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Old 08-05-2020, 11:08 PM   #41
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Sep 2013
Midlands, UK
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Forces TV's repeat run of The Equalizer (which went back to the beginning, after finishing the second season) moves onto the second season again next week. No idea yet whether they will show the third season.

Regarding McCall's police contacts on the show, been meaning to do a list for the first season. Steven Williams and Ron O'Neal take up just under half of the season's episodes (Williams in six episodes, and O'Neal in four episodes). Ron O'Neal would return for three further episodes in the second season (he appeared in a total of seven episodes).

The first season episodes where a police contact of McCall's appeared (I might have missed some):

"Pilot" (Lt. Jefferson Burnett, played by Steven Williams)
"China Rain" (Lt. Jefferson Burnett, played by Steven Williams)
"The Defector" (Lt. Jefferson Burnett, played by Steven Williams)
"Lady Cop" (Lt. Jefferson Burnett, played by Steven Williams)
"The Confirmation Day" (Lt. Jefferson Burnett, played by Steven Williams)
"Mama's Boy" (Lt. Jefferson Burnett, played by Steven Williams, and Sgt. Oliver Gant, played by Charles Brown (uncredited. Source: IMDb)
"Bump and Run" (Sgt. Oliver Gant, played by Charles Brown)
"Reign of Terror" (Lt. Mason Warren, played by Fred Williamson)
"Back Home" (Lt. Mason Warren, played by Fred Williamson)
"Out of the Past" (Captain Dutton, played by Hector Osorio)
"Wash-Up" (Lt. Isadore Smalls, played by Ron O'Neal)
"Torn" (Lt. Isadore Smalls, played by Ron O'Neal)
"Unnatural Causes" (Lt. Isadore Smalls, played by Ron O'Neal)
"Pretenders" (Lt. Isadore Smalls, played by Ron O'Neal).

Last edited by OceanBlue; 09-01-2020 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:09 AM   #42
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
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".
Correction to what I said in bold in the above quoted post: I had pictured Charles Hallahan being in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, playing a member of the Strode family. I think I got confused with actor Bradford English, who played John Strode in the sixth Halloween film.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:34 AM   #43
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Sep 2013
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Default Episode "Unnatural Causes"

Watched a couple of nights ago, the first season episode "Unnatural Causes". Really enjoyed this episode, a classic.

McCall had a client (an aspiring actress, played by Kim Delaney) who was being blackmailed by someone (played by an actor who I remember seeing in the last episode of The A-Team TV series (the one where there is a hostage situation in a restaurant), but who wasn't being entirely honest with McCall. Meanwhile, someone is killing women in the city, who are contacting them through a lonely hearts column, leaving an orchid at the scene of the crime.

You could on the one hand say the story structure was identical to "Torn", McCall being torn between two cases (technically one case, while trying to solve the Orchid Killer murders at the same time vs one case and doing an off the books assignment for a member of the Agency). But I think you can look past that similarity (and I'm not being biased) and enjoy the episode.

I liked that they didn't reveal the identity of the killer until late into the episode (and I didn't recognise the actor who played them). One high point for me, and this could have gone the cliched route, was that a friend of McCall who works at a library he visits (they had been doing some research for McCall) was
[Show spoiler]being signposted as a potential victim at the end of the episode (which you get in some detective and action-style series). However, they became a victim of the Orchid Killer early on.


Ron O'Neal made his third appearance as Lt. Isadore Smalls. He had just the one scene this time. Mark Margolis made an appearance as Agency employee Jimmy (just the one scene). Loved the actor who played an ex-employee of the Agency, a female friend of McCall who now runs a toy store in the city
[Show spoiler](this toy store provided the setting for the ending of "Unnatural Causes" (very memorable).
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:39 PM   #44
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Episode "Breakpoint"

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post

Breakpoint (Season 1): IMHO, this was the best episode in the first season. Impressive acting here by Tony Shalhoub, whom I almost didn't recognize as the actor who became famous much later playing the detective Adrian Monk (Monk is another favorite show.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post

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).
Watched this past weekend, the first season episode "Breakpoint". I would agree that (in hindsight) this was a classic. It had a few ingredients, which when put together, made it a tense, scary, thrilling episode.

Tony Shalhoub looked very different in this, compared to when he starred in the series Monk. Also guest-starring were Patricia Clarkson (who earlier in the season, guest-starred in the Spenser: For Hire episode "The Choice" (watched that a few weeks ago), playing the bride, and Dann Florek (a few years before the original Law & Order started, and a couple of years before the pilot was filmed). Keith Szarabajka (as Kostmayer) also appeared (bringing a bit of humour into what was a tense situation).

