Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The Inside Job

Wakefield Agricultural Corporation. 7:00 a.m. 27th floor. An alarm blatts. Parker evades a bunch of security guards in the hallways.

Nate watches the local news as he cooks breakfast. Sophie enters and points out that the apartment is their headquarters, but Nate figures since he sleeps upstairs, he gets use of the facilities. Sophie sits on the counter and Nate gives her a sample of what he learned after six months in the prison kitchens. Apparently, prison food is underrated. Sophie thinks she should have gotten Nate to make her breakfast ages ago. Nate wonders if they'll ever talk about the kiss. Sophie doesn't remember a kiss, but she remembers a slap. A phone call interrupts the conversation. A stranger warns Nate that Parker is in trouble. She went in alone and she's dealing with a Steranko security system. The stranger is on the building across the street. There are voices behind him and apparently the call ends. Sophie is outraged that Parker took an outside job without even saying anything. They need to get the rest of the team to Parker's place. She's still dodging security in the Wakefield building. The guy in the Steranko control room is confident they'll succeed in time.

Nate and Sophie pull up to a warehouse. Sophie doesn't believe Parker lives there, but Nate says the Central Square address is a dummy. She has half-a-dozen fake addresses. Sophie is hurt by the lack of trust. The door is locked with a keypad. Sophie gives it a try and it works; it's Sophie's real name. Nate still hasn't earned it yet.

In the middle of an otherwise empty warehouse, six lights shine down on a bed and several storage units. Sophie is astonished by Parker's sense of interior design. There's a Post-It that reads "Archie" on a glass wall. Hardison and Eliot arrived. Hardison is also amazed by Parker's living quarters, but this is what Eliot expected. Nate wonders why they didn't arrive first, and Eliot confesses they went to the Central Square address. Flashback to them facing a burly, bearded man in a Sailor Moon costume (complete with wig). Hardison and Eliot still seem traumatized by the encounter.

Nate has everyone look at the material Parker has laid out on a counter. Sophie is impressed by the organization. Nate shows Hardison what Parker's up against. He's aghast that she'd tackle a Steranko by herself. Sophie begs for enlightenment. Eliot doesn't understand how she can not know what a Steranko is. Sophie points out that grifters talk their marks into turning off the security. Hardison explains that it has the kind of computer that can play chess hooked up to all kinds of detectors; it learns to respond to your actions. Nate wants to know if Hardison can hack it and he is flabbergasted. Nate asks if he can do it for Parker. Hardison gathers his thoughts and says he can't even attempt it remotely. Okay, so they have to get Hardison into the building. Nate pulls the building name off a page on the wall, and the crew heads out to steal Parker.

The van pulls up near the Wakefield building. Sophie and Hardison climb out the side door; Nate is in the passenger seat with the window rolled down. Hardison explains that Wakefield is a big cereal company; they got hit by the downturn and had some bad investments; Rushing, the CEO, is fending off takeover attempts. Eliot arrives with a perimeter report: the lobby is the only access point. He's not happy about the daylight and the improvising. Nate deduces the location of the stranger who called. Eliot will come with him, while Sophie will get Hardison into Wakefield to tackle the Steranko. She pulls out some suits and tells Hardison that grifters don't sneak in unnoticed.

In the control room, Rushing and Dr. Hannity fret to Voorhees (the security guy) that the intruder is still free. Voorhees assures them that the intruder is trapped on the upper floors. They can't afford a lockdown or even the rumor of a break-in. Rushing has weekly auditors and calls from bankers all over the world. His phone buzzes and he discovers he has two more auditors downstairs now. He tells Voorhees to take care of the matter discreetly. Voorhees proposes a floor-by-floor check; it will take 50 minutes. Rushing agrees and leaves. Voorhees assures Dr. Hannity that the situation is under control, and she leaves, too.

Downstairs, Rushing greets the two auditors from London: "Emily Peel" and "Jonathan Steed." On the roof of the building across the street, Nate and Eliot find the helpful stranger. Nate recognizes him, and introduces Eliot to Archie Leach, the world's greatest thief. Two guys with guns run up behind them. Nate gives Eliot the nod and he takes them out while Archie and Nate catch up. Archie helps finish off a guy who won't stay down. Nate observes they're not his, then. Archie says he's a hostage and Parker is rescuing him. Because he's her father.

In a big conference room, Sophie demands to see all the department heads in five minutes. Meanwhile, Mr. Steed needs a private office with computer access. Rushing tries to cavil, but Sophie threatens him and he caves. His assistant takes Mr. Steed to an office.

Archie clarifies that he's not Parker's biological father. She lifted his wallet in New York twelve years ago and he took her under his wing. Flashback to a young Parker tumbling through a field of lasers to reach an ice cream sundae on a central pedestal. She looks back at Archie, who's holding a spoon. Young Parker tumbles back through the field, holding the sundae in one hand. Archie claims credit for shaping her. Nate scolds him for not taking her in. Archie shows him a family picture; Parker wouldn't have fit in with them.

