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Old 06-26-2020, 12:01 AM   #21
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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AnamorphicWidescreen, do you remember an episode from just before the end of The Equalizer's second season called "First Light"? It's one of the episodes being repeated on Forces TV next week. It's one of those episodes I remember not liking as well as others, because (and this is based on my memory of watching the Fabulous Films DVD release of the second season) it seemed to take place in one location or not many locations (think it was a flashback-style episode).
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Old 06-26-2020, 03:33 AM   #22
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Hey - I honestly don't remember that "First Light" episode, but I'm sure I saw this. I streamed the whole series back in 2013, and haven't seen it since then; the PQ was poor on the streams, so the memories of some of these episodes are somewhat dim.

I need to go back & watch the entire series again on the DVD sets.
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Old 06-26-2020, 09:37 PM   #23
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Watched last night the episode "The Confirmation Day". Burt Young (from the Rocky films) and Joseph Wiseman (Dr. No) guest-starred. The picture to me looked a bit 'zoomed-in' (the tell-tale sign was the show's logo at the end of the title sequence, it looked larger than it normally is in the title sequence). Still a very good transfer though.

Think I read about this on the IMDb a few weeks ago, that in a scene where McCall is driving a truck, it's actually Edward Woodward driving it and not a double (from watching the episode last night, you couldn't tell, because the truck was filmed from a good distance away).

Steven Williams, in his recurring detective role, had the most scenes out of any of the episodes he's been in. Think he's in one more episode (the strange thing, is that on the DVD artwork for the first season, he's credited with Edward Woodward, and yet he only appeared in six episodes of the series).
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:58 PM   #24
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Watched this past weekend, the episode "The Children's Song" (not sure why it was called that), which to me clearly looked like it was shot out in New York state (only the beginning of the episode was in New York City). The locations, where McCall and son Scott are heading to a cabin in the woods, reminded me of the town locations in the original Friday the 13th film.

Guest stars included a young Bradley Whitford, and in one scene (in a hospital or clinic) Ed O'Neill played a doctor (in the end credits he was credited as "Edward O'Neill").

I heard two music tracks in the episode (one of which I heard during the scene at the gas/petrol station), but I didn't know the titles or the artists (someone must have a list of the music tracks played in the show).

I enjoyed the episode. Didn't remember a lot of it from when I last watched Universal's DVD first season set, compared to some of the previous episodes this season (I actually thought the episode where McCall and Scott went away for weekend trip to the cabin in the woods was "Back Home". In addition, I thought it was a Christmas episode (which "Back Home" might be), but this definitely wasn't set during Christmas (Scott says to his father that he'll be back for "the holidays", which obviously must be either Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays). And some of the trees were turning autumnal.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
Watched this past weekend, the episode "The Children's Song" (not sure why it was called that), which to me clearly looked like it was shot out in New York state (only the beginning of the episode was in New York City). The locations, where McCall and son Scott are heading to a cabin in the woods, reminded me of the town locations in the original Friday the 13th film.

Guest stars included a young Bradley Whitford, and in one scene (in a hospital or clinic) Ed O'Neill played a doctor (in the end credits he was credited as "Edward O'Neill").
This is one of my favorite episodes of S01. Robert's young adult son Scott is obviously estranged from him in the beginning of the series - due to Robert having been absent for most of his childhood, the divorce, etc. And, we see the two of them reconnect throughout the course of the series, even though Scott isn't in that many episodes. This one where Robert and Scott have a "bonding" of sorts via going to their remote cabin is especially memorable & well-done.

This episode also takes McCall out of the place where he's seen the most on the show (i.e., an urban environment) and puts him in the wilderness in the middle of nowhere, where he has to defend himself, his son, and the young woman (that joins them) - from violent criminals. That being said, it's evident that McCall has been in these types of situations before, and knows exactly what to do in order to defend the cabin & keep the three of them alive.

Due to Scott's saying that he would be "back for the holidays" & the obvious Fall foliage, I also believe this episode was chronologically set during the late October/early November or early December time-frame(s) & probably filmed during that period as well.

Note that Scott is played by William Zabka, who is better known as the bully Johnny Lawrence from the original Karate Kid film (1984). He reprises the JL role in the more recent & well-done Cobra Kai Youtube series.

Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen; 07-10-2020 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 06-30-2020, 11:41 PM   #26
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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I think I read it in one of the trivia sections on the IMDb for The Equalizer (sometimes the info on there isn't always accurate), that there was an idea of a spin-off centred around McCall's son Scott. If true, I don't know how that would have worked. Maybe if it had been a Kostmayer spin-off.

