The Walker first season finale was what every season finale should be: emotional and action packed yet still focused on the characters while enticing the audience for the upcoming season. But, above all, the season finale should tie up the season before it. This episode accomplished that with showing the culmination of the characters’ growth throughout the season. Of course, the person who grew the most dramatically was …
At the beginning of the season, Walker was struggling. He was at a loss with what to do with his parents, his children, his brother, even work. He was still focused on his wife and the unanswered questions around her death. Throughout the season, Cordell has grown and changed. He has become closer to his children, family, and partner. He had to be talked down from seeking vengeance before, but now even under horrific circumstances, he was able to refrain on his own from killing Stan. Instead, he called on his friends and family to help him get justice. Jared brilliantly let us see every emotion: anger, pain, joy and love. He shows us how our titular character has grown in handling and respecting these emotions. He even let us see Walker’s brilliant mind, how he was able to observe and come to conclusions easily, and also his ability to ascertain whether someone is lying to him or has ulterior motives for their actions. It was nice to see him shine. It was also wonderful to see how much his relationship has improved and grown with …
Stella and August
At the beginning of the season, the relationship these two had with their dad was fraught with pain, grief and anger. This relationship was slowly mended over the season through trial and trauma. It culminated in the finale with them being able to joke about their dad’s commitment to his job, immediately siding with their dad against Stan, waiting up for him, and cuddling close at the end of the episode. This is a marked contrast, especially for Stella, who instead of refusing to sit on the couch by her dad, instead gladly joins him as he wraps his arm around her. It is a wonderfully wholesome scene that makes the final shot that much more jarring. More family members who have grown closer to Cordell and each other are …
Bonham and Abeline
The couple started out estranged, only together to keep up appearances for their family. Their relationship with Cordell was tense, each disapproving of the other’s actions. This, too, changed over the season, parents and child working to understand each other - even if it did mean Cordell had to make concessions. But in the end, they stood by his side, no questions asked. They supported his course of action, and helped force Stan’s confession. Abeline even brought up the ill fated intervention, and Stan’s role in what to them was Cordell’s biggest sin. One of my favorite things (besides Walker himself) in this series is that they don’t shy away from the romance between Bonham and Abeline. These two have had a rough road this season - from infidelity to anger to a potentially deadly diagnosis. Only instead of this driving them apart, they grew closer together. Romance must be in the air at the Walker main house, because it also affected …
He started out as trying to be everything for everyone, except for himself and Brett. We watched him grow throughout the season, and honestly watched Keegan grow into the character. After lying to push Brett away, Liam is trying more to guide and help than control everything. Now he’s at a point where he can go after what he wants… and also be there for Brett. Watching them try to rekindle their romance is a lovely sight. Liam was always there to support Cordell and his requests, but even though he admitted doubts about Cordell’s return to the Rangers, he quickly offered help even when things looked their worst. Much like ….
Micki (& Trey)
When the season started, Micki’s main focus was proving herself. She built up walls after years of fighting against a system and having to deal with the people not supporting her. But Cordell and Trey gently broke down her walls with persistent support. So, when Capt. James called her, she was immediately on Walker’s side. To Cordell, she was even able to admit a mistake and take responsibility. She offered her assistance immediately, and knew Trey would have her back. Micki and Trey make a wonderful team. They bent the rules together to get justice. Micki’s growth from defensive, overly rigid, lone wolf to supportive, flexible, team player is highlighted in this episode. Her bonds that she built look to be tested next season if she goes undercover, but hopefully they’re strong enough. An interesting and surprising friendship that she found along the way this season, the only person who she felt she could trust when she didn’t know where to turn was …
She has had a rough time for over a year. She was helping by giving people water and other supplies, only to come back and find her best friend dead. She has to watch her other friend spiral, unable to help him. Her bar is falling apart, so she has to sell it. A loan she took out turns out to be through the same crime syndicate that killed her best friend. She herself is accused of killing her best friend by her oldest friend. She almost loses her life going undercover to find out the truth. Then has to kill someone to save Walker. In the heightened emotions in the aftermath, they kiss, but he doesn’t reach out to her to talk about it. This leaves her to assume he would rather just forget about it. When her on again-off again boyfriend gets out of jail and finally seriously proposes, she tells him about the kiss that she can’t forget and declines, because she thinks he deserves better. Then she feels guilt when Hoyt dies soon after, feeling it is her fault. It’s no wonder she ran away from the overwhelming emotion. Her growth culminates in the finale with not only her return, but also being able to talk about how Emily’s death and her connection to the Northside Nation made her feel. Despite this, she still overcomes her personal feelings to help even after she receives the news that the person she killed wasn’t Emily’s killer. Emily’s real killer was …
His growth honestly happened mostly in the finale. For though he had expressed regret previously, he could never admit all his sins. Not after he killed Byron Santos, the reporter; not after he had Cordell kidnapped; not even when Cordell had a gun on him. It wasn’t until Walker made him face the family, Emily’s family, that he finally broke down and admitted the truth. He was the one who pulled the trigger that took Emily from them. He had gotten too greedy, in too deep with Northside nation, and it cost him his soul - maybe, even his life.
To sum up, the Walker season one finale was fantastic. It was action packed and yet, character driven. I was on the edge of my seat, then crying, and just when I was filled with that joyous feeling this show often engenders, I was shocked to my core by the creepy reveal that the Walkers are being watched. Every rewatch only reinforces how much I loved this episode.
I can’t wait for season two to arrive on Oct. 28th.
4.98 stars out of 5.
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Screencaps by Raloria on LJ, The CW, Cat Bowland and Nightsky.