"Something’s Missing" provided a solid finale for Walker's season 2 and lots of drama and questions for the start of season 3. It tied up some loose ends, created others, and promises that the next season will start off with a bang.
Once again, I’m going to skip the recap and talk about what I liked and what bothered me. I thought this was a strong episode, so there are more positives than questions.
The Good Stuff
Stella is graduating, the family is celebrating despite the Davidson problem, and we get an update that Miles is at a new safe house (hopefully one without so many windows) plus a challenge to prove the saddle problem—nice recap/starting point that brings us up to speed quickly.
James and Cassie did a good job of letting us know that there’s a paramilitary group somehow connected to Fenton and Miles and the shootout at the trailer, so we know there are new bad guys out there. Excited that Trey might become a Ranger—that would be cool!
Geri and Cordell are at least talking—and united on trying to figure out what Gale knew about the missing baby and when she knew it. Geri’s willingness to be a mole shows her loyalty to the Walker family, but not necessarily to Cordell as a romantic partner.
They didn’t belabor the graduation rehearsal, giving us just enough for closure and to see that Stella, Colton and Todd have worked out how to coexist. Anyone want to take bets that Stella doesn’t actually go to the far-away college next season?
Cassie shows her street smarts when she goes out on a date and starts getting weird vibes from the guy she met on a dating app—he’s too interested in fishing for details about her work, and she sees he’s got a gun. When he realizes she’s suspicious, he goes out the back door. Good for her being clever and alert! She also does the right thing by telling Captain James that it was a recon, someone sizing her up for nefarious purposes, and says that her gut tells her something big is coming—nice foreshadowing for next season!
Of course, the big deal is Geri getting Gale to talk about the night Marv died. She manipulates Gale by staging a public fight with Cordell, and then asking questions about Marv, eventually asking Gale to go out to the barn with her.
Geri knows how to press all the right buttons and soon Gale is spilling her guts about arguing with Marv, finding out her baby hadn’t died, and seeing how callous Marv was about his deception. So she hit him with the lantern (the one Cordell left behind—she also knew he and Denise had left the barn and therefore didn’t/couldn’t start the fire), and when that caught the barn on fire, she left Marv to die, then blamed Cordell. (Once again, as in Supernatural, a parent burning to death sets in motion decades of vengeance. In my opinion, Gale is close enough to a demon to make that comparison stick.)
Of course, during her confession history repeats itself, Gale is knocked out, and the barn catches on fire. (Who thought it was a good idea to put a lit lantern in the barn this time?) Cordell drives up, presumably alerted by Geri, and dashes into the flames to save Gale. (Cordell gets to be a hero, redeem his memories of the past and get absolution, while reprising a very Dean Winchester role of getting someone out of a burning building.)
Denise admits to cutting the saddle, which invalidates the race and returns the ranch to the Walkers. (The Recorder of Deeds is going to hate all the extra work.)
Stella and Colton watch from afar. Their comments set the tone for season 3, and also made me think of the Winchester brothers and their entanglement with their parents’ choices.
Stella: “We aren’t defined by them.”
Colton: “Except in the ways we totally are.”
I’ll have more to say about the Davidson response and Geri in the next section, but at least we got answers.
Liam has decided not to practice law, and has made up his mind that he belongs on the ranch. He and Bonham share a good moment, talking about how family made him who he is. (The younger brother lawyer decides to come back and be part of the family business. Wow—more shades of Supernatural!)
I liked seeing Cordell and Stella playing the board game together—the same game they were playing the night Emily died and haven’t played since—and the comment that it was time to ‘start things over or carry on where we left off’ resonated with me both in the Walker universe and because of its echoes of Supernatural. It was great to see Cordell being a supportive dad.
On the whole—I liked a lot, but a few key things did make me question. Jared and the cast did a great job, as always, and the writing was much stronger. Hopefully this means the show has really found its stride for its third season!
The Other Stuff
Once again, the Davidsons are not written consistently. Gale goes from nurturing to full-on rabid in the blink of an eye, and while getting the confession was cathartic, it seemed a little too easy for someone who had successfully kept such awful secrets for over thirty years.
Gale’s repentance scene with Abeline also seemed a little too slick, and hugely insufficient for all the damage she has caused. She might have admitted guilt during her meltdown, but I don’t think she’s actually sorry for everyone she’s hurt, and I didn’t buy that she was primarily motivated by jealousy of Abeline. This was too big of a plot point to wrap up so quickly, and if they were trying to make viewers feel sympathy for Gale, it didn’t work for me. (I wouldn’t have minded seeing Gale led off in restraints, screaming threats, struggling to get away from the guards. That seems far more in-character.)
Denise admits to cutting the saddle. She’s suddenly very low-key as well, instead of her usual vindictiveness. The change of tone didn’t make me sympathetic—she’s just sorry she got caught. Since this should count as real estate fraud, theft, violation of contract and all kinds of law breaking, will there be penalties? How can she remain Attorney General? The Walkers get their ranch back (and they moved in really fast). Who gets the Davidson house if Denise is convicted of fraud and divorces Dan? And how did Dan suddenly change into a sympathetic nice guy?
Geri breaks up with Cordell permanently. While she used her ability as a manipulator for a good purpose in getting Gale to confess, seeing just how skilled Geri was in pulling strings made me uncomfortable. I’m not sorry to see her go, because he deserves better, someone who can appreciate a commitment.
Can we please stop having people break off relationships with family and love interests to ‘find themselves’? It’s trite and overused—four times so far in this show with three different women (Micki, Stella, Geri) and one man (Liam). Most people go to therapy, take walks in the woods, learn to paint, or do whatever they need to do to explore their inner truth without blowing up every relationship in their personal and professional lives.
There are plenty of good reasons for Geri to leave—chief of which is that if she can walk away, then she doesn’t really love Cordell. Or because she’s frightened of commitment, which isn’t going to work with a partner who is a ‘serial monogamist’. Maybe there’s too much water under the bridge with the Walker/Davidson feud to feel she can ever make that right. All of those are so much more central to why the relationship with Cordell isn’t going to work than needing to ‘find herself’.
Cordell’s abduction seemed rushed and implausible. Like Sam Winchester, Cordell gets hit on the head a lot and seems too easily overpowered for a man of his size, training, and strength. How did he get jumped and put in a van without alerting Trey and Liam who weren’t that far behind him? We’re left to guess that these are the scary paramilitary types involved somehow with Fenton, but it would have been nice to get a bit more about them before they became the Big Bad for next season.
I didn’t have nearly as many issues with this episode as I have with some, which is a good sign. I hope this means they have found a solid stable of writers who can take us into the next season with strong plots, consistent characterization, and fewer tangents. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.
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