The Scheherazade Job - Recap
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Alexander Moto, the brother of the president of Wadata, meets with investors and explains that his brother Simeon doesn't have the will to develop the country. When the investors wonder if he has what it takes, Moto assures them that he can.
Jane Akinyemi, a reporter, goes out to her car and narrowly avoids being run over.
Nate invites Eliot to come to the meeting, and Hardison tags along because he wants to learn how Nate does what he does so Hardison can eventually run his own team. Nate insists that there are things he does that Hardison can't. Jane arrives and points out that two men are following her, and Eliot takes them on. Jane then explains that in Wadata, Moto forces children to work in the diamond mines, and them smuggles the diamonds out to sell in the U.S. Moto covers his tracks and plans to use his funds to buy the next election and take over Wadata. The president will visit Moto in four days, solidifying Moto's grip on the country. She tells Nate that her article started an investigation, but then it was stopped. Nate vows to find out why.
Nate meets with the Italian to find out why the U.S. leaves Moto alone. She explains that Moto is a paid informant who gives the CIA the names of jihadists. She suggests that Nate join her for dinner but he figures it won't end well and passes.
The team gathers together and Sophie explains to Eliot that the jihadists that Moto reports are his political rivals, and he uses the CIA to eliminate them. Nate points out that since Moto's diamonds are uninsured, they can steal them. Now they have to find the vault where they're hidden. Parker and Hardison are checking out Moto's Boston properties. One of them is Raines Concert Hall, and they realize that it's the perfect place for a vault. Parker breaks in and finds a dedicated air line, the type used to store extremely delicate items. Hardison confirms that Moto has just Stradivarius violin, and Sophie points out that Moto is an outsider to his own people because he was raised away from Wadata. Nate figures they need to steal the man on the street in Africa to improve Moto's image.
Eliot calls Jane and tells her to stay away from her apartment. Hardison does some creative Photoshopping to make it appear that Moto was drinking and insulted the people of Wadata. Eliot then films a fake newscast to sell the story. When Moto sees the broadcast, he complains to Simeon, who insists that he should be home helping to rule the country. Moto tells Walle, his head of security, that he should have taken care of Jane when he had the chance. Sophie approaches Moto as a publicist and offers him to rebrand him as a force for good in Wadata. She suggests he help a single child and when he takes an interest, she gives him a photo of Hardison. Sophie explains that he's an immigrant taxi driver from Wadata who is a violin prodigy, and that Moto can improve his image by sponsoring him.
Nate explains to Hardison that he has to get Moto to take him into the vault to show him the Stradivarius. Hardison is carrying electronic tapping equipment that will send all the information back to the office. He played the violin until he was 14. Hardison then asks Nate what he's missing when it comes to running a team. Nate ignores him and leaves.
Sophie and Hardison meet with Moto, who offers to show Hardison what he can achieve in America. He takes them to the vault, opens the retinal scanner, and shows them the Stradivarius. Meanwhile, Nate and Parker determine that the lockers are named after musical terms, and they confirm which locker received the most recent delivery. However, Parker explains that there are no security cameras because there are motion sensors, and its unhackable. Nate figures they have to get someone to turn it off for the. Reviewing the records, Parker confirms that they had to shut down the motion sensors because of the vibrations when the 1812 Overture was performed in the concert hall. Nate tells Sophie via earbud that he's changing the plan. Sophie puts the new plan into gear, and suggests that Moto have Hardison perform for Simeon at the concert hall when the President arrives in two days.
Back at headquarters, Hardison blames Nate for putting him into a position to have to play the violin. Sophie arrives with the music she helped Moto picked out, having made sure that it's very loud. Hardison looks at the music, Scheherazade, by Korsakov, and warns that it ends with a difficult solo. Sophie explains that Moto wants Hardison to play the Stradivarius, and he needs to be there in two hours. Once Nate sends Hardison off to practice, Sophie asks Nate what he might have learned in prison. Nate refuses to answer.
Hardison arrives at the concert hall and the conductor, Karl Bartholdt, says that it's a great honor. They begin the rehearsal but Hardison stalls and receives a cellphone call. He then says he has to deal with his mother, who was in a moped accident, and begs off. Bartholdt is confident that Hardison can play the piece on his reputation and says they'll meet him at the concert.
