The mid-season finale left us with a lot of questions and a sad farewell. I’m going to split it by character(s) again rather than take things in chronological order to focus on the different storylines.
Cordell and Liam
The episode begins with an armored transport robbery. Men in deer masks overpower the lone driver who is moving evidence related to Serano. Why was there no officer riding shotgun for such a high-profile case? Was this an intentional set-up by someone higher up who approved the transport? We know North Side Nation had their hooks into more people than just Stan.
Cordell is wearing an elf hat as he arranges pieces on a large miniature train display. Bonham is grumpy and doesn’t like the tree Auggie and Stella found. Liam and Cordell debate where to hide the figure of Ebenezer Scrooge in the display, which is apparently an annual in-joke. Liam tells Cordell that he can be civil to the Davidsons. “You and me, we’re good.” (I love to see the brothers affirming their bond—gives me Supernatural vibes!)
Denise shows up and tells them about the hijacked truck. It’s in her hometown, so she says Cordell will have better luck getting people to talk than she will—and she says Liam should go with him. it strikes me as odd that Denise thinks she’d be at a disadvantage where people know her best—is it because no one really likes the Davidsons (for good reason) or is she either covering something up or hiding something?
Cordell tells Liam that if they bring a better tree back with them, “We could be heroes.” (Another Supernatural nod?) The tree sellers are hostile, and one of them tells Cordell to look closely at Dan Miller. Apparently the tree guy and Dan stole cars when they were younger. He says Dan is in town taking care of his mother-in-law (Gale). Why is a guy who is getting a divorce taking care of his mother-in-law? Usually, the MIL is part of the problem when there’s a breakup, and Gale certainly never misses a chance to bring the drama. You’d think Gale would be taking sides with Denise if a split was going to happen. Something’s fishy.
Dan gets a rifle out of a chest at Gale’s house. Cordell and Liam come to the door, and Dan hides the gun in a box. Cordell and Liam spot it. Dan is confrontational. Liam suggests Dan is getting squeezed by North Side Nation or saw the route the transport was going to take on Denise’s computer, suggesting that Dan was involved in the hijacking.
Cordell and Liam are at a local diner. Liam believes Dan is violent (given what we’ve seen and how Dan has started fights in the past, I think that’s a reasonable assumption). Liam tells Cordell that he still has PTSD when he hears gunshots. Cordell apologizes and Liam says he needs his brother to trust him. (We’ve heard this conversation many times between Sam and Dean.) Liam steps out and says he needs some air. Dan is right outside, and in the back of his truck Liam sees the box with the rifle and what look like deer masks. (Why would Dan leave something like that in plain view?) Liam breaks a taillight on the truck to create a reason for cops to stop Dan and find the gun/masks.
In the diner, Gale shows up. She says that Dan told her about running into them. Cordell tells her than Denise sent them and that Dan is hiding things. Gale says she already went to the hardware store and knows about the store selling blowtorches to three meth heads, as if that proves Dan couldn’t have been involved in the hijacking.
Hold on—how does Gale know to do that? Isn’t that a weird thing for a random citizen to do? Shouldn’t it have been the police or Cordell following that lead? And how does offering up three henchmen prove Dan wasn’t the mastermind? This looks really suspicious. Cordell says that if Gale screws him over on this his peacemaker deal is over and she won’t like what comes next. (Finally!)
We see the meth heads trying to break into the armored truck with blowtorches. Cordell yells for them to give themselves up and they shoot a barrage through the wooden door. Cordell drives his truck through the door and has a badass hand-to-hand fight with a guy holding a blowtorch instead of just shooting him in the knee. (The fight could have been avoided and shooting the guy under those circumstances seems like a reasonable use of force.)
Finding the meth heads with the truck, Cordell concludes that Gale’s information checked out and that they might owe Dan an apology. “Good thing we took the blinders off,” he says to Liam, then talks about getting a tree and going home. Huh? Just because Dan wasn’t helping the henchmen open the truck doesn’t necessarily clear him of any connection. Cordell is going overboard trying to be ‘fair’ to Dan for no good reason, since Dan has been a real jerk at every turn.
They pass Dan’s truck pulled over by cops. Liam tells him to keep driving. Cordell accuses Liam of calling in a false report to get around a warrant. (Seeing a gun and deer masks seems like reasonable cause for suspicion, and it makes that discovery part of the public record. I thought it was a smart—if questionably ethical—move on Liam’s part.) Cordell freaks out and tells Liam that setting Dan up could be the end of his career and that there are lines you can’t cross and come back from. (Another ominous Supernatural call-back.)
Cordell’s lack of logic is all over the place. We’ve seen Cordell be willing to bend the rules farther than breaking a taillight, and one would think it would take more than that to end Liam’s career. (Because who’s going to know it was Liam?) Plus, every time Sam or Dean drew a line in the sand like that with each other, bad things happened, so I didn’t like the vibes. Cordell is being a hardass and not listening, and there’s no good reason for his attitude.
Later, we see Liam talking with Denise at the school party, but we don’t know if he confessed about the taillights.
