I’m trying to remember the last Chris Noth-centric episode of “The Equalizer;” it must’ve been last season. This episode has him running around with a machine gun and fist-fighting like they promised him he could do American James Bond or something. Instead, however, it’s old man James Bond with Noth teaming up with previously unrevealed son Wesam Keesh.
It’s a jam-packed episode, script credit to Rob Hanning, and there’s not enough time for cop Tory Kittles to do anything. Or even appear. Also, Laya DeLeon Hayes’s PTSD problem is done. Noth asks about it, Queen Latifah says it’s better, the show’s moved on. Especially since Adam Goldberg’s whole “I want to unfake my death” arc will be tied to Noth’s troubles here, one way or the other.
The episode’s action story has Latifah babysitting terrorist Anthony Azizi, whose men have kidnapped Keesh, while Noth tries to rescue Keesh. Both Noth and Latifah are going to need Goldberg’s hacking help, with Liza Lapira back to babysitting husband Goldberg duty. There’s some more static between Lapira and Noth, but it lacks energy. She generally disapproves of this episode, which is weird since the episode sets up his private security mercenary as a literal angel; he’s just gotten back from saving Syrian children—and then gets mad because he won’t help Goldberg. Or at least he won’t promise to help Goldberg yet.
The family story has the daughter of a college lover visiting Lorraine Toussaint and then Hayes pestering her for the story. Good acting from Toussaint; maybe it’ll go somewhere, maybe it won’t. It’s more than a bit sensational and soapy. But Toussaint’s real good, so it’s fine. It’s sort of like proto-character development for her. Who knows if it’ll last as long as Hayes’s PTSD.
And then Azizi’s a good foil for Latifah. Most of their scenes together are them bickering and broadly talking about global politics like it’s a pre-9/11 terrorism bit. Guess twenty years was long enough of a moratorium on the stories.
Keesh isn’t great, which is also fine because it’s more like Noth’s having fun than actually playing a part.
Solid suspense direction from John Terlesky and the first momentous cliffhanger I can remember in the series, so we’ll see what comes of it.
I’m not sure if “The Equalizer”’s finding its legs, but it certainly seems to be sturdier than it started the season. Not the biggest swings—eschewing the PTSD arc isn’t great either—but it’s gotten a lot better, especially the weaker elements like Goldberg and Lapira.