Last week’s “Walker” episode wasn’t the big event that the week before was (since it was directed by Jared Padalecki’s “Supernatural” costar Jensen Ackles,) but it was a solid episode that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is an unusual way of judging an episode, I’m sure, but for me, one of the best things about this episode was its positive commentary on fandom, something I’m always happy to see in media. The episode starts out with Cassie and Walker on a stake out – as she watches a fictional show (within a fictional show) called Hawk’s Shadow. It’s got a shout out to other CW shows, including “Supernatural” and “Kung Fu…”
“Who knew Satan’s greatest weakness was kung fu??”
And it’s got an awesome tagline: Whenever crimes come a-knockin’, I’ll be there to answer the… CAW CAW!
Walker isn’t into it, but Cassie definitely is, pointing out that there’s a lot of real life drama going on and an escape with a 90’s fandom classic seems like a good idea. I can get behind that, totally. Also, Cordell’s face is gold. I like that Cassie is thoroughly unapologetic about loving the perhaps a bit cheesy 90s show and it turns out that lots of other people like it too as the episode goes on.
The partners check in with each other, Cassie struggling with being so wrong about Captain Cole (or is she??) and Cordell struggling with Geri being on a “girls’ trip” with Gale and Denise.
Walker says he feels betrayed, especially because Geri is his best friend; that it feels like she chose them and the Davidson family over him and his family.
Cassie doesn’t try to disabuse him of that, agreeing that “if you can’t trust your best friend to stick by ya…” and saying he can trust her as his partner.
The episode has a theme of trust running through it, starting off with this very first scene.
Cordell’s feelings are entirely understandable, but I can’t help but think that Geri’s are too. She has just found out that she has a sister and a mother, when she thought she didn’t. When she thought she was given up and maybe not loved by her own mother. When she thought she had no living relatives. How could she turn down an invitation from them to get to know them better? She must have so many questions, and they are the only ones that can fill in the blanks.
I have no doubt Gale is going to turn out to be scheming and manipulating this somehow, but I also can’t help but think that of course she wants to get to know her own daughter, who she’s been grieving for literally decades. Denise too – the sister she thought she lost is right here.
I might have tried to help Cordell understand all that a little more if I were Cassie – but I am not. I like Cassie a lot, including that she’s not always what I expect. That’s rather fascinating, so I’m glad, but I also had to bite my tongue when she just agreed with and amplified Walker’s feeling of betrayal instead of maybe helping him put himself in her shoes a little more (while also empathizing with his feelings).
Their conversation is cut short by the suspect exiting – Cassie figures out that this particular string of nightclubs always has a secret back exit so you’d never seen people leaving. Walker doesn’t understand, yelling that the guy is gonna get away, but Cassie once again asks ‘Do you trust me?’ He does, and so they’re right there when the guy comes out the exit and they take him down.
Cassie: Caw Caw!
Two bystanders: Caw Caw!
Walker (longsuffering): That’s not even the sound a hawk makes…
Me: Fandom is awesome.
The Return of Twyla Jean
Walker is late to meeting with Captain James and he’s annoyed.
James: It is… 9:47
Walker: Uh, yes sir.
Walker: Uh, let’s go with 9:47.
(Apparently an ad lib – this cast can be subtly funny and I enjoy it a lot)
James says he was catching Cassie up on the perp they nabbed the night before. Cassie rightly demands credit.
Cassie: I nabbed. I am the nabber.
The cryptocurrency middleman, it turns out, is someone named Eric Davies. It’s a name that Cordell instantly recognizes.
Cordell: Er-Eric Davies??
Cassie (looking from James to Walker): Okay the loop is over there and I’m right here!
I do love Cassie.
Turns out Eric was married to Twyla Jean, who (as you recall) Walker put in jail and who gave them intel on Clint West when he escaped from prison.
Walker is reluctant to question Twyla, feeling guilty because he promised her he’d visit her in prison and then didn’t. Trust again. Too late – Twyla is already at the station.
She meets with Walker and Cassie, who greets Cordell as Duke.