Eliot accuses him of sending Parker into Wakefield. Archie says the client found him in retirement and threatened to kill his grandchildren if he didn't steal a canister. They provided blueprints and codes. Archie called Parker for help with the planning, but she went in herself. Nate sends Eliot to get ready; when Hardison finds a door, Eliot will get Parker through it. Hardison is in the company computer. Nate lends Archie an earbud. Hardison can't hack the Steranko with wi-fi since the cables are shielded, so he drills into the wall where the cable runs. He's in, but for how long? Nate commands Sophie to create chaos. Sophie fires all the suits. Dr. Hannity protests that she can't fire them. Sophie assures them she can. But anyone who can convince her that they're necessary can be hired back today. Chaos ensues as everyone starts talking at once.

Hardison reports. The not-so-bad news is that the Steranko is only running at level 1 (levels 2-4 are reserved for fire, terrorist takeover and hazmat containment breach). Parker just has to avoid doors, security devices and guards. Eliot calls it a lobster trap -- easy in, no out. Nate asks about the perimeter and Eliot says it's closed up. He figures the executives would resent giving up privacy, so Hardison's going to find a hole in the Steranko's coverage. Now they have to find Parker. Hardison points out that the whole building is looking for Parker, so he can't use the system to find her. They have to wait for Parker to send a signal and hope they get to her first.

Parker is crawling through an air duct when she sees something on the sides. There are laser tripwires. Not good. She climbs out of the duct, steals a white coat, glasses and badge, and ducks into a cubicle. Down the hall, guards do retina verification of identity with a handheld scanner. Her cell phone is jammed, so she uses a landline to call Hardison's cell. She starts to fill him in but he tells her the team is already on it. He realizes she's calling from a company phone. She thinks she's safe because she has an ID, but he tells her about the retina scans. And now the Steranko has found her, she has 30 seconds to skedaddle. He sends her to cubicle 27 pronto.

Nate has found watermarks on the plans; they came from the company. Nate has Sophie check the room full of babbling suits for anything that stands out, and she observes that Dr. Hannity is very calm. Hardison looks her up; she's head of biotech with access to the Steranko and the vault Parker was trying to crack. Archie and Nate deduce that she's in on the job. Archie continues the line of thought: an inside job only works if they tie off loose ends, so they'll kill Parker if they catch her. Archie starts to panic, but Hardison says it's covered. Flashback to Hardison sending a package through interoffice mail. Parker gets the package at cubicle 27 and Hardison turns on the earbud inside. She asks for Archie and he scolds her for going in. She knows he would have gotten caught, and they would have hurt him or his family. He tells her to keep her focus, and to stand up and look around. Everyone is stealing office supplies.

A suit shows up, acting like he knows her, so she asks who he is. Turns out cubicle 135 in Marketing has been sexting with cubicle 27, and now that everyone's getting laid off, he just had to see her in person. They get swept off to someone's severance party. Archie asks Hardison if he's found an exit. Hardison has a hole in security: the CEO's office on floor 38. Eliot needs to get up there. "You want me to climb a forty story building in broad daylight?" he growls. Yes, Nate does. Now. Fortunately, Eliot finds some window cleaners just unloading from their van.

Hardison reports that Hannity spent $60 million on some superwheat that no one wants. Nate tells Sophie to get rid of everyone but Hannity and get her mad. In the conference room, it's just Dr. Hannity and a very condescending Sophie, who pooh-poohs her resume and accomplishments. Dr. Hannity explains that five companies control the world's agriculture, based primarily on wheat. There's a blight called Ug99; modern wheat has no immunity. If the blight attacks, the wheat dies and it's famine time. Anyone who can control the food supply will increase market share. Dr. Hannity has created a strain of wheat that has resistance. If they knew what strain would hit the food supply and when, they'd make billions. She stalks out.

Archie thinks he was hired to steal the wheat, but Nate realizes the job was to steal the blight. Dr. Hannity has the blight in order to test the wheat's immunity. She wants it to get out. Hardison matches the container for the blight with the container Archie was told to steal. Nate needs to think, but Archie wants to get everyone out, especially Parker. He tells her to run out the front door. Nate tells her the entrance is a bottleneck. Parker is trapped in the severance party. Hardison has control of some doors, but the Steranko keeps taking them back. He sends her to an open door to the stairway. No one uses the stairs, so they aren't as dangerous as elevators. Sophie wants to do something about Dr. Hannity. Parker arrives at Rushing's office and Eliot's ready to bust through the window, but Parker says she can't leave. Eliot and Archie yell at her, but Parker realizes that Hannity can now steal the blight and blame it on her, since the Steranko has a record of her break-in. She needs to steal the blight to keep it from Hannity. Archie tells her they don't get involved, but Parker says that's what he does. Taking down Hannity is what the team does.

