Leverage Wiki

Incredibly, chance does seem to bend itself to his bizarre machinations.

Sophie Devereaux, The Second David Job

Nathan Ford was the former leader and mastermind of the Leverage team. Very good-looking and still sharp, despite the layers of insomnia and hangover damage he's inflicted on himself.

Prior to leading the team, Nate was once an insurance investigator for I.Y.S. Insurance, working as an expert at recovering stolen items and apparently a legend in the criminal world. He was considered kind by the company's forensic accountants (such as Milton Friedlander) and was the only investigator who dealt with them directly. He gave them motivational speeches and remembered their birthdays. Nate left I.Y.S. when they refused to pay for his 8-year-old son Sam Ford's "experimental" cancer treatment.

After his son died, Nate's life fell apart. He lost his job, got divorced and became an alcoholic as a means of coping with his son's death. In the pilot, which takes place a couple of years after Sam's death, Victor Dubenich hires Nate and a team of thieves to steal airplane designs from a company insured by I.Y.S. Insurance.

When Dubenich double-crosses and tries to kill them, Nate takes the team, enlists grifter Sophie Devereaux into the team and exacts his revenge on Dubenich, who used Sam's memory to talk Nate into taking the job.

Now, Nate leads the team to right injustices, funded by their unique take on "alternate revenue streams". He has a long catch-and-release history with Sophie, who is the only team member he selected himself as all the others were chosen beforehand. After years of flirting, they developed a strong working relationship which recently turned romantic.

Nate grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Jimmy Ford, was a bookie and a fixer for several mob families. Nate spent a considerable amount of his childhood in McRory's, the pub under his apartment/former Leverage office in Boston, because his father did most of his business there. Nate wanted to be a priest and even attended seminary school but eventually dropped out and became an insurance investigator.

In the Season 5 finale, The Long Goodbye Job, Nate retires from the Leverage team for good with Parker replacing him as the team's Mastermind.

In the pilot episode of Leverage: Redemption, it was revealed that Nate had died a year earlier.


Early Life[]

Nate was raised by his father, Jimmy Ford, a well-known criminal in Boston. Nate’s mother died, but it’s unknown when. Nate was an altar boy and, later in life, went to seminary school with plans of becoming a priest[1]. At one point, Nate changed life trajectories and became an insurance investigator, joining I.Y.S.

At I.Y.S., Nate worked as an expert at recovering stolen items and hunted down the most notorious criminals, becoming a legend in the criminal world. While at I.Y.S., Nate was friends with Jim Sterling and met Maggie, who later became his wife. Maggie and Nate later had a son together, Sam. Nate was the only investigator who cared about the people below him at the company and even remembered their birthdays[2]. While working for I.Y.S., Nate hunted down Sophie Devereaux, chasing her around the world, and the pair built a romantic tension, though nothing went further.

I.Y.S. refused to pay for Sam’s “experimental” cancer treatment, which cost Sam his life. Nate never told Maggie about I.Y.S.’s refusal. After his son’s death, Nate’s life fell apart. He lost his job, got divorced and became an alcoholic as a means of coping with his son’s death.

Season One[]

Nate is contacted by Victor Dubenich to steal back plans he claims have been stolen from him. Dubenich has already hired a team of thieves, including Eliot Spencer, Alec Hardison, and Parker, all of whom Nate has chased before. Dubenich asks Nate to lead the team, telling him the job will help him get back at his former employers, I.Y.S. After the team steals the plans, they realize Dubenich coned them and merely escaped being killed. Nate entices the team to stay together to get their revenge on Dubenich and retrieves Sophie to bring her in on the con. After they succeed in taking Dubenich down, the team decides to stay together under Nate’s lead. [3]

In the time since their last job, Hardison, with Nate’s funding, sets up a base in an apartment building in Los Angeles called Leverage Consulting & Associates.[4]

During “The Miracle Job”, Nate helps an old friend of his, Father Paul, save his church by faking a miracle.

In “The 12 Step Job”, Nate has to deal with his alcohol addiction when he goes undercover in a rehab center.

