On the Dubai waterfront, Nate is in a car pursuing a black SUV. He passes it and brakes to a halt ahead of it.
Three Days Earlier
At the bar, Sophia and Nate are discussing their past criminal pursuits together and they start to leave. Two men come in with guns and hold Nate there until James Sterling arrives. He brings out a chess set and offers a game, and then tells Nate that he needs a favor. As they play and Sterling taps a captured piece, he explains that the country of Kazhistan is developing enriched uranium, and President Zaidi claims they’re using it to power the region. Interpol doesn’t believe it and sent the country a virus to knock the centrifuges out. Zaidi has recruited Robert Livingston, the engineer who built the centrifuges. They need a key piece of technology to get the centrifuges back up, and Sterling wants them to steal the key component first. Nate figures that Sterling has an informant within the organization, but Sterling dodges the question and says that in return for Nate’s services, he’ll owe him a favor.
Alec meets with Nate and Sophie reviews the specs on the centrifuges. Zaidi needs a precise weight to balance the centrifuge, and Livingston has it. Sophie wonders why they should get involved and Nate assures her that they have to take make sure that terrorists don’t get the uranium. When Sophie wonders how they can get into Livingston’s Sky Spire in Dubai, Nate hands her a chess piece.
The team arrives in Dubai and Alec explains that Livingston is hosting a blitz chess tournament. They go in and Alec is thrilled to see so many expert players. Nate spots Livingston, who welcomes everyone to the tournament. Meanwhile, Alec points out Olivia, a chess prodigy and Livingston’s stepdaughter, and explains that Livingston has been fixated on her career ever since her mother died. Livingston introduces Olivia and then has his personal bodyguards escort her away. Olivia’s mother was killed when some of Livingston’s buyers tried to have him killed. Nate figures that as long as Olivia is in the tournament, Livingston’s attention will be focused on here. He and Sophie will make sure she keeps winning while the others find the weight.
Sterling arrives and tells them that three newcomers are from Kazhistan. They’re visiting a week early and Nate figures they have to accelerate the con. Sterling and Eliot intercept the men and claim to be with Livingston’s company. They tell the men that they’re moving them off-site for security reasons, and Eliot insists on playing the role of the vice president with Sterling as his assistant.
Alec sets himself up via Livingston’s personal assistant as the son of a Saudi oil minister and asks the designer for a private conversation. He claims to have a piece of artwork and asks to use Livingston storage vault. Livingston walks into the elevator first and then takes it up to show Alec the art vault, which contains the nuclear weight. He assures Alec that the security may not be visible but it is unhackable.
Eliot and Sterling get the Kazhistani representatives out of the Sky Spire and explain that Interpol has an informant inside of Livingston’s organization. They tell the representatives to wait outside the building at a particular time and wait for a signal. As Sterling and Eliot leave, Sterling complains that Eliot is putting his informant at risk. Eliot figures that Sterling is lying.
Back at their hotel room, Alec explains that the weight is highly sensitive and even a grain of sand will destroy it. The case is pressurized and if the pressure drops, the alarm will goes off. He plans to introduce a gas with a different density so they can open the case without setting off the alarms. Alec gives Parker a sealed case to store the weight and warns that she’ll only have a half-second to transfer it. They go over the tape that Alec made and Nate realizes that Livingston uses a weight-and-gait authenticator to confirm that he is the proper person. They have to hack into the system and Alec points out that he doesn’t know anything about the system. Nate figures that he’ll have it figured out by tomorrow and leaves.
At the tournament, Alec hacks the tournament files to make sure that Olivia plays low-rankers. However, that means that Nate will have to play the highest-ranking players and win so that he meets Olivia in the finals. Meanwhile, Parker poses as a photographer and asks Livingston and Olivia to pose for a photo together. She reluctantly stands with her stepfather, but Parker provides a small platform for Livingston to stand on, claiming it’s for the proper height. The platform measures Livingston’s weight distribution, and now Parker only has to mimic Livingston’s precise walk.
Eliot and Sterling watch the Kazhistani and make sure they don’t come to see Livingston. Inside, the chess tournament begins and Nate approaches his first player, who dozes between rounds. The game begins and Nate realizes that it will be harder than he thought. Sophie moves in to distract the player and slips him her phone number. The man immediately quits and goes with her.
Livingston’s assistant informs him that the Kazhistani have arrived. He orders double-security. Meanwhile, Nate plays his second opponent.
As they watch the Kazhistani and drink coffee, Sterling and Eliot discuss an assassination, and Eliot finally tells him that he did it. The Kazhistani have a conversation and Sterling uses a pair of binoculars to read their lips and confirm that they plan to make the exchange today. They’ll bring the money in through the service tunnels and meet with Livingston after the tournament. Sterling figures that they can intercept them in the basement and stop them.
In the hotel room, Alec weights Parker properly to match Livingston. The boots are calibrated to match her distribution, and Parker thinks that it feels weird. He then has her step onto a Dance Dance Revolution mat which is designed to measure her gait and let her match it to Livingston.
