Now that was a great episode! Tight plot, lots of action, plenty of close-ups, some twists and turns, stellar performance from the cast (as usual) and Jensen Ackles directing! There was a lot to love about this episode.
And a couple of things that sat wrong with me. So I’ll skip doing the recap, and run down the stuff I loved and the stuff I didn’t.
The Good Stuff
Jensen did an awesome job directing—no surprise, but it sure is nice to see him working with Jared again. Jared seemed more relaxed, and I think Jensen’s presence and familiar direction elicited one of Jared’s best performances this season.
We also got plenty of ‘Easter Eggs’—subtle reminders of Supernatural throughout the episode thanks to Jensen and the writer, starting with that opening shot of bacon!
Liam brings out the Green Cooler (and it is the actual one from Supernatural, courtesy of Jensen). There’s also a prop beer of the kind used on Supernatural, and a comment about the cooler not smelling good. (Of course not, after having a werepire’s head inside!) Bonham questions ‘what kind of heathens’ must have used it last—and we know exactly who they were! (Please Liam, don’t throw it away!)
Plus we got a song by Radio Company, the band Jensen is in with Steve Carlson.
It was good to see Trey again at the Ranger Fair, and to see Cassie and Captain James looking comfortable with each other. I enjoyed Cassie calling Captain James and Trey out on their unspoken eye contact conversation. She’s loyal and fierce—I like her!
The teen drama felt more mature, with Stella and Colton having a useful conversation, and Todd being a non-dramatic shoulder to lean on. I loved when Colton returned the necklace that had been left behind and did his best to empathize with Stella’s loss and pain. Maybe they’re growing up!
Of course the day out can’t be relaxing—Cassie spots Fenton, her former boss from Dallas with the wife of her missing-presumed-dead former partner. She’s got a logical reason to wonder if the case was handled right, since it seems that Miles was declared dead faster than usual with very little supporting evidence. Seeing his wife with her old boss is definitely suspicious. Cordell has her back, even at risk to himself, and gets Fenton to admit that Rita (Miles’ wife) needed the insurance money and the traditional process would have taken years. He also shares some new information with Cassie and Cordell, but something about the scenario doesn’t sit right with Cassie and I can’t blame her—it feels fishy.
A comment is made about being ‘locked into our own story’. That’s true of all the characters in this episode. Cassie has her story about Miles’ disappearance, the Walkers and Davidsons have entirely different versions of their stories, and Geri is adrift when her story falls apart.
The Kansas concert was another Supernatural call-back, to "Carry On, Wayward Son" (Supernatural’s unofficial theme song) and to the band’s planned appearance in that show’s finale which was derailed by COVID quarantine. It was so good to see the Walkers singing along with the band, and to get the behind-the-scenes shots of Jensen and Jared enjoying the mini-concert as well!
Cassie is drinking and meanders into the palm reader’s tent, but the proprietor isn’t there. Trey sees her and follows her, and they sit down at the table with a crystal ball and Tarot cards. (Shades of Supernatural!) There’s some great camera work in this scene. Cassie starts turning up cards, and gets Tower, Strength, and Death, a reading that is unclear and ominous. I loved their toast, “to finding answers even when they hurt” and a mention of “different kinds of strength.”
Of course our biggest Easter Egg was that blurry man in the trailer, confirmed to be Jensen (standing in for the actor who plays Miles). Supernatural fans knew immediately by the knees, and Jensen made sure he was lit from behind in a way which made those beloved bow legs obvious!
There was a lot to love in this episode, from the acting to the directing to a script which made sense. When Walker lives up to its potential, it’s a mighty fine show!
The Other Stuff
As I mentioned with the previous review, I don’t see how Geri can come back from this to be someone we like and trust. That’s nothing against the actress, who does a great job. It’s just that she’s let us down or given us reason to doubt too many times before, and the positives aren’t as strong as the negatives to win her another chance.
Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” That applies to both Geri and to Gale Davidson. (I will admit that personally, I have a very low tolerance for people who betray someone’s trust.)
Geri has been around Cordell and the Walkers since at least high school, friends with Emily and nurtured by Abeline. She would have remembered the barn fire and Gale’s over-the-top murder accusation—on TV—of a teenager (Cordell), as well as the subsequent trial and settlement. She’s seen the Davidsons in action for decades, including the recent nastiness. We have never seen Gale be anything except vicious to everyone. But because she smiled at Geri and hugged her, now Geri thinks Gale was just misunderstood? Would Geri have backed the Davidsons if they hadn’t won the race, or is this an opportunistic move?
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Geri make very bad decisions. She stayed quiet about what she knew regarding Emily’s murder despite Cordell’s pain. She sought a business loan from a drug cartel. Hoyt was charismatic, but it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that he was not a dependable partner and she had to know he was doing shady deals. Now she has a chance for a loving relationship and a stable family-of-the-heart, but she breaks it off with Cordell and is nasty to Abeline because she has to find herself?
She isn’t a teenager—this is a woman in her late thirties. (And this is the second time in the show a woman ditches a loving partner to dive into self-exploration. As a plot device, it gets old.) Note to the writers—lots of people stay in healthy relationships while they go to therapy to deal with a painful past.
Geri has commitment issues beyond the Walker/Davidson feud. She knew Hoyt was bad news, but kept taking him back, then walked away when he got serious. She flirted with Cordell until he finally took the next step, then immediately started to waffle once they slept together. As soon as she found out about her Davidson connection, she decided supporting the Walkers was ‘stupid’ and went to see the people who had just kicked Cordell and his family out of their home.
She is condescending to Abeline when the woman who has been a mother figure to Geri all her life tries to make peace. Geri accepts Gale’s call during the concert date with the Walker—something that seemed like a deliberate move by Gale to interfere. Then she breaks up with Cordell, taking advantage of his kind heart and his desire to do the right thing.
Geri blames Abeline for not divulging Marv’s confession to Gale and not taking it upon herself to hunt down the child that was given away. How would that have gone over if Abeline had tried? Gale wouldn’t have believed her, Marv would have felt betrayed and closed off their one possibly positive channel to the Davidsons, and it wasn’t Abeline’s business to go looking for the child. Geri’s accusation makes no sense.
I won’t be surprised if Gale manipulates and gaslights Geri into being her spy and actively betraying the Walkers’ trust and that Geri goes along with it. Shades of Ruby from Supernatural?
It’s interesting that Colton, the adopted Davidson, is trying to be empathic and supportive to Stella while Geri, the swapped-at-birth Davidson is letting Cordell down at every turn.
I know a number of people who were adopted and later found their birth mom and didn’t suddenly jettison the family that raised and loved them. We are seeing what appears to be some unhealthy patterns here which I think go beyond normal confusion.
Trust, ‘seeing’ and finding answers were themes in this episode. I don’t think it’s coincidental that the famous line from Carry On, Wayward Son is ‘though my eyes could see, I still was a blind man.’ Cordell is blindfolded in the competition, and blind to Geri’s faithlessness. Geri is blind to being used by Gale. Cassie isn’t getting a clear picture of what really happened to Miles. The Tarot reading was foreboding, and the answers people did get in this episode only raised more questions as truths and real motivations are being hidden.
Geri’s favorite Kansas song is "Dust in the Wind." Read the lyrics if it’s been a while—I think that is a meaningful and prophetic choice which will be borne out in future episodes.
Supernatural fans know that "family don’t end with blood" (meaning that the people who care about you don’t have to be biologically related), and that true family always has your back. By throwing in her lot with the Davidsons, Geri proves she doesn’t understand or value either principle.
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