The episode was clearly shot during winter (eg. the overhead shot of Central Park a couple of times, covered in snow, icy pavements and falling snow outside the hotel and the temporary HQ for the police and SWAT team).

Was the episode title to do with how far McCall was being tested, before he broke and violently reacted to the hostage situation?
[Show spoiler]Loved that one bit towards the end (when the one villain thought it was McCall's dead body being dragged into the ballroom, only to find it was McCall dragging one of his associates into the ballroom instead).
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:46 PM   #45
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Sep 2013
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Default Episode "No Conscience"

When there has been a run of classic episodes, you're eventually going to get either a duff episode, or one which is anything from good to very good. This episode (which I watched last night), "No Conscience", fell somewhere between good and very good.

Some of the humour worked and some of it didn't (maybe it was because last night was one of those humid, muggy nights). There were some good guest stars, D.W. Moffett (who later starred in a thriller called Lisa, and more recently had a recurring guest star role on Chicago Med as Dr. Connor Rhodes' father Cornelius), Linda Thorson (she was the last of Steed's work partners on the original Avengers TV series), and Laurie Metcalf (her name is familiar, but I can't remember what else I've seen her in). Also making an appearance in this episode was Mark Margolis as Agency employee Jimmy.

Earlier in the season, there was one music track I recognised (Freeway of Love by Aretha Franklin). Nothing since then, until early in "No Conscience", when I recognised a track (one of the more obvious ones), Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer.

Either this episode was one of the last episodes filmed in the first season, or it could have been filmed before "Torn" and "Breakpoint", as there was no snow at all in any of the exterior scenes. It had either a late autumn/fall or late winter look.

As for the plot of the episode, it centred around a clip for matches and espionage.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:02 PM   #46
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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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.
Have you seen any of the series Midnight Caller? Fellow poster AnamorphicWidescreen started a discussion thread in the Wish Lists sub-forum for the series.
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:12 PM   #47
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Episode "Unpunished Crimes"

This past weekend, watched the penultimate episode of the first season "Unpunished Crimes" and started watching the season finale "Pretenders" (got the majority of it left to watch, but I did notice Chad Redding credited after the title sequence).

I really wanted to call the penultimate episode of the season a near classic, but a moment just before the end felt to me like a cheat. What was going to happen beforehand seemed more satisfying. But instead they went for a cliched storytelling device. It felt like a cheat, what happened instead, because the writing on The Equalizer in the first season I've hardly faulted.

But to the positives. There were a couple of instances in the episode, where I thought they were going to repeat themselves (I thought of the villain in the Christmas episode "Back Home"). Instead they pulled the rug from under your feet with some clever set-pieces.

Guest stars in the episode included veteran actor Dan Hedaya (credits include the Clint Eastwood-starring film Tightrope, which came out in cinemas a year or two before this episode originally aired in the States), John Cullum (I remember him from his recurring guest star role on Law & Order: SVU. He played a defence lawyer), and an actor whose face I recognised, but whose name I couldn't remember (he starred in the first season or two of Homicide: Life on the Street). Saw his name during the end credits, Jon Polito.

Last edited by OceanBlue; 08-17-2020 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:30 PM   #48
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post

The theme music by Stewart Copeland (former drummer for The Police) is sublime; amazing use of synthesizer(s) - though the sound is very '80's, it's also very edgy as well - i.e., the perfect instrumental music for a crime/espionage drama. The instrumental soundtrack in the show itself (also by Copeland) was also excellent.
Have quoted part of one of your posts from the first page of this thread AW.

Hopefully will start watching the second season of The Equalizer in the next week. Will be looking closely at who composed the instrumental music in this season, as it was during this time that Stewart Copeland wasn't working on the show as much (which led to him not doing the score music at all).

Would love to see a boxset done of Copeland's score for the episodes he worked on (something like what you see on La La Land Records' website). But would there be the same problem with clearing the music, like there was with the DVD release (referring to the UK release of the series I think having all or the majority of the music intact)?

There was a short series on the BBC last year about Stewart Copeland and what influenced him in music. Didn't see it myself. Has he done any interviews about his work on The Equalizer?
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:57 PM   #49
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Sep 2013
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Default First season finale "Pretenders"

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnamorphicWidescreen View Post

Great supporting cast as well, including Mickey Kostmeyer, McCall's son Scott, Jimmy, Chad Redding, Control, Harley Gage, and others.
Finished off watching last night the first season finale "Pretenders". A very good end to what has been a strong opening season. Chad Redding was one of the guest stars, playing a different character to the one she played in the remaining three seasons of The Equalizer (a newspaper reporter who could see a good story about a mysterious man (played by guest star Tony Musante) in a neighbouring apartment).

