Back in the Saddle
|Title||Back in the Saddle|
|Aired||January 28, 2021|
|Ratings||2.13mil - 0.3 (18-49)|
|Synopsis||Walker continues to try to reconnect with his family but finds that his kids have developed new routines with Liam. Old memories of Emily hinder Walker's progress of being recertified to be a Ranger. Micki investigates a suspicious fire.|
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We open the episode with a shot outside Manchester Fields, a business owned by Ed Manchester. The cameras shut off and a fire begins in one of the stables. Ranch hands run to save the horses, and we see one of them dying by a falling beam.
Cordell walks to his truck and spots his saddle, having a flashback to when Emily gave it to him as a gift. It has an attached bag with their initials in the leather and they share a kiss. He closes up the bed of his truck in present day, ignoring the saddle and all the memories it brings with it.
He's back at his old house while taking to his mother on the phone, and he says he's cleaning things up. He pulls off a screen for the back door and notices a few empty beer bottles so he sends Stella a text asking if she knows who might have been at the house, and she says she doesn't know. As Cordell exits the house he stops to look at the concrete that has his kids handprints from 2011, and it begins another short flashback to the adorable moment they made those handprints.
Micki and Trey are about to have a little hanky panky but she gets a call from Capt. James and she has to stop. She begins getting dressed for work and calls Cordell, but it goes to voicemail. She tells him she'll see him at Manchester Fields. Micki again takes note of how Trey has a lot of gear and he says he has a longer leave. She mentions how he's never been there more than a couple nights, and it's a good feeling but she's also confused. She's never had a long-term relationship before Trey and she considers it a big deal that she's one of the first women and WOC to work as a Ranger, so she needs to focus on her job. Trey jokes about being a distraction before removing his shirt in what is probably the best part of the episode, and most definitely a distraction. He then hands her a cowboy hat and she leaves.
Cordell enters his parents house and Bonham is showing some leather working to August while Liam makes smoothies for breakfast. Cordell tries to bond with the kids by mentioning Stella's soccer game, and then he can't find his favorite mug that's been there for 15 years. Abeline makes note of them living there and Cordell seems unsure of it before Stella asks her dad if he ever considered where they want to live before leaving for school. August says he's good wherever Cordell is, but then also leaves because he needs to get started on his project "What Texas Means to Me".
Cordell arrives at Manchester Fields and Micki informs him that a ranch hand named Matt Harmon died during the fire. They discuss if they're looking for an arsonist, and then Micki mentions that the prized racehorse Texas Nightshade also perished in the fire. They then move to talk to Ed Manchester and the jockey Jed who are talking to Larry.
Ed seems upset by the whole thing, and Jed speaks up saying that Matt didn't deserve to die, and neither did Texas Nightshade. He mentions they need to talk to Dan Hutchinson because he bid on Texas Nightshade and lost, so he's probably bitter over that.
Cordell, Micki and Larry walk away and Larry mentions that Cordell needs to shave. Larry then also notes that he didn't recall inviting Cordell, but Micki says she did. Larry tells Cordell he isn't technically a Ranger anymore because he needs to pass his recertification.
Back at the station, Cordell tries to plead his case with Capt. James, but he isn't having it. He says it's his first year as captain so he won't let things slide, he's trying to make things different because he doesn't think they've been doing very well. Cordell counters that he's better when he's at work, and because Micki is just starting he can help. Larry asks why Cordell was looking into the footage from the border control beacons again, and Cordell responds by saying that he already talked to Liam about it. But he gets interrupted by Larry who mentions they put Carlos Mendoza in jail almost a year ago for the murder. Cordell finally relents when Larry notes that he's not only the boss, but he's also a friend. Cordell leaves after commenting on Larry being good at his job (in a mostly sarcastic tone) and catches up with Micki in the hallway.
She says they need to take the test together because they're partners and she's confident in her ability to do it because she only just took the test. Cordell makes a bad joke about being a little "testy" before the absolutely delightful Connie enters and reads them a message from Dan Hutchinson, who is out of the country, and said it serves them right that Texas Nightshade died. Micki tells Cordell she'll see him on the training grounds, before they can continue talking about the case.
Isabel and Stella are playing soccer at school, but Stella notes they can't play in the actual game because they're "juvenile delinquents". Isabel says her parents have bigger problems because ICE is sniffing around, and Stella asks if she can help. Coach Bobby calls everyone in and he starts telling the team who's playing, stating Stella is center back, but Isabel is still benched. Stella refuses to play because of the mistreatment of Isabel. But even with Isabel trying to convince her to play, Stella still refuses because she's a good friend.
August heads over to the AV Club booth at school and Ruby greets him with an introduction. He explains that his mom was into cameras so he's going to try to learn as well. It's a little awkward, but very adorable, because it seems August might have a crush on this girl, but doesn't know how to talk to her. She seems eager to help him with his project though, so maybe we'll eventually see more awkward in the future.
