I’m on vacation with the family for the next few weeks, so this will be a bit less in depth than my usual recap/reviews of “Walker.” That happens to work well for this episode, though, which comes on the heels of the action-packed thirteenth episode that was originally intended to be the season finale. Everyone is rocked by Hoyt’s sudden death, and that has everyone rethinking their priorities and reevaluating their relationships.
As Bonham puts it, ‘we’re all adrift’. He copes by working on the house. Abeline copes by worrying about everyone and trying to take care of a bunch of adults who probably don’t need as much taking care of as she needs to do. Liam protests that he can take care of himself as he recuperates from the gunshot.
And Walker and Geri cope by taking Stella and Augie on a trip.
Walker is mired in guilt over Hoyt’s death and over how his kids have been impacted by all the losses of the last year, blaming himself entirely. Geri also feels guilty; she’s wearing Hoyt’s jacket and has the bar coaster on which he wrote his last will and testament, leaving behind a plot of land. Geri had mentioned to him once that it would be a nice place to settle down, and he apparently took it seriously and bought it.
Geri and Walker decide to take a trip out to see it, taking the kids with them to make a day of it.
Walker: I think Hoyt would’ve liked that.
Although it’s clearly hard for him, Walker signs the papers for a leave of absence, saying “So I’m Joe Citizen now?” He cancels a taco truck lunch with Micki and she bristles, saying it’s fine but clearly not meaning it.
Walker, Geri, and the kids stop for lunch, Stella checking her messages and hearing one from Trevor asking if they can talk and if she might visit him, saying he’s so sorry.
The kids reminisce about “Uncle Hoyt”, remembering when he scooped up horse manure and scattered it around one Christmas pretending Rudolph “pooped on our porch” and then playing Santa in an actual sleigh.
Stella: You were so juvenile together.
But she’s smiling.
Geri: Your mom was way into it too!
Augie: It took a while for me to realize not all Santas wear assless chaps…
Meanwhile, Micki instead has tacos with Trey, telling him her exchange with Walker didn’t feel right.
Trey: Any chance you made it feel off? You also experienced a loss. You lost your partner. Your mom would say…
She interrupts him saying, she doesn’t want two shrinks in her family, and Trey grins.
Trey: In my family?
Tricki is seriously adorable, honestly.
Captain James comes by asking for information on a missing Army vet who’s been gone for three days, who is in PT at the same place that Trey is. He’s got an even more serious brain injury, so the three of them try to track him down. They find out the guy that’s missing doesn’t want his family to know about his brain injury, and also that he’s seriously in debt and about to lose his home according to his wife. He left an ominous note saying he was going to ‘fix everything’.
They also find an empty gun cabinet and are worried he’s taken on a black ops job to save his home and family. After a little digging, they find out that he was rejected from black ops because of his brain injury. Trey comes up with the theory that maybe he’s going to try an underground prize fight instead to make money, and they call around to see if there are any in the area – and find one that is. Micki threatens the guy in charge of the prize money to get information and they find who they’re looking for, about to fight even though he has a serious brain injury.
Trey immediately takes off his shirt.
James: Uh, what is happening right now?
Micki: Okay, allergic-to-shirts, you still have a TBI. Besides, you’re nowhere near his weight class. But I was the jujitsu star during our deployment…
They try to talk her out of it, to no avail.
James: I am not here. I was never here. Abs, are we clear on that?
Me: lol, great nickname!
Micki gets in the ring and shows off her fighting skills, while James and Trey watch and cheer her from the sidelines. She proves her badassery and wins, giving the prize money to the guy who needed it so badly. He’s floored, almost disbelieving that anyone would do something so nice for someone they don’t even know.
Geri, Walker and the kids arrive at Hoyt’s plot of land to collect his personal effects, and the woman who meets with them says that “his personal effects are probably out grazing.” It’s four horses and a llama that the mare raised as her own.
Sounds like Hoyt’s kind of family, Geri says.
And the kids REALLY want to bring them home.
I mean, look at that face.
Lady: If you two are looking for a 3 bedroom for yourselves and the kids…
Geri and Walker are notably awkward with their um no, we’re not…
Sometimes “Walker” is a rom com!
