Robyn (Queen Latifah) confronting Mo
"Robyn (Queen Latifah) confronting Mo," The Equalizer (S04E03) directed by Geoff Wing Shotz, 2024, (CBS)

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Plot Summary

While a shortened season, the fourth season of “The Equalizer” is a potential game changer as Delilah approaches high school graduation and has to plan her next move. Harry? He comes up with an AI program, M.E.L., which Mel has some issues with, but she isn’t solely focused on some AI wanting to replace her. From her family to her past, that continues to be something heavy on her mind, which is something she shares with Aunt Vi. Delilah coming of age means she has to focus more on herself, and she struggles with that, and it affects her work and personal relationships.

Of course, this isn’t an introspective drama filled with people having relationship troubles, though the tail end does feature that for Robyn. It’s about international criminals coming to the New York City area and vulnerable populations asking Robyn’s team to help them fight back or one of the letter agencies, if not Fisk, pulling Robyn’s team into some mess.

Of which, we see a lot of. The Michelle Chambers saga continues, a new CIA director and mysterious person is introduced, and your usual series of one episode cases.

Characters and Cast

Character’s Name Actor’s Name
Delilah Laya DeLeon Hayes
Harry Adam Goldberg
Aunt Vi Lorraine Toussaint
Robyn Queen Latifah
Fisk Donal Logue
Michelle Chambers Ilfenesh Hadera
Mel Liza Lapira
Captain Watkins Indira G. Wilson
Detective Marcus Dante Tory Kittles
Miles Stephen Bishop

Review

Our Rating: Mixed (Stick Around)

Good If You Like

  • Episodic cases mixed with long-term arcs focused on character development
  • Strong supporting characters

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Highlights

The Character Arc Of Supporting Characters

Queen Latifah as Robyn and Laya DeLeon Hayes as Delilah
Queen Latifah as Robyn and Laya DeLeon Hayes as Delilah

The 4th season of “The Equalizer” largely has Robyn focused strictly on her work while the growth is poured into the supporting acts. We meet yet another of Mel’s siblings, and we see her deal with her grief, secrets, and Harry being less than perfect. Harry continues to try to be of use, leave his computer, be in the field, and navigate people like Fisk knowing he is alive and wanting to use his skills.

However, it is Delilah who really takes the cake. While Aunt Vi’s past and issues are periodically addressed as she has to face that soon she’ll need to refocus on herself and not focus on pouring into Delilah, Delilah is consistent throughout. Whether it is questioning what school she should go to, whether joining the military is a good idea, or the late-season possibility of her pursuing a third lane to bring justice, Delilah’s growth is notable.

This is especially true in terms of emotional intelligence as well. Having to navigate you can’t help everyone, just take them as far as they are willing to go, is a lesson she is pushed to learn more than once. Add in she learns this not through hearing about her mom’s cases but through personal interaction with people, and it pushes you to wonder, with all this knowledge, training by Mel, and desire to do more than be on the sidelines, what’s next for her when there isn’t the excuse of having to go to school during the day?

Low Points

The Season 3 Cliffhanger Was For Naught

Michelle (Ilfenesh Hadera) breaking out of custody
Michelle (Ilfenesh Hadera) breaking out of custody, The Equalizer, Season 4 Episode 1 Truth for a Truth, directed by Solvan “Slick” Naim, 2024, (CBS)

There is nothing worse than when a show ends a season threatening multiple characters simply for a pop, and ultimately, that is what “The Equalizer” did. No one died or got left with a scar, and because of how toughened over time everyone has become, even in terms of potential emotional or mental scars, I’d submit they are minimal.

Even for Mel, who ends the season in a very emotional place, it is hard to say if what Michelle put her through is what pushed her to a breaking point at all.

Marcus and Robyn’s Relationship

Stephen Bishop as Miles
Stephen Bishop as Miles

Point blank, they drag out the will they or won’t they kiss or go on a date for multiple seasons, and then reintroduce Miles as someone who may want Robyn back. This isn’t a fair love triangle at all, for Marcus comes off as convenient since Robyn often sees him anyway, versus someone she has true chemistry with.

Never mind, with Miles trying to be not only a part of Delilah’s life but Robyn’s, even to the point of offering to be more than a random doctor when Robyn needs him, it sets up what, at worse, could become a love triangle or, at best, the end of Marcus and the rekindling of Robyn’s former marriage. Which could open the doors for Robyn to get the kind of development she has been straying away from.

On The Fence

Those Who Should Be Seen As the Lead Faded To The Background

Despite Robyn, Queen Latifah, being the lead, she acts more like a Trojan Horse than a main draw. Now, we don’t say this to imply we don’t enjoy the different cases she goes on, but while many characters are getting some kind of development, either by building up their future or fleshing out their past, the best we get out of Robyn is her questioning if she has the time or ability to date.

