Robyn McCall is quickly emerging as one of the breakout characters of the year.
The Equalizer Season 1 Episode 6 found her dealing with her biggest case yet, but it also allowed some of the other characters to get some much-needed screentime.
We’ve witnessed Melody shooting tires and causing problems for the bad guys, but it was clear from the get-go that Maya’s case resonated with her on a different level.
The episode-ending reveal that Melody was also a survivor was expected, given her actions throughout “The Room Where It Happens.”
Maya opened up more to Melody, and it seemed more so that the former understood the latter had been through something similar.
Tackling the subject of sexual assault can sometimes feel exploitative depending on how it is handled, but The Equalizer handled it with grace and sensitivity.
From Maya beginning the episode contemplating suicide in her car, it was evident she was struggling with what Elijah did to her.
Her immediate concern was that she would be the one in trouble and that it would define her for the rest of her life. It was truly heart-shattering to watch her struggle, but I liked how she managed to take back the power in the end.
Her second suicide attempt left her in a state of worrying about what would happen next, but thanks to Robyn, Melody, Dante, and Sinead, there was a huge comeuppance for everyone involved.
While Elijah didn’t get much screen time, there was just enough to make my skin crawl. He was demeaning to just about everyone, even if it was in a passive-aggressive manner.
There were also hints of coercive control over Sinead. The moment Sinead heard about the “Stallion” comment, she felt immediate guilt because she felt like she enabled Elijah’s behavior.
She knew that she could have kept quiet about it and potentially kept things the way they were, but she was overcome with emotion when she realized the true extent of what happened in the years since Elijah got her drunk and had sex with her.
The reporter immediately turning on Elijah was another huge highlight. He had to be taken down in a way that had many eyes on him, and Sinead giving the other survivors a platform to speak against him was perfect.
Elijah’s campaign had largely been fueled by fear-mongering. He abused his power, made the women sign NDAs, and made their lives a living hell.
It was a heavy subject matter, but I was fully invested in how it played out because of the great writing and acting.
Robyn admonishing Delilah for hanging around with Nickie was a surprising development, largely because she has been all about her daughter helping people in need.
The truth of the matter here is that Robyn was too concerned about what would happen to Delilah instead of hearing out what happened to Nickie.
It was easy for her to dismiss Nickie because she didn’t even try to get to know her. It was easier for Robyn to assume for her to listen to what her daughter had to say.
Communication is key, and Robyn was taking that away from Delilah, and it was all thanks to Aunt Vi for saying what she truly thought to Robyn.
These are some complicated family dynamics, but it’s easy to see Robyn wanted her daughter to make better decisions. Delilah was in the wrong by taking Nickie back into a potentially violent situation.
Both Delilah and Robyn learned a hard lesson, but I see a fast friendship forming between Delilah and her new friend. Robyn needs to extend the rope a little and allow her daughter to spread her wings, or she runs the risk of Delilah rushing off to college at the earliest opportunity to get a break.
We’re slowly peeling back the layers on Robyn. She’s enigmatic and rarely lets people know how she really feels, but she also has a colorful past that she would be wise to share with Delilah.
Robyn doesn’t want her child to make the same mistakes she did but had she been vocal about her concerns, Delilah would have maybe been able to sympathize with her views on the matter.
Dante’s return was welcome. I was very much against a romantic pairing between him and Robyn on The Equalizer Season 1 Episode 1, but their chemistry is off the charts.
If you watch The Equalizer online, you know Dante has been concerned about why Robyn helps the underdogs. He clearly likes the air of mystery surrounding Robyn, but at least he stepped up to the plate when she really needed him.
Without Dante, the case wouldn’t have ended the way it did. It could have been harrowing for Maya.
“The Room Where It Happens” was up there as one of the best episodes to date. The action was scaled back, but we got an important story that needed to be told.
What did you think of the case of the week and how it was handled? Do you think Robyn needs to take more time with her daughter?
Are you surprised Dante and Robyn teamed up?
Hit the comments.
Catch new episodes Sundays at 8/7c.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.