So, what? Walker will be the show that languishes for the first 30 minutes and then throws crap at the fan in the last ten?
About 35 minutes in (with commercials), I sent a message to a friend that Walker Season 1 Episode 7 is like a spoof of a spoof of a blue skies series that used to run on USA Network. Think In Plain Sight or Covert Affairs without the grit.
Little did I know that they were getting ready to pile it on again for the finale.
Frankly, I was impressed because the earlier episodes didn't offer my heft at all. But two weeks in a row using the same timing, and I've already grown weary.
There is too much family on Walker for it to have these odd moments of rednecks, auto explosions, and baby mama reveals tossed into the mix.
None of this is to stay that they failed to follow up on the one-two-three punch of the previous episode. Those stories continued, but they lost a little bit of their zest in the meantime.
Capt. James and Liam followed up on what they learned from Hoyt's interactions with Carlos Mendoza, the man serving time for Emily's murder.
You know, I stopped drinkin' when I became captain, but I ain't the captain in Mexico. [to the bartender] Make it dos!Capt. James
Their travels were supposed to play as a buddy cop scenario if I read it right, but it was kind of silly. It's surprising that the two of them managed to get any info at all with Capt. James playing footsie with Mendoza's niece.
After four days of games (Liam said four days... was it really?), she knew that he was the man who put away her uncle.
What Liam and James got from it was the realization that whatever it was that happened with Geri, they were wrong to warn Walker off of Emily's murder, and now they have to tell him.
That won't go over well, and it shouldn't. Unless I miss my guess, James and Liam used their personal feelings to sway their opinion on Emily's murder more than Walker did. Walker wanted the truth about his wife, which is apparent since when he thought he got it, he stood down.
Liam and James just wanted Walker to stop embarrassing himself by, what? Caring enough to track the leads? Instead, they embarrassed themselves by stopping him. That's hardly a win for anyone.
The niece put out the word on those two, and someone blew up their car. It was flashy, but what will it mean?
Like Walker's dogged attitude about Emily's case, Micki was hell-bent on discovering what secret her mother was hiding. She didn't believe for a second that her mother drove drunk and left the scene.
Sadly, Walker's experience with Emily's murder -- being told he saw it all wrong -- had him advising Micki in the same way. I think she was ready to accept it for what it was, too, until Laredo.
Here's our detour, as well.
Walker's kids and Trey were on a school road trip, and kids being kids, they skipped out of the hotel and had a big ol' party in a deserted area. Before all hell broke loose, Auggie had girl issues, liking the wrong girl when the right one was right in front of him.
Stella, meanwhile, only has eyes for Trevor (and really, what a cutie), who is struggling with the Romeo and Juliet nature of their relationship.
Speaking from experience, it's not our job to inherit our dads' baggage.Stella
Stella's a pretty cool kid, though, and her advice for Trevor was quite on the nose. If only she knew how close her dad's issue and Trevor's really were when she was discussing not carrying their baggage.
I'm not sure why Trey called Walker when the kids were missing other than to drive the plot. He's a grown man and surely had been into some trouble as a teenager. I didn't think Walker and Micki were nearby when he called, but they were on the scene right in the middle of the redneck skirmish.
And really? Rednecks? Does anyone have an ounce of ingenuity anymore? Rednecks in pickups who are also perverts. Is that a big concern in Texas these days? Everyone I know who lives there loves it. And not a redneck in the bunch.
But that was required so that Trevor could have a moment in which he considered shooting Walker, only to have Walker later commend him on his bravery for not pulling the trigger on the bad guy. Again, little did he know...
But I like Trevor and Stella and the idea that they're trapped in their father's business. I just don't like the heavy-handed afterschool special way they're handling most stories.
Stella: Go to the dance with me.
Trevor: Is that a question?
Stella: No, not really. I mean, unless you decide to leave Texas next week.
Trevor: Nah, I've got a pretty good reason to stay.
That leads me back to Micki. Poor, poor Micki, err, Nina, who refused to give up like a dog with a bone. I thought maybe her mom had a lover, and Mike was Adriana's beard, so to speak. No such luck for Micki.
Everything she knows is a lie. Her mother was an addict who sold her daughter to her sister so she could continue using. Or so it seems right now. Maybe Mercedes will come out as a decent woman who was seen differently by her sister. It happens.
It especially happens when mom tends to be self-righteous and didn't ensure the daughter she insisted on buying felt all the love she spent good money to give.
I always asked myself why couldn't I make my mom proud, and you let me feel that way. You never had that right.Micki
Ugh. It's horrible to imagine what Micki is going through. But did you notice that her first call was to Walker? Is she still not fully on board with Trey? Walker had no idea what went down after the fireworks, so she could have called either of them with her news.
Maybe partners share those secrets with each other before their loved ones.
You tell me. What did you think about "Tracks"?
Do you still have reservations about the way stories and character development are unfolding?
Am I too harsh, or do you wish that episodes were paced more evenly and not using the, as my friend called it, the Pretty Little Liars method of storytelling?
Dig in below and give me what you've got.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.