We have seen this character Robyn McCall before in so many shows, but as a man. Queen Latifah’s role is that of a former agent named McCall who just got fired or laid off from her very dangerous job. She is now home, taking care of a teenaged daughter named Delilah (Layla DeLeon Hayes) who is bitter about all the years her mother had been gone. Aunt Vi (Lorraine Toussaint) took up the slack in the meantime but dealing with Delilah’s pain and anger is still huge part of every episode. Vi provides that sisterhood and all of this humanizes this powerful character ins ways that we haven’t seen before using a Black woman.
This makes The Equalizer a great show that centers the life and problems of a Black woman. As a result, we finally get a badass woman who juggles and struggles while also living with the daily microaggressions that Black women experience on top of the rest of her duties.
The first episode has McCall reuniting with her old crew when she takes the case of a woman who is being framed in a crime. The young needed to exonerate her and before a big interview for college. The evidence against her is fake, but the bad guys are very real and dangerous. McCall gathers her crew Mel Bayani, played by Lisa Lapira and Harry Kashegan played by Adam Goldberg. Harry is the computer whiz, holding them down with the tech, research, and hacking. Meanwhile, Mel was the heavy who worked beside McCall to ensure that the clients were protected, and the plans were properly executed.
McCall eventually crosses paths with Detective Marcus Dante (Tory Kittles) during her investigation. With help from an old friend and colleague William Bishop (Chris Noth) McCall is able to stay one step ahead of Dante. Eventually, the client is safely deposited back into her life, just in time for that important interview.
Each episode has McCall working in her own neighborhood, to help people solve cases that would normally get those people thrown into prison or killed. The cases (s0 far) involve people of color fighting a systemic harm that has grown to attach itself to a criminal element. For example, in Episode 4 McCall investigates the death of an activist who was battling gentrification. A dirty developer hires local gang members to do heavy lifting of criminal work to push the land deals through. These cases are fairly tough to solve and have a component that audience members who look like me can relate to.
The Equalizer films and series prior to this one featured men and were not spaces where women and their issues could exist. The new CBS version, however, offers thee story of a mother dealing with, a hormonal teen daughter. She is a single woman as well and also a military vet who can kick up dust with the best of them. I also love seeing a woman my size and looking fashionable and fit as she chases down criminals and fights the bad guys. We don’t all need to be skinny in order to be at our best health—or to take down bad guys. Queen Latifah proves this every Sunday on CBS.
Rating: 4 of 5
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