I’m sure it’s happened before, but this episode has a guest star who appeared on the eighties “Equalizer,” too. In the first scene of this episode, Queen Latifah meets with spy guy Neal Benari to check up on her nemesis, who’s overseas after killing Chris Noth (offscreen). Presumably, we’ll get some sort of return visit from the bad guy this season, with “Equalizer” maybe finally ready to put Laya DeLeon Hayes in real danger.
Anyway, Benari was on a couple episodes of the original show.
Hayes gets her own arc this episode, involving her going to therapy to talk about having a vigilante mom with Latifah and a dad who wants to know all about Mom’s goings-on. Roma Maffia plays the therapist and is delightful because it’s Roma Maffia, and it’s nice to see Hayes finally get to do this arc after hinting at it a few episodes ago.
The main story of this episode involves a missing reporter, played by Brittany Bellizeare. Her brother comes to New York looking for her, fueled by physic visions.
In other words, “The Equalizer”’s going to do its supernatural episode now, months before Halloween.
Yusuf Gatewood plays the psychic brother. Gatewood’s way too good for the part. He acts the heck out of the show, which gives him almost nothing to do, but he’s very active doing it.
Rob Hanning gets the script credit. The episode will weave around various cast members’ beliefs in the supernatural, with Adam Goldberg playing the voice of reason. His wife, Liza Lapira, is the avowed non-skeptic, while Latifah’s more guarded and unwilling to take a side. We later find out Lorraine Toussaint is a true believer in the shining. She introduces a new backstory for Latifah involving a psychic premonition before Latifah’s father died.
They don’t say her father isn’t Edward Woodward… fingers crossed.
The mystery’s convoluted but thoughtful, with the psychic stuff being a bit of a red herring once they get to political corruption. Second-half guest stars Shirley Rumierk and Roberts Jekabsons don’t compare well against Gatewood; Rumierk’s okay but nothing more. Jekabsons’s bad.
The family stuff with Hayes is solid; the family psychic stuff is not.
Eventually, the episode cops out on the psychic stuff because, of course, it does.
Oh, and Tory Kittles is back to having nothing to do on the show, making his multi-episode arc just a pointless look into how nice it is when he’s around more.