The Equalizer (2021 TV series)
The Equalizer is an American crime drama television series that premiered on CBS on February 7, 2021. It is the second reboot in the franchise, following the 2014 film and its 2018 sequel and is a reboot of the 1980s series with the same name.
|Based on||The Equalizer|
by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim
|Developed by||Andrew W. Marlowe & Terri Edda Miller|
|Music by||Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Running time||43–44 minutes|
|Original release||February 7, 2021 –|
The series is co-created by executive producers Richard Lindheim, with Michael Sloan, and Queen Latifah, who also stars as the title character. John Davis, John Fox, Debra Martin Chase, Andrew Marlowe, and Terri Miller also serve as executive producers. Lindheim died from heart failure on January 18, 2021 while working on the series; the series premiere is dedicated to his memory.
In March 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.
"The series centers around Robyn McCall, an enigmatic woman in New York City and single mother to teenage daughter Delilah, with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn, acting as a guardian angel and a defender for those who cannot defend themselves while pursuing her own redemption."
- Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall, a.k.a. "the Equalizer", a divorced single mother who acts as a vigilante for justice while pursuing her own vendettas.
- Tory Kittles as Marcus Dante, a divorced father of two sons and an intelligent and shrewd NYPD detective on Robyn's trail because he is reluctant to have Robyn help him but finds common ground in getting justice.
- Adam Goldberg as Harry Keshegian, Melody's husband and a master hacker who faked his death with Robyn's help.
- Liza Lapira as Melody "Mel" Bayani, a former Air Force sniper turned owner of a bar which acts as a secret base of operations and an old friend of Robyn's from her service days.
- Laya DeLeon Hayes as Delilah McCall, Robyn's 15-year-old daughter, who is rebellious and feels neglected by Robyn, despite their attempts to bond with each other.
- Lorraine Toussaint as Viola "Aunt Vi" Marsette, Robyn's very wise paternal aunt, who lives with Robyn and Delilah, having moved from Milwaukee to help them out and is a painter.
- Chris Noth as William Bishop, a quirky ex–CIA director and old friend of Robyn's running his own private security company. He acts as go to between Robyn and the CIA as a liaison in exchange for not interfering with her activities.
- Erica Camarano as Detective Paley, who works with Dante.
- Jennifer Ferrin as Avery Grafton, a district attorney who has made Robyn's arrest and prosecution a priority for her office, seeing her as an embarrassment for the justice system and a threat to her re-election prospects.
|No.||Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||U.S. viewers|
|1||"The Equalizer"||Liz Friedlander||Terri Edda Miller & Andrew W. Marlowe||February 7, 2021||20.40|
Robyn McCall is a former operative of "the Company", an organization that conducts illegal operations for the U.S. government. Having grown disenchanted with her work, Robyn leaves the Company to raise her teenage daughter Delilah. One night, she follows a young teenage girl and saves her from being raped. The girl, Jewel Machado, is a suspect in the shooting of a lawyer, Chance Kovak. With no one else to turn to, Robyn contacts her old colleagues, Melody and Harry, and has them hide Jewel while she investigates the murder. Through careful undercover work, and with the assistance of her former superior William Bishop, Robyn captures two mercenaries employed by a tech mogul, who had Chance murdered to cover up his discovery of a fatal flaw in the software for his latest product, a self-driving car. The mogul is arrested by Marcus Dante, an NYPD detective who Robyn met earlier while posing as Jewel's lawyer. Jewel is released and Robyn decides to send an anonymous online message offering to help anyone who has "the odds against them".
Note: This episode was dedicated to co-creator/executive producer Richard Lindheim, who died from heart failure while the series was in production.
