‘Walker’ 3.09 Buffering sets up what’s to come this season

walker 3.09 buffering review mttg lynn zub erniss jared padalecki

Last week’s episode of “Walker” was aptly named, with multiple situations setting up the prospect of change for some of the characters who have been a bit in limbo recently.

Cassie and Trey are both in trouble with Captain James, but for now, they’re enjoying being adorable besties out for a food truck dinner, Trey is clueless when the waitress hits on him (not sure she’s a good bet because how did she know Cassie wasn’t his girlfriend though??)  

Trey is worried about how angry the Captain is at them. Cassie for some reason isn’t – after he totally went off on them last week. 

Cassie and Kevin are ‘buffering’ their relationship, Trey insists, determined to keep their work/life boundaries separate. Cassie’s not interested in “another fling” and she’s a little worried about where Kevin stands, especially because he didn’t tell her about an upcoming luncheon with the mayor honoring them all for their bravery.

Things are at an uncomfortable impasse with many of the Walkers too. Abeline is recovering nicely, but Bonham hasn’t forgiven August and still seems intensely on edge about making sure she doesn’t experience any stress at all (which isn’t realistic if you want to, you know, actually live…)

The Walker family is under a lot of stress, much of it caused by Bonham being horribly cranky while ostensibly trying to make things LESS stressful for Abeline in the wake of her TIA. He’s grumpy with August, who he’s having a hard time forgiving even though August is bending over backward trying to make it up to everyone. He was grumpy with Cordell last week, leaving him this week saying he’s trying to avoid even going over to his parent’s house in the wake of the ‘find your own place to live’ advice. And he’s grumpy with Liam, who is still really floundering trying to figure out who he is and what he wants to be – it doesn’t seem to be a rancher, if the cranky feed store guy who goes off on him for using too big words can be believed.

(I felt so bad for Liam there, having been someone who maybe once or twice got called out for using too many big words…)  Liam was trying to help with his offer to go down to the feed store to straighten things out, but Bonham immediately warned him not to mess it up instead of being happy about the offer.

Liam introduces himself as Bonham’s son to the feed store guy and he’s like oh, Texas Ranger?

Liam: No, the other one.

Ouch.

Liam comes in armed with research on feed prices which is clearly not how it’s done in the good ol’ boys’ network that’s going on and the guy calls him “not a real rancher” and then says if he’s the one in charge they may as well sever ties right here and WHAT? The Walker boys CANNOT get a break!

Walker gay Liam Keegan Allen finding out homophobia is still big in his town 3.09.
Walker gay Liam Keegan allen dealing with gay vocabulary bashing on set.

Jim: Go find yourself a feed store that can handle your big vocabulary.

Me: Wow. Jerk.

Liam takes refuge at the Side Step, lamenting that he still can’t get a drink there, and doesn’t want to go to the mayor’s lunch with his dad after messing up at the feed store.

Walker gay Liam stroking off long hard poolstick while Stella tells him hot story of Colton's night with Augie.

He and Stella are both feeling like their lives are out of control and like even trying to do the right thing bites them in the ass, Stella also stuck in a ‘buffering’ limbo trying to figure out who she is and what’s next for her.  The two of them get the idea of starting a 501© charity, a horse rescue and rehabilitation (for people) center – something that might solve their identity crisis and give them a genuine motivation to do something meaningful with their lives.

Walker Stella feeling out of control with gay Colton night with Augie.
Walker Liam Keegan allen looking really hardcore gay for Colton.

Colton is also grumpy, super busy at the Side Step and unsure if he wants to be involved in the horse rescue because of bad karma (and memories) of what his grandma did, much to Stella’s surprise. Another member of the extended family who’s been through a lot, losing his grandmother, his parents moving away, leaving him on his own at 18 to be an adult and figure out who he is all at the same time. No mean feat!

Walker gay Augie spilling all his closet secrets to Stella including his hot hardcore night with Augie.
Walker gay Colton telling Geri about his hot hardcore night with gay Augie on set 3.09.

I enjoy the family aspects of “Walker” most of all and appreciate that they are usually quite realistic, but less so for Stella and Colton. They’re only 18, fresh out of high school, and having worked in a college counseling center for decades, that is really NOT adulthood. Yet they’re living on their own (in Geri’s place) and making very adult decisions, fresh off a lot of serious trauma. Not sure that would be working out as well as it seems to be, showing.

August is also in limbo, trying hard to make it up to his grandparents for what he said before her stroke. He comes in and says he’s done a lot of chores and Bonham grumps at him too, asking if he’s expecting a prize. August asks if there’s anything he can do and his grandfather suggests he pick up an extra shift at the Side Step to make up for all the liquor he stole at the party. Oof. Bonham is really on a roll.

Mawline says he could find them a replacement Queen for the chess set since their other one was lost in the move.

