Well, that was a heck of a ride! Despite the season’s uneven writing and characterization, it finished strong—and left us not with a cliffhanger but with a sense of foreboding that there’s more trouble yet to come. For Supernatural fans, there were a lot of ‘family’ references, and a very satisfying ‘I need to talk to my brother’. When it mattered, family stuck together and had Cordell’s back—both family by blood and found family.
Starting off at the site of the grave Stan was forcing Cordell to dig, Cordell takes Stan’s phone and gets into the truck forcing Stan to drive at gunpoint.
(I did wonder why Cordell didn’t text coordinates to Micki, since there were three bodies and a freshly dug grave in the woods. I also wondered why Stan said that Cordell had ‘no evidence’ when there were bodies and no reason for Cordell to have killed the reporter.)
Family played a big part in this episode. While Cordell is fighting for his life, the rest of the Walkers are at Stan’s house where he invited them to do the vow renewal. It’s nice getting to see Bonham and Abbie rekindle their relationship.
In the truck, Stan tells Cordell that he ‘got creative’ after budget cuts about stealing drugs out of the evidence locker and putting them back on the street. He partnered with North Side Nation and then they owned him. The truck is almost out of gas (this felt like a cheap writer trick) and while Cordell fills up the car, Stan pulls out a second phone and reports that Cordell has taken him hostage. When Cordell finds out, Stan spins the narrative he’ll use to place all the blame on Cordell and says there’s no evidence to prove otherwise.
Captain James is trying to reach Cordell, and also attempting to contain the situation—it feels like he smells a rat and is giving Cordell the benefit of the doubt, especially when he asks Micki to find out what’s going on.
Cordell calls Micki, saying she’s the only one he can trust, and asks her to rescue Carlos Mendoza before North Side Nation kills him and removes the one witness who can clear Cordell and condemn Stan.
Micki agrees and asks Trey to help.
Back at Stan’s place, Bonham and Abbie joke about the recommitment ceremony, and she makes a reference to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (who famously divorced and rewed). When Bonham teases her, she says it’s better than Wood/Wagner (Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, who also split and rewed but Wood’s mysterious death has left unanswered questions and dark rumors for decades.)
Bret and Liam are remembering things they did together, gradually moving closer to each other. Auggie is snooping and finds the poker chips that match the custom set Emily bought for Cordell, chips she carried the night she died.
Liam gets an alert about the ‘hostage’ crisis. Bonham immediately backs Cordell and says that he needs proof, needs family.
Two cops roadblock Cordell and Stan. When Cordell notes that they’re out of their jurisdiction (a big red flag), the cops open fire.
Stan is outraged that he’s also being shot at, and Cordell says that Stan is now expendable to his criminal partners. Obviously there’s still corruption inside local law enforcement.
Micki and Trey go to the hospital, and she gives Trey an out. He reminds her that he fought in Fallujah—“I’m not waiting in the car. I’ve got your six.” (I love Tricki!) Trey uses his medical knowledge to fake out the nurses.
They take Mendoza and then go to the Side Step. Geri tells Micki more about the night Emily died.
Cordell had been heading to the border (to cross the border?), but changes his mind and takes Stan to where they found Emily’s body (near the border). The Walker clan is waiting there, and Cordell says, “This ends tonight.” His voice was so rough with emotion when he told Stan to “tell Emily’s family” what happened. (I sure hope someone was recording that confession!) Auggie throws the poker chips at Stan. Bonham swears at him.
Stan says that most of the story Calli told Cordell in the warehouse was true—the truck moving drugs spilled some of its load. Emily was in the wrong place at the wrong time and saw them. Calli shot and missed, then shot again and hit Emily but didn’t kill her. Stan fired the fatal shot. When asked why he took and kept the poker chips, Stan says he doesn’t know, that maybe a part of him wanted to get caught.
The family accuses him, and Stan calls himself a ‘selfish bastard’ and says he tried to forget what happened and believe his own narrative.
Then he tells Cordell, “I pushed you out of town, undercover. You’d never quit. Thought the Rodeo Kings might even end you.” Well, that clears up a loose end—why anyone would offer an undercover gig to someone in Cordell’s circumstances, and it is even more damning for Stan.
Cordell brings Stan in to police headquarters, both of them wearing bulletproof vests.
Stan says he’ll testify, and that if Cordell hadn’t stopped him, he’d have kept on with what he was doing. A shooter in the parking garage fires, hitting Stan and lodging a bullet in Cordell’s vest. Stan whispers something to Cordell before the medics take him away.
It turns out that Stan won the election, edging out Liam. Liam admits to Bret that he let so much get between them, and that when he turned down the promotion in New York it was to start over. “You were supposed to be family,” he tells Bret, and they agree to go on a date.
Bonham and Abbie realize that they have what they needed without a second ceremony.
Micki and Cordell are in Captain James’ office, and James says that Stan’s testimony will take down North Side Nation. He acknowledges that Cordell made the right decision, and gives Micki credit for backing him up.
Cordell thanks both of them for trusting him and believing in him. (Finally!)
James brings up a new Del Rio crime syndicate. Cordell doesn’t even ask to go after them. “I’m steady. I’m square,” he says, happy with where he is. After he leaves, James gives Micki the chance to go undercover after the new players, and she says she’ll think about it.
In between the other action, Trey’s mom is still visiting. Micki decides to invite both her real mom and her aunt to brunch with Trey’s mom and it is a healing moment. (I love how grounded and real their relationship is.)
Back at the ranch, Auggie and Stella are still coming to terms with everything that happened. When Cordell joins them, Stella says she is fantasizing about going somewhere, but maybe it would be better to go on an adventure rather than escape. They reprise the couch scene from the beginning of the season, but instead of their body language being very separated, this time both Auggie and Stella are leaning against Cordell.
Cordell tells them that he traveled a lot in the Marines, and came back to start a family. “This is home,” he says, and clarifies that he means the house, land, and Texas. (Home was always a theme in Supernatural, where it meant being together, the Impala, and to a degree, the Bunker.) We see Emily’s ghost looking on fondly as the scene closes.
In a disturbing point of view switch, we find out that someone has put cameras throughout both Walker houses and is watching everything.
The finale was full of action, and it tied up loose ends from earlier. After the less-than-resounding support Liam and Micki gave Cordell in the previous episode (I blame the writers), I was glad that they were solidly behind him, as was the rest of the family and Captain James. Cordell finally got to be the hero, and was vindicated.
So who’s watching on the hidden cameras, and why? The Rodeo Kings were wrapped up with Clint’s death and the arrest of his goons at the Walker ranch, as far as we know. Obviously North Side Nation had more members than were arrested at the poker game, and now there’s the Del Rio gang. The deliberate mention of Cordell’s time in the Marines could be a way to bring in an old enemy from that period in his life.
Then there’s Trevor, who theoretically had access to both houses to plant the cameras, but did he have the know-how? Or did he act on orders from someone who did? Don’t forget that for several hours, Clint’s gang had the run of both houses while he held the family captive. Cameras could have been planted then and are just now being used. I guess we’ll have to tune in next season to find out!
As always, Jared and the cast turned in great performances. And while I stand by my concerns about the quality/consistency/coherency of the writing over the course of the season, I’m hoping these last several strong episodes mean they’ve worked through their growing pains and have found their stride. Which bodes well for an even better Season Two!
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Wonderful Screencaps by Raloria on LJ; Article Illustrated by Gail and Nightsky.