While this week’s new Leverage was another knotty, naughty affair–a shell game with horses instead of a ball under the shells–“The Two Horse Job” was the first time we wondered how long this show can keep those kinds of stories coming. It seems awfully early in the game to be revealing big chunks of character background by making the clients important parts of our heroes’ past. (It also seems kind of early to put Christan Kane on a horse with his luxurious locks flowing behind him, but mileage may vary on that point.)
We’re reassured, however, by the weird wit that sets Leverage apart from other puzzle shows. Hardison’s frustration that no one pays enough attention to his PowerPoint presentations on their new cases rings true for any of us who have to make serious business a song and dance. Parker trying to sneak a sick day because of her equinophobia is odd enough, but her claim that the fear engulfs her because she “once saw a horse kill a clown,” complete with flashback to a childhood birthday party with costumed entertainers fighting, makes it art. We’d cheer for her when she sneaks through ductwork to free a horse, overcoming her terror and declaring brightly that “horses are much less murderous” than she’d originially assumed, but we’re too busy laughing. Toss in genre favorite Mark Sheppard (Firefly, The Middleman, Battlestar Galactica, 24) as the #2 insurance fraud investigator in the world (second only to the disgraced Nathan Ford, of course) as a semi-permanent adversary, and we’re convinced they’re not going to stop the fun train.