I've seen numerous write ups on Leverage describing it as a fun, escapist series without much depth. While I certainly agree it's a fun show, past the con of the week, there is a lot more going on than it's given credit for.
During the first season, I was impressed the writers addressed Nate's alcoholism, the effect it was having on his life, and the lives of the members of the team. I'm equally impressed that at the start of the second season we find out that Nate has stopped drinking. Will his sobriety last? Maybe. But it makes sense he'd be on the wagon now. It was his son's death that pushed him over the edge and avenging his loss, by the best means available to him, has allowed him to try and move on, sober.
And in a continuing effort to try and get his life back, he attempts to return to his old line of work. But after being his own boss and setting the rules (by breaking them), the drudgery of an office job sends him fleeing. Trying to be the "good guy" again is harder than he imagined.
Of course, the team wants to welcome him back into the fold because being the "bad guys" just isn't cutting it for them anymore. They still love their work, but it's no longer bringing any satisfaction into their lives. They need a purpose and Nate is the one who can provide it.
One of the things I love about the show is that while, on the surface, it's about the intricacies of the con, the writers realize the importance of the character details. Sophie, the one who was working a con on the team in 'The First David Job', we find out is the one member of the team who has kept in touch with the rest. When Hardison announces that he hacked into the White House email and discovered we are doing some hinky stuff in Pakistan, it's no surprise when Eliot follows up with, "I was in Pakistan." And for a keen observer of the show, when Nate opens his fridge to reveal it filled with orange soda, we know Hardison has made himself at home. So much so (and always the smart investor) he buys the building.
Perhaps bigger than the twist that the banking industry is more cutthroat than the mob, is Sophie revealing she has a boyfriend. I'd suspect it was just another con on her part, payback for Nate keeping her at a distance for so long, but Parker seems to know about the guy.
A few random thoughts...
The car flip. Totally unbelievable, but not something you see on TV everyday.
"Hitter, Hacker, Grifter, Thief" wasn't just part of the promotional campaign, but integrated into the new introduction. A bit cheesy, but effective for recapping the show for people tuning in for the first time or any time.
"I did look for you, for six months." Awww, Hardison is such a lovesick puppy.
Christian Kane does not get enough credit for his ability to be funny. From his deadpan delivery of "I was in Pakistan" to his panic at his possibly exploding pants to walking through the wall with the chainsaw and big smile on his face.
I'm on week two of going meat free one day a week. I've never considered myself a huge meat eater, but if you have a sandwich at lunch and then a small piece of chicken, beef or fish at dinner it adds us. So, I'm trying the better for the environment/better for me recommendation to eliminate meat from my diet at least one day a week. Lunch was Peanut Butter and Jelly on whole grain bread and dinner was pita pizza - pita bread topped with pasta sauce, spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese. For dessert I had Dove mint chocolate chip ice cream. Hey, I said meat free, not entirely healthy. :p