‘Walker’ 4.04 Gets Real Dark With Insane B.S. and Bloodshed

Walker” is both a family drama and a crime fighting mystery drama. So far this season, we’ve had more of the family drama, which if you’ve been reading my reviews, you know I’ve enjoyed. I’m usually not quite as drawn into the case focused episodes, but this one was an exception – the show is getting as dark as it probably has so far with the Jackal, and it’s pretty compelling.

And disturbing.

There are a lot of interesting team-ups in this episode, some new and some long-standing (but maybe soon-to-be-disrupted…)

Stella and Augie Team Up With Witt

I wonder if the situation with Witt will somehow wind into the Jackal case too, or if it’s separate. The episode also saw a lot happening with Witt and Stella, after we left off the last episode with Witt holding Sadie and Stella at gunpoint and ordering them to “just drive”.

Witt, after forcing Stella and Sadie to drive him away from HQ, insists they’re on the same side. I can understand why they’d be a bit skeptical, Witt!

Walker Witt has Stella at gunpoint in car with Sadie 4.04.

He says that the shady and scary woman who hired him to steal a necklace from Geri’s house (and got him shot when Stella and Sadie came back there) is after him. Turns out it was his accomplice who died in that burning car – Witt switched their wallets so he could play dead. He feels as guilty about the other man dying as Stella did when she thought she accidentally killed him.

Sadie: All this insane BS and bloodshed is over a frickin’ necklace??

Apparently yes.

Witt gives them his gun and says he wouldn’t blame them if they shot him, but he’s asking for their help finding the necklace and he’s sorry for what he put them through. Then he walks away, leaving Stella holding the gun and sobbing.

Sadie tries to console her, but all the emotions Stella has been trying to swallow all this time, believing she killed Witt, just come pouring out. I thought Violet Brinson did an amazing job showing Stella’s breakdown, the way her face just crumples as Witt walks away. Ouch.

Sadie and Stella go to HQ to tell her dad, but then Stella has second thoughts. She doesn’t want Witt to go to jail and wants to help him instead. She now feels a connection with him, knowing what it feels like to be responsible for someone else’s death. This time Sadie is the voice of reason, but Stella prevails. Like father like daughter, Stella wants to wait until they find out more about the necklace before they tell her dad.

Sadie’s not having it.

Sadie: You insist on carrying around this misguided guilt, and I won’t carry it too. We can end this right now, I wish you’d see that.

While the two are arguing about whether to confide in Cordell, Augie and Liam are at Cordell’s waiting for Stella, who had promised to come back there but hasn’t shown up. The two decide to eat massive amounts of midnight steak nachos in some odd masculine ritual about bulking up, make themselves half sick, and make lots of jokes about stinking up the bathroom (which has to be an inside joke for Jared Padalecki, whose reputation for being “gassy” precedes him on this set too I’m sure).

Walker gay Liam pumping himself up for Augie.

Augie is worried about Stella, but Liam has been told by so many people to leave her alone that he’s reluctant to be intrusive.

Liam: I heard loud and clear that we should stop hounding her so I’m staying out of it.

I knew all this accusing Liam of being intrusive would come back to bite someone on the butt!

Augie comes to check on Stella anyway, though, just in time to say goodbye as Sadie leaves. Stella tries to get him to leave too but he refuses, saying she can always ask for his help, considering all they’ve been through.

Augie: I feel like I only survived those things because we had each other’s backs.

That gets through to Stella, who really needs someone on her side right now. Stella asks him to promise not to say a word and he does. The siblings lay on the floor to talk as they’ve done probably all their lives, and she tells him what’s happening. Augie, wanting to be a man and the protective brother for his sister, agrees to help.

Augie: I’m doing this boot camp thing – I’m basically a Navy SEAL so…

Witt comes to the door, saying he got Stella’s text and appreciates her help.

