‘Walker’ 4.03 Tackles Lessons From the Gift Shop

Walker 4.03 Lessons from the gift shop jared padalecki review interview

This episode of “Walker” is all about our ‘things.’ Physical, psychological, emotional. What we keep and what we decide to give up, and how we all make those decisions differently. How they change at different times of our lives as the meaning of all the “things we carry” changes over time. As someone who is probably too sentimental about a lot of things, I could relate to many of the characters’ struggles – so, as usual, I enjoyed this episode the most for its psychological explorations.

I’m guessing the title too is meant to hold multiple meanings. Yes, we buy things at the gift shop, and maybe they become souvenirs of experiences we want to remember. But some of the most important gifts we get in life aren’t things at all – love, caring, understanding, friendship, a gentle challenge. The space to be who we are and where we want to be. Space in every sense of the word.

This was a surprisingly deep episode, in other words!

Once again, the interconnected relationships also make the show work a lot more smoothly now. The becoming-family bond between Cassie and Liam is one of the relationships that I’m really enjoying.

Cassie and Liam, Giving Space and Taking Space

The episode begins with Cassie packing up some things that Geri had left in the spare bedroom that’s now hers, automatically assuming they might have some meaning to her now housemate.

Ben wants her to clean her stuff out of his storage unit (and bring those to Geri’s or donate them to a charity sale they’re having soon at Ranger HQ). Cassie’s been unwilling to put down roots for most of her life, but transferring things from a storage unit to a house is a step toward putting down those roots, symbolizing a new phase of life for Cassie.

She asks Liam to help her clean it out. Liam has been trying so hard to help everyone else. He wants Cordell and Trey to check out a podcast on Kintsugi – “embracing the broken and rolling that history into the future.” Could there be a more apt podcast for the repeatedly traumatized Walker clan?

Of course, no one else is very interested. (Kintsugi really is somewhat mainstream popular right now, seen as a metaphor for post traumatic growth in the midst of a world full of trauma – it’s actually the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery fragments and making the object whole again, but with visible cracks. Just like people who have been through trauma and come out the other side).

Cordell Walker going up with gay Liam and Trey at Side Step bar 4.03.

Liam is still worried about Stella, confiding in Cordell and asking him to talk to her. Cordell says he’s been trying hard to sit back and give his kids space, and he trusts that she’ll come to him if she needs him.  Liam is not so sure, but he respects Cordell’s decision as her dad.

Jared Padalecki showing off big ears on Walker set 4.03.

“Walker” picks up the theme of how it’s okay to be “perfectly imperfect” – which to many Jared Padalecki fans, reminds us of one of his tee shirts – “Imperfectionist”. I kind of love how all the themes in this episode are interwoven together, and how relevant they are to the show’s characters and to real life.

The theme of “space” goes hand in hand with the theme of “things” – psychological space to work out when we need help and when we just need time to deal with, and physical space that carries so much meaning. Our own space in a house, a space to make our own, versus a temporary space while we move around, restless and perhaps avoiding something. (Sadie is similarly on the move, trying to avoid facing what happened with Witt – and possibly before – by not staying in one place very long).

Liam doesn’t judge Cassie for having a lot of (well organized) stuff in the storage locker.

Liam: Our family has barns. Plural. With all kinds of stuff in them.

Walker Cassie and gay Liam going into storage shed to clean it out 4.03.

Cassie: I guess I never realized how much I was holding onto (physically and psychologically, I’m guessing)

One of the interesting things she’s kept is a Hawk’s Shadow game. I love fangirl Cassie!

She and Liam play the game during breaks in the clean-out. Cassie plays with the bear, which seems like a shout out to Jared Padalecki’s real life fear of bears, and guess what else is on the board? An Impala!  “Supernatural” Easter egg!

Walker gives Supernatural shout out with Black Impala and bears.

Liam is trying so hard to help Stella but she’s not having it, he tells Cassie, and Cassie is empathic but doesn’t want to insert herself in there either.

