The Equalizer (1986) – Breakpoint, and No Conscience

McCall (Edward Woodward) was looking forward to an enjoyable evening at a wedding reception, but things go badly when the entire party is taken hostage by terrorists who were in the building for an assassination.

Breakpoint was written by Scott Shepherd and Don Carlos Dunaway from a story by Shepherd. It first went out over the airwaves on 19 February, 1986.

McCall had the pleasure of giving away the bride, Deborah (Patricia Clarkson) and is enjoying the evening at hand when a terrorist group (led by Tony Shalhoub) comes in and seizes the party as they attempt to deal with the police waiting for them outside.

The terrorists aren’t afraid of killing those in the way or physically and sexually assaulting anyone that catches their eye. Unfortunately, they did not count on McCall, who is slowly crafting a plan to eliminate the threat and keep as many people as he can safe.

Happily, there are those outside who are planning on helping. Kostmayer (Keith Szarabajka) is preparing to sneak into the building and effect a rescue of his own.

It’s a tightly paced and executed story, coiled like a spring, and it works, even though there are some troubling moments, but that is exactly the point of the story, though the generalizations created for the baddies make them little more than stereotypes no matter how fantastic Shalhoub is as an actor.

I love that Kostmayer is so dedicated to his work with McCall that he’s willing to risk his own life to go in after him, and I love that McCall isn’t looking for a quick and easy plan of attack, he’s willing to draw things out and make it work on his terms.

No Conscience first aired on 5 March, 1986 and was written by Mark Frost.

Mitchell (D.W. Moffett) is a womanizer. He can’t keep track of all the numbers he has and he’s found himself in a rough spot. It seems someone, Vicki (Kelly Curtis) gave him something in a matchbook, in which she’s scrawled a number.

Mitchell gets grabbed by a group of intimidating people, beaten, threatened. They want the information that Vicki gave him. He has no idea what they are talking about and turns to McCall for help.

With the help of Vicki’s best friend, Theresa (Laurie Metcalf) and some assistance from Jimmy (Mark Margolis) McCall is able to figure out what is going on. It’s not governmental spycraft that Mitchell has inadvertently gotten himself mixed up in, but industrial.

Mitchell doesn’t seem to really care about what is going on, he just wants out and away with as little commitment as possible, and Theresa, well, she may not be all she seems to be.

Next time we finish off the first impressive season of The Equalizer. And though I haven’t mentioned it for a couple of weeks, Stewart Copeland is still rocking the episodic scores each week.

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