I've hacked history!

Alec Hardison

London's calling, as the high-tech do-gooders journey to England to ensnare a morally bankrupt antiquities trafficker who's exploiting children as smuggling mules. But while in London, Sophie is haunted by her past.

The MarkEdit


  • A'Yan (Iraqi little girl)
  • Ibrahim (Immigration Aide)

The ConEdit

The team is at the Boston Airport, shadowing smuggler John Douglas Keller. Keller has connections to Damien Moreau, who receives funding for his activities through Keller's smuggling of antiquities. While the team is focused on Keller and his bodyguard, Eliot, disguised as a pilot, is approached by a small girl who asks him for help in finding her way to the gates. As the girl moves to reunite with her family, alarms sound and security teams converge on her at customs. As the little girl is whisked helplessly away, the team realizes that she was an unwitting mule for Keller's smuggling. In Eliot's words, Keller steals a statue from a dig in Iraq and, using refugee children as mules, smuggles it out of the country to sell to rich Americans. Sophie is particularly bothered by the implications of such a practice. She wonders if she ever contributed to larger plans with darker motives by committing her crimes.

Following Keller to London, the team engages him at Claridge's Auction House, trying to convince him that Nate has access to rare artifacts from recent digs. Keller does not buy it for even a moment and sets his bodyguard on Nate. Sophie stops Eliot from intervening, claiming that she now knows the mark's heart's desire. She steps in and asserts herself as Charlotte Prentiss, Duchess of Hanover, claiming that Nate works for her and that they really do have artifacts that need smuggling, albeit from private collections, not recent digs. She dangles the possibility of a knighthood in front of Keller who remains unimpressed, claiming that they are common enough. Sophie accordingly ups the stakes to a title, which instantly captivates. She tells him to meet her tomorrow to discuss.

At the meeting, Sophie tells Keller of a journal belonging to a mistress of King George. That, she says, will easily convince the crown to award him a title. Keller surprises Sophie with an unexpected third guest, the Countess of Kensington.

Cons and Scams UsedEdit

Aliases Edit

  • Nate Ford - Tom Jensen
  • Sophie Devereaux - Charlotte Prentiss, Duchess of Hanover


  • Prince Regent Ring
  • Statue of Ra
  • Russian icons


  • The real Claridge's is a hotel in the London district of Mayfair, not an auction house.
  • This is the second episode where Sophie takes the alias of a British Duchess.
  • Nate is punched into a chair, which is a nod to The Rockford Files.
  • When Nate mentions "The Mummy's Tiara", Parker asks if they're going to have to steal a corpse again, a reference to The Snow Job, where the team had to steal a body to fake a brain tumor.
  • Sophie states that her Duchess persona was a solid one, seven years in the making. Clearly it is connected with The Countess of Kensington, a.k.a. Aunty, who clearly knows Sophie's life in London. "William" is someone who is also related, but now deceased, eight years ago.
  • Eliot identifies Keller's henchmen as former British paratroops by their "very distinctive" haircuts.


  • In the United Kingdom, duchess and baron are not "royal" titles. Only members of the Queen's family are royal, and royalty is designated by virtue of membership in that family, not by title. Most titles, beginning with duke/duchess, and including baron/baroness, signify nobility, and their holders are considered peers of the realm. Duchess is the highest female form of nobility, baron one of the lowest male forms. In addition, there are some royal dukes and duchesses, so designated because they are members of the royal family, such as Andrew, Duke of York, the Queen's second son. In all cases, a noble title such Duke, Earl or other is conferred by the Queen, whereas royalty solely is a product of birth or marriage into the royal family.
  • Sophie introduces herself as Charlotte Prentiss, 18th Duchess of Hanover. In the correct form, she would either introduce herself as Charlotte Hanover or Charlotte, Duchess of Hanover. She would never use her family name or the title's generation (18th). Similarly, she would never defer to her aunt, who has the lower title of Countess, when speaking. Given that he addresses the "duchess" using the more formal "Your Grace" rather than the more common "My Lady", Keller would surely have known this as well, and acted accordingly. Numbers only apply to the holders of titles in their own right, not to their consorts, and there are no actual dukedoms that women can inherit in their own right; only two of them are old enough to have gone through eighteen holders.
  • Directories of the peerage have been published for centuries, and it would be trivial to consult one and find that the title claimed by a con artist did not in fact exist or establish how to locate the real holder of an impostor's title for verification of an identity.
  • Keller dismisses Sophie's offer of a knighthood, indicating the Queen hands out 2600 of them a year. In reality, the number is far smaller, perhaps a few score twice a year, at her birthday and the new year, most on the advice of the Prime Minister's office. A duchess would have very little direct influence on the awarding of a knighthood.
  • Sophie offers Keller "one of the lost baronies" and represents "an interview with the Earl Marshal" as the means of going about it. The closest thing to a "lost barony" is a dormant or abeyant peerage which can only be obtained by proving descent (as senior heir) from a past holder, a process in which the College of Arms, headed by the Earl Marshal, might provide research help but would not make the decision on whether to recommend to the Queen that the title be revived for the claimant.On screen the Earl Marshal is claimed to "control succession" and a "lost barony" to be "a title that no one holds"...the Queen can actually create an unlimited number of titles if it is not intended that an ancestor's previously created title be claimed.
  • A small, but telling error: when Sophie had afternoon tea with Keller, she fails to remove her gloves. This is a sure sign of lower-class birth, and lack of familiarity with how and when gloves are worn among the gentry. An upper-class woman would remove her gloves upon being seated, before she began afternoon tea, yet Sophie drinks tea, adds milk to her cup and eats a sandwich with them on. Later, Sophie grabs the milk jug using an overhand grip, rather than through the handle, another sign of lower-class birth. It's unlikely the writers would have known this. It remains to be seen whether this was a slip on Bellman's part or Sophie's.

    A Royal Doulton teacup from the Ritz Hotel, London

  • Similarly, the hotel's tea set is mismatched and includes silver. In a good London hotel, the china used at afternoon tea is a point of pride, commissioned from Wedgwood, Spode or another pottery in Stoke-on-Trent and often carrying the hotel's crest. The only silver used at afternoon tea would be flatware, the tiered stand on which the plates of food are displayed and occasionally, a small jug of hot water to refill the pot or dilute tea in the cup.
  • Hardison uses boysenberries (first bred in the 1920s) to make ink that is supposed to pass for an 18th century product.
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