|2||"Glory"||Liz Friedlander||Terri Edda Miller & Andrew W. Marlowe||February 14, 2021||8.21|
|Robyn answers the request of a woman whose son, Jackson, was kidnapped to force her to break into the safe of her employer, an FBI agent. She discovers that the kidnapping is connected to a sex trafficking ring run by a prominent club owner, who is trying to find an informant working with the agent. Robyn takes down the ring's stash house, and the deadline for Jackson's return is moved up. Robyn arranges for the owner's right-hand man to be framed as the informant, allowing her to rescue Jackson, deliver the real informant to the FBI, and get both the owner and his FBI mole arrested. In between, Robyn tries to figure out a secret Delilah is keeping from her. When it's discovered that she is performing with a choir in Times Square, Delilah is upset that her mother won't make it in time to see her perform, but after handling the aforementioned events, Robyn does show up for the event. Robyn gets Bishop to cut a deal with the Company: she will perform freelance work for them in exchange for a blind eye being turned to her vigilantism.|
|3||"Judgment Day"||Solvan "Slick" Naim||Erica Shelton Kodish||February 21, 2021||8.13|
|An innocent man, Dale, escapes from prison looking to find the man who framed him for murder, only to be framed again when his old cellmate ends up dead. His former lawyer asks Robyn to find Dale, who is reluctant to put his life in someone else's hands and refuses to accept Robyn's help. Robyn strikes a deal with Dante to obtain evidence that Dale was set up. When Dale gets arrested after his angry son betrays him and alerts the police, the defense requests that the judge recuse herself; an ADA recruited by Dante then arrives with evidence that the judge, who prosecuted Dale's case ten years ago, not only covered up witness statements that would have helped him but also arranged for the cellmate's murder to protect herself. The judge is taken into custody while Dante arrests the real murderer and sets Dale free. Afterwards, Dante and Robyn come face to face; Dante doesn't approve of Robyn's methods and vows to go after her. Robyn knows Dante will need her in the future and reminds him that her quest for justice isn't over.|
|4||"It Takes a Village"||Randy Zisk||Joseph C. Wilson||February 28, 2021||7.78|
|Robyn takes the case of a community activist murdered by gang members; however, the case is soon complicated when the murder is linked to a wealthy real estate developer who also happens to be a CIA asset involved with the financing of foreign terrorists. As Dante is unable to get the killer to flip on his boss, Robyn recruits Bishop to help her infiltrate the developer's office, having already groomed his idealistic, neglected son as her inside man. Delilah, with her mother's encouragement, meets with a government official to discuss filling in a pothole; unfortunately, the official turns her down. Delilah is bitter, believing that nothing will change. Robyn and Bishop are caught trying to hack the developer's private server, leaving the son to confront his father. As it turns out, a camera planted by Robyn broadcasts the whole thing (including the developer's confession) publicly while Harry delivers the necessary evidence to Dante for an arrest. With the son now committed to fixing his father's wrongs, Aunt Vi and Robyn take Delilah to fill in the pothole themselves.|
|5||"The Milk Run"||Peter Leto||Keith Eisner||March 28, 2021||7.40|
|The Company assigns Robyn a mission: retrieve Dorian Endicott, a British programmer and mathematician who has gone off the grid. Robyn accepts the mission only when Bishop promises that all her debts will be canceled in return. As it turns out, Endicott is trying to sell a valuable piece of software to Russian intelligence; the deal, however, is a set-up, as Endicott reveals the software is fake and he needs the money to get his wife and son into hiding. Robyn takes him into custody, and after a run-in with Delilah (who mistakenly assumes her mother is on a date), Endicott explains that he has devised a program that can hack any digital system on Earth, which he destroyed upon realizing how dangerous it could be if used. Recognizing that she can't turn him in, Robyn calls Bishop for help. Bishop then informs the CIA, who apprehend Endicott and appear to assassinate him when Russian agents (who are actually Robyn's associates in disguise) intercept their convoy. Robyn collects the "dead" Endicott and sends him to Canada with his family. At home, Delilah questions what else her mother could be lying to her about.|
|6||"The Room Where It Happens"||Stephanie Marquardt||Zoe Robyn||April 4, 2021||6.99|
|Robyn is hired when Maya Ruiz, a volunteer for a popular female mayoral candidate, tries to kill herself; she claims that Elijah Reade, a top campaign official, raped her. The team quickly deduces that Reade didn't just rape Maya, but possibly dozens of other women as well during his two decade-long career. Robyn gets Dante to help her investigate Maya's case by promising to help him take down a dirty ex-cop who helped cover up Reade's crimes. Delilah disobeys her mother when she helps her friend Nicki commit a robbery to steal back a necklace. Delilah escapes, but Nicki gets arrested and Robyn angrily yells at Aunt Vi in frustration. Maya agrees to sign a settlement and NDA with Reade's lawyers, but secretly helps Mel steal copies of similar documents signed by all of his victims. These are given to the mayoral candidate (revealed to a victim of Reade), who exposes Reade in a public interview, leading to his downfall and arrest. Dante also nabs Reade's fixer, and manages to get Nicki released from custody after being prompted to do so by Robyn. She and Delilah reconcile and Robyn agrees to invite Nicki over for dinner.|
