[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Leverage: Redemption Season 1, Part 2.]
Our favorite bad guys doing some good returned for the second half of Season 1 of Leverage: Redemption, which remains one of the most fun, entertaining shows on right now.
By the end of the first season, “evil lawyer” Harry Wilson (Noah Wyle) was firmly on the road to redemption and leaving behind the rest of the crew to do some good on his own. Meanwhile, thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf) officially declared grifter Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman) the team’s leader, while she’ll stick to managing a dozen other crews around the world.
Meanwhile, hitter Eliot Spencer’s (Christian Kane) relationship with Federal Marshal Maria Shipp (Andrea Navedo) didn’t work out when she found out who he is. Newbie Breanna Casey (Aleyse Shannon) came into her own and has added some of Parker’s skills to her hacking. And hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) is sticking around after he was off doing some good elsewhere for most of the season.
Co-showrunners Dean Devlin and Kate Rorick break down the season and tease what could be next if there’s a Season 2.
Is there anything you can share about a Season 2?
Kate Rorick: Dean and I have had a lot of conversations about what a potential Season 2 would look like. Knock on wood that we get one because we have lots of really, really good ideas.
Dean Devlin: We’re cautiously optimistic. This whole rollercoaster ride has been such a joy and a surprise. Like any kids going to the carnival, we’re not ready to leave, so we hope we get to get on some more rides.
The finale reminded me a bit of the original series finale with Sophie talking to Bligh, like Nate with the Interpol agent. Was that intentional?
Rorick: She picked up some tricks.
Is Harry really ready to be done with the heists and help people the way he wants to without the crew as a backup?
Devlin: Harry’s off to a new adventure and it may go as he plans and it may not. We’ll have to see what happens.
Sophie had quite the journey, from being drawn back in to meeting the Jackal to possibly leaving it behind for the theater only to decide to stay.
Rorick: We wanted her to have the emotional arc of somebody who is ready to take the next step in life. She was lost for the past year or so, didn’t know what she was going to do, where she was going to go. Once she got to the end of the season, she had made a decision. She had figured out exactly where she needed to be and what she needed to be doing and she’s going to move forward in this path.
Devlin: In many ways, her journey through these 16 episodes mirrors Harry’s in that neither of them can go back to being who they used to be and both of them have to figure out, well, who are they going to be going forward? [That] was why it was so important for them to have that scene at the end of [Episode] 16.
Talk about the Parker you wanted to have, because she’s still the same Parker Eliot needs to take a fork away from, but there’s also a maturity to her.
Rorick: She has learned a lot over the past 10 years of leading this crew and the other crews. She has become very much a responsible mastermind in her own right, but there are things that she has missed in terms of her own fulfillment — jumping off buildings, doing the little things like a lift. So the fact that she gets to get back in touch with that again, while also using her masterminding skills elsewhere, it’s essentially a work-life balance that she’s managed to hit. And she gets to do it while helping Sophie.
Devlin: In the original series as her character was growing, she was overcoming a lot of her odd tics. In that arc, she was somewhat embarrassed about her eccentricities, but where she has matured to now is she actually embraces her eccentricities. She feels that she could actually be more eccentric than she was before, but without any of the guilt. That was a really fun aspect of being able to bring her back to life.
Rorick: That’s just maturity right there. “I don’t care what you people think of me anymore. I am me.”
We got quite a bit about Eliot’s life away from the crew in these episodes — the stuff about his dad and his past, his personal life. It felt like more than we saw in the original series, besides that moment at the end of “The Low Low Price Job” when he went to see his dad.
Devlin: It’s a storyline we’ve always wanted to go further with. In the original series, it was going to be a big part of that Season 6, and so it’s something we’ve held onto [and] teased again here. If we go further, we’re going to take it to where we had always wanted to go. It’s an important part of the story and it’s an important part of understanding why Eliot is who he is. People are going to be very surprised when that storyline blossoms.
