The Equalizer season 1, episode 3 recap – “Judgement Day” right thing, right reasons

February 22, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Judgement Day” sees Robyn get closer to Dante, professionally and otherwise, as they both work to clear the name of an innocent man sentenced to life in prison.

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3.5

Summary

“Judgement Day” sees Robyn get closer to Dante, professionally and otherwise, as they both work to clear the name of an innocent man sentenced to life in prison.

This recap of The Equalizer season 1, episode 3, “Judgement Day”, contains spoilers.


We’ve discussed this in prior recaps, including last week’s, but “Judgement Day” was The Equalizer more or less going in the right direction. It had another case of the week (more on this as we go), but it also gave Delilah her own little subplot and brought Robyn and Dante closer together – workwise, obviously, but is that some sexual tension I detect?

So, Delilah’s problem is that she has drifted away from one of her best and oldest friends. Now they’re older, they’re into different things. Jasmine is a wannabe woke activist type who’s constantly attending rallies and making placards, and Delilah is snooty about this, which Robyn at first assumes is because she’s too focused on drinking and partying. But it isn’t that. What she’s actually annoyed about is that Jasmine’s activism is purely for social media clout, and she thinks you should only fight for a cause because you truly believe in it. She learned that from her mother.

The Equalizer episode 3 didn’t give all this a tremendous amount of time – in fact, it was mostly dealt with in little scenes whenever Robyn came up for air between procedural beats. But I’m thankful for its inclusion since it involved Robyn overstepping and making a bad decision – she invited Jasmine and her mother for movie night, knowing full well Delilah wouldn’t want them there – and having to listen to her daughter. It’s easy, as a parent, to think you know best at all times, but when Robyn listened she realized not only that Delilah had a point, but that she has a real influence on her daughter. The things she does and believes matter to Delilah. And that presumably makes off-the-books vigilantism a bit more complicated.

Speaking of which, the case in “Judgement Day” was that of Dale Aldridge, a convicted killer who, thanks to the denial of several appeals, was left with no choice but to break out of prison in order to clear his name and hopefully repair his relationship with his off-the-rails son in the process. Robyn was contacted by his lawyer, who believed he was innocent, and for good reason. He was convicted for a string of burglaries and the murder of Carol Walton, an ER nurse who happened to be home during one of them, on the strength of simply being seen in the area.

A conviction secured on so little evidence implies corruption, obviously, and part of the fun of The Equalizer season 1, episode 3 is figuring out how deep – or, I suppose, high – it goes. Aldridge is white but blue-collar, so fits the bill for a patsy. Preacher, a former cellmate of Alridge’s now-dead former cellmate, Tommy, was responsible for the burglaries but not the murder, although he daren’t say so on the record since, as a Black man, it’s highly likely the whole shebang would be pinned on him and he’d never see daylight again. “Judgement Day” isn’t too heavy-handed with its socio-political messaging, but it’s there if you’re looking for it.

When it turns out that Carol and her fellow nurse Elaine, who found her, were both ER nurses during the opioid crisis and were looking into false prescriptions, the picture starts to become a little clearer. And when the prosecutor on that case, Felicia Cooley, insists on being the judge for this one, the penny really drops. It was a cover-up. Cooley buried the evidence to protect the son of her best friend, and also to make her own legal career by scaring the wealthy into believing low-income killers were terrorizing them.

Enter Detective Dante. Robyn knows he can use the information she has to clear Aldridge’s name through the proper legal channels, and she knows he will since he’s an old-fashioned do-gooder and his father was forced into retirement on accusations of being dirty. In the end, thanks to Robyn and Dante both, The Equalizer season 1, episode 3 ends with justice being done. Aldridge goes free, his relationship with his son is repaired, Cooley and the real killer face justice, and our heroes get to share a flirty bit of banter from opposing sides of a chain-link fence. Dante promises Robyn that if she continues her equalizing, he’ll have no choice but to come after her. He, her, and the audience are all looking forward to it.

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