You have to like the present phase of Queen Latifah’s career, in which she is literally coasting on a procedural crime drama while quietly violating the gender, physique, and age criteria that have historically been applied to action heroes.
Initially, the concept of a gender-bent version of a character who had already been racially bent in a stale 2014 film starring Denzel Washington was frustrating. Nonetheless, by the end of the first season of The Equalizer, it was evident that Latifah’s vehicle has something utterly new and revitalizing.
The second season maintains the same tone as the first. Robyn McCall (Queen Latifah), a former CIA operative-turned-justice vigilante, is in a different mental state at the beginning of Season 2 than she was at the end of Season 1. In Season 1, she rescued innocent victims of covert government and otherwise criminal operations from certain death and/or persecution.
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Those who viewed the Season 1 conclusion are aware that while her work remains classified with certain individuals, such as ex-CIA director William Bishop (Chris Noth) and her aunt Viola (Lorraine Toussaint), her cover was completely blown with her daughter, Delilah (Laya DeLeon Hayes).
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Their relationship is now so strained that Delilah no longer has much faith in her mother. As a result, McCall contemplates giving up her duties, putting at risk a large number of marginalized individuals who are frequently unable to defend themselves, whom she prioritizes in her job.
Anyone who has seen a film starring Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, or Liam Neeson knows that well-known action hero protagonists often begin a sequel by toying with retirement. Like them, McCall is easily enticed to return when an ally, Detective Marcus Dante (Tory Kittles), makes a desperate plea to her for assistance in locating the individuals who murdered his comrade.
The Equalizer, created by Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller, has long been concerned with humanizing McCall as a protagonist who is in some ways superhuman — solving every case and sometimes beating up the bad guys — and a single mother who relies on Viola.
While the identity of Delilah’s father remains a mystery (McCall’s love life, thankfully, has not been raised as an issue to be resolved), her personal life revolves around her role as a mother who isn’t always home to say goodnight to her daughter but is always there when she needs her, including for a pep talk.
Obviously, McCall struggles with her absence, but the fact that she does demonstrates that she has a conscience about it. It is difficult to discern her personality beyond her mother’s function. But any lover of procedurals would tell you that their only distinguishing characteristics are their occupation and whether they are single or parents.
Melody “Mel” Bayani (Liza Lapira) and her husband Harry Keshegian (Adam Goldberg), a former Air Force sniper who moonlights as a bar owner and master hacker, are two of McCall’s most trusted allies.
Even when Harry has an uncharacteristically dramatic moment in Episode 2 of the new season when he considers reentering the world after faking his own death to avoid government surveillance, the couple’s mild flirtations, sarcasm, and general liveliness stand out against McCall’s hyper-serious tone.
Even while each character is intriguing to watch, The Equalizer’s central narrative focuses on restoring justice for people who are rarely portrayed in the same light in blockbuster action pictures. Like in Season 2, when the homosexuality of the son of a Saudi diplomat puts him at risk of being executed. Or in Season 1, when a Latina campaign volunteer commits suicide after being raped by a campaign official.
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Latifah coerces everyone from radicals to gang members in The Equalizer’s cool action sequences, demonstrating the film’s ambition to expand beyond the monotonous terrain of victims and villains.
Even with a one-hour network format that includes commercials, the series covers a great deal of ground. No character is underdeveloped, and each case is equally compelling.
It is simple to remain committed to a series that is consistently eager to try new things, reassess genre conventions, and humanize its protagonist.
Is The Equalizer receiving positive reviews?
While we’re not very concerned with The Equalizer, we must give it a mention. It ranks first among CBS programs, with a 0.66 demo rating and 7 million viewers. The figures are 8% and nearly 3% higher than the previous season, and that’s after only one episode.
What led to Bishop’s dismissal from The Equalizer?
Chris Noth was dismissed from “The Equalizer” in December after two women accused him of sexual assault. The drama revealed on Sunday how Noth’s character, William Bishop, was eliminated from the Queen Latifah-led series.