This Walker review contains spoilers.
Walker Episode 1
The CW’s Walker has finally arrived and we couldn’t be more ready for the journey ahead of us, especially as it means more Jared Padalecki and Lindsey Morgan. Now, if you’re looking for a review written by someone who watched the original Walker: Texas Ranger, this isn’t it. This reviewer has never watched a second of that show and never plans to do so. What we can talk about is the road so far for Jared Padalecki’s character Walker, how much we love Micki Ramirez, and the things that hit for a contemporary viewer, new to this “franchise,” while watching the pilot episode.
Honestly, it is a bit jarring as a Supernatural fan to see Padalecki in Walker. He spends a lot of time in this first episode outside in the sunshine, something he doesn’t get to do a lot of in Supernatural, and he is of course missing his usual partner in crime, Jensen Ackles. But, as the episode goes on and we learn more about Padalecki’s new character, the easier it is to appreciate Cordell Walker as a character in his own right. Walker is a single father struggling with the death of his wife and his estrangement from his kids after a long, undercover mission. And, by the end of the pilot, we have seen many sides of him…
We see the husband grieving over his dead wife. We see the father confused but resigned to the fact that he doesn’t know his children anymore, as he used an undercover mission to process his wife’s passing on his own when he should’ve been with his kids. He missed out on their grieving and he’s got a lot of catching up to do. We see the son who feels disconnected from his family. He knows that they’ve been caring for his children, but he isn’t ready to face them or his life without his beloved Emily.
Genevieve Padalecki, who is Walker’s wife on screen and off, did a fantastic job in the mere minutes we get to see her. She sets the tone for the kind of woman she was and would continue to be long after her passing: helpful, patient, silly, and with a heart of gold. Her loss is felt by the viewer, even though our screen time with her is short. The glimpses that Walker has of her in his waking moments, they hurt like hell. No one should have to suffer the loss of a loved one, especially someone as bright and vibrant as Emily.
Then there’s the Lindsey Morgan—who viewers probably recognize as one of the consistently best elements of CW superhit The 100—of it all. At first, I feared that they would make her character, Micki Ramirez, into a possible love interest for Walker. You know how Hollywood is—the industry doesn’t seem to believe that a woman and a man can actually be friends and not have romantic feelings for each other. Well, this isn’t the case for Micki and Walker. She has a “boyfriend” and she’s not looking to climb Walker like a tree. That right there is so refreshing and will hopefully lead both characters down some interesting narrative roads.
While we’re on the subject of Micki, can we talk about how nice it is to see a Latina playing a Latina on screen? No tans or Europeans pretending to be Latinx people in sight. Just an actual Latina who is honoring her people with her performance. Morgan and Micki are showing that Latinx women can get it done, do the research required, and kick ass at the same time. And I’m here for it today, tomorrow, and every week after. Especially if it means Morgan is leading the charge!
All together, the Walker series premiere might take a little some getting used to, both for viewers who have followed Padalecki from Supernatural and for viewers who have followed the franchise from Walker, Texas Ranger. But once this pilot episode gets going, it doesn’t stop. It presses forward and starts us on a new journey. By episode’s end, I want to know what happened to Emily, what is up with Walker and his kids, and who Micki left behind when she followed her dream to become a Texas Ranger. And that pilot-ending curiosity is always a good sign.
What did you think of the first episode of Walker? Have you seen the original? Are you a Supernatural fan? Let us know in the comments below.