The Equalizer (1987) – Hand and Glove, and Re-Entry

Scott (William Zabka) is back for the penultimate episode of The Equalizer season two, and after a brief interaction he and his father, Robert McCall (Edward Woodward) have with a con artist, the pair find themselves involved in a case that may be all in the mind of a young, wheelchair-bound woman, or perhaps she’s being gaslit and set up for something horrible.

Hand and Glove was written by Coleman Luck and was first broadcast on 20 May, 1987.

Deborah (Barbara Garrick) has been horrific nightmares since her accident, from which she is slowly recovering, and they seem to be leaking into her everyday life. Since the death of her father, she’s been living with her uncle, Kenneth (Charles Keating) and his son, Ken Jr. (Mark Soper).

When she reaches out to her friend Scott for some help, Robert is dubious at first but soon discovers that someone is at work behind the scenes, working to drive Deborah insane or to her death in order to claim the family’s fortune.

Even her doctor, Spaulding (William H. Macy) isn’t above suspicion, but Robert quickly figures out who is responsible, and though he gets injured in the reveal, he’s not going to let that stop justice from being served.

The imagery and dreams that are brought to life in this episode are very well executed, and it’s always fun to see Robert and Scott pairing up together. The pair have a great chemistry together, and there’s a real sense of connection there that they effectively portray onscreen.

Re-Entry pulls out all the stops to bring in a lot of recognizable names, John Goodman, Joe Morton, Steve Buscemi, David Johansen and the series’ musical composer, Stewart Copeland makes an appearance as well.

Written by Scott Shepherd from a story by Dennis Manuel, the season finale aired on 27 May, 1987.

Harold Winter (Goodman) is doing his best to make ends meet for his son, Chris (Cameron Johann) after losing his wife and his job. But it seems Slate (Morton) and Garnet (Johansen) have other plans for him, forcing him to work with a pawn shop owner, Archie (Buscemi) to replicate a card pass from his former employer so that they can break in undetected, and steal from the company’s safeguarded labs.

As McCall and Mickey (Keith Szarabajka) dive into helping Chris and his father, they find the enemy is not who they expected, and Chris’ life ends up in danger, but also may be the key to stopping Slate and Garnet, and getting Harold free and clear of his haunted past once and for all.

This is a pretty strong ending to the second season, it’s found its feet, it knows what stories work, and what can be done on 80s television and they have a strong supporting cast and a captivating lead.

This would take a bit of a hit in the third season when the unexpected happened following the shoot of the season three opener. But that’s next time on The Equalizer!


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