The Equalizer (1987) – Coal Black Soul, and First Light

Apparently, neither the writers nor McCall (Edward Woodward) learned everything from last week’s episode, which featured an affair of the heart. Robert McCall has found himself in a new romance. He’s seeing Dr. Stephanie Davis (Patricia Kalember), a woman he saved from a peeping tom.

The crux of the episode, Coal Black Soul, which was written by Scott Shepherd, and first aired 6 May, 1987, follows McCall’s involvement in trying to stop a serial killer, Alex (Mitchell Lichenstein), who calls The Equalizer for help in stopping by killing him.

McCall isn’t going to kill Alex as a form of help, but as the killings continue, and one of the victims dies in McCall’s arms, Robert goes after him with dedication and finality, but it’s not going to go easy for McCall or his new lady love.

It’s a fairly well-crafted tale, as most of the series has been, but do we really need to see another romantic subplot with Robert done so quickly on the end of the previous episode? I’m not saying Robert doesn’t deserve a successful romantic relationship, but build it right, and build it into the series, don’t make it an episodic thing that has no chance to go anywhere.

We know that no matter what happens with Alex in this episode, that things with Stephanie can’t proceed without changing the nature of the show, and you can’t do that in episodic television.

Not a bad episode, and watch for a brief appearance by Chris Elliott!

First Light sees the return of McCall’s son, Scott (William Zabka) and his girlfriend, Jenny (Lori Loughlin). Written by Jack V. Fogarty, this episode first debuted on 13 May, 1987.

McCall is testifying out of town before a committee about an operation conducted by Control’s (Robert Lansing) against a senator. It may cost Control his position.

While that’s going on, Scott and Jenny take on the role of hero, helping their friend Harry (Mike Nussbaum), who is having his little corner shop terrorized by a group of thugs. Arte they working for Victor Thorpe (Marco St.John) who is trying to buy Harry’s store to knock it down and build? Or is there another player Scott and eventually his father, haven’t clued in yet? And will they have time to save their friend?

It’s nice to see Scott back, but I’m not sure this was the best venue for it. We don’t need to see Scott being the Equalizer, we need McCall to be doing it.

On the other hand, it’s interesting to see the politics involved in Control and the Company’s continued work, its history, and the impact it has on not only McCall and his history but the world in which he operates.


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