Walker Abilene holding up used stone that Augie used with Colton that night on set.
Gay Augie caught by Bonham and Abilene after his hot hardcore night with gay Colton on Walker set 3.09.

Once August is gone, Abeline tells Bonham he needs to forgive August, that he was once a reckless teenager too, but Bonham has it in his head that Augie is causing too much stress around there – clearly still worried about Abeline.

Later at the Side Step, Colton and August have a chat, Augie saying Colton has every right to be mad at him and wondering if his Gramps is ever going to forgive him. Colton says he’s going through something similar with his grandma, from the other side. She sent him a letter and wants him to visit, but he’s not sure he can. He still loves her but feels guilty about all she did to hurt the Walkers.

Colton: It feels like she died…

Augie points out she doesn’t expect him to forgive her in one night, that maybe he could write her back instead. The two bond as the closest thing they have to brothers, which is sweet.

Gay augie with Colton after their hardcore night together on Walker set.

This show is at its strongest when it’s exploring the complications of things like trauma and grief and loss, and that line of Colton’s rang very true. He lost the grandmother he thought he knew; she ceased to exist as that person when he found out what she had done. That’s as painful a loss as it gets.

Meanwhile, in the case of the week, Walker and Cassie are back to work while Trey is on paperwork detail, much to Cassie’s guilt when he’s in trouble for something she insisted he does. They find a guy holding a woman hostage in a warehouse with lots of servers. She was entering something into a system – they’re not quite fast enough to stop her from hitting ‘enter’.

Jared Padalecki giving his slight pout blow out lips on Walker set.
Cassie looking bewildered and sucking in a hostage situation on Walker 3.09.
Cordell Walker pulling a gun in a hostage situation 3.09.

The guy at the server farm was apparently trying to launch some ransomware attack, they think – yet Cassie finds out that the guy was a sort of do-gooder, which makes all the Rangers scratch their heads.

While Trey tries to figure out that paradox, Cassie and Cordell go to the lunch to plan the Mayor’s honor celebration, all dressed up and looking FINE.

Cassie: Okay, handsome.

Cordell: Huh?

Cordell Walker reacting to Cassie calling him handsome.

Cassie: You had to be there… (It’s a private joke with Trey, but Cordell has no clue).

She insists he ask if they’ll be getting medals. Jared Padalecki and Ashley Reyes can be hilarious when they get going on a riff like that, and they were adorable here.

She’s nervous about how to shake Kevin’s hand –as a stranger? As someone he’s dating? Cordell, exasperated, tells her to just go with it.

Cassie: From the guy who threw in the towel. When was the last time you talked to Geri?

Jared Padalecki showing his age with hard laugh lines on Walket set.

Cordell: It’s been a while.

It has – of course, in real life, Odette Annable had a beautiful little baby girl, so that’s a good reason for Geri to be away. But the mention probably signals her return, which will complicate things for Cordell.

When Cordell and Cassie come inside, they’re surprised to see that Julia Johnson, the reporter Cordell was in captivity with, is there to be honored too – the mayor, on the other hand, couldn’t make it.

So, it’s the Kevin show! I love Jake Abel, but Kevin is….I’m not so sure…  It turns out Julia knows him and there’s instant awkwardness because he’s acting like he and Cassie are just “collaborators” who are still “working out the logistics”, as Cassie puts it.

The lunch itself is also incredibly awkward – first, Cordell and Julia haven’t seen each other since they were held captive together, so being around each other is a shock. Second, Kevin asks them questions about that captivity that are oddly specific, and that rattles both of them. Everyone at this point is wondering if Kevin is a good guy or a bad guy…poor Cassie if it’s the latter. I love Jake Abel, but Kevin is undeniably a bit smarmy.

The lunch also has its comedic moments, like when Cassie pushes Cordell to ask Kevin if they’ll be getting medals as part of the “honoring”.  Jake Abel tweeted that Jared’s delivery of that reluctant question broke him several times, which I can only imagine.

Then Kevin asks about the anarchist group behind the abductions. Cordell says they don’t know much yet. Kevin also wants to know if anyone reached out to Julia after the article. Cassie suggests maybe they should stop the questions as Julia gets uncomfortable; Kevin makes a joke that if anyone wants to stab him, the steak course is on the way.  

Walker Kevin putting on a show about anarchists for Jared Padalecki 3.09.

He covers with humor, but why did he ask those questions? Hmmm.

Julia goes outside for some fresh air and Cordell follows. While they’re gone, Kevin asks Cassie if she created the work/personal life boundaries because she’s embarrassed by him. She assures him no, and they decide maybe they can ease the boundaries a little.  They agree to take it slow and share an almost kiss before they get interrupted.

Walker Hot Kevin kisses Cassie really hard 3.09.

I love the conversation that Julia and Cordell have while taking a break from awkward lunch. She could be an interesting character to see more of.

