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Series / Walker

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"For a long time, I chose duty over family. Until one day, that wasn't an option."
Cordell Walker

Walker is a reboot of the Chuck Norris series Walker, Texas Ranger, which aired on CBS. It began airing on The CW on January 21st, 2021.

The show follows Cordell Walker (Jared Padalecki), a widowed father who returns to Austin after a year of working on an assignment out of town. His captain in the Texas Rangers, Larry James (Coby Bell), partners him with Micki Ramirez (Lindsey Morgan), a young recruit eager to make a name for herself, who is dating Trey Barnett (Jeff Pierre), a medic. As Cordell tries to find a common ground with her, he also has to deal with a family that he left behind: his father, Bonham (Mitch Pileggi); mother, Abeline (Molly Hagan); brother, Liam (Keegan Allen); daughter, Stella (Violet Brinson); and son, August (Kale Culley). Stella is estranged from her father and wants nothing to do with him. Moving to his old house, Cordell contemplates accepting an offer to join an anti-drug cartel task force as he grows increasingly suspicious of his wife's death.

Morgan left the series in season two, and Micki' role as Cordell's partner was subsequently replaced by Cassie Perez (Ashley Reyes), who debuted four episodes after Micki' last appearance. Season two also promoted Odette Annable, who plays Cordell's bartender friend Geri Broussard, as regular.

Trailer one and trailer two

On December 8, 2021, it was reported that The CW is developing a prequel spin-off titled Walker: Independence, which will focus on Abby Walker, a female ancestor of the Walkers from the 19th century (played by Katherine McNamara). It was given a pilot order on February 3, 2022, and was picked up to series on May 12, 2022.

Walker contains examples of:

