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Walker Review – Undercover Ranger (1×05)

Walker -- “Duke” -- Image Number: WLK105a_0266r -- Pictured: Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker -- Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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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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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 – False Flag Part One (314)

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Walker Recap False Flag Part One Season 3 Episode 14

Walker delivered a riveting part one of its season 3 finale, setting the scene for a showdown between Cordell and Kevin.

If you remember, Kevin Golden was revealed to be the leader of Grey Flag. And no matter how many times the Rangers, the FBI, and Cordell think that they are one step ahead of the terrorist organization, they end up learning that they’ve been wrong this whole time the hard way. 

They were confident that they would be able to thwart the attack at the medal ceremony while ambushing the Grey Flag compound in the process, but things took a bit of a nasty turn. 

One thing led to another and a shootout ensued in the ground floor parking lot, forcing Barnett to give up the act and own up to being a ranger to protect Captain James. He tried to play it as best as he could, but there was no stopping these guys once they went rogue. They come from the belief that some must die for the greater good, so there’s no reasoning with them. 

Turns out, the medal ceremony was the distraction this whole time as Kevin was aware that Trey was undercover. It was a good attempt, but there’s no way in hell someone as slick as Kevin would believe that Trey would turn his back on the Rangers and his friends. 

The nexus of everything seems to be Cordell Walker. Grey Flag has made it very clear that he’s their target, as was evident when the C-4 actually exploded at the FBI safe house where Cordell met Julia. Kevin used Julia as a Trojan Horse, and while she was completely unaware of his nefarious intentions, she led Grey Flag right to it. And the C-4 was presumably planted in her vehicle, exploding just as Cordell got the call that the target was not the medal ceremony as previously intended. 

The attack took Cordell and Julia by surprise, and at this point, it’s unclear if she survived though things did not look too promising for her. Why is Cordell constantly losing love interests? It’s a huge shame because Julia was Cordell’s most trusted confidante—one who escaped this Grey Flag hell once before. 

Kevin planted some doubts in Julia’s mind about Cordell, which is essentially his goal. He’s been playing a game this whole time, schmoozing up to Cordell’s family by securing the new horse rescue donations and funding, which Julia revealed are coming from a shady government agency that makes it seem as though Cordell is working for them. Kevin framed Cordell in one fell swoop, and no one even saw it coming cause they were so focused on simply figuring out Grey Flag’s game. 

A lot is still unclear about Kevin’s motivations, however. He wants to create change by dismantling a system that he believes doesn’t work, but why is Cordell at the center of it all? Why did he go after his whole unit? 

And how is Coop involved? They are missing a key piece of information to see the full picture and make the connection. 

I’m guessing that Coop is Kevin’s father, though that still doesn’t explain his obsession with Walker. 

Hopefully, the second half of the season final will clue us in and it will all start to make sense. The weirdest thing is that if Kevin wanted Cordell dead, he had ample opportunities to make it happen. And yet, he never did, instead getting closer to Cordell’s family than ever, which is just terrifying. 

The Walker family somehow always ends up as the victim of Cordell’s job. At some point, he’s going to have to make a choice because this is no way to live. They thought they were being hospitable and making a good friend who was simply using them this whole time. 

Barnett did his best to help out the Rangers, but sometimes, even your best isn’t good enough. There was just too much working against him. 

Cassie was definitely caught off guard by the revelation that Kevin was behind Grey Flag, but she also had a gut instinct about him and knew she couldn’t trust him. Women just know when something is off. I can’t imagine the trust issues she’s going to have coming off of this. 

The good news is that she’s finally proving that she needs to follow those vibes and see them through because she’s not been wrong once… and unfortunately, that’s not something to be proud of when you always expect the worst. 

What did you think of the episode? Will Julia survive? Is Kevin in the wind? How will Cordell find his way out of this one? Will it result in a team-up with Coop for old-time’s sake? And how will Cordell move forward ensuring his family’s protected once and for all? Is Lana safe?

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Walker

Walker Review – Past Is Prologue (311)

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Walker Recap Season 3 Episode 11 Past is Prologue

Cordell Walker has a target on his back, but it took him and Cassie all too long to figure that out on Walker Season 3 Episode 11. 

Even if Walker wasn’t sure if Tommy was being paranoid or onto something, he should’ve protected his friend in case the threat was actually real. It feels like he dropped the ball on that one even after Tommy went to great lengths to reach out and warn him about what was happening. If it wasn’t for Tommy, Walker wouldn’t have even known what was going on. I’m glad he was there for his friend in the end, but it didn’t have to end this way. 

I appreciate how thorough his and Cassie’s investigation was, but it shouldn’t have taken them that long to verify that Tommy was right. It dragged down the episode, and the little action we did get at the end with Cassie’s high-speed chase also fell flat because it simply confirmed what the audience has known all along—Grey Flag is responsible. We didn’t get any more insight into the situation, nor did we figure out who is running the op and making this so personal to Cordell.

