The Equalizer: Season 2/ Episode 11 “Chinatown” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

In this episode, Robyn is focused on solving an Asian hate crime that she, and those who know the victim, refuse to let become another unsolved murder.

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Ray vowing justice for Ms. Li

In this episode, Robyn is focused on solving an Asian hate crime that she, and those who know the victim, refuse to let become another unsolved murder.

Aired 3/6/2022
Network CBS
Directed By Christine Moore
Written By Zoe Robyn
Introduced This Episode
Ms. Li Jo Yang
Frank Alex Breaux
Ray Perry Yung
Chloe Celia Au


Tradition & Safety Nets – Robyn, Aunt Vi, Kisha, Delilah

Kisha, from many episodes ago, appears to be doing well and calls in Robyn to live up to that offer of being supportive. As part of her program, Kisha is tasked with speaking to teenagers, and she is nervous. Now, Robyn has to be mindful of her time, especially since she has an ongoing case, but she shows up, empowers, and even invites Kisha over for dinner.

This is notable since there was the potential for drama in Robyn’s household. Delilah flaked on Aunt Vi, who was cooking a complicated duck dish, and this dish is only done once a year, and Aunt Vi was trying to create a moment with her great-niece. But, after Robyn makes it clear how ungrateful Delilah is, she gets her act together and not only helps but causes Aunt Vi to get a little emotional.

The Murder of Ms. Li – Ms. Li, Frank, Ray, Robyn, Chloe, Dante, Melody, Harry

Since the 1970s, Ms. Li has been feeding people at her bakery in Chinatown, and recently she expanded to a second location. Because of this, some businesses were going under but never due to Ms. Li being cutthroat and cruel. She was a member of the community who, as shown through Frank, would open her doors after hours to feed people. Also, as shown by Chloe, someone not related to Ms. Li at all, she was like a maternal figure to many.

This is why her death is so devastating and why Chloe asks Robyn to join. As one of Ms. Li’s friends, a former cop named Ray, notes, alongside Dante, getting justice for hate crimes is hard. They are random, it is hard to develop a pattern, and justice is hard to serve. So when it comes to this, it is all hands on deck, and because of Melody watching her mom get spat at as a kid, she goes as hard as everyone else.

This is necessary for while the culprits mostly avoided cameras, they are sloppy. However, as Dante makes clear, and Ray knows from working the hate crime beat for 30 years, circumstantial evidence doesn’t get you a conviction. Hence having to get their hands dirty, which almost leads to Melody getting roughed up and Harry having to step in so she can get away.

A Rare Example Of Justice – Ray, Chloe

Ray (Perry Yung) feeling like Ms. Li's murder investigation has reached a dead end
Ray (Perry Yung)

Despite pushing the legality of what can be done, by Ray setting himself up to take a beating, he is able to get a confession and Ms. Li justice. This leads to Chloe having a rally to reinforce she, her community, her people will not live in fear and not stand by as people attempt to demean and kill them.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Will hearing good things about his father trigger Dante to go visit him?

What Could Happen Next

  1. I’d hope they follow up on Aunt Vi seeing that woman from her past. I don’t remember if anything came of that.


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Robyn and Kisha Check In

Kisha was introduced in episode 4 of this season, back in October, and because a lot of characters come and go, it is always hard to say who will reappear? So Robyn checking in on her, being there when she needs her, and not using her to attack Delilah was appreciated. It really forces you, as a viewer, to take note of who clients and guest stars are and not just write them off as here today, gone tomorrow.

Understanding How Hate Crimes Work Or Rather Don’t, In The Criminal Justice System

Ms. Li (Jo Yang) saying Ray is losing weight
Ms. Li (Jo Yang)

The criminal justice system is flawed. It’s based on human error and that either working for or against the accused. However, what complicates things is when the target is random, and because of being radicalized, there is no pattern, as we saw in this episode. To find the errors requires pushing legal boundaries to get a conviction.

But, as this episode does, the big thing to note is that, despite Black people often being the poster children for hate crimes, ranging from the Tulsa Massacre to Trayvon Martin and more, we don’t have a monopoly on hate crimes. Because of our history in America, we may have some of the most high profile, but even before the rise of COVID-19, Asian Americans have suffered, no matter their origins.

Lest we forget, they were put in internment camps, similar to what Hitler did to Jews. The only difference was that the American government didn’t pursue exterminating them like they did the indigenous population. Instead, they stole their property, harassed and tried to break them, and in 1988 paid reparations to those still alive and could prove they were in the camps.

Yet, you can never discount the pain and suffering of a people just because it isn’t a major news story every week or you don’t have a personal connection to someone of that culture. For as shown by Ms. Li and another gentleman on the show, cops can and know how to discourage you from speaking up and note, Ms. Li was an American citizen, so it wasn’t like she was worried about ICE or anything like that. More so, she knew that people like Ray are rare and the rest of the force? They don’t want to do the paperwork.

And all of this is to say that, as always, The Equalizer, while a show that still has very flexible storyline arcs, knows how to bring stories to light that aren’t often shown and spoken of on-network TV.

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Ray vowing justice for Ms. Li
The Equalizer: Season 2/ Episode 11 “Chinatown” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall In pursuit of telling diverse stories, The Equalizer, as it has done since the beginning, shows you different walks of life. Rather than focus strictly on the criminal underworld, it sheds light on immigrants, impoverished, those who have been disenfranchised, and nearly every time, it makes Robyn and her team Trojan Horses to much bigger stories deserving your attention.
Robyn and Kisha Check In
Understanding How Hate Crimes Work Or Rather Don't, In The Criminal Justice System

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