Aldis Hodge
Credit: Erik Heinila/TNT
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Fans have been waiting all summer to find out what Leverage team leader Nate (Tim Hutton) has been secretly planning during this season. So far, we know it involves the entire team and that there’s only one other guy who knows exactly what’s going on: Hardison (Aldis Hodge).

“Hardison and Nate are definitely brothers in crime and partners in crime on this one,” says Hodge, who joins EW tonight for a live chat as the new episode airs at 9 p.m. ET. “This is a scheme that was devised by Nate, but he can only accomplish it with Hardison and his particular skill set.”

While tonight’s episode, like the rest so far this season, only gives us a small piece of the season-long puzzle, Hodge says the clues soon will start to add up. “There’s really a big reason why we’re in Portland at all,” he says. “So just watch the episode and watch how and why Nate does things, and how the team operates. You’ll have to deduce for yourself but when you see the big payoff, you’ll get it.”

But keeping the secret, which has already been taxing on the team’s resident tech genius, will soon start to get even harder.”This is something that’s not easy for them to keep away from people — especially Hardison — but they’re doing what they’re doing for the greater good,” he says. “You [see him struggle] in later episodes, but right now, he’s being a soldier and doing what he’s going to do.”

Last week’s episode, a fun, Leverage-esque take on a ’70s-themed episode, required a bit of soldiering too, Hodge reveals. As it turns out, mutton chops come with a painful price. “It was not fun taking that stuff off,” he says. “Having the glue up in my hair — Lord, have mercy. It’s like having something taped and glued to your skin then having it ripped off.” But, he says, it was all in the name of the great fun fans expect from the show.

These days, however, fans are worried that their days with the Leverage team numbered. The show, which is currently coming toward the end of its summer run before returning in winter, has yet to learn whether there will be a sixth season. Hodge, currently enjoying a hiatus vacation, says he feels that there’s still a lot of story to be told. And, he says laughing, “[Parker and Hardison] just started!”

“We took four years earning that,” he says of the relationship fans had long championed for. “We finally have it. But we only have a taste of it! There’s still so much left uncovered.”

Remember to come back at 9 p.m. ET for a live chat with Hodge on EW’s ViEWer. (Never tried to chat? Learn how. It’s easy.)


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