When Leverage first aired on TNT several years back, the modern-day spin on the classic espionage series Mission: Impossible seemed like a novel one. Sadly, by the time the second season rolled around, the show’s writers had already found themselves becoming formulaic and repetitive — a routine that kept on going until, finally, the whole series felt like a needle stuck in a groove. So, when you roll around to the fourth season, where do you take your characters when you don’t have all that much going on in terms of writing and delivery (not to mention plot) in the first place?
You can have several of them sleep with each other — something that happened in the third season. You can have your main character — a recovering alcoholic — fall off the wagon, thus threatening to disrupt the entire “conmen scheming schemers” theme. Yup, that also already happened here. And so, Leverage: The 4th Season brings in a cliché “mystery man” to pop up every now and then in order to a) give the storyline some sort of vague interest to faithful viewers, and b) make it look like there’s still something worth watching.
Alas, Leverage: The 4th Season is just the same old stuff it was before. I don’t care if you do hire Eric Stoltz as your special guest star for the season premiere — it’s just not enough, people. Fox Home Entertainment brings us all 18 episodes of the latest season of this outwardly routine series to DVD in a four-disc set with the usual amount of special features: audio commentaries (on all episodes), some behind-the-scenes fodder, deleted scenes, a gag reel, etc. There’s also a parody of one of the episodes, “The Office Job,” which might appeal to fans.
But then, this whole show is for fans only at this point. The rest of us tuned out long ago.