The team stages an intervention due to Nate’s increased drinking, telling him he needs his revenge against Ian Blackpoole, the head of I.Y.S. While on the con, the team comes across Nate’s ex-wife, Maggie. Sterling later goes after each of the team members individually and reveals to Nate how Sophie stole the 2nd David 10 years ago. Sophie admits to Nate that while she wanted to help him and take down Ian, she selfishly also wanted both Davids for her collection. While the team manages to escape Sterling’s clutches, they ultimately agree to scatter for a few months until the heat dies down on them.[5]

Nate sneaks into Sterling’s new office to tell him and Ian that he’s going to steal from the upcoming art show. While leaving, Nate saves the rest of the Leverage team from almost being arrested as they each were scoping out the venue independently. They agree to work together and bring Maggie on to the case for assistance. The team stage a robbery at the art gallery and make a deal with Sterling to take down Ian. After taking down Ian and I.Y.S., the team reluctantly agrees to break up.[6]

Season Two[]

Nate is about to start working for a new insurance company but leaves before even starting his first day. He begins to walk to a bar before witnessing a car crash. Nate saves a girl and her father, witnessing a man running off with a suitcase from the car. Later, Nate attends Sophie’s performance in The Sound of Music, which she invited the whole team to. After, the team heads to McRory’s bar, where Nate tells them he’s stopped drinking and now rents the place above the bar. When Nate heads up to his apartment, someone tries to kill him, and Sophie manages to save him. The team finds out about the car crash and investigates the case, moving into Nate’s place. The team is able to help out the family, and Nate agrees to continue leading the Leverage team and helping those in need. Sophie later tells Nate that she has a boyfriend, which almost tempts Nate to start drinking again. When Nate returns to his apartment, the rest of the team is moving in, and Hardison tells Nate he bought the building.[7]

Nate tries to give Sophie space when she leaves the team, but at times, he feels lost without her. She either ignores him or misses his calls.

In “The Bottle Job”, some loan sharks threaten to take the McRory’s bar. Nate tells the team how his father used to work out of the bar and how he grew up there. During the con, Nate picks up drinking again, as to not to raise suspicion in the mark. They trick the mark into joining a poker game filled with cops and are able to save the bar.

In “The Zanzibar Marketplace Job”, Sterling reaches out to Nate to inform him that Maggie is in trouble.

After Lieutenant Bonanno gets shot, Nate and the team go after a crooked mayor, Brad Culpepper III. The team ends up going up against Sterling yet again. Tara calls Sophie in for backup, who comes exactly at the right time to rescue the team. Nate gets shot and turns himself over to Sterling in exchange for letting the team go free. The team makes their escape, not before Nate kisses Sophie. As Nate bleeds out, he admits to being a thief.[8]

Season Three[]

Nate is now in prison following the events of “The Maltese Falcon Job”. Sophie tells him the team’s plans to break him out, but Nate thinks it’s too risky and wants to serve his time. While in prison, Nate finds someone in need. While working the con, the team is able to get Nate out of jail. Later, Nate meets The Italian, who blackmails him into taking down Damien Moreau.[9]

Nate and the team are working on a case when they find the guys they are after working out of their bar. Nate quickly realizes it’s his own dad who was released from prison. Nate aims to take his father down and earn back his trust to try and learn his father’s plans. Jimmy tells Nate that he plans this to be his last job before he retires and returns to Ireland. Jimmy ultimately turns on Nate, and Nate pursues his father. Nate threatens to shoot his father but lets him go. Nate puts a price on his father’s head, forcing him to go into hiding. Nate then meets up with his father offering him an escape on board a ship to Ireland under his mother’s maiden name, “Logue”. [10]

When the team learns that Damien Moreau is coming to Boston, they realize it’s the perfect opportunity to take him down. Ultimately, Damian runs to San Lorenzo. The team helps a small politician rise up, with Sophie pretending to be his fiancé. When Sophie fakes getting shot, the politician they are helping wins the race, and they are able to take Damien down. At the end of the episode, Nate and Sophie are shown having slept together.[11]

Season Four[]

The team reconvene in “The Long Way Down Job”. Nate and Sophie agree not to tell the others that they slept together. At the end of the episode, Hardison finds the apartment bugged.

Nate helps a childhood friend of his whose image is being tarnished. The team build up the mark’s reputation, making him famous, before taking him down. At the end of the episode, Nate receives a call from the guy who bugged his apartment, Jack Latimer.[12]

In “The Boiler Room Job”, the team finds out that Nate and Sophie are sleeping together. Nate confronts Jack Latimer at the end of the episode, having found out that Latimer made money off all the companies Nate and his team took down.

