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Walker Review Don't Fence Me In Season 1 Episode 4 Walker Review Don't Fence Me In Season 1 Episode 4

Walker

Walker Review – Off the Books (1×04)

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Now this, this version of Walker I can get behind.

Walker Season 1 Episode 4 hit all of the right notes — it featured a compelling case-of-the-week, Cordell and Micki (or should I say Beau and Flor) found a groove and established trust, things with Cordell’s kids finally settled down, the immigration-aspect of the series began to find its footing, and new mysteries were introduced that served as some solid cliffhangers. 

All in an hour’s work! Impressive. 

They always say it takes about four episodes to determine if a show will make it or break it, and with this episode, that theory seems to hold true. 

Even those emotional beats that felt all-too forced in the first few episodes seemed to flow naturally as Walker established that while his life is getting back on track and moving forward, there’s still an Emily-sized void that he can’t seem to shake. 

This time, Cordell’s grief was believable because it hit him in waves, just as grief does in real life. 

As Cordell attempted to bond and form a relationship with his partner, the duo got a call that oil field boss, Bob Harlan, was murdered. According to Sheriff Shaw, a Hispanic male was the allegedly shooter, so naturally, our Texas Rangers pursued him and ran him off the road. 

The city of Austin heralded Shaw, who was just days away from retirement, as a hero for nabbing a member of the Olvidado gang. Even Micki got some recognition, but being paraded on the stage as the only female Latino to capture a Mexican bad guy left a bad taste in her mouth, especially after Enzo’s daughter, Delia, called her out for betraying her own people. 

Micki has proven time and time again that she has impeccable gut instincts, and it didn’t sit right with her that Enzo, who allegedly left the gang life behind him when his daughter was born nearly 30 years ago, would return to a life of crime. 

She asked Cordell to help her go “off-book,” which made him way too excited. The one thing we know for sure about Cordell is that he likes to go a little rogue. 

Micki’s hunch was right because the Harlan family revealed that Enzo and Bob remained close all these years. And yet, no one seemed to like him all that much. Another hunch led Micki figure out that Enzo was Bob’s son. But if that was the case, why would Enzo murder his dad and ensure that he would never get any of his assets from the recently-amended will?

Desperate to get to the bottom of it, she asked to see the footage from the Botanical Gardens, which revealed that Mrs. Harlan and Shaw, the beloved Sheriff, were having an affair. Once Bob found out, he signed over his assets to his son, but Shaw tried to frame him so that they would get the money instead.

You’d think a tenured Sheriff would check the cameras before canoodling the woman of a man he was about to kill, but I guess he thought his reputation made him untouchable,

Without concrete evidence, it wasn’t in their best interest to accuse Shaw of murder, but Micki played it out by simply jumping into his car and running her theory by him, which riled him up and proved that he was guilty! 

Walker Review Don't Fence Me In Season 1 Episode 4

Walker — “Don’t Fence Me In” — Image Number: WLK104b_0321r — Pictured (L-R): Lindsey Morgan as Micki Ramirez — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

It’s a good thing she followed her gut and had a partner like Cordell who trusted her enough to play along because it exposed Shaw for the murderer he really was. It’s one thing to selfishly commit an act of murder for the woman you love, but it takes a ruthless man to point a gun at a fellow officer’s head and actually pull the trigger. 

Micki may have been overcome by guilt for contributing to Enzo’s death, but she saw the case to the end and cleared up Enzo’s name, which meant that his daughter got all of Harlan’s money. 

She is the hero just like Lady Libertad!

In my review of Walker Season 1 Episode 1, I mentioned that it almost seemed like Micki should’ve been the lead ranger instead of Jared Padalecki’s Cordell, and this episode proved it. She’s the glue that holds the show together. She’s a stronger lead because she has more to risk and fights that much harder to make a name for herself in a male-dominated industry and predominantly white industry.

She’s blazing a trail, she’s setting an example, and she’s becoming an inspiration to other young girls. There’s so much meaning and depth wrapped up in her role versus Cordell just being one of 170 white men who are good at the job. In this episode, Cordell was simply the side-kick that helped her get from point A to point B, but his support helped solidify their partnership, and it’s good to know that they can trust each other in the most tense of moments. Something tells me, there will be a lot of “life or death” moments throughout their partnership! 

Trey getting a job means that he’s here to stay, which is a good thing because I actually like him and Micki together. I want to see him become more involved in her world, but for now, I’ll take all the ab moments I can get! 

