My heart ran more than “A Matter of Miles” while watching this episode.
While this episode gave us plenty of action, there was also quite a bit of exposition and set up for both the finale and the next season of the show. Between the “reveal” of Miles’ secrets and the Walker-Davidson Family Dinner of Doom, there’s a lot to discuss.
Lets’ start off with the big reveal: The return of Miles.
We start off where the last episode left off: Cassie and Miles’ reunion. She’s initially filled with relief upon seeing her old partner alive and well but that soon dissolves when she starts asking questions about where he’s been and why he didn’t tell her anything and how he could just abandon his family like that. Cordell jumps in here, pointing out that Miles has yet to even tell him and James what happened, and that they were nearly killed in that trailer. It was a miracle they were able to shoot their way out.
Miles remains secretive about what he was doing but he explains what happened the night he “died”. It was all a set up directed by Caption Cole, a set up to make “them” think he was dead. He was told it was the only way. Cassie doesn’t appreciate this answer, honing in on the detail that it was her gun that was used to “kill” him. He seems confused about her fixation but she’s already done with this conversation and she storms off after damning him for keeping her out of the loop like that.
Later, Cassie calls Rita in to meet with Miles. Though the reunion between them is sweet, he’s still keeping his secrets and Rita decides to reveal one of her own: that she and Fenton became romantically involved while he was away. Miles is again confused; he seemed to believe that she knew he wasn’t dead. It’s also very obvious that he didn’t know his captain was making moves on his wife. Cassie again implores him to tell them what he was doing and why he disappeared like that, but he’s still keeping quiet.
Meanwhile, Larry James has decided to look into Fenton’s lies and cover ups surrounding his case. Fenton was running a secret operation, without the approval of his supervisors, and participated in insurance fraud among other crimes – not to mention seducing a married woman. Determined to get to the bottom of this, Captain James confronts Fenton at his own office and brings him back to HQ.
When they arrive at HQ, James bars Cassie from joining the interrogation. He can tell that Fenton is nervous to talk about this and he doesn’t need her to swoop in and make it worse. He assigns her with getting Miles to the safehouse and also sends Trey as a buffer between them. Cassie objects, saying she wants to handle this case. James promises that she’ll get her credit before sending her on her way.
In the interrogation room, Fenton is reluctant to trust anyone and believes he’s already as good as dead. The audience is inclined to believe him, as a stranger with binoculars is keeping a close eye on him. No matter how many times James asks him the same question, he remains secretive. The only pieces of information that he’s willing to give up is that the mysterious “they” wanted Miles dead, “they” are far too dangerous for anyone to deal with, and that he didn’t intend to fall in love with Rita while Miles was away. James is reluctant to believe him since he refuses to give an identity to these antagonists. From the outside, it looks like Fenton made this all up so he’d have a chance with the wife of one of his rangers.
Fenton again tries to warn James that this is too big and too dangerous for anyone to go sticking their nose into, which only frustrates James. He leaves the room to take a break, leaving Fenton alone. With the room to himself, Fenton reaches into the waistband of his pants and takes out a suicide pill. He doesn’t see another way out of this mess, and he swallows it. James hears his body hit the floor and rushes back in, but it’s already too late. Fenton is dead and all he can do is assume that Miles will be next.
Side note: It still baffles me that Fenton wouldn’t even give up a hint of what everyone was up against. Why did he even have that suicide pull on him? What did he have to gain from keeping everything a secret? If he was “already dead”, what would be the harm in opening up?
Later, at the safehouse, Cassie is tired of waiting for answers and takes a more confrontational approach with Miles. She wants to know why he lied to her, why he kept her so deep in the dark, why he believed she wouldn’t keep looking for him, and why he still won’t tell her what the hell is going on. Trey does what he can as a mediator to keep her under control but she’s still simmering. Finally, Miles tells her what happened, or at least part of it.
Miles reveals that he and Fenton had been investigating an illegal business running in Dallas. On his own time, without her, he started making connections between that one shop and others that were running in the area. The more he dug, the darker and less tame the illegal businesses got. He drew connections between all of them, from drugs to human trafficking and beyond. It was all connected to a larger organization, one that moved in the shadows and would be very difficult to take down alone. They found out about his digging and let him know by paying a visit to his daughter’s school. After that, he hatched a plan with Fenton for him to “die” so that his family would be safe.
Cassie seems mostly satisfied by this answer but she doesn’t have much time to think about it before James comes in and tells them there’s an attack on the way. One look out the window tells them that the Rangers won’t be there in time to help so they plan their own attack.
