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Tracker - Springland - Review

26 Feb 2024

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These days, everyone is looking for a hero. Luckily for the folks in Colter Shaw’s path, they’ve found one. Whether it’s his innate drive to help or his personal demons that propel him, Colter’s desire to help others is unmistakable. In tonight’s episode, Colter was assigned to locate a vintage Shelby Cobra by Velma and Teddi, but a quick stop for a bite to eat in Springland led him down a completely different path. When he learns of a young woman who’s gone missing, Colter is compelled to help and despite warnings to stay away, Colter’s unwavering instincts drive him forward, leading him to encounter a knife-wielding man who stabs him while threatening him to leave town. 

The doctor stitching up Colter’s wounds noticed his many battle scars and when he explained that he is a rewardist looking for information on the missing young woman, the doctor revealed that her name is Mia Stine, a woman living the nomadic van life. Springland is a sleepy little town, and residents aren’t keen to drum up negative attention. Colter knows this case could be difficult, but when he meets Mia’s sister, Kira, who is desperate for answers, he knows he must do what he can to help. Colter’s motivation to help Kira extended beyond helping her find closure. Kira shared that she and her sister had a difficult childhood, a connection that resonated deeply with Colter. Kira revealed that Mia had parked her van on property owned by the wealthy Winslow family, and the man that stabbed Colter was one of the men hired by the family to keep trespassers off their property. At first, the man seemed like the likely suspect, but in the world of procedural dramas, viewers know it’s never that easy. 

As Colter looked for clues at Mia’s last known camping spot, he enlisted Bobby’s help to locate the van’s licence plate number. Teddi and Velma were also quick to assist Colter. They have worked with him long enough to know that he had likely bailed on locating the missing car. Velma assisted Colter in locating a man who was connected to Mia but unfortunately, he wasn’t talking. Colter is persistent and sought out information about the man from the doctor who stitched him up. She revealed his name as Matt Winslow, son of the wealthy family who has a lengthy prison record. Colter thinks he’s found his man, but although Matt reveals that he and Mia were dating, he insisted that she ghosted him with a note, leaving him devastated. However, Kira immediately pointed out that the writing on the note did not belong to her sister. 

Velma and Teddi discovered that the Winslow’s had been involved in many lawsuits, propelling them to send Reenie Green to help Colter out. After meeting Reenie in the first episode, it was clear that she and Colter have chemistry, regardless of the bad feelings she harbors towards him. It wasn't immediately clear how the writers would work her back into the storyline, but this seemed to fit. Reenie has access to court documents that could assist Colter with finding Mia. She informed him that in one lawsuit that was filed against the Winslow’s, the complainant died mysteriously three weeks after the suit was filed. Colter believes more than ever that the Winslow’s are behind Mia’s disappearance, and he enlisted Matt’s help to take them down. 

Together, Colter, Reenie and Matt confronted his parents, and it was impossible not to feel for Matt, who found out that his own mother had Mia killed in order to keep her away from Matt. As Reenie and Colter said their goodbyes, she revealed that someone named Russell had been trying to contact her. Colter tells her to block his calls and relents that Russell is his brother, who murdered their father and then disappeared. Reenie immediately wants to help get Russell prosecuted, but Colter insists she leave it be. She doesn’t press any further, but whether she likes it or not, Reenie cares about Colter and it’s safe to say she’s not going to let this go easily. 

The episode vividly portrayed the lawless underbelly of small-town life, where justice is often for sale. The sheriff was clearly bought by the Winslow’s from the start, and his complete lack of regard for the case, going so far as refusing to search Mia’s van when it turned up, demonstrated how easy it is for police to turn a blind eye for the right price. Especially in a small town, where people like Mia could disappear without anyone even noticing she was there in the first place. 

As a procedural drama, Tracker ticks all the boxes. It introduces a captivating case of the week that draws viewers in and keeps them hooked, until the case is solved at the end of the hour. Character development, however, is a work in progress. While we know a little about each character, we still don’t know how Colter came to work for Velma and Teddi, or how they got wrapped up in the rewardist life. The calls from Russell have also been dragged out over three episodes, that if viewers don’t meet the mysterious brother soon, the writers run the risk of them losing interest. 

Regardless, Justin Hartley is fantastic at creating a character that viewers can empathize with, and that’s just what he’s done with Colter Shaw. That alone is sure to keep viewers invested, ensuring that they tune in each week. Over to you, Tracker fans! What are your thoughts on tonight’s episode? What do you think Russell wants with Colter? How long will it take for us to learn more about Colter’s difficult past? Share your thoughts below and follow me on X @Middleofcanada.