Walker Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Duke

Of all the nerve! How can Walker Season 1 Episode 5 tease us with “Duke” as a bronco buster and then fail to follow through?

Surely, Jared Padalecki was up for the challenge!

What we do know is that Cordell was up for the challenge of getting back into Duke’s skin again, as much as he hated who he became when he was undercover.

I’ll tell you what; I am only human. Between Matt Barr glittering his way into Walker Season 1 Episode 3 and Padalecki’s multiple shirtless scenes with “Duke,” well, I appreciate what they’re doing here.

Do you know what was missing on Supernatural? Well, not much. But shirtless scenes were few and far between. So it wasn’t easy to discern if the brothers had been taken care of themselves.

Hint: They were, and so was Duke as the bronco rider trying to bust the Rodeo Kings in Operation Watch the Throne.

We do need to stop for a second and try to understand what the hell that title means. Does it sound like an op trying to watch someone on the can to anybody else?

At least, now we know what riled up the Texas Ranger on Walker Season 1 Episode 4. The text was from Twyla, a special someone Walker had to get cozy with while trying to bust the Kings.

When the op was finished, Walker walked away without accounting for three hundred grand, which some lazy FBI agent now decided must be his reason to go undercover again.

No, not to find the money and finish the job, but to run off with Twyla, money in tow. Who in their right mind would think that a Ranger with two children, a DA for a brother, and parents who own a huge working ranch would run off for a measly $300k??

Liam has his brother’s back no matter how much he might have looked down on Walker’s choices regarding that op and his family, and Micki has is too, even if she was willing to believe he’d let Hoyt sway his Ranger determination for their friendship once upon a time.

Maybe seeing James, who was once Walker’s partner, thinking so little of him is getting on her last nerve, too. Micki went undercover of her own volition because James almost seemed willing to toss Walker under the bus in front of the FBI agent.

I know that storyline is getting on my last nerve. It’s time for a flashback that explains Walker and James because, as it stands, the dynamic makes no sense. Nobody is going to change that much in such a short time. Their partnership must have been painful for everyone.

Maybe if Walker felt more confident under James’ command, he wouldn’t have felt the need to go it alone. Doing that didn’t help anyone, but who can blame him? He was alone during Operation Watch the Throne (!), and he feels alone now.

Revisiting the case went to great lengths to close another of Walker’s unhappy chapters, too. In one episode, we got to know who he was for ten months while undercover and put it to rest with a couple of bullets to the chest.

That allowed the FBI agent to feel good because who wouldn’t enjoy shooting someone you once thought criminal even if it wasn’t real?

Even better, it brought Walker and Liam closer, too. We didn’t know that Liam’s involvement in the undercover op was so intimate. He’s been carrying guilt about how he handled that, which probably spurred him to make it up to his brother by caring even more deeply for his kids while he was away.

Auggie must have been raised under a rock because if he has a Ranger father and a DA uncle and still doesn’t understand how serious those roles are and what kind of people they deal with, then he’s got moss growing on his brain.

Keeping Trey close to the family with his coaching job, making him a role model for Stella, was a wise move. It’s not always easy to incorporate love interests into a story without feeling like a third wheel, but this works.

It works especially because of the insight that Trey will offer Stella without betraying either her or Walker’s confidence.

We’ve already gotten to know Trey and how he processes things. It’s impressive, both in how he deals with his romantic encounters with Micki and her concerns over partnering with Walker.

Maybe Auggie can find a similar person in his life so that he will never put his life in jeopardy that way again. But, from what we’ve seen so far, burning the past on this show doesn’t necessarily do the job.

That’s right. Despite all of that dust covering the past, both Liam and James kicked it up a bit by requesting the drone footage of Emily’s death. Uh, excuse me? There’s drone footage? Did Walker know that? It seems unlikely.

And with all the pain Walker has been in over her death and his concern that there was more to it, they never thought to take a peek before now? That doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies.

If you watch Walker online, then you know it’s getting better all the time. And now we have a break until March 11, as well as hints of reopening Emily’s murder case and visiting Hoyt in jail (yay!).

What do you think? Is it getting better? Let’s chat in the comments!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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