|7||"Hunting Grounds"||Christine Moore||Joe Gazzam||May 2, 2021||7.22|
|Robyn is asked by a young black woman to find her roommate Nia, who was abducted days earlier. Harry reveals that the abduction fits the pattern of a string of abductions/killings of ten other black women, including one that resulted in an innocent man going to prison. Robyn decides to bring Dante in to help as she only has 48 hours to find Nia. When its discovered that the murders are linked to a loan-lending company and that the killer has been surveilling the women from vacant apartments nearby, both Robyn and Dante suspect that a company employee is responsible. Dante helps Robyn find Nia, but becomes increasingly disturbed by her violent methods. The killer snaps after losing Nia and goes to Dante's house, using him as bait to lure in Robyn. When he refuses to give in to Robyn's demands not to kill Dante, Mel is forced to shoot him dead from afar. Dante, enraged that Robyn murdered a suspect right in front of him, goes to see DA Avery Grafton, who is eager to put an end to Robyn's vigilantism, and offers to use his knowledge of Robyn to assist Grafton in her efforts.|
|8||"Lifeline"||Randy Zisk||Joseph C. Wilson||May 9, 2021||7.22|
|The team receives a call from a girl named Carla in southern France; Robyn recognizes her as the daughter of her deceased mentor, David Henson. With armed pursuers on her trail, Robyn and Harry guide Carla to a nearby factory to hide. They also have her take a picture that allows Harry to identify the lead pursuer as a ex-Mossad operative. Robyn contacts a retired British spy who owes her to rescue Carla and take her to safety. Unfortunately, the spy turns out to be in the pay of the man who wants Carla, and soon enough, Robyn is forced to fly to France to save her. She learns that David is still alive and being tortured for information; he winds up sacrificing himself to save Carla's life. A voice then contacts Robyn: Mason Quinn, a terrorist and strategic genius whom Robyn apprehended during her CIA days, only for the agency to then exchange Quinn in a prisoner swap. When Robyn discovers that Bishop knew about this, she lashes out at him for lying to her. At home, Robyn is confronted by Aunt Viv about the true nature of her work. Robyn confesses the truth, and Viv warns her that one day, she'll have to do the same with Delilah.|
|9||"True Believer"||Laura Belsey||Keith Eisner||May 16, 2021||7.39|
|10||"Reckoning"||Benny Boom||Joseph C. Wilson||May 23, 2021||7.13|
In November 2019, CBS announced that a reboot was in development with Queen Latifah in the lead role as Robyn McCall. Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller would serve as showrunners with Latifah herself as an executive producer. On January 27, 2020, CBS issued a pilot order for the new version. Production companies involved with the pilot include Flavor Unit, Davis Entertainment, Martin Chase Productions and CBS Television Studios and Universal Television. On May 8, 2020, it was announced that the production had been given a series order.
On March 9, 2021, CBS renewed the series for a second season.
In February 2020, it was announced that Liza Lapira and Lorraine Toussaint had been cast in the pilot's lead roles. On March 3, 2020, it was announced that Tory Kittles joined the cast in a starring role. On May 8, 2020, it was announced that Chris Noth joined a starring role along with Latifah.
The pilot was slated to film in New York City in March 2020. Production was delayed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States before filming could begin. On February 9, 2021, it was reported that production has been temporarily suspended due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Filming for the series has taken place in several locations in northern New Jersey, including Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City. Exterior shots of a Jersey City home are used for Robyn McCall's residence.
On May 19, 2020, a 30-second teaser featuring Queen Latifah explaining her involvement in the series was released by CBS. On January 9, 2021, CBS released the first official teaser for the series.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 67% based on reviews from 27 critics, with an average rating of 6/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Queen Latifah returns to the small screen in full command of her craft—if only The Equalizer's overly-engineered early episodes were on her level." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The first season ranked eighth in the 18–49 key demographic among all series in the 2020–21 United States network television season with a 1.7 rating. Among total viewers, it ranked fourth with 12.07 million.
|1||"The Equalizer"||February 7, 2021||5.1||20.40||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2||"Glory"||February 14, 2021||0.9||8.21||0.6||3.64||1.6||11.86|
|3||"Judgment Day"||February 21, 2021||0.8||8.13||0.5||3.39||1.3||11.52|
|4||"It Takes a Village"||February 28, 2021||0.8||7.78||0.5||3.41||1.3||11.19|
|5||"The Milk Run"||March 28, 2021||0.8||7.40||0.5||3.05||1.3||10.46|
|6||"The Room Where It Happens"||April 4, 2021||0.7||6.99||0.5||3.13||1.2||10.12|
|7||"Hunting Grounds"||May 2, 2021||0.7||7.22||0.4||2.82||1.1||10.04|
|8||"Lifeline"||May 9, 2021||0.7||7.22||0.4||2.74||1.1||9.97|
|9||"True Believer"||May 16, 2021||0.7||7.39||0.4||2.67||1.1||10.05|
|10||"Reckoning"||May 23, 2021||0.7||7.13||0.4||2.63||1.1||9.75|
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The Masked Singer
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