There were so many secrets, lies, and people making choices for others ‘for their own good’ that it almost felt like an episode of Supernatural.
No one is having the hard conversations necessary to heal. Withholding information to retain a feeling of control seemed to be a theme, which of course just created more problems.
While Cordell makes breakfast with a new proficiency for the kids, we find out that Liam has been sleeping in his office since he returned from Mexico, which means he also hasn’t seen his fiancé, Bret, in that time.
He tells Micki that he feels so much remorse over how hard he and Captain James leaned on Cordell to let go of his suspicions about Emily’s death, only to now discover that Mendoza wasn’t the real killer. (Liam hasn’t told Cordell and neither has Micki or James.) Micki tells Liam that the forensics on the bomb in Mexico match the signature of the North Side Nation gang. (Anyone else remember they were the toughs that broke up the drunk soccer game when Stella and Auggie were on their field trip?)
Stella and Trevor are going to the school dance. Her family takes photos and is welcoming to Trevor.
On his way to get her, Trevor stops in to see his father, who praises Trevor for infiltrating the Walker family. It’s clear Clint still wants vengeance and intends for Trevor to be his weapon.
Trevor doesn’t correct him. (So is Trevor keeping a secret from Stella and maybe also from his dad?)
I really love the Walker house.
I also like Bret. Bret comes looking for Liam and wants to go to dinner. They leave his office and get stuck in the elevator, because a storm is brewing with potential tornados and the power goes out. Bret is trying to reconnect.
Liam lies and tells him that while he was in Mexico he got drunk and cheated, so Bret should leave him.
(Lying and pushing someone away ‘for his own good’ and not letting the other person make an informed choice.)
Bonham and Abby go to the feed store, and Bonham intentionally chooses to go to a different store where he know they’ll encounter Gary, the man with whom Abby had an affair.
Bonham clearly intended to create a scene. Back in the truck, Abby makes a comment about how they haven’t talked about this, and Bonham doesn’t seem inclined to do so.
With the storm coming, Walker, Micki and Trey go to the dance to be on hand if there are problems. Cordell stops by for some punch and the pretty science teacher flirts with him.
It’s clear he’s still wearing his wedding ring, and can’t bring himself to say ‘widower’ when introducing himself. Then one of the girls says she can’t reach her grandfather, and they leave to look for him in the middle of the storm.
Walker, Micki and Trey know the grandfather has a pacemaker, so they pick up a strong magnet,
which Micki for some reason drops outside.
They find the older man and shelter in a storm drain,
but then Cordell has to go back to get the dropped magnet and gets hit with a tree. Micki goes after him and moves the tree off him (which seemed strange but I guess it didn’t have to be a huge tree to knock him over).
Bonham pushes Liam to be honest with Bret, saying that ‘love is a verb’ and is an ongoing process (something he seems to have forgotten with Abby).
At the dance, carrying on with the storm overhead (why didn’t the school cancel the event?), Stella tells Trevor about making a fort out of gym mats with Auggie when they were under a similar storm lockdown. Trevor goes and creates a fort like that in the gym.
The chaperones just let the paired-off kids leave and go to another part of the school. (This school’s chaperone policy needs some work.) The kids return and keep dancing. Trevor gives Stella his sweatshirt, and she finds his prison visitor badge with his father’s name on it.
She confronts him, apparently recognizing Clint as one of her dad’s undercover busts.
Cordell, Micki and Trey stop to help more injured people and in the process Trey gets hurt. He also finds out that Micki hasn’t told him about her real mother, and he’s hurt she told Walker. That decision at least to me makes sense, since Micki isn’t as invested in her partnership with Cordell as she is in her relationship with Trey and so telling him didn’t feel as personally threatening. I get her comment about how telling Trey would have made it more real.
Later, she and Trey talk it out, with Trey taking the lead to talk about feelings and use his words in a nice gender flip of the usual way this kind of thing plays out.
Bret breaks up with Liam for real, and we see that Liam is devastated.
The science teacher gives Cordell her phone number, and he thanks her, keeps it, but says he isn’t ready yet. (Jared played a flustered Cordell so well!)
Bonham gives Abby a flower and they dance, but it’s clear they’re not okay.
Trevor begs for Stella to set aside their ‘Capulets and Montagues’ and have one last dance.
Afterward, Cordell follows Liam outside where Liam confesses that he pushed Bret away because he believes something really bad is going to happen and he didn’t want Bret to get hurt.
He finally tells Cordell that he was right to suspect complications with Emily’s murder, and that Liam is confessing because ‘I’m not going to take choices away from you.” (At least someone has learned something!) Cordell’s response is carefully balanced (evidence that he doesn’t talk with his fists like he used to) and he walks off, seeing Emily’s ghost again.
I thought this was one of the best episodes so far. Nothing seemed too far-fetched (although there were some stretches of credulity for the sake of the plot like dropping the magnet and not cancelling the dance in a tornado). I really loved that Trey was the one prompting Micki to use her words and trust in their relationship and trust him. That flips so many scripts on how men are often written with repressed emotions and an inability to have a discussion. And it’s in direct contrast to Bonham, who is a locked down and seething old-school kind of guy. I also liked that for once, the teenagers’ plot line didn’t completely overshadow what the grownups were doing.
My biggest complaint is that I hate contrived drama ginned up just to insert angst into the story when it could have easily been avoided. Liam could have warned Bret that he’s about to have a cartel on his heels and that he wants Bret to pretend to leave him for his own protection. Then we get a totally different kind of angst when Bret refuses and chooses to put himself in danger to stand by his man. I didn’t like when the Supernatural writers pulled this kind of crap (so many times), and I don’t like it any better here. It’s lazy writing, it doesn’t feel authentic or logical, and the same feelings could be created just as easily in a way that doesn’t shortchange the characters’ development.
I suspect that there will be a big showdown with life-and-death stakes that forces choices for Liam and Bret, Bonham and Abby, and Stella and Trevor. Plus Cordell is going to be pissed when he finds out that not only did his brother and his boss keep him in the dark, but so did Micki. Just in time for a mid-season finale? This is gonna get messy.
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Screencaps by Raloria on LJ