Secondly, Forces TV's repeat run of the show goes back to the beginning from next Monday with the pilot episode being shown again (the second season finale is on this Friday night, but they're not going into the third season next week. This is normal though with some channels over here; they don't do a complete repeat run of a series in one go (CBS Drama for example). Instead, they go back to the beginning and repeat what they've already shown, then start showing the next few seasons. So hopefully Forces TV will go into the third season eventually.
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:27 PM   #27
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Watched this past weekend, the first season episode "The Distant Fire". It was a departure from the 'client answers the Equalizer's newspaper ad' type of episode. It involved a couple of people from McCall's past, one of whom was a woman who he had a romantic relationship with. Mark Margolis makes his second appearance as one of McCall's contacts, Jimmy (did he work for the Company?). Making his debut (appearing in something like a handful of episodes in total) was Saul Rubinek as Jason, a member of the Company.

Couldn't remember what this episode was about before I watched it again. The location of the end of the episode was familiar though. Thought as a whole it was a very good episode, a nice change of episode type.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:47 AM   #28
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Watched last night the episode "Mama's Boy". Wouldn't say it was one of the best so far in the first season, but a so-so episode of The Equalizer is better than episodes on other shows.

One of the positive things about this episode were the several familiar faces appearing through it, especially seeing ex-Carry On actor Jim Dale in a serious role (playing an art gallery owner whose son was involved with the villain in the story). The villain was played by Mark Soper, who would later star in slasher horror film Blood Rage and have a recurring guest star role on Knots Landing (in the tidal wave energy storyline).

Also appearing in the episode were Alex Winter (before the Bill & Ted films), Bob Gunton (just under a decade before The Shawshank Redemption), Billy Wirth and Christine Baranski.

Appearing for the last time (in his recurring "Also Starring" role as the detective who helps McCall out on cases (and vice-versa) was Steven Williams.
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Old 07-13-2020, 11:55 PM   #29
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Watched this past weekend, the first season episode "Bump and Run" (this was the last new episode shown in the States before the Thanksgiving holidays). The show was back on form with an episode which on this viewing, was a near-classic. I enjoyed the second half, but it didn't continue the darker tone in the first half (the set-up of the story, with the Equalizer impersonator, the instrumental music, and the scene where McCall visits the scene of two killings).

I'd be interested to know when this episode was filmed. EpGuides and the IMDb don't have the production numbers for the show, so I don't know if this was filmed early on, or during autumn/fall, as with some scenes it felt like they had been shot in autumn, and some in the summer. Maybe they had a warm autumn that year?

There was a different detective in this episode instead of the character played by Steven Williams. Mark Margolis made his third appearance as Jimmy, and Keith Szarabajka returned for his second appearance as Kostmayer.
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:28 PM   #30
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Watched last night the episode "Desperately", the first of three episodes originally shown in the States in December '85. McCall's client in this episode was a bored housewife who is tempted to have an encounter with a stranger. However, he's not who he appears to be. Also, McCall was under the weather with a cold (when this episode was shot they were having rainy weather at the time). One of his contacts, who appeared in the early season one episode "The Lock Box", appears again in this story.

The actress who played the housewife's friend, was a recurring guest star on the original Law & Order, playing the same character (a defence lawyer. She last played the same character in the series premiere of Chicago Justice. The defence lawyer had become a judge).

Some good thrilling, action sequences in this one. Liked this episode slightly less than "Bump and Run".
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:11 PM   #31
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Two season one episodes guest-starring Fred Williamson

In the tradition of Steven Williams' character (Lt. Jefferson Burnett) in the first half of the season (as well as Charles Brown as Sgt. Oliver Gant), veteran actor Fred Williamson's appearances in the two first season episodes "Reign of Terror" and "Back Home" were literally one or two scenes (*). He appeared in two scenes in the former, and in one scene in the latter. Watched these episodes in the last few days (thought the latter was the stronger episode).

Also appearing in "Reign of Terror" was veteran actor Tomas Milian, playing an old friend of McCall's. The story was good, about a doctor who ran a clinic in an area of New York City whose citizens were being intimidated by a gang, who had a deal with the doctor's predecessor. Her assistant contacted McCall for help. The doctor refused to let McCall use guns. So he had to find another way to stop the gang. I liked the locations used in this episode, but I wouldn't say it was one of my favourites.

