I just typed out that episode title and thought, “laid”? Is that a naughty dad joke? In any case, it has a lot of different meanings, as the episode titles in this show often do. There are multiple story lines in this episode, which all intersect for a dramatic reveal at the end.
Cassie and Walker find out that Trey is in fact still a Ranger – and currently making inroads undercover trying to figure out what Grey Flag is up to (and why that’s all about Walker). The dead guy in the van, in fact, was Trey’s in. Not anymore! The Feds are now involved, providing a secret house for the team’s HQ and also ordering James not to let Cordell and Cassie in on what’s happening.
The foursome is a team again!
Though I like that Cassie is pissed that they were kept in the dark and also protective of Trey, and it takes her a while to come around. That was realistic – too often in TV people come around way too quickly and easily without struggling like most humans would.
They all realize by now that it’s a personal vendetta against Walker.
Cordell (waves adorably): Yeah me, I’m the last one on their hit list!
They intercept the text with the instructions for Trey’s first mission and figure out the cryptic message. Walker gives Trey the advice of not getting attached to anyone, and a warning about how a sad story can pull you in when you’re undercover – which clearly comes from experience. I kinda love that Cordell is an emotional man, that he struggles with that sometimes, but it’s part of who he is.
Trey stands watch as lookout for his Grey Flag ‘initiation’ of sorts, while James and Cassie keep watch on him. Things go south when the woman he’s standing guard for staggers out badly wounded. Grey Flag wants the briefcase she’s retrieved and orders him not to waste time on poor Lana, but of course Trey can’t do that. Cassie pretends to be a bystander and covertly slips Trey some gauze to save her life (waiting for the okay from James on her out-of-the-box impulse though). Another guy shows up and grazes Cassie with a bullet, but Lana survives thanks to Trey’s combat medic skills – and he passes the test.
Past is Prologue is an interesting title for last week’s Walker episode. So often, our past is what impacts our futures – if we don’t make sense of it, it can have way too much impact.
Bonham is still grumpy about nobody coming to his family meeting and the horse rescue not being run by him first, feeling like he’s been “put out to pasture”. Abeline’s having none of it and I am here for her, as always.
Abeline doesn’t want Bonham to have regrets, feeling bad that she waited so long to reconcile with her brother. She of course prevails, telling him she’s got his back and is on his side, but also he needs to talk to Liam and Stella, even if they should have talked to him first.
Abeline: We need to do the teaching, lead by example… and bask in your superiority.
God, I love Abeline.
I also love that Liam and Stella now have a horse rescue because it means I get to see lots of gorgeous horses.
Liam and Stella shoot a social media promo post, much to Bonham’s annoyance. He walks out.
Stella: He’s still mad?
Abby: He’s still somethin’…
Bonham eventually listens to Abeline and comes around, telling Liam that he did eventually accept that he and Cordell didn’t have that “rancher green thumb”, that what matters is that they’re happy. He’s grudgingly impressed with what Liam’s done, and is “man enough to admit that it hurt”, that it wiped away a vision he’d become fond of. It’s a pretty candid thing for Bonham to admit, so I give him a lot of credit.
Liam says he was hoping it could be “ours”, a family thing. That the new logo is based on his Grandad’s signature.
Bonham: Well hell, William, when you put it like that…
Of course he can’t leave it at that, though. He needs a parting shot to keep his grumpy grampa persona intact.
Bonham: Daddy’s signature was damn chicken scratch – that ain’t it.
Meanwhile, just when we were all open-mouthed at Captain James’ ability to be harsh (to Trey), we get to see the softer side of him when Kelly returns to town and they rekindle their romance at a new level, with her moving to Austin full time. Awww.
Most of fandom figured out that Trey wasn’t really fired and that James was setting him up to do some undercover work, but it was good to have that confirmed in this episode. So yay, now we can go back to liking Captain James again! Though Trey got to hang out in some nice outfits while he was “unemployed”.
It doesn’t take long for the bad guys aka the lobbying group (disguised as country club golfing types) to reach out to Trey, in fact. It also doesn’t take long for him to figure out their ‘prove you’re smart enough to do this job’ little test.
Trey is smoooooth in not seeming to want it too much, and the lobbying guy is smooth too in making it sound like they’re actually trying to help vets (who in real life really don’t get the help they need). I confess to not really understanding the whole Grey Flag thing, honestly.