Cordell and Micki are about to do the recertification test together, and they begin with some shooty shooty bang bang. Micki and Cordell both do very well with guns and it's incredibly sexy.
Cordell then performs a driving test with a nervous looking passenger noting his skills. He also does well in this part of the test, if a little reckless in his driving. The passenger seems ready to throw up when he brakes and she quickly exits the car. Micki watches on and smiles at her partner.
Cordell grabs his saddle to begin riding a horse, placing it on the horse's back. Micki jumps atop a horse herself before Cordell pauses and has another flashback to his wife. He seems shaken, unsure of himself, and it takes him a couple tries to get on the horse. The horse seems just as nervous, and Micki asks if Cordell is okay. He takes a beat before ultimately hopping back down to the ground and leaving. So clearly not okay.
Cordell is at Sidestep again and Geri greets him by commenting on his slacking off. He explains that he's not certified anymore and he should've been able to pass the test in his sleep. He starts talking about how he can't stop thinking about Emily, and Geri comes around to sit with him. They talk about things they remember about Emily, including her overnight oats (overnight oats?). Cordell starts questioning how Emily's eyes were closed, because it seemed personal, and Geri confesses that she closed Emily's eyes. She said she couldn't leave her like that, and Cordell thanks her for doing it. It's a little sus, not gonna lie.
Bret shows up to Liam's lunch because he knew Cordell wasn't going to. They discuss Cordell briefly before Liam tries to move on because he doesn't wanna spend his lunch talking about it. Bret says he hates Austin because the queso is killing him and Liam claims they'll all succumb to the sweet death of queso. Accurate.
August goes out with his mom's camera, standing at a fence and reminiscing on when she showed him how to work the camera. It's a sweet moment between Emily and August, but August doesn't end up doing much with the camera because he's clearly distressed over it all. Abeline watches on while gardening, commenting on how August is sensitive and asking Bonham when he last checked in with his own son. Bonham claims Cordell needs to discover for himself what is "right" and "stable".
Micki meets with Dr. Jamison and he informs her that the autopsy report is not Texas Nightshade, but a standard workhorse. He shows her an x-ray from two weeks prior, with an injury to Texas Nightshade's leg that shows a possible fracture. He states he gave a report to Cordell and Micki leaves to find him.
She finds him eating queso and looking over the report. He says he thinks someone staged a fire to make it look like Texas Nightshade was dead and Micki thinks it might be because the horse wouldn't win with an injury to his leg. They believe it could potentially be Ed Manchester himself who did it, before Micki claims Cordell isn't on the case and she doesn't want them to get in trouble. But Cordell wants to keep working in an unofficial capacity, so he will look for the horse with a sugar cube in his pocket, as Dr. Jamison told him to. Micki asks where they can find a prized racehorse, and then it cuts to Texas Nightshade having a jaunty stroll down an Austin street.
Cordell got word from Connie that Manchester's private jet is about to be wheels up in an hour, and a horse was spotted wandering around downtown. They're convinced Manchester is their guy but they need to find Texas Nightshade before they can do much. Micki says she'll rope in Larry but they need to get him quickly because he's a billionaire and if they lose him they're unlikely to find him again.
Cordell goes off in search of Texas Nightshade, following some horse dookie and a few tracks left behind by the horse near a creek. He continues on and eventually spots the horse farther along the creek, hiding behind a tree. He gives Texas Nightshade the sugar cube and does a bit of horse whisperin', earning the horse's trust.
Larry and Micki are at the tarmac chasing Manchester and after their tire is shot out by one of Manchester's lackies, they exit the vehicle to return fire. Cordell arrives, riding Texas Nightshade, and Larry shouts that he's certified before Micki is lifted onto the horse behind Cordell with the use of only one arm. It's just... hot. Is what it is.
He gets them both next to the vehicle Manchester is in, and Micki jumps into the backseat to kick one of the men in the face, punching the other before pulling the car over. What a badass.
Back at Sidestep, Larry, Micki and Cordell are having a drink. They discovered that Jed was in on the crime but couldn't do it because he loved the horse too much, and he thought giving up a thoroughbred horse was a crime, so he let the horse free. Liam shows up and says Cordell missed lunch, and Cordell replies they have to get to Stella's game but Liam mentions that she isn't there. Cordell knows exactly where she is, and takes Micki with him to "tie up one more loose end".
Stella is at their old house having a party and Isabel says it probably wasn't the best idea. Cordell and Micki pull up and Isabel leaves before Micki goes inside to break up the party. Stella continues to be at odds with her father, saying he doesn't get a second chance when he wasn't even there the first time around. She says she wishes Uncle Liam had gotten custody of them when he tried, which seems to shock Cordell (oops). Stella runs off and Cordell has a bit of a huff and puff before driving over to confront Liam.
