"Leverage" The Snow Job (TV Episode 2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Nate complicates a simple con regarding a sleazy contractor and the recovery of a family's house.

  • Although a drunk Nate doesn't inspire the usual confidence, the team accepts to take on contractor Henry Retzing and his sons who abuse client's destitution and deliberately fail to restore the property's value so they can acquire it cheap as mortgage creditors. Randy Retzing is easily interested in a ski resort scam, but learning the firm duped over 400 families, Nate decides to clean them out completely. Thereto the greedier Dennis Retzing is to be seduced to invest in a 'fool-proof' life insurance scam, with a multiple sting.

  • Hard-drinking Nate meets a former Nat'l Guardsman who lost his family home to corrupt father-sons contractors hired to repair their house after HKat. Nate is a soft touch whenever kids are involved. Sophie, Parker, Hardison and Spencer are on board with helping this family but when Nate learns their scam has 400 victims, he goes completely off the rails. Can the team adapt, mid-con, to a bigger scheme to help more victims...before Nate implodes?


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • We open at a foreclosure sale. Poor Wayne, his wife and kids packing cardboard boxes, pleads with the sheriff. "Don't do this," he says. "Not in front of my family." Sorry, Wayne. The property has already been sold to ... the contractor?! Wha?! "I hired them to fix my house and they stole it from me?" Wayne asks. Yes, indeed. Wayne doesn't take the news well, hauling off and decking the sleazy contractor in the mug.

    CUT TO a prison cell, where Wayne tells his sad story to Nathan. The former is reminded of his own tragedies. Seconds later, Nathan introduces the case to the team. Their target: the contractor, a man named Henry Retzing. "All around dirt bag," Alec helpfully points out. The scam ran on Wayne and family is a familiar one. Slimy and heartless to be sure -- but also legal. So what can the team do?

    The con starts at a ski resort in Colorado. Sophie poses as a sexy snow bunny in an attempt to woo Henry's lazy son, Randy. He immediately takes the bait and begins hitting on our grifter in disguise. She says that she has recently purchased the resort and needs an opening act for the grand reopening. Wide-eyed Randy, who has an idea to cross the X Games with Burning Man, offers to buy in for $500,000. Bingo! Sophie promises to set a meeting with "management."

    The rest of the team, in the meantime, gets to work. Eliot introduces himself to the real resort manager as a representative of "Innovative Resort Solutions." Alec then shuts down the ski lifts, leaving Parker stranded. The manager rushes out of his office to deal with the crisis, leaving Eliot to set up shop. Now HE is the resort manager. And wouldn't you know it? Sophie enters seconds later with Randy. The son calls Eliot and Sophie's phony plan "awesome." Randy explains that he is in, but that daddy needs to write the check in Miami.

    CUT TO sunny Miami, where Sophie is introduced to the sleazy Henry. We also meet the second, more level-headed son, Dennis. He seems weary and somewhat disgusted with his dad and brother. "As president of the company, I have to sign off on the checks, as well," Dennis warms. As if on cue, Sophie turns her charms on the dour brother, who is more than a little bit interested. Upstairs, Parker and Eliot sneak into the house to set up listening devices. Soon, the entire team is listening to Dennis co-sign a check for $500,000.

    Smitten Dennis soon admits to Sophie that he is real mastermind behind the foreclosure scams. How many people has the company bilked? "Four hundred homes, give or take," smarmy Dennis growls. Suddenly, Nathan pipes up over the earpiece: "Sophie, do not take the check!" Wha!? "We don't want the money, we're going to take the company," Nathan explains. "We're going to give each of these people back their homes." It's on!

    Alec then picks up a signal. The house is bugged, he explains. "If I'm right, the equipment is standard issue law enforcement." Translation: the cops are listening. The team better move fast or it could be in trouble too.

    One commercial break later, Nathan poses as a sleazy con man (sleazier than Henry and Dennis even) to pitch a "Glengarry Glen Death" scheme to the acting president. "I've created a short list of people with fat policies who are all going to die within six months," Nathan explains. Dennis is intrigued. How can a scumbag not be? Dennis buys in for $10,000 up front and then calls Randy, who isn't happy about being cut out of the deal.

    Dennis does have one condition, however. He wants to verify the condition of at least one person on the list. Nathan agrees, telling him to bring a doctor. CUT TO the hospital, where Parker acts as the patient dying of a brain tumor. Eliot suggests putting a cadaver with a brain tumor in an adjacent chamber and then "crossing the wires" to fool the doctor. Sounds like a plan. The only problem: the team needs a brain.

    No problem, Eliot says. He is soon wheeling a gurney down the hallway and into the next room. Where did he get the body? "You really want to know?" he asks Nathan. Actually, we kind of do, but Nathan doesn't have time for such trivial details. Dennis soon enters with Dr. Kwon, who looks at the doctored scan. "Frankly, I'm surprised she is still alive," the duped doc says. Slimy Dennis is ecstatic! Nathan cuts the hesitant investor a check for $100,000 as a sign of good faith.

    Later, the team isn't so happy about the "stall" -- especially because Nathan has been drinking more or less nonstop since the beginning of the episode. Is he in control? Or is he just a drunk playing with Parker's money? The latter it would seem as Dennis quickly calls. "I'm in," the son says. And for a cool 5 million at that!

    Back at the Retzing residence, Henry and Randy have discovered that Dennis is moving major amounts of cash out of the family account. "I can't believe he would do this after all I've done for him!" dad rages. "Let's move it someplace he cant get at it!" So dad heads to the bank to move the money and conveniently runs into Dennis and Nathan. "You always thought you were smarter than us!" Henry yells. "You are no longer an officer in this company!" In fact, dad has given Randy all the power to sign checks.

    The two brothers begin fighting inside the bank while the team heads out. Later, Henry gets a frantic call. "What do you mean our check bounced!?" he asks. He looks at his son Randy, who explains that he "can write all the checks" he wants now and has invested heavily (much too heavily, as it turns out) in the X Games-meets-Burning Man idea with faux snow bunny Sophie. "You signed away controlling interest in the company!" Dennis says.

    Turns out the team made sure that Randy signed rigged papers. Naturally, the dummy didn't bother reading the contract beforehand (that wouldn't be in the spirit of Burning Man). The Retzing family is now broke as a joke. Just then, the cops enter. Henry is put under arrest. "You're being charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity under the state RICO act," the detective says. FLASHBACK! Nathan made a deal with the cops, guaranteeing to get the Retzing to "cross the line." Mission accomplished.

    But not all is wrapped up. Nathan explains that the money has been transferred to the 400 families that lost their homes. "We're going to make sure the rightful owners get back into their homes," he explains to Dennis. The little guy is downright heartbroken. The episode ends with Nathan tossing the keys to the Retzing's mansion to Wayne and famly. As Sophie notes: "A nice touch."

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