Part 2 of the dramatic two part ‘False Flag’ resolved a lot of the mysteries we’ve been pondering all season on ‘Walker’ and left Cordell absolutely reeling – and many of us too! (Suspecting that a character you kinda sorta liked is about to turn bad guy with a tragic backstory isn’t the same as watching it happen onscreen!)
In the aftermath of the explosion (and Julia’s death, which I am NOT over even if others are), Cordell is the prime suspect thanks to Kevin’s careful set up.
The not-very-empathic Agent Tessa Graves is determined to prove Cordell is guilty, with a single-minded focus on him that doesn’t allow her to see the holes in that narrative. She shows up at the Walker ranch to search everything, much to the family’s understandable protest. Kevin, it turns out, even (very obviously) planted some C4 in the room where Walker already had those photos of the men he served with, all with the X’s through them – which, if you recall, I always thought was a totally weird thing for him and Julia to do.
But made for a great set up!
Cordell, much the worse for wear both physically and psychologically, flees from the scene of the explosion and siphons some gas from a (very nice) woman’s trunk. I can’t imagine that was a fun scene to do, even if that, of course, wasn’t really gasoline that Padalecki had to suck up and spit out.
(Disheveled Cordell somehow manages to look kinda hot even doing this though…)
At that moment, Cassie pulls up to the gas station with a deadpan ‘I need a coffee’ and seriously, she is an awesome partner and always has Walker’s back.
Trey is back in Ranger uniform (and looking amazing in that hat, truly) but just as angry as Captain James and the Walker family are that Cordell is being blamed. Graves insists innocent people don’t run, but James points out that if they’re being framed, they would. And he’s right! I’m not sure Tessa is the best at her job thinking that the way Grey Flag tortured Cordell “turned” him, because that makes no sense to me, but she’s sticking to that.
Walker realizes he asked Julia to meet him at the safe house, so of course it looks like he set her up to be murdered – Kevin did a brilliantly (evil) job with the set up. I would imagine that also adds to Cordell’s guilt that he accidentally got Julia killed, even if he was totally being manipulated and so was she. (Julia….sob….)
He also has a concussion, staggering around and bumping into walls in the little gas station where he and Cassie go to buy some burner phones. Nobody does hurt better than Jared Padalecki, so you feel every bit of that pain and disorientation.
He puts a blue ball cap on.
Gas station owner: Do I know you, you look familiar?
Cordell: No sir. Name’s Duke.
Which makes a certain kind of sense. Poor Cordell, forced ‘undercover’ again. I love that the cap has another kind of “Rangers” on it too – nice touch.
Back at HQ, Trey wonders what it was all for. They’re all pretty traumatized by being taken in by Kevin and by Grey Flag’s seeming success at whatever it is they’re trying to do.
Trey: I didn’t lay down the C4 but I might as well have. I got made, and I got them one step ahead. No one did that but me, man.
James reminds him there’s no one better equipped than him to track down Kevin, though, urging him to get back in there.
The Walker family show up at HQ still mad as hell, and get into it with Graves, Liam explaining that Kevin is a flight wrist and bringing up the “throttle hand”. (Yes, I’m still saying hey, I picked up on that too, that’s gonna be important!) Anyway. He’s absolutely right, but Tessa refuses to hear reason and James warns them to go home before they’re suspects themselves.
Bonham, Abeline and Liam look like they’re gonna fight someone and honestly who can blame them?
Cordell in his Duke cap shows up at Geri’s, staggering so much he almost falls over. He collapses into her arms, apologizing for putting her in this position but needing her to get in touch with his kids to let them know that he’s alive and okay. Even in danger and wounded, he’s thinking about his kids and how much it’s hurt them in the past not to know if he’s dead or alive. He’s learned that lesson well….become a really good dad.
Cordell: You can’t harbor a fugitive.
Geri: Well, it wouldn’t be my first…
She tries to get him to come inside and rest, he tries to leave – and promptly collapses.
Everyone watching: How the hell is Geri gonna get that giant of an unconscious man inside??
