“Walker’s” tenth episode of Season 2, ‘Nudge’, starts out with something we haven’t seen before – Cordell, Liam, and Trey out to lunch together. Cordell suggests Liam and Trey move in together since both are a bit at loose ends right now, giving them a ‘nudge’ so to speak. Though I didn’t think Liam was considered single necessarily – isn’t Bret coming back? Come back, Bret!
Liam and Trey call Cordell out on saying that unlike them, he’s not alone – he’s never alone in a house full of teenagers – but they point out that alone isn’t the same as lonely. He admits it’s been quiet (lonely?) working alone without a partner.
As Walker has to go to work, he leaves Trey and Liam to ponder their future living arrangements.
Cordell: Sorry to ruin your date, but it’s on the house!
Trey: He needs to get a partner…now.
Liam confides in Trey that he’s been looking at land surveys of the Davidsons and Walkers’ land, and Trey offers to help him out.
Liam: Maybe my brother’s not the only one who needs a partner.
Awwww. Liam and Trey is the partnership nobody knew we needed, but perhaps we did. Maybe they should be roomies!
Walker kills time outside James’ office, picking up some imaginary thing on the floor (and in the process making the fandom quite happy) and then awkwardly pretending he wasn’t.
Jared Padalecki is so good at creating a believable and unique individual with Cordell, and I am constantly amazed that there is not a trace of Sam Winchester in him most of the time. I’m not an actor, so that seems mysterious to me – and sometimes a bit impossible. But here we are!
James updates him on the search for a new ranger/partner, which isn’t going very well at all. In the meantime, Cordell has a solo assignment searching for a person impersonating a missing Ranger named Miles who’s doing a bunch of carjackings.
Elsewhere in town, Abeline puts the word out that they need ranch hands and then (literally) bumps into Gale at the market. The two of them are so strained with each other, polite and pleasant on the surface and simmering anger still underneath.
Abeline says she taught Colton the song that Marv used to sing and Gale goes off that she always oversteps, talking about her dead husband like they had nothing to do with it…
And then we realize we’re hearing her internal monologue instead of what she says to Abeline, which is overtly polite instead.
On his solo assignment, Walker finds a suspicious-looking car and stops to investigate, asking local PD to come back him up.
He’s no sooner climbed into the car (carefully pushing the trunk opener with his knuckle so he doesn’t leave fingerprints because smart Cordell) than someone else with a gun shows up just as he’s climbing OUT and orders a hands up and gun down. He thinks she’s the buyer, trying to explain that he’s a Texas Ranger, but she doesn’t believe him since he just stepped out of a stolen car. She orders him to pop the trunk and he does, but when he turns around she tases him and stuffs all 6-foot-whatever of Jared Padalecki in the trunk!
(New cast member Ashley Reyes did an interview about this episode and confided that Padalecki was all too eager to fold himself into the trunk, to her surprise and amusement)
The two go back and forth as she drives recklessly, intentionally tossing him around violently in the trunk as an innovative interrogation technique, while Walker tries to convince her she’s making a mistake – from the trunk – until he finally pulls the emergency brake from there and the car skids to a stop.
Cordell: There is a Texas Ranger in your trunk!
She’s convinced he’s an imposter who’s impersonating her former partner. He’s convinced she’s a psychopath.
When he tells her his name, she is even more skeptical.
Cassie: The one Ranger that’s always in the news??
He finally convinces her to call Captain James.
Cassie: Is he the type who would blindly pull a car’s E brake from inside the trunk knowing it would send it into an uncontrolled skid?
James: Yep, that sounds like Ranger Walker.
When Cassie finally opens the trunk, Cordell is pissed but he also looks adorable curled up in that trunk.
The annoying banter between Walker and Ranger Perez was priceless. Ashley Reyes and Jared Padalecki have an entirely different energy than he had with Lindsey Morgan’s Micki and so far I’m really enjoying it. While Micki was more often talking Walker off the ledge of using too much force and being too emotional, here it’s Cordell being the less impulsive and emotional one. (And we soon find out that Cassie has a similar reason for all that emotionality).
He accuses her of tasing him and throwing him in the trunk; she retorts that it was only a nudge.
She accuses him of being dressed like the perp; he retorts that he’s dressed like a Texas Ranger because he is one – and that the perp is dressed like HIM!
The local cops arrive just as Cassie is insisting that any reasonable person would have come to the same conclusion she did – and the officer orders them both on their knees.
Walker: No no, I’m a Ranger – Cordell Walker.
Officer: This guy thinks he’s the Ranger that’s always on the news!
Cassie: Told you.
Cordell is so pissed, and it’s absolutely priceless.
