It’s been a tumultuous week in the Walker fandom (and especially in the Supernatural fandom at large), with Walker renewed but Walker Independence and The Winchesters not renewed and Gotham Knights still up in the air. So I think we all needed some feel good TV, and the season finale of Walker didn’t disappoint – although, of course, that wasn’t ALL the episode gave us!
“It’s A Nice Day For A Ranger Wedding” set up the story for next season while also giving us some truly happy making moments, which felt much needed.
The episode starts at the end, a discarded bouquet of flowers, a bloody body on the floor, still alive and breathing heavy. The room is ransacked, broken glass strewn all over.
And then it’s 36 hours before…
Well damn, Walker, that’s a beginning!
Cordell is back to running with Liam and Trey, which means he’s starting to make some progress with his PTSD perhaps, and also means we get to see the boys all run in single layers. Cordell has a brief flashback of the time he went running and got kidnapped by Grey Flag, but then Cassie runs right into him and they’re off again. Cassie wins and triumphantly puts on the hat and everyone is a good sport. (Also, we find out she was a Mathlete, which is a shoutout I’m sure to Padalecki – who really was a Mathlete!) There are a lot of shout outs in this finale, and I am here for it.
Most of the episode is devoted to planning the wedding of Captain James and Kelly, with a lot of healing going on in the process for lots of the main characters.
Abeline tells Trey she’s seen how far he’s come, highlighting that he’s in a better place and feeling less responsible for the Grey Flag mess.
Cassie gets a call from the FBI – Tessa Graves – who wants her and Walker to come join an FBI task force for the summer in Florida. They’re flattered and Cassie is tempted, though also conflicted because Austin has come to feel like home. She’s clearly in a better place too.
Meanwhile, Cordell is a total perfectionist about the wedding, demanding to know why everyone is “ignoring my vision”.
Which was adorable.
There’s been so much this season that’s been out of his control, that I think it must seem like this is ONE thing that he can (mostly) control – something he can try to make perfect for his friend who has had his back so many times. Cordell is also, I think, relating to Larry and Kelly’s rekindled love, something he’s wondering if he can have with Geri now that she’s back (and Julia is dead…sob sob…)
Abeline wonders if the “Walker curse” is going to plague the wedding – shades of the Winchester family! Probably should not have said that out loud, Abby!
I find Cordi’s determination to make it perfect for his best friend adorable though.
When bad weather is forecast, Liam suggests the old hay barn for the wedding – which is pretty uhhh…rustic, so most of the Walkers are understandably skeptical. Liam is the optimist in this episode and I kinda love it.
Also the barn gives all the Supernatural fans sudden barn anxiety because of the emotional scene in the Supernatural finale. Luckily the magic of television comes to the rescue, because wow, they turn this barn into something absolutely beautiful. This is a hopeful feel good episode for the most part, and I feel like everyone needed that right now.
Liam: Hey, team work makes the dream work.
Stella: OMG that is so cheesy!
I love Liam, and Keegan Allen always hits the right notes with his character. And Molly Hagan makes the BEST faces!
Cordell and his son have a bonding moment getting dressed for the wedding, and Augie finally tells his dad that he wants to enlist in the Army – and he wants to go early, instead of finishing his senior year of high school. Cordell is dumbfounded – he literally has to sit down – and you can tell he’s trying so hard to not say the wrong thing to his son but also doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
Cordell has tried so hard this season to be a good dad to his kids, and for the most part, I think he’s done a bang-up job.
He’s also hurt that his son talked to Bonham before his own father, understandably, and Jared Padalecki and Kale Culley both do such a good job with the fraught but tender moment.
In unfortunate timing, shortly after that conversation, Stella announces that she’s decided to start college in the fall, and Cordell immediately says he’s proud of her and is clearly happy – a big contrast to his reaction to his son’s plans – which is not lost on Augie.
Cordell: Can both of y’all stop growing up so fast?
Every parent watching: CAN SO RELATE
In a scene that sent the fandom into a happy frenzy, Cordell gets a call from an old friend/colleague, Detective David Luna (played by Walker Independence favorite Justin Johnson Cortez) from Corpus Christi, who’s calling to tell him about a death. Apparently a death from an old case that really messed Captain James up back in the day – a target of a serial killer who had escaped being murdered. Until now maybe.
Cordell asks Luna to do a screen for digoxin, skeptical that a relatively young man just “died in his sleep”. He’s reluctant, saying he doesn’t want to go back to the past or pull Walker back, that Emily would kill him. Cordell gives him the sad news that Emily passed – and asks again for Luna to check to be sure this isn’t murder.
Fandom: Hmmm, so Luna and Walker have a past. Innnnnteresting…
Meanwhile, on the lighter side of the episode, Sadie didn’t get invited to the wedding, so Stella asks her to be her plus one – which upsets Augie, who was just about to do the same thing.
Stella: Oh Augie, please, you’re still a child, you don’t get a plus one.
Ouch. Augie is also trying so hard, and keeps getting reminded that he’s just not quite there yet. It’s hard to be seventeen.
Meanwhile, Abeline: What could possibly go wrong?
Me: Obviously something…
Cordell goes to talk to Geri, ostensibly about the seating chart, but really he just needs to talk and she knows it. I haven’t been a #Cordri shipper, but I do love that these two know each other so well, have been friends for so long.
Geri: Weddings do dredge up all kinds of… this is gonna be the first wedding I’ve been to since…
Cordi: Yeah. Same.
They don’t need a whole lot of words to understand each other, and it’s nice to see them back on the same page again.
