The McMurray curse has been haunting the family since the series began, and on Ride Season 1 Episode 3, Cash chose to look at it differently.
He’s had undue pressure on his shoulders since he returned, trying to follow in his late father’s and brother’s footsteps and prove that their family is thriving.
“The McMurray Curse” showed how Beau Mirchoff has matured as an actor into a leading man.
Cash is the rebel son, but he’s always willing to please his mother, including schmoozing the Bull Riders League Gala judges. I love their relationship.
Cash: You know I hate this stuff.
Isobel: It doesn’t matter. If you want to do this…I mean, really do this.
Missy: She’s right. If you meet the judges and they like you, it can mean a difference in your score.
He had only reluctantly agreed to go when Isobel decided to host it at their barn instead, and now the barn and Cash needed an entire makeover.
Cash felt burdened by Isobel’s pressure to present the right image.
He assumed his mom wanted him to be like Austin.
Missy: Your mom doesn’t want you to be like Austin. He was different, not better.
Cash: Then when am I studying to be like him?
Cash is haunted by the fact that Austin was the golden child and he was the screw-up, and the more he replays certain things, the more he messes up.
Cash realized he needed to get out of his head and stop listening to the rumors everyone had whispered about.
Cash succeeded in schmoozing Barbara Sutton and the other judges. Trouble started when he and Missy bumped into another couple while dancing.
Whispers of the “McMurray Curse” started, and Cash ignored everything his mother said and went off and defended his family. There was never a prouder moment.
Why do you think we’re cursed? Is it because we’ve suffered so much loss or because we struggle to keep this place we love beneath our feet? Why man? The only curse we’re suffering, so far as I can tell, is allowing ourselves to be judged by people like you. I’m not my brother, but I am part of this community, and rodeo is about family. We support each other and forgive past wrongs, so if you’re going for a word to describe the McMurrays I’d go with lucky.
After that speech, Isobel looked at her son differently. She even told him not to change having a mind of his own because that reminds her of his dad, and he was successful.
This was such a pivotal episode for Isobel and Cash, and it showed her pride in her son.
Since her husband and son died, Isobel had become isolated from the rodeo community. She had even lost touch with her best friend, so proving to everyone that their family was thriving was essential.
Nancy Travis shined as Isobel, who went from a drill sergeant barking orders until the barn looked perfect to a proud mom, determined that the judges saw her pride in Cash.
Underneath, she also felt vulnerable because it seemed like her closest friends abandoned her. After all, they felt the McMurray curse was contagious, and they could lose someone too.
Watch out for superstition. It’s a powerful thing
I was relieved that Barbara Sutton wasn’t as big of a snob as she seemed and that she and Isobel mended their friendship.
While Ride is a family show, it’s also the continuing romance of Cash and Missy. They’re kindred spirits that understand and support each other’s dreams.
While Missy helped Cash mentally prepare in Ride Season 1 Episode 1, this time, Cash helped her get in the right headspace to do trick riding again.
Cash: You don’t get confident by thinking about something. You got to do it.
Missy: Wait, where’d you hear that?
Cash: That was something Austin used to say.
Missy: No, that was me. I told him that.
Their close friendship is just the foundation, though. When they slow danced at the gala, sparks flew.
I’m not opposed to a slow burn, but hopefully, soon, Missy will acknowledge some feelings.
The McMurray curse also burdened Missy. Austin was a legend, and she was burdened with guilt from his death. She thought she was his “good luck charm,” but he died.”
She hadn’t been on a horse since Austin’s death and felt forced to because of a Frontier promotion.
Missy knew that mental state sometimes differentiates between a successful trick and death.
She’s haunted by what her husband thought during his last ride and wonders if she could have saved him. Missy still grieves Austin but is also in denial about her feelings for Cash.
Frontier expects way too much of Missy. She should have read the fine print before signing with them. I understand that she needed another career to lessen her bond with the McMurrays, but there is something about JB that I don’t trust.
At least Susan tried to understand when Missy couldn’t complete the trick, but she had to follow the contract.
This is what I do, and it’s dangerous. If I’m not in the zone, I could die. I may not be a lawyer, but as far as I’m concerned, dying for Frontier Jeans is not a contractual obligation.
Missy had so much emotional and physical baggage to let go of. Burying her old riding shoes was a good first start.
However, Missy had to leave her headspace and realize Austin wouldn’t want her to grieve forever. Once she did, she could do the trick riding she loved again. She looked like a natural on her horse.
Sometimes bad things just happen, Missy. It’s no one’s fault.
While Isobel adores Valeria, she often seems like the redheaded stepchild who doesn’t quite fit in. No one else respected her ideas or felt she had earned her promotion.
Missy is trying to regain their close friendship, but they don’t have Cash’s easy “sibling” vibe with Valeria.
Cash might be the only person who got through to her about needing to prove herself consistently.
Cash understood Valeria because he always felt he had to prove himself, but he had an entire ranch behind him, whereas she had only one or two friends.
I thought Tuff did too, but he was more judgmental than worried.
Cash was right that Tuff seemed upset about sharing his foreman responsibilities. Seeing Cash tease Tuff about overreacting was so entertaining since he’d done it since they were kids. Brotherly love.
Valeria couldn’t tell them why she was gone for a year. I suspect she was on the run.
I’m unsure if it’s because of what happened with Austin or if she was in trouble beforehand.
Ride is such an incredible family drama because it leaves each episode with more questions wanting us to return for more. What is Valeria hiding from, or who is she running from?
Why was Austin so moody in his final days, and did it affect his final decision? We love feedback, so I’d love to know your favorite parts of Hallmark’s new family drama. Comment below.
To catch up on any of the McMurray adventures, you can watch Ride online via TV Fanatic.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.