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In the Jan. 16thWalker: Independence episode, “All In” explored the idea of “how to ride out the storm” as a Texas dust storm descends on the town of Independence. But who does one choose as their companion to ride out the storm? Well, in keeping with the title, the best option is a person who is “All In.” This turns very interesting in the case of …

Abby and Tom

1.10 Screenshot 1576 Abby Tom

Left behind by her friends last episode for changing her view on who killed her husband, Abby is left to shelter with Tom, alone. That is until Tom rescues a lonely widow looking to visit the place she met her late husband. The woman brings an intense romanticism to the near empty Hagan’s that rubs off on both Abby and Tom. Kat and Greg play the intensifying attraction perfectly. Both feeling alone, they fall into each other’s arms, going all in,  much to the chagrin of …

Kate and Hagan

1.10 Screenshot 1586 Kate Hagan

It was wonderful to see these two together again. Katie and Mark are a magnificent duo on screen.  The quickness with which Kate figures out what really happened with Hagan is amazing, resolving a pain that had began all the way back in episode 4. That Nathaniel doesn’t bat an eye at Kate’s declaration of “there was a girl” is heartwarming and how it should be. Their goodbye at the end hurt, yet held hope for the future unlike their previous parting. It is also fun seeing them play out their scheme with … 

Hoyt and Lucia

1.10 Screenshot 1585 Hoyt Lucia

After Hoyt left the ranch, Lucia found debts her fathered owed. When she braves a dust storm to make good on those debts, she is met with contempt and avarice. Then Hoyt and Kate come up with a plan - use the saloon owner’s pride against him. With a multi-part campaign that includes getting to see a half naked Hoyt, not only are Lucia’s father’s debts paid, but the Side Step becomes hers, as well. During a fiery love scene where Gabriela and Matt show off some amazing skill and chemistry, the scheme is revealed. Lucia then gives the Side Step to Hoyt to manage, something that  Walker fans noted perhaps happily, though it does raise more questions. While Kate, Hagan, Lucia and Hoyt ride out the storm together at at the Side Step getting their own brand of justice, a different kind of storm is ridden out by …

Calian and Augustus

1.10 Screenshot 1571 Calian Augustus

Riding the emotional storm of finding his sister after searching for her for half his life, Calian’s emotions are intense - and Augustus supports him every step of the way. When Calian finally sees her living a wonderful life with her daughter, he realizes she doesn’t need him. But Augustus lets Calian know he needs to talk with her, anyway. Though the meeting is not without pain and regret, it frees the part of Calian’s heart that held him back from wanting more, from wanting a family of his own. Throughout that painful discovery, Augustus never leaves Calian’s side. When Calian goes back to find his tribe with a new chief ready for war, Augustus is there, ready to ride out yet another storm with Calian.

“All In” is a wonderful and heartbreaking episode. It covers triumph and loss, and also desperation. As always, it is a beautiful roller coaster, leaving the audience wanting more.

But it isn’t perfect. One can’t help but feel it opted for the unrealistic option of Hagan’s hotel being emptied as the town hunkered down, while other places were packed. It was an all too convenient set up, one of the very few flaws this show has.

4.85 out of 5 stars

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Review illustrated by Nightsky. Images courtesy of The CW.