The animals are a part of Hoyt’s dream so they decide to take them back with them, setting out on horseback for a ‘cattle drive’ of sorts. Cordell continues to feel guilty, though Geri tells him not to. Stella keeps checking her phone and Walker jokingly threatens to issue her a ticket for texting while riding, but it turns out she’s looking at Hoyt’s last messages to her – advice for her court date. Stella also feels responsible, since she was the one that brought Trevor – and Clint – into their family. She doesn’t tell her father about the driving into the hitching post deception though. (You know that will come back sometime, though.)
The llama eventually starts to not do so well, kneeling down and slowing down, and Walker decides he may be better off with someone who can take better care of him. The kids get upset when he decides to look for a place to drop the llama off, and Geri I think tries to cheer Augie up by giving him the jacket, saying Hoyt wanted him to have it – it’s a lucky jacket, won from the “Mystifying Mehar”. The show sometimes treats Augie and Stella as though they’re younger than they are, it seems, but it does cheer Augie up.
Walker finds a place to leave the llama and tries to justify doing that when they get to a steep ravine, saying there’s no way he could have made it over. Augie accuses his dad of retroactively justifying his abandonment of the llama, since he didn’t even know the ravine was there, which is fair. Stella gets hotheaded, as she does, and gallops right towards the ravine. Her horse freaks out and there’s a scary moment, but Walker helps the mare (and Stella) calm down a little and no one gets hurt.
The four of them bed down in a barn for the night – a very nice TV show ready barn – and Stella and Geri have a little heart to heart.
Stella: I’m so sorry about Uncle Hoyt, he was the best. I know he did some things that kept you apart, but you forgave him.
Geri: Not always. Wish I had. His heart was so big.
She gives Stella some advice about Trevor.
Geri: Don’t let that boy take up all the space in your head when other people need you.
Stella: I did this…
Geri: No you didn’t. You let love in maybe, that’s your worst crime.
Not sure most people would actually say something like that out loud, but Geri is sweet with the kids and clearly cares about them. The kids bed down in the barn, and Geri comes to sit with Walker – on a hay bale because of course it’s on a hay bale! I’m developing an appreciation for the unique aesthetic that this show has – it’s not realism, it’s more a representation of what a cozy barn would be like, lantern hung from a post, neat bales of hay to sit on, no cobwebs. It’s not gritty like “Supernatural” was in its aesthetic, but it’s sort of calming and pretty in its own way.
The two share high school memories of Hoyt bringing some (very high number) proof grain alcohol and some laughs. Walker says “this is nice, us together” then quickly corrects himself to “all of us together”, wondering if this is what Hoyt would have wanted.
Geri: He had dreams. I underestimated him.
Walker: We all did. If people didn’t expect too much of him then he wouldn’t let anyone down. I let him down.
Geri: You couldn’t have kept that boy from fighting for you if you tried!
She remembers the night Hoyt proposed to her, and shares with Cordell that was their last conversation, when he told her that she was the reason he was alive – and she said no to his proposal.
Cordell empathizes, saying he made mistakes after Emily passed, and that he eventually realized that he needed to be with people who cared about him.
Walker: We kept your name on the place – there’s always space there with us.
Geri turns in, and Walker visits the mare, who’s still upset about the loss of her ‘baby’ llama.
Cordell: You miss him…I miss him too. Sorry I left your boy behind. I should know better… And now I’m talking to a horse. You don’t leave them behind when they’re family like that.
He’s talking as much about Hoyt as the llama, but the mare seems to appreciate it anyway.
Walker: Let’s go fix this.
No one gives anyone a heads up about anything on this show, so he treks over to wherever he left the llama and brings it back (whoever he gave it to must have been very understanding, like you again? You give me this and then take it back?) He leads it as far as the ravine, saying look there’s your mama up there, come on, but it struggles and so does he.
Walker: Yeah I know, I’m the one that should pay for this – for everything.
He is incredibly hard on himself, the self-blame off the charts. Yes, he definitely made mistakes, but he was a man broken by grief and trying to do the right thing, and in part was manipulated into making some of those mistakes by his daughter’s deception (which he still doesn’t know about). Taking responsibility is all good, but the self-blame is going to destroy him, I worry.
Geri and the kids come looking for him, and by then Walker is stuck in the bottom of the ravine with the llama. Augie suggests using Hoyt’s jacket as a harness to pull the llama up, which is what they do. Cordell is still apologizing, saying that with all they’ve been through and what the little guy meant to Hoyt and what Hoyt meant to them, that he’s sorry he didn’t see it sooner.
