Back In The Saddle – Walker Episode 2 Review

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It’s a lone star state of mind for Texas Ranger, Cordell Walker, as he tries to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Episode two has Walker trying to find his place amongst his family, and with his peers as a Texas Ranger.

Walker is having a tough time fitting back into his old life no matter how much he tries. He is finding that just being there isn’t enough. He needs to be there physically, mentally, and emotionally for his kids. As a Texas Ranger he needs his head back in the game. He is finding this a task that is easier said than done. This Back in the Saddle episode is an emotional rollercoaster of belonging and betrayal. Its filled with flashbacks of his beloved wife Emily and the former life they once shared. A life filled with happier times for both Walker and his children. But will those memories prove too strong for Walker to work through?

Changes

Captain James, as Walker calls him, soon makes it clear that things have changed under his leadership of the Texas Rangers. Walker’s job is in jeopardy unless he recertifies himself to stay a Ranger. I can’t help but wonder if Captain James believed Walker could pass the tests or if he thought Walker’s mind was too far gone grieving for Emily. Being a Ranger is the one constant that Walker still has in his life. Being a ranger is all he knows and so he buries himself in his work. He doesn’t realize that by doing so, he shuts out the other crucial side of life needs, his family.

The recertification consisted of three tests. Shooting, driving, and horseback riding. Walker proved he still has what it takes passing the shooting test with flying colors. Even Walker smirked at his shooting skills. The driving test was one of the funniest parts of the night.  He drove through those cones like he was riding a wild bull. That instructor had to grab hold of the handle above her head. I’m all about the wild and crazy driving. I’d say it’s safe to say Walker could easily be in Nascar if he wanted. Burn rubber, cowboy! The final test was horseback riding. It would have been easier for Walker had his saddle not been a gift from Emily. He flashbacked to remembering her give it to him. So his time in the saddle was brief before he walked away.

Reconnecting

Walker finds himself an outcast amongst his family. Their expectations for him appear to be too much. Walker is lost and needing some sense of normalcy. He doesn’t know how to reconnect with his own kids. He doesn’t know how to talk to his parents. Walker’s kids are still very much grieving over the loss of their mother. They are finding it hard to reconnect with their father. He in turn is finding it hard to reconnect with them.

Stella has been the typical teenager shrouded in emotional chaos. She compensates for her grieving by sneaking over to their family home drinking and having parties. Is she careless leaving the beer cans laying around or is she secretly wanting to get caught to get her father’s attention? I believe she is desperately seeking his attention but doesn’t know how to talk to him. It becomes evident when she can only speak with her father through text messages. It’s a step in the right direction between them. Time will hopefully begin making it easier for them to communicate with one another.

August loses himself in his mother’s old hobby, photography. Of course memories of his mother foreshadow what he can see through the lens. A time when he can remember her smiling and encouraging him. At least it inspires him to look at things through his mother’s eyes of the camera lens and make it his school project. It’s a wonderful way to honor her.

A Father’s Love

Walker’s parents are finally seeing that their son is having a hard time adjusting to life back home. Walker’s father bridges the gap between them with a gift of a new saddle. He noticed Walker wasn’t using the one Emily gave him. He comments he noticed it was collecting dust in the back of Walker’s truck.  Even parents need to find something to bridge the gap with their kids at times. I believe Walker appreciated the gesture from his father.

Betrayal

The ultimate betrayal came when Stella told her father that their Uncle Liam tried to get custody of them while he was away. It was clear Walker was mad as he sped off to find Liam. The two ended up in a brawl on the lawn at the ranch. Things kept going downhill when Liam told Walker that their parents supported his decision on that. Now here is the thing, there are two sides of the story here. Liam and his parents hadn’t heard from Walker at all in several months. Therefore they had no way of knowing if he was even alive. The kids needed a guardian. So in a way Liam was right for attempting this. However, they are Walkers kids and he has been away before. Why didn’t Liam tell Walker about this when he returned home? Why was it made to be some sort of secret?

Secrets Revealed

We do find some shocking information about Emily’s death that should have put Walkers mind at ease. Geri admitted to closing her eyes. My question is, after all the talks they said they had about that night, why did Geri not tell him this before now. Is she lying? Where was she when Emily was killed? There is still more Geri knows about this in my opinion.  August fills in the other news about the poker chip. A poker gift set was to be Walker’s fathers day gift from her. Emily was carrying some of the chips around to show people. So that explains why the poker chip was on her when she died. Or does it? Although I feel these details were revealed a bit too soon, I still believe there is more mystery to uncover about Emily’s death. Hopefully we will continue to learn more throughout this season.

A Tender Moment

The sweetest part of the episode was a tender moment between Walker and his kids. He and Stella decided to remove the concrete slab that has the kids’ hand prints in it and bring it back to the ranch. When Stella accidentally breaks it she breaks down in her dads arms. Don’t worry though, they were still able to bring it back to the ranch. Liam shows his father the video he made for his school project. It is filled of images of their family. Happy times with their mom as seen through her camera lens. She enjoyed taking pictures and recording special moments of them. Finally, Walker and his kids are bridging the gap that has been between them and starting to reconnect. I hope this makes Walker feel better about his relationship with them.


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Lisa Canipe-Moss