|“||Age of the geek, baby!||”|
— Alec Hardison
Growing up in a foster home, Alec Hardison knows two things best: computers and technology.
A geek of the first order, Hardison (as he is usually called) handles the team's electronics and monitors the team's communications through modified bone conduction earbuds.
He also modified the team's cellphones, which the team can use for a variety of uses. While not a grifter like Sophie, as a hacker (and through his foster grandmother), Hardison has developed excellent social engineering skills. Always quick with a joke or snide remark, his lack of maturity has caused the team problems, but he always comes through in the clutch. Hardison's natural charm allows him to get along easily with most people.
His relationships with the team vary. He has special relationships with two members of his team. With Eliot Spencer, it's more of a friendly rivalry. With Parker, it's more akin to romantic attraction. As of episode one of Season 5 Hardison is dating Parker. Hardison is not to be underestimated whether in cyberspace or the real world.
It is through Hardison's expertise that Leverage Consulting & Associates gains the technologies around the earbuds and cell phones. Hardison is also the handler of the various vans that the team has used.
- Hacking - He gathers all the recon material the team needs for the case (S02EP06) and because of this he usually does the mission briefings for each job. Hardison erases the electronic paper trail so they cannot be tracked after each job, and is similarly able to track and trace anybody who leaves an electronic trail (S01EP04). He taps into all the banking and CIA systems, regularly uses computer viruses, and managed to hack the San Lorenzo email system to send a message to every citizen in just an hour (S03EP16), and hacked into the White House email in 3 days (S02EP01). On the job, he is usually behind the scenes, operating from one of the team's vans, as the main contact amongst the other Leverage members — analyzing footage, monitoring comms, scanning police frequencies... (S02EP07).
- Inventor/Technician/Engineer: Hardison is a skilled inventor, having developed the team's Earbuds and built the E.M.P. Gun.
- Social network engineering
- Limited pickpocketing skills (while the team was held prisoner inside a hospital, Hardison was able to lift a cell phone from one of the doctors, and he was also able to use a claw to lift two sets of car keys from U.S. Marshals' pockets.)
- A pedestrian appreciation for art, as he is an amateur painter, but confesses that he is not well versed in "Dead Guy Art".
- Improvisation, Hardison was an attendee of Second City in Chicago.
- Plays the violin. He was a very good violinist when he was a teenager, and he gained standing ovations after his performance in The Scheherazade Job, although it was revealed that Nate had hypnotized him.
- Grifting (with the help of Sophie) — Not a good grifter because he tends to oversell himself. In his titular role in The Ice Man Job he overdoes it and ends up kidnapped by the Russian mobsters instead. Impersonating a real estate lawyer in The Gold Job he scares the marks away by trying to get them to close a deal immediately.
- Bomb making.
- Forger (as seen in The King George Job)
- Creating CIA level cover stories and IDs — these are so extensive that Parker’s alias Alice White gets called up for jury duty. (SE01EP11).
- Very financially savvy, he earned the team a windfall by buying the right shares and even more than expected because he knows how to play the markets (S01EP01). According to Kung Fu Monkey, he was the financial mastermind in complicated insurance scams which in turn led to him meeting Nate.
- Chemistry - he knew enough to create the miracle that made the statue cry in The Miracle Job (S01EP04)
- People skills - He attributes his people skills to being raised a Jehovah's Witness and going door to door to speak with strangers when he was young. This experience paid off at least once when he won a losing case with a touching closing statement while pretending to be a lawyer.
- Overconfidence at times and a lack of confidence when things go south.
- Completely useless with firearms.
- Is afraid of heights and rappelling, often landing upside down whenever he goes rappelling with Parker.
- It took him a while to become an adept physical combatant.
- Is a lightweight in terms of alcohol.
Leverage: Redemption Season One
Relationships with Other Characters
Hardison's overconfidence comes out in Season 3 as he gains experience with the team. He is unique in the sense that he is put into multiple situations where he had to be a thief (Parker) and a grifter (Sophie). This leads him to believe he is ready for the next level, planning for his own crew although Nate believes otherwise.
Hardison often works closest with Parker, as their two skill sets compliment one another. As a result, Hardison develops a crush on Parker. Parker was originally either oblivious to this or ignored it. (In The Stork Job, he expressed some of his feelings toward her in the description of the Leverage Team, "We're more than just a team." In The First David Job, she makes out with Hardison to elude physical security, which leaves him even more confused as to their relationship, as she doesn't mention it again.) Season 3 has definitely shown that the two have become very close, and now Parker has shown she has feelings for Hardison. They dance together at the end of The Reunion Job. At the end of The Double Blind Job, after a feeble attempt on Parker's part at trying to express her feelings for him, Hardison made it clear he will be there when she is ready. In The Big Bang Job, Parker tells Hardison she is in the mood for pretzels, referencing their conversation at the end of The Double Blind Job. In The Carnival Job, he makes Parker a robot, naming it Parker 2000. At the end of the episode, Parker changes the name to 'Hardy'. In The Long Way Down Job, it seems like they might be dating when Parker says, "I should meet your nana." to which he answers "Yeah you should, she's really... Wait, what?" In the The Grave Danger Job, they showed how much they care for each other when Hardison was almost killed. The two were on the phone when he said, "Parker, don't hang up the phone. Please, I need you." He kisses Parker on the cheek/neck at the end of the episode.
As of season 5 episode 1, the two are dating. In season 5 episode 2, Parker is seen wearing Hardison's shirt, and in the next episode Parker climbs on top of Hardison inside an air vent and whispers to him, millimeters from his lips, "see, vents are better", to which Hardison replies, "this isn't that bad". At the end of this episode, Hardison and Parker's plan to go on a picnic under the stars is foiled when a big thunder storm cuts in. Parker is disappointed, but Hardison cheers her up by electronically creating stars so they can have the picnic inside. She then whispers to him, "I'll be right here", and points to his heart. Then the two hug.