Augie holds out his hand and introduces himself, and the three try to figure out where to start. Which I’m sure is going to end up nowhere good.

Cassie Teams up With Detective Luna

Cassie does not agree with keeping Captain James in the dark. In fact, she’s so upset about it that she’s forced into using a lot of air quotes to say no, they don’t lie to Captain James. (Which hilariously is contagious because Walker starts using them too).

Cordell explains that the Jackal case screwed up James too much the first time, insisting that he’ll understand because he did the same thing for Walker when his wife died (didn’t tell him until they confirmed something). It kinda makes sense when you listen to Walker tell it like that, but it also seems like something that is guaranteed to go south.

Trey points out that Kelly expressly asked them not to say anything until they knew for sure, which is more compelling to Cassie. I mean, she really did put them in a very tough position. She specifically asked them not to tell him, terrified of losing him again. I can understand why they didn’t want to, even if it wasn’t the best idea. Their hearts were in the right place.

Trey fills her in on the latest clues on the Jackal, including medical equipment in a car (the Jackal immobilizes victims with Digoxin) and planning kills from a motel. How very “Supernatural!”

Cordell and James have a boys night out at the Side Step, so Cassie heads down to meet with Det. Luna, which fandom was anticipating, me included. It’s wonderful to have Walker Independence’s Justin Johnson Cortez back on our screens!

At their first meeting, he hops in the car with her, trying make them not look like cops to the bad guys lurking at the seedy motel.

Luna: Lucky for us, they’ll just assume I’m propositioning you as a sex worker.

Cassie: Mmm, lucky for us.

Luna knows the culture, grew up in it himself, and cues Cassie in – including her way too classy earrings and letting down her hair. There are sparks between these two already and I don’t think anyone is surprised about that! Also, I want to know more about Det. Luna and his backstory right now if not sooner.

He asks her if she’s ever worked a serial killer case and she runs down her impressive credentials and asks if that’s sufficient. Nicely done, Cassie!  He apologizes, but unfortunately, he also brought meat that is not from the Perez family business and therefore she is insulted by that too. Cassie gives the dinner to Amy, a young girl who lives at the motel with her mom (played by Jared Padalecki’s niece, Cecilia Balldin).

 I would totally have kept the cornbread.

Luna tells Cassie the disturbing parts they didn’t tell the press – the Jackal paralyzes his victims and then feeds them pureed fruit to keep them alive. Before burying them alive.

Oof is right, Cassie.

Did I mention this episode gets very dark? I’m not complaining, I’m a “Supernatural” fan after all, I appreciate a dark story, but this one was darker than “Walker” has been for the most part, especially this season.

There’s an altercation at the motel desk and Luna and Cassie play sex worker and client to check it out. They learn that Amy’s mom is missing and suspect that she might be the Jackal’s latest victim. Unfortunately, the bad guys get suspicious when they try to help Amy, and when one of them pulls a gun on them, Luna and Cassie instantly pull theirs. And with some smoothly coordinated badassery, they get the upper hand and hold the bad guys at gunpoint. Nice!

They go looking for Amy’s mom in a scene that’s dark in every way – lit only by their flashlights, as Luna shares one of the other things that messed up James so bad about this case. The dad of a young boy named Henry was one of the victims – they found his dad buried alive in his own backyard, not flatlined yet but brain dead. But the body will still reflexively cough if the brain stem is intact, so Henry thought he could save his dad, trying desperately to resuscitate his father to no avail. That’s one of the things that James saw that he couldn’t get out of his head, and honestly? I can understand that.

Walker Cassie and LUna looking for Amys mom 4.04.

Cassie and Luna eventually find some freshly turned dirt and start digging frantically, hoping they might be in time to save Amy’s mom.

They find her buried but still warm and try desperately to revive her, but it’s too late. There’s dirt in her lungs and a jackal tooth in her mouth, and someone will have to tell Amy that her mom is gone. Cassie is rattled, knowing the woman was buried alive. 

