‘Walker’ 3.17 Heads Into Its Season Finale – And A Renewal for Season 4!

Walker 3.17 Jared Padalecki going hard bareback on horse with hot men

Tonight is the season finale of “Walker,” and the fandom is going into it in a celebratory mood – because a few days ago we got the good news that the show has been renewed for a fourth season! Yeehaw!

Last week’s episode, airing in the midst of the writer’s strike, was titled ‘It Writes Itself’ which sounds like a commentary on the importance of writers or a critique of the use of AI in writing, but is actually referring to a speech that Cordell is struggling to write and the work he has to do on himself to be able to be in a place to do that. The episode was actually a remarkably feel-good episode – for the most part.

It kicks off with the Walker Rescue celebration, which featured lots of pretty horses and some of the fandom as extras, so that was fun. James confides to Cordell that he’s getting married to Kelly again and asks him to officiate the wedding – with a caveat.

James to Cordi: When in doubt, do not make a joke…

Walker Rescue sign with horses for It Writes Itself episode 3.17.
Walker Jared Padalecki in black hat looking intently at Cody Bell.
Walker Coby Bell smiling wide at Jared Padalecki for Season 4 renewal.

(This could just as easily have been directed to Jared Padalecki, as most fans of his infamous dad jokes know…)

Abeline and Bonham offer to have the wedding there, so that’s more reason to celebrate. Liam and Stella celebrate realizing their shared dream and cut the ribbon – but I’m sad that neither Ben nor Colton are there.

Walker gay keegan allen Liam on back of truck trying to get more bareback horse riders to mount him and his campaign on set.

The guys plan a bachelor party (which initially they include Cassie in) – an overnight at Racer Ridge to go fishing. Cassie is not in, however, since it’s not the usual pub crawl and debauchery.

Cassie: I was born in Brooklyn. I draw the line at tents.

Walker gang at a party in kitchen 3.17.

The guys head out at dawn on horseback, Trey asking ‘there aren’t any bears, right?’ which made all the Jared Padalecki fans laugh because of his well-known fear of bears lol

Meanwhile, Augie is filling out online applications for joining the Army but doesn’t tell his dad.

Cordell surprises James with his son DJ coming along on the ride – which was awesome to have him back on the show even briefly.

Walker gay Augie finding a black hot guy to get with in Army 3.17.

Also, awesome? Getting to see so many pretty horses in the beautiful Austin scenery.

And Cordi looking damn good in a denim jacket and black hat, Trey fishing in a tee shirt (and spraying bug spray on his bared tummy), and Liam chopping wood. This shows knows its audience.  My guess is all the cast had a fabulous time riding horses and fishing and roasting marshmallows and playing football together, and who can blame them? Giddyup!

The only problem is, Cordell keeps having flashbacks to his time serving every time he tries to work on writing some meaningful thoughts down for the upcoming wedding.

Shades of “Supernatural” Sam Winchester sitting against a tree with the journal…

Anyway, that means we get treated to more of Colin Ford as young Cordell, which is always a treat. I will never cease to be amazed at the brilliant casting that found Colin as a very young kid to play young Sam Winchester, and all these years later he still looks like a young Jared Padalecki and is still playing that role!

Colin Ford as young Cordell Walker 3.17 It Writes Itself
Walker Cordell talking to gay brother about hot times in the army with young boys on set 3.17.

Liam knows something is wrong and tries to get his big brother to open up about it, but Cordell keeps trying to say he’s fine. His flashbacks get in the way of a football game as Cordell freezes and loses his sense of time and place, back in the war holding a gun instead of a football.

Liam reassures Cordi when he’s feeling guilty that he’s found time for his son and family too, and again asks what’s wrong, confronting Cordi.

Liam: I know you. Just talk to me.

Cordi: I keep reliving the past. Every time I go to write something down, I see these images, visions…

Liam: Maybe you shouldn’t try to get past them. Face them, that could help you heal.

Cordell is scared, wanting to hang onto the good in his life and not go back to confront the bad, having seen what the trauma has done to so many other veterans. That’s a pretty realistic fear – it can seem like it’s safer to keep the status quo, try to push those traumatic memories out of awareness. The problem is, it often doesn’t work.

