Rule Number 17

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Title Rule Number 17
Episode 1.09
Aired April 15, 2021
Ratings 1.14mil - 0.21 (18-49)
Director Steve Robin
Writer Bret VandenBos
Synopsis Walker and Captain James investigate a high stakes poker game where one of the players may have information on Emily’s killer. However, the night takes a turn when Geri shows up to join the game. Meanwhile, Micki takes August and Stella on an unusual adventure.
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The episode egins with a flashback to a year or so before: Cordell is called to the medical examiner’s office to identify Emily’s body, some hours after her desperate phone call to him from the border. Seeing Emily there, cold and blue, breaks something in Cordell. He is overwhelmed by rage and grief both, and in the episodes that have focused on events since then, we’ve seen how those dual emotions were channeled into his work. His stint chasing the Rodeo Kings and running away from his family. His difficulties relating to his children, who don’t understand why their father could just leave them after their mother’s death. And, most primarily, his tentative steps forward into a new bond with partner Micki, who steps up now that Cordell’s suspicions regarding Carlos’s culpability turn out to be valid.

After Liam and Captain James admit what they learned in Mexico—that Carlos didn’t kill Emily, that his niece is dealing drugs and is involved in the Northside Nation gang that’s been terrorizing the community, and that Emily’s murderer is in fact still loose—Cordell and James decide to “go old school on this one.” They team up, leaving Micki to protect the Walker family (And bond with Stella and August with guns!). In going over old evidence from the case, they again question Emily’s best friend and Walker’s childhood friend Geri, who was with Emily that night. Geri, whose bar had been struggling, has a connection to the Northside Nation: She took out a $25,000 loan from Oswald, one of the gang’s shady members, to keep her business afloat. Did either Cordell or James really believe that Geri murdered Emily? I don’t think so, but Walker devotes a few minutes to a heated argument between Cordell and Geri anyway. After her “No, I didn’t kill my best friend!” seems pretty definitive, Geri forces her way into the investigation, offering to infiltrate a Northside Nation poker game to try and grill Oswald for information.

Let me say this in the kindest possible way: The still-traumatized-from-finding-her-friend’s-body Geri has absolutely no chill, and it’s clear that Oswald can immediately tell she’s up to something once she stalks into his card game. Cordell, Geri, and James are so convinced that Oswald is guilty of Emily’s murder that they hinder themselves, and instead of investigating the other people at the game, they assume Oswald’s guilt—incorrectly, of course. Because Oswald, although he takes Geri hostage and tries to spark a shootout between the Texas Rangers and the Northside Nation, didn’t kill Emily. Instead, the motorcycle-jacket-wearing blonde Cali did, for as simple a reason as Emily being in the wrong place at the wrong time and seeing that Cali and the rest of the Northside Nation were transporting prescription drugs across the border.

It’s a moment of personal growth when Cordell listens to James and doesn’t shoot Cali after this admission, instead lowering his gun and moving to arrest her. But then Geri appears out of nowhere, having somehow snuck back into the warehouse, trailed the trio, and then shooting Cali at just the right moment before she could shoot Cordell—and it seems like she’s not going to be like, prosecuted or anything? (Conspiracy theory: Is Geri covering her own tracks by killing Cali?) Instead, James and Cordell congratulate themselves on a job well done. James oversees the release of Carlos Mendoza from prison. Cordell returns home for a family dinner on the Walker ranch, and raises a toast to his wife’s spirit, who is watching their celebration. And well, I don’t mean to be tactless, but: Is Emily also watching when Geri and Cordell make out inside in The Side Step? Because solving your wife’s murder doesn’t mean you should start kissing your best friend, I don’t think—Cordell Walker stays messy.[1]


Jared's tweet with the #SPNFamily hashtag
  • Stella says to Cordell: "It feels like you're going hunting". This could be a reference to his previous role on Supernatural, where he played a hunter named Sam Winchester for 15 seasons. This was all but confirmed by Jared Padalecki himself while livetweeting the episode.
  • At the end of the episode, it says "In Memory of Robbie Schroeder". Robbie Schroeder was a Texas horseman, and one of the horse trainers on Walker, who tragically passed away on December 30, 2020.[2][3]
  • This episode was originally titled "Time. Place. Collateral." but changed to "Rule Number 17" for unknown reasons.[4]

Music In Episode

Song Title Artist Scene Info
Gonna Be Your Boy Leopold and His Fiction Abeline and Bonham discuss Liam's breakup with Bret
Hot Mess The Owsley Brothers Geri tries to give Oswald $25k to settle her debts
Road Trip Kalli (Feat. Kirsten Proffit) Cordell and his kids have a group hug and Bonham asks Google's help to flip a coin
In Corners Mamahawk The Walker family has a nice dinner and toasts to Emily


Lead/Recurring Characters

Guest Stars

Episode Stills

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Episode Transcript

Click here for Rule Number 17 transcript