Walker and Cassie continue to spar as they meet with James and we get a little exposition, i.e. a rundown on her bio. Cassie gives credit to James for changing the landscape by hiring Ranger Ramirez but also says that her former Captain never really had her back. Her partner was abducted in the line of duty and she went on leave, convinced that Miles is still alive and determined to look for him, saying there’s too much that doesn’t add up.
Walker looks over at that, and we all think of how he felt when he was convinced that there was more to how Emily disappeared.
He refuses to explain himself to her or why he’s a good partner, and she doesn’t accept ‘because I’m a Texas Ranger’ and says she can’t trust him. James snickers.
As Cordell and James leave, James admires the stolen car, saying he always wanted one like that, but his wife said it didn’t have enough trunk space.
James to Cordell: Based on your ‘research’, what do you think?
I laughed out loud. The humor in this episode is A+.
James is all for a Walker-Cassie team up, reminding Cordell that they have Rule No. 42 from when the two of them were partners because they needed those rules to not fight all the time in the beginning. Cordell isn’t sure she’s got what it takes.
James: Well, she had what it takes to force a moose like you into the trunk of a car!
Me: “Supernatural” Easter egg!
Coby Bell and Padalecki are also priceless together. The cast in this show has really gelled and their comedic beats are down pat at this point.
Cassie surreptitiously tries to find out more about Cordell by going to the ranch and pretending to apply for the ranch hand position, which Abeline figures out quickly enough. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Abeline and Molly Hagan? So much. Smart and sassy. Abeline gives Cassie the information she isn’t asking for overtly, saying that Walker had Micki’s back and she had his, and that gave her the strength to make the decision she needed to – but that she’ll always have a place at their table.
Cassie makes a good impression anyway even as Abeline figures out what she’s really doing there (and Liam looks on, having figured it out too).
Cordell goes to talk to someone he trusts, Geri. He confides in Geri but she takes Cassie’s side (though she’s clearly on his side too). She reminds him that just because his last partnership didn’t work out, it’s not that this one won’t. Walker and Geri come back to the ranch for dinner, arguing like the long-time friends they are.
Padalecki and Odette Annable have established so much warmth and connection between Geri and Cordell that their relationship is now a lot more believable, so for me at least, establishing them as friends first worked. They are comfortably physical with each other, constant little touches that they use to convey reassurance and support. It’s similar to what Padalecki and Jensen Ackles brought to the Winchester brothers, whose closeness was so believable largely because of those non-verbal signals (since they rarely spoke their brotherly love out loud).
I don’t ship it, but I believe it when it happens because of the way I totally believe their friendship and love for each other as friends who know each other from literally growing up together. They find Cassie already at the Walker ranch and invited for dinner, much to Walker’s surprise and annoyance.
Cassie and Geri greet each other warmly, while Walker bristles. Geri reminds him to give her a chance.
As they continue to bicker, they get a call and figure out that the perp is using the tracker in the car to find the warehouse of stolen stuff – just like, as Walker says, Paititi.
Cassie: Like the Lost City of Gold? Apt analogy but I didn’t think you’d know…
Walker: Don’t be so surprised, I’m well read…
Off they go, partners whether they like it or not.
Cassie: Do you wanna ride shotgun, or are you partial to the trunk?
I laughed out loud again.
Cassie and Walker find the warehouse with the stolen cars, working together seamlessly with unspoken hand signals ala Sam and Dean. Cassie has a weapon that’s not a gun but it works really damn well and they eventually take out the bad guy – who is not her lost partner but just taking advantage of an opportunity.
He very nearly takes out both of them before crashing his truck right through the warehouse door. Walker and Cassie have each other’s backs before she takes the bad guy out with her baton and nearly kills him, demanding to know what happened to Miles.
Walker talks her down from doing something she’ll regret, saying this isn’t what Miles would want, and she eventually listens to him, stepping away from too much violence like he had to learn to do in the early episodes.
She tells him she doesn’t carry – on her last case with Miles she was jumped and they took her weapon. They found bullet casings where Miles was last seen, and the thought that he might have died from her weapon haunts her.
Cassie: I’m not crazy.
Walker: You are crazy enough to hold your own. I know what that’s like, chasing ghosts. I also know it’s best not to do that alone.
And so, a new partnership is formed. James offers her a Rangers badge and an understanding that she’s not going to stop looking for Miles. He likes the way she colors outside the lines, saying he didn’t know what he was looking for in a Ranger until he saw it in her – that she reminds him of his old partner, the best Ranger he’s got. She doesn’t know he’s talking about Walker, but we do.
Cassie comes out and shows Walker her new badge (he’s texting with Geri and they’re both clearly wanting to say more than they are).
Cassie: I think mine’s shinier.