They sort through those little name license plate keychains that kids love, which Cassie laments she could never find in her name. Liam says he could have gotten one for himself but they never had any “Cordell” and he didn’t want his big brother to feel left out. Awwww.

I absolutely love that Cassie is also not giving up her Hawk’s Shadow on DVD, even though there’s streaming and digital.

Cassie: Everyone says that until their shows just disappear!

(A little pointed bit of reality right there – Do not come for my “Supernatural” 15 Season boxed set!)

I love everything about Liam and Cassie – she tells him that his love language is taking care of people and that’s awesome, but he could wait to ask how high until someone says jump.

Liam talking to Cassie about his love language for men Walker 4.03.

After volunteering at the charity yard sale (Rangers for Paws, which is similar to a real life charity that the “Supernatural” fandom has done charity events for, Paws 4 AKF, a nod to Jared’s mental health campaign Always Keep Fighting). Anyway, Cassie surprises Liam with a gift – a little license plate with his name on it. A new “thing” that has some special meaning. He gives her virtual tickets to Bot Fights, like the poster that she had – for both of them.

I love this friendship a lot.

Cordell and Geri, Leaving Space for Those You’ve Lost

Cordell confides in Trey and Liam that’s he’s struggling with something too – saying “I love you” to Geri and committing to a next step, since both of their previous relationships ended in literal tragedy.

(Trey and Liam immediately start with “I love you, man” and “look how easy that is!” Not all that helpful, boys.)

Trey: It could be a drawer at your place. That shows commitment and moving forward.

Again, the episode touches on the way having your own space in a place can symbolize that you belong there. The physical space is a metaphor for giving the person emotional space in the relationship, a sense of belonging.

Trey, as he’s leaving: Hey Walker, I love you.

So, Cordi surprises Geri with a drawer for her stuff – “more official, more of us.”

He’s adorably nervous, but she says it’s perfect and gives him a kiss. I like that they’re a bit bumbling and fumbling, but he says he trusts her judgment about tidying up the rest of the room and they hug. It’s a lovely gesture, truly, giving her a space of her own at his place.

Geri unfortunately, as she cleans out the room, donated to the charity sale a shirt that Emily gave him that had a lot of sentimental value. It’s from a vacation the four of them were on, and he can’t believe she doesn’t remember that and cherish the memory as much as he does.

Cordell can’t even talk about it; he storms out.

Cordell Walker realizes Geri has donated his special shirt to charity 4.03.

When he gets to the main house, he slams the door, clearly upset, telling his mom that everything is a mess.

Abeline: Just breathe and tell me what happened.

She reminds him that the chapter he had with Emily, and that Geri had with Hoyt, that experience doesn’t exist in any one “thing”.

Abeline: It exists in how we carry those memories.

(I’m gonna try to remember that next time I try to force myself to clean out the garage…)

I love Abeline and Cordell’s relationship, and that she calls him “love” with so much affection.

Later that day, Geri apologizes for donating the shirt, and she and Cordell have an awkward conversation, both of them really trying to communicate and apologizing to each other. 

Walker: It used to be the four of us, and now it’s… us.  We’ve both suffered losses and we need to leave space for…them.

It’s true. Sometimes the important space is not the physical space but the emotional space we leave for people we’ve lost who will always be important parts of our lives; who we will always love.

Geri says she had a version of that shirt – it was the coffee mug that Cordell accidentally broke the week before.

They realize they need to tell each other all the things, not leave things unsaid.

Jared Padalecki face showing major age lines on Walker set.

Then Walker tries to say something that’s clearly important, but he can’t get it out.

Geri takes his hands, says softly, “Cordi.”

It grounds him, and he says “I love you.”

Geri: I love you, too.

When they kiss, it feels very real.

Cordell: How’s that for communication?

Geri: Don’t ruin it.

