The Equalizer (1985–1989)
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A music critic overhears a voice in an elevator and identifies him as the man who had abducted her, raped and beaten her so badly that she lost her sight.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Robert McCall
Kate Parnell
Ron Frazier ...
Lt. Isadore Smalls
Himself (as Ashford & Simpson)
Valerie Simpson ...
Herself (as Ashford & Simpson)
Thomas A. Carlin ...
Jeremy the Doorman
Tanya Berezin ...
Kind Woman
Fred G. Smith ...
Man in Elevator
Jerry Ball ...


A music critic overhears a voice in an elevator and identifies him as the man who had abducted her, raped and beaten her so badly that she lost her sight.

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Release Date:

15 October 1986 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Brilliant Performances & Excellent Writing
20 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

Music critic Kate Parnell (Jessica Harper) was raped and blinded 8 years earlier in a nightmarish attack. She has come a long way back from the shock and tragedy. The feeling all comes back when, leaving work one day, she enters a crowded elevator and hears the voice of her attacker amidst the innocuous chatter. She cries out begging that the bystanders apprehend the man, the elevator stops, the doors open and the people scatter.

Her attacker may have fled many miles away. Or he may be lingering in her general vicinity looking to silence her permanently. The police, as usual on this show are useless. A friend turns to former black ops agent Robert McCall (Edward Woodward) - a New York City vigilante/folk hero who helps the helpless. He agrees to go to Kate's aid immediately but enlists a disillusioned and depressed former colleague (Michael Parks) to assist.

Part of the measure of a great actor is recognizing a great role and playing it whether it is on the big screen, small screen or the stage. Another measure is how hard they work learning the necessary movements and gestures for the performance. Jessica Harper did those things bringing to life a heroine whose arc echoes the most moving of Greek tragedy. Another actress might have tried to cheat wearing sunglasses and doing a bunch of fake miming.

The Michael Parks character Logan is intended to show a reflection of McCall and a possible shift in his arc. Logan is a noble warrior like McCall but less grizzled and more emotionally vulnerable. He will end up settling down for a woman who can love him especially if it is a remarkable one like Kate. Writers may have entertained a similar departure point for the main character and recognized it wasn't right for him.

McCall, as his romantic misadventures throughout the series illustrate, is far more of a hard case driven by the need to drop the hammer of judgement on objects of his moral outrage. Romance will remain less of a priority than it perhaps should.

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