At a competitive cheerleading contest, Coach Heather Cornell is leading her squad, the Wolves, onstage. The CEO of PEP Athletics, Wendy Baran, comes in with her assistant, Snyder. Heather complains that the safety standards are poor. Wendy isn't impressed and tells her to take her team home if she doesn't like it, but reminds her that the entry fees are non-refundable. One of the cheerleaders, Marcy, is injured in a fall and Heather runs to her side.
Later, Heather meets with Nate and tells her that Marcy was paralyzed and insists that it was negligence on Pep Athletics' part. Marcy's insurance was purchased through a subsidiary of PEP Athletics and they're not paying out. Heather has been banned from coaching after being blamed for Marcy's accident, and warns Nate that her team isn't safe without her. Nate assures her that they'll make sure they're safe.
In Washington at PEP Athletics HQ, Parker is complaining because Nate has assigned her as a coach. Alec checks the company structure and confirms that they sell clothing and equipment as well as television rights, while concealing they're dealings behind shell companies. Wendy is a former cheerleader who started her company. Nate explains that the government can't regulate safety standards because it's not considered a sport, so they have to make it a sport. The Federal High School Athletics Committee has to make it a sport and that goes through Congress.
The team heads to Congress and Eliot is concerned that they're working in the law instead of out of it. The others disagree and Alec has already got the Cheerleader Protection Law up for vote. J.J. LeGrange, the head of the committee, objects to the bill because it's an overreach of government. Meanwhile, Wendy finds out about the bill and storms in while LeGrange speaks out against the bill. Sophie checks the committee's body language and warns Nate that nobody will vote against it. Nate has Alec shut down the sound system and cut off LeGrange's speech. LeGrange tables the meeting for a week because they can't call for a vote and Wendy is happy that they have time to take care of that. As she goes, Nate notes her reaction and wonders why she was happy that the vote that would have helped her was delayed. He calls Parker and tells her to break into Wendy's office while they steal some Congressmen.
The team reviews the seven committee members and Alec figures that they have to flip four of them to win. Congressman Jane Berkus is numbers-driven and impeccable on women issues, so they make her aware it's about young women. Juan Caballo is having trouble maintaining votes so they need to get him the votes. John Zahn is under investigation for fundraising irregularities so they make his problems go away. That leaves LeGrange, a Washington insider who loves cameras and loves power and can kill the bill if he wants. Nate figures that if they do it right, they'll have them eating out of their hand by dinner.
Alec infiltrates Berkus' office as an assistant and shows her numbers on the bill. She points out that it will cost schools $20 million in safety equipment and she's not impressed with cheerleaders.
Sophie meets with Caballo and offers a donation to his reelection campaign in return for his support of the bill. However, he needs corn subsidies.
Parker is trying to deal with the high-tech security system while breaking into Wendy's office and training her cheerleaders with a laser grid. She doesn't understand their lack of enthusiasm and Nate tells her that she has to connect with them. They wonder why Nate is so upbeat, and he explains that he bought off Zahn with lunch. Eliot wasn't so successful will LeGrange, posing as a lobbyist. LeGrange isn't interested in donations to buy his vote because he insists that he has integrity.
The Leverage team goes back to work and Alec starts juggling numbers. Sophie approaches another congresswoman and offers her a donation in return for corn subsidies. The congresswoman doesn't want to help because she figures that it's tied ethanol and her state needs solar subsidies. Meanwhile, Nate figures that they can con LeGrange once they figure out what his hook is. They figure the key is to offer him more power and Nate sets up a new election campaign.
Alec tells Berkus that he's found $20 million from military spending, but she says that it's a separate appropriation from education so they'd have to start all over with both bills. Meanwhile, Eliot meets with LeGrange again and says that his firm wants to sponsor LeGrange's run for Senate. However, LeGrange isn't interested in moving up and walks away.
Sophie tries to get the solar subsidies swung over but has to make another deal. Meanwhile, Nate checks on Parker, who is having her pep students practice with a parabolic mike. Wendy is preparing to make a deal to get money but Parker still needs to break into Wendy's office to find out what.