Julia says she thought maybe Cordell would reach out to her after her article came out, and when he didn’t she assumed there was a reason – that they symbolize pain for each other maybe.  They bond over how hard it is to go through the kind of traumatic experiences they have. And it’s awkward, they both agree, sharing a laugh.

Walker Jared Padalecki smiling cute in Sunday clothes for women.

Cordell: For me, you wonder if you’ll ever feel things the same way again.

He touches on how much trauma sets you apart, separating you from people who love you.

Julia: Sometimes, when I feel numb, I try to focus on one thing. A detail of a story I know is true, then fit the rest of the pieces in there.

Jared padalecki in Sunday clothes looking like a mormon on Walker set.

Like I said, this is where the show excels.

Back at HQ, Trey goes through the surveillance tape of the hostage, noting that the guy with the knife stops and helps the hostage woman when she falls. When he goes to question the guy, however, he’s already gone – which is odd since he should have been accused of domestic terrorism. What is going on here??

Walker black texas ranger smiling wide.

Trey keeps calling Walker, who finally picks up.  He catches Walker up – they let the guy go because he apparently wasn’t trying to freeze the servers – and the hostage woman didn’t press charges. They figure out he may have been targeting a credit union. Walker tells Cassie they’ve got an emergency at the credit union and she takes off to meet him there.

Trey and Cassie end up there to find ATM machines spewing cash and a riot going on in response, while someone records the mayhem. That’s apparently what the “hostage” situation people were actually up to!

Walker ATM spewing out money for free 3.09.

The perpetrators on motorcycles speed away; Walker spins his truck around and goes after them (obligatory music montage happening) but Jared apparently had a blast screeching the truck around that parking garage and it shows.

Walker Jared Padalecki catching ransomware hackers at an ATM stealing from it 3.09.

He confronts the two young people, correctly surmising that they’re not attempting a ransomware attack but maybe trying to Robin Hood it – except he points out that they’ve all been caught on camera stealing and instead of doing good, all the people who are trying to grab the free money are getting aggressive and hurting each other.

He asks them to stop it, putting away his gun, as the riot intensifies around poor Cassie and Trey. It’s a Lord of the Flies situation, not a very pretty view of humanity for sure.

Luckily, he’s able to convince them to shut it down.

Walker Jared Padalecki comparing his gun to his junk in a hot sexy outfit on set.

The wrap-up scenes range from bittersweet to scary to downright painful. Stella makes Colton dinner; he tells her about the letter, says he didn’t know how to talk about it but Augie gave him some good advice. Colton feels guilty for still loving his grandma after she hurt Stella’s family. Stella validates his feelings, just like Augie did.

Stella holding hands with closet case Colton on Walker set.

August manages to carve a new Queen for the chess set and Abeline is touched that he did that.  He asks her to teach him to play.

Abeline: You know I’ve already forgiven you.

He says it was just a gesture making the new Queen, that spending time with her is the cherry on top.

Bonham, much like his son last week, is listening outside the door. He finally smiles.

Mitch Pileggi Bonham eavesdropping on gay Liam Auggie onset talkes Walker 3.09.

Liam comes home all excited and proud that the paperwork is filed to create the horse rescue and rehab center, but Bonham isn’t happy about that, worried that taxes etc will cause stress.

Liam: I thought you’d be happy for me, this is what I’m passionate about.

Gay Walker Liam Keegan Allen disappointing daddy bonham 3.09

Bonham: I am, but you’re making decisions that affect my reputation, my land. Just… know your place.

Liam walks out and wow, I do not blame him.

Gay Liam angry with daddy Mitch Pileggi Bonham 3.09 wakjer
Walker Bonham having intense deep talk with gay son Liam Keegan Allen.

Julia calls to check on Walker as he comes home from the successful case solve; he finds some packages on his porch. Cordell mentions that it’s odd that they were delivered there but he’s glad because he’s been trying not to bother his parents. Poor Cordell.

He opens the package and is shocked to find a note “Stay hydrated, War Hero” and a case of that drink that they gave him when he was in captivity.

What the hell??

Cordell has a flashback to that awful time, and whirls around, yelling “Hello!” like it will tell him if anyone is there. He’s freaked, and who can blame him?

We leave just about every character on some kind of precipice. I wonder what will happen this week with “Walker” 3.10 Blinded by the Light!

Walker Cordell having a flashback for 3.10 Blinded by the LIght episode.
Walker Jared Padalecki having a panic attack on set Season 3.
Caps courtesy of raloria/spndeangirl
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Lynn Zubernis PhD is a psychologist, a university professor, and a passionate Supernatural fan. Her book 'Family Don't End With Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Changed Lives' was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, and her newest book, 'There'll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural' is out now! Her site is: fangasmthebook.wordpress.com