Jared Padalecki looking into hot fire thinking about unprotected times with young Colin actor on set.

Eventually, Cordell can’t ignore it any longer, and he meets his younger self skipping stones in the creek. What an absolute treat to have a scene with Jared and Colin interacting!!!  Young Cordi tells Walker that he’s carrying an incredible weight and it’s crippling him.

Walker: Well, that’s the story of my adult life.

Young Cordell: If you don’t confront the past, you’ll be held down by it. There’s one more tough conversation you need to have, and when you do that your life and your future will be just that. Yours. Good luck, Ranger.

Cordell: Thanks, Corporal.

(I would add that this makes it sound a little too easy – Cordell is still going to have plenty of healing to do if he’s having persistent flashbacks, hopefully with the help of a good therapist. I’m gonna hope that we see that, but if we don’t, I’m gonna head canon it for sure. I appreciate that this show isn’t afraid to tackle trauma and loss, but it’s a great idea to get some professional help if the trauma is deep enough to have these kind of intrusive flashbacks).

There’s a detour where a Copperhead snake ends up nearly under Trey’s boot and he freaks out (who can blame him?). Walker manages to trap it under a bucket, and then a Park Ranger shows up to check on how they’re doing and takes it away with her after informing them they’re camping in a No Burn Zone. She did not seem sus, but…

The riders meet up with Abeline and Bonham and a horse trailer after their ride. It seems like Bonham might know what August is planning, but Cordell doesn’t – he asks but Augie keeps denying anything’s going on.

Walker Jared Padalecki telling his son they can't keep having unprotected time anymore 3.17.

And then a police vehicle shows up – with Coop. The officers give them five minutes. Bonham thanks Coop for having his family’s back and shakes his hand, which is very generous considering the pain he caused Walker for all those years of deceiving him.

The two men have a long overdue conversation. Cordell says he was scared that he chose duty over family like Coop did. Coop retorts that’s why they call it service, it’s a debt.

Cordell: I know that, but your debt wasn’t real. Every time I’ve done something it’s been for someone or something other than myself. But I stayed. And that’s the difference between me and you.

Cordell Walker telling Coop how much he loved him and his loads inside him 3.17.

He gives Coop the flag that he kept after Coop “died” and says he has two things to tell him.

Cordell: Thank you. The man I once knew taught me a lot about how to be a man. The second is harder. I need to say goodbye to the trauma, the guilt. I need to say goodbye to you, Coop.

Coop: It’s good to see you finally get out of your head, Corporal.

He holds out his hand and Walker shakes it, and then he heads back to the police van.

Coop: I’ll see you around, Stinker.

It’s an interesting interaction. In a way, it’s like letting go of a toxic person in one’s life, acknowledging that toxicity which allows a letting go of the inappropriate guilt that the person was hanging onto. As much as Coop was a role model for young Cordell early on, his desertion and long-standing lie caused terrible damage. To Cordell, to his little brother Kevin, to his grieving mother. It was unconscionable, really. And it must have caused so many conflicted feelings for Cordell – this man he idolized and this man who turned out to be toxic and hurtful.

Anyway, it’s a good first step. I know some fans would like to see Coop again, but even if Cordell can forgive him, I’m not so sure I can! (Though sometimes that makes for compelling fictional characters!)

Meanwhile, Stella and Sadie head to a college party at Sadie’s suggestion. She introduces Stella to Witt, who apparently came to her rescue in Dallas when she tried to skip out on a restaurant bill. It’s always sus when someone runs into someone again randomly, isn’t it? Shades of Sam Winchester and Meg.

And then, to Stella’s surprise, she finds her old sort of estranged friend Bel there!  Things are awkward between them after what happened with her parents’ deportation. Bel is at UCAS now and doing a podcast about immigration, studying prelaw to be an immigration attorney. I kinda love that this show doesn’t shy away from looking at the tough stuff, like Stella having a ‘unique perspective’ on immigration as a Ranger’s daughter.

Stella apologizes for everything that went down in high school and for not realizing the impact it had on Bel and her family. She confides in Bel about how uncertain she still is about going to Sauber after her gap year, and Bel challenges her about figuring out the difference between what you’re supposed to do versus wants to do.