However, the next episode I really enjoyed, "Back Home". It was set during the run-up to the Christmas holidays. I thought this was the episode Michael Rooker guest-starred in, but it wasn't. Guest stars included Frank Converse (credits include the short-lived series Coronet Blue) and Charles Hallahan (credits include Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers). The tenants of a run-down apartment block are being terrorised so that they will move out (the owner of the building was involved in a custody battle with his wife, over their son). Sometimes Christmas episodes of TV series (and it's not just with American series) can be a bit schmaltzy, but this wasn't (found McCall's rendition of a Christmas carol sort of amusing. He wasn't full of Christmas spirit, partly because his son Scott wouldn't be visiting him for the holidays).

(*) - The exception was with Steven Williams' character, who appeared in a few scenes in the episode "The Confirmation Day".
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:24 AM   #32
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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The episode I watched last night, "Out of the Past" was one of the better average episodes so far in the first season. McCall didn't first appear until fifteen minutes into the episode. He was contacted by his ex-wife (and mother of son Scott), whose husband was being threatened by someone from his past, who had just recently been released from prison (played by Stephen McHattie).

Also guest-starring in the episode was Brad Dourif, as a friend of the recently-released prisoner. There was another familiar actor who guest-starred as a parole officer (couldn't remember his name though).

You can tell now that by this point in the season, they were filming the episodes during mid to late autumn/fall (hardly any leaves on the trees and it looks like it was getting colder).

The episode was a bit cliched in parts, but it was still quite good.

One other observation, Robert Lansing (as Control, head of the Agency (not the Company as I previously thought) hasn't appeared in the first season since the fifth episode "Lady Cop".
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:00 PM   #33
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Episodes "Dead Drop" and "Wash-Up"

Watched last Friday night the episode "Dead Drop", and last night "Wash-Up".

Not quite sure what it was I didn't like about "Wash-Up". It sounded better on paper (two window washers being threatened by their boss, and something about a union). Robert Davi guest-starred as the boss. I thought the last ten to fifteen minutes was the best part of the episode (it was set in what looked like a series of tunnels or a bunker).

However, the previous episode I really enjoyed. It kind of felt like a Mission: Impossible episode in hindsight. McCall brought together a group of Agency employees, after being asked for his help by a flower shop owner (who was involved in an intelligence operation, without involving himself in it, if that makes sense).

Were McCall and the Agency operatives in any threat during the episode? At times they were. That was the one query I had about the episode in the days after I had watched it. Other than that I couldn't find any fault with it. It was a classic Equalizer episode.

Loved the setting of the end to the story, in what was called the "Convention Center". Does this location still exist in New York City? At the time this episode was shot, it was under construction.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:55 AM   #34
dune1984 dune1984 is offline
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Thanks Oceanblue, love the recaps. Would never have time to watch the show but your mini reviews are great.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:56 PM   #35
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dune1984 View Post
Thanks Oceanblue, love the recaps. Would never have time to watch the show but your mini reviews are great.
I'm trying not to watch too much of the show, as even though there were four seasons, you can get through a season too quickly (I watch the show in rotation with a few other older TV series).

The last three episodes I've noticed no leaves on the trees in New York City, so I'm guessing these episodes were shot in November or December 1985 (they originally aired in the last three weeks of January 1986).

The last few episodes' transfers haven't been faded or really faded, but the show's logo at the end of the title sequence has had a faded orange colour.
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:16 PM   #36
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Episode "Torn"

Forgot to include in the review of "Wash-Up", that veteran actor Ron O'Neal debuted as Lt. Isadore Smalls (the latest police contact of McCall's). Based on his IMDb filmography, he appeared in a total of seven episodes (one more than Steven Williams).

Ron O'Neal appeared in the next episode, "Torn" (which I watched last night). You have to think a bit more about other episodes (which is a good thing), but this episode had an extra couple of layers to it.

There is that often said quote that actors don't like working with children and animals. The child actor in this episode was one of the exceptions, Melissa Joan Hart (credited in the end credits as "Melissa Hart"), several years before she started working on the TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She wasn't annoying at all in this story. Loved the scenes she had with Edward Woodward (it reminded me of Kris Kringle in the original Miracle on 34th Street). One of the pieces of Stewart Copeland's instrumental music I liked in "Torn" was the fairground/carousel-sounding music. Melissa Joan Hart didn't have many lines, but in the case of the ending of this episode nothing said meant more than saying anything.