Recurring actor Robert Lansing didn't appear in a lot of the first season (but he would frequently appear in the show as time went on), around a handful of episodes. In the early season one episodes, his character Control would always wear a bow-tie. But in the season finale the bow-tie is gone and he's wearing a tie. Even though he and McCall would often be arguing with one another about a case McCall was working on (or on a case to do with the Agency), they were still longtime friends.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:50 PM   #50
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Sep 2013
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Default Second season premiere "Prelude"

Started watching the second season last night. The opening episode "Prelude" was a very good episode which I enjoyed more than the last time I watched it. It took a bit of getting used to, the music score - Bob Christianson, instead of Stewart Copeland. Their IMDb filmography says they did the music score for three episodes (the first three episodes of the second season).

Edward Woodward's acting is always good, but he was excellent in this episode. Especially liked the dialogue between him and Robert Lansing towards the end of the episode, regarding members of the Agency and long memories.

Some well shot action scenes in the episode, and a good choice of locations used (especially one where McCall and Control are talking about McCall's case.
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Old 08-22-2020, 01:25 AM   #51
AnamorphicWidescreen AnamorphicWidescreen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
Have quoted part of one of your posts from the first page of this thread AW.

Hopefully will start watching the second season of The Equalizer in the next week. Will be looking closely at who composed the instrumental music in this season, as it was during this time that Stewart Copeland wasn't working on the show as much (which led to him not doing the score music at all).

Would love to see a boxset done of Copeland's score for the episodes he worked on (something like what you see on La La Land Records' website). But would there be the same problem with clearing the music, like there was with the DVD release (referring to the UK release of the series I think having all or the majority of the music intact)?
Yes, Copeland's music for The Equalizer was sublime; really enjoyed this. Though the opening theme music was the most recognizable music in the show, the synth score in the episodes themselves was very good as well.

Note I am a HUGE fan of late '70's/early '80's rock/pop group The Police - which featured Copeland as the drummer. They may be my #1 favorite musical group of all time.

Here's another extended/alternate take on the theme song:


Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen; 08-22-2020 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:53 PM   #52
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Sep 2013
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Default Episode "Nocturne"

Thought Bob Christanson's music score was on the whole better in the second episode of The Equalizer's second season, "Nocturne" (which I watched this past weekend). The episode in general I think I enjoyed more than the season premiere "Prelude". One of the interesting things about the writing was the relationship between McCall's client (a blind magazine writer played by Jessica Harper) and Logan (played by Michael Parks). Logan (who had issues with something in his past) is asked by McCall to look after his client (her blindess was caused by being assaulted).

Something I forgot to mention in my previous post, and which also occured in "Nocturne" (this time it was two or three exterior scenes), was the possible summer storm in New York City when some of the first two episodes were being filmed (showers and thunder following hot temperatures during the summer, when filming started). Something else I forgot to mention was that at the beginning of "Prelude", McCall was I think returning home from a holiday/vacation (there was a shot of him in a taxi, which was on the freeway/highway alongside the train system).

Couldn't remember which episode it was which Ashford & Simpson appeared in. They were in a couple of scenes. I thought they performed Solid; instead it was a different music track (I checked some of the lyrics and found they were from a song called Count Your Blessings. It was sung twice).

Still haven't seen the original Suspiria (or the remake), so this Equalizer episode aside, have only seen Jessica Harper in one other thing, an episode of the original Hawaii Five-O (one of the latter era episodes). She acted very well in "Nocturne", very believable.
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:10 PM   #53
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Episode "A Community of Civilized Men"

The steady, consistent quality of The Equalizer's second season continued with the episode I watched last night, "A Community of Civilized Men".

I recognised a couple of actors who guest-starred, Jennifer Grey (around a year before the film Dirty Dancing) and an actor whose face I recognised but didn't know their name (he played a heavy, who was working for someone threatening a female fashion designer). I've seen him on the original Law & Order a few times.

This was the last of three episodes which Bob Christianson did the music score for (it wasn't as good as the score for the previous episode "Nocturne"). I can see why he didn't do any more episodes (Stewart Copeland would be back for the following episode "Joyride").

I love the character McCall. He's very calm and raises his voice only when he needs to. He thinks calm and has a plan and goes through it carefully (with this episode I'm referring to something which happens, which I won't describe. On the one hand I'd forgotten what happened, but in another way I sort of remembered it. But that didn't spoil it for me).

One example where the music score did work was in the final scene with McCall and Control (Robert Lansing has appeared in two of the first three episodes of the second season). It sounded to me like Control had either been married to a woman, or he was reminiscing about a woman he knew from his past.

