NATE: Hey, Hardison. You can’t do what I do. // HARDISON: What, you think I’m not smart enough? // NATE: Nah, no, you’re smart enough, that’s the easy part. // HARDISON: What’s the hard part? - 3.04; The Scheherezade Job
JIMMY: You betrayed your own father. You’re more ruthless than me. Crueler than me. Yeah. Maybe you are better than me, huh? - 3.09; The Three Card Monte Job
HARDISON: You know, Nate, it seems like lately you’ve been so focused on the part of the job where we wreck people, I thought it might be nice to show you we actually do some good in the world. I know you’re mad, but— // NATE: Hardison… Thanks. - 4.14; The Boys’ Night Out Job
NATE: Listen, Hardison. The only thing success teaches you in this job is the next time, make it a little tougher. And tougher means more risk, more danger, more pressure on yourself. And that pressure begins to take a toll. You begin to see the absolute worst in people. Their sins, their weaknesses, things you take advantage of. And after a while, you realize that maybe the job has changed you. And not always for the better. - 4.16; The Gold Job
Excuse me while I vomit my feelings here but I just have so many emotions about Nate and Nate’s relationship with his father and how sometimes Nate and Hardison’s dynamic echoes that relationship except for the fact that Jimmy actually did some major damage on Nate because he shaped him since he was a kid and Nate is aware of that and is trying to prevent Hardison from becoming him. And I love how they’ve been dancing around this idea since last season and then this episode happened and it was everything that I wanted and then more because they never disrespected nor understimated Hardison’s ability to run his own crew in the future (I’m too emotionally invested in those characters and I want them to be happy and successful at whatever they end up doing when everything is said and done ok) but Nate step aside and left him do everything even if he knew it’d all probably fell apart and at the end he was far from being an ass about it. He was just waiting him with a backup plan and not a single ‘I told you so’. He even opened up his heart in some scenes and basically was, during the whole episode, the wind in his back, not the spit in his face (it’s gorgeous in Spanish.)
Both characters have grown so much and there’s been such a huge development in their relationship since that final scene in Scheherezade, I just want to hug them both.
GUH. THIS TEAM WARMS MY HEART SO FUCKING MUCH.