Despite being a general improvement over the pilot and seeming to trend up in general (Adam Goldberg’s not obnoxiously bland this episode and Liza Lapira’s improving a little so maybe she’ll hit that level by the next one), this episode of “The Equalizer” has a lackluster, pseudo-cloying finish. The show tries to do a bunch simultaneously, which just draws attention to it not being able to do any of the things well on their own. It’s montaging for cover.
And it also seems like Chris Noth is going to be less of a costar as a regular guest cameo, popping in for a couple scenes with Queen Latifah to hit that audience demographic without contributing anything of substance.
The episode also introduces the origin of “The Equalizer” moniker—and makes no sense when it does—but it dashes my dream of Latifah actually being Edward Woodward’s daughter too. And they still don’t use the song, though the opening titles desperate needs it.
This episode has Latifah rescuing a kidnapped kid from a bunch of Eurotrash human traffickers. Well, they say Eurotrash but they all seem to be French. It takes a while to discover they’re Eurotrash; for a while it just seems like they’re nondescript mercenaries, same as last episode. The show having originality problems on its second episode is not a great sign.
Also there’s still no Covid, just lots of people standing in groups—though not when they should be. There’s a pseudo-big Times Square sequence and it seems like they shot it without permission with a dozen people to make up a crowd.
Latifah’s got some family drama with kid Laya DeLeon Hayes hiding something from her because Hayes doesn’t want Latifah to disappoint her again. Lorraine Toussiant has to deal with it because Latifah’s too busy, which gives Toussiant and Hayes decent (albeit bland) dramatic material and delaying having to do any for Latifah.
Meanwhile cop Tory Kittles is still on Latifah’s trail, which… doesn’t seem like a particularly good series subplot. There’s also a big ground situation change, seemingly to give the show potentially different settings for Latifah to go after the same nondescript mercenaries instead of New York City.
Still, the draw remains Latifah kicking ass and the show delivers. Even though the soundtrack accompaniments remain loudly disappointing.