Sunday, February 28, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Equalizer' - McCall Believes Exposing a Developer Will Allow a Community to Flourish Again in 'It Takes a Village'

CBS' The Equalizer - Episode 1.04 "It Takes a Village"

McCall investigates a community activist's staged suicide and uncovers a connection between his murder and his protests over local real estate development. Also, Delilah's driving lessons lead McCall and Aunt Vi to teach her an even bigger lesson regarding personal accountability.

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.

"It Takes a Village" was written by Joseph C. Wilson and directed by Randy Zisk

What are you doing to make the world a better place? That is the lesson McCall is trying to teach her daughter. In her home life, it's a relatively simple and small-stakes conflict. Delilah essentially gets to grow up with that privilege. Aunt Vi even notes that Delilah's parents have coddled her. McCall is around more now to offer this valuable insight. It doesn't clash with her activities as the Equalizer either. Every person has a unique way they can help the world. It's all about finding the right path. Not everyone who stands in the way of progress is a selfish and morally corrupt individual. Sometimes it's just pure bureaucracy and apathy. Delilah speaks up about a pot hole in the neighborhood. She rallies support online and is seen by the city government. She is then used as a prop to make it seem like progress is being made and the concerns of the community are being heard. It's disappointing. She almost immediately wants to backtrack. She used her voice. She was full of excitement and energy. And then, that was taken away. No one should have that power over her. She should always feel confident in speaking up about issues that threaten her existence. Plus, she can still make a difference. It's the personal impact this family can leave behind. That should be seen as just as life-changing as the work McCall does to expose a real estate developer who funds terrorism abroad. Greed is such a corrupting force. Robert Harrington demands everything be satisfying through his personal lens of the world. He doesn't care whose lives he ruins in order to accumulate more power and wealth. He craves it. He has the freedom to do it as well. The CIA knows that he supports terrorism abroad. They aren't going after him though. Their priority is on the terrorists who buy the weapons and carry out the destructive acts after their transaction is complete. That is where their focus is at. It's wrong. McCall seeks to make things right. She wants to present herself as an idealistic who always doings the right thing. She has a much different definition of that concept than Detective Dante does though. However, the show already seems to be backing away from the story of Dante chasing after McCall because he views her vigilante justice as criminal. The two have now partnered up on two cases. Dante happens to have a personal connection to Malcolm King who is killed early in the episode. McCall can appeal to that connection in the hopes of exposing the true mastermind who ruined lives in the pursuit of more personal satisfaction. It is never enough for Harrington. That pursuit comes before all else. He won't even allow his son to pursue other interests. He has to be just as ruthless and cutthroat as his father is. It's a despicable display of both humanity and parenting. McCall has to twist the son's arm in order to recruit him as an asset. It still works in the end. Sure, the show also struggles in giving Bishop a clearly defined role in the ongoing stories. He assists McCall in the field here as well. They do make a compelling partnership. He doesn't have much personal agency beyond that. That defines most of the characters though. McCall's home life is given a bit more screentime. Even that is done for the purpose of providing more nuance for McCall. These are all hurdles that new shows have to endure as they find their storytelling rhythms. At the moment, this show provides rewarding takedowns of the corrupt elite of the world each week. It makes for a satisfying viewing experience. One that still hopes to engage with a deeper conversation about the corruption of the justice system and the systemic racism that abuses so many. Certain communities are always pushed down in the pursuit of others building their way up. McCall hopes to serve as an equalizing agent to make things right and just. The show provides those clear cut endings to its stories. It's never that simple though. Harrington still has money and influence even though he is publicly shamed and arrested. There is simply a glimmer of hope that people are still willing to step up to make the world better and allow others to also embrace and participant in that progress.