Picture Perfect
Series 01, Episode 03
Hustle Picture Perfect
Air Date 9th March 2004
Mark(s) Meredith Gates
Writer Matthew Graham
Previous Faking It
Next Cops and Robbers

Picture Perfect was the third episode of the first series which was broadcast for the first time on March 9th 2005.

Synopsis Edit

Michael Stone and his team of con artists decide to dabble in the world of art this week, when they set up an elaborate scam to swindle a greedy gallery owner, by faking an early Mondrian painting.

Full Plot Edit

Danny overhears art collector, Meredith Gates (played by Orla Brady), talking big figures and - ever the hustler - pays her gallery a visit. His grifting instincts are right - Meredith's an ideal mark. She's unscrupulous, greedy and selfish, and a huge fan of artist Pier Mondrian, having just bought one of his paintings for £250,000. Mondrian famously went from picture-postcard paintings to abstracts some time after Picasso.

As Danny explains to the team, IF a Mondrian painting were discovered in the Abstract style pre-dating Picasso, it would turn the art world on it's head."We fake the right painting, and all we gotta tell her is how many noughts we want on the cheque."It's an interesting proposition, but Mickey has other things on his mind. While he was in prison, Ash and Albert roped a mark and conned him out of £50,000. Only thing is, the mark was broke and now his factory's about to go into receivership. They're jinxed and - according to grifter lore - the jinx will only be lifted if they put things right. They need to find £50,000 NOW. Mickey decides not to tell Danny, and goes along with the art con for a while - to see if it has legs.

Certain his scam's a winner, Danny introduces Mickey to art journalist, Bea Watson, as someone with an interesting art 'discovery'. Mickey tells her there's no story, but this just intrigues Bea more. "She wasn't interested until she thought I wasn't interested. Now she's intrigued."Art forger, Tip Jones, is a renowned conman, known for his inimitable forgeries but, disappointingly, Mickey, Albert and Danny find him in a vegetative state following an operation gone wrong. Ever-astute Albert isn't so quick to believe and whispers in Tip's ear he's got a job needs doing. It'll pay £100,000. Suddenly Tip's alert. He agrees to paint a new Mondrian pre-1902, but he's going to need an original work, if they want it done properly.

Using a combination of flirting, good timing, glue and toilets, Mickey and Stacie manage to steal a Mondrian without anyone even realising it's missing. Tip begins work on the 'new find'. Meredith Gates (played by Orla Brady) still needs to be hooked. Thinking he's a fellow art collector, she meets Danny at his 'import/export warehouse'. Gates agrees to match his £250,000 if the new Mondrian painting's proven to be genuine in initial tests.It all goes to the wire, and there are a few surprises along the way. They just have to lift the jinx, and preferably without Danny realising."He hasn't sussed that we're just following a different set of rules to everyone else."What will he do when he does suss

Trivia and notes Edit

  • About 13 minutes into the episode, there is a scene where Danny is talking to Bea Watson (the art critic). She mentions that Meredith Gates, the Mark, paid £250,000 for a Mondrian and Danny is suddenly drawn to her and drinks from Meredith's wine glass. The music that plays is 'Daydream In Blue' by I Monster.

External links Edit