|“||I'm sorry it was too far away for you to punch. I'm sure that really frustrates you.||”|
Eliot Spencer is a United States Black Ops soldier turned retrieval specialist who is now the protector of the Leverage team. A man of many talents, little is known about his past aside from his connections to the US military. His character serves as a gallowglass, an elite warrior who protects and aides an aristocratic leader, such as Nate.
Eliot's role on the team is to protect the individual members, and particularly, to get them out of trouble faster than they get into it. Many of his adversaries underestimate him, as Sterling discovers in The Zanzibar Marketplace Job. Eliot is a skilled fighter with a razor sharp mind and zen-like demeanor. He prefers hand-to-hand combat to guns, for which he has an active dislike, despite his skills as a marksman. This is likely due to the fact that Eliot prefers to disable his opponents rather than kill them. Eliot also has some surprising skills. He is a talented gourmet chef and claims to grow his own food.
When asked about Eliot and his development, Christian Kane replied,
|“||Time goes on and Eliot's not the hired killer if you will. You start to see that he's starting to give more and more of his heart to the team and the people he's helping, and at some point, I know that's probably going to hurt him, to be honest with you. He's probably going to snap back to even worse than he was before.||”|
While not an actor like Sophie, Eliot can blend into his roles easily when called on to play the role of grifter. Although he worked alone for years, Eliot has slowly grown to trust being on a team. Eliot's relationships with the individual members of the team vary and are still developing. He respects Nate as a leader, allies with Sophie to keep Nate in line, has a friendly rivalry with Hardison, and with Parker, while her behavior perplexes him, he trusts her to do the job.
During an actors' panel at Con-Con 2010, Kane explained that he based Eliot on B.A. Baracus from The A-Team, saying, "I just decided he was gonna be pissed at everybody." For inspiration, he purchased the "iPity" application for his iPhone, which will play a random phrase by Baracus.
Eliot Spencer is very well versed in the distinctiveness of certain organizations. He has a very distinctive knack for it, and it is often used as an inside reference.
- Numerous fighting styles: Boxing, Muay Thai, Jujitsu, Krav Maga, Kickboxing, Eskrima, Panantuken, Kenpo Karate, and Aikido are just some of the martial arts he has demonstrated in the series.
- Unparalleled hand-to-hand fighting ability considering he was able to take out 4 armed guards in the time it took Hardison to drop a bag after said guards caught him.
- Fixer (often working backup in the con to clean up messes, either physically or in execution, or in a supporting role to the "Inside Man"), he can play the "Inside Man" but usually leaves that job to Sophie Devereaux.
- A similar asset of Eliot's is the tendency for people to underestimate him. (Maggie Collins noticed this in "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job".) This allows Eliot to surprise his opposition when he shows his true skills and talents.
- Survival in hostile environments.
- Skilled swordsman, and is very good with guns, though he doesn't like to use them.
- Strategic: Able to plan/predict the best possible way the team or other people might take out someone else.
- Gourmet chef.
- Calm demeanor.
- Ladies' man.
- Accurate throwing ability whether its darts or pebbles.
- Commercial semi tractor-trailer driver.
- Singer/guitar player: He had a fan club and a bunch of fans (who were quite an obstacle for him). He sang well enough to not need Hardison's auto-tuning. This episode  marks the first time we have seen Eliot nervous, so much so that Parker startled him for the first time ever. However, despite being nervous, he still managed to get the attention of a music executive.
- Weapons expert.
- Baseball superstar: Had a sandwich named after one of his aliases due to a walk-off single.
- Excellent hockey player. He plays as an enforcer and evidently trains to fight people on the ice.  
- Knife expert: Doesn't matter if it's cutting an onion or cutting through 8 Yakuza in 4 seconds. Apparently, this expertise with knives stems from his very attractive home economics teacher in high school . He has dealt with cleaver-wielding Triad members before. 
- Familiar with hostage negotiations - He is able to list the 3 types of calls one can get after the first hostage call.
- Skilled marksman: Despite the fact he dislikes guns, Eliot is a very skilled marksman, as he took on several of Damien Moreau's men with only two guns. He was even able to shoot one of them without looking at the target.
- Familiar with the 9 places professional killers will use to deliver an injection to make a murder look like a heart attack – he spots the giveaway mark under the fingernail. 
- Very good spatial awareness and sense of direction - Was able to calculate where Hardison and he were, and what direction they should head in, even though they were imprisoned in a van. 
- Knows how to throw trackers off his scent - He rubbed skunkweed on his clothing and left blood off the trail. He claims to have done this before while handcuffed to a dead man.
- Bombs and bomb disposal - Talked Sophie through it when she has one in her hands. He can also make bombs out of fertilizer and molasses. 
- Very well traveled: Has been in many, many countries due to the nature of his work.
- Diversely knowledgeable - Able to recognize a Russian man by a footprint in the snow, and discern static noise from a recording as from military satellites.
- Hebrew 
- Farsi - (Doesn't speak it but seemed to understand it)
- Arabic 
- German 
- Lack of knowledge/experience in cutting-edge technology but is working on improving his skills.
- Can be slightly paranoid due to his spy/black-ops history.
