The Equalizer (1985) – The Children’s Song, and The Distant Fire

William Zabka is back as Robert McCall’s (Edward Woodward) son, Scott, and there’s a television debut for Bradley Whitford, Ed O’Neill shows up as a local doctor, and Dana Barron from National Lampoon’s Vacation is this week’s person in need of help from McCall’s Equalizer.

The Children’s Song was written by Howard Chesley, Joel Surnow and Maurice Hurley from a story by Chesley. It debuted on 30 October, 1985.

Scott is preparing to leave for Paris, he’s been invited to join the conservatory there, giving him and his father, Robert, the weekend to sort out their feelings for one another and forge some kind of connection. McCall suggests a remote cabin he’s used in the past for his work.

On their way, they pass Melinda (Barron) and her boyfriend who are hitchhiking to either Boston or Toronto, though if they are in New York state that doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense in terms of direction. The couple is picked up by three good ole boys, including Whitford, who are eager to put the aggressive moves on Melinda.

She escapes but her boyfriend is accidentally killed in the ensuing scuffle. Scott effects a bit of a rescue when he makes a beer run (after competitive wood chopping with his father) and they soon find themselves under siege at the cabin by the three men who decide that none of them can be allowed to live.

Of course, they didn’t count on McCall. Improvised warfare ensues.

It’s great to see Zabka again, and there’s a real sense of Woodward wanting McCall to forge a connection with his son, and it’s just so wild seeing who pops up in this series!

The Distant Fire first aired on 6 November, 1985. It was written by Surnow, Hurley and Robert Sabaroff from a story by Sabaroff. This one also gives us a glance back into McCall’s past as he is contacted by a former Company colleague turned hitman, Micheal Rosa (Jon DeVries).

Rosa wants McCall’s assistance in saving a life during an assassination attempt. The life of a woman they both loved, Carla Holden (Alberta Watson). Carla has gone on to marry Vezay Holden (George Morfogen), who because of his political leanings and actions has been targeted for assassination.

In fact he’s been targeted by someone inside McCall’s own Company, an up-and-comer named Jason (Saul Rubinek!). Rosa is assigned to the task, but he wants McCall to make sure Carla is safe.

Seeing Carla again reawakens something in McCall, something we’ve only got glimpses of before, an emotional being, But there is more going on and McCall is being used as a pawn in a game he hasn’t quite figured out yet.

Once again the series plays a little darker and grittier than the other series at the time, and the script is tight and well-paced. Woodward is a lot of fun to watch, and the series is smart, engaging and fully realized from the off. We bump into Jimmy (Mark Margolis) again, and we get a far too short look at Bill Cobbs showing up as an old contact of McCall’s.

I can’t wait to see what McCall takes on next.

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