|“||That's twenty pounds of crazy in a five pound bag.||”|
Parker is a master thief and important member of the Leverage team. Put into the foster system at a very young age, she is socially awkward, but is slowly overcoming that with the help of this group. In the meantime, she is an extremely important aid to the team.
After Nate Ford's retirement from the Leverage team, Parker assumed the role of mastermind.
History[edit | edit source]
Early Life[edit | edit source]
Parker had a difficult life, being put into the foster system at an extremely young age. She was bounced from foster home to foster home, most of which are implied to have been abusive in some way, and she rarely had any time to interact with other children her age.
In one of her many foster homes, Parker began her life as a thief. Her abusive foster father took away her favorite toy and told her she'd need to be a better thief to get it back. She blew up his house (according to commentary, her foster parents were not inside at the time) after retrieving her stuffed rabbit and walked away. She began to steal in order to get what she wanted or needed.
At some point while she was very young, Parker taught her younger brother, Nick, how to ride a bike. However, shortly afterward he was hit by a car and killed while riding said bike and Parker blamed herself, but kept her immense guilt and grief a secret within herself and never told a soul. 
Before she was twelve, she was a getaway driver. Some time after that she met a boy called Kelly in foster care, and he taught her how to boost cars. They worked together as a team until they boosted a bait car. He escaped the police, leaving Parker to serve 6 months in juvie.
In 1998, Archie Leach caught her attempting to steal his wallet. He saw her potential and decided to train her as his apprentice, becoming a mentor and surrogate father as he trained her to be the greatest thief in the world. He never brought her home to his family though, telling Nate that she would have never fit in with a real family. He later tells Parker that he regrets not treating her more like a real daughter and says he wishes he had given her a home. This is solidified even more in the fourth season when Archie introduces Parker as his daughter to one of his biological children.
She mentioned her first grab was in the Philippines, stealing from a woman with a huge collection of shoes. While not explicitly stated, this woman could be Imelda Marcos, a former first lady of the said country.
2008[edit | edit source]
When Parker was a fully grown adult, she was recruited by Victor Dubenich, along with Nathan Ford, Alec Hardison, and Eliot Spencer, to "steal back" intellectual property which he claimed had been stolen from him. However, things turned around when they discovered that he was taking them for himself, and the intellectual property had never belonged to him. Nate then asked Sophie Devereaux to come and help them in a con in which they would turn on their former client.
Later after Nate had become an alcoholic, Sophie set up a con in order for him to get revenge on I.Y.S. Insurance, and more specifically Ian Blackpoole, as well as steal the two Davids for herself. However the plan failed when James "Jim" Sterling got involved, which resulted in Parker and Hardison's capture. Sophie then retrieved Parker, and Hardison destroyed the group's own headquarters, as part of a plan to disappear. The team then decided to lie low for six months. However, even sooner than that, Parker met up with the rest of the group in an attempt to steal two David statues from the previous con.
The plan worked out well; they pretended to take the Two Davids, forcing that exhibit to be shut down, when in reality they took everything else in that gallery. Then, they returned everything they'd taken -- after Nate made Sterling agree to get rid of Blackpoole and Blackpoole's policy that I.Y.S. wouldn't pay out on insurance under any conditions. The leverage team then split up once more, in an attempt to lie low.
2009[edit | edit source]
Six months later, the team all met up when Sophie invited them all to see her performance of The Sound of Music, and later went to the bar beneath Nate's apartment. There, Parker admitted that she was not particularly enjoying her return to being a regular thief, and had stolen the Hope Diamond, but had put it back. Shortly afterward, Nate was almost murdered, and the crew agreed to help a client. After successfully jailing a corrupt banker, Parker and the others set up Leverage headquarters in Nate's new apartment, and opened up for business.
Shortly afterward, Sophie takes a leave of absence from the team, leaving Tara Cole to take over for her as the grifter of the group. Parker and the others don't initially trust Tara, because she originally lied to them about her identity. However as time moves along they welcome her into the group, and Tara even begins coaching Parker on her grifting like Sophie did.