The Lack Of A Villain

Indira G. Wilson as Captain Watkins
Indira G. Wilson as Captain Watkins

Michelle Chambers, who almost killed a good part of the cast? She disappears. Captain Watkins, who is Marcus’ boss, and should be able to threaten his career and ability to help Robyn? She is rendered toothless. Diane Greene, the new head of the CIA, and this mystery figure who virtually sits in a meeting she has with Fisk and Robyn? That all goes nowhere.

We once again don’t have a consistent threat to worry about and while past threats weren’t necessarily forces to be reckoned with, it is odd for a show that is about fighting against crime to not have at least one person Robyn’s team gets outsmarted by or they have to work around.

So Many Storylines That Just Went Silent

CIA Director Diane Greene (Margaret Reed) talking to Robyn
CIA Director Diane Greene (Margaret Reed) talking to Robyn, The Equalizer, Season 4 Episode 1 Truth for a Truth, directed by Solvan “Slick” Naim, 2024, (CBS)

You can say that a lot of what didn’t get developed for season 4 was because of the actor’s strike. How can you develop Michelle Chambers and her relationship with Robyn in ten episodes? Never mind, how will you reintroduce the CIA, a mystery character, and even deal with Marcus’ dad, Ben, coming back and having a major confession?

I believe they could have done it, as many shows, especially on streaming platforms, sometimes use 8 or 6 episodes to tell complete stories. However, this is network TV, so there are varied limitations and different expectations. Also, again, there was a strike that threw everything off, so we can only hope that the storylines that went dead this season will pick up in the next one so Robyn can join the others in having an arc and not just a case of the week.

Detective Marcus Dante

Detective Marcus Dante (Tory Kittles)
Detective Marcus Dante (Tory Kittles)

The problem with Detective Dante is that he is an asset, but in the same capacity as Fisk is or Bishop was. When it comes to getting cases handled, him bringing the full force of the NYPD makes him an asset to the team. However, anything personal presented when it comes to Marcus often falls flat.

His storyline with his father, Big Ben, even with what was supposed to be a big reveal, did absolutely nothing for the show. Captain Watkins, the latest person who could have made a stink about a vigilante getting involved in police business and using police resources, she got shut down and thus she couldn’t bring a jolt to Marcus’ storyline.

Then there is Marcus and Robyn’s relationship. As noted above, nothing is there and at times, it seems more so presented out of obligation, since what lead of any show doesn’t have a love interest, than because there is undeniable chemistry.

This made it possible that, with being at the end of her rope, Captain Watkins could have finally earned her keep on the show. But until season 5 premieres, it is hard to say if her threat and Marcus’ decision may allow the character to transition out or make him more of a blight, as he takes valuable screen time and holds back Robyn’s development rather than aiding it.

What I Hope To See Next

  1. Miles takes on a prominent role in “The Equalizer” and even consumes a lot of Marcus’ screen time.
  2. A lot of the storylines that started in season 3 and at the beginning of season 4 pick up and continue in season 5
  3. Delilah works with her mom more, and that dynamic creates more of a threat on the show.
  4. The supporting characters continue to have notable arcs
  5. Aunt Vi forced to really take the reins of her life and have the show pick up on her teaching, her relationship, and her transition from being Delilah’s maternal figure to having a life outside of her niece and grandniece
  6. Either a villain or authority figure that is formidable, that isn’t easily disposed of, and isn’t a ghostly character

Background Information

Network CBS
Genre(s) ActionAdventureCrimeDramaThrillerYoung AdultLGBT+
Renewal Status Renewed
Series Page The Equalizer
Character Guide The Equalizer Cast and Character Guide
Content Information
Dialog N/a – Network TV
Violence Gun Violence, Family Violence, Blood, Torture, Notable Fight Scenes
Sexual Content N/a – Network TV
Miscellaneous Depiction of Corpses, Drinking, Smoking

Listed Under Categories: , , , ,


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The Equalizer: Season 4 Review

Summary

I’m writing off season 4 as a transitionary season. Too many characters and storylines seemingly lost their momentum because of time, and while the focus put on Mel, Harry and Delilah was wonderful, it is unfortunate that it seemingly came at the cost of Robyn, Aunt Vi, and especially hit Detective Dante to the point of him coming off more like a liability than an asset.

Overall
72%
72%
  • The Character Arc Of Supporting Characters - 84%
    84%
  • The Season 3 Cliffhanger Was For Naught - 67%
    67%
  • Marcus and Robyn’s Relationship - 64%
    64%
  • Those Who Should Be Seen As the Lead Faded To The Background - 74%
    74%
  • The Lack Of A Villain - 71%
    71%
  • So Many Storylines That Just Went Silent - 75%
    75%
  • Detective Marcus Dante - 70%
    70%
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Highlight(s)

  • The Character Arc Of Supporting Characters

Disputable

  • The Season 3 Cliffhanger Was For Naught
  • Marcus and Robyn’s Relationship
  • What’s Next For Aunt Vi
  • Those Who Should Be Seen As the Lead Faded To The Background
  • The Lack Of A Villain
  • So Many Storylines That Just Went Silent
  • Detective Marcus Dante

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