‘Leverage: Redemption’ EP Dean Devlin Teases More Secrets and a ‘Fulfilling’ End to the Season
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the first episodes of Leverage: Redemption.]
Over these first eight episodes, Leverage‘s Grifter Sophie Deveraux (Gina Bellman), Thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf), Hitter Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), Fixer Harry Wilson (Noah Wyle), and Maker Breanna Casey (Aleyse Shannon) did what the bad guys of this series do best in the IMDb TV revival Redemption: stop the rich and powerful who take what they want. (Aldis Hodge’s Hacker Alec Hardison helped out in two episodes before his skills were needed elsewhere.)
While this had been Parker, Eliot, and Hardison’s life all this time, Sophie got back into it a year after losing Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton), Harry realized he’d been on the wrong side all this time as a corporate lawyer and is seeking redemption, and Breanna turned to her brother Hardison after running into some trouble with law enforcement. And while Sophie may have only been planning one last con at the beginning, it doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere. There are, after all, still eight more episodes to come in the fall.
TV Insider caught up with executive producer Dean Devlin (who worked on the original series) to find out what’s still to come.
Sophie acknowledges that Parker let her lead. Will Parker lead more going forward?
Dean Devlin: You’ll discover where that goes in the back eight. It’s very much like when people come home to be with their families. You may have grown into a very sophisticated version of yourself, but once you’re around your family, you’re suddenly 13 again. To some degree, Parker has missed having Sophie there. She’s missed the mom and dad figures in her life, and so I think she’s enjoying that position, even if she’s faking the need for a leader. There’s that comfort there. She’s still leading 12 other teams all around the world, so it’s not like she’s been demoted.
Breanna is fitting in nicely. What did you want to do with her to bring her into her own, both as a member of the crew and for her individually?
She has a line — I can’t remember if it’s in the first eight or if it’s in the second eight — where she mentioned that the other characters on the show remember 9/11, but she doesn’t remember a time where there wasn’t a 9/11. She grew up in a world post 9/11, and that’s a very different perspective on life. Life changed and bad guys got stronger and the system got more rigged to support them. She has a very different perspective on her expectations in life, on what life is, and her perception of the world changes through her experience with these people, but their perception of the world changes by having her around. That’s been a really interesting part of the development of the character dynamics this year is by having a younger, lesbian character interacting with them who sees the world very different than they do gives a whole fresh new injection of life into the show. It’s been really fun to write, and it’s been really fun to watch how she plays it.
By the end of these eight episodes, Harry seems to have really adjusted to this new life. What did you want to do with his character in this first half when it comes to his quest for redemption and stumbling at times, like in “The Tower Job”?
It’s an interesting character arc and Noah has really just embraced it where you’ve got a guy who has seen himself in a heroic light, that he was someone who worked with the law, but he’s come to realize that he’s been using that tool to help really bad people. He’s coming to terms with the idea that he’s been a bad guy because in his mind he may have represented them but that didn’t mean he was a bad guy. And now he’s come to realize that he’s been on the wrong side of history. So he’s got a long arc to go, not only in his redemption, but in his understanding of self, who is he, if he’s not who he was, who is he going to be?
That parallels Sophie’s arc as well in these 16 episodes because she’s not the old Sophie anymore. She’s lost Nate. She’s a new version of herself and where is she going to go? If she can’t be who she was, who’s she going to be going forward?
How would you say the crew is going to be working together in the second half of the season in comparison to the first half? They seem like a well-oiled machine now.
Yeah, they get their groove on, but the more they do that, the more things about themselves are going to come out. We’re not done with the secrets of all these characters. When you have a group of people who had been criminals or have behaved immorally, that will always pop up and bite you, and the question has always been, how do you keep a group of thieves together? How do you keep a family of people who are used to being loners locked into each other? While they are pretty much by the end of that eighth, there’s always things and suspicion that can break that apart incredibly easily.
