‘Walker’ 4.02 Maybe It’s Maybelline Deep Dive Review

walker maybe its maybelline 4.02 jared padalecki hat


In its fourth season, “Walker” has gotten much better at integrating its story lines and its cast, so that none of the arcs or characters feel shoe-horned in anymore, and the transition from scene to scene is smoother. Geri and Cassie are the latest in the newly close relationships, and I’m here for it. They come back from a run together and Cassie tells Geri that she’s not going back to the FBI – in fact, it’s time for her to lay down some roots.

Also, Cassie has a cute nickname for Geri – Geri-rigged.

We eventually find out that Cassie is gonna be laying down those roots at Geri’s place –  they’re now roomies!

This episode continues the theme from last week, as Cordell struggles with both his kids growing up and soon moving out, and the fear that the quiet in their wake will be hard for him. Augie is definitely growing up WAY too fast, working out and doing an end run around his dad by asking his Gramps to sign a permission slip for a high school boot camp readiness program. Bonham, to his credit, keeps his boundaries where they should be and says he won’t sign – but he will talk to Cordell about it.

Walker Augie buffed up for Mitch Pilleggi birthday suit party.

Bonham goes to Trey’s to talk to him about it too, since Trey is the one teaching the boot camp. Trey is getting ready to host a hot date (played by his actual wife), opening the door to a knock with a rose and a “hello, gorgeous” only to find it’s Bonham. 

Bonham wants Trey to let August join his boot camp prep course; Trey too says Walker has to approve.

Finally, Bonham brings the permission slip to his son, who accuses him of interfering and asks him to stay out of it, August is his son. Which, valid – but Cordell is gonna have to deal with it instead of burying himself in the Jackal case to avoid it.

Bonham confesses to Abby that he’s been “meddling”, but he also says he knows a thing or two about raising boys, and that you can’t tell them not to do something or they’ll do just that.

Abeline: Please tell me more about raising two boys.

Walker Abby in flower shop.

Me: I love you, Abeline.

The Walker grandparents are thinking about retirement, so clearly this show is just going to bring all the emotions with all the developmental transitions all at once this season.

Why Can’t You Be True?

That’s another Maybelline reference, in case you were wondering.

The guest character of the episode is Maybelline (played to perfection by Debra Mooney), who Walker and Cassie and a bunch of other Rangers chase into the parking lot of HQ thinking she’s trying to steal a squad car – with a wrench. When he asks her to put it down, she demands to know who’s asking.

Cordell: Walker, Texas Ranger.

Maybelline: As you’ve said three times now. Congratulations, son. You are employed. I’ll alert the governor.

Cassie: I like her.

Me: Me too!

The Rangers have been charged with keeping Maybelline, a feisty grandma who’s a witness in an important money launderer case, safe. Which turns out to be easier said than done.

She manages to call Cordell Ranger Parker, then Ranger Walton, and then “Toothpicks” (which NGL made me laugh). She also makes it clear she’d rather be kept safe with Ranger Barnett (with a flirty smile).

Cassie checks out her bag and finds pink furry handcuffs, to which Maybelline casts Trey another glance and he gets even more uncomfortable.

Maybelline’s also got a bar cutter in her bag and is not too keen on all this being detained stuff. Clearly an independent woman! She is also possibly the only person in the universe who would look so put out at Jared Padalecki saying “you’re coming home with me.”

I’m not really a huge fan of making fun of older women’s sexuality so this is never my favorite bit – it was a pet peeve on “Supernatural” too, when Sam was often the one getting uncomfortable while Dean was far too delighted by that. 

Luckily, that’s a brief part of the character’s introduction. Maybelline turns out to be a lot more savvy (and wise) than it might seem at first glance. She sees a photo of Cordell and Emily and comments that his wife is out of his league – which caught me with unexpected emotion because that’s what Jared so often says about his real life wife Gen (who plays Emily).

Cordell Walker encounters Maybelline looking at pictures 4.02.

