In a way, boundaries help define. Walker's 2.11 episode "Boundaries" did a wonderful job showing more about the characters and what defines them. Not only by how they set boundaries, but also how they set, push, reinforce and negotiate those boundaries. One who was defined even more in this episode was …
Walker’s respect for others was even more well defined this episode. He was respectful enough to not expect anything of his revelation to Geri the night before, or even their (extremely hot) kisses, or even her inviting him inside - and it’s not because he didn’t want it. Wonderful acting by Jared and camera work illustrate effectively that he views her as a gorgeous goddess. It’s because he wanted it to be something she wanted, that she thought was good. Even him removing his wedding ring shows both his continued respect for Emily, and for Geri. In the border dispute, he proves himself to be the level headed one, wanting to remain civil and not revert to “Wild West” remedies. In trying to resolve things, he got a well timed assist from …
She loves the Walkers, every one of them, and though she loves Cordell the most, she proved again she supports them all. From speaking up at the “summit” to not wanting to force a role on the kids, her actions prove she respects them. She’s also scared. Though Cordell wants to jump in with both feet, she’s worried that things could go wrong. But she longs and hopes for more. Both Odette and Jared adorably portray the bliss and awkwardness of new relationships. The setting of boundaries, of yearning to be together, the lingering looks, the stumbling of words, and the constant need to touch, kiss. When Trey offers teasing encouragement after catching them almost kissing, she voices her fears, uncertainties… her hopes. It was lovely to see Cordri together, and equally lovely to see them supported by everyone. Especially…
Stella and August
Sibling boundaries were shattered during these last two episodes. August telling Colton that Todd was just a fling after Trevor, Stella letting Grandpa Walker know about the lantern. Violet and Kale portray teenagers so realistically, it’s nice. Their relationship erupts into an argument, where they call each other out and reinforce their boundaries. Through this, August reveals he isn’t over losing his friendship with Trevor and blames Stella. He doesn’t want a repeat with Colton. Stella shows how she’s worried that she’s not ready, but she is coming to love Todd for who he is. She’s just uncertain, kind of like her dad is. In the interest of fairness, it’s actually good she broke the boundary about the lantern. It gave a heads up to …
Bonham and Abeline
It’s wonderful when the relationship and lives of these two are explored. The tension arising from secrets of the past is delicious to watch. The chemistry between Mitch and Molly is electric. Bonham is hotheaded when it comes to the family. Protecting them with a ferocity that borders on perilous. Abeline is more tentative, especially when telling the secrets of others. She's more cautious, less wild. Watching these two personalities clash is intense. What’s interesting is one of the reasons these secrets are coming out now is because of …
He has always been tenacious, so it’s no wonder he won’t let go of the disputed land. He doggedly supported his family, went after Dan, and again did what he had to do to protect his family. What may be new is his inability to realize he’s being manipulated. The only reason he looked into the land is because of his deal with the devil, Stan. Once Stan used Liam’s dislike of the Davidsons to investigate the past and the land, Liam forgot where his initial interest in the land maps came from. It’s worse than what Bonham referred to as “idle hands.” It’s a deliberate attempt by Stan to hurt. Especially since without all of Liam’s poking, the accessor’s office would have never alerted …
It’s the character of the Davidsons that make them the villains. Instead of taking Geri’s advice to find peace in the past, Gale decided to use it to intensify her anger, pain, and need for revenge. So she pushes the boundaries of her very family, pushing them over the edge. Her doing this causes Colton to reveal part of his character. Earlier in the season, it seemed like Colton, in being adopted, may be the one good Davidson. His attitude against Todd last episode could simply be regular teenage angst. However, in being yet another Davidson that didn’t take Geri’s advice to tell Stella how he feels, he lashes out at Stella. Worse, when Stella reinforces her boundaries, he gets angry that she hasn’t read his mind. Later, after Gale intentionally lets him overhear her argument with Denise, he offers to betray August’s trust in an effort to hurt both him and Stella.
Denise, who in this very episode Walker said he trusted, also revealed deeper flaws in her character. She admits to not trusting the Walkers. She offers Ranger Perez a quid pro quo - in order for Denise to support Cassie’s search for her partner, she demands the ranger’s silence regarding Dan and what Dan revealed. She also showed a willingness to kick a family off their land and out of their home. She knows that Liam was right about Dan, but acts like he wasn’t. And she’s using the footage recovered from the illegal surveillance op and the power of her position to reopen the wrongful death case in order to hurt Walker even more. In fact, curiously, the only Davidson that looked better this episode was Dan. He may not have proven himself a better person, but at least he’s a funny drunk.
The intensity of this was breathtaking. The sweetness of Cordri, as named by Trey, was offset by intensification of the Walker vs Davidson feud. It almost seemed like a tale of two episodes. The soft romance of new love, versus the hard pain of old hate.
The “Wild West” resolution was an homage to the original Walker, Texas Ranger, so it was funny to see this Walker scoff at it, yet be the one to have to go through with it.
Brief mention of the continuity issue of last week not only not being resolved, but actually doubled down on. So that’s a mark against this episode. There is also the continuing problem of “wonky timeline.” Last season, Cordell mentioned a memory of him and Geri in 7th grade. This episode, they talked about the cloned sheep “Dolly” being big in the news when Geri moved to town, which was 1996. Though it’s meant to show Geri moved in after the Davidson ordeal, it goes against prior canon. Because them being in 7th grade in late 1996 doesn’t work with the established story either.
There are numerous cliffhangers set within this episode, increasing anticipation for the next episodes. Who will win the race? What will happen with the wrongful death suit? Who is the lost Davidson? Why did Bonham go to bury the lantern? What will Geri do with the knowledge?
4.9 stars out of 5
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