However, since it’s very clear that they are coming after his military unit, it means that the person was likely in Afghanistan alongside Cordell and his men. He needs to think back long and hard about his time there while also considering the “why.”

I’ll be quite frank, the storyline hasn’t been the most intriguing, likely because it’s been so hard to follow from the beginning. It’s also what took Cordell away from his family and kind of isolated him in his own world—it’s been all business all the time, but one of the strong suits of the series has been Cordell’s personal life particularly when it comes to navigating life with teen children.

The best part of the episode came in the final moments when Trey and the Captain linked up out of sight. Many fans have theorized that the Captain only got Trey fired to work a secret oforand I’m so happy that’s the case. It felt wildly out of character, but now we know he had to be so cold to Trey in order for it to be believable to everyone around him.

Trey spent much of the episode meeting with Andrew, a man from the V.A. who wanted to recruit him and his particular set of skills for a veteran organization. The whole thing was pretty suspicious, especially when Trey had to prove himself by figuring out some kind of puzzle and calling a secret hotline to prove himself. This just means that this organization is likely Grey Flag—and the Captain is thrilled that Trey got an “in” because it means that their master plan is working perfectly.

The only reason the Captian would ever icI guessr is to protect him. Meanwhile, Walker was keeping the Captain at arm’s length while he did his own digging. And my guess is that they are both looking into the same exact thing, with James getting them a leg up in this fight. 

It’ll be great when everything is laid out on the table and everyone is on the same page.

For a moment, I was nervous that James was the new Fenton and the mole within the organization, which would’ve been a terrible twist.

How do you think this will pan out? Who do you think is behind Grey Flag? And why are they targeting Cordell?

James’ personal life seems to be getting back on track as he agreed that moving in with his on-again-off-again love interest, Kelly, was a good idea. Happiness looks good on the Captain, and I hope he doesn’t mess it up once again with his commitment to work. The role takes a lot out of someone, but as Kelly mentioned, he’s changed, and they’ve both accepted that they are individuals first and foremost. 

Grey Flag seems rather dangerous, so I hope that James’ involvement with them doesn’t put Kelly in danger. In fact, I’m surprised Cordell isn’t more worried about his family considering the military organization knows so much about him. His loved ones might not be the target, but we’ve seen them leverage Cordell’s relationship with Liam once before—someone should really be looking out for them./ 

Back at the Walker ranch, tensions were still running high between Liam, Stella, and Bonham. Bonham’s anger, and more specifically, disappointment was valid as he felt blindsided by his own family, but there’s also only so much anyone can take, particularly Abeline, who understood both sides. 

Bonham’s constant state of angst wasn’t good for her, and though she knew that the kids weren’t in the right, she suggested that he takes the high road and turns the whole situation into a teachable moment. 

At the end of the day, egos were hurt and expectations shattered, but a heart-to-heart between Bonham and Liam revealed something even better—a modernized plan for the Walker ranch that would make past generations proud. Things may be changing, and the new generations may have different ideas, but they still need Bonham to show them the ropes. And they wanted him to be part of it if he simply listened to them. 

The storyline hasn’t hooked me, but I did, however, really enjoy Liam’s explanation for the new logo, which embraced the past, present, and future of the farm. 

It will be interesting to see what the writers do moving forward when it comes to the family business. Cordell doesn’t strike me as someone with a green thumb or who could live a slow-paced life since he’s all about the action, but it’s awesome that his children have found their place. 

What did you think of the episode? Are you enjoying Walker this season so far?

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Walker

Walker Review – Blinded by the Light (310)

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Walker Recap Season 3 Episode 10 Blinded By the Light

Walker Season 3 Episode 10 lasered in on Grey Flag–a storyline that’s been brewing for quite some time. 

The installment picked up the day after Cordell Walker received the package of energy drinks with a cryptic note addressed to the “war hero.” He immediately looped in Julia to help him solve the case, and I did not except for their team-up to become so Scooby-Doo

It didn’t take much for Julia to persuade Walker not to turn in the crate with the drinks over to the Rangers, suggesting that it’s entirely possible that there’s still a mole on the inside like Fenton. 

Walker has Ranger in his blood, so I didn’t expect him to take the bait. It felt wildly out of character. However, when Captain James brought him, Cassie, and Trey in on a Saturday and proceeded to chew them out about sifting through classified documents, Cordell realized that there might not be a benefit to looping in the Cap just yet. 

Personally, I think this is a huge mistake. And I said Cordell took the bait purposefully because I think it’s all part of Julia’s master plan. I think she’s been recruited by and is working for Grey Flag, which would explain why she has all this information about them and the organization’s “regrouping and restrategizing.” I hate to think that an investigative reporter got burned, but the timing of her arrival in Cordell’s life is just too suspect and convenient. 

