The Equalizer (1988) – The Child Broker, and Video Games

This week’s episode, The Child Broker, boasts a bevy of recognizable guest stars, Sam Rockwell, Jerry O’Connell, Frank Whaley, Max Casella, Lycia Naff and Anthony LaPaglia. Written by Mick Curran this episode debuted on 20 January, 1988.

McCall (Edward Woodward) and Harley (Richard Jordan) are contacted by Irene Winters (Mary-Joan Negro) to help her son, Danny (Christopher Collet).

It seems Danny is in a kind of child gang overseen by Shep (Thomas G. Waites). He uses them to commit robberies, knowing that even if they get caught, they’ll be tried as juveniles. But McCall and Harley are closing in on the group, which includes O’Connell, Rockwell, Whaley and Casella as are a number of law enforcement agents (LaPaglia).

If McCall can show how selfish and uncaring about the group Shep actually is, he may be able to break his hold on the boys. But it’s going to take drastic action, and Danny is going to have trust Harley and McCall if he and his friends are ever going to get loose from Shep.

It’s another missed opportunity for Keith Szarabajka’s Mickey though it’s interesting to see that Harley is being pushed a little to the side as McCall steps to the fore again. Most of the story, however, stays on the boys and the things they are getting up to, as well as Irene’s storyline.

It’s a fairly solid episode, I was just gobsmacked as to how many familiar faces were on the show. Naff would shortly be making a couple of short-lived appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation, to say nothing of her other co-stars.

Video Games has a couple more Next Generation guest stars, Daniel Davis and Andreas Katsulas. First airing on 27 January, 1988 this episode was written by Peter McCabe.

Briggs (Katsulas) is a horrible man. He tricks women, including Christine (Vanessa Angel), into prostitution and then video taping them without their knowledge to blackmail them, using them over and over before finally killing them off.

Eddie (Davis) is a former reporter, determined to expose Briggs, who has taken to working as the man’s chauffer in a plan to exact revenge for the death of his daughter.

McCall and Harley get called in by Angela Mason (Maryann Urbano) who is concerned about Eddie, her husband, not knowing he’s working undercover, but believing he’s disappeared. Harley and McCall dig into the case, and find a disturbing ring of prostituion and exploitation.

But what happens if Eddie’s cover is blown before he, McCall and Harley can stop Briggs? And will Eddie commit murder for his vengeance or will he let the law do its thing? I quite like Davis, and it’s great to have two episodes back to back with actors who would have recurring characters on Star Trek.

let’s see what McCall gets up to next week!

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