Everything comes to a close, though, when Nate recruits the team to help him take down corrupted Mayor, Brad Culpepper III. The team soon discovers that it is not Culpepper who is in charge of this crime, but Tony Kadjic, who's working with the mayor and using the fact that he reports intelligence to the FBI as cover. The scam with Kadjic goes bad, and not even when Sophie intervenes does it help. The team defeats Kadjic, but is cornered by the FBI and Sterling, Nate then takes the fall for his group, saying he'll go to jail if his group is set free, and declares himself a thief.
2010[edit | edit source]
After Nate's arrest, Parker and the rest of the group teamed up in order to try and come up with a plan in order to bust him out, which they did. After Sophie failed to get Nate enthusiastic about the plan, Nate found the group a client within the prison walls. As it turned out the prison's warden was corrupt, and the team came up with a plan to take him down and break Nate out at the same time. After their plan succeeded, the team set up Leverage again.
However their escape was not without harm, in the process of it they'd attracted the attention of a woman who said she wanted the Leverage team to take down an extremely corrupt man, Damien Moreau, and gave them a deadline. She said if they didn't do it, she'd send Nate back to jail.
During the quest Parker took some extra time off to help her mentor, Archie Leach, break into one of the world's most secure security systems. She did this behind the backs of the rest of the team, but after she disappeared they followed her into the system, and helped to get her out. After, she talked with her mentor who said he regretted not introducing Parker into his family, and Parker said that it was okay, leaving them both content with their positions. 
The week before Nate's deadline was up, Damien Moreau came into Boston. The crew set up on a plan to take him down, which involved destroying a bomb he was planning on selling for a huge sum of money. Afterwards, the team chased him down to San Lorenzo, and made the politician he had "bought" lose the race, and even leading to convincing that man to have him arrested, making Moreau no longer a threat.
In the series finale, The Long Goodbye Job, after Nate and Sophie have both retired, Parker, Hardison and Eliot take full control of the Leverage Consulting & Associates team with Parker officially replacing Nate as the mastermind.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Parker seems to be constantly testing her skills, as she can instinctively case any building she sees. She also has the skills to make herself appear and disappear from locked rooms at will. As a thief, Parker uses little equipment other than a self-modified harness, (this harness has resulted in excellent upper body strength), and a taser.
She has a soft spot for children and recognizes that her early life has changed her and doesn't want other children to end up like she did., She will go out of her way to save children who she feels need her help. Parker's greatest weakness is her social skills. Socially inept to a point, she either under- or over-compensates her emotional responses, but she has been working on this with Sophie.
Since trust doesn't come easily to her, she has varied relationships with the team. While she trusts Eliot, Nate and Sophie, she is closest to Hardison, whom she is dating. She has stated that she's most afraid of letting down the people she cares about. Parker is the team's wild card, since no one knows what she'll do. She has proven at times to have a ruthless, sadistic streak or to be slightly psychopathic. (e.g. she grinned as she watched Eliot beat up Sterling, she smiled while choking Tara.) 
Parker's only motivation appears to be money. She steals, not for property, or assets, but for cash. She has a rather unconventional relationship with cash, and has the ability to tell the difference between counterfeit and legitimate money by scrutinizing, touching, and even smelling it. It goes as far as her Christmas wish seems to have been a large wad of non-sequentially numbered cash, which she received from Nate and Sophie. However, Eliot is teaching her to have passion for more things in life, since Parker saw how much Eliot liked cooking.
Parker is completely unselfconscious, she will disrobe to change her clothes without any warning, often leaving the men in the team uncomfortably averting their eyes.
Skills and Strengths[edit | edit source]
Parker is a gifted thief, deft at security circumvention and picking both locks and pockets. She has incredible gymnastics skills, flipping and weaving her way through laser grids with ease. She's also a formidable opponent in hand-to-hand combat due to her excellent upper body strength and acrobatics. She displays a very high level of spatial intelligence that appears to aid her in everything from thieving, to drawing, to maneuvering vehicles at high speeds. Parker also speaks French in The Broken Wing Job, hinting that she may know the language fluently.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
- Poor social skills, although she has worked on solving or overcoming this trait with Sophie's help and appears to have taken a significant turn as of The Broken Wing Job.