That makes me think of the conversation that Harry and Eliot had about regrets in the elevator.
That’s right. There are a lot of hints dropped in the first eight that will come back in the back eight. The fun of the show is, hopefully, if you found out from a friend that they loved the show and they were going to watch Episode 9 tonight, you could watch it and you’d get it. You wouldn’t have to watch all the original shows and all the shows leading up to it. This is an episodic show. Anyone should be able to drop in at any time and be able to enjoy it. However, if you are bingeing all of it, if you are watching it from the beginning, there’s a lot of great Easter eggs for you, a lot of great extra bonus enjoyment to be had for those who stick it out.
Parker, Eliot, and Hardison were working jobs all this time, and considering how much I loved “The Rundown Job,” I’d hoped we’d get a peek into seeing the three of them on their own, but when I spoke with Christian, he said not this season.
The thing is we don’t see them on that other stuff, but we reference it a lot. You’ll see Parker on the phone trying to manage some of the other teams while she’s working with the cons here. And then we’re also gonna bring in a character who joins them on a con here who’s been working with the other teams internationally, so that part of Parker, Hardison, and Eliot’s life plays a role in this, but this season is really concentrating on the redemption of these people and their efforts to make a difference in Sophie’s life.
The “Paranormal Hacktivity Job” seemed to be setting up a “Girls Night Out Job”/”Boys Night Out Job” set of episodes again, but we didn’t get that. I know that the boys’ episode is coming in the second half. What can you preview?
Noah Wyle directs it, and it has some real big character development for the Harry Wilson character, but we also have a really great surprise guest star who comes in and that character is the character that had been working with Leverage International on their other adventures. It’s a very special episode.
This has been Parker, Eliot, and Hardison’s life all these years, but Sophie, Harry, and Breanna were all off doing other things in that time. Are we going to see any temptation for any of them to return to their old lives in the second half?
That’s a big part of the conflict of the back eight episodes.
Can you say anything else?
After watching Parker and Hardison dance around and with each other in the original series before getting together, it’s great to see they’re still together. What did you want to do with their relationship in the revival?
It was really important to us that that is a relationship that has survived and thrived. The interesting thing is when we set out to do the original Leverage, we never intended for them to have a relationship. It really grew as we were watching them in dailies, watching how they interacted. And we just said, “Oh my God, we have to write to this,” and so that relationship became very special to us. These were two very damaged characters but damaged in very different ways, and their love for each other went a great way to healing them. So we felt an obligation that that relationship has to continue to continue and have to be successful.
Are there any specific threads from this first half that will carry over to the second you can preview?
There’s a lot of seeds that we planted in these first eight episodes that come to fruition in the second part, especially with [security company] IRZ and Harry’s story. A lot of stuff is going to blossom and cause interesting conflicts in the second half. If you made it through the first eight, it’s going to give you a special appreciation of what happens in the back eight.
Is there anything you had wanted to continue following or explore after the original series that you won’t be touching on in the revival, whether due to how much time has passed or for another reason?
When talking about the show, I was just saying recently that this is a show that we really only see ourselves doing maybe 25 more seasons, and then after that, we want to call it quits. So I guess that’s my way of saying there are so many stories I want to tell in the Leverage universe that I don’t think we’d ever run out.
Good, because I was really interested in the Black Book when that came up in the series finale. Will that come up more?
It doesn’t in these, but it would definitely come up if we get more episodes.
What can you say about how this season ends? A major cliffhanger like we’ve had in the past, say someone being shot and arrested and going to jail?
Well, we only did that once. What we tended to do with Leverage was to try and make it a fulfilling meal at the end of every season because we never knew if we were going to get another season, but also that became kind of our style. So while there are threads at the end of this thing that you will want to see played out, we hope that when you get to the end of Episode 16, it really does feel like you had another fulfilling meal.
Leverage: Redemption, Episodes 1-8, Streaming Now, IMDb TV