A very good episode. Some good writing, dramatic and action scenes, with a couple of good twists.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:33 PM   #54
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
I used to love it back in the day.It's on at the moment in the UK and I have quite a few episodes saved.
I still love the theme tune.
Only aware of Forces TV having shown the first two seasons of The Equalizer twice. The second season finale is being shown again next Tuesday night (followed by the feature-length pilot of Dempsey & Makepeace). Have checked next Wednesday night's listings, and they're showing the first half of the feature-length third season premiere "Blood & Wine".

Last edited by OceanBlue; 08-27-2020 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 08-27-2020, 09:40 PM   #55
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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A few bits and pieces I've missed from recent posts:

Season One (Universal's release):

I noticed a layer pause during two episodes, "Unnatural Causes" (twenty-six minutes into the episode) and "Unpunished Crimes".

Season Two (Fabulous Films UK's release):

During the episode I watched a few nights ago, "A Community of Civilized Men", I think I found out a song I didn't identify when I watched the episode on DVD the first time (did a web search using some of the lyrics I could hear). The song may be Love is for Suckers by Twisted Sister.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:05 AM   #56
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Regarding McCall's police contacts on the show, starting a list for the second season. Ron O'Neal's last three episodes (out of a total of seven) are early in the season.

The second season episodes (so far) where a police contact of McCall's appeared (I might have missed some):

"Prelude" (Lt. Elmer)
"Nocturne" (Lt. Isadore Smalls, played by Ron O'Neal)
"Joyride" (Lt. Isadore Smalls, played by Ron O'Neal)
"Nightscape" (Lt. Isadore Smalls, played by Ron O'Neal).

Last edited by OceanBlue; 09-09-2020 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:27 AM   #57
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Episode "Joyride"

Watched this past weekend, the episode "Joyride". It wasn't a classic, but it wasn't awful either. The story was about drugs and the young people being killed by them.

Stewart Copeland was credited in the end credits for the music score, but I think they just reused music he composed for the first season. In the first season he was always credited after the title sequence, whereas in this second season episode he was credited during the end credits. That aside, you could tell the difference between this and Bob Christianson's music score in the first three episodes of the second season. It suited the scenes well (the scenes which had a music score).

There was one music track in "Joyride", heard straight after the title sequence, Respect by Aretha Franklin.

One of the highlights was how McCall discovered how the main villain would get his comeuppance and what led to it (a couple of good action scenes).

Guest starring was Christian Slater and an actor who played a member of the Agency, Cleavant Derricks (the first of two episodes, the second of which is "Tip on a Sure Thing"). The latter would go on to star in the sci-fi drama series Sliders.

Had an OCD moment though. I'm pretty sure the first two episodes of the season began with teasers, like with the first season. "Joyride" began with an episodic promo, but I can't remember if "A Community of Civilized Men" began with an episodic promo though.

Also, there was a layer pause during "Joyride".
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:53 PM   #58
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I could swear on EpGuides they used to have production codes for each episode of The Equalizer (beside each episode title). Next Tuesday night on Forces TV, they're showing the last episode of the third season before the two-parter "Mission: McCall", called "Encounter in a Closed Room". Looking at the synopsis, I think this was the episode which veteran actor Michael Moriarty guest-starred in.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:35 PM   #59
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Sep 2013
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Default Teasers and episodic promos

I checked again yesterday the beginning of each of the first four episodes of The Equalizer's second season, followed by watching the fifth episode "Shades of Darkness", to see whether they began with a teaser or episodic promo.

The season premiere "Prelude" and the second episode "Nocturne" both began with a teaser. The next two episodes "A Community of Civilized Men" and "Joyride" both began with an episodic promo. However, what surprised me (as it breaks the pattern of the start of the first season), was that "Shades of Darkness" began with a teaser.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:58 PM   #60
OceanBlue OceanBlue is offline
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Default Episode "Shades of Darkness"

I'm probably going to find fault with it, but "Shades of Darkness" is in my Top Ten favourite episodes of the show. It was that good (and they didn't even have my favourite version of the end credits and the music which goes with it either).

Lenny von Dohlen (post-Electric Dreams and a few years before Twin Peaks), William Sadler (a few years before Die Hard 2: Die Harder) and Olympia Dukakis (a few years before Steel Magnolias) were among the guest stars (Dukakis only had one scene, playing a court judge). Sadler played a very scary character, a match for McCall. He and McCall played a game with the mind. Loved the ending, which while it felt like an anti-climax, it felt fitting and stuck in the mind.

After being credited in the end credits for "Joyride", Stewart Copeland was credited back in the the crew credits after the title sequence in "Shades of Darkness". Some of the music score had been used before, but there's one piece of music which is one of my favourites, usually heard in the last scene (don't know what it's called, but like many of Copeland's score on the show, it creates that atmosphere which is part of the show).

Excellent cinematography in this episode, and plenty of highlights.
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