Walker's 2.04 "It's not What You Think" had parts I liked and other parts that strained belief. I’m not sure what to think.
I’m going to group sections for easier commenting rather than going in chronological order.
The Walkers and Davidsons
We start off with Bonham and Abby sleeping. They hear a noise, Bonham grabs his gun and points it at the door. Cordell comes in with coffee. (Wow, that could have gone badly.) Cordell invites them all down to the Side Step for breakfast.
Dan is watching with Guy 1. We find out Dan and Denise are getting marriage counseling. (I’m confused. Didn’t Colton say his folks were getting divorced? And if they are, why do they still live together and why is Dan so invested in the Davidson family if he’s leaving it?)
Cordell tells his family about the surveillance cameras. Cordell and Liam argue over how much Cordell gives the Davidsons the benefit of the doubt. Cordell vows to go after Serano or whoever is in charge of the cameras. Abby and Bonham are helping clean up after breakfast, and she suggests that they consider not staying at the ranch. He’s mad about the Davidson chili on the menu. (Why do people care so much about the chili?)
At the office, Denise says that the case against Serano is thin. (How? What happened to the guy Micki and Trey spirited out of the hospital? How about Stan? What about Micki’s undercover work?) Cordell tells her and Captain James that the house is under surveillance. He wants to lure out the person responsible. He and James agree on using ‘The Bodey Gambit’, a ruse that was successful before.
Cordell is at the ranch, and Denise comes in, saying that they recovered the hard drive from Serano’s safe house that can put him away. (Is the hard drive real evidence, or something made up for the lure?)
She and Cordell pretend to discuss having an affair when they were in Del Rio. Then Geri shows up, threatening the whole operation.
She seems to be working up to a big confession, but Denise comes out looking sexy and says that the ‘LBJ suite’ is waiting. Cordell walks Geri out and whispers that ‘it’s not what it looks like’. Denise and Cordell make a point of leaving the hard drive unprotected to see who grabs it.
Denise says she’s nostalgic for ‘playing house’ with Cordell as kids. Liam shows up, and says that whoever is watching is nearby because of the technical setup. Denise wonders if her house was also being watched. Liam clearly suspects Denise (awkward, since she’s his boss).
Guy#1 is watching with Dan, and taunts him about Denise cuckolding him. He says that she’ll be disbarred. Guy #1 gives Dan marriage advice. Dan calls Denise and she says that she ‘forgot’ the appointment she was supposed to have. Then she tells him not to come home because someone is watching the Walker ranch and might be watching their house. In other words, she completely blows the operation. How are she and Dan so chummy if they are getting divorced or at odds? Why is she discussing a confidential operation with him? Is she involved with Serano/Del Rio/North Side Nation?
Guy#1 leaves to go to the ranch for the hard drive. Dan grabs stuff and then sloshes everything with gas to destroy the evidence. Micki spots Guy#1 and defies orders to go after him on an ATV.
She hits a ditch and gets thrown into barbed wire. James follows her and lends a hand. Liam Liam grabs a sniper rifle and.heads to the Walker ranch.
Guy#1 is inside. Liam fires a warning shot in the ceiling (that’s going to be expensive to fix, just saying). Guy#1 is about to shoot Liam, but Dan is behind Guy#1 and shoots him just as Cordell shows up.
(Did they shoot him through the hard drive in his shirt pocket? Please tell me that the drive wasn’t real evidence or isn’t going to be destroyed because they put a bullet in it.) Guy#1 is dead, so he won’t be testifying.
Dan spins a very unconvincing lie about how he happened to be there. No one seems to be worried about the building that’s on fire with the recording equipment.
Denise is right there with her arm around Dan at the ambulance. They don’t act like a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. Cordell tells Dan he’s sorry he doubted him.
Liam gives Stella a pep talk about her SAT. Trey must be the only adult at the school since he coaches, proctors, and oversees detention.
Stella is dealing with PTSD and ‘crap you can’t talk about.’ Trey tells her that ‘time washes away even the worst setbacks.’
The sprinklers go off, causing the test to be postponed, and it’s clear that Stella’s friend set them off to ‘help’ her because of her test anxiety. She thanks him for doing it, even though he was doing well on his test, as if they were the only two people in the room.
