This time it's personal. To give Nate some closure, or maybe just for the heck of it, the team decides to ruin the reputation of Ian Blackpoole (Kevin Tighe), head of IYS Insurance, whose inaction led to the death of Nate's son. The plan hinges on getting Blackpoole, a collector of Renaissance art, to buy a fake scale model of Michelangelo's David, authenticated by Eliot playing an art expert.
When Blackpoole brings in his own art expert, Nate's ex-wife Maggie (Kari Matchett), the team is forced to steal the real First David, as the planned fake would never fool her. The job seems to go off without a hitch, until Jim Sterling (Mark Sheppard) shows up. Having anticipated their talents, Sterling neutralizes the team on separate fronts: capturing Parker, holding Hardison hostage at Leverage HQ, and sending a formidable fighter after Eliot.
Nate turns the tables by having the team do the unexpected: Sophie stages a daredevil rescue of Parker; instead of fighting six men, Eliot uses electronics to fry their earpieces. And so the team escapes, but their covers are blown, their hideout abandoned. A classic bridge-burning, cliff-hanging season finale—except it was only Part One.
In next week's conclusion, Nate takes a run at Blackpoole with all of IYS's resources aware he's coming.
Trivia: In last week's episode of Burn Notice, Alex Carter played a government agent opposing Mark Sheppard's bank robber. In this episode of Leverage, Carter played one of Sheppard's henchmen.