She gave just enough to get Cordell to turn to her and open up to her, but she’s allowing him to feel like he’s taking the lead on everything. It’s definitely a tactic. 

Think about it—she’s the closest that anyone has ever been able to get to him. They’ve built up a friendship and trust based on shared trauma, so she’s the perfect Trojan horse for whoever is behind Grey Flag and setting his/her sights on Cordell as the next target.

The possibility that Julia is just a good friend trying to help Cordell—and hoping to get a good story out of it—remains a possibility. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt until I no longer can.

She made him realize that whoever is targeting him must be someone he was once close to as they’ve been able to tap into a personal memory. Cordell hated the idea that one of his military buddies, who he referred to as “brothers,” could be behind everything, but it made sense as they were the only ones who were in on the inside joke involving the energy drinks.

A quick search revealed that two of the remaining three were killed—one in a car accident and another after he suffered a heart attack.

That left Tommy Adams, who Cordell eventually agreed fit the Grey Flag profile to a T, as the lone wolf.

They were able to track down Tommy without so much as lifting a finger—through one of Julia’s sources (it’s shady, okay!)—and instead of waiting for backup, Julia decided to just walk on over to the abandoned house and start asking questions. It was either incredibly bold of her or she knew that Tommy wasn’t a threat because she actually knows who is behind Grey Flag.

Walker Recap Season 3 Episode 10 Blinded By the Light

Walker — “Blinded By the Light” — Image Number: WLK310b_0252r — Pictured (L-R): Ashley Reyes as Cassie Perez and Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Either way, Tommy was a dead end as he informed Cordell that he sent the package as a warning. He’s been laying low because someone is coming for everyone in their unit, which makes Tommy and Cordell the last living members and the next targets. 

Of course, this doesn’t bring us any closer to solving the mystery, but it is an intriguing development that definitely piqued my interest. 

Why is this personal? And what does Grey Flag still want from Cordell?

After everything, it seemed as though he finally decided to come clean to Captain James and Cassie following Trey’s DPS hearing, but they got sidetracked by the verdict. While everyone was convinced they were going to let Trey off with a slap on the wrist, the unanimous decision was to relieve him of his duties as a Ranger. 

And honestly, it was bizarre. I understand why Captain James was upset because he felt disrespected after vouching for Trey, but his anger was more pointed at Cassie and Walker, his friends, for lying to him. But Trey’s “insubordinate” situations were so minor. The first time, he followed orders from his superior in the field, while the second time, he left desk duty to help put a stop to an ATM heist that was getting out of control. Surely, that was more important than paperwork. 

The truth is, it felt completely blown out of proportion, and it didn’t feel in character for Captain James to turn his back on Trey and inform him that he was on his own. Why didn’t he fight for Trey? Why didn’t he pull some strings? 

Cordell and Cassie have done way worse—those two never follow orders, and it’s never been an issue. 

I’m truly disappointed with this turn of events, especially since Trey gave up his career at the high school for this. Is he trying to leave the show? What’s going on?

To be fair, Captain James seemed equally as shocked, and I’m wondering if maybe the decision has something to do with the possibility of there being a mole on the inside who wants Trey out so that Cordell has fewer allies. 

Which reminds me—Julia also tried to drive a wedge between Cordell and James by instilling a bit of doubt in the Ranger, and that didn’t sit well with me. Cordell even called her out on it, so I’m hoping he’s being super cautious and not overly trusting. 

Cordell’s been dealing with so much, he hasn’t really had time to pay attention to his family, especially Bonham and Abeline. 

Bonham called a family meeting so that they could all get on the same page, but he was stood up by both of his sons. Cordell didn’t show up because of his pressing matters with work, while Liam decided to skip so that he could flesh out the horse charity a bit more before talking to his father. I get where Liam is coming from as he seems very passionate about starting this business with Stella but has only gotten pushback from Bonham. It’s not really encouraging to hear that your father has zero faith in you or your ability to take over the family business. 

Liam also suggested that he and Stella team up as partners officially—on paper. It’s a big step for Stella, so I hope she’s not getting in over her head. 

Abeline and Bonham had a few disagreements as she was upset after finding out that Bonham asked Walker and his family to move out of the farmhouse. She’s such a family-oriented person, so I don’t know why he thought it was a good idea. 

And elsewhere, Cassie and Kevin had a really great first date where they got to know each other on a deeper level. All of that went out the window the very next day when he overstepped the boundaries she put in place to keep her personal and professional life separate, and while his intentions were in the right place, it was all the proof she needed to know that she cannot date someone she also has to work with. Some might say Cassie overreacted and ran from a good thing, but it’s definitely problematic to have your boyfriend, who wields a lot of power in his position at the mayor’s office, fixing your problems for you. Kevin either needs to respect Cassie’s request, or they really can’t be involved romantically. 

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Trey will get reinstated? 

Who do you think is behind Grey Flag? And should we trust Julia?

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