Walker's second episode of its third season’s made a strong follow-up to the explosive season opener. Overall, I liked it and thought it kept up the tension and pacing with some nice Supernatural call-backs.
Once again, I’m going to skip the recap and share what I liked, with the few questionable details that made me pause. Here we go!
I loved the brother bond between Cordell and Liam, which of course made me think of Sam and Dean Winchester. We got plenty of bro hugs, and Liam demands that Cordell not ‘pull a Lone Ranger move’—i.e. sacrifice himself—to protect him. Hmm….where have we seen an older brother willing to do that?
I did wonder why Liam hadn’t considered the possibility that he might also be kidnapped and either take precautions or have a bodyguard. Given the history of bad guys going after the whole Walker family, it surprised me that they weren’t all under protective custody at the ranch.
Ben’s the one who notices Liam is missing, and Cassie believes him and reports it to Captain James. I only wish James would take Cassie’s hunches seriously (the peanuts did end up being a link to Sean). Twice now we’ve had the ‘woman sees a clue, has an insight and the man ignores it’ trope, which is annoying.
Cassie’s intuition about the license plate from the chop shop Miles busted turned out to be right, yielding a clue about the reporter who contacted Cordell in the previous episode. If James had acted more urgently on her information, she wouldn’t have had to break the rules to get to Miles. I realize that having her go against orders was more dramatic, but I’d like to see someone believe the women!
The flashbacks to Cordell in the Marines started to fill in some interesting character background, and I loved seeing the actor who played ‘young Sam’ in Supernatural reprise his role as ‘young Cordell’ here. Colin Ford still has a close enough resemblance to Jared to make it work. The flashbacks were a reminder that Cordell had military training to draw from, and his commanding officer’s advice helped him in his fight against the anarchists.
Stella shows up at the Ranger office and wants to help. It was a bit of a stretch when James let her answer the phone—don’t they have any office personnel who aren’t Rangers? When Stella gets a tip, there’s no one to tell, so she decides to deal with it herself. Why didn’t she confide in Abeline and Bonham, not only to raise the reward money, but also to have backup? I’d have loved to have seen Bonham and Abeline step out from behind parking garage pillars with shotguns to run off the scammers. Though we did get that sibling bond when Stella gave up the Mustang to save Auggie.
Cassie’s intel from Miles leads them to the reporter’s house, where they find Julia’s notes and her whiteboard with Sean’s photo and the brochure from the abandoned hospital where Cordell and Liam are being held. Cassie shouldn’t have to fight so hard to be listened to!
The best part of the episode were the scenes between Cordell and Liam. Cordell was clearly the protective older brother, and while Liam had a lot of moxie, he also looked lost and in over his head. “All we have right now is our gut,” Cordell tells him, reminiscent of so many Winchester brother moments when they promised to figure out whatever came their way together and get through it together.
Sean’s team turn out to be anarchists bent on causing chaos to bring down the system as opposed to terrorists advocating for a particular political cause. Cordell refuses their steak dinner, ignores the emotional blackmail blaming Emily’s death on a corrupt system, and rejects their attempts to recruit him, but he realizes that they will use Liam against him.
When Cordell comes back to the cell, it’s clear that Liam has been tased, and from his difficulty breathing, probably waterboarded as well. Cordell tells the guard that Liam has internal bleeding and that ‘if he dies, you might as well tell your boss to kill me, too.’ What a Winchester thing to say! How often in Supernatural did we hear ‘not without my brother’?
I loved that Cordell and Liam took matters into their own hands to fight the guards, escape, and save Julia. They’re almost free when Cordell sees the bioweapons, and remembers his commanding officer telling him to follow his heart if it came to a choice between following orders and doing the right thing. He sends Liam and Julia out and gets jumped by Sean, where we see him use the advice his C.O. gave him in that long-ago wrestling match.
Cordell takes the bioweapons to the radiology department for safekeeping—which also puts him behind a lead-lined door when Sean pulls the pin on a grenade. Outside, Liam, Cassie and James fear the worst after the explosion, only to see Cordell emerge from the smoke, battered and bloody but alive. Cordell and Liam share a Winchester-worthy bro hug, and walk away leaning on each other—half dead but still standing—as Sam and Dean did many times.
What did you think? How is Season 3 shaping up for you—and what do you think will happen next?