Walker: And… I have a privileged view of this guy and I think he’s a she and about to give birth…
Abeline and Bonham try to connect while everyone else is away, but he just wants to keep ‘fixing up our home’, a pretty obvious metaphor for what he hasn’t been able to do. She wants him to start treatment and is worried about him, but he goes right back to fixing. Later, however, he tells her that he was thinking about mushroom hunting and what it means to her.
Bonham: How about we make some new memories?
Later the two of them camp out on the floor, laughing together.
Abeline: I know it wasn’t easy for you to step out of your comfort zone and do this for me.
Bonham: You know, I wasn’t blind to Hoyt’s heart, I saw the joy he gave you. I’m starting to see it myself, maybe too little too late.
Abeline: No, it’s not.
And then he gets the idea to build….something, leaving her behind laughing. Not gonna lie, it’s nice to see the two of them playful. How often do you see two grandparents have those types of moments, and the sort of complex relationship these two have? Molly Hagan and Mitch Pileggi have some nice chemistry.
Liam’s political opponent Stan comes over with barbeque for Liam, which is weird, and encourages him to stay in the race, saying that Stan chose wrong once about that, and that Liam won’t want to live with a similar regret.
Stan is suspicious as hell, but he does help Bonham and Liam building whatever they’re building. Liam gets a text while they’re working – it’s Bret, who heard about what happened and is checking to see how they are. Most of the fandom was thrilled that the text conversation ended with plans to talk on the phone…
Bonham and Abeline are being more real with each other by the ending scene, Abeline admitting that maybe her over-protectiveness is because she’s trying to control the past by controlling the people she has left.
Abeline: I know it’s stupid.
Bonham: It’s not. I made the appointment, for radiation treatment. I’d sure love it if you came with me.
She holds his hand, and awwww.
Micki gets real with Trey too, admitting to him that she was passive aggressive to Walker the day before – that it’s hard for her to trust in something she doesn’t want to lose, like their partnership.
Trey: He’s still here. You too. And me!
Back on the trail, Geri goes her own way, saying goodbye to Walker and the kids.
Geri: There’s an ocean of unsaid things between us, and we’re both too scared to dip a toe in. Hoyt reframed everything…it hits me hard.
Walker watches her go.
They get back to the ranch, Augie carrying the baby llama, pleading with Cordell not to let their grampa sell him. Bonham rides out to meet them and sees the baby, who Geri gave them a heads up about.
Bonham: Sorry, I got a strict no llama policy.
Everyone looks on the verge of arguing when he continues.
Bonham: Good thing we’ve got an alpaca stable.
Every “Supernatural” fan: No! It’s not a Llama- it’s an alpaca!, dumbass!
That’s what Bonham was building. The alpacas settle into their new home. Cordell gets emotional.
Stan: Is he crying?
Liam: He’s big but he’s a soft touch.
Awwww. It’s true, and Jared Padalecki can play that emotionality beautifully.
Augie names the baby alpaca Hoyt.
Bonham: Good name.
Abeline: It’s a great name.
Stan is still being overly nice, which Bonham figures out is because he’s using Liam to split the progressive vote. Which explains why Stan felt so very shady.
Stella leaves a message for Trevor, saying she’s sorry too but she doesn’t think she can visit.
Stella: I might just need to leave the past behind, my family still needs me. I hope you’re healing somehow…and you know, we were real. Bye, Trevor.
I wonder if that really is their ending. Gavin Casalegno is a fan favorite, so I sort of hope not.
Micki pulls up and gives Walker his hat that he left behind, admitting to him that she was holding a grudge earlier and didn’t know it.
Micki: When you left I felt…
Cordell: Adrift, I get it. We’re good, honest.
She holds out her hand to shake his.
Walker: C’mon now.
They hug, Micki saying it’s nice that now they can just be friends.
Walker: Nah, Micki, we’re not friends. We’re family.
Micki: Omg when did you get an alpaca?
On the fence is carved, “In Memory of Our Boy, Hoyt Rawlins.”
It still feels like there’s a gap between how the other characters feel about Hoyt, and how we as the audience feel about him, though he definitely was a likable character. Hearing their fond stories is not the same as having seen them, so I still don’t feel as sentimental about him being gone as they do. It was nice to see an episode that felt like a small step toward healing for many of the characters, though, and some sentimentality went along with that.
Four episodes left of the season, and it will be interesting to see where this part of the journey takes them.
New “Walker” episode this week with Four Stones in Hand 1.15!