Hardison urges them to make up their minds, because the Steranko is stomping him. Parker says she knows what she did wrong in the vault before; she just needs a path back there and she can pull it off. She's not alone this time. Nate gives her the go-ahead. Archie is furious; he thinks Nate will get her killed. Parker walks out of the office and runs into a security guard, who pulls his gun. Parker circles him, trying to bluff, but he doesn't buy it. Fortunately, Eliot comes up behind him and takes him out. (Parker's way out = Eliot's way in.) She smiles and he just waves her to get going. Parker demands options from Hardison and he gives them a door to a stairwell. They go through and find guards climbing up. Eliot growls at Hardison to keep the guards off them and Hardison asks him if he wants the hacker job. Eliot asks if Hardison wants his job as he takes on the guards. Parker heads upstairs. Hardison tells them to get to the biotech level. Eliot tells Parker she's going the wrong way but Parker says she knows what she's doing.

In the control room, Voorhees gets off the phone and tells Hannity she was right; the auditors are fakes. Leach is double-crossing them. Voorhees can't reach his babysitters. Hannity figures they sit on Archie until they catch the thief, then dispose of everyone. Voorhees goes to work on that.

Hardison is urging Parker and Eliot to move; he's got a door on the biotech floor. Parker asks Eliot how much he weighs, but he's not telling. So she rides the rope down alone. Eliot will have to meet her, and bring a retinal scanner. Hardison says he got them an elevator, but now he's out. Nate tells him to get Sophie and clear out. Nate makes a phone call. Hannity arrives at an empty conference room and storms out. Voorhees checks the office where "Steed" was working, but no joy.

On the biotech level, Eliot busts through some resistance with Parker on his heels. Her sexting pal wanders onto the scene and she keeps Eliot from pounding him. "Who's that guy?" he wonders. "Boyfriend," reveals Parker, and leaves. The suit is suitably deflated not to get her number. Parker wants to know what sexting is, but Eliot's in no mood to chat. They arrive at the vault. Parker uses the handheld scanner from Eliot to beat the retinal scanner, then opens the compartment with the blight. Eliot is ready to get out of there. Then alarms go off and the Steranko goes to level 4 -- hazmat containment. Parker and Eliot run.

Fire trucks pull up to the Wakefield building, followed by news crews. Nate lifts a hazmat suit from a truck but Archie pulls a gun on him, accusing him of getting Parker killed. Nate tells him they'd both die to protect her, and he has work to do. Archie realizes that Nate's going in for her. Nate hands him a hazmat suit and says he always intended to.

In the control room, Voohees and Hannity see Sophie and Hardison taking hazmat suits. Steranko doesn't have elevator 3 locked down, but Voorhees can use the call button to catch them in the lobby. Rushing is trying to control the chaos downstairs. Voorhees summons the rogue elevator and pulls a gun on the four suited people inside (the front one holding the canister of blight). He and Hannity step into the elevator. Upstairs, Hannity and Voorhees march the four prisoners out on an empty floor. Archie, holding the canister, pulls off his hood. Hannity accuses him of welching on their deal and Archie accuses her of trying to kill him. He wants more money now. Hannity counters: she takes the blight, Voorhees shoots them and puts their bodies in "the very expensive incinerators" in the basement. The police are no obstacle; Archie will take the blame for the theft. And when the famine materializes in six months, Wakefield will be the only company ready for it. So, how do they want to get shot?

Archie demurs. The rest of the group take off their hoods; it's the reporter from the morning news with her crew. She holds the microphone out to Hannity and asks for comment -- they're live. One of the guys in back shows his camera. Flashback to Nate telling Hardison to fake a hazmat alert; Hardison does it, which locks him out after he delivers the elevator and the door on the biotech floor. Another flashback to Nate persuading the reporter to take her crew into the building. Another flashback to Parker and Eliot arriving at the elevator to hand over the canister, while Hardison lifts Nate out through the trap door in the elevator's ceiling. Final flashback of Voorhees and Hannity stepping onto the elevator.

Hannity starts to realize that her scheme has been blown wide open. Behind the news crew, she sees the window washing platform descend with the team aboard. (Parker's way out = team's way out.)

Archie and Nate say their farewells in an underpass. Nate steps away and Archie compliments Parker on her team. He knows she did it for his family; he wishes he had, um -- Parker hugs him and says she wouldn't have fit in anyway. They say goodbye. Only Archie would like his wallet back first. Parker tosses it to him and walks off with Nate.

Comments: Wakefield is a town north of Boston on Route 128. Boston doesn't have a Channel 6. Archie Leach is the birth name of Cary Grant.


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