Breanna came into our own with the crew and trusting her instincts. She stopped feeling like a newbie.
Rorick: That’s exactly it. She’s essentially graduated her freshman year. She has gotten to the point where she is comfortable in the crew, she knows what she’s doing. She knows what her skills are and she’s also picked up a couple of things along the way. It mirrors Aleyse’s journey as an actor coming into this established set of actors. She just picked up the ball and ran with it.
I really liked seeing her relationship with Emily develop because we got to see her being nervous.
Rorick: It was just a lot of fun having them be cute. It’s an opportunity for us to show when one of our characters get emotionally involved in the con, which doesn’t always work out, but sometimes it does.
Hardison’s back and sticking around for a while. Because you had Aldis for a limited time, what were your musts for him this season?
Devlin: Just having him for a second is worth it and the fact that he was willing to do this — for instance, in that episode, he had just finished shooting in New York the series he’s doing for Showtime [City on a Hill], and he had one week available before he started [Black Adam], the DC movie that he’s doing with Dwayne Johnson, and any other actor would have said, “I’m taking that week to rest.” He didn’t. He came and he did the show. He’s such a generous actor, such a generous person. We’ll take whatever we can get because every additional moment with him is worth it.
Hardison and Parker are going strong and I liked that there wasn’t any drama about him leaving. With other things in flux, did you want to have them be stable?
Rorick: Yes. They’ve been together now for over 10 years, their relationship has become incredibly steady, and it would feel false to me if just because they’re apart for a couple of months that they can’t hold it together. Our characters find their drama in the obstacles that are presented to them. Hardison and Parker’s relationship is just something that they can always count on.
Devlin: Also, it was fun because in the original show, Nate and Sophie would always have these bickering discussions about their relationship in the past. Since that’s not there now, now Hardison and Parker are doing that: “Remember that time we were in Afghanistan…” It’s fun to be able to bring that element to the show back.
What does Eliot’s failed relationship mean for how he looks at what he’s doing with Leverage?
Rorick: That relationship threw into relief for him that his job is incredibly important for him, but he actually does want to find somebody that he could share his life with, which is not something that he’s really [thought of]. It’s been just come and go before.
Devlin: Let’s face it, for better or worse, he’s the third wheel in that relationship with Parker and Hardison. [Laughs]
Rorick: Sometimes you need the third wheel for stability though.
I was happy to see that bond highlighted in the finale — the “until our dying day” reminded me of the fake death in the original finale.
Devlin: That was to try and give a window of what it was like when these guys were on their own and to show that relationship — that trifecta remains as strong as ever, if not stronger.
You mentioned characters from the original series like Peggy, Taggert, and McSweeten, and brought back Hurley!
Rorick: I like that Hurley has essentially become just so stable and trusted by our team, because the last time we saw him, he was a little wonky. It was a lot of fun bringing Drew Powell in. He’s been a friend of the show for a long time, and he’s just an absolute delight to work with and onscreen.
Is RIZ done for good?
Rorick: They are exposed which, [in a] world that relies on secrecy, kind of takes them out. But I wouldn’t be surprised if something rises from the rubble and we see shades of them again.
What could we see in a Season 2?
Devlin: The only way I can answer that without giving stuff away is that what’s always been fun is the character growth. We have these interesting characters who are in a new time in their life. The fun will be is to see how they move forward. There’s new members. Sophie is blossoming into this new role as the leader of the team, and that’s going to affect her and bring out parts of her past that we haven’t seen before. And in so doing, it will be the same with our other characters.
Will you bring back more original characters?
Devlin: It’s always fun to bring back characters, but we want to make sure that those characters are relating to the characters on the show now, not to characters who aren’t on the show anymore. Otherwise we have a lot of new characters that we want to bring in.
When we last spoke, you mentioned we didn’t see Sterling because he was so tied to Nate.
Devlin: Exactly. Although Eliot has his own history with him as well, so who knows?
Leverage: Redemption, Season 1, Streaming Now, IMDb TV