The immigration storyline was touched upon with Liam attempting to counsel Isabel’s parents, who are now on ICE’s radar after their daughter’s arrest. 

The show underscores the stark difference in the way a young white girl and a Mexican-American family are treated for the same crime. Stella got community service, while Isabel’s whole existence is being threatened by her parents’ possible deportation. It’s a reality many children of immigrants know all too well.

Liam also learned that Captain James has been looking into surveillance from Emily’s death despite telling Cordell to drop it, which re-ignites the mystery of her death. 

Does he think something shady happened? Did they not get the right guy? Is Emily somehow still alive? Is this his way of going off the books to get it on the books? It all remains unclear, but I’m more interested in Liam digging into the case than Cordell. 

There’s also a possibility that Emily was killed because of Cordell’s previous undercover case… or was she undercover also? We don’t know much about Emily at this point so the writers could really pull off whatever they want here and the audience wouldn’t question it! 

And that’s not the only mystery of the night as August accidentally opened up a box from his father’s past, which he may come to regret. 

Texting Twyla Jean before even talking to his dad and finding out more about her was pretty stupid of him. And while it’s unclear what Cordell’s connection to Twyla truly is or why she called him “Duke Culpepper,” the fact that she asked if he’s out of jail paired with the previews for next week seem to indicate that she’s bad, bad news and will likely suck him back into some life of “crime” so that he doesn’t blow his cover.

I can’t wait for Padalecki to have show off those acting chops! 

As he goes “off book” next week, will his team and partner be informed ahead of time? I hope his days of leaving Micki in the dark are over.

Will Twyla become a love interest? There seemed to be plenty of chemistry there in the photo and in the brief teaser! 

Other Thoughts

  • Stella and Trevor, sitting in a tree. Hey, even the kids need love interests these days!
  • The Benjamin Moore ad was so not subtle. 
  • Abby had a brief affair with Gary. I’m not sure how that plays into the overall story, but what a spicy little jalapeno pepper our Abeline is!
  • Beth Broderick will never be anyone but Aunt Zelda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. 

What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Walker

Walker Review – Undercover Ranger (1×05)

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Walker Duke Review Season 1 Episode 5

Hats off to Cordell and Micki because Walker Season 1 Episode 5 was a home run!

While The CW series initially got off to a slow start, with each passing week, it’s proving that is has what it takes to be a mainstay. 

“Duke” embraced a completely different vibe than any of previous episodes as it found Cordell returning to his undercover identity to tie up some loose ends. 

When August first texted Twyla Jean on Walker Season 1 Episode 4, I was skeptical about how the series would pull this off. We were just getting better acquainted with Cordell and Micki, so having them embrace new characters could have easily missed the mark. 

But Jared Padalecki and Lindsay Morgan proved they have the necessary acting chops necessary to pull it off.

Padalecki made a great rogue cowboy named Duke, while Morgan was stellar as Adriana. This is the third episode (out of five) where she’s stolen the show! I’m beginning to think the show should be called Micki, Texas Ranger instead. 

She didn’t think twice before crashing Cordell’s undercover party, and while he seemed annoyed at first, it was good that she had his back. That’s what partners are for!  

It’s a bit frustrating that Cordell didn’t tell her he was going to meet up Twyla Jean. His sole purpose for resurrecting Duke and meeting up with Twyla was to get her out of town because it threatened him and his family, but why wouldn’t he get backup since there was so much unfinished business? Did he know her phone was tapped and that they would eventually find out what he was up to?

Did he think he could just do this on his own? Of course the FBI would want to close this case! 

Obviously, it looked pretty shady when he went rogue, especially with $300k from the previous Rodeo Kings robbery missing. 

Graves wasn’t convinced that Cordell didn’t take it as he had a romantic relationship with Twyla, and well, flashbacks to what happened at the robbery didn’t work in his favor as he helped Crystal get away with the money. 

However, Cordell genuinely didn’t know where it was until he recalled her final words to Clint being “we’ll always have one last dance.” At that moment, he realized it was hidden in the juke box at the bar. 

Of course, blurting it out amongst a crew of robbers wasn’t his finest moment, but it didn’t really matter since Micki, as Adriana, was wired and the FBI heard everything. 

Finding the money worked in their favor as they didn’t have to plan another bank robbery, which likely would have ended with more dead bodies just like the first one.  

