The Equalizer (1989) – Trial by Ordeal, and Silent Fury

A few years before Al Pacino declared the whole courtroom out of order, Robert McCall (Edward Woodward) got to do it in Trial by Ordeal. With an airdate of 1 March, 1989, the episode is actually a clip show.

That statement can put a number of people off because clip shows can be really iffy, and seem to lack a smart and well-put-together narrative. Not this time around. Coleman Luck pens an episode that sees The Company holding an internal tribunal, with Control (Robert Lansing) the defendant, and his life on the line.

And if Control is found guilty, then McCall may be found guilty as well. The tribunal investigates the shared past of the pair of them, their connections, and the way they would trade favours laid out in a number of flashbacks.

McCall makes Control’s arguments, serving as his consul, while Roy Dotrice stars as Charlie McGuinness, the agent prosecuting the case. With an electric chair looming in the background, death is palatably in the room.

Things seem to go worse when it’s revealed that Mickey (Keith Szarabajka) may have been working against McCall under orders from the Company since the beginning.

But there’s a reveal coming, which is well delivered and executed and makes sense within the world of spycraft.

This was a great little episode, making solid use of clips, and weaving everything into an engaging narrative that makes The Company and its hierarchy very troubling. I thought some of the things they were setting up would play out for the rest of the series.

Well, there’s one thing that may come back, one of Control’s personal projects…

Silent Fury features a fun little guest cast, Cynthia Nixon, Paul McCrane, Jon Polito, Mark Boone Junior, and The Next Generation’s Riva, I mean Howie Seago.

Written by Donna and Wayne Powers, the story sees a rash of robberies targeting the deaf community. When Jackie (Nixon) and Ron (Seago) are attacked, which lets the police see a connection in a series of events, Jackie turns to The Equalizer for help.

This causes some strife between her and Ron, and other members of the deaf community who want justice, but are also determined to find it for themselves.

I like Seago, and loved his appearance in Trek, and I love him in this as well, and Nixon is surprisingly good as Jackie, who is also supposed to be deaf.

This season is really well-written and at the top of its game, the past couple of episodes have been phenomenal, smart, and very enjoyable. It’s rather surprising, and a little saddening to think that there are only ten more episodes left in the season.

Let’s see where McCall takes us for as we prepare to wrap up the series.


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