Maybelline also empathizes with him about being a single parent, saying that it’s tough.

Maybelline: Soak up every second, son. The days are long, but the years are short.

Damn this show, sneaking up on me and making me tear up when I least expect it.

In the middle of the night, Cordell finds Maybelline sitting in the kitchen (which, it’s a good thing she wasn’t trying to escape, just saying!). They end up sitting down together and having a bit of a heart to heart. Also, please please please, the powers that be at the CW and the Walker hair and makeup department, let Jared Padalecki’s hair be free from every bit of gel – and look like THIS!!

Maybelline: I raised five kids. I learned the art of stealing moments. Dead of night was the only down time I could get for myself.

(Pretty sure all of us with kids can relate.)

Cordell joins her for a late night chat, saying she’s courageous for how she’s facing the testimony the next day.

Maybelline: Well, you’re a single parent, you know courage is part of the job description.

I love that Cordi is getting credit now for how he came back and stepped up and has been trying so hard to be there for his kids, and at the same time that we get to see him struggle – because of course it will sometimes be a struggle!

Cordell tells her what’s on his mind when she asks.

Cordell: My baby boy, he wants to join the military, and I’m having a hard time with it.

Maybelline: Your baby boy is almost a man – and let me clue you in about children, they aren’t ours to keep.

Cordell confides that he’s anxious, thinking about the quiet again. (I do love a show with continuity).

Walker: They’re leaving me…

Maybelline says no, he’s got it backwards. That if you raise a child secure enough to leave, you’ve done a good job. And typically they often come back.

She’s right. It’s all about attachment – if that attachment relationship is secure, the child feels free to explore, knowing they can always come back to the safe haven the parent provides. Even when they’re almost grown, that sense of safety persists, so they can become their own person and be autonomous. It isn’t always easy for the parent to let go, but good parents know the relationship is strong enough to withstand temporary separations. Just like the toddler who has to go explore but then looks back over their shoulder to be sure the person they count on is still watching – just in case.

Maybelline says he seems like a nice man and calls him by his actual name – and then tries to take the liquor with her when she goes off to bed.

Jared Padalecki nice shots on Walker set.

Have I mentioned I like Maybelline? I think Cordell does too.

The next day when they arrive there’s a fight at the courthouse just as they enter – what a coincidence! Conveniently, someone who was dressed like a guard appears just in time and is put in charge of Maybelline while Cordell and Cassie come to the rescue, which of course was a ruse to get Maybelline out of there because of course it was. Too much of a coincidence, Rangers!

Cassie with Cordell Walker in station house.

Maybelline figures it out pretty quickly and manages to leave her bag as a clue while the bad guys force her into an SUV and try to drive out of the parking lot. But Walker and Cassie cut them off thanks to Cassie’s excellent driving.

(I kinda love that Jared always seems to play characters who are relegated to shotgun…)

Walker Cordell with Cassie in squad car.

The Rangers fight the kidnappers, giving everyone a chance to show off how fit they are…

Those long, long legs though…

Trey pops out of an elevator just in time to intercept the bad guys – using Maybelline’s giant bag as a weapon and then chivalrously returning it to her.

Maybelline is happy, it’s a job well done.

Jared Padalecki smiling weird on Walker set.

Maybelline to Trey: You saved me!

Walker: It was kind of a team effort…

Jared Padaleci with fancy earring on Walker set.

Don’t worry, Cordell, lots of viewers were appreciating your efforts.

Sometimes You Need Not-Family

Meanwhile, Stella’s having PTSD nightmares and Liam and Ben are worried. (I love this family, Ben and Liam hanging out while Stella naps on the couch, feeling a little safer I’m guessing with her uncle and Ben there, even if she doesn’t realize that’s why.)

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to keep the nightmares at bay.

Liam brings her a stuffed animal and a blanket and a lava lamp for her dorm room.  Liam means well, trying to relate to Stella by talking about his own PTSD, but she lashes out at him, saying it’s different for her, that it doesn’t work out for everyone.