Cordell: Worn and weathered means experience…
They argue about being Yoda and Luke or Crockett and Tubbs, or Hawk Shadow, an early 90s TV show (which never existed apparently but I like the idea, Cassie), and it’s a bit of a “Supernatural” shout out to Eric Kripke thinking of Sam and Dean as Han and Luke.
Cassie also gives Cordell some advice, saying the last time she saw Miles they argued about something stupid – that you need to take the time to tell people things.
Cordell: So, you want to tell me…
Cassie: No, you and Geri, dummy! I saw you two together. It’s always complicated, and waiting will do what exactly? Jump!
They agree on brutal honesty between them.
Walker: We’ll call that Rule No. 43 (picking up where he and James left off)
Cassie: What are the other 42?
Walker tips his hat without answering and Cassie tips hers back.
Meanwhile, the kids hang out and lament that the band they want to see is sold out until Todd says that he can get tickets. Colton doesn’t want to fifth wheel it even for one of his favorite bands, but Stella talks him into coming along. When Todd doesn’t show up, Colton thinks it’s because he was just trying to score points, but Stella is concerned there’s something wrong. As much as Colton is pissed (and competitive with) Todd, he agrees to take Stella to check on him – though Augie advises him to play it cool and let the Todd thing run its course.
Stella finds Todd stuck at home because his brother needed help with a big test and their mom had to work late. Stella offers to help, saying she wants to be with him. Stella gives Colton the concert tickets but stays behind to help and I feel so bad for Colton once again.
Stella and Todd bond, she says she sees him differently than before – but in a good way. They kiss, smiling in between.
Geri meets with her grief group, saying she feels like she’s turned a new leaf, that she still thinks about Hoyt but she’s not going to let her past define her future, that it’s time to move on – clearing a path for her to take her relationship with Cordell to another level. Gale comes by to drop off chili spices and overhears a bit, saying she’s sorry for what Geri’s been through, that she knows a thing or two about loss and hasn’t found much peace in 20 years. I don’t normally feel too bad for Gale, but I did here.
She goes to the Walker ranch and knocks on the door and Abeline answers.
Gale: Abby, it takes a lot for me to come here.
Abeline: Well it takes a lot for me to invite you in, but here we are.
Me: No. 1 Abeline stan, right here…
Gale says she’s been thinking a lot about the past, about Marv. She knows Marv came to see Gale that night and asks what they talked about. Abeline once again invites her in, and this time Gale agrees.
Meanwhile, Trey charms his way into getting the records that Liam needs, the clerk so distracted by “those big…biceps…” that she gives him what he’s asking for without too many questions and calls him “sugar.”
Liam and Trey ride out to the boundaries of the ranch, looking extremely attractive on their horses frankly. They’re looking for the real border between the Walker land and the Davidson land. Liam’s original map doesn’t mesh with the county map – the original running right through the Walker ranch.
Liam: We might be living on their land…
Ominous drone shot of the land and that possible boundary!
We end with Geri and Cordell. Cordell listens to his new partner and goes to see Geri, awkward as he always is, fighting with a screen door that won’t stay open in what was possibly an ad-lib but works perfectly. He has a hard time even speaking to her, saying “there’s something here with me…you…us…this…”
He’s so nervous he’s stammering, and she reaches out instinctively to hold his hand, ground him.
Cordell: I kept thinking about…you…and how you stuck around…how that made me feel.
Geri: Well, how do you feel?
Cordell: I feel…um…I feel tired. Tired of waiting, wondering…
She gets it then, cups his face in both hands and kisses him.
I don’t even ship Cordri but Odette Annable and Jared Padalecki make that kiss damn hot. I know a lot of fans who DO ship it were very happy indeed with that ending – even those of us who don’t, I think, felt like it definitely made sense at this point. I like the way Geri is with Cordell, how she really knows him and sees him for who he is, and values him for who he is. I like that they were friends first, that they’ve known each other forever. She’s good for him, I think, and I’ve come to feel enough affection for the character to want that for him.
I realize I was reminded of “Supernatural” quite a few times during this episode – Cassie and Cordell remind me a lot more of Sam and Dean’s partnership than Cordell and Micki did. They have that sibling-esque dynamic, constant bickering, lots of competition, but underneath it professionalism and caring about doing the right thing and having each other’s backs. Cassie is impulsive, emotional, very willing to ‘color outside the lines’ as James notes. She’s also fiercely loyal to her partners, a trait she also has in common with one Dean Winchesters. Walker rolls his eyes at some of that and tries to ground her, but he also is coming to respect her. I’m excited to see more of these two and how they gel as partners.
Where do we go from here after all these ‘nudges’ in new directions, that’s the question! We’ll see that on “Walker’s” next episode 211 Boundaries.