- Title: Leverage – The Frame-Up Job
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With the rest of the team stuck in Washington, D.C., Nate (Timothy Hutton) follows Sophie (Gina Bellman) to the art auction of a recently deceased millionaire where a priceless painting goes missing. Complicating matters are the appearance of Sterling (Mark Sheppard), who is sure Sophie is responsible for the theft, and the discovery that the millionaire most likely didn’t die of natural causes.
Sterling gives Nate and Sophie an hour to discover the identity of the real thief, and likely murderer, before he charges the pair of them with the crime. Whoever was responsible for the robbery must have had constant access to the safe dwindling down the suspect pool to the family lawyer (Cary Norman), the art curator (Mekia Cox), and the ex-wife (Katy Selverstone), daughter (Jennifer Brian) and son (Ryan McCluskey) of the millionaire.
Although they catch the thief and retrieve the painting, Sophie is positive it isn’t the artist’s lost masterpiece and attempts to convince Nate to not only steal that painting but another of the artist’s recent works in able for her to do a comparison and prove her suspicions. While Nate distracts Sterling, Sophia “borrows” another painting but is disappointed to learn that the paintings do indeed match. However, Nate offers a second, far more complicated, explanation that actually turns out to be true.
Not only is the stolen painting a fake, but every one of the millionaire’s collection of this artist’s work is also a forgery. To Sterling’s complete incredulity Nate’s supposition is proven true, but he discovers too late that the art curator wasn’t working alone. It’s always fun to see Sheppard return as Sterling and the back-and-forth between the former partners, now adversaries, provides some fun moments (such as Nate’s attempt to stall Sterling’s investigation and Sterling’s sheer disbelief that Nate’s ridiculous theory turns out to be true).