[Caption: two gifs from Leverage. Hardison is working on his computer, saying, “You know, this man has his computer hooked up to the city’s free Wi-Fi? My nana could hack this thing.”]
There was one thing Hardison never told anyone. Not Nate, not Sophie, not Parker or Elliot. Hardison had a teacher. The way Parker had Archie, Hardison had her. She used to work for NASA, wrote out the flight codes by hand. She helped launch the shuttle that put Armstrong on the Moon. And she taught him everything. At ten he was writing his own computer codes in spiral notebooks during math classes he could have passed in his sleep, taking them home and showing them to her.
“Look, Nana! This one draws butterflies on the screen.”
“That’s good, Alec. But you switched from COBALT to C++ in the middle here. That’s not gonna do you any good baby. Here’s how you fix it…”
Her pension from the government helped pay for all of Nana’s kids, but when she got sick, it wouldn’t quite cover her medicine or doctor. She wasn’t going to short the kids any, and Alec knew that. He also knew that they’d look at her first if he took money out of an account linked to her job. He knew this because she told him, because she knew how his mind worked. That’s how he wound up hacking an overseas bank that had lent money to her old boss, the one who denied her request for government healthcare. And if he left behind some breadcrumbs for the authorities to find that led to that jerk, well, there are worse things to do on Prom night.
One of the things I love about Leverage is how all of the main male characters are giant middle fingers to toxic masculinity.
Like, Nate is shown to suffer through his grief, coping through alcohol, and he’s not portrayed as weak for his emotions.
You think Eliot would be the most obnoxiously masculine person in the show, being a former military black ops dude who busts heads for a living. But he isn’t! He’s passionate about cooking, he loves kids, even when he sleeps around he treats all of those women with an equal amount of respect; when Hardison is affectionate with him he often denies his small moments of reciprocity but instead of getting violent (”gay panic”) he simply goes “Dammit Hardison!” and is embarrassed because Hardison usually does it to embarrass him in front of a girl he’s flirting with, but he’s never ashamed or humiliated.
Speaking of Hardison.
My dearest, beloved marshmallow.
The most loving and affectionate member of the team is a black man. This guy hacked the bank of Iceland to pay his foster mom’s hospital bills. He plays the violin, he paints, and he just feels so much empathy for the people they help. He’s the first one to go in for a hug, the first one to admit his feelings, this funny and delightful man who is so fiercely protective and loving. He owns up to his weaknesses, admits when he needs someone, is so supportive of his team. The first one on the team to call them a family!
Sometimes I just randomly think about Leverage and want to cry because I have never seen another show that does characters the way Leverage does.
I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal