Sunday, February 21, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Equalizer' - McCall Helps an Escaped Prisoner Prove That He Was Wrongfully Convicted in 'Judgment Day'

CBS' The Equalizer - Episode 1.03 "Judgment Day"

McCall endeavors to help an escaped prisoner wrongly accused of murder who is too distrustful of the justice system that failed him to accept her aid. Also, McCall worries when her daughter, Delilah, stops hanging out with a close friend. Detective Dante's search for McCall takes an unexpected turn.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of CBS' The Equalizer.

"Judgment Day" was written by Erica Shelton Kodish and directed by Slick Naim

It's risky for McCall to work with Detective Dante in order to free a wrongly imprisoned man. He has been trying to find her. He doesn't condone her vigilante justice. He notices her impact on the various cases in the city. He recognizes it but isn't any closer to identifying and arresting her. She feels confident because she never believes her guard is down. The narrative overwhelmingly proves that as well. She always finds a way to defend herself and the people she works to protect. In this particular instance though, she feels the need to form a partnership with Dante in order to help Dale. It's a fascinating example of her working on behalf of someone who after a certain point decides to stop fighting. He no longer wants her help. He is distrustful of what good she can do him after the system has let him down for over a decade. That's the amount of time that was taken from him. He was robbed of those years with his family. He fears that his son will go down a dark path because of the perception that his father is a killer. That isn't true. McCall happens to be one of the few people listening. The evidence against Dale is very flimsy as well. And yet, there are no more opportunities to pursue a different reading of this case. He is guilty and the system has agreed every time it was challenged. Dale's lawyer is the person who reaches out to McCall. He needs this assistance in order to boost the likelihood that this doesn't all end in tragedy. He is afraid for his client. He also worries that he is no longer the lawyer he was once. This case broke him and sent him spiraling further into alcoholism. The Equalizer can hopefully come along and set things right. She justifies all of her actions by saying that she broke as many laws as the people who ensured Dale was convicted in the first place. As such, it's all necessary. This is what has to be done to mend a family and ensure true justice is found for the woman who was killed a decade ago. Her loved ones felt dismissed too. They never challenged the official story though. All it takes is the right person coming along asking the right questions. McCall doesn't have the evidence to prove any of this. That requires her to place her own trust in the system. She believes it's the right move because she has a solid understanding of how Dante operates. He is a man holding himself to a high standard because his father was a dirty cop. He wants to do things the honorable way. He could arrest McCall at any moment. She feels a certain amount of protection though. She is still a CIA asset after all. They are ready to call her up at any moment. That was the deal she made. She simply feels like she is making more of a difference now that she plays by her own rules. And yes, everything does end perfectly for everyone involved here. McCall and Dante unravel this conspiracy that includes the judge presiding over the case. It's absolutely outrageous and shows how power corrupts so many people. It's an honor to serve in the system. And yet, the burden is always present to adhere to the law. She made an innocent mistake and spent years covering it up. That still allowed her to seek more power and authority. She took advantage of that. One man had to deal with the consequences unfairly. That was the trade off. It comes back to haunt her here. McCall has to trust people she doesn't know. It works out. It may not always in the future. She sees that as the fun in this game. It's just as exciting to work with Dante as it is for him to investigate her. That is certainly a fun dynamic. One that has the potential to inform a lot of stories moving forward. Of course, the narrative also points out that McCall is a parent struggling to understand her daughter during a pivotal time in her life. That note has been depicted in the same way in every episode so far. It does reveal that McCall doesn't handle change very well. That's what everyone should expect should she ever be thrown in her field. It's easier for Delilah to do something that clashes with her mother. There is still that heartfelt moment in the end where the family bonds because they can never be driven too far apart. It's sweet. It's still the same effective beat as before. That's just part of the growing pains the show has as it moves forward with the expansion of its world.