The wedding itself is gorgeous, Kelly looking beautiful and everyone just looking so damn happy – although I spent half the time worrying that the bad thing we saw at the start was about to happen, so it wasn’t exactly relaxed for the audience watching. Cordell does a great job officiating in spite of mic feedback and a little Cordi bumbling, but it’s endearing.
It’s a rare opportunity to see everyone relaxed and smiling and having fun together, and it’s clearly just what they all needed after the tumultuous happenings of the past few months.
It’s also nice to see this fabulous cast all having fun too (while working, but still…)
Cordell calls James and Kelly’s an “epic love story”. He also makes sure to include the newlyweds’ middle names – and they’re Samuel and Dana – a little Sam and Dean reference, aka a Supernatural Easter egg!
I love when any of the Supernatural alums’ shows do that.
Ashley and Kearran do an amazing duet that’s a pleasant surprise for the shocked guests, and I found myself grinning like I was actually there because Cordell Walker was smiling like a little boy, looking a little Jared Padalecki, a little Sam Winchester, and just plain adorable. Cordell tried so hard to make the day special, and he’s so happy to see his friends so happy, and it warms my heart.
I really do have a feeling the cast was also having a wonderful time, all of them filming together and getting to be a little silly and let loose with each other a little bit. That smile looks a bit like proud Executive Producer Jared Padalecki also so very happy to see this wonderful cast enjoying what they do.
There’s lots of exuberant dancing, including Trey with Cassie piggyback and Abeline and Bonham showing ‘em how it’s done, and Liam and Ben showing off their moves.
Sadie claims to not want the bridal bouquet, saying she’s obsessed with weird traditions that women have to start questioning more – but then she catches the bouquet with a cookie in her mouth. I like Sadie.
Cordell does tell James about Miller’s death in the midst of all the frivolity, which instantly rattles James.
James: I can’t go back there, you know what that case did to me and Kelly.
Cordell and Geri dance under the mirror ball, Cordi showing off his dad jokes – another Padalecki real life thing – both feeling like they’ve turned a corner and trying to put a positive spin on things.
Cordell is anxious when he hears that Sadie’s mom’s boyfriend Jesse has been around, though, and when Geri joins the dance train, leaving Cordell standing alone and looking for all the world like he’s been left behind, I really feel for him.
Cassie tells Trey she’s thinking of going for the out of town gig, but that it might be for longer than just a few months. He tells her that Austin feels like home for him, largely because of her.
Cassie: The same for me too.
They have a heart to heart, and agree that they care about each other, and I’m pretty sure this is going where I thought it was going. I’m ambivalent about that, but they are cute together.
Cordell takes a minute to talk to August, telling him that he’s proud of him – how he’s grown and changed course after being lost, like Cordell himself was too. But he’s also honest with his son.
Cordell: I don’t think it’s time… you’re growing, still in the process. I’m not saying no, never, I’m saying not right now. Have a summer. Finish high school.
He says if Augie still wants to go after that, he won’t stand in his way.
Stella overhears and offers her little brother some support, in typical sibling fashion.
Stella: Do you really wanna cut all that beautiful hair for the army?
After the happy wedding, James and Kelly and Bonham and Abeline drive off amidst bubbles and fairy lights and smiles, James and Kelly in one car and Bonham and Abby in the little red sports car, getting their redo of the honeymoom that never happened all those years ago. More happy faces…
But in true season finale fashion, the happy scene is juxtaposed with a scene of someone violently ransacking a house in the dark like we saw at the beginning, the contrast striking and ominous.
Stella and Sadie stop back at the house and find it destroyed – and instead of running out of there like anyone would have (okay, me, I would have), they instead hear clattering and know someone is still there – and they still don’t run! A masked man rushes into the room and tackles them. There’s a fight in the dark and then a gunshot, and Stella rips the mask off the man who’s just been shot by her – and it’s Witt, the shady guy from the party!
Stella wants to call 911, which is obviously the right thing to do, but Sadie tells her to wait, that it’s going to look bad.
Sadie: I have a record – you have a record!
Me: Oh no, what are you doing, girls???
Cordell and Geri clean up at the Sidestep, and Cordi calls her back as she goes to leave, putting his anxiety and doubts aside to actually communicate. He asks if anything is going on with the Jesse guy, and she says no, nothing. You can see his relief, and his determination.
Side note: I am greatly amused by the signage behind them, which seems to be telling an encouraging story of vacancy and a speed limit that’s on the rise….or something…
He asks her to stay in Austin for the summer.
Cordell: Why don’t you stay here…with me.
Geri: You serious?
They smile at each other, both a little bit surprised and a little bit relieved, and he kisses her…
Speed limit? What speed limit?
And then his phone rings.
It’s Detective Luna. They found digoxin in the dead man’s system.
Cordell is shaken, and Geri can see it. At her urging, he tells Geri the story of what happened back then, the serial killer they called the Jackal. The case that consumed James so much back then – and he appears to be back and killing again.
Geri’s there for him.
Sadie and Stella come back to the Sidestep, looking for Liam and Ben.
Stella asks Liam for help and uh oh, this seems like a very very bad idea.
But when they go back to the house…
Liam: Oh my god, Stella, where’s the body?
And THAT is the cliffhanger ending to the season finale – thankfully we have another season or that would’ve been a hell of a place to leave it!
Who is the Jackal (and why is it so amusing that Padalecki’s nickname for former costar Jensen Ackles is Jackles?)
The cast posted some jubilant wrap photos and then headed home for I hope some well deserved R&R.
Stay tuned for more Walker when it makes its midseason return next season on the CW!
You can read the chapter Jared Padalecki wrote
about fandom and being a passionate fan
himself, and how that has changed his
life, in Family Don’t End With Blood. Info
and links here or at: