The Equalizer

Season 1 Episode 3

The Defector

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 02, 1985 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Defector
McCall helps a double agent defect and a young boy stand up to bullies.

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  • McCall comes to the aid of a double agent who wants to defect to the USA, but when the man is murdered, McCall must protect his ballerina daughter. He also helps a teenager stand up to a group of bullies. A reasonable episode...moreless

    At first, I didn't think that I was going to enjoy this episode so much. For some reason, I don't always enjoy double-agent-defecting stories (and plenty of shows have had them), as I often find them a bit dull for some reason. But this one didn't end up too bad.

    I like McCall's disguise as an angry old man as he meets with defector Radek right in view of the agents (Hannibal Smith has some competition!). Seems McCall has many strings to his bow.

    When Radek is gunned down during the planned defection, the focus changes to McCall instead having to protect the defector's daughter, a ballet student, which adds an extra twist to the story. Naturally, she is soon captured, and McCall has to go bursting in to the rescue.

    The b-plot involves McCall teaching a teenager to stand up for himself against a group of youths who are bothering him. Some don't like this secondary story, but I personally didn't mind it, and didn't feel that it got in the way of the main plot.

    This probably isn't one of my favourite episodes of the series, but it is still a reasonable one and very watchable.moreless
  • Split focus hurts a good story

    After the pilot and a strong first regular episode, "The Equalizer" stumbles a bit with "The Defector." The A-story, in which McCall tries to save the ballerina daughter of a murdered friend from a Soviet spy, is tops and we get a great commando raid on the spy's compound at the end of the episode.

    The problem here lies with the B-story, a pretty weak bit about McCall teaching a kid to defend himself against bullies. It's not terrible by itself, but every minute devoted to this takes us away from the more interesting story on the other front. I'd rather see McCall mowing down bad guys with an Uzi than teaching basic self defense to a kid on a playground.moreless
Melissa Leo (I)

Melissa Leo (I)

Irina Dzershinsky

Guest Star

Joe Silver

Joe Silver

Felix Dzershinsky

Guest Star

Jaroslav Stremien

Jaroslav Stremien


Guest Star

Robert Joy

Robert Joy

Jacob Stock

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions