‘Walker’ 4.05 Revisits the Past: We’ve Been Here Before

walker we've been here before 4.05 cordell in car

This week’s episode of “Walker” saw the search for the Jackal heat up (along with Cassie and Luna), while James, on the other hand, refuses to warm up to Cordell at all after their falling out. It’s an episode all about how our past impacts our present, for better or worse.

Down the Rabbit Hole (Again)

Picking up where last week left off, Walker reluctantly fills James in on their new leads on the Jackal, taking him to their wall of “Supernatural”-looking case notes. 

Walker Cassie and Cordell drawing up a murder board at the station.

They announce it to the news and all put their heads together to try to stop this guy before he keeps going on another killing spree.

Det. Luna pulls his hair back. Yes, this is an important note.

Cordell is still worried about James, who’s noticeably cool to him.

Walker Cordell knocking on James door at station.

In fact, lots of people are kinda hard on him recently. Geri has to do all the exposition of what happened to lead up to Walker and James’ rift, which makes it sound like she’s critical of him trying to protect Larry. She also tells him to focus more on being a Ranger and not a co-owner of the Side Step, going to meet with an influencer about opening another without him. She’s not wrong that he can’t be in three places at once, but he looks a little sad to be left out.

Then Kelly comes over wanting to make a plan to keep James grounded and tells him that Larry’s more or less forgiven her, when it’s clear he hasn’t forgiven Cordell.

Poor guy is trying to keep everyone happy and it really isn’t working. Kelly wants him to make sure James doesn’t drown, but how is he supposed to do that?? I feel like he’s being set up to be blamed when things go off the rails again.

Geri and Cordell are in a good place, though. There’s a tender little scene where she helps him button his shirt sleeve cuffs later in the episode.

The episode pulls the viewer in on the mystery that is trying to figure out who the Jackal is. Interestingly, the motel room had zero DNA, which makes me instantly worried that’s because Det. Luna was of course there already. I do not want him to be the bad guy!! Poor Cassie doesn’t need another Kevin experience (and isn’t it ominous that the title of the episode is We’ve Been Here Before… I hope that doesn’t apply to Cassie here too!)

Everyone is pretty much stymied so James suggests they take a day, which seems like him being a bit more measured than last time at least. 

Walker set with Jared Padalecki, Cassie, hot Luna and Cody Bell.

Walker sends the rest of them home and hangs back in case James needs him, obviously feeling the weight of that responsibility.

We see another flashback of the last time they were close to catching the Jackal, James assaulted and bloody, Walker trying to help, Kelly begging him to come home with her, James shutting both of them out.  Back then, Kelly admonishes Walker, says he should have kept his eyes on him.

He really can’t get a break. No wonder he feels so much responsibility this time!

There’s a lot of guilt driving people’s behavior right now on Walker, and it’s mostly encouraging people to make not so great decisions.

And so, Cordell takes an undercover car and tails James, which of course will be a terrible idea – but it gave us some gorgeous shots of Padalecki through the windshield. He sees James meet with a young man – it’s Henry (the young boy whose dad was buried alive), who’s not (understandably) overjoyed to see James.  The poor guy is still regretting that he never told his dad that he looked up to him, which only increases Larry’s guilt. He also gives James some new information – that his dad was hooked on Oxy, which didn’t show up in the toxicology report.

Henry also gives James what should be some much-needed forgiveness, and he gives Henry some understanding of addiction in return, and a promise that he’s gonna catch the Jackal.  Henry insists he already knows who the Jackal is – a guy named Joe Barnes who keeps coming into his car repair shop.  James tries to calm him down; Henry gets heated and goes to walk out and Walker comes to the rescue, which of course James does not appreciate.

Cordell: How long are you gonna keep punishing me?

James: I’m not, we’ve been here before; the lying to protect each other!

They go after Henry, who’s determined to enact his own version of justice on this Barnes guy.  They catch him just as he’s chloroformed the man. Henry runs and Walker goes after him, dodging lots of heavy items thrown at him and finally catching Henry, who insists he gave them the Jackal. They find Henry’s research notebook and a photo of the Jackal – who is not Joe. But it is a bona fide clue.

Walker is still trying to be helpful and friendly, and James is still keeping him at arm’s length, calling him “Ranger.” Ouch.

Kelly comes to find her husband that night, expressing her worry that what happened before is happening again. He assures her that he’s not going to repeat the past. She reminds him that Walker cares and that she asked him to look out for him, which I was glad to hear.

But James is overcome with guilt every time he looks at the photo of Henry’s dad. He swigs a little bottle of liquor before he goes home with her, which honestly, I didn’t expect. Uh oh.

Speaking of Warming Up

Trey and Cassie invite Luna to come have a bite at the Side Step with them since they have the day off and he agrees, saying he’d like to get to know them a little better. Trey sees the way Cassie looks quite interested at that and makes an amused face – and honestly it seems a little soon for him to be so cool with that. He was holding out some hope for a relationship with her not long ago, so I find it hard to believe he’d find it cute or amusing already.

Maybe you’re just a bigger person than me, Trey!

Cassie and Luna bond over weirdnesses, weighted blankets on “toesies” for him and obsessive search for the perfect ground roast for her, while Trey looks on and possibly judges.

