THE EQUALIZER Post-Mortem: Tory Kittles and Laya DeLeon Hayes on the Season 3 Finale Cliffhanger, Hero Moment, and Big Confession - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE EQUALIZER Post-Mortem: Tory Kittles and Laya DeLeon Hayes on the Season 3 Finale Cliffhanger, Hero Moment, and Big Confession

May 21, 2023 by  

THE EQUALIZER season 3 finale cliffhanger

Photos credits: CBS

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the season finale of THE EQUALIZER, “Eye for an Eye.”]

THE EQUALIZER’s third season ended with the team in a whole lot of danger—and no apparent way for them to survive it.

Robyn (Queen Latifah) was shocked to discover her former CIA friend Michelle Chambers (Ilfenesh Hadera) was still alive…and out for revenge, given she blamed Robyn for abandoning her.

But Michelle also knew that going after Robyn wasn’t enough: Mel (Liza Lapira), Harry (Adam Goldberg), and Dante (Tory Kittles) were tied up in a separate room, which was subsequently set aflame, much to Robyn’s horror.

So how will Team Equalizer get out of this? “The Equalizer is tied up with some troubles of her own,” Kittles acknowledges to Give Me My Remote. “But I’m willing to bet that The Equalizer will come through in the end.”

That being said, he understands why fans may panic at the cliffhanger—and had a few of his own concerns. “When I first read it, I was like, ‘Wait a minute, are they not bringing me back next season?’” he recalls. “‘Is that what’s happening?’”

THE EQUALIZER season 3 finale cliffhanger

“Eye for an Eye” – The team is put into harm’s way when McCall’s former CIA colleague (Ilfenesh Hadera) is found alive and sets her sights on revenge by attempting to abduct Dante, Harry and Mel. Also, Aunt Vi and Delilah must act quickly to de-escalate a hostage situation of their own when a robber targets a bodega, on the third season finale of the CBS Original series THE EQUALIZER, Sunday, May 21 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured: Laya DeLeon Hayes as Delilah. Photo: Michael Greenberg/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Before the high-stakes cliffhanger, Aunt Vi (Lorraine Toussaint) and Delilah (Laya DeLeon Hayes) dealt with their own stressful day, as their trip to a drug store led to them being a part of a hostage situation. Aunt Vi was able to help reach the man, Drake (PJ Sosko), but the authorities burst in and the situation almost turned deadly.

Thankfully, Delilah—who has been training in recent months after numerous traumatic situations—thought to knock Drake down and ultimately saved his life.

“Oh my gosh, it means everything,” Hayes says of Delilah’s hero moment. “It really is so special. I’ve always wanted to do stunts; I think they’re very fun to do, just as an actor. And then as the character, being a teenager, we obviously mature and come into our own. You can just see the certain experiences that she’s had in season 1 and 2, she’s learned from. And in this moment, she’s able to really be in the position where she can be a hero and have that hero moment.”

“So as an actor, it was very fun and very fulfilling,” she continues. “And even to read the script was really lovely, but to play it and even watch it just made me even more happy to see that moment for Delilah after everything she’s been through.”

For his part, Kittles acknowledged that Dante’s time with truth serum pre-kidnapping was “hilarious” to play.

“It was funny,” he says with a laugh. “Adam was sort of making fun of me the whole way through: ‘This is a different side of Dante; I like this Dante.’ So it was great to lighten it up, and it was great the writers trusted me to do that. And it was great to have a scene partner like Adam to bounce that back and forth with.”

Of course, while under the influence of the truth serum, Dante had quite a few interesting things to say…including the confession that he loved Robyn. (Which was heard by Harry, Mel, and Robyn.)

“I’m one of those actors [who knows] everything begins with the writing,” Kittles says. “And you know, I’ll have questions, but when I read this, I thought this is perfect. This is perfect for this moment, for this particular episode. Because things were so intense in this episode, it was great to have some levity within it as well. And so I leaned in hard to what they put on the page; there was no improvisation. I just wanted to go with where the writing was taking me and to have Adam to bounce it back and forth; I thought it played beautifully.”

“Eric Laneuville directed this episode, and it was shot really wonderfully,” he continues. “Our crew, and everybody who’s always there, it’s a collective effort with all of the episodes. And so to have the crew laughing at these moments—they called me drunk Dante. So it was a riot shooting it. It wasn’t all seriousness. It was a lot of play with this episode, and we had a lot of fun doing it.”

THE EQUALIZER season 3 finale cliffhanger

“Justified” – When a note McCall receives leads her to the location of her late father’s car, she must revisit the past to uncover who was behind his carjacking and murder nearly 30 years prior, on the CBS Original series THE EQUALIZER, Sunday, May 14 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured (L-R): Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall and Tory Kittles as Detective Marcus Dante. Photo: Michael Greenberg/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

But Kittles acknowledges he was a little surprised that Dante revealed the truth of his love for Robyn.

“Dante likes to play things real close to the vest when it comes to his feelings,” he says. “So the fact that he confessed, it really threw a wrench in my planning for the character. Well, how are we going to handle this now that he’s confessed his love for Robyn? And how does she feel about it?…how does Robyn feel about what Dante said?…I don’t know how it’s gonna play out going forward. But it definitely adds another layer to the intrigue in their relationship.”

And while the actor may have been surprised by the announcement, the feelings were in no way new.

“I think Dante’s been in love with Robyn since first sight,” Kittles says with a laugh. “I think that was so immediate between the two of them when they met in the precinct [in the pilot]. And that moment, I think that’s one of the things that sort of motivated him to tell her who he was…he has this whole big confession about how what type of man he is, and he wants her to know that, ‘Hey, I’m not who you think I am. This is who I truly am.’ And I think the reason he did that is because he felt something that was real and honest between them at the first moment he met her.”

If Dante survives—and if he remembers what he said—”I think Dante may be the character that leans into [the confession],” Kittles says. “I don’t think that he’ll run from the fact that he confessed his love. It’s almost like a John Cusack moment in SAY ANYTHING, when he’s blasting the boombox: ‘Hey, I love you, Robyn!’ I think he’s gonna double down on that. I don’t think he’s gonna run away from that.”

“How that affects how they work together, I think that may be the thing,” he continues. “But I think the two of them, the way they deal with each other, they know these feelings have been percolating between them since they first met. They get together and it is an instant spark. And they know that. So now that the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak, I don’t think they’ll run from it. I think they’ll just deal with it the way they do all things.”


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