In “The Cross My Heart Job”, Nate and the team work to recover a stolen heart for a boy.

In “The Boys' Night Out Job”, Nate gets swept up in helping out Jack Hurley.

Latimer tells Nate that he hired his father for a job in place of Nate and his crew. Nate goes on his own to help his father, but the team ultimately tags along. Jimmy tells Nate that he took the job only because Latimer threatened to kill Nate. During the con, Nate and Eliot begin to suspect someone else is messing with them. Jimmy double-crosses the team and hands the money and the patents he was hired to steal over to Latimer’s goons. Nate and the team rush to save Jimmy, who was brought to a building rigged to explode. Ultimately, they’re too late to save Nate’s father. [13]

It’s revealed that Victor Dubenich was working with Latimer. The team calls in reinforcements to help aid them in taking the pair down. Together they work alongside Quinn, Archie, Chaos, and Maggie. Nate is bent on revenge against Dubenich for killing his father. Nate threatens to kill both Dubenich and Latimer on the dam but decides against it with his team watching on. Nate leaves his father’s gun on the edge of the dam, which Dubenich and Latimer fight over. The pair ultimately fall off the side of the dam. Nate later tells Sophie he’s in need of change.[14]

Season Five[]

Nate arrives from boating to meet up with Sophie. Hardison summons them, having found the team a new job and also set them up a new base in Portland. At the end of the episode, Hardison expresses to Nate not being happy about hiding the true reason why they moved to Portland from the rest of the team.[15]

Nate follows Sophie after she suspiciously sends him to the movies by himself. Nate finds her at an estate sale for a wealthy art collector, where the most valued painting turns up stolen. Nate works to prove Sophie’s innocence despite her hiding why she was at the showing from him. At the end of the episode, the painting is revealed to be of a young Sophie, which Nate and Sophie take for themselves.[16]

It’s revealed that Nate moved the team to Portland because he was after the Black Book. After the team successfully pulls off the con, Nate decides to retire, proposing to Sophie. After ensuring the team will be okay without them, Sophie agrees to leave with Nate, accepting his proposal.[17]

Later Life[]

After leaving the Leverage crew, Nate and Sophie remained together as husband and wife (whether or not they were legally married is unknown). Nate later passed away in 2020. Sophie implies he died from heart complications by saying, “he stopped being angry, but the damage was done. His heart burned too hot for too long.”[18]


  • Vast knowledge in a variety of areas, thanks to his experience as an insurance investigator:
    • Can read complicated sheet music (e.g. Scheherazade).
    • Hypnotism.
  • Roping (identifying a mark) and in turn identifying potential clients.
  • Can play "The Inside Man", in a long con, often as himself; but occasionally uses an alias. Most often he plays the "Mastermind".
  • Planning and Coordination (Nate is also very familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each of the members of the Leverage Team and manages them to success).
  • Minimal pick-pocketing ability.
  • Good technology skills.
  • Capable of defending himself whenever he gets into fights.
  • Able to do decent magic tricks.
  • Decent poker player.
  • Better than decent chess player.
  • Capable of handling firearms.


  • Spanish
  • Serbian
  • Russian
  • Italian
  • Turkish
  • English
  • Latin


  • Addictive personality;
    • Alcoholism.
    • Control issues.
  • Inability to emote personal feelings.
  • Gets emotionally involved in cases involving children as seen in The Cross My Heart Job.


  • Successfully recovered a stolen Monet painting, in Florence, saving I.Y.S. $25 million.
  • Successfully spoiled a huge Identity Fraud scam, saving I.Y.S. $15 million.
  • Caught Sophie Devereaux in Damascus.
  • Successfully brought down Mr. Gutman, a notorious black market dealer, in 2005.
  • At one point in time chased everyone who now works on his team.


The mastermind or brains of the team, Nate Ford is a very complicated man still struggling with his grief over his son's death. He is also an alcoholic, which has sometimes compromised a con and also jeopardized the relationships he has with his team. This is due to his need for control, his habit of changing plans at the last second, and even drinking on the job.

In addition, Nate also displays some sociopathic tendencies and has no qualms over manipulating others. He has difficulty relating or even talking to other people who aren't members of the team which is seen in The Boys' Night Out Job.

