Friday, Jun 18, 2010


By EMERSON PARKER, Contributing Editor

Aldis Hodge’s character of Alex Hardison was an instant favorite among fans of LEVERAGE. A level-headed hacker that quickly and quietly became one of the foundations of the group. While Nate (Timothy Hutton) is the brains of the bunch, without Hardison, nothing would get done, or at least done right.

With LEVERAGE beginning its third season with a two-hour event on this Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm PT on TNT, we offer up the 10 things you need to know about Alec Hardison (The Hacker) that will remind fans (and those just jumping into the series) of where the show’s been and where it’s going.>

1) He’s the hacker. Before becoming one of the good guys in Nate’s crew, Hardison was one of the best hackers on the planet. Well, he still is one of the best hackers, but he uses his talents now to help those that have been taken advantage of by nefarious baddies. But if you need something cracked, taken over, corrupted, infected with a virus or piggybacked through a network, Hardison is the main man for the job.
2) He’s a nerd. While he doesn’t appear to be one on the surface, given his general talent of being involved with computers and the Internet seems to have rubbed off on Hardison as he is constantly referencing STAR TREK, DOCTOR WHO (he’s an avid fan) and other genre shows. Usually, these references are ignored or not understood by the other members of the crew who don’t seem to follow pop culture as intensely (or at all).
3) He grew up in foster care. Much like Parker (Beth Riesgraf), Hardison grew up in foster care. However, unlike Parker, his experience was a good one. His foster mom taught him good values and how to be an individual and caring. He loves her very much and often will quote things that she taught him or said to him while he was growing up. This is part of the reason that Hardison has a connection to Parker, something that was obvious since the beginning of the show.
4) He likes Parker. His connection to Parker goes beyond just mere friendship. If given the chance, there isn’t a doubt that Hardison would love to move their relationship to the next level. He is attracted to her because in a lot of ways, she is everything he is not – spontaneous, fearless, unorthodox and anything but ordinary. While Hardison has the good looks, he can’t seem to express his feelings to her. Has Hardison had a decent relationship in the past? Maybe this is part of the reason he is unwilling to make the first move. Hopefully and no doubt we will see more of their relationship in Season Three.
5) He loves his van. Lucille has been the constant love of his life. Of course Lucille has been a casualty one too many times in the course of the cons. But his tricked our surveillance van is the hub of all things Hardison. It’s the place where he feels the most comfortable, and the one thing he knows he can count on over everyone else. Of course, with his growing love for his own dysfunctional con family, that love may slowly wane and be replaced by something much deeper.
6) He’s reliable. When it comes to anyone in the group, Hardison is probably the most reliable of the five. He will be there when they need him. Parker is first to go to Hardison when she has a problem and Nate always needs him to do the impossible when it comes to a con. Luckily, Hardison is good at what he does and has yet to fail them when it comes to the computer and technology front.
7) He had self esteem issues. This stems from his inability to take things to the next step with Parker or even letting her know in an outright way that he has feelings for her. But moreover, Nate is almost a father to Hardison. They have a near family relationship as Nate has told Hardison many times that he can be whatever he wants to be if he sets his mind to it. Being a criminal was just an easy way for him to make money. Hardison being a computer nerd and a foster kid means he probably didn’t have it easy as a kid and as a result his self-esteem isn’t what it should be.
8) He’s a material boy. Like many of the crew of LEVERAGE, Hardison also likes to indulge in the material world. But unlike Sophie (Gina Bellman) who prefers to spend her money on fashion and shoes or Parker who just prefers cold, hard cash, Hardison puts his funds into electronics, very modern things and usually a swank pad. He was the one to design the LEVERAGE headquarters (twice) and he prides himself on having the latest gadgets and gizmos that allows him to do a better job at getting the con done. Plus, he simply enjoys the ability to be surrounded by these cool things.
9) He is the conscience of the group. While Nate may have been the original good guy before joining a crew that uses deception and lies to swindle money from bad guys, Hardison is now the person who has picked up the mantle of being the conscience of the group. When all of the others have feelings of pulling out or not completing a task, Hardison is the one that always steps up to the plate and fights for the little guy or girl. He has also become the glue that holds many of the others in the gig. He was one of the first people in Season Two to suggest the gang get back together and views everyone as family to him.
10) He and Eliot have become fast friends. They are the ultimate odd couple. Hardison isn’t brave, can’t fight and fears all weapons. Eliot (Christian Kane) is the exact opposite and lives off the adrenaline rush of combat. Yet, despite these differences (and Hardison’s own tendency to annoy Eliot with his geek banter), the two have become very good friends. Numerous times they have been stuck on the con together and have relished in it, enjoying their company and the task they had ahead of them (even if they like to give each other a hard time the entire time). We are bound to see more of these unlikely friends in the upcoming third season of the show.

Source: IF Magazine