Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki Reunite On The Walker Set for ‘No Such Thing As Fair Play’

Last Thursday was a big day for Supernatural fans who miss seeing “Sam and Dean” on their screens. It marked the first time series star and Executive Producer Jared Padalecki was reunited with his Supernatural brother and costar Jensen Ackles – this time as Director of an episode of his new show, Walker. To say that I was bouncing with anticipation for this episode would be an understatement!

Because this was a special episode, I’ve gathered together some of the behind the scenes interviews and photos and posts here along with my review of the episode itself – I want to remember how much fun it was!

The episode title is ‘No Such Thing As Fair Play,” but the SPNFamily will always think of this episode as “Don’t You Cry No More”, the title that we all saw on director Jensen Ackles’ working copy of the script – our first clue that this was going to be a very special episode for all of us who love Supernatural and now love Walker. (And a big hint that Kansas would play an integral part in this reunion episode)

Katherine Alyse, the writer of the episode who is a bona fide Supernatural fan, explained in a tweet after the episode aired:

Katherine: To atone for the heart break I’ve caused I offer to you a fun fact about why the episode title changed. Using song lyrics for an episode title is actually very expensive. Like eat up your whole music budget expensive. But we all know what the episode title in our heart is.

Yes we do, Katherine.

The episode marked the first time that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki had been on set working together since Supernatural finished filming over a year and a half ago. While the two didn’t technically have time onscreen together (though both appear in the episode), it was a new kind of collaboration too, with Jared an Executive Producer and Jensen the director.

The anticipation leading up to the episode airing was like the old days of Supernatural fandom, everyone online and constant content coming in every single time I played a little hooky from work to check in on social media. We even got a Walker cast and crew TikTok thanks to Ashley Reyes:

Walker TikTok

There were multiple interviews with Ackles about directing on his friend’s show, which made it clear that he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He told TV Line that it gave the duo a whole new audience for their fifteen years of jokes.

Jensen: Jared and I kind of laughed about…all the jokes that we repeated for 15 years, they’re now landing on fresh ears – we have a whole new audience! This is amazing!

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Ackles spent his birthday on set with Padalecki, which he said had happened so many times that he’s lost count, and appreciated that Jared had told the cast and crew how much he’d learned from Jensen (and vice versa clearly).

Jensen: I was walking a little taller that day. It was very sweet and so typical of Jared to give some good shoutouts and some honor… He’s that guy.

On working with Padalecki again, he told EW:  It was fun to get back into the shorthand with him with performance notes, with technical notes. I can even use a reference to a movie and he knows that I’m actually giving him a note. There’s nobody else I can do that with. He and I have that, and we’ll always have that. That’s not something that fades away.

There were a few photos leading up to the episode airing, which at one point made up about 99% of my social media feeds. Keegan Allen proved himself one of us with his post of the photo of Jared and Jensen from EW, saying that “It was a joy to see this in person – totally understand the fandom because I am a fan as well.”

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Walker ‘One Good Thing’ Also Finds One That’s Probably Not

Last week’s episode of Walker grabbed my attention from the start and didn’t let it go – in fact, this episode seemed more fast paced than the last, even though that one featured a breakneck pace horse race! I had expected that it would take a while for us to find out who the Davidsons’ lost baby had grown up to be, but this episode actually gave us that reveal. Spoiler alert – it’s Geri!

Most of us had predicted that it was Geri from the various hints given, though the fandom gave me a headache trying to figure out how to make the dates and the math work so that she could have gone to school and grown up with Cordell. I know it’s an unlikely situation, throwing one hell of a monkey wrench into Cordell and Geri’s newly romantic relationship, but I’m okay with unlikely in this show. It’s a trope worthy of fanfic, right up there with the “and there was only one bed” machination, and that’s always a compliment in my book.

The episode opens with a shot of the moving trucks and the ‘W’ coming down from the gates, ouch.

And then Cordi and Geri waking up together, soft and affectionate with each other as they deal with the stress of Bonham’s upcoming bail hearing, packing up the ranch, and giving the ranch hands an explanation for why they’re about to be out of a job.

The fandom was definitely grateful for the double shot of a shirtless Cordell from both angles, thanks to the mirror that captured the very attractive slope of his back…. I mean, the bruising on his shoulder blade from the fall from the horse. Yes, that’s what I meant.

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I’m not super invested in the Cordri ship, but Jared Padalecki and Odette Annable are entirely believable together, small touches of reassurance and a realistic banter that’s half old friend teasing and half romantic flirting. It’s a great combination, and one you don’t see all that often on television.

Cordell’s beating himself up about going back to help Dan and losing the race as a result, but Geri reminds him that to get through a painful time, what you need is a port in a storm – just “one good thing” to think about to get you through. Her father Frank used to do that for her, when they were constantly moving around for her heart treatments – something special would be waiting for her to make the hard days a little less hard. It’s a good coping strategy for when life is throwing way too much at you – something most of us can relate to recently.