- Different emotional responses and expressions.
- Initially considered to be somewhat psychopathic due to her avarice and lack of visible empathy for other people, but that perspective has changed over time.
- Intimacy and trust issues
- Equinophobia (Fear of horses)
- Poor impulse control
- Emotional or Mind-Blindness (difficulty recognizing and understanding emotional states in herself or others).
Accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- Performed a heist of the French National Bank (which she described as "taking candy from a baby")
- Stole "the Caravaggio", in Paris, in 2003 (Out of the three Caravaggio paintings stored in the Louvre, the likeliest one for her to have stolen is The Fortune Teller).
- Stole the Polar Star Diamond, along with the Gem of Gibraltar, and performed something called the Damiani Raid.
- Stole the Roslind Diamond in Perth.
- Between Season 1 and Season 2, she stole the Hope Diamond, and put it back, because she was bored. 
- Successfully performed a heist in the Louvre.
- Successfully stole the "Lion of Gilgamesh" from Dubai in 2005
- Successfully somewhat pulled off the White Rabbit
Relationships[edit | edit source]
A Master Thief himself, her pseudo father, and Parker's mentor. When she was young, Parker was a pickpocket in New York City; one of her targets happened to be Leach. Archie recognized her talent, took Parker under his wing and trained her to be a master thief. However, he had a family who all thought he was an accountant, so he could not give her a home like a real daughter. He tells Nate she would not have 'fit in'.
To this day though, he calls her "kiddo" and she calls him "sir". This relationship seemed to interfere with her relationship with Nathan and the rest of the team, but in the end she aligned herself with the team over her mentor. At first, Archie does not approve of how Parker has changed under Nate's leadership, but in the end, he congratulates her on making her own "family". He also tells her he regrets not treating her like a real daughter and giving her a home. In the season four finale, he proves it when he introduces her as his daughter to one of his biological daughters and granddaughter.
Parker often works closest with Hardison, as their two skill sets complement one another. As a result of this; Hardison began to develop a crush on Parker, and for a while Parker acted oblivious towards this, or chose to ignore it. As the two begin to spend more time together, it is clear that Parker is aware of Hardison's interest,
but she waves him off. However, her body language towards him suggests she feels that he is safe, and scenes show her in very close proximity to him.
After being in each other's company for long amounts of time, Parker began to have mutual feelings with Hardison as well as jealousy; so much as to have extreme reactions while Hardison interacted with a client. After witnessing Parker's unusual reactions, Sophie encouraged her to tell Hardison how she felt. After a feeble attempt, in which Parker backed out nervously by telling Hardison that she has some feelings on 'pretzels', Hardison explained that 'pretzels' are available whenever she wanted them. Later while working on a case, Parker tells Hardison she is in the mood for pretzels, referencing their earlier conversation. In season 4 episode The Grave Danger Job she's says to him when he's buried alive, "You have to get through this because you're my friend. Do you hear me, Alec!? I need you!!"
After Leverage relocates to Portland, Hardison begins off the tour of the new headquarters (which he titled Leverage Incorporated) by saying that Parker and him have been dating in their time off, ultimately showing that they both felt the same way about each other.
Of all the Leverage Team members, Parker trusts Nathan the most. Even when he is clearly compromised by alcohol, she still trusts his plans and goes by what he says. She does respect Nate, sometimes, as a father figure, especially when she is reminded not to do anything else (e.g., burgling, freelancing, stabbing) other than her actual task in the con. Once when she broke her cover, she did not tell Nate for a while for fear of his reaction, suggesting that she did not want him to be mad at or disappointed at her. 
However, she is comfortable with him, at least to the point where she is okay playfully teasing him, or joking around near him. Her relationship with him is not necessarily a fearful one, more of respect and trust.
In the final episode, Nate leaves the group in Parker's hands, telling her that she would make a wonderful mastermind. At the end of the episode, we can see her giving the same speech to clients that Nate gave in the very first episode. She seems to have learned a lot from Nate and was able to grow after he left.