Sophie is a teammate to Hardison. It is clear to him that she and Nate have a deeper relationship and he respects her as much as he respects Nathan. In Sophie's absence during Season 2 ("The Ice Man Job"), Hardison calls her for help. It is slowly revealed through the episode Parker and Eliot also called for help, each making Sophie promise she wouldn't tell Nate.
As the team leader, Hardison respects Nate. When Nate rebukes Hardison in "The Mile High Job", Hardison buckles down and manages the "impossible", which eventually helps him save the day. In "The Nigerian Job", Hardison is quick to realize that Nate is a good influence on him. Also, Hardison is Nate's landlord after he secretly buys the apartment building used for Leverage Headquarters in the second season.
At first, Hardison and Eliot are combative, as their disciplines oppose and often clash. (Hardison is the covert backdoor electronic type, while Eliot is the physical and less subversive operative). Eventually, each sees the need for the other, and when they work together, good things happen. The pair settle into a healthy, friendly rivalry and become very protective of each other. Eliot says in "The Office Job", "nobody throws Hardison off a building. ...except maybe me." In Season 5, they are seen singing a short duet together (called "Lucille" after Hardison's van).
to be added from the Leverage 2.0 announcements
- He has a catchphrase, "age of the geek", that repeats everytime he does something impossible with his computer.
- For unknown reasons, he is almost always called by his last name, rather than his first.
- He is left handed as seen in The D.B. Cooper Job.
- He was able to crack the Pentagon servers when he was only 12 years old (S05EP09).
- Used his hacking skills to go to the Oscars every year since he was 15 (S04E02). Was shown supposedly sitting next to Halle Berry.
- According to James Sterling's people, Hardison is wanted in Iceland. This was later revealed in the Season 3 episode, The Reunion Job when Parker asked whether he went to his prom night, he said that he was busy, while actually at that moment, he made The Bank of Iceland pay his nana's medical bill which is presumably what landed him on the list in the first place.
- After Leverage Consulting & Associates moved to Boston, Hardison frequently used a van which he named Lucille. It was destroyed in the episode "The Three Strikes Job" as a diversion. Afterward, he was very mad at Nate, saying that he killed Lucille while telling Nate to go kiss his ass.
- Has a residence in Chicago which was used initially by the Leverage Team as a base of operations in The Nigerian Job.
- Hardison is a fan of various genres of Science Fiction, making references to: Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, and Star Wars. He was caught impersonating Mick Jagger in a hotel room with 3 Leia wannabes holding lightsabers and tried to use the Jedi mind trick to escape (S01EP01). He tries to get Eliot to use a code that references odd numbered Star Trek films as meaning everything is ok, and references to even numbered Star Treks meaning something is wrong. He used Ralph O'Khan (Wrath of Khan) to hint to Eliot he was in danger (S02EP03). Fan of Doctor Who – watches the show regularly (S01EP05), also uses the names of past Doctor Who actors as aliases, like Tom Baker and Sarah Jane (S01EP08).
- Has been confused by fans for being the tailback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
- Favorite beverage is Squeeze Orange Soda, and his favorite snack is gummy frogs.
- Is religious but is non-denominational.
- Has a dog named Megabyte (Reboot reference).
- Played violin until he was 14, then he picked up computers.
- Various clues in the third season suggest his birthday is between February-July (he is stated as being 24 in both The Scheherazade Job and The San Lorenzo Job). The Big Bang Job takes place 5 months after the Jailhouse Job, placing the time frame as August to January respectively.
- Has aspirations to run his own crew; however, Nate thinks he lacks the quality to do whatever it takes to make his crew work (S03EP04).
- According to Parker, he touches his chin once every 2.4 minutes.
- Has a fear of heights (S01EP01) or at the very least jumping off heights with just a harness.
- His way of inflicting revenge on a person is sending them 1000 porno magazines (S01EP01)
- Unbelievably bad shot, evidenced when he shot the paintball gun (S01EP04) and when he accidentally shot out a car's engine when he said he was aiming for the person's leg (S01EP10).
- Enjoys playing World of Warcraft - in fact, he enjoys it so much he overslept for a job because he was up the previous night playing the new expansion pack much to Nate's strong disapproval. (S01EP08).
- Has a tell in Rock-Paper-Scissors, according to Eliot (S01EP09).
- Most susceptible to hypnosis, according to Sophie (S03EP04).
- Owns a Green Lantern action figure.
- Is known to blow large sums of money on a whim. Bought large mansion that was rumored to have belonged to MC Hammer, in an attempt to "lay low" after him and the crew split up for a brief period after The First David Job (S01EP12). Also bought a red Ferrari (mentioned below) just for a big-shot character he was portraying in a grift (S02EP08). Also bought Nate's entire apartment complex, becoming his landlord, just so he could move in his equipment against Nate's wishes.
- He is 24 in S03EP16.
- He has a younger foster sister.
- CIA file in S04EP11 indicates he was once arrested in a nightclub in Washington DC. However, the file contains information inconsistent with previous facts - indicates age of 33 when he would have been 25 according to information in other episodes. The file also indicates that he is divorced, was born in Los Angeles, and is a business owner.
- His alias (Alistair Lethbridge Stewart) in Redemption S01E02 is a major background character in Dr Who, a British Sci-Fi show that Hardison showed heavy interest in.
- His personal vehicle is a Black Hyundai Genesis sedan, equipped with GPS tracking.
- In "The Ice Man Job", Hardison buys a red Ferrari.