Cordell starts their interaction by pushing his brother and Liam seems confused until Cordell mentions that Liam tried to take his kids. They continue to wrestle and Liam knocks Cordell to the ground before Cordell rolls over and pins his brother, and then they part. Liam states it was rough for everybody, and they hadn't heard from Cordell for months. Their parents had apparently agreed to it as well, and Liam assures Cordell he wouldn't have taken them, they just needed someone there for them. Cordell shouts back that he can't give up on Emily because of the poker chip, and questions whether she was a target. Liam warns Cordell that he'll lose everything if he doesn't stop searching.
Cordell turns to see August nearby, who had clearly overheard. August runs off and Cordell heaves a resigned sigh. Not a good night for Mr. Cordell Walker, all thing's considered.
Back at the farmhouse, Cordell finds August sitting on the porch. With a tentative greeting, Cordell sits beside him and August pushes over a box containing the poker chips, saying it was a gift for Father's Day from Emily. She'd kept some of the chips on her to show people, and Cordell puts his one poker chip back in the box before closing it. He acknowledges that he's turned around about a lot of things and August assures his father that they'll figure things out (which is probably something a parent should be saying to a kid instead of the other way around but whatever).
Micki is back home and seems surprised that Trey is cooking his mom's chicken chile verde. He's never cooked her anything more than MRE's before (and he did wonders with the jalapeno cheese sauce). Micki states that she skipped the part that morning where she said she was happy for Trey being there, and that it also scares the crap out of her. She wants to get her job right, and she also wants to get her relationship with Trey right. He is an accepting and loving partner and we stan. He says he's not going to re-up because he wants to figure out what he wants next and that he's inspired by Micki.
The next morning Cordell is making breakfast as Stella enters. August is off working on his school project, and Cordell asks Stella if she's seen his mug. She ignores him in favor of looking at her phone (teens, amirite?). He takes that as his cue to text her, asking if she's seen his mug. They then have a very cute and emotional back and forth, with Cordell admitting he should've asked where the kids wanted to live, and Stella replying that he misses her mom. Cordell also misses her. All of our tears are flowing.
After a beat, Stella hops off her chair and opens a nearby drawer, pulling forth the elusive mug and saying she put it away because it reminded her that he was gone. He puts the mug down and says he has an idea.
Outside their old house, Cordell hands Stella a shovel and they go to the concrete slab with their handprints in it. They begin to dig it free but Stella accidentally breaks it. She starts to cry, obviously distressed over this, and Cordell assures her it's okay. "Just 'cause it's broken, doesn't mean we can't take it with us." Good boy, Cordell. He hugs his daughter and it's very sweet.
Back at his parents house, Cordell exits the truck and Stella heads inside. Bonham shows Cordell a gift he made for him; a new saddle. He says he saw the old one in the back of his son's truck gathering dust. Bonham also says that every big birthday he ever had, his dad made him something, and he missed Cordell's birthday this past year. Cordell and Bonham both seem very emotional about this exchange, and Abeline watches with a smile from a few feet away.
Cordell enters the house to find the kids both at a laptop, watching videos of their mother. He stands behind them and tells August to roll the video, to which he does. They watch with smiles on their faces, enjoying reminiscing over the beautiful Emily Walker. The video is interspersed with other flashbacks that Cordell has of the time they made the handprints in the concrete, using a hose to wash the kid's hands, and spraying Emily with it. The episode ends with a close up of a sad smile on Cordell's face.
- When Capt. James tells Cordell he should've worn a white hat, this is in reference to real Ranger hat regulations.
Music In Episode
|Song Title||Artist||Scene Info|
|Waiting For The Sun||The Jayhawks||Cordell talks to his mom while cleaning up his house.|
|Don't You Break My Heart||Hollyy||Micki and Trey have a cute moment of fooling around.|
|You Must Have Met Little Caroline?||JD McPherson||Cordell and Micki take the recertification test and nail it.|
|Born Dirty to Last Forever||Wires On Fire||Cordell and Micki chase down Manchester and kick ass.|
|Dizzy Spells||Sadie and the Ladies||Cordell, Micki and Larry have a drink at the bar.|
|Wrecking Ball||The Lower 48||Cordell and Stella have a moment texting each other.|
|Extraordinary Life||Gordi||Cordell and the kids watch Augie's "What Texas Means to Me".|
- Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker
- Lindsey Morgan as Micki Ramirez
- Keegan Allen as Liam Walker
- Molly Hagan as Abeline Walker
- Mitch Pileggi as Bonham Walker
- Violet Brinson as Stella Walker
- Kale Culley as August Walker
- Coby Bell as Larry James
- Odette Annable as Geri Broussard
- Genevieve Padalecki as Emily Walker
- Alex Landi as Bret
- Andre Martin as Coach Bobby
- Anthony Hernandez as Dr. Jamison
- Deke Anderson as Ed Manchester
- April Patterson as Female Instructor
- Derrick D. Edmond as Jed
- Gabriela Flores as Isabel Muñoz
- Bruce Davis as Recertification Manager
- Madelyn Kientz as Ruby
- Mandy McMillian as Connie Richards
Rebecca Brenneman/The CW
Click here for Back in the Saddle transcript