The only dead body ended up being Duke’s. It was a brilliant twist that allowed Cordell to finally say goodbye to his undercover identity, an identity that caused his children so much pain. 

While Cordell had every right to be furious with August for texting Twyla in the first place and then showing up to the scene and almost blowing his cover, he also realized that he never would have been able to put all this behind him if it wasn’t for his son. 

Though, I think they all have to have a serious talk about boundaries as they pertain to Cordell’s job. 

August is in high school, so he’s old enough to understand that his father’s job sometimes requires undercover work. How did he not catch on that his dad wasn’t acting like himself? And why wouldn’t he realize the only reason his dad was with Twyla was because he texted her?

Come on, August. Everything about his behavior was so aggravating, but, at the same time, it was hard to be  upset with him because he was just manifesting his insecurities of being abandoned by his father again..

Cordell is on the right path of righting his wrongs, but he still has a way’s to go. 

For starters, he can stop promising that he’ll attend Stella’s soccer games when he knows there’s a chance he’ll get caught up at work. 

Much like Auggie, Stella is still trying to gain her father’s love and approval. 

She told Coach Barnett that it’s the reason why she began playing soccer in the first place as she hoped it would bring her dad back home and that he would attend all of her games the way he did her mother’s. 

It was truly heartbreaking to see her become that vulnerable because it shows that she’s still hurt. 

Hopefully, Cordell will begin to make a bigger effort when it comes to the kiddos now. 

It was also nice to see Micki’s boyfriend get in on all the action rather than be siloed at home. In the beginning of the season, it wasn’t clear how he was going to be integrated into the storyline, but having him as a direct line to Cordell’s kids seems promising. He’s in their orbit, which puts him in Micki’s orbit even more. 

Micki confronted her own mommy issues when she eventually agreed to meet Trey’s parents. We know that she and her mother don’t get along because Adriana (yes, she used her mom’s name while going undercover) doesn’t approve of her career, which will eventually make for a compelling episode. They’ve brought it up several times, and it really hits a nerve with Micki, so you know it’s coming! 

Amidst all the action, Liam still managed to circle back to the Emily Walker mystery. He confronted Captain James about pulling the drone footage and admitted that there’s something shady about her murder. 

As the teaser (we’ll have to wait till March for a new episode) reveals, Hoyt Rawlins, Cordell’s childhood bestie, is about to become cellmates with Emily’s alleged murderer. I doubt this would ever happen by chance since the risk is too big, so my guess is that Liam and James made it happen so that they could find out the truth. 

Hopefully, once Cordell gets wind of the fact that something was off about his wife’s death, which his gut told him this whole time, he won’t spiral again. In that moment, his kids will need him to stay strong. 

Other Musings

  • Liam and Cordell always had a bit of a rocky relationship, and it’s likely due to Liam’s guilt over not listening to Cordell about the bank robbery. Dealing with that, however, seems to have been the breakthrough they needed.
  • I’m really digging the One Tree Hill reunions on this series! First Matt Barr as Hoyt and now Austin Nichols as Clint! I just wish Nichols’ had a longer arc!
  • When the robber asked “are we dense” while talking to an undercover ranger, I couldn’t help but snicker. Uh, ya think?!

What did you think of the episode?

Are you hooked on Walker yet?


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Walker

Walker Review – Cautionary Tale (1×03)

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Walker Bobble Head Review Season 1 Episode 3

On Walker Season 1 Episode 3, the case-of-the-week had a personal tie in. 

Cordell Walker’s childhood best friend, Hoyt Rollins, rolled into town and made sure that everyone was aware of his arrival. 

It’s been a minute since I’ve seen Matt Barr on my screen, but that man will never stop being psycho Derek from One Tree Hill

Almost immediately, Hoyt began stirring up trouble in town while working with a gun smuggler, Torrento, which made things a bit messy for Cordell. 

His relationship with Hoyt made it difficult for him to arrest him. And while he was “gathering intel,” he was being blindsided with memories from the past, especially after Hoyt gave him Emily’s Mustang. 

It was a bit strange that Cordell recognized Hoyt from the CCTV footage at the strip club but didn’t inform his partner that he went way back with the guy. 

Wouldn’t it just have been better to inform Micki that he and the suspect had a past before he was going to try to gather intel. Why keep her in the dark? Micki would’ve understand that they needed more evidence against him to charged him.

It’s almost as if Cordell didn’t want Hoyt to get caught. 

