The Equalizer (1989) – Making of a Martyr, and The Sins of Our Fathers

McCall (Edward Woodward), and Mickey (Keith Szarabajka) take on a problem that seemed bad in the 80s, and is so much worse now. Gun control.

Making of a Martyr was written by Wayne and Donna Powers and originally aired on 11 January, 1989.

Tom Noonan and Barbara Williams guest star as Brandon and Sylvia Thorton. Sylvia is making public demands for better gun control and is trying to get the attention of the politicians running for office, but they seem to be owned by lobbyists (or at least so it’s intimated). It seems his husband Brandon was hit by a stray bullet during a domestic dispute in a building he was visiting as a social worker, and will now spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Her arguments have drawn the wrong kind of attention, a man with a gun who is intent on making an example of her. John Kelly (William Converse-Roberts) has his own history with guns, greying the matter a little, but he breaks the laws, makes open threats, and seems very unstable. A solid argument for better gun control.

Of course, there’s a piece in the opening sequence with Sylvia giving a speech and pulling out an Uzi and aiming it at her audience. I realize it’s done for dramatic purposes, but that would have been enough to get her arrested.

It’s interesting that McCall and Mickey seem to be on almost opposite sides of the argument, despite their shared history and occupation. It never gets fully explored, but it’s interesting that they don’t always agree on everything.

The Sins of Our Fathers was written by Tom Towler, and debuted on 18 January, 1989. McCall is approached by Natalie Santelli (J. Smith-Cameron) to help recover her kidnapped son. Her husband is adamant about handling it himself because he’s also a mobster, the infamous Carlo Santelli (Al Shannon).

McCall is dubious about taking the assignment at first because of Carlo, but he reckons the boy is innocent of his father’s sins, and he will do his best to help Natalie, but at the same time, work with Mickey on a way to bring Carlo down and show his wife what a true monster he is.

McCall seeks some help to figure out who orchestrated the kidnapping, and perhaps find out who they worked for. He’s a little dumbstruck to learn that the man who worked the kidnap job for his employer is an old contact of his, Carter Brock (Joe Morton!).

Happily, before the episode’s end, Carter sees the error of his ways and lends a hand to help Mickey and McCall rescue the boy, and bring Carlo down, or at least get him out of the country for good while they spirit Natalie and her boy away to safety.

There’s also a small subplot involving McCall helping his housekeeper understand a Shakespeare sonnet in time for her night class.

A solid episode, though the one before it is definitely the stronger of the pair this time out.

Let’s see what happens next time with The Equalizer!


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