The Equalizer (1985) – The Defector, and The Lock Box

Very quickly The Equalizer has shown that its willing to go dark and gritty, and while there are some dark moments in The Defector, The Lock Box is even darker.

The Defector was written by Heywood Gould and first debuted on 2 October, 1985.

An old friend, and former agent of the USSR, Felix (Joe Silver) attempts to defect, but a Soviet spy hunter, Radek (Jaroslav Stremien) and his team take the man out and plan on abducting the man’s daughter, Irina (Melissa Leo) back to Russia.

McCall (Edward Woodward) does his best to help Felix, even showing some skill at disguises before things go wrong, and then works to protect Irina, even if that means dealing with his former employer and contact, Control (Robert Lansing).

When Irina is grabbed, raising suspicions of a mole within the company, a young agent with something to prove helps McCall out.

The b-story sees McCall helping out a young boy, Larry (J.D. Roth) in dealing with some bullies. And while he shows him some moves, you have to wonder what happens when the kid goes back to school the next day.

Still I like the fact that McCall works on teaching the boy to look after himself instead of confronting high school thugs himself, though that may happen as the series progresses. Who knows?

I like that the series can be both spy thriller as illustrated by the a-story or a vigilante-tale like we’ve seen in the prior two episodes. There’s been some nice set-up, but the next episode is probably the darkest of the bunch so far, at least for mod-80s television and it took the subject matter head-on.

The Lock Box was written by Frank Military, Joel Surnow, and Maurice Hurley from a story by Military. It was first broadcast on 9 October, 1985.

The Griffith family, Sam (J.T. Walsh), Eleanor (Maureen Anderman) and daughter, Edie (Paige Price), arrives in NY from Dultuh, and they have problems from the beginning, from having a phony cab driver (Luiz Guzman) steal their luggage, to being railroaded by the hotel that ‘lost’ their reservation.

Things turn nightmarish when Edie is abducted by DeGraumont (Adam Ant) and is being kept in a high-paying clientele brothel known as the Lock Box.

The police (a desk sergeant played by David Alan Grier) are ineffectual in dealing with the missing persons report, but when the family turns to McCall for help, he’s able to shake loose some more information, while jeopardizing a developing relationship with Angelica (Sara Botsford).

It’s nice to see McCall attempting to develop personal and romantic relationships but since this is Botsford’s only appearance I guess we can assume this one didn’t work out.

McCall gets information from high-placed agency assets as well as off the street, including a hooker played by Lori Petty.

And while McCall eventually tracks DeGraumont down, it’s too late to spare Edie any sexual assault or rape.

Sam and Eleanor clash through the entire episode, and Sam is at a loss and when he learns that DeGraumont is being let loose, and shipped off to another country to start fresh (he’s protected and as long as highly-placed people want his services he’ll remain protected – sounds familiar) he goes after the man in revenge.

Will McCall be able to stop him in time?

This one is dark, gritty, and it’s amazing that this series shares writers with Miami Vice, another dark and gritty Universal series airing at the same time, it’s odd that they never had a cross-over. I think with Surnow and Hurley writing it could have worked.

Let’s see what McCall gets up to next time!

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