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"The Equalizer" The Children's Song (1985)

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McCall Goes MacGyver on Pick-Up Truck Goons

Author: Jason Daniel Baker from Toronto, Canada
7 October 2014

McCall (Edward Woodward) takes a break from his philanthropic vigilantism on the mean streets of New York City to go on a father-son camping trip with his now college-bound son Scott (William Zabka). Familiar tensions arise between the two.

At a gas station on the way to the cabin Scott chats with hitch-hikers - Melinda (Dana Barron) and her boyfriend Jayck (Tom Isbell) going to Toronto.

The hitch-hikers later get picked up by three drunken, baby-faced goons (Bradley Whitford, Perry Lang & William Youmans) in a truck who try to rape the girl and end up killing her boyfriend after he tries to fight them off.

While the attackers convene at a local diner with Melinda in tow to try to figure out how to keep her quiet Scott - on a beer run bumps into her by chance and helps her escape after she blurts out what has happened. He takes her back to the cabin with the goons in pursuit in their truck. The goons lay siege to the cabin I never liked this episode which looked like it was written for another series then adapted for this one. The change in setting was stylistically wrong for the Equalizer and the focus on character development seemed clumsy & forced. The acting and the writing were also both pretty soft compared with other episodes.

The baddies McCall faced on the show made the baby-faced ones in this episode looked kinda milquetoast. They don't push the vigilante button as hard as much as drunk idiots in a pick-up truck might and he goes MacGyver on them instead of Dirty Harry.

As a fan of the show I liked the sense of sinister danger that the guest villains brought as much as a similar sense of sinister danger that the protagonist had. None of that was captured here in what essentially could have been a teleplay for Starsky & Hutch or Hardcastle & McCormick.

As for the title 'The Children's Song' what the hell does that mean?

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