Regarding the transfer, it didn't look faded (maybe apart from a couple of scenes). The show's logo at the end of the title sequence was a vibrant orange. The transfer looked 'zoomed-in' (you could tell it was, especially during the end credits).

My guess about the title of the episode, was that McCall was torn between two things, his latest case (his client was a little girl, whose troubled father was in prison, and her scared mother) and an off-the-books assignment (Agency boss (or employee) Jason asked for his help in finding someone from McCall's past called Brian). Sometimes when there are two storylines sharing an episode, one of them comes off worse. But in this case they were equally as good as one another.

This episode marked the third and final appearance of Saul Rubinek as Jason.

The episode's last scene saw the first sign of snow (you can tell it was wintry by the time this scene was shot).
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:19 AM   #37
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Great episode reviews, OceanBlue. I especially appreciate the observations about the Autumn/Winter weather.

This thread is definitely making me want to revisit The Equalizer again. I have a huge back-log of TV shows/movies I want to watch/re-watch, however - so it may be a while. I've only seen the entire series all the way through once, many via crummy streams - though I've seen some individual episodes more than once, especially in the first season. And, I've noticed that each time I watch a TV show/movie, I notice something different. So, I'm really looking forward to this forthcoming re-watch.

One of my favorite 1st season episodes was 'Breakpoint'. McCall was a guest at a wedding reception that ended up being taken over by terrorists. Superb, and definitely one of the best in the entire series. It was one of several episodes that involved McCall having to get out of an unplanned difficult/dangerous situation using only his skills/expertise & whatever he could find on-hand (without access to any real weapons).

Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen; 07-31-2020 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:03 PM   #38
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post
Great episode reviews, OceanBlue. I especially appreciate the observations about the Autumn/Winter weather.

This thread is definitely making me want to revisit The Equalizer again. I have a huge back-log of TV shows/movies I want to watch/re-watch, however - so it may be a while. I've only seen the entire series all the way through once, many via crummy streams - though I've seen some individual episodes more than once, especially in the first season. And, I've noticed that each time I watch a TV show/movie, I notice something different. So, I'm really looking forward to this forthcoming re-watch.

One of my favorite 1st season episodes was 'Breakpoint'. McCall was a guest at a wedding reception that ended up being taken over by terrorists. Superb, and definitely one of the best in the entire series. It was one of several episodes that involved McCall having to get out of an unplanned difficult/dangerous situation using only his skills/expertise & whatever he could find on-hand (without access to any real weapons).
I'm not far away from the episode "Breakpoint" (it's on the last disc in Universal's first season set). I do remember you raving about that episode. The next episode I'll be watching ("Unnatural Causes"), I got it's storyline mixed up with "Torn" (about a serial killer leaving an orchid on each of their victims).

Also, regarding "Torn", maybe it was because of the 'zoomed-in' transfer, but the episode title and guest star credits were right-of-centre.

I hope these reviews/mini-reviews bring some enjoyment, and create that interest in wanting to re-watch the original series. When they do eventually start filming the revival series, if it does well and reaches these shores, I'm willing to give it a chance, even though it won't be the same (Chris Noth is going to be in it, so that's certainly one thing which has got me interested in the revival).

I know it's irritating and boring to others, when I make observations on the weather and on location shooting conditions of episodes. I do the same with the existing Chicago shows (something else which some people get bored by, when I mention the weather).

Thanks for supporting the thread.

Last edited by OceanBlue; 07-31-2020 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:08 PM   #39
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Thanks Oceanblue for your reviews/observations. I just recently finished watching all the episodes via the VEI set and the nostalgia factor is great on this one. I love the grimy New York City era and this show personifies that 1000%. Love all the CIA mumbo jumbo and Woodward's coolness as well.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:20 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodstuff View Post
Thanks Oceanblue for your reviews/observations. I just recently finished watching all the episodes via the VEI set and the nostalgia factor is great on this one. I love the grimy New York City era and this show personifies that 1000%. Love all the CIA mumbo jumbo and Woodward's coolness as well.
In VEI's set, is the season three opener "Blood & Wine" presented as a two-parter with the same episodic promo at the beginning of both parts, or as a feature-length episode?

Thanks for the compliment/positive feedback. Like AnamorphicWidescreen has said, on this second viewing of the DVD release (I did see some episodes when it was originally shown on ITV, and on the repeat run on Granada Plus), I'm seeing things I've missed before (eg. verbal and visual details, and the music score).
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