Nate and Eliot try to work out what LeGrange wants and Nate insists that the congressman has a hook. Eliot isn't convinced and warns that some people just want to serve. Nate seizes on that and says there's a way to exploit that. Eliot meets with LeGrange and asks if he wants to become a pundit after his term is over. The congressman isn't interested and explains that he doesn't plan to leave office anytime soon. As Nate watches, Eliot warns that in eight years it will be a tough election and says that he has advanced polling data proving his point. Nate tells Eliot to look at the Tracey College Ten-Year Expansion program and how young voters will be coming in. LeGrange is interested and asks to see the model in two hours. As Nate and Eliot leaves, Nate admits that he hopes that they can fake the polling data. Meanwhile, Snyder takes photos of them and gives them to Wendy, and they identify both Nate and Eliot. Wendy calls LeGrange, confident that she can control him.
Nate and Eliot work on LeGrange while Sophie ends up improving air-quality standards in Massachusetts as part of her series of trades to get the corn subsidies. Alec is trying to juggle budget numbers but there are laws that require the money be set aside even though nobody wants to use it. Parker plans to use the meet as cover to sneak up onto the roof and get into Wendy's office. She realizes that one of her cheerleaders, Madison, has gone missing. Nate and Parker confront another cheerleader, Angela, and demand answers about her best friend Madison.
Sophie hires some assistants and poses as an Arabian representative to start trading more subsidies. Meanwhile, Alec finds a law requiring funding for haberdasheries and Sophie makes plans to see if she can get cheerleaders identified as haberdashers.
Parker and Nate track Madison to the basement where she is hiding out. She admits that she was Marcy's spotter and that she doesn't want anyone else to get hurt. Parker has no choice but to try and emphasize with her. She assures Madison that her friends would rather have someone watching over them as no one. Nate wonders how she got down there and Madison explains that there's no security in the basement. Seizing on the idea, Parker heads for the air vents.
With three of the congressmen in the bank, that leaves LeGrange. However, Eliot gets a call that LeGrange has cancelled. Meanwhile, LeGrange is at the cheerleading competition and Wendy announces that that they've created a new scholarship in his name. Eliot and Nate figure that LeGrange just wanted his name on a scholarship. Meanwhile, Parker gets into Wendy's office and discovers that she planning to buy up PEP. Once she owns it, there will be even less oversight. Wendy didn't want the bill going to vote because she hadn't raised the money yet. If she owns the company before the bill goes through, she cleans up. To defeat her, Nate figures that they have to accelerate things even more.
The cheerleading tournament begins and the team swings into action. Nate approaches Wendy backstage and she points out that she's seen him around. He tells her that he's moved up the vote tomorrow after paying off Zahn, and he warns her that the bill will fail and her buyout will fall through. Wendy dares him to bring it on and walks away, and Nate tells the others that she's on the hook. She has Snyder start pulling together the money to pull off the buyout immediately. As they pull up the org chart for Wendy's' other companies, Alec monitors the data and digs up obscure Federal laws to keep them from transferring the funds. Wendy tells Snyder to get the money and storms off.
Parker's team is waiting for their coach, who arrives just in time and has them huddle up. She tells them to do it for Marcy and the team starts performing. Wendy comes back and tells Nate that she found the money and it's all over. She now owns PEP while Nate was just standing there. Parker's team finishes their routine and Nate tells Wendy that he didn't underestimate her. Her phone rings Wendy takes the call from Snyder. He informs her that there are Federal agents there with a warrant for insurance fraud. She realizes that Snyder pulled the money from her own insurance company because he couldn't get it from anywhere else thanks to Alec.
LeGrange comes over with the trophy to get Wendy, who insists that Snyder made the transfer without her authorization. However, Nate says that Wendy was the one who gave LeGrange a bribe. The congressman shakes the trophy and a bundle of money falls out, since Parker planted it there earlier after stealing it from Wendy's safe. Wendy dares anyone to prove it but Nate points out that all they have to do is prove that someone under her authority did it. Since she's the CEO, that makes it a RICO case. The Federal agents arrive to take her away and Eliot assures LeGrange that he should put as much distance between himself and PEP Athletics as possible.
Late at the committee meeting, LeGrange speaks out in favor of the bill and it passes. The Wolves are present and applaud. Heather thanks the team as LeGrange gives Marcy the first scholarship for injured athletes. One of Sophie's assistants hand her airplane tickets and she tells Alec that the military will be breaking ground on Fort Devereaux. Parker comes over and hugs them while Nate congratulates Eliot. Eliot figures that Nate set it up so that he could see if Eliot could pull it off on his own. He tells Nate that one of these days he'd better tell him what he's playing at, but Nate just congratulates him again and walks away. Share this article with your friends