  • Action Dad: Walker is a father in this incarnation, and no less capable of kicking ass for it.
  • Action Girl: Micki Ramirez.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In "Don't Fence Me In" August is going through the burner phone his father used while undercover, and one of the contacts listed is a Winchester Auto, and a flashback in the following episode reveals that his undercover identity "Duke" is mourning the loss of his brother.
    • "No Such Thing As Fair Play" has Walker watching a Kansas concert performing "Carry On Wayward Son", which was the unofficial theme song to Supernatural.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Walker is far more sullen and angsty in this version, due to losing his wife and the strain that put on his family.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Walker is no longer Native American, his parents were not killed by white supremacists, he never served in Vietnam, and didn't learn karate in Japan.
  • Adaptational Diversity: Inverted. Walker loses his Native American ancestry and no longer has a Cherokee uncle.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: About the only part of their personalities that Chuck Norris and Jared Padalecki's versions of Walker share is their love of cowboy hats and big trucks.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Cordell, in the original series, was an only child raised by his uncle, who eventually married and had a baby girl at the end of the show. This show loses his uncle, but he regains both parents, has a younger brother, and two teenage children.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Walker's parents go from John and Elizabeth Firewalker to Bonham and Abeline Walker, while his daughter goes from Angela to Stella.
  • Adaptation Title Change: Takes the original Walker, Texas Ranger and shortens it to just Walker.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Walker's Native American ancestry and his uncle Ray Firewalker do not exist in this version.
    • All of the supporting cast from the original series (Alex, Trivette, CD, Gage, and Sydney) were dropped for this version.
  • Affair Letters: In "Don't Fence Me In," Walker discovers his mother, Abeline, was in a relationship with another man when he finds letters from the boyfriend.
  • Age Lift: Walker's daughter goes from a baby (due to being born during the final season) to a teenager here, though she was still born first in this version.
  • Angst: Walker repeatedly hallucinates Emily following her death, and is having a hard time coping with his wife's loss.
  • Big Eater: Walker is shown chowing down on various foods in multiple episodes, even taking pizza he ordered to a school dance to check on the kids when a tornado hits Austin.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Although clearly grieving, Stella is taking her anger out on her father.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: In "Fine Is a Four Letter Word", Liam is shaken by the attempt on his and James's lives in the previous episode, and breaks up with Bret by saying he cheated on him while in Mexico out of fear that the gang tied to Emily's murder will come after his loved ones.
  • Breather Episode: "No Such Thing As Fair Play", which has the Walker family having a day at the rangers' fair, and even them watching a Kansas concert playing "Carry On Wayward Son".
  • Business Trip Adultery: In "Fine Is A Four Letter Word", Liam lies to Bret that he cheated on him during his work trip in Mexico.
  • Casting Gag: Mitch Pileggi plays Walker's father after having previously played Jared Padalecki's grandfather in Supernatural.
  • Character Title: The show is named after main character Cordell Walker.
  • Dead Guy Junior: A baby alpaca born to an alpaca that Hoyt adopted is named after him when the Walkers adopt the animal.
  • Death Wail: Walker lets one out after Emily dies.
  • Deceptive Legacy: Micki discovers her "mother" is really her aunt who raised her when her real drug addict mother dropped her off and never came back.
  • Disappeared Dad: After Emily died, Walker took an undercover gig that kept him away from his family for ten months. During that time his children were raised by their grandparents and uncle. When Walker returns home, there is a lot of friction between him and his kids.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Walker has been drinking a lot since his wife's death. In the series premiere he misses his own "Welcome Home" party because he goes to a park his wife loved and gets drunk.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Walker insists on being called by his last name and not his first, Cordell, although he has no issue with his friends and family calling him "Cordi."
  • Feuding Families: The Davidsons blame the Walkers for the death of their patriarch as well as a history of other grievances over the years. As such, they want to steal their property and see the family behind bars. It takes up much of Season 2 before it reaches a resolution.
  • Honor Before Reason: In a race to decide the fate of the ranch, Cordell turns back to help an injured Dan up...which ends up costing him the race and giving the Davidsons control of the ranch. The Walker ranch hands openly ask "why did you go back?!" Fortunately, they get it back when they discover the Davidsons cheated.
  • In Name Only: Outside of the main character being a Texas Ranger named Cordell Walker (and both of them having beards, driving big trucks, and wearing cowboy hats constantly), this version of the show is completely different from the original.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: In "Don't Fence Me In", when asked to keep something off the books, Walker cheerfully replies that "off the books" is his middle name, before following up that it's actually "Beauregard".
  • Mythology Gag: Micki, Walker's partner, has a boyfriend who's a black man named Trey, possibly referencing Trivette, Walker's partner (played by Clarence Gilyard) in the original.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Walker falls asleep while picking the kids up at school, Stella drives the car into a piece of property on the ranch and then frames Walker for it, in the hopes that it will get him to shape up. Instead, her gaslighting prompts him to take an undercover job for job in the hopes that he won't be a danger to his family. Basically, everything that stems from the undercover job this season was because of her actions.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Stan, after killing Emily, takes two of her poker chips for himself and brings them to his house...the same house he later invites the entire Walker family over to have a renewable ceremony for the grandparents. As a result, August finds them and everyone is able to believe Cordell when he tells them what Stan did.
  • Parental Abandonment: Stella sees Walker going undercover after Emily's death this way. While she eventually comes around, "Don't Fence Me In" and "Duke" see August fearing this when he finds Walker's undercover affects.
    • Micki's biological mother, a drug addict, couldn't take care of her, and left her with her sister. Adriana paid her to stay away.
  • Parental Favoritism: Cordell treats August as this, which becomes worse in Season 3 when August acts up more and throws a party that costs Cordell his liquor license. Cordell's response? To blame Stella for it all to the point of leaving her in jail overnight. Cordell tells his dad that August has always been the level-headed one and just following Stella's lead which had his dad openly telling Cordell he has blinders on. It builds to Thanksgiving dinner when Cordell learns the club will be shut down over the party and declares that Stella has to face the consequences and August just nods in agreement. That has Mawline finally having enough to tell Cordell it was August doing all this, which he can't believe...until August calls his grandmother a "bitch" at the dinner table. That finally opens Cordell's eyes to how he's been thinking August is still the steady kid he's always been, apologizing to Stella and coming down hard on August to change his attitude.
    Cordell: He's been changing and I've been stuck. Kind of like watching the home movies of the kid I had.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: After recurring in season one, Odette Annable was promoted to regular for season two.
  • Race Lift: Walker is purely Caucasian in this version, whereas he was part-Cherokee in the original.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Walker is on the receiving end of this from both his kids at separate points, thanks to his undercover mission in the wake of Emily's death. He admits they're right and promises them he's not going anywhere from now on.
  • Secretly Dying: While not technically dying, Bonham hid his cancer diagnosis from everyone in his family. Abeline finds out when Clint West tells her after taking the Walkers hostage.
  • Setting Update: The show still takes place in Texas, but rather than taking place in the suburbs of Dallas, this version takes place in Austin.
  • Shout-Out: "No Such Thing" has Walker at a concert by Kansas playing "Wayward Son."
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the original, Walker's parents were killed by white supremacists. In this version, both of his parents are still alive.
  • That One Case: A man was arrested and confessed to Emily's murder two days after her death, but Walker has suspicions due to someone closing Emily's eyes and a custom-made poker chip next to her body. While those clues eventually turn out to be Red Herrings with honest explanations (Geri closed her eyes, and Emily made the poker chip set as a gift to her husband), his boss James and his brother Liam appear to believe there's still something more to the case than is known.
  • To Absent Friends: In "Bobble Head", Walker, Geri, and Hoyt toast to Emily when the latter rolls in town.
  • Wham Episode: "Bar None" ends with three different shocking twists:
    • Geri is paying hush money to the man who went to prison for Emily's death.
    • Stella's boyfriend Trevor goes to visit his father in prison - it's Clint, the man Walker put away while undercover. Trevor sells out Walker's real identity to Clint.
    • Micki's mother, Adriana, is arrested.
    • The following episode "Tracks" ends with two more shocking twists: Adriana Ramirez isn't Micki's mother and is instead her aunt - her biological mother was a drug addict who couldn't take care of her.
    • In Mexico following up a lead on Emily's death, the car James and Liam took blows up.
  • Wild Teen Party: Stella and August go to a bonfire that their mother started when she was their age, and the latter ends up getting drunk and needs a ride home.