‘Partners and Third Wheels’ is an odd title for an episode, but it was an accurate one. Just about everyone ended up a third wheel at one time or another and no one’s relationships are going swimmingly, so it wasn’t a very upbeat episode. In fact, I felt bad for many of the characters. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I want to feel something for the characters – that’s how I know I’m caring about a show and it’s doing its job – but it’s tough to see so many of them struggling.
The episode starts out with Cordell maybe feeling the same way, trying to cheer his coworkers up with breakfast tacos, an Austin staple. Micki doesn’t take him up on it, and James says he doesn’t think Micki is ready when Cordell suggests she should return to the field, though he does admit that Cordell is “better partnered up”. Something he has in common with Sam Winchester!
James has a date with a new woman and suggests a double date with Geri and Cordell. However, Cordell apparently hasn’t cleared the air with Geri or explained about Denise and the sting operation yet for some odd reason. Cordell and Geri are hard to figure out – they have a lot of chemistry, they clearly enjoy each other’s company, but neither of them seems willing to even acknowledge their feelings for each other let alone act on them. It’s cute but it’s also frustrating – and I don’t even ship them, so I imagine it’s even more frustrating for fans who do.
The other relationship not going well is Micki and Trey’s, which has been one of my favorite things in the show – a rare realistic imperfect but still basically healthy relationship. Trey wakes up (shirtless because this show does know its fandom) upset that Micki is already gone, but finds a note saying she’ll be home for lunch and gets a lot happier. I got stuck wondering how the hell someone does not wake up when their partner gets out of bed and gets dressed and leaves for work though – what I wouldn’t give to be that heavy a sleeper!
Liam and Cordell’s relationship isn’t going all that well either. Liam is supervising the case of the week, a murdered attorney named Mac whose body was recently found years after his disappearance. James tells Micki she’s “running point” on the case and Cordell celebrates with a fist bump – “Partners, back at it!”