There was a lot going on in this episode. For the most part, I thought it delivered a good murder cold case and served as a strong new chapter—with one exception. Can you guess which part didn’t thrill me?
Rather than recap the story this week since there was so much happening, I’m going to go right to analysis, and group the comments by the characters involved.
Cordell moves through this episode with more confidence than we saw last season. He takes care of the people around him by bringing tacos to the team, checking in frequently with Micki and offering his help/perspective.
He invites Captain James and his ‘lady friend’ to the Side Step, potentially welcoming her into the ‘family’.
It was nice to see that Cordell has picked up Sam Winchester’s skill with pool [Editor note: did you see Jared's tweet that he actually used Sam's pool cue?!]!
Cordell is relaxed and in his element as he and James trade stories to amuse Jillian. He fumbles a bit when James suggests a double date with him and Geri. Then Geri walks in with another guy.
Kudos to Cordell for using his words and not making assumptions. He walks over to talk to her, and finds out she met the guy at grief group. Every time Cordell tries to talk to Geri, she cuts him off, but he manages to tell her that he and Denise were part of a sting. Geri doubts that it’s all pretend between Cordell and Denise, despite his protests and says she needs someone new who isn’t part of the past—an interesting observation that could apply to several of the characters who seem to be trapped in a loop.
She refers to Cordell as married—the second time she’s done this. Then she talks about thinking Hoyt will walk through the door, and says she knows Cordell understands. (Supernatural fans had a moment there when Geri called Emily his ‘soulmate’!)
There’s a lot of misunderstanding going on. Grief group guy—Drew—thought he and Geri were on a date, but she says they aren’t. Geri and Cordell don’t have clear heads about past or present relationships. James thinks he’s doing well with Jillian, but Cordell’s innocent comment about a Mustang key ring triggers her to leave because she isn’t ready to move on. Cordell says that the timing is always off—which seems to be true about everyone. Geri’s comment about making time for what’s important seems odd considering her evasiveness, and she cuts Cordell off again but says they’ll talk later. Then she and James push Cordell to go talk to some random woman who buys him a drink.
This part of the episode was full of people sending mixed signals and reading signals wrong. I’m not sure why Geri was pushing Cordell at Drink Lady when she has her own issues about moving on—why should he be in any better shape? The past definitely overshadowed the present when it came to love and relationships in this plot segment.
Micki, Trey and Liam
Here’s another group that just isn’t communicating well. Micki clearly isn’t confiding fully in Trey. He’s trying hard, but it obviously hurts that she’s avoiding him and not telling him the full truth.
Micki and Liam work the cold case of a missing lawyer whose body was found at a local construction site. (Since when do Assistant District Attorneys get this hands-on involved in investigations? Liam nearly got shot for the third time!)
Liam argues with Cordell over the case and tells Cordell that he needs to listen more than he has been. Cordell pushes back (good to see) and warns Liam that his hatred of the Davidsons is skewing his perception.
At the construction site, Cordell chases after a suspicious woman while he’s driving Liam’s car and loses her—which Liam blames on his brother although there was no way for him to continue pursuit.
Liam seems to be taking out his qualms over other things on Cordell.
Liam and Micki have a good conversation and she’s more open with him than she has been with Cordell or Trey, talking about how hard it was for her to see Garrison and not be able to save him. Liam says his opinions are being brushed aside by Denise, but admits part of him was relieved not to have to step into the DA job and clean up Stan’s mess.
He doesn’t seem to have a clear plan for his future. There’s a big theme of ‘not listening’ going on here and throughout the episode.
There’s also a lot of ambivalence for Liam like there was for Geri. Both of them are angry about not getting what they wanted, but they’re not entirely sure what they want. They talk about ‘moving on’ but don’t have a plan or a destination. In this episode, many of the characters aren’t telling the whole truth to themselves or to others. Interestingly, Cordell seems to be the most grounded and sure of who he is and what he wants.
Trey had made lunch for Micki, but she didn’t come home due to the cold case busting open.
He takes the food to the Walker ranch. Bonham and Abby invite him to come fishing with them, and Bonham spills the beans about Garrison.
Micki and Liam make a good team when they meet with Remy, the younger brother of the dead lawyer. Once again, we have brothers who disagreed over a business deal and didn’t work it out. (Supernatural often held up a mirror to what was happening between Sam and Dean by having them work a case involving brothers that had a similar disconnect.)
Micki and Liam are working well together. They question the owner of the construction site who spins a story full of holes.
It turns out that the younger brother was still putting together a deal with the site owner despite the older brother quitting the case.
[Editor again: The name of the construction company is a Supernatural shout out!]
Then they spot the woman who ran from the site in the waiting room and catch her when she bolts again.
The woman is Willa, daughter of Mack, the dead lawyer. She is upset over Mack’s body being found and says she and Remy ‘couldn’t put it together’ to figure out who killed Mack. Micki thinks Willa isn’t telling them everything (which is another theme running through the episode).
It turns out that they’re right. They find Willa holding a gun on her uncle because she’s figured out Remy killed Mack.