She does somehow, and questions whether running is the best decision. He tells her about Clay Cooper, how he looked up to him and wanted to be like him, and then found out that not only was he not dead, but he wasn’t the man Cordell thought he was. In fact, he’d deserted them (and, it turns out, his little brother too).
Cordell is in a bad place psychologically after both physical and emotional trauma, and it shows.
Cordell: The reason he faked his own death was because he thought his family would be better off without him. Maybe Coop and I aren’t so different.
I don’t know how Padalecki can make a big strong man like Cordell Walker (or Sam Winchester) look so hurt and vulnerable, and so in need of someone to tell him it’s okay – but he is brilliant at it.
Geri: And that’s foolish.
I really love that the women on this show are written as people who call out bullshit when they hear it, it makes them seem so much more real than women on TV often do.
Cordell says he’s been preoccupied, Stella has a business with Liam, August has found his footing, things are good at the ranch – and his daddy asked him to move out.
Ouch. There’s the real source of all this self-doubt. Bonham is still his daddy, and being told you need to go is always going to hurt.
Cordell: Maybe not the worst timing to need to run.
Geri is not having it.
Geri: This guy is not the man I knew. Certainly not a man I want to know.
The way this is filmed emphasizes how small Cordell feels right now, as he looks up to her with those what we used to call in Supernatural ‘Sam Winchester’s puppy dog eyes’.
Geri also keeps her word and calls the family.
Stella answers and she tells her to tell her grampa that Geri’s been at the house by the river, knowing he’ll understand. They manage to convey that even with the FBI all around the house, which was pretty damn impressive.
Meanwhile, Trey and Cassie track Kevin to a billionaire’s airfield, tying the “throttle hand” comment to Kevin trying to get away via private plane. The billionaire who is apparently one of the heads of Grey Flag is all about wind energy, which to me sounds like a good thing, but Grey Flag is endlessly confusing.
Jake Abel gets to arrive at the air strip like a badass on a motorcycle.
Hope you got to do that for real, Jake!
Billionaire guy is pissed at Kevin, accusing him of getting sloppy and using their resources for personal revenge.
‘We’re done’, billionaire guy says – and then makes the mistake of turning his back on Kevin like in the best horror films. Who then kills the guy with his freaking bare hands! (Equal parts horrified and impressed with Kevin’s badassery, Jake Abel).
Cassie and Trey are both not okay – and I love that this show lets their protagonists be NOT okay, lets them be human. Trey pushes to know why and Cassie wonders why he didn’t believe her when she said something was off about Kevin, that everyone acted like she was being crazy again with her nagging feelings (like what happened with Miles too).
She’s feeling guilty that she didn’t listen to her own instincts and now people are dead. Not sure she needs to blame it so much on Trey, but I felt for Cassie a lot in this episode – she’s lost so many people, been through trauma after trauma, and been invalidated so many times even by people who care about her and respect her.
Cassie: I look at you and it just hurts so much more.
Trey: There’s no one who blames themselves more than I do.
I really feel for both of them. In the words of The French Mistake on Supernatural, at least they’re talking.
At Geri’s, Cordell then puts on a Sam Winchester shirt and loads a rifle and lots of Supernatural fans like me were emotionally compromised from it. I miss you, Sam Winchester!
He sees a plea from Kevin’s dad on TV for him to turn himself in and realizes what many of us suspected – Coop and Kevin are brothers. The plot thickens.
Geri jokes about coming with Cordi undercover as Alejandra, a tiny moment of humor in a pretty dark episode.
Cordell asks her to come back to Austin.
Geri: Take your own advice, Cordi.
Then Bonham shows up, almost getting himself shot by his son, and reassuring Cordell he wasn’t tailed because he only used payphones. (There are payphones there??) He insists that Cordell is not doing this alone.
Bonham: This whole desperado thing…
Bonham finally explains that awful “time to move out” conversation, saying he was angry and scared after the stroke, that he took it out on Cordell when he asked him to move out.