Julia is off working in DC, so it’s Cassie and Cordell teaming up to try to figure out why his old squad is maybe being targeted – and why maybe HE is being targeted. I love Cassie for being all in on trying to get Cordell some closure, and also her willingness to drop back and give him some space when digging into all this brings back his PTSD and survivor’s guilt big time. Jared Padalecki is so good at showing those emotional struggles, and I love when this show gets serious and goes there.
The Supernatural convention in Dallas is always fun because it’s the closest we get to the boys’ hometown (until next year, when the con moves to their actual hometown, Austin!). That means they’re rested and have friends and family joining them and everyone is in a really good mood. That was the case for this con too! And it was equally fun for me because I had lots of friends there too.
I was excited to escape from the Philly winter to warmer Texas, only to arrive just as the giant Texas ice storm was ending. There were still piles of ice along the streets and slippery patches, and many people had stories of digging out their ice-encased cars that morning.
The convention center and the surrounding area was turned into a magical place, looking like a fairy corridor instead of a pathway through a parking lot.
And every branch or railing was a work of art if you looked closely enough.
Climate change, not fun. But really pretty for Liz’s camera to capture for posterity!
My intrepid friends came to pick me up at the airport anyway. #SPNFamily.
Friday was hosted by the lovely Jason Manns, as Fridays often are, in his comfy Mr. Rogers-esque sweater.
I caught some of David Haydn Jones’ panel on Friday – I love that he always dresses the part of wherever the con is, and this time was no exception. Cowboy David!
He’s working on a new song for karaoke, which is still a secret, but I’m looking forward to it.
He had only good things to say about Supernatural.
David: On my first day, Jared, Jensen and Misha were so collegial. Then they gave me a Bentley and a grenade launcher – I was a kid in a candy store!
What’s not to like? Well, actually the fire in that scene – which was real!
David: When you see that fire behind me, that’s real. Jared and Jensen were like, I’m outta here!
David is a great story teller. He told a hilarious story of that gag reel moment when he was attempting to say ‘chupacabra’ over and over, which was funny enough. But when he was saying ‘chupa chupa’ apparently in Spanish that means ‘sucky sucky’ so… very dirty.
David: There’s a whole fic on Ao3…
Also David, though I can’t remember context: You can always trust this audience for testicle humor.
David said that Ketch was originally conceived of as a sort of East End brawler – who sounds a lot like Billy Butcher on The Boys. He did have some more serious things to say too, including how being onscreen can exacerbate any kind of body dysmorphia someone might have. On the other hand, dressing up for a living is fun.
David: One of the fun parts of this job is getting to cosplay for a living.
Briana Buckmaster couldn’t be at the con because she’s filming a movie, but Kim Rhodes had her join the panel a bit through Facetime anyway!
Kim told the amusing story of her favorite memory from filming Kung Fu – which wasn’t actually from filming at all. Richard Speight, Jr. was directing, and they were walking back from lunch when a guy stopped Richard and asked for a selfie with him, proclaiming himself the worlds’ biggest Supernatural fan (and never noticing it was Kim there). As he walked away, Richard scoffed: “Not the biggest!”
They also apparently had a lot of fun on the Kung Fu set voicing the actor lobsters who were sometimes more well treated than some humans lol.
Like David, she had all good things to say about Supernatural.
Kim: I’ve been fortunate to work on shows where people who are at the top of the food chain make sure that no one gets fucked. Jared and Jensen were the same way. I’ve been so lucky to work with generous, lovely human beings. There’s not an atom less on Supernatural that it felt like my birthday.
She had kind words for the fandom too.
Kim: The greatest gift this fandom gave me is permission.
I love the way Kim greets fans, so full of joy each and every time.
It’s what she writes about in her chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood, powerfully.
She also had a visit from a tiny but awesome fan who joined her onstage – adorable!
We all had a delicious home cooked meal at a friend’s house on Friday night (and some homemade cherry cobbler which, mmmmm) and then I collapsed like I almost always do on Friday nights at cons – which meant I didn’t get to go to karaoke. The problem with the con being at a convention center is that it’s a little difficult to get back and forth, so once I was dropped off at my hotel, that was it for me!
On Saturday, we had a panel with Smallville’s Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, which I’d really enjoyed at the last con too – this time they had a table, which confused me when I came in because it looked for a moment like I’d wandered into a conference instead of a convention. Michael played his guitar in between the two answering questions.
That’s a great episode title for this week’s ‘Walker’, referring literally to what happens to Cordell and Julia when they confront Tommy, but also to the fact that just about everyone has some kind of blinders on that aren’t letting them see things entirely clearly.