Sophie is a mentor to Parker in her social skills, giving her advice when she Grifts, such as showing her how to persuade a jury to vote a certain way. As time went on, Parker began to trust, and even rely on Sophie's advice to help on numerous occasions. When Sophie left to travel the world, Parker was the first to call her and ask for advice. When she, Hardison, and Eliot are skyping Sophie and Sophie is trying to convince them to trust Tara, at the end of the call Parker quietly tells Sophie, "I just miss you." While she did have poor social skills which initially made her a bad Grifter, Sophie showed her how to convince people of certain things.
Eliot and Parker have a complicated relationship. Eliot has shown many times that Parker isn't someone you mess with when he's around. At first they couldn't stand each other and Eliot is heard saying the phrase, "What's wrong with you?" many times. But they eventually started warming up to each other. They understand each other and are super protective of each other. They always seem to think the same thing and they always have each other's backs. What Eliot and Parker have started out small but has become bigger as the series progressed. They have come to realize that they have more in common with each other than anyone else does, and both have tremendous trust in each other. In "The Future Job" Eliot offered his services when Parker wanted to tear off the psychic's arms and/or kill him after the psychic made her cry.
Adversaries[edit | edit source]
Sterling, being a major enemy of Leverage, is an enemy of Parker's. She first met him while they attempted to con a man out of a horse and ruin him, because he was investigating their mark to see if he had committed insurance fraud. Since then he has been a thorn in her, and the rest of the Leverage team's, side. Parker regards Sterling as the "Evil Nate". Several months later, busted the Leverage team's con to take an early model of Michelangelo's David, and captured Parker, who then escaped with Sophie.
After being thoroughly humiliated, Parker wanted to take out her frustration on Sterling so she attempted to rob him on opening day. After she failed, she teamed up with the rest of Leverage and robbed the gallery.
Since then Sterling has been occasionally appearing in Parker's life, usually intent on taking down the Leverage team, but all of his attempts have, ultimately, failed.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The series never states whether Parker is the character's first name, her last name or an adopted name. Even official government documents only show her name as "Parker". Series creator John Rogers has said that she thinks of herself as just "Parker".
- According to James Sterling's people, Parker is wanted in nine countries, including Brazil and Yemen.
- In "The Nigerian Job" there is a deleted scene of Parker breaking a contact's fingers after her awkward first attempt at grifting.
- This scene finally ends up getting used in the second season episode "The Ice Man Job".
- Apparently, while she is a master thief, she considers the act of illegal downloading as morally wrong.
- She has a phobia of horses. This was caused when she witnessed a man in a horse suit kill another man in a clown costume. (Though they're "much less murderous than she originally thought")
- Like Eliot, who had claustrophobia, she had a fear of the dark as a child. To rid herself of it, she had herself buried alive.
- She does not like, or trust, psychics.
- While living in Boston, in addition to having six fake addresses, Parker finds residence in an empty warehouse/storage unit. It is a spartan home, consisting of only a bed with her stuffed bunny upon it, her wardrobe- including all of Parker's Rigs, as well as exercise equipment, a planning board, cereal, and bowls.
- She appears to only eat cereal on a regular basis. Her residence is stockpiled with only cereal for food. Her favorite brand appears to be "Rocket Os".
- In her spare time, Parker learns the security and schematics of banks. She knows the exact details of the security of every bank in Boston.
- Her favorite color is green.
- She has an obsession with chocolate and other sweets. Hardison once described putting her undercover at a Chocolate Festival as "like sending a crack addict to a cocaine convention". Indulging her sweet tooth often leads to her being hyperactive for a time, much like the stereotypical child having been given too many sugary treats.
- She claims that her strength is due to spending long amounts of time hanging from buildings by her finger tips.
- She still believes in Santa Claus.
- Her brother died in a bicycle-car crash after she taught him how to ride one as revealed in "The Future Job".
- Hates cameras, as seen in "The Office Job".
- One of her favorite shows is Beauty and the Geek.
- Although she initially resisted Hardison's robots (i.e., Parker 2000), she grew to call them her "robot friends."
- According to several DVD commentaries, Parker has Asperger's syndrome, which has since been reclassified as a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Parker speaks Spanish.