“People aren’t always what they seem,” Abigail stated in the "Pilot". This episode of Walker: Independence proved that in many unexpected ways. At times fun and intense, the story took many unexpected turns that left the audience gasping and wanting more. One turn that was unexpected was what happened on the journey with …
Abby and Hoyt
...and it’s more than the fun and flirtation at the pond, though, that was a needed levity in a heavy episode. Abigail needed to add some lightness and not just focus solely on bringing Tom Davidson to justice, or she would become bitter and Tom would take even more from her. Kat and Matt used their chemistry to great effect in the after scene. But the biggest unexpected turn was finding out that Teresa Davidson, Tom’s aunt, had lobbied to the judge to give Tom Liam’s job as sheriff before Liam was killed. After discovering this, they rushed to inform …
Kate has always been full of surprises, but this episode saw Kate’s fortunes and attitude turn as never before. The episode starts with the revelation that Kate knew that Abby was Liam Collins’s wife. Kate wondered if Abby had murdered her husband, and that was why she was hiding her identity. Oddly, it was the way Abby held the gun on Kate that convinced them that Abby wasn’t a murderer. The audience also gets to see how great a show person that Kate is, with the musical number that sticks in many audience members heads. However, it is how much Hagan loves Kate that was a real shocker. He loves them enough to sell his life’s work to protect them. And the heartbreaking scene, where Kate thinks Hagan sold for money instead. Mark Sheppard and Katie Findlay shattered hearts with their perfect performances. Tears still flow on rewatches. Kate ends up, due to fear of what comes next, joining Abby, Calian, and Hoyt in their quest to take down …
For most of the series so far, Tom has been shown as manipulative and conniving. But this episode afforded a different view, as well - a dutiful nephew to an haughty, evil aunt. One who reminds him that he owes his sanity and life to her. Watching him be the face while she handles the evil machinations, like poisoning Hagan and threatening Kate when Hagan still wouldn’t sign, makes the audience wonder what else he’s been ordered to do. But, he is right, he can be a charming devil. Greg Hovanessian does an amazing job being a villain one feels sympathetic toward. His ability to manipulate is impressive, especially with what he did for …
He is the town sweetheart. The one who gave Abby her first meal, who helped Lucia when she was sad, who helped the Sullivan sisters, and who offered to make costumes for free for Kate on short notice. Yet in this episode, with the arrival of the nefarious Amos Acorn, who also gave Hagan poisoned tonics, we learned about a darkness in Kai’s past. In trying to save someone from the brothel, he killed two Tongs, members of Chinese criminal organizations, and they are looking for him. It was clear that there was something in his past haunting him, but it being that he killed people was a surprise to many. And that he almost killed again before Tom showed up, was an interesting turn. Though Tom’s motives aren’t entirely clear. Was he kicking a too talkative accomplice out of town and at the same time trying to win Kai’s allegiance? Or something else? All that is known is that Kai seemed shaken. Lawrence Kao portrays the feelings of surprise and fear perfectly. But one also wonders will he think he owes Tom? Because another person, in better circumstances, that felt like they owed someone was …
Calian (and Lucia)
Mostly removed from the main action, these two bonded over similar circumstances when Calian agrees to take Lucia back to the Reyes’s ranch to make up for being late to the meeting with Francis Reyes and the tribe’s elders. Both Calian and Lucia feel constrained by their elders, while simultaneously wanting to make their elders proud. It’s a common feeling, and Justin and Gabriela play the emotions beautifully. But they also proved the perfidy of the Davidsons. They aren’t just attacking the Reyes family, they are attacking all the neighbors too. Just how much do the Davidsons plan to take? What all have they taken before?
So many questions are raised in this episode, making one crave more.
This episode was one of the best so far, with the roller coaster of emotions it caused. Kate singing was fantastic, and the fact their world was changing while they did was a masterstroke. The confrontation with Tom was fraught with tension, while the conversation with Hagan was tear inducing.
Speaking of Hagan, Mark Sheppard was amazing as the showman and hotel owner. He embodied the gruff but lovable soul. The way he squared off, even bed ridden, against the likes of Teresa Davidson, only caving when Kate was endangered. The barely held tears as Kate tells him off, thinking he chose money over her, was masterful, leaving the audience weeping alongside him. Hopefully, this isn’t the last time Hagan will grace the town of Independence with his presence.
Because, much like its predecessor, Walker, Walker: Independence gets better with every episode. The idea that it keeps doing that is intriguing and thrilling.
4.95 out of 5.
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Photos Courtesy of The CW.
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