Auggie and Stella
Auggie’s shoulder hurts from his fall in the old barn. Stella tells him to go to the doctor and lie about how it happened. Where did all the ‘growth’ go that Stella seemed to show earlier? First she engineers a kegger, now she’s urging her brother to lie despite all the dangers that have happened because they hid the truth before.
Colton and Auggie talk about music and playing keyboard at the school holiday party. Auggie’s shoulder still hurts. Micki and Trey run into Denise there, and she compliments Trey on his work with the kids.
Later, Colton and Auggie decide to be friends, bonding over music. Now Auggie’s shoulder doesn’t seem to bother him—what changed? But Bonham did look good as Santa! Later, Auggie finally confesses what happened in the old barn to Cordell.
The school party storyline felt very weak and pointless, and took time away from the bigger stories about the hijacking and the issues with Micki and Trey.
Micki and Trey
When Trey gets up to go to work, he finds Micki at the table. She says she’s been up all night trying to figure out how to explain. Tells him Garrison was her ‘messy ex’. Trey wants to know why she lied. Then she tells Trey that she and Garrison were engaged. She says that ‘he slipped right out of my hands’, a reference to both losing her ability to keep him from getting involved in crime and how he died. She says she doesn’t know who she is. Trey is patient with her. She asks if they’re okay and he says they are solid.
I’m perplexed by all the carrying-on over an engagement that was broken many years before. People break off engagements for all kinds of reasons, all the time. After so much time has passed, it’s odd for the situation to be quite so angsty. They’re treating it more like a divorce than a break-up.
At the party, Trey says he said ‘yes’ to every request the school made and threw himself into his work to ‘get his mind off what you had done’. He realizes too late what he said, blaming Micki for going undercover. When she presses him, he tells her that he thought that the tension over marriage and kids after the ‘mom brunch’ made her want to run. He thought she was afraid of commitment, but now finds out she used to be engaged. Trey says there is a ‘fork in the road—and I’m on the wrong side of it.’
There’s a lot of jumping to conclusions going on here. Trey has come up with his own head canon for why Micki went undercover and has accepted it as the truth without validating it with her. It turns out that he’s not as chill and patient as he wanted to seem, because he’s doing some judging and blaming.
The logic is very muddy. On one hand, he’s treating her years-ago broken engagement like a huge deal. On the other hand, he’s judgmental over Micki possibly thinking marriage and kids is a frightening commitment and wanting time to work through it. Which is it, Trey? The moms were very intrusive and heavy-handed about the marriage/kids stuff, and the decision to have children is a big step that will impact Micki’s career more directly than it will Trey’s. Micki’s likely to have some very conflicted feelings about motherhood given her upbringing, and it’s normal to need to get clarity before jumping into a life-changing decision. Plus she hasn’t been back long from being undercover and is still trying to deal with that trauma. Trey picks an odd time to lose his patience and understanding.
The tension between Trey and Micki grows at the party, with ‘too much left unsaid.’ This is an odd time/place to decide to hash things out. Micki says she doesn’t know what to do with ‘his truth’ or how to move forward, and that ‘neither one wants to say it’, presumably meaning that they are breaking up. Trey points out that hanging Garrison’s painting in their home was sending a message. Micki says she wants to go back to San Antonio and figure out how she got here or she can’t make it back (presumably meaning a return to Austin and Trey and her job). She tells Trey that she loves him and walks away.
The obvious decision would be to go to counseling—both for Micki’s PTSD and her conflicted feelings about Garrison and Trey, as well as for couples’ counseling because she and Trey are not communicating well. Instead, Micki’s going to wander off to find herself? (I realize that Lindsey Morgan, the actress who plays Micki, has chosen to leave the show indefinitely for personal reasons and so they had to write Micki out. But given Jared’s long-standing commitment to the importance of therapy, it would have been nice to see it be presented as part of the solution instead of Micki just running away.)
Micki goes to the office and leaves a note for Cordell, along with her gun and badge, but takes a photo. Captain James is there, and asks if she’ll change her mind. Micki says that she spent so much time trying to prove she could do the job that she’s forgotten why the job mattered. Cordell shows up and says that Micki helped him so much when he came back from being undercover that he feels he should have helped her more. She says that she wants to love her job, then they quote lines from Shakespeare (which seemed a little odd). James says the door will always be open. Micki says, ‘You’ll always be my family, Bo,” to Cordell. He replies, “I got you, Flor.”
The call-back to their early nicknames was a nice touch. The send-off was heartfelt, and obviously meta, serving as a meaningful good-bye to Lindsey as well as Micki. As far as writing her out of the show could have gone, this does leave the possibility for a return at some point. Trey appears to be staying on, so it will be interesting to see his role without Micki.
Going into the second half of the season, we have unresolved animosity from Gale and Dan toward the Walkers, no resolution on the old barn fire, Cordell left without a partner, unanswered questions about the Serano trial, and Liam’s angst. It will be interesting to see how the storylines play out and what loose ends are ultimately tied up.
As always, the acting and cast are great—it’s the writing that doesn’t quite deliver.
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Screencaps by Raloria on LJ