I drive myself crazy with the open-ended-ness of it.
Leverage is the only show I’ve finished that’s left me feeling satisfied with its goodbye.
For those of you who don’t know, Leverage is a Robin Hood-esque group of criminals who fight for the little guy. The mastermind, former insurance investigator Nathan Ford, describes the team in the intro to the episodes with the line, “The rich and powerful, they take what they want. We steal it back for you. Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys. We provide…leverage.”
A five season-long affair, you get to watch the team grow as individuals and as a group as they learn to trust each other. The characters and their development are the two main reasons I loved this show so much.
You grow with them because you want them to succeed. Honestly, if you’re like me, you probably get incredibly invested in the fictional characters and feel all of their hardships and triumphs. Five seasons is a long time to fall in love with characters.
Parker, who goes only by the one name, is eccentric and doesn’t get interpersonal relationships. She’s a wild card in the beginning, unpredictable. But the team grounds her, and despite a tendency to jump down elevator shafts and scale buildings, she’s become incredibly well adjusted.
Her instability from the beginning is mostly in the past, and slowly you see her making friends outside of the team, starting a romantic relationship with her teammate Hardison, and facing her own personal demons. The fifth season focused on building her up a lot, having her run her own con while laid up on bed rest with an injured leg. Sophie, a grifter, has been training her in the art of the grift since the start.
So it wasn’t too surprising, then, when Nate and Sophie decided to retire after one last big win, that the mastermind title fell to Parker. She’s proven herself more than capable over the seasons.
The show ends with her talking to grieving parents- the remaining members of her team standing behind her as she speaks. It closes with her saying, “People like that…corporations like that, they have all the money, they have all the power, and they use it to make people like you go away. Right now, you’re suffering under an enormous weight. We provide…leverage.”
It’s open-ended, because we know it keeps going, but we know that the team is solid and capable. We know that they’re going to continue to make a difference, in their own way.