Me too! There’s something so horrifying about that, it’s just an instinctive reaction I think we all have, a built-in fear that evolution has kept with us. Just in case.

James and Walker Team Up for a Guys Night Out

James and Cordell go to the Side Step to have some drinks and play some pool and talk about how their lives are going so much better, Cordell trying hard to be normal but so nervous he can barely answer normal questions.

James says Kelly has been acting oddly and asks Cordell about it. He stammers.

James: She emptied the liquor cabinet too.

James thinks that might mean she’s pregnant; Cordell knows that’s not what’s happening, that Kelly is terrified that the Jackal is back and James will soon find out about it.

Oblivious to Cordell’s anxiety, James confides that they tried to have another baby before, but it was around the time they were pursuing the Jackal and oh dear, that makes Cordell even more anxious.

It almost seems like James knows and is talking in code, ostensibly about Kelly keeping a baby secret but really about what he knows Cordell and Kelly are keeping from him.

James: I don’t wanna poke that bruise on a mere hunch… I’m just surprised she’d go down this road without even mentioning it…

Cordell mostly listens. He knows full well why Kelly emptied that liquor cabinet. Captain James says he’s happy to see how well Cordell and Geri are doing, that he crawled out of that dark hole that he was in after Emily’s death, reminding Walker again of how dark and deep those holes can be and how much he doesn’t want to see Captain James fall down one again.  

Walker confides that things are going well for him and Geri too – that they finally said “I love you” to each other. James teases him, and Cordell is kind of adorably shy about it.

The two play some pool, enjoying their partnership.

Which, of course, means…

Then Cordell goes to the bathroom (with another stinking it up joke) and all hell breaks loose.

A distraught Cassie calls Walker, and when he doesn’t pick up, she calls James, who does.

Cassie: He said we would tell you as soon as we had to, and this is real now. We found another victim. Buried alive.

Oh shit.

Walker comes back from the bathroom, still trying to be upbeat and happy about the possible baby, smiling and pouring them drinks, having no idea that everything has changed – which is kind of heartbreaking.

Cordell Walker smiling wide for James at Side Step bar.

James: Tonight was really special, man.

Then the captain’s expression changes, the warmth leaving it.

James: Right up until I learned you were lying to my face.

Game over.

Walker’s face falls, Padalecki does an amazing job of showing the cascade of emotions that runs through him at lightning speed. Shock. Horror. Dismay.

James: So, what? You here like babysitting me while everyone else is looking into the Jackal?

Walker tries to explain, but James cuts him off.

James: I have very little interest in how you rationalized this betrayal, Cordell. How long?

He realizes it goes back to before his honeymoon. And that Kelly knows too.

James walks out. Coby Bell also did an amazing job with this scene, showing the depth of his rage and fear and sense of betrayal as he disappears into that cold implacable shell that we know he must have worn the last time he tried to take on the Jackal.

Cordell is left shocked and dismayed – and probably terrified of what’s going to happen to Captain James’ happiness they’d just been celebrating.

WAlker Jared Padalecki at Side Step bar all shook up about Jackal 4.04.

Walker, Trey, and James join Cassie and Luna at the crime scene as they take away the latest victim, and the young girl Amy stands to the side, sobbing. It must seem like Henry all over again. The shallow grave, the dirt. The trauma of someone’s child who just lost their parent.

A great music cue starts to play, the lyrics “When the clock of life has ticked away…”

Walker, Trey, Cassie and Luna watch as Captain James takes it all in.

There’s a brilliant lighting change in the last frames, from James lit like the rest of them to a shift, the colors going colder. It seems like we’re watching that same chill envelop James, all the warmth of his second chance with Kelly and friendship with Walker going cold in the face of this killer he never was able to stop.

Chilling – literally.

Wow. I wonder what next week will bring – and honestly, I can’t wait for “Walker” 4.05!