During the scuffle, Cassie and Miles eventually end up in the kitchen, where Miles seems confused to see that she isn’t carrying a gun. Though her taser serves her well, along with her combat skills, it’s not enough to win the battle. When push comes to shove and Miles is down for the count, she picks up a gun for the first time all season and kills the final attacker in the house, saving her former partner.
Outside, Cordell is leading the attack with the rangers. It’s a wall of bullets between the rangers and the criminals. While the onslaught of law enforcement did prevent more of the mysterious men from entering the safe house, one of them prepared a bazooka with explosives to aim at the house. If he were to be successful, it would likely kill everyone inside. Unfortunately for this unknown man, Cordell Walker was on the case and he runs him over with his truck before getting out to shoot the stragglers.
In the light of the morning, Cassie and Miles discuss the next steps for them. Miles will be going into a witness protection program with his family. After a discussion of Miles’ marriage problems, he asks her why she never gave up on finding him. They did go through a lot of trouble to make it look like he was dead, after all. She confesses that it all came down to the fact that he believed in her. There were already issues going on in her life and her own family when she joined the Texas Rangers and he made her feel like someone who could handle them. When he went missing, she was driven to find him as a way to prove to herself that she was capable of being the person he seemed to think she was.
Before they part ways, Miles tells her that he wants her to try and be happy and to not push herself so hard. She’s an amazing ranger and she doesn’t need to burn herself out trying to prove it.
Before they leave for the day, Walker leaves us all with a prophetic message: this isn’t over yet. Far from it. It’s only the beginning of these mysterious new antagonists.
Before we get into the heavy stuff between the Walkers and the Davidsons, I want to talk about the short little scene with Abby and August at the music shop. It was really sweet to see them together since we haven’t seen a lot of one-on-one. While it is sad to hear that his band is officially disbanded, it’s nice to see him branching out on his own. The conversation between him and Abby and how he’s matured over the year was really sweet, as was her encouragement for him to check out Kit’s social media. It looks like August is going to be picking up guitar after all….
Side note: Cute_Girl.exe appears = August.exe malfunction
Now, let’s talk about the big dinner.
We start after the title card. Stella is making breakfast for Colton after Dan let her into their house. She made him a special omelet, likely to butter him up for her next request. She suggests the joint family dinner and he’s immediately skeptical of the idea. While she admits it wasn’t her own, but rather Liam’s, she still thinks it would be a good idea. Not only does their relationship somewhat depend on the families getting along, but yesterday proved that the families are capable of working together and setting aside their differences for the greater good. Colton still isn’t sure but he’s unable to resist her charm and eventually agrees to talk his family into it.
After this, Liam informs Bonham and Cordell that everything is going according to plan. While Liam believes that having this dinner is the best way to get the Davidsons to admit to doing something during the race, Bonham and Cordell are very skeptical. Bonham thinks dragging up old tensions will only cause issues with the kids, a concern Liam dismisses with the belief that Stella and August will forgive him when he gets them the ranch back. Cordell sides with their father though, also tossing in that Geri would be affected by heightened tensions between them. Liam won’t listen, however, and states his firm belief that Dan will pull through for them. This surprises both of the other men but they don’t have much time to dwell on it as Cordell has to get back to work and Bonham has to get back to the chocolatey treat Liam gifted him.
On the other side of town, Denise and Gale are at a farmers market buying flowers and Gale almost regrets pulling up Abilene’s garden. During this, Denise mentions that Colton asked them to host a family dinner with the Walkers, an idea both women scoff at until Geri says she likes the idea. She thinks it would be a great way to ease the tension that’s been dredged up for the past year. Gale now thinks the dinner is a good idea as well, much to Denise’s chagrin. Gale placates her by saying she really just wants to know why the Walkers want the dinner, but her daughter doesn’t seem to buy it.
Just before the dinner, the Walkers sit outside their old home. Bonham is still heavily against this idea and Abby isn’t too fond of it either, but they’re willing to be there for the younger generations. Abby did insist on cooking her own food though since she doesn’t trust Gale to make anything edible. Before they go in, Liam comes over to tell them they can still call this off if they want to, but they’ve already come this far. It’s time to face the music.
The tension starts immediately as the Walkers bring their contributions to the dinner. Gale brags about giving Geri one of their family recipes for a salad and Liam brought a little too much wine. In the background, August asks Colton and Stella if this whole thing was really a good idea. They’re both still on board with it but August reminds them that while they’ll be off to college in a few months, he’s doing to have to stay and deal with the fallout of whatever happens today.
Side note: Stella should have burned some sage in the house; it would’ve forced Gale out.
When it’s time to sit down, things only get worse as both the Walkers and Davidsons go to sit in their normal spots of the table, which happen to be right on top of each other. The tension is only broken when Dan returns with the ice.
