Well, maybe this isn’t the show for me.
Sadly, Walker Season 1 Episode 2 wasn’t any better than Walker Season 1 Episode 1.
It might even be worse because the humor that filtered into the premiere with the floundering father’s return to his old life was missing here.
Some things really bug me. Capt. James is kind of annoying in his desire to do everything by the book and at Walker’s expense. They were partners and friends before Walker took the undercover assignment.
But upon his return, he’s in the dark about it, and his old buddy, the now Capt. James has lost his sense of humor. Since he was there with Cordell during the worst time of his life and (according to Capt. James) was in the field because of the Captain, can’t he cut Walker a little slack?
Claiming he’s trying to put the best Ranger forward as his excuse for not calling Walker OR telling him he needed his recertification didn’t fly.
Still, Walker didn’t have too much of a problem with it. He knew he was rusty. Even worse, he couldn’t focus for thinking about Emily.
He was pretty shocked to discover that the mysteries surrounding how Emily was found weren’t all that mysterious after all.
Geri worked with Emily at the border, and when Emily died, she was the one who shut her eyes. She couldn’t leave her like that. So that left only the poker chip unanswered.
But by the end of the hour, we even had that answer. It was the missing piece to his final gift from Emily.
When it came to family, everyone was living normally, except their normal was news to Walker. He didn’t make the right breakfast or understand the nuances of Stella’s soccer team. He wouldn’t let go of his former home. He was not living up.
It was sad that Walker told Micki that without his work, he had nothing and didn’t feel like he fit in anywhere, not at home or his job. He’s struggling a lot, didn’t have the answers, and seems to like taking the roundabout approach to get them.
It will take some time to come together, but he was making strides.
Unfortunately, the case felt like something I saw years ago on a Hart to Hart rerun. Does any dead racehorse by way of barn fire ever happen by accident? It’s a tried and true mystery trope, usually to get the insurance money. Maybe this isn’t supposed to be a procedural format, after all.
Still, it wasn’t all bad. There was action!! FINALLY. Even if it was short-lived.
Walker finally got the guts to attack life head-on, and that meant riding into the middle of an active scene on horseback, swooping Micki up behind him, with the duo taking down the bad guys.
Walker even enlisted Micki to help him with Stella and a party gone amok. She’d been helpful before, and Walker hadn’t eager to ask for help elsewhere.
So, maybe there is something to this new partnership.
Micki takes her role as a female person of color wearing a Ranger’s star seriously, so much so that Trey’s longer stay gave her pause. She’s not facing the same situation as Walker by any means, but they do have something in common.
They’re both entering new phases in their lives, and they can use some support. Maybe they’ll lean on each other, discovered a way to take the Rangers into the next phase, just as Capt. James wants of it.
We knew that Walker had to forgive himself for Emily’s death and accept that he made a terrible decision by disappearing into himself after she died.
He wasn’t there for his kids and wasn’t sure what to do about it. As Liam said, he was chasing ghosts when he should be growing closer to his kids again.
It was easy for Walker to lash out at Liam for “taking” the kids away from him. It was easier because the alternative was admitting his failure and that he really had no idea how to make it right again.
Maybe, by working with Micki, Walker will learn how to ask for and accept help when it’s offered. As much as he was pushing back at his family, he had no problem holding his hand out to Micki when he needed the assist for Stella’s party.
A lot of what made the Walker: Texas Ranger a success was it never stopped being fun. It didn’t take itself too seriously, but there was a lot of action to smooth over the rough edges when it did veer into darker territory.
I don’t expect every show to have a clear path early in its run, but for Walker to survive on The CW, it’s going to need more than Jared Padalecki and Lindsey Morgan to do it. They’re CW vets, but this is a much different story than the network runs.
Even worse, the premiere skewed outside of The CW’s target demo.
All of that said, the good and the bad, if Walker goes the way of father and daughter as the hour ended, then things might look up after all. Walker finally communicated with Stella on her wavelength instead of hoping she’d come around to his.
It offered the first glimpse of hope for the family and the show that they’d be able to move beyond the past and into something wonderful in the future.
Sometimes, gettin’ back to normal might just mean startin’ fresh.
So, yes. It’s a rough start, and I’m still not sold. If you are, I’d love to hear about it. Nonetheless, there are foundational building blocks here that suggest Walker could be more if it leans into that fresh start.
And it might just begin with Walker Season 1 Episode 3 and Matt Barr’s first appearance. I’m so ready for that!
Until then, you can watch Walker online to catch up with us. And hey, leave us a comment below to share where you stand, OK?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.