EPISODE 13 REVIEW – DEFEND THE RANCH – WALKER FAMILY STYLE

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They say they always do things big in Texas and Episode 13, Defend the Ranch, was arguably the biggest episode yet. If you didn’t come into this episode prepared for your jaw to drop to the floor then you were definitely left picking it up by the time the episode was over. Defend the Ranch was maybe a misleading title. It wasn’t so much about defending the ranch as it was about trying to survive. But oh boy did the cast and writers deliver a whopping of an emotional episode!

Walker — “Defend The Ranch” — Image Number: WLK113a_0428r — Pictured (L-R): Kale Culley as August Walker, Violet Brinson as Stella Walker, Molly Hagan as Abeline Walker and Mitch Pileggi as Bonham Walker — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Episode 13 was set to be the season finale. However, the network gave the series five more episodes to round out the season with at total of 18 episodes. In my opinion, they should have just stopped the season at 13 because I don’t see any way they are going to top it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about more episodes because we all love this series. I’m just saying that I don’t know how they could make another season finale to live up the this one. Especially since it was originally supposed to end the season.

When last we left off, Liam Walker was shot by Clint West and left for dead. The rest of us were left to ponder over the hiatus if Liam really was dead and what was about to go down at the ranch when the series returned. It’s safe to say that many of us expected things to go awry and some casualties to occur.

Walker — “Defend The Ranch” — Image Number: WLK113a_0134r — Pictured (L-R): Austin Nichols as Clint West, Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker and Matthew Barr as Hoyt — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

To think that Cordell’s past as Duke would turn out to haunt him this badly was unfathomable. Now his entire family is in jeopardy as well as his friend Hoyt. With all of them in jeopardy it left us wondering who was going to save them. Given all that was goin on did you even notice that Bonham Walker wasn’t there at the ranch while all of this was happening? I sure didn’t until he came riding up and saw something wasn’t right.

Clint and his crew might be glad that Bonham wasn’t there because Daddy Walker is a grizzly bear when it comes to his family. Bonham went in with rifle in hand and scooped up Liam to a safer place if only for a moment. Relief to us fans that he was still alive but very badly injured. I don’t know about you but I was impressed that Bonham could carry Liam the way that he did. It must be those muscles from working on a farm all these years. Way to go Daddy Walker!

Walker — “Defend The Ranch” — Image Number: WLK113a_0114r — Pictured: Matthew Barr as Hoyt — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Then we get to the good part. That smoldering hot Texan, Hoyt Rawlins just couldn’t keep his mouth shut even in a deadly situation. But his snarky attitude seemed to work just fine for discombobulating Clint. I mean this guy was able to free himself of his ropes and convince Clint to let him and Cordell rob the bank in style by way of the mustang. Can the guy be any smoother? He had me laughing, smiling with excitement for what he would do next. It’s needless to say that Hoyt is definitely a fan favorite.

So about that bank robbery, Clint was making Hoyt and Cordell do that. It was meant to be sort of a payback from Cordell’s past as Duke. But the best part of this was that while Hoyt and Cordell were on their way to rob the bank, the two buddies got to have a brief heart to heart moment. Cordell apologized to Hoyt for kissing Gerri. I’m glad that he got that opportunity to set things right between them. Hoyt’s response though was the absolute best! He said he was still going to kick Cordell’s ass once all this was all over. It’s good that even through all this that they could put their differences aside to casually go rob a bank. It was no big deal right? If you missed seeing this scene then you missed a funny few moments of interaction between these two.

Walker — “Defend The Ranch” — Image Number: WLK113a_0464r — Pictured (L-R): Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker and Matthew Barr as Hoyt — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Defend the ranch came at the end when an all out brawl and gun fight broke out. It was Clint and his gang against the Walker’s and Hoyt. Someone you just knew something bad was about to happen. With that much going on casualties were almost guaranteed. Hoyt ended up being that casulty when Clint stabbed him with a knife, delivering a deadly blow.

The end was quick for Hoyt, he was surrounded by the Walker’s. I think that must have been the saddest death ever. Hoyt was a beloved character. Fans took to Walker Facebook groups to express how much they disliked this decision by the writers. I as well as other believe that he was good for Walker. He was someone from his past that gave Walker a sense of comfort and someone he could turn to. Hoyt was a true friend, and ended up being a gallant hero.

Walker — “Defend The Ranch” — Image Number: WLK113a_0448r — Pictured (L-R): Matthew Barr as Hoyt and Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker — Photo: Rebecca Brenneman/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

But in the end, it was Liam Walker who surprised us all with a deadly one shot into Clint. He stopped Clint from killing Walker. Good thing Liam wasn’t completely out for the count or else Walker might have joined his best friend and Emily.

This leaves us with questions that we hope to see answered soon in these back five episodes. How will Gerri deal with Hoyt’s death once she finds out? Will her and Walker continue their relationship? Did this mark the end between Stella and Trevor? What will happen to Trevor now that his dad is dead also? But perhaps the saddest left to answer is how Abilene will deal with the loss of Hoyt and the news Clint let slip about Bonham’s health? Hang in there, we have five more to go to hopefully fill in these blanks.


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Lisa Canipe-Moss