As dinner begins, things seem to be going well enough. Both families engage in polite conversation with a mere smattering of jabs throughout and there’s a genuine effort from the kids to make sure everyone is having a good time. As usual though, the peace cannot last with the families. Bonham’s frustration with the poorly cooked meat turns into a jab about Gale tearing up Abby’s garden. It’s clear that being turned into a guest in his own home is weighing on him and he storms off shortly after Gale’s excuse about the trees.
He’s sitting in the foyer when Cordell finally arrives. When Cordell tries to get him to go back to the table, he expresses his concern that this wasn’t a good idea. Just then, Geri comes in and echoes Cordell’s concern.
Bonham congratulates Geri on her optimism about the dinner but offers the wise words of “Blood doesn’t have to equal loyalty.” Geri scoffs at this, telling him that he makes his family a large commitment in his life and that he should understand her desire to do the same. Cordell tries to broker peace between them and eventually Bonham caves and goes back to the dinner.
Side note: Did anyone else catch the distinction between “blood” and “family”?
The trio arrives just in time to witness Liam’s attempts at getting Denise or Gale to slip up about the race. Despite his claims of “closure”, it turned the dinner into an open invitation for both families to bring up past hurts between them, from Denise unlawfully interrogating August, all the way back to Cordell allegedly burning down the barn, even as recent as Liam accusing the family of tampering with the saddle. Denise even gets into it with Dan about their pending divorce. Nothing is sacred, even their children’s feelings.
While the adults argue amongst themselves about who’s at fault for what and who’s been keeping secrets and why, Stella and Colton turn to each other for comfort and appear to be losing hope that their families will ever get along. Then, August cuts in and reminds all of them that this is supposed to be a nice dinner. It was planned as a celebration about all the kids being alive and their ability to set their differences aside for the greater good. While this does quiet down the conversation, Denise forcefully tells Liam what she did the day of the race, giving herself an alibi for tampering with the saddle, and leaves the table in a huff.
Later, during the cleanup, Abby and Gale have a moment alone. Abby tells Gale that “[i]t doesn’t matter what you take, how much you take; it doesn’t mean you know that you have or that you can take care of it.” She then accuses Gale of ripping up the garden simply because it was Abby’s and not hers. During this, Geri hovers on the threshold of the kitchen. Abby notices her and gives her a meaningful look before telling Gale that she “[has] it all now. How sad that it’s not enough.” and leaves.
After this, Gale says that she feels sorry for the Walkers and what they’ve had to deal with, to which Geri replies that she’d rather not talk about it. Gale quickly shifts the topic of conversation to “the good” and their newfound relationship with each other. She then says that she always knew they’d be together again, which confuses both Geri and the audience as she never knew Geri was alive until recently. Gale backpedals at seeing this and says something about the afterlife before ending the conversation.
Geri comes to Cordell with this news. Even after she’s had time to digest what happened, she’s convinced something odd is going on with Gale and she calls up Nate to ask him if he ever told anyone the truth about her heritage. He says he never did because Frank would’ve lost his daughter if it ever got out. The only people who knew were him, Frank, and Marv Davidson. This leaves Geri wondering how Gale could’ve know about this and what else she might be hiding.
The episode ends with Gale making herself a glass of sweet tea and staring menacingly into the distance. This is a woman with many secrets and she’s not keen on revealing them anytime soon.
The big theme of this episode, in my opinion, was trust. More specifically, broken trust and how it can either be overcome or create rifts that can never be crossed. Cassie and Miles’ relationship was nearly destroyed because of how betrayed she felt knowing he lied to her all this time. Fenton lost the respect of his peers by keeping his investigation under wraps and refusing to tell anyone what was going on, even after he got caught. The Walkers and the Davidsons aren’t getting along any better and there seems to be some infighting going on now about the best way to move forward. Geri especially is a point of contention between the families as the Davidsons aren’t entirely ready to welcome her and the Walkers aren’t entirely ready to forgive her.
This episode also gave us it’s fair share of set up for the next season with new antagonists in the form of the shadow organization. We also got to see a new love interest for August and hints that Stella and Colton will at least try to maintain their relationship after going off to college. While there are still some big mysteries to wrap up in this season, it’s nice to see them taking the time to arrange plots for next season.
This was an episode of setups. Let’s hope they all pay off.
So, what did y’all think of the episode? Did you enjoy it or find it lacking? What big secrets is Gale hiding? Will Stella and Colton make it work despite the discord between their families? Will we ever get an answer to who sabotaged the saddle? And, the most important question of all, why the hell did Fenton have a suicide pill on him??? Let me know what y’all think in the comments!
Catch up on Esther’s detailed Walker Recaps and insightful Character Profiles, all found on her Writer’s Page!