The Equalizer 3: Why is Collins Important?

Dakota Fanning's character in The Equalizer 3 is more important than you might realize.

by Mike Bedard
Image: Sony

The following article contains spoilers for The Equalizer 3.

One of the most enticing aspects of The Equalizer 3 is the reunion between Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning. The two famously acted together in 2004’s Man on Fire, where Washington’s character goes on a mission to save Fanning’s after an abduction. Now, Fanning’s an adult, and she functions as a colleague to Washington’s Robert McCall in the latest installment of The Equalizer franchise. She plays Emma Collins, a CIA agent McCall contacts to give her tips on how to bring down a massive drug ring, one of several reasons the film has an R rating. But the question she has throughout the film is why McCall chose to call her over anyone else. The answer only becomes clear in the film’s final moments.

Emma Collins Links to One of Robert McCall’s Closest Friends

In Collins’ last scene, McCall sends her a note stating how her mother would be proud of her. The camera pans to a photo depicting the character in graduation robes. Standing beside her are Susan (Melissa Leo) and Brian Plummer (Bill Pullman). Susan was a former DIA colleague from Robert McCall’s past. She continued helping him fight for what’s right even after he became a ghost, but she was tragically killed in The Equalizer 2. It indicates how Collins is Susan’s daughter, and she’s well on her way to becoming a great agent like her.

The Equalizer 3 is likely the last in the series, but that scene suggests some paths another installment could take. With Collins getting a nice promotion, she may realize they require Robert McCall’s skills once again down the line. Granted, McCall seems content spending the rest of his days peacefully in the small Italian town of Altamonte. But if there’s no one else who can help, he may just need to pick up the guns once again to restore justice.

Even if The Equalizer 4 never happens, the ending suggests Collins has a bright future in front of her. And it provides some much-needed closure for Susan.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2023

About The Author

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Mike Bedard has written tens upon thousands of articles online in all kinds of spaces. Some of his previous writing credits include Cracked, Ranker, and StudioBinder.