Luna goes to get them drinks.

Walker Trey recognizing how hot Luna is to Cassie.

Trey: Luna’s got swagger for days, huh?

He apologizes for pushing Cassie into a romance with Kevin, but she says this is a different situation. Trey says he fully supports it as her best friend in Austin. I still think he’s being way too cool, but okay. (I prefer Cassie and Trey as friends so this is not a complaint).

Trey says goodnight and leaves, and then Luna says the exact same thing about Trey as he did about him, and oh crap, that can’t be a coincidence, can it? Damn it!

She invites Luna to crash at her place, giving him bedding, and we all get to admire Luna bare chested. So does Cassie.

She contemplates knocking on his door, clearly interested but then doesn’t.

Cassie wakes up to find the bed made and Luna not there and coffee beans roasting in the oven (which seems like a terrible idea if she was asleep) but I guess he was coming right back? He reappears and they make a mutual unspoken decision to make out, and I’m good with that decision too, gotta say.

Walker Cassie deep kissing on Luna.

Shady Family History Redux

Augie goes to check on Stella, the two of them trying to find the necklace that someone is willing to kill Witt for. Stella has been in touch with Denise Davidson to try to find out if there’s any antique jewelry in the Davidson line of the family (oh and btw she broke up with Colton, which we assumed, but too bad, I liked that kid).  Stella’s not happy that Augie has been searching for the necklace in pawn shops by himself and is awfully cocky about being invincible because he’s in boot camp now.

Walker gay Augie talking to Stella.

They go off to search together, Stella cancelling on Liam at the horse rescue again.

It is really not Liam’s day. After Stella cancels, he calls Ben to see if he can help while he’s standing up on an ATV looking for holes in the path, which seems like a bad idea especially simultaneously.

Sure enough, he runs his ATV right into a stump, gets catapulted off and then lands hard. Oof.

It doesn’t seem to me to be entirely Stella’s fault, but Abeline seems to think it is, and that he’s taken on too much responsibility as a result. Bonham and Abeline offer to help while Liam is laid up with injuries and ask Geri to stay with Liam, so she asks the influencer to meet them there.

The influencer is every bad thing you might think about influencers. Liam jumps in to review the contract, which turns out to be not such a great idea as it sounded. Geri instead decides to open another Side Step herself.

Walker social media influencer with Geri to help with Side Step bar.

Mawline guilt trips Stella (and Augie) into coming to help out which Augie totally calls her on.

I am usually the number one Abilene fan, but I’m not so sure this was the right message to send to Stella. She essentially tells her to put up and do what you need to do, which I don’t entirely agree with. Helping people, especially loved ones, is great, but if you’re in pain and overwhelmed, you ought to be able to say so and ask for help too.

Mawline: I understand college is tough and the last few months tougher, but the truth is life doesn’t get easier. People are gonna ask things of you even if you’re overwhelmed or in pain, and if you love and care for those people, you’re gonna have to help.

Stella apologizes, but also tries to get some info from her grandparents about the necklace.  Bonham estimates it’s from the late 1800s, so they end up getting some after all.

Liam thinks about maybe wanting to get back in the courtroom, after his positive experience helping Geri deal with the annoying influencer. His dad reminds Liam that he should be able to rest; he says he just wants to help people.

(That’s kind of a theme of this episode – helping as a value, but also as something that can be unwanted or intrusive, or become such a strong value that asking for help for yourself gets lost in the shuffle.)

As Liam is focused entirely on helping people, he’s having a hard time asking for any. So he starts taking some pain pills for his back, which… uh oh.

A Familiar Name

Armed with their new information, Stella and Augie continue their search for the missing necklace.

Augie (who reminds me of one Sam Winchester with his long-haired online research skills) finds out the necklace belonged to one Ophelia Rawlins and was stolen from a museum five years ago.

Stella: Rawlins? As in Uncle Hoyt? Our favorite thief? No way he’d let it collect dust in a museum. He’d have gotten it back…

The plot thickens!

As always, I really enjoy the underlying themes this show weaves throughout the action. In this case, the power of guilt to warp our perception and decision-making. Cordell feels guilty for what happened with James last time, so he’s trying to make up for it by being hypervigilant, but it’s driving Larry further away.

Larry feels guilty for not being able to save Henry’s father, and that guilt is eating away at him, pushing him back towards alcohol to escape it. Kelly probably feels guilty too, that she couldn’t “save” her marriage and protect her child from heartbreak back then, so she’s encouraging Cordell in his hypervigilance and putting a lot of responsibility on him.

Stella feels guilty about almost killing Witt, so she and Augie are deep into a case that involves way too much danger to keep to themselves. Liam’s drive to rescue and help sometimes is too much, getting in the way of him being able to allow others to help him, as Bonham tries to point out – but Mawline guilt trips Stella into doing more helping and less talking about her own feelings, and I fear where that will go.  Helping is one of those great things that can turn out to not be a great thing if it’s the only thing we believe we’re valued for.

The only ones not mired in guilt right now are Luna and Cassie – or are they? How much has the Jackal case infiltrated Luna’s psyche?

Be sure to tune in and watch “Walker” when it airs or stream it on the CW app – the show is on the bubble right now, not knowing if it will get a renewal, so every view and stream helps!