Cassie (stifling a laugh): Sorry, I forgot your undercover name was Duke Culpepper. Like what, was Archibald Fakename already taken by another Ranger?
Twyla: I like your new partner already.
Me: I’m with Twyla.
She’s reluctant to help though, saying Eric up and left her with a mountain of debt and divorce papers, and that she’ll need an offer of something concrete since Cordell didn’t keep his promise to visit last time. James offers moving up her parole eligibility, and Twyla agrees, saying Eric will probably be at Maple Ridge Country Club. Twyla cautions that Eric can read people and he’ll see right through Walker’s “charade.”
Walker: MY charade?
Cassie: We had this play back in Dallas called the Magician’s Assistant. You send in some eye candy as a distraction….
Twyla: Like that episode of Hawk’s Shadow with the art thieves?
Cassie: OMG yes, I was totally lying about Dallas, that’s what I was talking about!
Gotta admit, I loved Cassie and Twyla fangirling out together.
Cordell is hesitant, since he got burned by Twyla last time, but she is agreeable if Walker can “let bygones be bygones”.
Walker: Just don’t forget, when we’re together, I’m gonna be watching you like a haw…
Cassie and Twyla: Like a what? Sorry, you trailed off there…I believe you were gonna say an animal…maybe of the avian variety…
Walker and Twyla go undercover. He tells her to hurry up.
Twyla: You ever tried to put on a cocktail dress in the back of a van?
The van pulls away and there’s Twyla, looking amazing – and making Cordell instantly nervous. Which is pretty adorable. Twyla flusters him even more than Geri, I think, and Padalecki makes that very attractive indeed. Also, a moment to appreciate not just Twyla’s amazing dress but Cordell’s amazing perfectly fitted suit. We don’t get to see him dressed like that very often, unfortunately, so let’s appreciate it while we can.
Twyla assertively removes his tie, shushing him, and then his belt, in a much-giffed scene that fandom appreciated very very much.
Twyla: Now you look less like a narc.
He gives her some advice that helped him when he was undercover: Keep the circle small and the lies honest.
Twyla: As per usual, Duke, the only one lying about who they are today is you.
Cassie on the comm: Oh damn, she got you…
Cordell: I am putting my belt back on…
Twyla grabs some food, because all the women on television who wear skin tight little black dresses claim to eat constantly but look like they eat next to never.
Then they put the sting on Eric, who proves to be a tough sell. Cordell nearly blows it not knowing much about cryptocurrency (“The bit coin” lol) Eric perceptively wonders if Twyla and Walker are a thing and they both stammer and deny it, so he backs out, saying if they can’t be honest with themselves, they aren’t gonna be honest with him.
Twyla takes off after Eric, leaving the mic behind in her purse. Walker is furious, convinced she’s double-crossing him again. But Twyla comes back with the news that Eric is in, and will text her details of a meet up with the guy in charge of the operation. Walker is still suspicious, accusing Twyla of outing them as Rangers.
As they continue to argue, finally Cassie intervenes, ordering “Walker – hallway, now!”
Cordell reminds her that Twyla flipped on him before (so honestly his mistrust does make sense) but Cassie questions whether this is also about Geri – that he feels betrayed by her, and those feelings are clouding his judgment about Twyla.
Cassie once again asks if he trust her – for real this time, not in a showboaty way.
He says he does, and they continue to go along with the plan Twyla set up with Eric, waiting for him on the dock. Cordell and Twyla have a frank discussion, Cordell telling her that she double-crossed him before, why wouldn’t she do it again? (Again, I think that makes total sense).
Twyla: Why do you always think the worst of me?
She asks why he didn’t visit her in prison, and he says the last year was difficult – then answers honestly.
Cordell: And frankly, seeing you in there the first time was hard enough, knowing that I put you there.
Twyla: Do you ever wonder what it could’ve been like if we’d met under different circumstances?
Eric and his men arrive on a speedboat before he can answer. He questions who the new girl is, and Cassie answers.
Cassie: Name’s Archibald.
