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The Equalizer - Where There's Smoke - Review

Client:  Samantha Doyle, the daughter of a fireman who has disappeared, asks Robyn to find her father.

The client story this week didn‘t hold my attention as strongly as they usually do. I think it was mostly because I didn‘t really care about the missing firefighter.  Especially once the whole theft element came into play.

I think I might have cared more if Doyle‘s disappearance had actually been related to the brawl that opened the episode.  Maybe if, somehow, his disappearance had been more noble or even more tragic.

It was easy to understand how this teen ended up seeking Robyn‘s help. Her father is a recovering alcoholic, and most of the adults she spoke to just assume that he‘d fallen off the wagon and is hold up somewhere sleeping it off.

Instead, he and some buddies committed arson and robbery. Unfortunately, they targeted the wrong restaurant.

It wasn‘t just a matter of getting the money back, but the owner‘s reputation was at stake. That‘s the kind of thing that “I‘m sorry” cannot fix.

It was an interesting way to highlight the failures of the system to take care of the people who sacrifice themselves for the greater good of others.

But, in the end, the justification was nothing more than lies they told themselves to justify doing something they knew is wrong.

(I thought that, as police departments and the military added more support for their employees, fire departments had as well.) But, at the end of the day, these guys decided to solve their problems by stealing. It just wasn‘t enough to make me care.

Did they mention whether the firefighters would be facing charges or dismissal for their actions?

Family Life:  Robyn, Vi and Delilah recover from the trauma of her kidnapping.

The more interesting part of the episode was how Vi and Delilah reacted to Robyn‘s kidnapping.  

Vi‘s reaction seemed to focus on having been blindsided by the kidnapping.

She wanted Robyn to keep her informed as to whether a case was going to be dangerous or not, so she could be prepared if something happened to Robyn.

She also went shopping for a gun. This surprised me a bit. Something about the way she‘s spoken about her college years left me as convinced as Vi herself was, that she would never buy a gun.

Did she buy the gun?

Her reaction was understandable, but not something that is ever going to happen.

If a case had the potential to touch Vi and Delilah definitely, but otherwise definitely not.

Robyn compartmentalizes.

Robyn had to tell Vi that she would never tell her everything and apologize for making her worry by not responding to all of those texts.

That was one thing that felt really out of character for Robyn. Vi‘s texts were increasingly frantic sounding. I don‘t believe, for a moment, that Robyn would ignore Vi‘s texts unless she were incapable of responding.

Worst case scenario, Robyn would have lied to calm Vi‘s fears.

But ignore the texts and make her worry more, after being kidnapped in front of her? It didn‘t work.

By the same token, it was out of character for Delilah to ignore her mother‘s texts unless she was actively angry, which, when Robyn finally caught up with her, did not seem to be the case.

If my mother had been texting to find out where I was...I wouldn‘t even consider not responding. Even as a teenager and even if I were angry with her. (I would have lost the phone as punishment.)

It was a little easier to accept the out of character behavior from Delilah. A teen‘s reactions can be irrational.

Both moments felt like the writer gave up character consistency to get to the set up the ‘family works everything out’ scenes.

I was a little confused by Delilah‘s reactions though. Should I believe Delilah when she said she was really fine?

If so it fits with my interpretation of the kind of person Delilah is growing into. A good thing in my opinion.

I know some people are going to assume that Delilah‘s request for training equates to Delilah asking her mother to teach her to be a spy.

But it doesn‘t have to be. (I hope it isn‘t and don‘t really believe that‘s what the writers intend.)

They live in New York, Delilah‘s already had a friend gunned down before her eyes; basic self defense and lessons in how to spot trouble in her environment are things anyone living in a big city could (and probably should) be trained to do.

So, from a story point of view, they can easily keep Delilah from ending up in the middle of one of Robyn‘s cases, but still teach her to take care of herself.

It wasn‘t a perfect episode. As I said, the family story resonated with me more than the client story.

While I felt they had characters acting out of character in order to achieve it, I did enjoy the conclusion scenes.

Robyn‘s talk with Vi and her talk with Delilah were nicely done and almost worth the contortions to get there.

I appreciated the fact that Robyn confessed to Delilah that she was having some trouble processing the trauma herself.

What did you think of the episode?

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