Lots of twists and turns in this episode—that’s for sure!
Once again I’m going to skip the recap and just dive into the stuff I really liked, and the parts that had me scratching my head.
The Good Stuff
A shirtless Cordell is a mighty fine way to start an episode, especially when he stands in front of a mirror so we can see front and back. Thank you! This was definitely ‘one good thing’!
The ‘one good thing’ tradition is brought up a couple of times, and I like the idea of finding something positive even in the darkest moments to get you through.
Cordell does his best to explain the situation to the ranch hands, who will presumably be out of a job with the ranch going to the Davidsons. He’s trying hard to do the right thing by them, and acknowledges that the feud has harmed people who weren’t directly involved.
Liam gets to show us how it’s done in court. He stands up to Denise and objects to her highly unprofessional behavior, then calls her out on conflict of interest, leading to the judge removing her from the case. Later when he’s out of jail, Bonham finally thanks Liam and acknowledges his help.
Abeline stands by her man, and Bonham stands his ground. Stella had a point blaming Auggie’s ill-fated barn exploration for the current troubles, but I have a feeling this set of secrets and lies would have caused problems eventually no matter what.
Captain James understands that Denise is throwing her clout around and trying to line up allies. Cassie won my respect for turning down two opportunities to save her career and bail, saying that she’d go down with the ship. (I like her—New Jersey sensibilities meet the heart of Texas.)
As always, Jared and the cast turned in a fine performance, doing the best they could with the script.
If you loved the episode, stop here. Other parts of the show made me grumpy and either rewrote history or just plain didn’t make sense, which I’ll get into next.
The Other Stuff
Geri, you’re dead to me. I do not see a redemption arc for this character at this point, even after she (inevitably) gets screwed over by the Davidsons.
In the first season, I feared she was more complicit with North Side Nation than just her ill-advised loan. I also was afraid she knew more about Emily’s death than she was telling, perhaps even being involved in causing it. When those two things didn’t materialize, and she was a stalwart member of Team Walker, I gave her a second chance. Her indecision over starting a relationship with Cordell and sleeping with him made me angry on his behalf, because that’s not a good omen for a happy ending, but then she seemed to make up her mind and I was willing to accept a brief bout of cold feet.
But suddenly deciding that she was ‘stupid’ for helping the Walkers all these years? Cozying up to the Davidsons after seeing first-hand the kind of deceit and betrayal they’re capable of? Turning her back on the Walkers after the decades of friendship, Cordell keeping her name on the Side Step lease, their whole shared history, and starting a serious relationship with Cordell? Nope—there’s no excuse for that.
To quote a famous phrase from Supernatural, ‘family don’t end with blood’. (Meaning that people don’t have to be blood relations to be your family of the heart.) Well, family doesn’t begin with blood, either. And if Geri’s excuse is that she needs to get to know her biological family, that doesn’t cut it. A whole lot of people have severed ties with their blood family because those people were toxic, and the Davidsons are the dictionary definition of toxicity. Supernatural also taught us that ‘family always has your back’. The people rallying around the Walkers right now are true family—not the ones jumping ship.
Since this isn’t Supernatural, Geri can’t even claim to be hexed, possessed, or impersonated by a shapeshifter. If anything proved that she is indeed a Davidson, it’s casually discarding people when they’re no longer useful and being out solely for herself. She’s ‘done and dusted’ in my book.
Denise was forced to recuse herself from her father’s murder case. Will there be consequences for her rushing an accusation of murder on evidence so flimsy it wouldn’t stand up in a game of Clue? If Cassie could turn up the real culprit with a few day’s legwork, it sure doesn’t look good for Denise being good at her job as a lawyer, let alone exposing extreme bias. Does she get to continue as DA? Will Dan’s shady past be exposed to further discredit her? (And frankly, I’m betting Gale has some more skeletons in her closet. Why did Dan have that rifle and deer mask in his truck?)
When did Marv’s death shift from being caused by the barn fire to being blunt trauma? In the news clip (which shouldn’t have been online since it happened before the internet or YouTube), Gale accuses a thirteen year-old of starting a barn fire and calls it murder. She didn’t accuse him of bludgeoning a grown man with a lantern. When did an autopsy reveal a different cause of death? If Marv’s body showed a head wound, the police and the insurance company should have gone over the barn in detail looking for the weapon—they wouldn’t have left the lantern out in the open for 27 years.
Marv told Abeline that he had to give up the baby because she had special needs and they didn’t have money to take care of her. That would sort of make sense (in a soap opera way) if he had given the baby to someone wealthy—maybe even the obstetrician who delivered her, who could then falsify the death certificate. But no—Marv apparently gave baby Geri to one of his own ranch hands, someone on his payroll. Someone to whom he was going to then pay child support. How did this save him any money? How does this make any sense at all—from achieving the goals of caring for the child, sparing Marv the expense, or avoiding future blackmail?
Then Frank and Nate wanted more money, and decided to rob Marv, who just happens to keep a stash of cash in his barn. (Because that’s believable—not.) Marv discovered them, and Frank killed him. Then Frank either set the barn on fire or it was an unintended consequence of swinging a flaming lantern at someone’s head. At this point, Cordell and Denise, who had been in the barn, must be long gone or they would have seen/heard the commotion. So how did Gale conclude it was Cordell’s fault? And did no one at the time notice Bonham trying to run into a burning barn to save Marv?
The Walker ranch hands sure didn’t have any loyalty or character. After that outburst, I don’t think Cordell and his family owe them anything. (Yes, the race was a mistake, but you don’t kick someone when he’s down.)
After her speech about not keeping secrets, Abeline goes out of her way to save the engagement ring Marv gave to her (the one she had given to Hoyt to give to Geri way back when). I think at this point, that ring is cursed and needs to be thrown into a volcano by a Hobbit.
And one final thing that made me scratch my head. Why did the Walkers leave behind that big mirror and all their curtains?
I’ve decided that I’m going to need to watch Walker the way I watch Scooby-Doo. I won’t wonder why Freddy’s traps never work, I’ll expect the villains to be shady real estate developers in masks, and I won’t ask why the dog talks. I’ll just expect it to be a shark-jumping hour of dramatic nonsense, and stop trying to take it seriously.