The Equalizer (1985–1989)
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McCall is called by the tenants of an apartment building who are terrorized so that they would move out. They believe that the owner a wealthy man is doing this so he can tear down the ... See full summary »


Alan Metzger


Michael Sloan (creator), Richard Lindheim (creator) | 3 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Woodward ... Robert McCall
Frank Converse ... Guthrie Browne
Charles Hallahan ... George Cook
Anne Pitoniak Anne Pitoniak ... Lilly
Allen Swift Allen Swift ... Monty
Marisa Berenson ... Andrea Browne
Fred Williamson ... Lt. Mason Warren
Robert Modica Robert Modica ... Dawson (as Robert X. Modica)
Jude Ciccolella ... Joe
Jean De Baer Jean De Baer ... Eileen Arden (as Jean DeBear)
Irving Metzman Irving Metzman ... Sterno
Helen Hanft ... Mrs. Washburn
Richard Russell Ramos Richard Russell Ramos ... Mr. Washburn
Robert Blumenfeld Robert Blumenfeld ... Wilhite
Jordan Marder ... Eric Browne


McCall is called by the tenants of an apartment building who are terrorized so that they would move out. They believe that the owner a wealthy man is doing this so he can tear down the building. McCall does a check on the man and discovers that he is looking for a hit man to kill his wife. So McCall approaches her and convinces her to come with him. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

18 December 1985 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


First episode in which McCall wore the thinner frame eyeglasses. See more »


Guthrie Browne: What if I had my man Hector here take your head off, right now?
Robert McCall: Then I'll grow another head, right now.
See more »

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User Reviews

McCall Thwarts Holiday Pogrom
7 October 2014 | by JasonDanielBakerSee all my reviews

Donald Trump-type Guthrie Brown (Frank Converse) is making life miserable for rent control tenants in one of the apartment buildings he owns. He wants to run the fixed income seniors living there out so that he can put up a multi-million dollar condo tower.

Rents in New York City being exorbitant they can find nowhere to go but looking for vacancies they do come across one intriguing ad - "Odds Against You?...Need help?...Call The Equalizer...212-555-4200".

As a fan of the show I nevertheless continually wondered how people were able to puzzle out what the wording in the absurdly oblique ad meant. It could be anything from a mortgage broker to a pest control service yet they all seemingly clue in on what it is really about evidently by reading between the lines.

Robert McCall (Edward Woodward) - former black ops guy & intelligence community troubleshooter is settling in to his non-profit but nevertheless rewarding sideline as a philanthropic vigilante.

As the holidays approach he shops for gifts & mulls vacation plans with his adult son Scott until he is contacted by these terrorized tenants who need the help of someone more like McCall used to be & becomes again off and on when needed.

The subtle character development in this series comes through via a few lines of dialogue. McCall is asked by an elderly woman who he is helping why he does it all for free. His response is that he doesn't fully understand it himself sometimes.

We in the audience can infer our own interpretation of his motives - benevolent but nevertheless drawn from a thousand dark places in his consciousness. There can be a form of atonement in his actions - assuaging of guilt over something he did or didn't do during his days in the intelligence community.

Plagued by an incursion of sleazy goons sent in to the building to facilitate a pogrom McCall indirectly equalizes it by situating a burly, drunken meathead (Charles Hallahan) bouncer from an Irish pub - folksy enough to get along with the real residents but big enough, mean enough and desperate enough for lodgings to be impossible for the goon squad to outlast.

But where it gets complicated is when McCall discovers that Guthrie Brown is also trying to have his estranged wife (Marisa Berenson) killed in order to get custody of their son. Somehow this gets tied in with the fate of the residents of the building leading to rising tensions and a gripping finale.

While by no means the best episode of the series this solid early entry is among those that built for it a loyal following which kept it on the air for four seasons.

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