Walker

Walker season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

Being a Texas Ranger isn’t an easy job, and it certainly doesn’t help things back home either.

Ranger Cordell Walker is often out late working–sometimes having to disappear for days, weeks or even months at a time while he solves cases. It’s left him struggling to maintain his relationship with his children, but he tries his best to make them know how much he loves them.

After all, that’s what his wife Emily pushed him to do. She’d been the glue that holds the whole family together. Though it’s hard, they made it work, and life was good.

That was, until Emily is murdered, and the only clue is a single poker chip left on her body. And even though someone has confessed to the crime, Cordell can’t seem to shake the feeling that there’s still a piece to the puzzle missing.

But with Emily gone, the glue that held the family together has dried up, too. Now, Cordell’s forced to raise his two kids—a 14-year-old boy named August and Stella, his 16-year-old daughter—without her. And his job makes it even more difficult, given his odd working hours (and sometimes working weeks).

By season two, Cordell has found a bit of a groove, though that groove is still full of cracks that need to be repaired. He’s learned through time, effort and the help of friends and family how to be there for others, and he has a better idea of how to do the right thing – but he’s still human, and he still messes up every so often.

Though the problems Cordell faces are often Texas Ranger-sized problems, he’s just the man for the job.

The Lonely Star State of Being

Cordell Walker isn’t the friendliest cowboy on the block, nor is he a protagonist who is always easy to root for. The murder of his wife Emily has made him cold, distant and more calculated. He’s prone to a few aggressive outbursts and is easily stirred to anger–especially at the mention of Emily. This anger, combined with his time away from home, has caused a rift between him and his family.

But as time goes on, Cordell learns how to be a better father, and he experiences a lot of redemption. At times, he even becomes the voice of reason and the solid rock when other members of his family begin to reveal their individual scars.

There are a few literal scars to explore as well. Cordell spends much of his time on the job solving cases, throwing punches and dodging bullets. He and his working partner, Micki, perform drug busts, and they’re not afraid to bust down the door to get what they want. At one point, he willingly gets into a fistfight with a suspect wielding a blowtorch just to prove how tough he is. Though Walker spends quite a bit of time on Cordell’s work on the job, it’s his work at home that I found most compelling.

Though the show can sometimes feel a bit like they’re padding the runtime, it reveals a sad reality of familial healing–it takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s not always fun or dramatic. But effort often bears fruit, and those who stick around through the thick of it, just as we see in Walker, will be pleased as those long-lasting family wounds heal.

Episode Reviews

Jan. 13, 2022: “Where Do We Go From Here”

After Cordell’s brother Liam issues a false police report in order to arrest a suspect, he and Cordell must deal with the legal consequences and family drama that emerge as a result. Cordell learns how to bond with daughter Stella as she struggles with deciding what to do after high school, and Micki’s boyfriend Trey must learn how to cope with Micki leaving.

Liam commits a misdemeanor by filing a false police report in order to arrest who he believes to be a centerpiece in a case. Cordell and Liam fight over the action, causing Liam to isolate himself in a small house in the woods for weeks.

Cordell and Stella have a “we day,” and Cordell bonds with his daughter by talking with her about Emily. In a touching moment, we see Cordell mimicking the ways Emily used to make Stella feel better. Stella mentions that she had to learn how to cauterize wounds.

Cordell mentions that he staged a fight with Liam when they were kids because bullies were picking on Liam for being gay (He let Liam beat him in order to show them how tough he was).

Liam goes on a date with his male fiancé. They both have beers, and Liam drinks a few shots, causing him to become intoxicated. Lawyers call him asking for his statement regarding the false police report, and he arrives to the police station while still drunk. A man is shot twice by a hitman.

The episode focused a lot on relationships among family and friends:. Cordell and Stella bond together as father and son, and Trey and Captain Larry James bond over Micki’s departure. Other characters become closer, as well.

There are two uses of “a–,” one instance of “d–n” and two uses of “h—.” God’s name is misused twice. In addition, there is once cut-off instance of “d–k.”

Jan. 21, 2021: “Pilot”

When Cordell Walker returns home from a three-month long job excursion, he realizes that the family he left behind has changed without him.

Cordell kisses his wife Emily before going in to play board games with his family. Emily is later shot twice, and while the attack takes place offscreen, we later see her bleeding from gunshot wounds on the ground as she dies. Later in the episode, Cordell and his parole partner Micki have a gun drawn on them, and they fight and arrest the perpetrators. Cordell’s brother Liam is engaged to a man.

Beer and wine are casually ingested throughout the episode, and Cordell appears intoxicated once, needing a ride home in a police car. Cordell sometimes hallucinates visions of Emily. Cordell’s daughter Stella and her undocumented friend Isabel are brought to the police station for possessing and using drugs while at a party. Though the type of drug isn’t specified, it is implied to be marijuana.

Micki’s boyfriend stays overnight, and it is implied they have sex. A Christian organization is found to actually be a front for a drug cartel, hiding heroin inside pottery crosses. Cordell disapproves of Stella being put into a Catholic school and openly mocks Christianity through a fake prayer. Cordell fidgets with a poker chip which was found on his wife’s body.

Micki calls Cordell an idiot. – There are four uses of “d–n,” three uses of “h—,” one use of “bada–,” one use of “jacka–,” and one plain old use of “a–.” “Crap” and “p-ss” are also both used once. The name of Jesus is mockingly misused once.

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Kennedy Unthank

Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank betrayed his roots by leaving the wheat behind to study journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics.

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