Kevin Golden is a bad, bad man in Walker “False Flag Part 1,” 3.14. During the action packed episode, the depth of his villainy was exposed through his interactions with the extended Walker family, in both large and small ways. With his primary target being…
At the beginning of the episode, Walker is in a bad place, both physically and mentally: Cordell is handcuffed to a sink in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Having recently discovered that the man he modeled his life after isn’t who he thought he was, Cordell goes into a guilt spiral, second guessing all he’s done. Luckily, in a brilliantly intentional callback to the season premiere, Emily once again appears to help a chained Cordell. In a scene reminiscent of the show MacGyver, Cordell uses the gunpowder from bullets to safely free himself, mere moments before Cassie comes charging in. Their reunion is cute and funny, and once again, after being freed from his chains, Cordell’s only thought is to see his kids - only for everything to go downhill for the rest of the episode. He comes home, and instead of the people running to hug him like they did the last time he was freed, they haven’t even realized he was gone. Cordell was too wrapped up in investigating Grey Flag with Julia while his family focused on the Horse Rescue. His absence has become their norm, and that has let Kevin come in and take his place.
This reveal is incredibly well done, down to Kevin drinking out of Cordell’s coffee cup and wearing Mawline’s apron. Jared plays Walker’s myriad emotions expertly: the fear, worry, anger, and trying to hide all of that. Cordell fails badly, but Cassie appears so that they can all pretend that is the cause of the awkwardness. Cordell asks Kevin to join them outside, where Walker tries to figure out what is going on with Kevin, and gets a veiled threat for his trouble. Cordell is as honest as he can be as he tries to keep his family safe. But Kevin has thrown another hurdle in his way, Julia. She confronts him with all the evidence that Kevin has stacked up against Cordell as proof of him working for Grey Flag. She finally seems to believe him that he isn’t a traitor and that Kevin has been lying to her all along as they get the presumed all clear, only for Cordell to figure out Kevin’s insidious plan too late. Everything blows up in his face, literally, killing the people in the safe house and Julia. This is horribly heard over the phone by …
Still reeling from the discovery that she was dating the leader of Grey Flag and all that might mean in regards to Kevin’s level of awful, Cassie wants to go in guns blazing to the Grey Flag compound. She’s probably right, especially considering what happens at the end of the episode. In fact, being right is something that’s a bit of a sore point for her, currently. She’s been right so often, and people tell her she’s wrong. Her second guessing herself is what led to her relationship with Kevin, and the betrayal she feels, but hasn’t verbalized more that to ask Cordell not to call him “her Kevin.” That was actually a hilarious line that Ashley nails. Cassie is even right later, as David James, the writer of the episode puts it1, “in the wrong way”, when she notices that Kevin isn’t worried. That’s because Kevin is one step ahead, knowing the truth about …
Kevin’s manipulation of Trey is yet another example of Kevin's pure evil. One, because it’s Trey, and how dare he. Second, he knew Trey’s real mission and lied to his face repeatedly, which Kevin had already proven capable of doing throughout the season. But perhaps the best evidence of his complete disregard for others is his willingness to sacrifice his own people who are loyal for the ploy. Trey has already had to let one man die while undercover. Now, he has also shot a guy who thought he was on his side in the back. He had to, as well, openly show his betrayal to someone who trusted him. All to be an unknowing distraction in Kevin’s plan. Perhaps Trey won’t be affected by those actions, for they were in the line of duty. However, that never stopped Walker or Micki from feeling guilt for what they had to do while undercover. Only time will tell if Trey will have the same reactions they did.
Overall, this was an incredible episode that kept the audience in suspense and on the edge of their seats. Its impact didn’t end even after the episode was over, as people were blown away, pun intended, by what happened.
Beyond the action and suspense, which were wonderful this episode, there were the callbacks to earlier in the season, which added layers of meaning to the scene. One example is the scene with August and Stella in August’s new bedroom. According to the episode’s writer1, that scene intentionally directly mirrors the scene in the same setting during 3.07, where they were fighting and it was dark due to the power being out. This time, they show how their relationship has healed in warm light. The attention to detail is astonishing.
There is one possible continuity error, however. In 3.13, Cordell excitedly talks about how Julia and he have traced Cooper’s aliases. The information seems fresh and he is eager to pursue. However, in this episode, Cordell says he hasn’t been able to contact Julia in a few days. Considering it is repeatedly established that 3.14 happens the day after 3.13, this feels incongruous.
But that doesn’t detract too much from the magnificence of the episode that leaves the audience in breathless anticipation for Part 2.
4.97 out of 5
1. Writer David James interview with me on the At The Side Step podcast for episode 3.14.
Photos Courtesy of The CW. Screencaps by Raloria on LJ.
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