Bonham: You have this thing, you get it from me – when it’s all hell’s bells, you think you have to sacrifice yourself to protect the family. This family doesn’t want your protection if it comes with your absence.
I love that line! (He can’t help it, Bonham, he totally learned that on Supernatural…)
Bonham: I’m goin’ with ya. Don’t you dare try to stop me.
Off they go. This time it’s father and son hunting bad guys instead of turkeys, and Bonham shows where Cordell got his badassery. I hope those guys they blew away are actual bad guys and not just security for some airplanes though.
Walker finds Kevin and tries to read him his rights and arrest him, but Kevin points out that Walker is a fugitive just like him, so he doesn’t take it at all seriously.
Cordell accuses him of all the deaths on his shoulders and Kevin threatens him with the same thing that he says Cordell did to Coop.
Cordell says no, that’s not what happened, he didn’t abandon Clay.
Cordell: We all went back for our brother. We all went back for your brother.
Jake Abel does some amazing acting as Cordell tells him the real story, his face crumpling, his eyes watering as he remembers that trauma of his big brother not coming back as promised to save him, sounding five years old again, “He was coming home…”
Clay left his little brother behind with a father who was apparently abusive, and honestly Jake Abel manages to break my heart even though Kevin Golden is a very bad messed up man.
Kevin: No apologies are gonna bring my brother back.
At that moment, Clay walks in, rifle over his shoulder.
Clay: They don’t have to.
Clay confesses to abandoning both Kevin and Cordell, and Kevin sobs.
Kevin: You said you were coming home, that it would be just us, that we didn’t have to stay with dad – you said you were coming home!!
Clay: I honestly thought you’d be better off without me, and I was wrong
Kevin: You left me with him…
It’s honestly pretty heartbreaking. You really messed up, Clay. It’s hard to believe you could have thought your little brother would be better off left with an abusive parent…
They try to convince Kevin to turn himself in along with Coop, but at the last second, he breaks and screams NO, aiming his pistol at Cordell but shooting his brother when Clay jumps in front of Cordi.
Kevin runs as Walker tries to help Coop. Bonham puts pressure on the wound so Walker can go after Kevin.
Coop: Go get him, be careful.
He touches Cordell’s face, sends him after Kevin.
There’s a big wild motorcycle chasing a plane segment, this time Padalecki getting to do the badass motorcycle riding (maybe for part of it anyway!)
Cordell manages to stop the plane, but it’s Cassie who eventually shoots Kevin just as he’s about to shoot Walker (whose gun jammed), because Kevin just will not give up.
I’m guessing that’s supposed to feel like some just desserts to have Cassie be the one to take him out, but by this time I felt bad for Kevin’s tragic life too, so it just felt … well, tragic.
The song that accompanies this montage has the rather blunt lyrics “I’m a bad man, gonna get what I deserve” btw. Not always a fan of the music on this show and these sort of montages, but I think I must be in the minority.
Kinda heartbreakingly also, Walker gets down on his knees with his hands behind his head as the FBI arrives, closes his eyes and faces the music.
Luckily Coop seems to be able to clear up a few things and Tessa Graves admits she owes Walker more than a steak as they uncuff him. (It clearly took a long time though, because it’s night by the time they do).
He’s a good sport and shakes her hand because he’s a bigger man than I would be.
Trey suggests wings and an apology, but Cassie says it’s late.
Cassie: I know why it hurts so much more with you. We’re supposed to have each other’s backs. I feel like you broke that with Kevin.
Trey: I wish I’d listened to you.
Trey says they won, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.
Cassie stares at the body bag, this time Kevin, just as she stared down at the body bag with Julia in the opening of the episode. So much loss and tragedy…
This was a really good episode, but the second one in a row that was pretty tragic and sad (I’m okay with that, I’m a Supernatural fan after all!) There’s a lot of healing that needs to be done for all the main characters at this point – hopefully they can work through it together.
Walker returns in three weeks on the CW!
Caps by raloria/spndeangirl
You can read Jared Padalecki’s chapter on
fandom and being a fan himself in Family
Don’t End With Blood, and on Supernatural
in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done –
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