We don’t often get Black women as action heroes in film and television. There have been a few, but none in such a broad appeal vehicle such as “The Equalizer” starring Queen Latifah. The reboot of the 1980s series airs Sunday nights on CBS.
Queen Latifah stars as Robyn McCall, a former CIA agent who left the agency under mysterious circumstances, at least to the viewers. She’s raising her daughter Delilah with the help of her Aunt Viola. She has an ex-husband out there, who is present in their daughter’s life, but he currently doesn’t play a part in the overall story.
I’m not a huge fan of the daughter aspect, but I know from a storytelling standpoint it heightens the stakes for Robyn. There’s also a great moment in the pilot where Robyn explains systematic racism within the justice system and it’s quite effective.
As a show, “The Equalizer” is a familiar CBS procedural. Aside from her family, Robyn is surrounded by a tech geek, a spunky and lethal sidekick and an above board detective who doesn’t approve of her vigilantism. Chris Noth also appears as her CIA “handler”.
As much as the show has all the DNA of other CBS procedurals, “The Equalizer” is different because Queen Latifah isn’t just solving crimes like Jessica Fletcher on “Murder, She Wrote.” Robyn kicks ass and it’s a thing of beauty.
At almost 51, Queen Latifah has the physical prowess equal to or better than her male counterparts on other shows airing on CBS. She also gives a heartfelt performance as someone who really cares about helping those who have nowhere else to turn. Robyn is so good at it, the CIA wants her to continue to work for them.
Robyn doesn’t need a man to rescue her. She does all the rescuing and it’s a lot of fun to watch. “The Equalizer” is action packed and the cases are quite compelling, I definitely recommend giving it a try.
You can watch “The Equalizer” Sundays at 8pm EST on CBS or stream it on CBS All Access.