CW’s Walker, Texas Ranger Reboot Has Finally Found its Footing

by Aaron Bilal

After an uneven premiere and follow-up episode, the CW’s reboot of Walker has finally hit its stride. The series stars Supernatural alum, Jared Padalecki, as Cordell Walker, Texas Ranger with a brazen attitude and troubled past.

This series is different from other cop procedurals in that the main story of Walker is the relationship between Walker and his family. After his wife is murdered, he goes into a year-long undercover op. After returning home, he discovers that adapting to family life may be harder than he once thought.

As I mentioned, the first two episodes to this show were VERY uneven. Typically, there are three plots occurring throughout an episode. The A story follows Walker and his family drama; the B story follows Walker’s partner: Micki, as she experiences what it’s like to be the first Hispanic female Ranger; the C story is your standard crime-of-the-week plot. In the first two episodes, these three plots ran concurrently, but have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it seemed like the crime-of-the-week would be forgotten until the end of an episode where everything came together in a tight bow. This all changed with episode 3, “Bobble Head.”

The third episode of the series saw Walker finally start to even out. In this episode, we’re introduced to a long-time friend of Walker who skirts the line between legal and illegal activities. All three plot lines of the episode crossed streams and gelled into a fluid story. First, it dealt with Walker’s family drama. He and his childhood friend, Hoyt, have a tense relationship. Hoyt tends to go against the grain and cause Walker great distress. He has to constantly deal with being a lawman whose best friend is always on the wrong side of it. More tension arises from the fact that Hoyt is extremely popular with Walker’s family, especially his mother, who views Hoyt as another son.

Hoyt’s reemergence into Walker’s life also causes problems with Micki. Everyone knows that Hoyt is a renegade, but Walker refuses to bring him in. We get some great conflict between the two of them, as Micki has to keep Walker on the straight and narrow and remind him of his duty as a Texas Ranger. This episode highlighted how devoted Micki is to the cause and how she’s not willing to skirt the line to appease a friend.

And finally, the crime-of-the-week actually tied the A and B stories together! The rangers know that Hoyt is involved in gun running, but they don’t have enough evidence to pin anything on him. So, Walker attempts to gain Hoyt’s confidence to let him in on the scheme, while Micki ensures that Walker doesn’t cross any lines to get his man.

The new interpretation of the classic Chuck Norris show has nothing to do with its predecessor, and it continually proves that what makes it different is what makes it great. Each episode has been better than the last, a trend that continues with the release of episode 4. With earnest performances and engaging scripts, Walker is definitely worth checking out.

Walker airs every Thursday night at 7:00 on the CW.