Sunday, March 31, 2024

Walker: The Quiet

There are two things they universally support in Texas: family and crime fighting, even in Austin. That is where the Texas Rangers are headquartered, after all. Nobody is more synonymous with the Rangers than Cordell Walker, first in the Chuck Norris series and now in the CW reboot. Since the original pilot, it looks like the writers better understand how to cater to audiences for those themes, at least judging by “The Quiet,” the fourth and final season premiere of Walker, which premieres Wednesday on the CW.

A lot has happened since at least one of us checked in on Walker, his family, and his colleagues. His team is still reeling from their fruitless pursuit of The Jackal, a serial killer who remains at large. Whoever the perp might be, he went underground at the end of season three. However, Walker and Trey Barnett must suddenly investigate fresh signs of the Jackal, without informing Captain Larry James, who was nearly broken by their powerlessness to stop the soul-crushing murders.

These scenes are considerably better than anything in the pilot, which admittedly, was three years ago. On the other hand, this episode’s self-contained case involves a fentanyl gang, but nobody ever mentions their original supplier: China. That’s kind of gutless.

Nevertheless, the family stuff is less annoying this time around too. Walker’s girlfriend, Geri Broussard even convinces the Walker clan to organize a steak-eating contest for his surprise birthday party, which is about as Texas as it gets. It is still nice to Mitch Pileggi playing Walker’s dad, Bonham, but it is kind of weird to see him cast as a reasonably happy and wholesome character.

The pilot felt like it went out of its way to tick representation boxes (except, of course, Jews and the disabled, who were duly erased). Instead, this episode feels more like an attempt to apply the
Blue Bloods formula to the Texas Rangers. If that is representational of recent episodes, it constitutes serious improvement. It is hard to judge at this late stage, but based on “The Quiet,” the fourth season of Walker might be worth a try when it premieres Wednesday (4/3) on the CW.