Sunday, March 28, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Equalizer' - McCall Clashes with the CIA While Trying to Detain an Asset With a Major Discovery in 'The Milk Run'

CBS' The Equalizer - Episode 1.05 "The Milk Run"

Doing a favor for CIA Director Suri Nance goes awry for McCall when she tries to locate a missing British mathematician and finds herself embroiled in an international fight for a revolutionary financial technology.

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.

"The Milk Run" was written by Keith Eisner and directed by Peter Leto

The CIA does not approve of McCall's new freelancing job as the Equalizer. She negotiated a deal with the agency though. They would not interfere with her new activities so long as she could still be recruited for the various jobs that the American government couldn't officially touch. It was a reasonable compromise. McCall has so much animosity towards her former employer. She could no longer tolerate the lack of morals on display throughout the agency. She has a strong bond with Bishop, who happens to be the former director. She trusts him with her life. However, the agency is willing to sacrifice any agent or target in order to advance their own interests. They aren't led with humanity. McCall is still lying constantly about what she does. However, she has found new purpose. She has discovered a way to continue being of service to the world. She makes a difference. And yet, her first job with the CIA once more proves to have far-reaching consequences that top everything she has already done. It's clear that the show wants each of its stories to showcase the severe costs of the actions those in power wield. It can be absolutely life-changing. For far too long, the people abused by the system haven't had anyone watching out for them. McCall wants to reset the balance. Her instincts serve her well. She makes her own decisions. She isn't beholden to the demands of the CIA. They are still a powerful adversary though. It takes awhile for McCall to understand what exactly Dorian has created that has vast national security repercussions. For a long time, she is operating under the basic terms of knowing that numerous governments are after him because of the technology he wields. It could forever shift the power balance of the entire world. The stakes couldn't be higher. The show fulfills that promise. It states overwhelmingly the importance of this massive discovery. It increases the tension to an absurd degree. McCall trusts Dorian in the end as well. She allows him to escape to a new life with his family because she trusts that they are more important to him. He is a pompous jerk in every single interaction. His amorality is on full display too. It makes sense why he would try to sell this code to the highest bidder. He doesn't care who ultimately gets to control the entire world. He is simply proud of what he has created. He is God. It's not subtle in the slightest. McCall still protects him though. Typically, she aims to expose these corrupt people at the top who are hurting others just to shield their own lives. In this situation, it's a different story. One where McCall is constantly running out of time and fearing that she is out of any good moves. And yes, it builds to a case of misdirection. The show suggests tension and betrayal between McCall and Bishop. It doesn't ultimately follow through on that tease. It may be too early in the show's run for that shift in their dynamic to occur. She trusts him completely. He has chosen a different career path. It's one that affords him a certain legitimacy while also acting in such a covert manner. McCall is comfortable in her life. As such, she is using her expertise to help those who can't afford anything else. They need justice and empathy too. McCall could be completely done with her former life. She could escape the corrupt hold the CIA has over her if she were to sacrifice Dorian's life. That's not the conclusion of this story though. Instead, she stages his death while making it seem like Bishop has different motives than her. That has never been the case. The show isn't about to shake up that dynamic now. The follow through doesn't occur yet. However, it's perfectly fine for these dynamics amongst the characters to evolve. As they currently exist, they are fine. They can grow quite one-note and tiring rather quickly though. McCall working close to home should have consequences for her family life. Delilah runs into her in the field. That is a huge development. One that can break trust between mother and daughter. That's a fascinating story. One that should be explored. Of course, it's also clear that the show is mostly engaged by episodic stories. It's not fully mining any significant serialization yet. That could come at some point in the future. The audience may even expect that. It would provide a bit more depth. As it currently is though, the show mostly earns the twists and turns of its stories even though it's always clear that things will work out exactly how McCall has planned for them. The tease of that being in question happens here. It hasn't come true yet though.