Nate has also displayed a ruthless, darker side at times, the prime examples being in the Season 4 The Cross My Heart Job where he personally promises to kill the team's newest mark and also in the Season 5 premiere episode, The (Very) Big Bird Job.

Relationships with Other Characters[]

Nate serves as a father figure to the rest of the team, with exception of Sophie. He has sometimes called them "children". Most of all, they look to him to make the major decisions.

Sophie Devereaux[]

If Nate is the father of the team, Sophie is the mother. Often the two of them disagree, but usually because of the personal issues between them a few years back.

There is an obvious romantic subtext to their relationship which began a decade before the Leverage team formed and while Nate was still married. Though Sophie states that Nate never cheated on his wife; Nate said he was tempted.

In "The Maltese Falcon Job", Nate admits, even if it is just to himself, that Sophie is his compass. It is shown throughout the series that her opinion carries a lot of influence with him and when she leaves briefly in Season 2, Nate pushes the con too far and ends up in jail.

In "The San Lorenzo Job", Nate and Sophie wake up in bed together after the job, implying they slept together. This leads to a "friends with benefits" type relationship between them which eventually turns more serious.

Season 4 further establishes the relationship. At first they try to keep it hidden from the rest of the team, in The Last Dam Job they give up trying to hide.

By the start of Season 5, the relationship with Sophie is official, and Nate proposes to her in the series finale The Long Goodbye Job.

After his death, Sophie described him to a new colleague. "He was a very brilliant, very angry man... For a while, his family contained his anger and then his son died, and he turned the anger on himself. When we worked together it drove him, and he was relentless. Then he stopped being angry, but the damage was done. His heart burned too hot for too long." (The Too Many Rembrandts Job)

Alec Hardison[]

Nate and Hardison often work side by side when he is not in the field with Eliot or Parker. Hardison is like a son to Nate. They fight, but Nate does have a knack for keeping Hardison focused, usually by giving him new and interesting challenges. In The Gold Job, Nate allows Hardison to be the Mastermind behind the job. Hardison manages to blow the job due to overly elaborate planning and cockiness. Nate rescues him by devising a heist, therefore robbing the marks and retrieving a stolen necklace for their client. Although Hardison felt defeated, Nate encouraged him like a father would. Nate is Hardison's mentor and is slowly teaching Hardison how to be a mastermind while trying to discourage him from following his path, and is the only person who really knows his true talent.


Like Hardison, Parker is a very child-like member of the team. However, Nate leaves the discipline of Parker to Sophie, while Nate uses Parker like a well-tuned machine. He tells her to do something and she delivers with perfect execution; sometimes at elevated risk, which worries Sophie.

In "The Inside Job", Nathan finds himself at odds with Archie Leach, as both of them are trying to be a protective father figure to Parker simultaneously, when she is trapped on the job. When the choice of fight (Nate) or flight (Archie) is presented to Parker, she sides with Nate, thus justifying their relationship. Nate usually sees Parker as a playful child. He is like a strict father to her and always reminds her not to do anything else (e.g., stabbing, burgling, freelancing) during a con other than what she has been tasked to do, but rewards her now and then. By the end of season 5, Nate is training her to be a leader on the team, making sure she will be ready to go when he leaves.

Eliot Spencer[]

Eliot is like the oldest son. He questions Nathan the most, not out of defiance but out of concern (either because Nathan may be impaired, or the mission may be compromised.) Nathan trusts Eliot to work independently, and relies on Eliot's skills and street smarts on the con.

Other Characters[]

James Sterling[]

If Nathan had a rival, it is Sterling. Parker considers Sterling the "Evil Nate". Even at I.Y.S., the two were rivals. In "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job", the two work together again, and we see an interesting pairing. Nate is still the mastermind, but Sterling is willing to take measures that Nate will avoid.

Maggie Collins[]


Maggie Collins and Nate

Even after their divorce, Maggie and Nathan are still in touch. She informed him that Father Paul was attacked and injured. It is clear that Nathan still cares for her, probably because she left him, and he did not leave her. She does like the man that Nate has become, but she has a hard time trusting him.
Later, Nate brings her into the Leverage team as an ally, to take down Ian Blackpoole, their former boss.
Later, in Kiev, Nate comes to her rescue when she is set up in the theft of a Faberge Egg.

