"McCall Answers the Call"
What You Need To Know:
The EQUALIZER pilot is an intense, engaging episode. The program is well paced, and Queen Latifah is believable as the tough, but appealing, mysterious former spy and military commando. The pilot episode has a strong moral worldview with positive Christian, redemptive elements. That said, the EQUALIZER pilot has some foul language, violence and brief politically correct elements mentioning global warming and featuring an anti-capitalist subtext. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.
THE EQUALIZER stars Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall, a female version of the retired CIA agent from the popular 1980s series who used his skills to help people in need. In the pilot episode, also titled “The Equalizer,” Robyn has retired from the CIA after a series of disappointments with her bosses and helps a waitress who’s been framed for murder by a rich Elon Musk type inventor. THE EQUALIZER pilot is an intense, engaging pilot episode with a strong moral worldview and some overt Christian references, but there’s some foul language, violence and light politically correct content where the villain is a wealthy capitalist.
The episode opens in New York City with a black waitress, Jewell, locking up the diner where she works. In the alley behind the diner, she sees two men shoot a well-dressed black man dead. Jewell runs, and the hitmen try to find her, but they leave when they hear police sirens approach. Jewell tells the black detective, Marcus Dante, what she saw. Back at the precinct, another detective takes Dante aside into an open video room and shows him a videotape depicting Jewell firing the gun that killed the man. Jewel sees them watching the tape and runs out of the precinct.
Meanwhile, Robyn McCall wakes up from a bad dream about a firefight somewhere overseas. She just quit her CIA job a month ago, but her teenage daughter, Delilah, and her sister, Vi, think she’s been managing an international charity. Now, Robyn’s biggest problem is how to handle her daughter’s typical teenage rebellion, and the fact that her ex-husband is getting remarried.
William Bishop, an old friend of Robyn’s who runs an international private security company, approaches her. They meet at night near the Wonder Wheel, the big Ferris wheel at Coney Island in Brooklyn. Bishop tells her the CIA would like her to return to the agency, but Robyn has some trust issues with how the agency is run. She rejects the offer, saying that it’s not the things she’s done as a spy that keep her up at night, but the people she couldn’t save.
When Bishop leaves, Robyn sees Jewell going to meet a shady-looking man through a chain link fence. The man talks to Jewell about getting her an ID and a passport. He then takes her into the little building under the Wonder Wheel. Three other men are there to meet them. Jewell realizes these guys aren’t interested in her welfare, but the man talking to her restrains her. Of course, Robyn shows up and says, “Let the girl go, and I’ll let you walk out of here.” Two of the guys pull guns, and a fight ensues as Robyn’s military training takes over. Welcome to Robyn’s world!
Jewell explains to Robyn her problem. She swears she didn’t shoot the dead man. So, Robyn takes Jewell to hide in the apartment above the bar owned by two of Robyn’s longtime friends, Melanie and Harry. While Melanie runs the bar, Harry hires himself out to do legitimate jobs as a computer hacker. Robyn recruits Harry’s help in investigating the murder that Jewell saw, including breaking into the police file on the case.
Eventually, the case leads to a rich inventor who’s planning to unveil a self-driving car. Of course, complications ensue, not the least of which is Jewell being captured by the police, and Robyn having to rescue her before the bad guys kill her. Meanwhile, Robyn has some problems at home when she catches her daughter wearing a dress she shoplifted and lying to her father, Robyn’s ex-husband, about going to a party where people were smoking marijuana.
The EQUALIZER pilot is an intense, engaging episode. The program is well paced, and Queen Latifah is believable as the tough, mysterious former spy and female military commando. As the heroine, she has a strong desire to help people who can’t go to the police or the judicial system for help. She’s also trying to train her teenage daughter in the way she should go, applying the principles of tough love. So, this first episode has a strong moral worldview and throws in a couple Christian references, but it also has some foul language, violence and light politically correct content mentioning global warming and featuring an anti-capitalist subtext. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children. The first few episodes of THE EQUALIZER seem to follow the same pattern so far, but MOVIEGUIDE® will be taking notes for future reference.