When a group of criminals come together on-screen to use their respective skills, they’re a crew. Usually, a crew pulls off some impressive illegal activities, splits their bounty, and goes their separate ways. In the series Leverage, the show begins that way, but the team is quickly brought back together for “just one more job.”

Over the course of five seasons, the team becomes a family and uses their skills to help those in trouble, taking a Robin Hood approach to relieving the corrupted of their wealth and giving it to the people who were wronged.

Eliot Spencer is the team’s “hitter.” He’s the guy responsible for incapacitating the enemy and protecting his teammates. However, he also becomes the front man in a lot of the jobs thanks to his variety of skills, like music, and shows a lot of versatility. And he has a lot of great quotes along the way.

10 “Overconfidence Will Kill You Faster Than A Bullet Any Day. Fear Is Good.”

Eliot always seems supremely confident in his actions. He knows exactly how skilled he is and how to best approach any physical altercation he ends up involved in. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get scared, something he points out to Hardison.

Hardison is placed in an unfamiliar position on a con, and Eliot gives him the advice that “fear is good.” Hardison tends to play up his confidence, getting the team into even worse situations, so this advice is quite sound.

9 “Don’t Ask Me That, Parker. Because If You Ask Me, I’ll Tell You. So Please, Don’t Ask Me.”

When Eliot first begins his journey on the show, it seems that he has no problem with his past. He’s done plenty of retrieval jobs that involve unsavory acts, but he never appears to let them get in his head.

As the show goes on, Eliot’s backstory becomes more fleshed out and the audience realizes that some of the things he’s done have haunted him. When the team goes up against Damien Moreau, Eliot reveals that the worst things he’s ever done were done while he worked for Moreau, and they’re not things he’s comfortable sharing. That gives the audience an idea of just how bad the acts are. It’s a moment of vulnerability for Eliot that really hits home as to who the team is dealing with.


8 “What Do You Mean? What Kind Of Whumpa-Whumpa?”

Eliot is very observant. That leads to a lot of lines played for comedy that show just how impressive his memory is. This is one of them.

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When Hardison describes a noise he hears, Eliot wants to know the exact details of it. He tries to warn his friends just what kind of helicopter is on the way, but he’s almost too late. It’s a great running gag that Eliot knows something the rest of the team doesn’t, and it continually surprises them.

7 “Depends On The Torture. Depends On The Man. When Do We Start? [After Being Yelled At By An Interrogator] So, We Start Tomorrow, Then.”

Eliot is consistently underestimated by the enemy. It’s part of his charm and is something that will likely continue in the series revival. When he infiltrates a group illegally experimenting on a college campus, the former CIA agent working with the college students tries to intimidate Eliot.

Eliot, posing as a veteran living on the streets, appears non-threatening until he’s in the interrogation room. It’s then that he allows just a little bit of himself to show, making the enemy sweat. It’s incredibly satisfying for the audience to be in on the joke.

6 “It’s A Very Distinctive Style.”

Eliot is the master of recognizing the most random things around him. It’s another hallmark of his sharp observational skills. He notices a person’s footwear, haircut, fighting style, even specific changes in the dialect of a different language.

It becomes a running joke in the series that when Eliot is in the field on the team’s cons he’s able to give the team an entire list of details just by hearing a single sentence or seeing a single pair of shoes. Parker and Hardison are usually the ones shocked the most by Eliot being right.

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5 “Nobody Throws Hardison Off A Roof… Except Maybe Me.”

When the series begins, Hardison and Eliot can’t stand one another. Despite that, they’re quick to bail each other out of trouble when they need it. Over the course of the series, they become closer.

As much as Eliot might say that Hardison drives him crazy, their relationship is one of the strongest in the series. They never turn their backs on each other. Hardison and Eliot might even threaten one another on a regular basis, but they’d never cause physical harm.

4 “Once… And A Half. ‘Cause I Was The One Who Was Sent To Kill Him, So I Figure That Only Counts As A Half, Right?”

It’s no secret that Eliot has a dark past. However, it’s also clear that he has a conscience. Some of his jobs weren’t simply retrievals, but also assassinations, and he didn’t actually carry them all out.

This particular quote is in reference to him saving a man’s life “one and a half” times. Eliot makes the decision not to kill him, but to help him survive. Many of Eliot’s stories have similar outcomes, proving that he’s not as dark of a criminal as he claims to be.

3 “I Only Use Violence As An Appropriate Response.”

Hardison often jokes that Eliot needs to be able to hit something to feel better. He usually doesn’t like that Eliot’s first reaction to difficult situations is to incapacitate people. Even Nate warns him not to respond violently right before Eliot responds with this quote.

In this case, it’s because Nate’s rival Sterling walks into the bar the group uses as home base. When Eliot realizes Sterling is there, he does use violence as his response to the other man’s presence, but the rest of the group lets it happen, understanding that Sterling has placed them all in some dangerous positions in the past in the name of bringing the team down. They see Eliot’s response as (mostly) appropriate, until it’s not, and Eliot has to be calmed down so they can find out why Sterling is there in the first place.

2 “Anybody Wanna Do My Job, Huh? ‘Cause I Get Punched And Kicked.”

When Leverage begins, each member of the team has their own niche. They fill a particular role for the group and don’t feel comfortable working outside of their roles while participating in a big heist. That slowly changes.

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As the group starts to learn how to perform on another’s jobs, Eliot realizes that there isn’t really anyone else interested in learning how to be the team hitter. He does teach a few skills to both Hardison and Parker over the course of the show, but they never truly take on his role.

1 “Look, Hold A Knife Like This, Cuts Through An Onion. Hold A Knife Like This, Cuts Through, Like, Eight Yakuza In Four Seconds.”

One of the greatest reveals about Eliot happens on a job when the group tries to infiltrate the wedding of a mob man’s daughter. Each member of the team is tasked with different wedding duties as part of the wedding planner’s team. Hardison is the DJ, Sophie is the wedding planner, Nate is the priest, Parker is Sophie’s assistant and a stand-in for the bridal party, while Eliot is tasked with catering.

As it turns out, Eliot is right at home in the kitchen. He knows how to use a knife in many ways, not just against an enemy. Once the reveal is made that he’s a great cook, there’s no going back. Several episodes feature the use of his kitchen skills and his knowledge of food, giving more depth to his character.

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