Another solid episode! Walker writers prove they can do it—now can they just please make the magic consistent? While "Sucker Punch" wasn’t quite as dramatic as the previous episode, it still had a solid plot that was the focus for most of the episode. Unlike last week, however, the teen drama had no connection to the main plot, contributed nothing to the story, and interrupted the flow/urgency of the action.
Captain James is back to work, wearing the ‘Sam Winchester’ arm sling. He gets a standing ovation from the Rangers upon his return, and Trey thanks James for protecting him.
In court, the judge holds that Liam’s behavior doesn’t warrant throwing out the case but does grant Serano bail.
Cordell tells Denise that Serano is a threat to his family. Denise says she needs to know whether she can trust Cordell not to go off the rails. He replies that Micki taught him that the ends don’t justify the means, a nice nod to his former partner. On the way out, Serano chillingly asks him how his family is, a veiled threat. Cordell assures Serano that he’ll be watching him.
At the Side Step, Geri is encouraging local bands and tells Auggie to audition.
The girl he likes wants to come and record him for her YouTube channel. Auggie and Colton sign up to play, but need a singer.
Elsewhere, Serano and his lawyer are at dinner discussing Dan Miller. Serano believes Dan has evidence about the Walker surveillance and tells a goon to find Dan and take the hard drive from him.
Cordell is picking up dinner at the same restaurant. Serano calls him over and sends the others away. Cordell tells him to surrender and maybe he won’t die behind bars. Serano taunts Cordell, saying that Liam gave him a get out of jail free card. Cordell replies that Serano will mess up again and says, “You always do.”
At the Davidson’s, Dan gives Colton concert tickets and tells him it’s okay if he wants to take Stella. Denise and Dan sure don’t act like they’re getting a divorce, with a lot of affectionate touching. Denise says she has to work late, trying to come up with a way to keep Serano in jail. Dan has the hard drive, and intends to mail it to Denise anonymously, but when he goes to the Post Office, Serano’s goons keep him from dropping the package in the mailbox. (Why didn’t he run inside for protection? Committing a crime with a gun in a postal facility is an automatic 25 year jail sentence. It’s posted on every Post Office door!)
Back at the Walker ranch, Liam is comparing a modern map to the old one Bonham found. Dan shows up, shoves money into Liam’s hand and begs him to be his lawyer to provide attorney-client privilege. Dan refuses to give up, so Liam reluctantly agrees. Dan tells him what’s on the hard drive, and says he’ll turn it over if he gets total immunity and remains anonymous to everyone except Liam and the judge. Liam says he can’t guarantee Denise will go for it, and Dan threatens to recant if it isn’t kept a secret.
Pointless teen drama interrupts with the band needing a singer, Stella tutoring Todd who ends up ruining Colton’s plans to ask her out, and the band making a successful debut. Since this side plot had nothing to do with the main case, it served no narrative purpose and slowed the pace, taking away from an otherwise tight plot.
While Cordell and Geri and talking/flirting at the bar, James calls Cordell back to work.
Liam makes his bid for Dan’s deal. James and Cordell back him. Denise reluctantly agrees.
For some odd reason, Dan is feeding the horses at the Walker farm when Trey comes in. Dan gives a weak excuse, Trey is skeptical but lets it slide, and praises Colton, making it clear that Colton loves his father despite their arguments.
Serano calls Dan and offers a deal. Dan turns him down until Serano threatens Denise and Colton. Dan reneges on his deal with Liam and goes to hand off the hard drive to Serano. Cordell asks James for a tag team based on his big brother read on Liam’s body language as he takes the call.
Cordell drives toward where he tracked Dan’s car, suspecting all along who Liam’s mystery client really was. It’s the train station, filled with plenty of civilians Serano can use as human shields. A gunfight breaks out, and Serano escapes.
Cordell proves that Sammy learned how to drive from Dean, because he stays on Serano’s tail like a boss. A long car chase ensues, and Serano is hit by a semi, flips his truck and dies from his injuries.
Meanwhile, Liam delivers Dan his immunity deal but makes it clear he still detests Dan. He knows Dan had to have been involved with Serano, and asks whether Dan shot Earl (the other video guy) to save Liam or to cover his own crimes.
Back at the Side Step, Cordell tells Denise that he went to the train station following someone other than Serano, and points out that the mystery witness wasn’t worried about Serano knowing who he was—he didn’t want Cordell, James and Denise to know. He doesn’t accuse Dan flat out, but he does warn Denise she is ‘sleeping with the enemy’. She seems to take this to heart as she draws back from Dan’s hand as they sit together. (Seriously, she’s had absolutely no clue that Dan is a crook? Those are pretty bad instincts for a D.A.)
At the bar, Geri comforts Colton about the timing being wrong for him to move forward with Stella, and seems to be speaking about herself and Cordell.
In the end, Denise is reviewing the hard drive and comes upon Cordell confessing that he had taken the lantern to the barn the night of the fire.
On the whole, the episode was solid, with some caveats.
The teen actors are good, but their plot threads too often detract from the urgency of the main story. Instead of love triangles and bands, how about putting Auggie’s photography to use sticking their noses into cases and taking up the ‘family business’ of law enforcement? At least then they could contribute to the arc instead of being an obvious sop to The CW’s demographic.
Serano’s death felt anti-climatic to me. The North Side Nation storyline has been present from the beginning, with Serano playing a major role. Having him die in a traffic accident—albeit as the result of a car chase—seemed like a cheap way out by the writers. It’s going out with a whimper instead of a bang—and after all the build-up, we deserved a bigger bang. While Cordell was chasing Serano and technically caused the wreck, he didn’t get to make the arrest which felt like he was cheated of his victory.
I still believe Gale Davidson is involved somehow with the crime lords; if not with North Side Nation, then with a rival gang. Dan had no reason to be in that small town ‘helping his mother-in-law’ when he was supposedly in the process of getting a divorce. Gale’s been set up as a threat, but we haven’t seen the payoff yet. I suspect Denise will end up caught between her mother and Dan and her legal ethics.
Dan’s immunity deal is likely to bite the good guys in the butt when new discoveries are made. I think he’s in even deeper than we know. Has Liam yet to go find the documents Stan hid in the false-bottom desk at his house? Stan suggested Liam might not like what he found. Could Bonham have been the one to take a Walker lantern to the barn that night to fight with Marv over Abeline? Did Marv start the fire, intending to implicate and discredit Bonham, only to be trapped and die by accident?
What I really want to know is, when are we going to see some Family Business Brewing taps or signs at the Side Step—or the monkey statue that was such a recurring prop in Supernatural?
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Screencaps by Home of the Nutty