Another really good episode, with only a couple of things that made me scratch my head. When the Walker writing team decides to kick it in the ass, they do a fine job! I’m going to skip a recap and just focus on what I liked and the stuff that pulled me out of the story.

The Good Stuff

I love that Walker’s writers and Jared continue to give us Supernatural callbacks. Did you notice that the coffee shop where Captain James and his wife meet up is called “Easy Tiger”? If that rings a bell, it should, since it’s one of the first things Dean said to Sam when they wrestled in Sam’s college apartment. I loved it!

I caught a bit of Supernatural in Cassie’s love for Hawk’s Shadow, with its demonic teens. A shoutout to Scooby-Doo, Supernatural, and everyone—like Dean—who loved Saturday morning cartoons like Thundercat, Justice League, and more. I’m really liking Cassie with her Jersey-girl candor and straight-shooting.

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From the very beginning of the episode, Cordell and Cassie check in with each other repeatedly to see how their partner is doing emotionally—over Miles, Geri, Twyla Jean, the ranch. That’s what good friends do. I love to see this side of their partnership grow.

Cordell is honest about feeling ‘betrayed’ that Geri has chosen the Davidsons over the Walkers despite her long history with Cordell and supposed feelings for him. Trust is a huge theme in this episode (Cassidy asks several times ‘do you trust me?’), and I’m glad Cordell isn’t pretending that there’s not a very big—possibly insurmountable—problem with Geri when he talks about what it’s like when ‘you can’t trust someone to stick by you.’

Cassie was funny and sharp as she pulled Cordell along when the perp ran into a club where Cassie knew the floor plan and knew where the back door was. C-Caw! (I loved the fandom shout-out when several of the onlookers echoed her call!)

Trey, Captain James and Auggie get some quality bonding time. I think we could all use an appointment in that smash-up place to work off pent-up frustrations! It was great to see Trey’s psychological perspective be taken to heart by Captain James, who also wants to expand offering Trey’s services to the Rangers.

The cryptocurrency heist story was interesting and had just enough meat to carry the episode, with a tie back to bring Twyla Jean back into the story.

Cordell Walker in a suit looks mighty fine, and I think we all enjoyed seeing Twyla Jean loosen him up a bit—I mean, loosen his tie and unbutton his shirt. She really cracked the whip taking off his belt, didn’t she? Poor guy looked so flustered and scrambled to get it back—which came in handy later!

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I was glad to see Captain James put Trey’s coaching to use to bridge the conversational gap with his ex-wife and be able to express his feelings about his work and family time. That was a huge step forward!

Bonus points to Stella for recognizing the danger to the horses of the hemlock patch, and kudos to everyone being grown up enough to work together for the good of the animals. Cassie speaking on Twyla Jean’s behalf at her parole hearing was another nice touch of what successful adulting looks like.

Hemlock seemed to be symbolic for all the things that were poisoned—the relationship between the Walkers and Davidsons, losing the ranch, Cordell and Geri’s broken pairing, the tension between Stella and Colton, and the history of both families over their land and what transpired there.

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Bonham figures out that Stella got into her first-choice college, and tells her ‘you don’t need to hide your wins’ and ‘latch on to something, get excited about it.’ That’s good advice.

Cordell and Twyla Jean have a good moment at the end, when he admits that doubting her and accusing her of betrayal during the bust was because his insecurities got the best of him given what’s been going on. She forgives him, and they resolve to start fresh, wondering what might have happened if they had originally met under different circumstances.

Applause to Jared and the cast for turning in a first-rate performance, as always!

Now for the stuff that gave me pause…..If you loved the episode, stop reading here. I had some quibbles, but not as big as with prior episodes, which let me enjoy the show much more.

The Other Stuff

Where’s the line with a minor between lying and guarding their privacy? Stella’s evasion about her acceptance letter made sense from her point of view in terms of needing time to let it sink in, but it’s still erecting barriers between her and her family. Acceptance letters come with a window of time to confirm. She could have told everyone that she got in and wasn’t sure what she was going to do, or was waiting on other offers, or needed to sit with it. I’m disturbed that her go-to reaction always seems to be lying.

Then she lies to Todd about going with her family, lies to her family about going with Todd, and ends up going to see Colton. The lies are really a child-like behavior, because an adult owns what she’s doing even if others disagree. Stella still has some growing up to do.

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On one hand, it’s good that Stella and Colton are talking, because someone in their families needs to keep communication open, and the adults are failing miserably. At the same time, getting emotionally involved with a Davidson is a bad idea, as three generations of Walkers have already found out. Doing the same thing and hoping for different results isn’t smart.

It’s ominous that Stella is arranging a bouquet of poisonous flowers when Bonham warns her to be careful of Colton.

I didn’t buy the idea of Bonham going back to do anything on the ranch with Dan in charge, which smacked of being a sharecropper on his own family’s land. Did the deal also give away all the horses? Maybe Bonham needs to lend a hand if Dan knows so little he nearly let the animals get poisoned in the first few weeks, but this struck me as implausible.

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Cordell certainly has a type when it comes to women—petite, feisty, willing to speak their mind, independent, and damaged. We don’t know Emily’s background, but given Cordell’s attraction to Geri and Twyla Jean, I wonder if she also has a tragic backstory. Cordell at heart is a protector, and the difficulty healers and rescuers can run into is that not everyone can be healed/fixed/saved. The need to rescue is noble, but it can lead to a pattern of attraction that chooses partners who aren’t good for being in a healthy relationship.

Cordell has every right to start seeing someone new since Geri dumped him and might not come back. But Twyla Jean? (Is she Cordell’s version of what Hoyt was to Geri?) Lawman and ex-con make for good fan fiction, but I’m not sure it’s a foundation for a healthy match.

And Geri? She’s dead to me. Some lines, once crossed, can’t be uncrossed. She’s shown Cordell her true self—that she really is a Davidson—and he needs to believe and accept that and move on.


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