Tonight is a new episode and then we take a little break, so let’s catch up to where we are with the Walker family and company…
Of Fathers and Sons
The Walker family continues to bicker, Bonham still cranky with Augie, both parents cranky with Liam when he tries to bring work for the horse rescue and therapy center to the table, and Cordell missing breakfast all together much to their annoyance.
On a Saturday.
Bonham calls a family meeting for both his sons to “sort things out” leaving Liam to tell his brother about it. I love the framing here, Liam and his father separated, in two different worlds right now.
Bonham also finally tells Abeline about his conversation with Cordell and asking him to move out. Bonham is worried that there’s too much stress around there for Abeline, admitting he’s scared but then projecting it all onto his sons. He says Cordell needs to fix his family.
Abeline: Fix his family? We are his family! I’m curious how you decided that abandoning our son when he needs us the most is best for my health!
Me: You tell him, Abeline!
She says he’s welcome to stay in the farmhouse as long as he wants, and demands that Bonham apologize (and also finish the dishes alone lol).
The first “Salute to Supernatural and Other J & J Projects” and the first con of 2023 happened in Las Vegas two weeks ago. Anyone who knows me knows that I am generally a person who loathes change – especially when it comes to things that are important to me. Like Supernatural. So I had a little trepidation flying to Vegas, wondering if the con would feel different, if it would be less “Supernatural” and if that would make me sad. I was nostalgic to be back at the Rio despite my less-than-wonderful memories of the year our toilet started overflowing in the middle of the night (when everyone had been asleep for hours) and we ended up having to switch rooms at 3 am in the midst of a truly horrific mess. Somehow I am STILL fondly nostalgic for the Rio anyway, with its open-24-hours Starbucks and its gigantic Hash House breakfasts and its 20 mile walk to the convention center (yes, that’s an exaggeration). Alas, there’s only one Starbucks left and it closed at 5 pm every day much to my dismay, but I did have some Hash House thanks to my lovely friends.
Most importantly, yes, it still felt like a Supernatural con! Give me the Jared and Jensen gold panel and the Jared and Jensen main panel and the Misha Saturday panel and Louden Swain at SNS and I will continue to be happy. I thoroughly enjoyed the Smallville panel with Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, and the Walker panel with Mitch Pileggi, Jake Abel and Keegan Allen. SNS was awesome and there was no drama (that I witnessed anyway) and phew, I feel like I can relax a bit. I just don’t want to lose what I so love about Supernatural cons, but I’m happy to get to hear some new stories and meet some new people for the other shows I’m watching too.
The new semester just started, so this is a briefer con write up than I usually do, but I wanted to write up some of the fun before I don’t remember it all. I missed Kathy a lot at this con, since my first trip to Vegas was with her – we rode the roller coaster and saw the Criss Angel magic show and generally “did” Vegas, and it will always remind me of her. I still can’t believe she’s gone, honestly. (If you’ve read Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls you understand how unique and wonderful our friendship was). Luckily I had lots of friends at this con, and I’m very grateful.
My friend Sue picked me up at the airport on Friday afternoon after a flight that was long but not arduous largely because I got a very nice seat that had a footrest! So I might have slept most of the way… Anyway, caught some of the Gil McKinney and David Haydn-Jones panel, which was hilarious. When I came in, Gil was telling the story of the time he was filming a show and they gave him a prosthetic penis and it looked like a cave man’s.
David: Why didn’t you keep it? And use it as a hat?
I mean, sure, why not?
From there they ended up talking about hat size…and head size…
David: We’ll try on hats together later…and that’s not even a double entendre!
Gil thanked the fandom for their influence in giving him the courage to go back to performing onstage as a singer – he writes about it in his chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood. And he sang at the SNS in Vegas too, yay!
David wrote a chapter in the next book, There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, about the impact the Supernatural fandom has had in his life too.
They talked about the flexibility that’s essential to being an actor. David said he first auditioned for Ketch looking scruffy and wearing a motorcycle jacket, but the next time after they took the character in another direction, in a tuxedo!
Gil said that he especially loves working with directors who are also actors, like Richard Speight, Jr. and said he had a great director once who really helped him get back to where he should be.
Jason Manns was the emcee for Friday, and did a great job as always.
Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster had a panel on Friday too, which as always was equal parts amusing and serious (as in, tears in my eyes kinda serious)
What other characters would they like to play?
Kim: I’d like to play Lucifer, angelically… as I pop your eyeballs out…
They told the hilarious story of when they first met on set and Briana apologized to Kim for cussing a lot!