The Equalizer (2021) s02e08 – Separated

So when they said Chris Noth would not be appearing on future episodes of “The Equalizer,” I guess they meant after this episode. Though the entire time it seems like they’re setting Noth up for a farewell hero arc and it as a surprise when he didn’t ride off into the sunset. What’s stranger is if it’s not a farewell hero arc; they saved the “Adam Goldberg gets caught” story only to resolve it in a single episode.

Noth spends the episode trying to convince government types to let Goldberg go, leading to a very frank scene where Noth tells a general (Peter Jay Fernandez) the U.S. maybe shouldn’t be proud it tortured people. This episode has a lot of very frank talk overall. The A-plot is about a little kid Logan J. Alarcon-Poucel who ICE lost after taking him from mom Andrea Cortés and the episode doesn’t talk around calling out the inhumanity and international criminality of the United States government.

Though the show also makes up a Biden policy about anyone affected by the child separation policy getting a free three-year visa. Like the U.S. government admits wrongdoing.

Speaking of wrongdoing… there’s also a scene where Noth asks Liza Lapira why she doesn’t like him, which I feel like they should’ve cut. It doesn’t add much to the episode and it’s cringe as hell.

But it’s a good episode for Lapira, who gets to do the tech stuff since Goldberg’s in jail, but she also gets to do action stuff. There’s also some cute moments for Tory Kittles and Queen Latifah since their mission this time is unquestionably on the side of the angels. Though without Goldberg to do better Googling about suspects, Latifah finds her assumptions incorrect.

It’s an uncomplicated good guys and bad guys episode—I don’t know the last time Latifah kicking a bunch of shitty white men’s asses ever felt as thrilling to watch—and reasonably tense throughout.

Lorraine Toussaint’s only in the episode for a scene and Laya DeLeon Hayes’s away, maybe because Noth’s got such a big—but also just filler—subplot.

It feels very weird having Noth get such a glowing spotlight episode for his (presumably) last appearance, given they shit-canned him following numerous sexual assault allegations. I wonder if the made-up fairy tale ending for people who suffered incalculable harm at hands of the U.S. government (because the show’s assuming no one affected would ever be watching this show, kind of ditto Noth’s victims), was meant to give it another obvious, potential distraction.

Like, without any context or responsibility or accountability, it’s a fine episode but it’s also a hell of a thing.

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