Micki had to figure it out for herself by tracking down her stolen truck, which, by the way, was definitely embarrassing for two “elite” rangers. They should’ve known better than to get played like that. 

And if I were Micki and found out my partner was lying to me by stumbling upon the family having dinner, I’d be pissed. Captain James also knew Hoyt’s identity and didn’t say anything. What gives?

Typically, having a conflict of interest is a bad thing, but in this case, Cordell’s deep knowledge of how Hoyt operates allowed him to predict his next steps. 

When Hoyt misled them about where the drop would be, Cordell figured it out instead. 

I know the show technically isn’t focused solely on the case-of-the-week, so these could be minor inconstancies and I could just be picky, but why didn’t they put a tracker on Hoyt after releasing him? Why didn’t an officer follow him?

Walker Bobble Head Review Season 1 Episode 3

Walker — “Bobble Head” — Image Number: WLK103b_0723r — Pictured (L-R): Matthew Barr as Hoyt and Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Why did they just trust him at his word? Cordell of all people should’ve known that Hoyt would play them. 

Micki was right about one thing — Cordell has a blindspot and wants to be likable, which means he ignores when people mess up or do the wrong thing. That was the case with Stella because he so desperately wanted to make amends and make up for lost time. 

But, at the end of the day, Stella still needed a father. And a little tough loving does the soul good. If Hoyt got that tough lovin’, maybe he wouldn’t be so self-destructive. 

Auggie came out of his shell a bit when he attended the bonfire and got wasted. It’s surprising that a freshman didn’t get into more trouble for drinking alcohol, but I guess the hangover was punishment enough. 

Overall, the episode didn’t contribute much of anything to the season. And as someone who remains on the fence about Walker, it didn’t convince me that this is a must-watch series. 

Sure, there were lighthearted moments, some cheesy fight scenes, and Cordell finding his footing as a single parent, but there was nothing that made this a stand-out episode. 

The supporting characters still feel one-dimensional. Geri hasn’t stepped foot outside of the bar, and though she seems to be close to Cordell and Emily, we don’t really know much about her. Was she in love with Hoyt? Was Hoyt’s Emily’s brother? See, it’s all so vague and unclear. 

Liam is the go-to uncle whenever the kids can’t reach Cordell, and apparently, he’s getting married, which is great for him, but that’s the extent of what we know about his character. His husband is also just there and doesn’t contribute anything at all. 

The series seemed to be finding its footing on Walker Season 1 Episode 2, but this week felt like a regression. It was an entertaining episode, sure, but in a passive way that almost doesn’t require you to get too invested in the storyline. 

It’s a bit of a disservice to the stellar cast, who we know have the acting chops to sell us the most outrageous and supernatural plots, and yet, the show fails to deliver on the material.

You know it’s concerning went the best scene from the episode was Micki and Bonham Walker bonding over Wagyu and bourbon. Also, that made me hungry! 

What did you think of the episode? Am I being too harsh? Am I not seeing the magic everyone else is?


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Walker

Walker Review – Back in the Saddle (1×02)

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Walker Review Back in the Saddle Season 1 Episode 2

Another episode down and yet, Walker still doesn’t impress me much. But… it’s getting better. 

Though it did feel like the series found its footing more on Walker Season 1 Episode 2, it could simply be that I was more familiar with the characters and what to expect by the second go-around. 

Cordell Walker was still a lost, grieving soul throughout much of the episode, but at least he acknowledged that he was “rusty” and having difficulties moving on. The first step is admitting the problem. 

Once he realized just how much his actions were affecting everyone else, he began to heal some relationships. But it didn’t happen without a good kick in the behind. 

First, his former friend and now Captain — who really made it a point that he got a promotion and needed to be referred to as Capt. James — sidelined him because he needed to complete a re-certification. 

It was a bit frustrating that he didn’t tell Walker he needed to do the re-certification in the first place and made it seem like he should’ve known about it. If Cordell is one of the best rangers despite everything that’s happened to him personally, why wouldn’t he want to help him get it done as swiftly as possible? Also, why wasn’t he there for his so-called friend?

And while we’re in the era where “by the book” is not a term used loosely, he could’ve offered a helping hand and cut Walker some slack. After all, this guy has been through a lot. 

It may have been a year since his wife passed, but as anyone who has experienced loss, grief comes in waves. 

Walker took a bit to complete his re-certification, especially when it came down to getting back on the horse, which kept bringing him back to memories of his wife, but he eventually did it and made an entrance on top of it. That’s the kind of dynamic I want to see from the series! 

