Walker’s ‘Two Points For Honesty’ is All About Courage

Directed by Bosede Williams and written by Blythe Ann Johnson,  the new episode of Walker picks up where the last one left off – a cliffhanger of an ending with Captain James shot and lying in Trey’s front yard bleeding, while Trey calls out to him desperately., “Cap! Cap!”

Typical of James, he warns Trey to stay safe where he is, but Trey goes into full badass mode, yelling “No, that’s not an option” and running out to get him to safety, returning fire at the gunman until he drives away.

gifs abordelimpala

James: Did he get you?

Trey: You’ve got two holes in you and you’re asking about me?

This episode gives us a deeper understanding of both James and Trey, with Coby Bell and Jeff Pierre really stepping up to the plate to show us who these men are and how their histories have brought them to where they are today. In some ways, the episode is all about courage, which looks very different in different situations. Sure, Trey saving James is courageous, but so is his ability to figure out what he does and does not want to do with his life. Both Trey and Walker, in this episode, confront a decision about what being a hero really means, and both are self aware and secure enough to realize it doesn’t only mean the one calling the shots or running into a hail of bullets. An important message that we don’t get to see in media very often.

A trooper named Alexis Jackson rushes them to the hospital, with a ‘Call me Jack’ that means she might be back. It’s too soon for a Micki replacement, but Jack drives like a badass as James tries to keep giving orders – until he literally passes out. Trey utilizes a stuffed animal that’s in Jack’s patrol car to try to stop the bleeding as he asks her how long until the hospital.

Jack: Five minutes maybe?

Trey: Better make it two.

Jack: Copy that.

Jack is Scotty in this scenario, if you’ve ever watched original Star Trek.

They’ve said her name multiple times, so my guess is we’ll see Jack again. Ione Butler did a great job making her memorable in only a few short scenes, so that bodes well for the character’s future.

As they wheel James into surgery, Trey realizes he’s got the Captain’s badge in his pocket, James still trying to give instructions.

James: Tell Walker…

Trey fingers the bloodied badge as they wheel James down the corridor.

gif saturnsammy

Walker gets a call from Trey (and Stella gets a call from James’ son DJ at the same time), interrupting a family game of Clue that Cordell is thinking about very deeply while his kids try to get him to move it along.

It’s a powerful way to show the reality of how things can change in an instant – the shock when bad news intrudes on a heartwarming family moment, and how hard it can be to shift gears and comprehend that it’s really happening.

Most of the Walker family heads to the hospital, where Trey in his bloody shirt and Jack are waiting for news – Liam, Stella, Augie and Bonham all come with Cordell to support both him and James. I love how supportive the entire Walker clan is of each other. They bicker like every family but when someone needs help, it’s all of the Walkers on one side, a united front.

Trey gives Walker the captain’s badge.

At first the doctor gives them good news, that the bullet missed any major arteries and he’s got a positive prognosis. James comes to with Walker sleeping sitting up beside him and immediately asks about the shooter, wondering if it’s connected to Serano. Cordell assures him that they’ll find the guy, and James says yes, that he deosn’t want anyone else running point on this.

Walker tries to give him the badge back so he can pick up the responsibility, misunderstanding, but James says no, that he needs Cordell running point on it, as temporary Captain.

Cordell is hesitant, but James reassures him, “it’s you, man.”

Read more

‘Walker’ Delivers a Hard Hitting Episode with ‘Bad Apples’

Once again on vacation, so a true drive by review, but I wanted to say a few words about last week’s new Walker episode. A lot happened but the episode was really nicely paced, so it didn’t feel crowded as they sometimes have and it also didn’t drag. Writer Aaron Carew penned a script that tackled some of the most disturbing and pressing issues facing us in real life in an unflinching (albeit television ready) way, from a corrupt group of cops to the impact of racism, both overt and more subtle. Coby Bell especially did an amazing job showing the almost superhuman restraint required of Captain Bell in waiting until his case against the bad cop was so air tight it couldn’t be ignored, and his understanding that race is part of that equation (something Carew clearly understood as well).

Walker can sometimes get a little heavy handed, but its willingness to hit right on the nose can also feel therapeutic. We all live in a world where it feels like the ‘bad guys’ are winning too much of the time, so seeing a creepy bad cop get taken down is undeniably satisfying. He was certainly a creep writ large, and the moment when he plants some illegal drugs on James’ son and drags him out of his car for no reason could have been over the top – except that happens in real life to young Black men and that made it terrifying instead. As someone pointed out online, the way DJ handled himself during the fabricated traffic stop was telling – telegraphing and announcing his every move before he made it just in case, carefully and slowly placing both hands on the wheel, complying with every command even though he knew he had done absolutely nothing wrong. And unfortunately, that was not unrealistic.

The bad guy’s lack of any redeeming qualities whatsoever doesn’t  necessarily make for nuanced storytelling, but it did make me want to stand up and cheer when James, Walker, Micki and Liam all showed how badass they are and took the asshole down! As several fans who are persons of color themselves pointed out, the episode was careful to show that taking down one asshole – one ‘bad apple’ – is not going to solve any systemic problems. The focus was not just on that one bad apple, but on how the system itself protects bad apples – even when the ‘threat’ is coming from within law enforcement.  (As evidenced by Capt. James’ car being bombed and the scope of people in power who are caught up in the cover-ups)

Read more