Eric, however, grabs Twyla and takes Walker and Cassie’s guns, saying he’s bending them over a barrel. It soon becomes clear that Twyla has double crossed Walker again. (Or does it?)
Twyla: Told you he’d fall for it. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to steal 300 grand from you, Walker.
Eric reveals that he’s actually the counterfeiter, not the middleman. Twyla points the gun at Cordell.
Twyla: You should’ve visited me in prison.
And then she turns on Eric.
Twyla: And you shouldn’t have left me in debt five years ago!
There’s a fight, Walker stripping off the belt he put back on to escape from a bad guy’s hold, and the fandom once again appreciating the gifs.
Once it’s all over, Twyla admits she was wrong about the belt.
Cordell: I was wrong too.
Cassie and Twyla, triumphantly: Caw! Caw!
Walker: I’m not doing that…
Me: Yep, those are the faces of fangirl glee right there!
The Family Feud
Meanwhile, the Walker-Davidson feud evolves in some unexpected ways. The Walker family is looking at other ranches, but pickings are slim and costly. Bonham laments that maybe it’s time to ‘put this cowboy out to pasture,’ sounding discouraged and maybe a bit depressed too. Understandably, though it was partly his pride and hard-headedness that lost them the ranch in the first place. Maybe he’s realized that by now.
Cordell asks Stella if she’s heard from her first choice school in Oregon yet, and she says not yet but there’s still time. The family reassures her that she’ll get in, and invites her to go look at ranches with them, but Stella says she’ll be with Todd – and then tells Todd she’ll be with her family looking at ranches. Oh Stella, always with the lies. More of that trust theme.
Stella hangs out with Colton instead, confiding in him that she did get into Sauber but that the out of state tuition is too high with everything going on. Colton empathizes, saying that his dad has been pushing him towards real estate.
Dan is a better realtor than rancher, Colton notes, saying that he’s trying to do things himself and spent two whole days tearing down a fence between the pastures.
Stella and Colton have a moment, him saying he kinda spilled his guts to her and she didn’t seem like she hated it, and Stella admitting that she didn’t, but everything feels unstable right now.
Then she notices a cluster of hemlock growing, poisonous enough to kill a horse. It was something Stella and Bonham cut down every spring. They realize with alarm that Dan just took down the fence, so the horses are in danger. Stella and Colton return to the house after calling Bonham, and Dan is surprised when Bonham pulls up in his truck. He accuses Dan of taking the fences down without walking the land for hazards – that his family kept the ranch running for over a century and within a month it’s already gone to hell.
Dan is at first angry and wants Bonham gone, but Colton and Stella explain, and then he’s sheepish, saying he didn’t think about the hemlock.
Bonham: Well I guess we found out what that big “D” out front stands for – dumb ass!
Stella and Colton are the voice of reason, asking if they can put the family stuff aside for the sake of the horses, and eventually they do.
Dan: I’m sorry about taking down that fence, I was just trying to impress Denise.
He asks Bonham about his treatments, saying that both his parents fought cancer – his mom made it through but it took his dad before they had a chance to work through their differences.
Bonham is surprised and responds with empathy – which surprises Dan, who admits he’s clearly in over his head and asks for Bonham’s help. It seems pretty unlikely, but Bonham agrees to work the ranch for Dan since he’s “an idiot and clearly needs the help”. I was happy to see it anyway – I’m tired of the feud and have a little more empathy for the Davidsons than most fans, I think. It will probably all go to hell, but for the moment, I thought it was a nice twist.
Bonham figures it out by the end of the episode that Stella did get into Sauber, and advises her to tell her father.
Bonham: You spread the joy and whatnot. We need a little bit right now.
That was good to hear, and it applied to the fandom theme that the episode had going too. We all need a little bit of joy to spread around recently, that’s for sure.
The theme of trust also plays out between Captain James and his estranged wife Kelly in Austin’s own ‘Easy Tiger’, which isn’t really a Supernatural shout out because that’s what the place is actually called, but nevertheless is because that’s a well known line from the show.
