The Equalizer (1986) – Prelude, and Nocturne

The second season opener of The Equalizer brings up some personal and professional history for Robert McCall (Edward Woodward). Prelude was written by Carleton Eastlake and launched the season on 8 October, 1986.

McCall discovers that his son, Scott (William Zabka) is in town after the latest school term has started because he’s been ousted from the conservatory. And despite the headway the pair had made in reestablishing their relationship it seems to have frayed since then. McCall hasn’t been to attend any of Scott’s European performances due to commitments, or simply forgetting the schedule.

Throw in some professional history when a young woman, Jenny (Lori Loughlin) comes to him for help when her investigative reporter father, Morrow (Martin Shakar) is kidnapped by Vincente (Jaime Sanchez) a man McCall helped stage a coup with under orders of the Company back in the day.

Connecting with Vincente, McCall is shocked to discover that the Company may still be working with the killer, and Morrow is being tortured for information. This brings him into conflict with Control (Robert Lansing) and his son, as Scott learns more about his past.

As the odds seem to grow against McCall, he tucks Scott and Jenny away and goes up against Vincente and the Company to save Morrow, continuing to make amends for his actions.

It’s a smart, gritty season opener. It establishes the characters, their relationships, and the fact that the show isn’t afraid to be dark. Woodward continues to exude his stoic charm, and Stewart Copeland continues to deliver an exciting percussion-driven score.

Nocturne was also written by Eastlake and was first broadcast on 15 October, 1986. McCall is hired by a music critic, Kate Parnell (Jessica Harper) who comes to him for aid when she encounters the man who, eight years ago attacked and raped her, leaving her so badly beaten that she was blinded.

She hears his voice in an elevator and has become convinced that he’s closing in on her again. The police are unable to help, but McCall is more than ready to take on the job. McCall enlists the help of another agent, Logan (Michael Parks) to help out.

Logan is a bit of a reflection of McCall, though a little more emotionally fragile. He’s dealing with his own past and is haunted by incidents that he was unable to change.

With sound and voice technology, they attempt to figure out who the man is that attacked her, and why he would be closing in on her again. It seems he may be a public figure and Kate could cause him serious problems if she is able to prove his crimes.

As Logan begins developing personal feelings for Kate, her attacker draws near, and even in as much as McCall and Logan help her, Kate will also work to get the justice she deserves!

Ron O’Neal makes another appearance as Lt. Smalls, and the music duo Ashford & Simpson show up as themselves.

It’s a solid episode, and I do like the dynamic between Logan and McCall, they aren’t so very different, and I like that Kate is able to save herself, with some help from The Equalizer.


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