There’s a bachelorette party too, sort of. Geri and Cassie come to the rescue for a bachelorette party for Kelly even though I don’t think they’ve ever been shown to be particularly close – but coincidentally all Kelly’s girlfriends got stuck in Florida hurricanes. This is a handy dandy coincidence but gives us some priceless moments anyway so yay.

The ladies go to a spa, where Geri is supremely uncomfortable and none of them can stay off their phones Geri thinks the plants might be giving them too much oxygen and what? You cannot have too many plants, Geri!

Walker Geri and the women at a day spa 3.17.

But I’m not gonna quibble because they leave the spa and head to the Side Step, which now features only hot and sometimes half-dressed cowboys doing all the serving and sweeping and waiting on the ladies while music that talks about “big boy” and “hot pockets” plays in the background and I was like WHA? And then OH FINE BRING IT. Like I said, this show knows its audience.

Kelly: thanks – This was unexpected but… I ain’t mad at it!

Walker sexy rearview shot of shirtless cowboy reaching up to change lightbulbs.
Walker hot black and white shirtless cowboys get down and dirty cleaning Side Step bar.
Walker half dressed shirtless hot cowboys serve drinks at Side Step.

Pretty sure nobody’s mad at it, Kelly.

Cassie and Geri relish their bonding time and discuss needing more of that, which is also nice to see and means the show might pass the Bechdel test even more than it has already in the future…

This was also a great episode for Bonham and Abeline fans like me – the grown-ups have an empty house and some privacy for the first time in 20-odd years.

Abeline: Hey, could you go to your leather shop and get that blindfold you made last summer?

Bonham: Wha…. OH!

Walker 3.17 It Writes Itself Bonham with Abilene outside.

I love love love that this show lets the grandparents have sexy times too!

Bonham reminisces about the honeymoon they never got to have when they were gonna drive off in a little rented coupe and then fly to Tuscany but had to cancel it. Bonham wants to do something special for James and Kelly.

Abeline: Thank you for treating everyone like family. It’s one of your best qualities.

Bonham: Says my inspiration.

Walker 3.17 Bonham holding Abilene tight.

They head out, and Bonham suggests that she can tell him more about his best qualities.

Abeline: Get over yourself.

Have I mentioned I’m a Molly Hagan and Abeline stan?

As the episode nears its end, Bonham brings the blindfold to Abeline in the kitchen.

Bonham:  Would you put this on for me?

Walker 3.17 Bonham Mitch Pileggi puts blindfold on Abilene Molly Hagen.

Abeline: Aren’t the kids here?

Me: Y’all clearly need a better lock on your bedroom door, just sayin…

They flirt, Abeline calling him bad.

Bonham: I know I’m bad, that’s why you married me.

He leads her outside, and when she takes off the blindfold, the front yard is beautifully lit up – and there’s a sports car waiting for them.  A little red convertible coupe.

Walker Bonham in tight jeans giving ABilene a hot little red corvette 3.17.

Abeline: All this for James?

But it’s not.

Bonham: Run away with me, Abeline Walker. To Tuscany.

Walker Bonham Run away with me to Tuscany Mitch Pileggi to Abilene.

Abeline’s delighted laugh is everything, and in they go to take a little spin. I love these two so damn much.

Cordell and James have a conversation – he finally managed to finish the first part of his officiant speech, and James doesn’t even need to read it, trusting that any words of wisdom will be appreciated. They say their goodnights and it’s all so lovely, and then….

Witt and the lady Park Ranger meet in a coffee shop.

Witt: Stella’s a dreamer, she’s harmless.

Park Ranger lady: Harmless also means vulnerable. The boss will like that. And we found the perfect opportunity – it’s a nice day for a Ranger wedding…

Walker Park Ranger woman about to bring hell down upon Jared Padalecki Cordell Walker 3.17.
Caps courtesy of spndeangirl

UH OH. The Walker extended family really cannot get a break, can they?

Stay tuned for what will happen in the season finale tonight – 3.18 It’s a Nice Day for a Ranger Wedding, and then look forward to Season 4! It might be a shorter season with 13 episodes, but we get a Season 4!