Setting off the sprinklers should be grounds for suspension, if not criminal charges. All those students paid money and prepped for that test date. If Stella didn’t do well, she can take the SAT multiple times—many people do (although most don’t leave it until senior year). There’s nothing funny or okay about sabotaging the test for dozens of kids. It’s at best thoughtless and at worst extremely entitled, since not every kid can afford to pay the test fee multiple times.
Bonham, Abby and Auggie find a wooden box with an old gun and a map of the ranch. (Supernatural fans will be glad that ‘the Colt’ found a good home in Texas.)
Liam and Cordell are out mending fences (important metaphor—especially since it’s the Davidsons’ fence Micki broke), but they haven’t mended their argument. Liam doubts Dan and they argue. Cordell stands up for the Davidsons and says he shouldn’t have listened to Liam about Denise.
The next time he sees Denise, after all that nostalgia she talked about, she’s aloof and angry that Cordell suspected her family. Cordell has a flashback to the night of the barn fire. When we see him in the present, he’s got a battery-operated lantern instead of a kerosene one like what may have caused the fire.
Micki and Trey
Micki is jumpy, remembering Garrison. She quibbles with Cordell and is visibly on edge.
She defies orders with the ATV and ends up in barbed wire. Is Cordell the only one who faces consequences for not following orders? James later tells her that he was impressed—to a point.
He reminds her that she has a choice about how she recovers, and that she is rushing things. He says she needs to take a step back.
Micki comes home. Trey tries to help her with her injuries and she won’t let him. He says that she needs time and that they can be okay. She admits that there’s a lot she hasn’t dealt with, that she pushed her feelings down and pushed Trey away, and that she’s going to take a step back from work.
Thoughts and questions
After several solid episodes, this one disappoints. The writing creates too many forced errors, where characters do dumb things just to advance the plot.
Why is Cordell so incredibly gullible? After finding out that Stan murdered Emily, surely he understands that people who seem to be your friends can betray you in terrible ways. And yet he is going to extremes to make nice with the Davidsons, whose behavior doesn’t warrant the effort aside from needing to remain politely professional at work.
He’s so quick to dismiss Dan as a suspect, when Dan has been seething with rage and hatred in every interaction—except the one that should look suspicious (and does, because he’s suddenly Mr. Nice Guy.) And why do people discuss confidential information at home?
If the hard drive was real evidence and was damaged beyond repair because the surveillance guy got shot, I’m going to be really annoyed. Why aren’t there fire trucks and a forensics team coming out to the building that’s visibly on fire? Is there really only one hard drive of the photographs, or could there be copies? What did Serano hope to gain?
What’s really going on with Denise and Dan? They have been a united front, which is odd for a couple who are having difficulties. They fight with everyone else except each other, also odd. Dan isn’t a Davidson, so he shouldn’t care so much about the family or its history.
What’s up with Liam that he’s so edgy, and what’s his beef with Cordell? Liam and Micki were so judgmental of Cordell when he came back from being undercover, but neither of them are handling the aftermath of their own trauma any better.
Someone made the comment that Abby had talked to Marv the day of the barn fire, and acted like that was incredibly strange. It’s not uncommon for people within a social circle (or even a small town) to marry, divorce, and then date or marry other people’s former partners. Neighbors are going to occasionally talk to each other, even if they have a history together. I’d assume that the Walkers and the Davidsons had common friends, social clubs, maybe a church. They live nearby and probably shop at the same grocery store, mall, and pharmacy. The idea that Abby and Marv would never speak to each other again is ridiculous.
I’ve already said a lot about the SAT debacle. That’s just wrong on so many levels. It’s not a prank. The test itself costs between $50-$70. People often pay hundreds of dollars for books to prepare, or for tutoring. Prep classes can cost over a thousand dollars. Everyone who spent months preparing and studying for the test is now going to have to invest even more time maintaining their preparedness, and as pointed out before, the timing is wrong. SATs are taken junior year because fall of senior year is when college applications are turned in.
Ruining the testing is inexcusable, especially for something as trivial as one kid having a bad case of nerves. If Stella was really in such bad shape, then she should have decided to stay home. The test is held multiple times a year. She has time to take it later, and the Walkers have the money to pay the fee again. For many kids, getting those fees together is difficult, and some need scholarships to pay for the test. That plot thread made me angry.
As always, Jared and the actors were fantastic. It’s not the acting; it’s the writers.
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Screencaps by Raloria on LJ