The Walker family is understandably struggling, their patriarch facing accusations of murder and about to lose the house that’s been in their family for so long. Liam is still questioning why Bonham buried the lantern, while Cordell is facing the difficult task of trying to thank their ranch hands as they’re facing unemployment. I very much appreciate that the show doesn’t have the ranch hands replying to Cordell’s heartfelt “you’re family, and thank you” with a calmly delivered “you’re welcome” or “we’re behind you 100%”. Instead, we get to see their anger and anxiety too – they had no say in this and yet their lives are being upended. It wasn’t pleasant to watch and I felt really bad for Cordell, but it seemed realistic.

Ranch hand: So what, 25 years and all we get is ‘I’m sorry, grab a handful of peppers outta the patch on your way out?’

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Last Week’s ‘Walker’ Explores All Sorts of “Boundaries”

Last week’s episode of Walker was unusual in some ways, taking us into new territory and exploring all sorts of ‘boundaries’. The episode opens on the morning after, Cordell and Geri waking up together and awkwardly trying to figure out what the boundaries are on their newly physical and romantic relationship. There’s a deliberate shot of Cordell’s wedding ring on the bedside table, reminding us that he’s still got some ambivalence about moving on from Emily – perhaps especially with her best friend.

Odette Annable and Jared Padalecki were both believable in portraying the characters’ clear affection but also the anxiety of not knowing exactly where you stand in a new relationship, especially one that’s long standing but as friends, not lovers. Especially when the shift happened as abruptly as it did, after a season and a half of slowest burn ever. There’s a reason the ‘friends to lovers’ trope is so popular, because it’s all kinds of adorable to watch these two negotiate where they go from here, even coming up with a safe word to let each other know if one goes too far too fast.

It’s ‘Dolly,’ not as in Parton but as in that cloned sheep – something that was happening in the news when Geri came to town and reminds them both of their shared past. Geri and Cordi bonded over mutual geeking out, and who doesn’t love that?

It also seemed to be a deliberate reminder that Geri did indeed “come to town” at one point – which everyone is guessing might mean that Geri is the long lost presumed dead Davidson baby who we find out about at the end. Now won’t that be awkward!

I love that Walker a) knows its audience and b) goes out of its way to be respectful of all its women characters, because Padalecki is the one who’s not dressed while Geri is in a tee shirt.

The fandom was mostly happy about that, and Geri’s reluctance to make anything ‘official’ after getting carried away with passion the night before made sense to me. She’s a little hesitant, feeling vulnerable, and needing to cover up both physically and emotionally. Cordell was much less ambivalent, but isn’t that often the way it goes? A mismatch (even temporarily)  is painful but common.

Also those screencaps are just really pretty, aren’t they?

Both Geri and Cordi struggle a bit throughout the episode with figuring out where their boundaries should be, especially when it comes to their friends and Cordell’s kids knowing about their new relationship status. Cordell very awkwardly comes back home in the morning, his dad and brother immediately teasing him for his ‘walk of shame’ and Stella just glaring.

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‘Walker’ Gets a ‘Nudge’ into a New Partnership

Walker’s tenth episode of Season 2, ‘Nudge’, starts out with something we haven’t seen before – Cordell, Liam and Trey out to lunch together. Cordell suggests Liam and Trey moving in together since both are a bit at loose ends right now, gives them a ‘nudge’ so to speak. Though I didn’t think Liam was considered single necessarily – isn’t Bret coming back? Come back, Bret!

Liam and Trey call Cordell out on saying that unlike them, he’s not alone – he’s never alone in a house full of teenagers – but they point out that alone isn’t the same as lonely. He admits it’s been quiet (lonely?) working alone without a partner.

As Walker has to go to work, he leaves Trey and Liam to ponder their future living arrangements.

Cordell: Sorry to ruin your date, but it’s on the house!

Trey: He needs to get a partner…now.

Liam confides in Trey that he’s been looking at land surveys of the Davidsons and Walkers’ land, and Trey offers to help him out.

Liam: Maybe my brother’s not the only one who needs a partner.

Awwww. Liam and Trey is the partnership nobody knew we needed, but perhaps we did. Maybe they should be roomies!

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Walker kills time outside James’ office, picking up some imaginary thing on the floor (and in the process making the fandom quite happy) and then awkwardly pretending he wasn’t.

Jared is so good at creating a believable and unique individual with Cordell, and I am constantly amazed that there is not a trace of Sam Winchester in him most of the time. I’m not an actor, so that seems mysterious to me – and sometimes a bit impossible. But here we are!

James updates him on the search for a new ranger/partner, which isn’t going very well at all. In the meantime, Cordell has a solo assignment searching for a person impersonating a missing Ranger named Miles who’s doing a bunch of carjackings.

Fistbump!

Elsewhere in town, Abeline puts the word out that they need ranch hands and then (literally) bumps into Gale at the market. The two of them are so strained with each other, polite and pleasant on the surface and simmering anger still underneath.

Abeline says she taught Colton the song that Marv used to sing and Gale goes off that she always oversteps, talking about her dead husband like they had nothing to do with it…

And then we realize we’re hearing her internal monologue instead of what she says to Abeline, which is overtly polite instead.

On his solo assignment, Walker finds a suspicious looking car and stops to investigate, asking local PD to come back him up. He’s no sooner climbed into the car (carefully pushing the trunk opener with his knuckle so he doesn’t leave fingerprints because smart Cordell) than someone else with a gun shows up just as he’s climbing OUT and orders a hands up and gun down.

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