The Checklist: The Equalizer (S4 Ep7) “Making of a Martyr”
The Equalizer, starring Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, enjoyed a prime time run on CBS from the mid to late 1980’s. In this edition of The Checklist, I will put to the test an episode from The Equalizer’s fourth and final season entitled “Making of a Martyr”.
- Synopsis: John Kelly is a man who witnessed the rape and grizzly murder of his wife by two gun wielding criminals. Kelly goes off the deep end, becomes a gun nut and begins assembling his own arsenal of guns. Kelly then targets a gun control advocate, Sylvia Thorton (Barbara Williams from Family of Cops fame), who took her stance against guns after her husband was caught in the crossfire of a criminal’s bullet and paralyzed for life. Unfortunately for this gun nut… Sylvia and her husband are friends with Robert McCall.
1. Is The Equalizer’s ad in the paper shown or referenced?
The longer The Equalizer was on the air, the less and less we see his ad in the paper or even references made to it. In this case it makes sense since the people in need, Brandon and Sylvia Thorton, were already friends with Robert. So they wouldn’t need to get his number out of the newspaper. The Thortons are actually split on even bringing McCall in to help. Sylvia feels that bringing a professional soldier like Robert McCall in contradicts the very things she is fighting. She even goes so far to refer to Robert as a vigilante. A label McCall is none too pleased with. Meanwhile, Brandon is all about getting Robert on board as he feels the police have not been doing a good enough job at keeping his wife safe. 0/1
2. Were there any notable guest stars?
Tom Noonan plays the wheelchair bound Brandon Thorton, a man who has had his confidence shattered after the shooting. This was quite a departure from the role I most associate with Noonan, that being his turn as the drug lord Cain in Robocop 2. Some of Noonan’s other action credentials include roles in The Last Action Hero, F/X and Collision Course. Side note, this episode also features an appearance by talk show host Sally Jesse Raphael, playing herself and wearing her iconic red-framed glasses. 1/2
3. Does Robert’s Jag make an appearance?
While we never get to see Robert behind the wheel in this episode, there are several shots of McCall’s Jaguar parked on the street. The Jaguar XJ6 really was the perfect car for Robert McCall… cool and sophisticated. 2/3
4. Does Robert get assistance from any of his former spy buddies?
In Robert’s world, there is one particular spy buddy that stands out from the rest and his name is Mickey Kostmayer (Keith Szarabajka). Mickey is the man Robert most frequently collaborates with to help him help others and Mickey plays a big part in this episode, risking his life for an ungrateful Sylvia Thorton. 3/4
5. Is this a “very special” episode?
The Equalizer was a unique show when it aired. It had a lot of the elements that other action adventure shows of the time had, but it was not as over the top as a lot of the shows. Instead the show had more steak than sizzle, often tackling serious issues. In this episode it was the long standing debate about gun control laws in the United States.
- Final Score = 4/5 (80%) This one came close to being as Equalizer as an episode of The Equalizer can be.