- Doesn’t like hitting cops.
- Susceptible to neurolinguistic programming, as Sophie has him pouring and preparing tea for her with a few strategic squeezes.
- Helped liberate Croatia.
- Did some 'hinky' stuff in Pakistan between season one and two. Whether it was with the CIA is unknown.
- Stopped a possible nuclear bomb in Tehran.
- Took out an Uruguayan Death Squad with a piano wire.
- Retrieved a collector’s baseball card in Belgrade, Serbia – took out 8 gunmen, without a gun, while sipping a cup of tea.
- Almost Killed the Butcher of Kiev with an appetizer.
- Took down several different Mafia.
Notable Episodes Edit
- "The Studio Job"
- "The Gone Fishin' Job"
- "The Underground Job"
- "The Rashomon Job"
- "The Ho Ho Ho Job"
- "The Big Bang Job"
- "The San Lorenzo Job"
- "The Blue Line Job"
- "The French Connection Job"
- "The Rundown Job"
- "The Low Low Price Job"
- "The Long Goodbye Job"
Relationships with Other Characters Edit
In the family dynamic of the team, Eliot often plays the role of the oldest son. He is much more aware of the con than his "siblings," Parker and Hardison. But overall, Eliot is the defender and enforcer of the team. He'll put his own safety and well-being way after his "family." Although he contributes a lot, he doesn't like to take credit for protecting his 'family' as he thinks that it is his job. He cares for them silently.
Eliot and Hardison clash often, particularly in the first season when they were rivals (Muscle vs. Mind). However, after a while, they both developed an appreciation of the other's skills and now they share more of a friendly rivalry. Also, Eliot really enjoys picking on Hardison. He is often heard saying the catchphrase: "Damn it, Hardison!" They are also very protective of each other. Eliot says in "The Office Job," "nobody throws Hardison off a building. ...except maybe me."
Eliot is often baffled by Parker's behavior, but at the same time, he is very protective of her. In "The Future Job" Eliot offered his services to tear off the psychic's arms and/or kill him after the psychic makes Parker cry. Sometime in Season 2, he helped train Parker in hand-to-hand mixed-martial-arts. He also loves to annoy her and make fun of her the way a playful elder brother would. In Season 3, he shows how protective he is of Parker by choosing not to disclose what he has done while working for Damien Moreau when she asked. In the Season 4 opener, he and Parker bond over the fact that they are able to do things, make hard calls, that the rest of the team cannot because they are too soft-hearted. He is someone Parker trusts to have her back as he would never let anyone or anything hurt her.
Here is where Eliot breaks away from the "Eldest Son" dynamic. The relationship between Eliot and Sophie is not a mother to son. The two operate more like peers. Sophie likes to press Eliot's buttons, especially in episodes like "The Reunion Job" where after Eliot makes fun of her fear of roaches she uses neurolinguistic programming to make him serve her tea. When Sophie's absent for Season 2, Eliot starts to take on more of a leadership role, which comes to fruition in "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job." In The Potato Job, he reveals he's been teaching her a few things when she punches Hardison to sell her cover.
Eliot and Nate have a complicated relationship that predates the Leverage team. While Nate is the leader and brains of the team, Eliot is in charge of ensuring there is always a backup plan or escape route for when things fall apart. When Nate goes over the line, Eliot and/or Sophie call him on it. Still, whenever Nate asks Eliot to put his body on the line, he does not back down from the task. At key moments in their relationship, when Nate challenges him to walk away, Eliot says that he can't and will back Nate up all the way down. When Nate agrees to take down Damien Moreau, Eliot silently looks for ways to take him down without endangering his Leverage family.
Eliot is a ladies man who is always seen with a different girl and does not seem to want to "settle down." However, Aimee is the one girl who got the closest, as he gave Aimee a "promise ring." That relationship was rekindled in "The Two-Horse Job" but nothing really came of it. In "The Studio Job," Eliot confesses that he promised to be there for her whenever she needed him, but he also made the same promise to the United States Government and found out he could not make that same promise twice. Presumably, Eliot went to join the military, expecting Aimee to wait, and she couldn't.
- Eliot has a recurring inside reference, as he can identify organizations and items from their distinctive styles. He is able to identify mercenaries, terrorists, criminal organizations and Special Forces operatives by the minor details they give out, such as the sound of their weapons fired or, for example, a Force Recon Marine by the style of his knife thrust, as well as ex-CIA just by their stance. i.e., "You can tell they're [blank] just by the way they [blank]?" "It's a very distinctive [blank]."
- Eliot won't hesitate to kill if he feels he has to in order to survive or to protect those he cares for, evident in The Big Bang Job.
- Eliot became a legendary 'wetwork' artist among the seediest of the criminal underworld, most notedly working for criminal mastermind Damien Moreau.
- His most often repeated quote is "Damn it, Hardison!"
- Eliot left his father on bad terms when he joined the Army. His father ran a "hole in the wall" hardware store and wanted his son to take it over. Eliot had other ideas. He wanted to get out, to change the world. The night he left, they had a fight. Eliot joined the service at 18 and set out on his own path.
- Carries a pocket knife.
