‘Walker’: Ranger Show or Grieving Family Show?

I love the beautiful moments on Walker, but I’m still trying to figure out what this show is supposed to be about.

The trauma of losing his wife is still very fresh. Cordell Walker (Jared Padalecki) went away on a case and never dealt with it. Now, he’s going through all the stages of grief.

Walker and his kids are finally starting to grieve together. (Rebecca Brenneman/The CW)

Walker has been asking many questions since he got back, and he did get two needed answers. Why his wife’s eyes were shut and why she had a poker chip in her hand. The first was because Geri (Odette Annable) closed them. She couldn’t leave her like that. And the second, because his wife had gotten him a set of poker chips and cards for Father’s Day. She had kept a few of the chips to show people.

Sometimes the answers are the simplest of ones. Does this mean there is no big conspiracy behind his wife’s death? And will he put the case to rest and start to grieve?

Why is the show called Walker? While I didn’t watch the original, I’m more than certain this has nothing to do with the original. I know enough about it to know that it was a Texas cop show, and this is more about a grieving family. Walker just so happens to be a ranger too.

The first two episodes have been about Walker getting back to work and pretty much ignoring his children, until the end of the second episode, when he finally starts showing up for his son and daughter.

I don’t assume that Walker is just going to be the great father all the time magically. He’s finally trying to be a dad, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be consistent.

I’m still not totally sold on Walker yet. The characters are definitely helping me want to stick around. It’s nice seeing Jared back on my screen again. And I feel like he’s slowly becoming this new character and putting Sam behind him.

I love how much Liam loves his niece and nephew. (Rebecca Brenneman/The CW)

I quite like Keegan Allen’s character Liam, too. He’s fiercely protective over his niece and nephew. He definitely appears to have been a father figure for them while Walker was gone. I hope we get to explore more of his character outside of the Walker family.

For instance, I want to see more of him with his boyfriend Bret (Alex Landi), who we all know from Grey’s Anatomy. Liam is a DEA attorney and has a hot boyfriend. Please give us more of this!

The kids are quite interesting too. I love how protective Stella (Violet Brinson) is of her best friend. And she’s right, if Isabel (Gabriela Flores) can’t play because of what happened, why should she be allowed to play. While she’s standing up for what’s right, she’s also desperately wanting attention. That had to be the only reason she’s throwing parties at her house.

And I absolutely loved how she set her dad straight. He’s not there, and that’s not their home anymore. He forgot about her soccer game. He’s not helping his kids grieve. He just took off. It was heartbreaking seeing all of her pain, but it was a beautiful scene.

Followed by another powerful scene between Liam and Walker. It doesn’t seem too far fetched that Liam tried to get custody of his nephew and niece. They needed a father, and their real one was nowhere to be found. Everyone else in the Walker family was stepping up for these kids, except Walker.

Maybe Walker needed to blow off some steam with the fight because it wasn’t really his brother that he was mad at. It was losing his wife. Right after his daughter was straight with him, his brother was, too. These are hard truths that he has to deal with.

Micki is a badass! (Rebecca Brenneman/The CW)

There are certainly beautiful moments, but if the show is about a grieving family, why use the IP of Walker, Texas Ranger? Sure, that scene where Jared was on the horse and his partner jumped on the back, and they took down the bad guys was badass. And so was the scene where part of the recertifying was to drive a car through an obstacle course. These were definitely fun.

And I love Micki (Lindsey Morgan). She’s just so strong and independent. And she’s also trying to take the next step with her boyfriend. So, both she and Walker will be growing personally through all of this too.

There seem to be two separate ideas of the show here. The Texas Rangers show and the family grieving show. Because of so many familiar faces that I love, and of course, I followed Jared first on Gilmore Girls and then all 15 years on Supernatural, I’m happy to let this show find its footing. All I want is for Jared to succeed.

What do you think of Walker so far? Tweet me @MandyTTCarr or comment below.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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