Remy confesses that he and Mack argued over representing the construction company owner, then Remy killed Mack and hid the body. Cordell talks Willa out of revenge, and Micki makes a connection with her over making bad choices and tells her to save herself. (Hmm…walking away, saving yourself, seems to be another theme—especially with Lindsey Morgan’s real-life decision to leave the show.)
Cordell uses his words again when he confronts Liam and says that they can’t keep fighting. They agree that they make a good team, and hug it out. (Supernatural fans know brothers are stronger together!)
Cordell is trying to be a good friend and partner to Micki, praising her work and apologizing for pushing her to go back into the field too fast. He says he realizes that they each came back differently from their undercover experiences and losses, and talks about how the job changes a person.
Micki says it’s good to start talking about things, and she turns down going to the Side Step with Cordell to go home to Trey. Trey has left her a note on the church painting, “Who is Garrison?”
Once again people are talking past each other, over each other, and at cross purposes—or not saying what they mean or what needs to be said. Cordell makes some headway with Liam, and he’s trying so hard with Micki, but communication has to flow both ways.
Bonham, Abby, Stella and Auggie
Bonham is ready to move to the next stage in life after his cancer scare. (Was that always a red herring or did the writers change their minds?) He’s been poking around on house sale sites, and found a nice place close to a good fishing spot.
Abby isn’t sure about ‘giving up’ the ranch, but Bonham doesn’t think Cordell or Liam want it, and they decide to see what Stella and Auggie’s interests are (although it’s going to be a long time before they could take over, both from age and income).
Does anyone know what the Walker ranch really does to produce income? They have horses, but there’s been no mention of breeding, selling, or competing in rodeo or racing. The overhead alone would be extremely expensive. No one seems to actually spend time working on the ranch except for occasional mucking-out-the-barn scenes. There don’t appear to be any hired hands. How is this ranch a self-sustaining business?
If you hadn’t guessed, I liked the episode except for the teen drama section. Where should I start? For the most part this season, Auggie and Stella seemed to have learned from their mistakes that endangered their entire family. Apparently not.
Both Auggie and Stella have made some monumental mistakes, nearly getting their dad and others killed. You’d think they’d be contrite, trying to earn back trust—although the adults never imposed consequences that were equivalent to the severity of the behavior. No, they immediately decide to blow off the chores and invite friends over because they both want to score points with their crushes.
Normal kids might steal a case of beer out of the garage fridge or swipe a bottle of Jack from the liquor cabinet, and invite their crushes and best friends. No, Stella and Auggie throw a kegger for a large group that includes cheese platters and cooking on the grill. Do real high schoolers do this? How did these underage kids get the keg? The adults aren’t even supposed to be gone overnight—how do they think they won’t get caught?
Has no one explained that as the children of a Texas Ranger and the niece/nephew of the Assistant District Attorney, their bad behavior reflects on the careers of Cordell and Liam? Do they think they’re above the law because they don’t think they’ll get busted because of Cordell and Liam’s positions? It doesn’t seem like they’ve been raised very strictly, so they don’t have anything to rebel against.
My bet is this is the CW playing out wish-fulfillment for their teen audience and writers stuck recalling the nostalgic golden days of their youth. It’s like the shows where a character lives in a New York penthouse overlooking Central Park but works as a barista (without a trust fund).
Is this really the writers’ idea of how teenagers act? Kids from a family like the Walkers are far more likely to have been pushed to be overachievers, grooming college resumes since pre-school (much like Supernatural’s Advanced Placement student Kevin Tran).
Then Stella’s friends tell an urban legend about the curse of the burned barn—the one involved in the fire thirty years ago.
They decide to go see it for themselves. Auggie chooses to climb the wall of a barn that is old and structurally compromised by fire.
He falls through the floor (surprise?) and spots a lantern in the debris that has the Walker mark on it.
Seriously? After the insurance adjusters, police, and lawyers got done with the barn fire incident, anything that remotely resembled evidence would have been removed three decades ago. There wouldn’t be a whole lantern in plain sight with an incriminating ownership mark. And what does it prove, other than suggesting that the lantern caused the fire? (Surely the cause would have been determined as part of the insurance and police investigations long ago.)
Lanterns can be borrowed, stolen, and carried from one place to another. Finding it there doesn’t incriminate anyone, because it’s not illegal to own a lantern. (I’ve asked before why the barn wasn’t electrified given the time period and the wealth of its owners.)
When Bonham and Abby return to find the party, Bonham’s non-reaction is puzzling given how he reamed Cordell for knocking over an old hitching post. Abby assigns them more chores, but that isn’t even a slap on the wrist. Walker A+ parenting, on display. (That’s sarcasm and a Supernatural allusion.)
I’m not a fan of the teen drama storylines to begin with. Playing into unrealistic stereotypes makes it worse. Auggie and Stella don’t have to be perfect or squeaky clean but they shouldn’t be stupid and unable to learn from their mistakes. For me, this detracted from an otherwise strong episode.
As always, Jared and the cast did a fine job of acting—I’m giving a strong side-eye to the writers.
What did you think? Please share your thoughts on the episode below!
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Screencaps by Raloria on LJ