While Nate plays his second opponent, Zangrief, Sophie reflects light into the man’s face, driving him to distraction. He complains to the officials and demonstrates, but Sophie doesn’t do anything. The second opponent gets angrier and finally snaps, and the officials have him taken away... unaware that Sophie was reflecting light off of a secondary surface, a piece of mirrored tape. Nate complains that he can without her but Sophie ignores her.
Parker begins to tire and Alec assures her that she almost has it. They go again and Parker finally snaps, complaining about how the weights are weighing her down. She complains that when she slows down, she’s dead. Alec tells her that’s how she had to work when she was alone, but she’s not alone Alec walks her through the gait, humming. She closes her eyes, concentrates, and then matches the gait on her own.
Nate plays his third opponent and wins on his own, putting him into the finals against Olivia.
Sterling and Eliot enter the only room available through the service tunnels. Eliot hesitates and then tries to swing at Sterling only to collapse. The Interpol agent admits that he put something in his coffee.
Parker prepares to enter the elevator as soon as Nate begins his game, buying her five minutes. Alec realizes that Eliot is off the grid and warns Nate. The lights go off around the chess table, and Parker begins as Nate begins the game against Olivia. She successfully enters the elevator and heads toward the vault.
Eliot wakes up and discovers that his earbud is gone and he’s locked in an electrical closet.
Sterling enters the tournament room and offers Zangrief some information.
Parker enters the vault and Alec warns her that she’s running out of time. She asks him to hum the same music as before and he’s glad to oblige. Parker makes her way across the room to the component case. Meanwhile, Sophie prepares to use the mirror again and Nate warns her not to take any unnecessary risks. Olivia overhears him and tells Nate that she learned not to be afraid of being afraid. She says that she learned that from her real dad, who taught her how to win. As she plays, Olivia taps one of Nate’s captured pieces.
Eliot tries to break out of the electrical closet.
Alec picks up some odd readings from Parker’s left boot. The weight bag rips open and the ball bearings spill out across the room. Alec assures her that they’ll below the weight threshold so they won’t take off the alarm, but he needs a minute to figure out a new plan.
Zangrief points out Sophie to the tournament officials and reveals the piece of mirrored tape she used earlier. They find the mirror on her and take her away. Meanwhile, Nate spots the Kazhistani representatives coming in. Alec tells Nate that he needs more time, and Nate moves his queen into a vulnerable position. As Olivia pauses, Livingston figures that Nate couldn’t have made such an obvious losing move and must have a trap. Olivia hesitates to consider the board.
Parker abandons the floor and lowers himself from the fire sprinkler pipe to get to the case.
Olivia finally takes Nate’s queen.
Sterling calls the elevator down. Parker notices and asks Alec what is going on. He tells her that with the others out position, it’s time to go. She refuses and starts injecting the gas into the pressurized case.
Nate and Olivia continue to play and Nate finally loses.
Sterling enters the elevator, deliberately setting off the alarm. Nate and Livingston hear it, and Livingston has his men take Olivia away to safety. After confirming that Parker didn’t sound the alarm, Nate warns her that the Kazhistani are on their way and accuses Livingston of running a crooked tournament. He punches him and the Kazhistanis draw their guns on him. Eliot arrives in time to attack them and tell Nate that Sterling is betraying them.
Parker gets the weight and heads for the elevator, but it’s on the way up. She pries open the doors and jumps, landing on the elevator.
Nate runs outside and sees Sterling driving away in a SUV, and steals a car to go after him. Meanwhile, Parker gets to the roof. Nate tells everyone to find Sophie and head for the extraction point, and informs them that Sterling escaped with the real target. Alec finds Eliot, who is eager to hit some bad guys. Alec leads him to Sophie and her guards, and Eliot takes out his frustrations on them.
Nate cuts off Sterling and gets out.
Parker has no way off the roof. Alec tells her that there’s a third way down and tells her that he packed a chute in her backpack. She’s too high for a base jump because she’s too light, but Alec reminds her that she’s wearing weighted boots. Parker leaps off the roof and triggers her chute at just the right time. She soars down to the street and the others pick her up.
Sterling explains that he had to get his informant out, and she turned against Livingston when her mother died. However, Nate tells him that he knew from the beginning that Olivia was Sterling’s daughter. Livingston had her locked up after the tournament, but Sterling knew where she would be taken and rescued her. Nate wonders why Sterling wouldn’t tell him even before Nate became a thief, when they were friends. Sterling admits that it was his fault that Olivia and her mother left. Olivia gets out and insists that her father had no choice, and asks Nate what he would do for his child. Nate asks why Sterling came to him, and Sterling admits that Nate is the best thief he’s ever seen and he couldn’t risk anything less. Nate gives him a piece of paper with a name and tells Sterling to pay off his favor by giving him everything he can find. When Sterling asks if that makes them even, Nate just walks away.
Livingston turns the weight over to the Kazhistani buyers.
Back in Boston, Eliot plans vengeance against Sterling while Parker is happy she got to jump off the world’s second tallest building. Nate figures they saved a child and should take the win. When the team complains that they lost, Nate shows them a news report about how the Kazhistani reactor exploded. He put some salt in the gas that Parker injected into the case, and one grain ruined the weight. The team decides to take the win after all.