The second “reality check” came from his brother, Liam. Cordell was definitely out of line when he picked a fight with his brother after learning that he tried to adopt his kids. 

Liam never wanted to “take away his kids,” but he stepped up to the plate while Cordell was on his undercover assignment. He was there for the kids and stepped in as the father figure they needed at the moment. 

However, it was easier for Cordell to blame his brother than acknowledge that he abandoned his children and didn’t know how to right his wrongs. 

It was also the wake-up call Cordell needed. He came back to town and thought everyone would give him a break because he’s been hurt by the loss of his wife, but he failed to acknowledged that others were just as hurt as he was. And they weren’t just hurt by the loss of Emily, they also felt like they lost a father while he was gone. 

That was even emphasized by the scene between Liam and his boyfriend, Brett, who underscored that he knew Cordell would stand him up for lunch. Everyone expects him to flake, and he does nothing to prove them wrong. 

Liam did him a favor by reminding him that if he keeps this up, he’s going to lose everyone he cares about. 

After this moment, we saw Cordell change his tune a bit. Even the way he approached his kids, particularly his daughter, Stella, changed. He made an effort to communicate with her in a way that was effective and showed that he was paying attention to the person she was now. He gave her the space to choose where she wanted to live, and he was there for her when she broke down while trying to move the family stepstone. 

The show’s strength lies in moments like these. If they can keep this up while also giving fans the action required from a show taking inspiration from a Chuck Norris classic then The CW will be able to move Walker into the “win” column. After all, the network saw an unprecedented turn out for the series! 

Cordell even had a breakthrough moment with his father, who had gave his son a new saddle after realizing that he was struggling to get back on his because it was a reminder of what he lost. 

As Cordell mended his relationships, he also got answers to two questions about his wife’s murder… and they weren’t as mysterious as he thought they were.

The bartender and Emily’s friend who was with her the night she was murdered, Geraldine (who I definitely think will have a romance with Cordell), admitted that she closed her friend’s eyes. 

As for the poker chip, it was part of a gift that Emily planned to give Cordell for father’s day. 

It’s not exactly the big, grand conspiracy that the show teased initially, but maybe that’s for the better? Emily’s death may have just been an unfortunate accident. Maybe there isn’t more to it… maybe the guy who confessed is really responsible and Cordell needs to accept it in order to fully move on. 

I could see there being a benefit to keeping the mystery around, but the show strikes me as more of a feel-good, good-cop family drama and in that respect, there’s no place for a mystery or a man with a head full of conspiracy theories. 

The issue of immigration remains front-and-center as Stella ditched her soccer game because she was allowed to play while her Spanish friend wasn’t despite both of them committing the same crime. It’s nice when a show openly acknowledges discrimination, and it’s even sweeter when a main character won’t stand for it. 

There’s also Micki, who made it abundantly clear (almost to the point of overemphasizing) that she’s the first female ranger of color so she doesn’t want to mess this opportunity up. 

She was a promising character in the pilot episode and continued to have a positive effect on Cordell even when everyone was ready to give up. I can’t wait for the show to fully explore their dynamic, but I hope that it never veers into romantic territory. Let partners be just that! 

I’m into whatever she has going on with Terry as she’s learning how to juggle an important job and a serious relationship, but I’ve yet to figure out exactly what Terry’s role is going to be in this series aside from being a supportive boyfriend. 

Cordell brought a lot of emotional baggage to the episode once again, and aside from a chase-scene (a la Outerbanks) that involved them solving the case-of-the-week surrounding a racehorse and a suspicious barn fire, there weren’t many light or comical moments. 

In fact, in a rare twist, the case-of-the-week wasn’t even the show’s main focus, which is great if you’re looking for more than just a procedural, but it’s a bit of a letdown if you’re here for all the kick-butt action that the original prided itself on. 

One of the greatest things about Walker, Texas Ranger was that it never took itself too seriously or spent too long in a dark place. We need that more than we need all the moments of pause and reflection. If done right, they could both go hand-in-hand and give us some beautiful television. We know Jared Padalecki can deliver on both beats and the foundation is there, we just need the writing to get over the hump. 

As someone who wasn’t into the pilot by any means, I found myself more convinced to keep watching after this episode. They always say that it takes about four episodes to really make up your mind, so I’m sticking it out.

What did you think of the second episode of Walker? Are you hooked?


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