Jimmy Ford[]


Jimmy Ford

The relationship between father and son is frayed at best. In his youth, Nathan learned what it was like to be a bad guy from his father. He then tried to be a good guy, and ended up being a Gray guy (A good guy who behaves like a bad guy). In "The Three-Card Monte Job", Nate moves between nostalgia and vengeful feelings when dealing with his father. But in the end, as he runs his father out of town, his father expresses his pride in his son, who beat him at his own game.

Jimmy returns from Ireland to take on a job for Jack Latimer that Nate refused. Latimer tells Jimmy that he will kill Nate if he refuses the job and so he breaks into the US Patent office but has trouble completing the job. Nate steps in to help and the team follows him and together they all find the patent Latimer wants. Jimmy steals the patent from Nate and delivers it to Latimer's men. Nate catches on too late that Dubenich and Latimer are working together and that the drop-off is a trap. He tries to warn his father but only gets a chance to hear his father say "tell them stories about me. Tell em... Tell em.. Tell them how much Jimmy Ford loves his son" before Jimmy is blown up by Latimer's men.

Notable Episodes[]

Season 1:

Season 2:

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:


  • Has been in jail and can hypnotize people.
  • Nathan has been shot at least four times, once by Sophie Devereaux, once by Judge Roy, once by Tony Kadjic and another time by Victor Dubenich.
  • According to his browsing history which Hardison uncovered in The Mile High Job, Nathan enjoys online poker, chess, Sudoku and crossword puzzles.
  • Attended Catholic Seminary with Father Paul before becoming an insurance investigator.
  • On more than one occasion, Nathan's working alias is Tom Baker, which is a reference to the British television show Doctor Who.
  • When he was in eighth grade, he had a crush on a classmate named Emily.
  • According to his Netflix queue, Nate is a fan of The Rockford Files, Sex in the City, and Psych.
  • In "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job", Nate's cell phone number is (617) 555-0156. (617 is a Boston Metro Area area code).
  • His deceased mother's maiden name is Logue.
  • Nathan was born August 16th 1965, according to his passport in The Lost Heir.
  • Master's degree in Statistics (deleted pilot scene).
  • In The Ten Li'l Grifters Job, Nate goes to Beck's murder mystery gala as Ellery Queen, a nod to Timothy Hutton's father, Jim Hutton, who starred in the Ellery Queen TV series.


  • In the "Homecoming Job" it is seen that he bought himself a red Tesla Roadster with money from "The Nigerian Job".
  • His personal vehicle is a silver Hyundai Genesis, in Season 1. In Season 2 he drives a black one. These were provided by Hyundai as product placement. In Seasons 3 and 4, he drives a black Mercedes S class.In the
  • In the Pilot Episode, "The Nigerian Job", Nate can be seen driving a Black Toyota Prius.

Books Seen in Nate's Apartment[]

  • "Naval Operations of the Revolutionary War"
  • "They Died In Vain: The Battle of White Plains"
  • "The Collected Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams"



  1. The Miracle Job. Leverage, Season 1, Episode 4.
  2. The Mastermind Job. Leverage: Redemption, Season 1, Episode 8.
  3. The Nigerian Job. Leverage, Season 1, Episode 1.
  4. The Homecoming Job. Leverage, Season 1, Episode 2.
  5. The First David Job. Leverage, Season 1, Episode 12.
  6. The Second David Job. Leverage, Season 1, Episode 13.
  7. The Beantown Bailout Job. Leverage, Season 2, Episode 1.
  8. The Maltese Falcon Job. Leverage, Season 2, Episode 15.
  9. The Jailhouse Job. Leverage, Season 3, Episode 1.
  10. The Three-Card-Monte Job. Leverage, season 3, Episode 9.
  11. The San Lorenzo Job. Leverage, Season 3, Episode 16.
  12. The 15 Minutes Job. Leverage, Season 4, Episode 3.
  13. The Radio Job. Leverage, Season 4, Episode 17.
  14. The Last Dam Job. Leverage, Season 3, Episode 18.
  15. The (Very) Big Bird Job. Leverage, Season 5, Episode 1.
  16. The Frame-Up Job. Leverage, Season 5, Episode 10.
  17. The Long Goodbye Job. Leverage, Season 5, Episode 15.
  18. The Too Many Rembrandts Job. Leverage: Redemption, Season 1, Episode 1.