James and Kelly are reconnecting but run into a snag when she floats the idea of a family vacation and he unenthusiastically says “That sounds like fun…depends on work but…” She reminds him that he has to be more present with her. When she leaves a kid who overheard their conversation wryly notes, “You suck at girls.”
James confides in Trey, as everyone on this show seems to do, admitting that he’s struggling to communicate with Kelly about everyday little things. Augie chimes in, saying if they want to talk about girl problems, Faye broke up with him when she thought his Gramps was a murderer, and now that he’s innocent she still won’t talk to him. Ouch.
Trey: Both of you need to chill out, all right? Expressing feelings is tough for a lot of people, especially men… we tend to bottle things up.
A glass shatters nearby and Trey has an idea that he thinks will help all of them. They head to the Rage Room that apparently really is in Austin, Trey explaining that it will help them unlock the deeper emotions they’ve been bottling up. The research on catharsis isn’t very accurate, actually, but it’s a pretty amusing scene, Capt James attempting to yell about his day and ending up yelling about having strawberry yogurt for breakfast. He eventually gets to being pissed because Walker was late, and says he feels like because they were partners, maybe Walker doesn’t respect him…
Trey: Kelly wants to hear all those deeper feelings from you.
James: Augie, sorry about all the ‘your dad is annoying’ stuff.
Augie (being the teenager he is): No, it’s fine. I’m the captain of that ship.
He takes his turn, and James thanks Trey for the idea of going to the Rage Room.
Trey: Oh no man, you don’t need to thank me. I mean, dropping knowledge is my thing.
I like Trey, and I loved him with Micki, but I have mixed feelings about him being set up as the all knowing wise man “dropping knowledge”. Is he trained as a therapist at all? I’m not sure he is. Maybe I’m being extra touchy because those six years of grad school to be a psychologist weren’t a picnic and there are so many people out there saying they’re coaches or whatever without any real training…. Anyway, James now wants to hire Trey to give the Rangers “some of your magic therapy sauce.”
There is no magic therapy sauce in reality, unfortunately – it’s a lot of hard work. But they needed to find a way to keep Trey integral to the story so I guess this is it. Don’t mind my grumbling.
Trey: Yeah man, I’d love to. Will I get the hat?
He would look pretty damn good in the hat.
Later, James improves his communication skills with Kelly substantially, saying that law enforcement isn’t just a job for him, it’s who he is – and that by trying to keep work separate from home, he kept himself separate from her too. He says that the vacation idea “made me feel whole again. So what do you say, you still in?”
Kelly: (deadpan) Sounds like fun.
The episode ends with Twyla’s parole hearing, and her thanking Cassie for speaking for her, saying it felt good to have someone in her corner.
Cassie: When I came to Austin, I had been out of the Ranger game for a minute. Walker gave me a fresh start. Felt like you deserved one too. He can be a big ol’ dummy sometimes, but he means well.
Walker and Twyla sit on a bench and talk, and he apologizes to her, saying he should have trusted her more. (Though honestly, she should have apologized to him too – he’s not delusional, she didn’t give him much reason to trust her.)
Walker: I’ve been going through something that’s left me a little raw, and insecurities got the best of me.
Twyla: I’ve been saying bygones a lot, so I’m just gonna say I forgive you.
They agree that there has always been a badge – or lies – between them, and then Cordell stands up and holds out his hands.
Cordell: Hi. Cordell.
Twyla: Twyla. Twyla Jean.
It’s a fresh start. The fandom is divided as to whether they’re rooting for Cordri or – what is this ship name anyway? Cordla? Twydell? Anyway, I don’t have a dog in this race, but both pairings have a lot of chemistry. Geri’s is the comfortable affection you have with someone who’s also an old friend; Twyla Jean and Cordell have a lot of sparks. I guess time will tell!
Another new “Walker” airs this week, as Jared Padalecki recuperates from a serious car accident several weeks ago (he wasn’t driving, but it was by all accounts a very bad accident). Thankfully everyone made it through!