Nate meets with Parker, who explains the break-in plan. Sophie is at the concert hall and Moto's security chief, Walle, checks her bags, which contain cameras for the performance. While he examines them and focuses on her, Eliot goes to the basement door but the security chief intercepts him and sends him off. When the security chief goes into the vault, Eliot catches a glimpse of the numbers reflected on his cellphone screen and manages to get the fingerprints using a UV scanner. He is only able to get the first two numbers in order, and the last four in a random order, and Parker warns she'll have to try all the combinations while Eliot handles the guard. Parker explains that they'll have to blow a hole in the wall, and it can't be done. Hardison arrives and insists that he can't do it. When Parker confirms it will take seven minutes to break in, Nate goes to work timing the heist to the music. Now they need their own conductor.
At the concert hall, Hardison rehearses when Parker arrives as a janitor. She points out that the whole heist depends on Hardison playing like an expert, and assures him he'll be fine. Hardison goes to work.
The night of the concert, Moto introduces Sophie to Simeon. Nate goes to the sound booth and starts to set up, but the Italian Woman calls him and says to meet him in the prop room. In the concert hall, the spotlight comes on Hardison and they begin.
The Italian tells Nate that she needs something from Moto's safe, and it's a matter of national security. She gives him an envelope, asking him to leave another one so they can get to Damien Moreau. Nate reluctantly takes the envelope as she leaves.
The orchestra plays and Hardison performs as best he can. Parker and Eliot, disguised as janitors, prepare to blast through the floor. Nate coordinates the music for them, while Sophie steps outside for a minute and sets up the television cameras she brought in earlier. Parker starts running potential combinations, Eliot takes on Walle, who knocks him down and grabs Parker. Eliot comes to her defense and Parker goes back to work. She gets the door open while Eliot knocks out his opponent.
The conductor increases the tempo and Nate is forced to move up the timetable. Parker lays the explosives while Walle wakes up and comes after Eliot. Parker finishes laying the charge and Eliot lures Walle onto the explosive. They set off the charge just as the music reaches a crescendo. Nate arrives there and delivers the envelope, while Parker gets the diamond.
In the concert hall, Hardison begins his solo... and performs it perfectly. His teammates pause for a minute, listening in awe. When Hardison finishes, the crowd goes wide. The motion sensors engage and go off. The security guards arrive and hold them at gunpoint. Sophie tells them to stall and Hardison says that Moto and his brother have left.
Moto and Simeon enter the vault. Moto assures Simeon that he has everything well in hand. However, Nate interrupts and says that Moto brought Simeon there to have him assassinated. He explains that Moto planned to have Simeon killed and then bewail the incident over the radio bonding with the Wadata people. Nate claims that he's a CIA agent and says that the envelope contains a name for the supposed jihadists Moto turned in. Simeon asks his brother to open the envelope, but Moto insists that it doesn't belong to him. A security guard arrives and informs them that they found a rifle in the projection room, with a clean fingerprint from Walle. He got it on the lens when he examined it earlier and thought it was a camera lens.
Simeon has Moto taken away and calls his men off. When Parker wonders how Nate knew what was in the envelope, he admits that he had no idea what was in it. Later, he turns it over to the Italian Woman. He realizes that it has nothing to do with Moreau, but everything to do with her. She admits she had to deal with bad people and do bad things, but Nate warns her never to play him again.
Later, Jane meets with Nate and tells her that her story was published and Moto is in jail. He explains that the charges of assassination didn't stick, but Simeon found the diamonds when his people searched the vault. Nate gives her a check and tells her that they ended up with the Stradivarius, and that she use the funds from its sale to set up a music foundation for the children of her country. Nate admits that it was Eliot's idea and leaves. He wishes he could do more, but Jane assures him that small effects can have big effects.
At the bar, Parker wonders how Hardison pulled off the performance. He insists that he did it himself, but Nate says that he hypnotized him and regressed him to when he played as a teenager. All Nate did was give him the confidence to be the best he could be. That was the skill he picked up in prison. Hardison isn't happy that Nate did what he did, but Nate explains that as a team leader, he needs to push whatever button he needs to get the job done. And that's the talent Hardison doesn't have to run a team. Hardison leaves and Parker goes after him, and Sophie notes that Nate is alone... and wonders if that's how he wants it before leaving him.