[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Equalizer Season 3 finale, “Eye for an Eye.”]
A major betrayal carried out by Robyn McCall’s former CIA leaders came back to haunt her in The Equalizer Season 3 finale. And the conflict, which left Mel, Harry, and Dante’s lives hanging in the balance, will continue into Season 4, which was green-lit by CBS in May 2022.
The finale began with Robyn (Queen Latifah) and Mel (Liza Lapira) running for their lives in an empty warehouse, shielding themselves from gunfire while they looked for a way out. The episode then flashed back to tamer times earlier that day. It was a run-of-the-mill afternoon filled with Robyn working on her car, Mel and Harry (Adam Goldberg) grocery shopping, and Delilah (Laya DeLeon Hayes) and Aunt Vi (Lorraine Toussaint) on their way to the movies. But the day was harshly interrupted when Robyn, Mel, and Harry were all attacked.
Having made it out unscathed, Robyn and Mel set off to find out what the syringe the attackers attempted to plunge into Robyn’s neck was filled with. It was a truth serum that basically had its own self-destruct feature. Once injected, the person would die 90 minutes later. (True Lies also dealt with a truth serum in the Wednesday, May 17 two-part series finale on CBS.)
They discovered the coordinated attack was organized by a group of violent rebels from Venezuela — people who were betrayed by Robyn and her team when CIA orders drew them out of the South American country. Robyn lost her best friend, Michelle, and their teammate in the aftermath of that departure, and the immorality of pulling the operatives out of Venezuela when they were needed most is what made Robyn leave the CIA for good. But why was she being targeted, and why after all these years?
That’s where Colton Fisk (Donal Logue) gets involved. Fisk was one of the men behind the decision to leave all those years ago. He was abducted and tortured by this group in the episode because of his ties to the betrayal, and because he had been working with Robyn for weeks, the group seemingly was using her to get to him. She and Mel were tied up in the next room trying to figure out an escape, but the plot would soon thicken.
Meanwhile, Harry was rushing to find the antidote to the truth serum, with which Dante (Tory Kittles) had been injected. Before they were abducted, Robyn and Mel heard Dante in his hazy state confess his love for Robyn over the phone. And Delilah and Aunt Vi found themselves in a hostage situation in a convenience store by a gunman.
To get everyone out safely, Aunt Vi tried to relate to the robber, Drake’s (P.J. Sosko), humanity. After losing his job, struggling to find more work, and losing his wife, Drake was unhoused, desperate, and at his wit’s end. Taking nonperishables and wool socks clued Vi into his circumstances, and she was able to talk him down from the ledge before anyone was hurt. As police stormed into the store, Delilah threw her body over his out of protection and yelled that his gun wasn’t loaded. She was right, and Drake was arrested but unharmed along with everyone else in the store.
Safety wasn’t guaranteed for Dante, however. As the lethal side of the serum began to kick in, Dante passed out. Without the antidote (its creator had been shot in the head in his lab), Harry turned to a defibrillator that would hopefully revive him. It worked, but it wasn’t long before they were both back in harm’s way.
When the Venezuelans apprehended Robyn, she swore she saw Michelle, her presumed dead colleague and friend. It turns out, Michelle survived the building collapse Robyn thought had killed her. It did kill their friend, but it only traumatized Michelle. Deserted by the CIA and seemingly Robyn, Michelle had spent the years since plotting her revenge against Robyn and the CIA.
The plan to hurt Robyn was just the “appetizer” to the group’s master plan. With little time left in the episode, it was hard to see how Robyn and the team would make it out safely. They wouldn’t. The episode ended with Fisk and Robyn still held captive, and with Mel, Harry, and Dante strapped to chairs in a room full of kerosene. The room had cameras, and Michelle forced Robyn to watch in horror as someone threw a lit match onto the fuel, setting the room ablaze. The look of terror on Robyn’s face was the last shot of the season.
With Season 4 already a sure thing, fans will get to see what happens next (though the WGA writers strike will likely delay when Season 4 production begins and, by extension, is released). The premiere started with a life-threatening scene that seemed impossible to escape, but Robyn and Mel still made it out. Do you think the premiere will do the same with Mel, Harry, and Dante? What did you think of the bold season Season 3 finale? Let us know in the comments below.
The Equalizer, Season 3, Streaming Now, Paramount+