Later that night, Geri finds that Walker puts her mug back together, with a note – I want you to have everything too.

Cordell may not think he’d enjoy a podcast on Kintsugi, but he sure as hell gets it!

Geri sees that Walker has put her mug together badly on 4.03.

August and What To Keep as You Grow Up

In keeping with the theme of stuff and space, August is also being encouraged to donate to the charity auction at HQ to benefit Rangers 4 Paws  – for me personally, that’s the most comfortable way to get rid of stuff, if I know someone else is going to use it and especially if it will benefit someone who needs it.

August is late to Boot Camp with Trey, who comes down on him a bit hard for being late (and for calling him “dude” and “huffing and puffing” his displeasure when he’s called on it.)

Walker Augie in officer training camp with Trey.

Augie promises to do better, taking to heart what Trey says of now being part of a “symphony” – a team, and about prioritizing that over other things.

After his talking to from Trey, August decides he’s going to donate his keyboard and all of his music equipment, to focus on boot camp and his aspirations to enlist – Mawline and Bonham aren’t so sure that’s the right thing to do, however.

August: This is all just stuff. I have a new symphony now. That’s where I’ve gotta focus.

Bonham nods approvingly; Mawline still isn’t so sure.

Walker Bonham and Maddie talk sense or try to with Augie 4.03.

Later at the charity sale, Augie sells most of his music equipment and tells Trey that he “eliminated all distractions” from his room.  Trey reminds him it’s more how you manage everything so you don’t end up with nothing; that it’s all a process.

Growing up is hard; so is deciding what you take with you through life and what you give up. August realizes maybe he doesn’t have to give up playing music in order to take boot camp – or enlist. He ends up keeping his albums that he was going to sell, working on finding that balance between things we keep and things we give up to make space for something else.

Stella and Sadie and Witt Oh My

Stella is still having nightmares, flashbacks to the shooting and Sadie lying to Liam that they didn’t know Witt. Sadie talked Stella into leaving it at that, though Stella had her doubts. 

When someone knocks on the door, she grabs her pepper spray before she opens it – only to find Sadie there. Instead of agreeing with Stella that they need to tell a detective about the “It’s Not Over” on her window, Stella wipes it off, insisting “There, now nothing’s changed.”

Sadie is firmly stuck in avoidance, keeping on the move and to try and avoid remembering the reality of what happened and wanting to believe it was all coincidence.

Stella: You’re a Rawlins, so you’re family. Which means the nonsensical terrifying scenario? That is always going to be the default.

Walker Sadie talking to Stella about being a Rawlings 4.03.

Stella insists that it wasn’t a coincidence that brought Witt to their house – that Witt must have targeted them, and that the message on her window was targeted too.

Sadie wonders if Bel could be involved, but Stella says the common denominator is Sadie herself.  Stella tells Sadie about running into Uncle Mike at the grave. Hmmm.

The girls come back to the car to find it doused with gasoline, a pack of matches and Witt’s picture on the dash – how Witt died.


Sadie reconnects with a surprised Geri at the charity auction, both of the girls still anxious. Geri senses that something is wrong and tells them they can confide in her.

Sade reconnecting with Geri on Walker at a charity event.

To Be Continued…

On night duty at HQ, Cassie asks Trey and Walker what she missed in the summer, joking “a serial killer?”

When she sees their faces, she knows, and they tell her about The Jackal.

And that they’re trying to do it outside of regular channels. She offers some FBI connections to help, but asks who they’re keeping in the dark?

Cordell: Captain James.

Jared Padalecki WAlker saying I love you to Geri finally 4.03.

Meanwhile, Stella and Sadie come out of the charity sale at the end of the night and get in the car, only to hear the cock of a gun from the backseat. It’s… Witt!

Witt: Just. Drive.

I am intrigued to find out just what the hell is going on with this Witt guy. Is he a bad guy? A good guy? What’s the real story with him and Sadie??

Tune in for next week’s “Walker” to find out!