- He doesn't like guns (first noted in The Nigerian Job).
- Had a hidden stack of emergency cash in the bottom of Nate’s single sofa seat, the one which he usually sits on, which he takes out for the Bottle Job.
- He fought The Butcher of Kiev who was armed with a butcher knife in front of a burning structure. Eliot managed to break free and hit the right side of The Butcher’s face with a burning plank, scarring his cheek permanently. He encounters The Butcher again during The Wedding Job and takes him out with a saucepan, a whisk and the lemon juice and serving tray.
- It is implied in The Experimental Job that Eliot possibly was a Green Beret.
- In the DVD commentary for The Office Job, it is said that Eliot is former Delta Force.
- Worked as a mercenary for various governments, and has "taken lots of jobs standing in embassy basements."
- Chased the same thief as Nate in his role as a retrieval specialist, which according to KFM, was how he first came under Nate’s radar.
- Was Damien Moreau’s best assassin for an undisclosed period of time. There was a job in Belgrade that Moreau alludes to.
- Has been subjected to mock-execution, which apparently, is not as bad as being stuck watching Sophie perform in her play "Death of a Salesman."
- Was in Vietnam, in a town called Ban Houei Xai along the Chinese border. Coincidentally, Sophie has also been there.
- According to James Sterling's people, Eliot is wanted in five countries, including Myanmar, which has a half a million dollar bounty on his head.
- According to Eliot, he has a price on his head in three countries.
- Eliot also suspects he has a Fatwā against him.
- Is in possession of a United States Air Marshal badge.
- Dabbles in chess, but appears to question its status as an Olympic sport in The Queen's Gambit Job.
- His personal vehicle is a gray Chevy Silverado pickup truck but he also owns an orange Dodge Challenger modified and used in The Boost Job.
- When he was a child, he closed himself in a small, dark shed for a few days to get rid of his claustrophobia.
- Grows his own food.
- Hates beets.
- Sleeps only 90 minutes a day.
- Displays sympathy and anger in "The Order 23 Job" toward a young boy (Randy Trent) who is beaten by his father (Randall Trent). Though this might have indicated he suffered abuse when young, the DVD commentary for the episode revealed that his motivation for his actions is that he doesn't like people who beat children.
- Taught Parker several Mixed-Martial Arts moves, allowing her to take on a more physical role in the team.
- Eliot does not own a television.
- He mentions in The Miracle Job that "my nephew would like Bibletopia," indicating he has at least one sibling with a male offspring.
- In high school, even though Eliot was the football team's quarterback, he took home economics. It is where he got an appreciation for knives and possibly started his interest in cooking.
- Previous girlfriends mentioned in the show: Aimee Martin, a neurologist, a flight attendant, a Japanese policewoman, "lots of models," Mikel Dayan, and Kaye Lynn Gold.
- It is revealed in The Big Bang Job that Eliot used to work with Damien Moreau. The "worst thing [he] ever did in [his] life, [he] did for Damien Moreau."
- Eliot never reveals what the "worst thing" he ever did was, seemingly to protect Parker's innocence but also to protect his past and privacy, but it is implied that it involved killing a lot of people and their innocent families
- Eliot's car was modified and used by the team in The Boost Job.
- In The Last Dam Job, he tells Nate that before he killed a man, (not in the line of duty), "he had God in his heart, and he had a flag on his shoulder." and "he has not seen that kid for 10 years."
- According to the word of Dean Devlin, Eliot was supposed to have an Uncle Henry in Santa Barbara referring to Psych. However, since an episode of Psych had Shawn saying that he doesn't want to miss the season finale of Leverage because of a case the whole possible epic crossover never happened.
- Roots for the University of Oklahoma Sooners football team in their annual grudge match with Texas.
- Has worked for more than one private military contractor. 
- Apparently achieved the rank of Commander at some point. Or he was the commander of a group (e.g. Green Berets). In US military it has many uses.
- Used to have short hair, but apparently keeps his hair long now to reduce recognition from former foes.
- ↑ The Studio Job. Season 3, Episode 6. July 18, 2010.
- ↑ The Morning After Job. Season 3, Episode 13. September 5, 2010.
- ↑ The Blue Line Job. Season 5, Episode 2. July 22, 2012.
- ↑ The Reunion Job. Season 3, Episode 2. June 20, 2010.
- ↑ The Runway Job. Season 2, Episode 10. January 13, 2010.
- ↑ The Zanzibar Marketplace Job. Season 2, Episode 12. January 27, 2010.
- ↑ The Double Blind Job. Season 3, Episode 5. July 11, 2010.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Gone Fishin' Job. Season 3, Episode 7. July 25, 2010.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Two Live Crew Job. Season 2, Episode 7. August 26, 2009.
- ↑ The King George Job. Season 3, Episode 12. August 29, 2010.
- ↑ The Snow Job. Season 1, Episode 9. January 27, 2009.
- ↑ The Reunion Job. Season 3, Episode 2. June 20, 2010.
- ↑ The French Connection Job. Season 5, Episode 4. August 12, 2012.
- ↑ The San Lorenzo Job. Season 3, Episode 16. December 19, 2010.