A Tale of Two Families

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Title A Tale of Two Families
Episode 1.12
Aired May 20, 2021
Ratings 1.818 mil - 0.36 (18-49)
Director Steve Robin
Writer Seamus Kevin Fahey & Anna Fricke
Synopsis Flashbacks to the days right before and after Emily’s death and how the entire Walker family dealt with the sudden tragic loss.
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Picking up from the cliffhanger ending of the previous episode, Trevor and Clint arrive at the Walker family Ranch to ambush Cordell at his own home. As the armed standoff picks up, Liam rushes out to warn his brother as a lone gunshot is ominously heard ringing out. Before the results of this gunfight after revealed, a flashback reveals Emily's last conversation with the family before leaving the ranch to deliver much-needed supplies at the border. A second flashback delves into the immediate aftermath of Emily's funeral, with Cordell shook to his core as he attempts to commiserate with his family.

A subsequent flashback shows Cordell continuing to struggle with grief, overworking himself to the point where he falls asleep while trying to pick up Stella and August from school. Liam confides his concerns to his fiancé Bret before deciding to turn down a job offer in New York City to return home to Austin and help stage an intervention for his brother. Feeling he is more a liability to his family than the parent they need him to be, Cordell decides to take an undercover assignment away from them, intending his time away to only last for several weeks. Months later, Stella pleads with Liam to let her move in with him and Bret in New York while Bonham learns he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and decides to keep the news from his family. On the way home, Bonham confronts his wife Abeline's lover Gary before he reconciles with her over Christmas.

After an emotional Stella gets in a scuffle to maintain Emily's high score on a local arcade cabinet, Liam decides he is better suited to remain in Austin rather than maintain his corporate job in New York. Months later, before Micki becomes a Texas Ranger, she pulls over Trevor's mom Crystal Strand for a moving violation, unaware of her bank robber role prior to letting her off with a warning. Despite being dressed down by her superior, Micki follows up on a hunch to question Crystal while Cordell, still in deep cover, quashes suspicions about his background to Clint. Cordell's willingness to attack Micki impresses Clint enough to let him in on their big heist while Micki is unable to dissuade Crystal from continuing with her criminal career. Micki is unsuccessful, though her words visibly rattle Crystal, and her persistence is enough to impress Captain Larry James and make him consider taking her on as a Ranger.

As the previously revealed (in Duke) bank heist goes disastrously, Crystal is killed in a standoff with the police while Clint and his surviving associates are taken into custody. Cordell blames himself for how violently the bust concluding his lengthy undercover assignment went as he prepares to return home and reintegrate with his family after so much time away. As this takes place, Trevor learns about his parents' criminal activities, shocked by the news of Clint's arrest and Crystal's death. Jumping back forward to present-day, after Stella fled from Clint's cabin, the escaped bank robber convinces his son that Stella is no good and continues to blame the Walker family for Crystal's death.

As the episode comes to an end, the ambush at the Walker family Ranch from the prologue is revealed in full. Clint and his gang get the drop on Cordell while Trevor stoically watches the confrontation from the sidelines. And as Liam runs out of the house to help his brother, Clint shoots him down in cold blood before returning his focus to an enraged Cordell, leaving the show on another epic cliffhanger.[1]


Crystal's license
  • In Duke, it showed in a police file that Crystal West's birthday was 09/03/1987, but in a BTS picture posted by Rebekah Graf, her driver's license as Crystal Strand shows her birthday is in January. It's unknown if this was intentional due to her criminal behavior, or if it was a mistake.
  • When Cordell (as Duke) is trying to convince Clint of his legitimacy as a member of the Rodeo Kings, "Duke" told Clint that he worked the oil fields outside of Lubbock. This is the same job that Hoyt mentioned doing before returning home in Bobble Head, indicating that Cordell could have used Hoyt as a form of inspiration for his life undercover.

Music In Episode

Song Title Artist Scene Info
Letting Go Erika Wennerstrom Emily talks with Bonham and Abeline, says goodbye to the fam before heading to the border.
Do It Again Homer Liam and Bret discuss Liam's need to be back home with his family.
Bloom Arch Leaves Bonham reprimands Cordell for breaking the hitching post; family and friends (and Stan for some reason) stage an intervention for Cordell.
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing Luther Dickinson Bonham finds and punches Gary.
Tomb Apes Stella and friends hang out, drinking and playing arcade games. Stella falls and hits her head.
[Jingle Bells] Jimmy Orion Ellis Liam visits Stella at the hospital.
Weeds A. Sinclair Micki sees Trey's text while waiting in speed trap and takes off after Crystal's speeding Jeep.
Night Daniel Spaleniak Cops arrive at Harriett's to give Trevor the bad news about his parents; Trevor visits Clint in prison; Clint rescues Trevor; Clint talks Trevor into getting revenge on Walker family while at Crystal's grave.
This Means War Calliope Musicals Clint shoots Liam and the Rodeo Kings have the drop on the Walker fam.


Lead/Recurring Characters

Guest Stars

Episode Stills

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Episode Transcript

Click here for A Tale of Two Families transcript