She’s been researching the man she killed, finding out who he was, what his interests were, which is making the fact that she shot him even harder.

Stella: He was still just a college kid like me who had his whole life ahead of him, and now he doesn’t, and it’s my fault.

Liam wants her to find something, like equine therapy did for him, to “pull you out of it” but she’s not ready, asking him to leave. I feel for both of them, to be honest. It’s a fine line between being helpful and trying to paint a silver lining around someone else’s genuine pain.

Walker Stella crying to gay Liam.
Walker gay Liam talking deep to Stella about equine therapy.

Stella leaves flowers and a rugby ball on Witt’s grave, trying to do some kind of penance, shtarightening the plain wooden cross over his grave and saying she’s sorry.

She runs into Witt’s uncle Mike there and he’s very nice to her, which must be absolutely devastating for Stella.  Then Mike gets out his phone and tells someone “this is interesting.” Hmmmm.

Stella has been calling Sadie but getting no answer, and she’s increasingly freaked out by her difficulty with putting the tragedy behind her – which is totally understandable!

Later at the Side Step, she confides in someone who has a little distance because he’s not family (at least not yet) –  Ben, who normalizes her emotions by sharing with her that he still feels guilty about his ex-boyfriend Lucas and only now realizes how much of that is sadness. Ben gets a turn to be wise, saying it was an accident but he can understand how she’d feel bad about the outcome.

Ben: And I’m here to tell you, that’s called being normal.

And Sometimes You Need Family

Cordell and August have a heart-to-heart, on their family couch where so many heart-to-hearts have taken place for this little family that we’ve watched come back together again after the loss of their mom and Cordell’s beloved wife. I love hearing Cordell call his now-almost-as-tall-as-him son “kiddo”, it rings so real and says so much about how as parents we always – always – see our children as our babies, even as we cherish how they’ve grown up.

Cordell Walker having couch heart to hard talks with Augie son.

He’s understanding, but also sometimes regrets his own history of joining the military at such a young age, foregoing college and figuring himself out in other ways. This show sometimes has odd parallels to real life, since Padalecki also decided not to go to college to pursue acting, unlike most of the rest of his highly educated family.

Walker tells Augie how proud he is of him for being serious about his future, but also reminds him that he’ll always worry about him.

Cordell: You’re my son, you used to be my baby boy.

But Cordell is also doing the difficult work of letting his children grow up. He signs the permission, saying he promised to respect August’s decision and he meant it.

The two shake hands at first, then Augie hugs his dad and damn it is there something in my eye again??

Cordell turns as Augie goes upstairs, glances at the table, and remembers when Augie refinished it, when he had just come home and his kids had been without him. How he told Augie he never meant to make his kids grow up so fast.

We see his memories in flashback, marvel right along with Cordell how young Augie was even those three or four years ago. Again, this show gets the family stuff so right sometimes, and this scene really hit home.

It goes by too quickly, doesn’t it, Cordell?

Walker Cordell looking at pictures of his son Augie.
Walker Cordell with Augie in bedroom on set.
WAlker Jared Padalecki feeling up young boy on the set.

The gang ends the night at the Side Step playing darts (with Liam in a sweater that really shows off his biceps, and which fandom absolutely did not fail to notice) and everyone, including Stella, feeling better. Geri and Cassie are anticipating the fun of being roomies, and there to console Trey, who reports that Maybelline picked up a call from Trey’s recent date and sort of blew that out of the water.

Maybe we’re not getting Trey and Cassie platonic besties after all?

Walker gay Liam pumping up his boyfriend Ben.
Walker gay Liam and Ben touching each other up at Side Step bar.
Walker Trey and Cassie getting cozy at the Side Step bar.
Walker Jared Padalecki slaps hands with Maybeline beside gay brother Liam.

Stella wins at darts, everyone is happy, life is good.

So, of course, Stella comes back to her dorm room to find “This Isn’t Over” painted on her mirror.

Uh oh.