Warning: Major spoilers for The Equalizer 3 below!


  • The ending of The Equalizer 3 suggests that Denzel Washington’s character, McCall, has found peace and decides to retire from his vigilante life.
  • The movie explores the theme of people ending up where they belong, as McCall finds a sense of belonging and humanity in a seaside village called Altamonte.
  • The Camorra, a mafia outfit, threatens the village, and McCall is forced to push back and protect the locals. He ultimately kills the mafia chief and his men in a violent home invasion.

The Equalizer 3’s ending closes on an interesting note for Denzel Washington’s McCall, and one that doesn’t rule out a potential fourth film either. The third Equalizer opens with former DIA officer Robert McCall being wounded after wiping out a Sicilian mob base. He’s soon taken in by the locals at a seaside village called Altamonte, who come to treat him as one of their own while he recovers. Unfortunately, the village locals are being threatened by mafia outfit The Camorra; after they push the violence too far, McCall is forced to push back with equal effect.

A subplot also sees McCall aiding CIA agent Emma Collins (Dakota Fanning), giving her information about designer drugs that were being shipped from the mob base he raided. It turns out The Camorra themselves are in league with terrorists, and after McCall kills the brother of mafia chief Vincent (Andrea Scarduzio), the two men are set for a final showdown. In the end, McCall kills Vincent and his men in a violent home invasion, an injured Collins gets a promotion and McCall appears to have finally found peace as he decides to stay in the village.

Related: The Equalizer 3 Reviews Say Denzel Washington Delivers, But Ending Divides

Is Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall Really Retired?

Denzel Washington looking serious in The Equalizer 3

A big theme of The Equalizer 3 is the idea that people end up where they’re supposed to be, and by the end of the third entry, McCall appears to have found where he belongs. The sequel presents a darker take on the character, who appears to still be reeling from the death of best friend Susan (Melissa Leo) during the second film and his betrayal by former colleagues. McCall is more sadistic and brutal in the way he dispatches foes, and seems intent on inflicting pain first.

However, he finds his humanity once again when the village takes him in and treats him with kindness. After killing Vincent, he heads back to Altamonte and is last seen beaming as he takes part in a village celebration, and having just gifted his black book to Collins, it appears McCall has truly given up the vigilante life. The Equalizer 3’s ending gives no hint of a further sequel, and if it truly is the last installment, it’s a nice note to leave the character on.

Why McCall Committed The Equalizer 3’s Opening Massacre

Denzel Washington as Robert McCall holding a gun and looking serious l in The Equalizer 3

The opening of the threequel feels like something of a slasher film, as a mob boss comes home to his vineyard and discovers the bodies of his men littering his home. His remaining henchmen confront McCall in a cellar, but of course, the latter easily comes out on top and kills them all. Before this, McCall hints the reason he’s there is because they took something that didn’t belong to them, and afterward, he’s seen with a mystery backpack. It’s only in the final scenes does he reveal to Collins what’s inside.

McCall explains that this mob stronghold also took part in cybercrime and that they stole the pension of a retired man in Boston. McCall gave this stranger a ride in a Lyft one time – a nod to his Equalizer 2 side gig – and he came to Italy with the sole intent of giving the man his $360,000 back. Collins doesn’t understand why McCall would go to such lengths to help a total stranger, but when she later hands over the bag and watches the joy the recovered money brings to the man and his wife, she gets it.

Related: Why The Equalizer 3 Is Rated R

What The Camorra Want With The Village

Andrea Scarduzio firing a gun in The Equalizer 3

The Equalizer 3 doesn’t give much depth to its antagonists, who are depicted as almost cartoonish evil. Their various crimes include hanging an old man from a window and later cutting off the hand of a subordinate. They collect protection money from many of the stores in Altamonte, but Vincent has larger plans in mind for this little paradise. He wants to build resorts and casinos for tourists, and that will involve pushing the population out. Given the kindness with which he’s been treated by the people, McCall makes it clear that isn’t going to happen.

The “Jihad Drug” Explained

The Equalizer 3
The Equalizer 3

Another major subplot in Equalizer 3 involves Collins looking into shipments of drugs that were being sent from inside wine bottles at the vineyard McCall raided. This is an amphetamine dubbed the “Jihad drug,” which is being sold by Syrian terrorists to fund their activities. Of course, it turns out The Camorra is buying the drug, and thus directly funding terrorism, which is why McCall gets the CIA involved. McCall gives Vincent a taste of his own medicine in the ending and force-feds him a fatal dose of these pills. He then walks with the fleeing Camorra chief into the village and waits until he dies from his overdose.

Collins Is Susan Plummer’s Daughter

Dakota Fanning looking sideways in The Equalizer 3

Another lingering mystery running throughout the film is why McCall is helping a random CIA agent. He and Collins form a nice bond, but he always avoids answering why he contacted her. The final scene in Collins’ office – following her recovery from a car bomb planted by the Camorra that nearly killed her – answers this question. She finds that McCall has gifted her his black book with a message stating her mother would be proud.

Collins then looks at a graduation picture on her desk, revealing she’s the daughter of McCalls’ old friends Susan and Brian (Bill Pullman). In acting as something of a mentor to Collins and then imparting his little book of names and secrets, he’s setting her on a path toward becoming a great agent like Susan was. It’s another sign that McCall himself is ready to hang up his equalizing ways and retire too.

Related: When Will The Equalizer 3 Release On Streaming?

Is The Equalizer 4 Possible?

Denzel Washington as Robert McCall in The Equalizer 3.

The third film in The Equalizer series is being tipped as the final outing. Director Antoine Fuqua has suggested Equalizer 4 could feature a digitally de-aged McCall or even star Denzel’s son John David, but another entry isn’t certain. While some theorized that the third outing being the finale would see McCall himself die, this isn’t the case. Instead, the sequel closes on a note of the character having found some inner peace, and deciding to embrace it.

The Equalizer 3 very much serves as an ending – but it doesn’t negate a fourth entry at all. Another sequel could simply pick up with McCall on another mission of vengeance, and simply explain that retirement didn’t suit him. Now that Collins has been established as his new ally, she could also come to him for help on an operation that needs his unconventional methods. Another film isn’t guaranteed, but if part three performs well and Denzel is willing, there’s no reason The Equalizer 4 can’t happen.

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