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Walker - Lessons From the Gift Shop - Review: If Only We Could Be Mind Readers!

18 Apr 2024

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Well now! Talk about a cliffhanger that leaves us all (and our characters?) confused, shocked, amazed, surprised even? Pick any adjective from the dictionary, because I gotta say, I did not see that reveal coming at all! Witt! Is! Alive! So, even though the episode was kind of a slow paced one that didn't move most of the storylines along very much until the ending, we should probably give the writers kudos for pulling off the twist of the week?  Let's backtrack to the beginning first and then retrace our steps to how we get to that scene! 

Cassie and Geri are in their roommates era - bonding over milk frother's! There's really nothing like finding the perfect friend who has the perfect milk frother to make the perfect coffee; so now that Geri's found that person, she's not going to let Cassie go away so easily! It's really nice to see the two women together, Ashley Reyes and Odette Annable have such wonderful chemistry together that you can see the admiration and respect they have for each other, we definitely need a highlight on women and their girlfriends! And of course, on the other side of this equation, we have the boys gathering as well - Walker, Trey and Liam are discussing him and Geri, trying to figure out how he needs to say those special three words, eight letters, since he's technically not really gotten this deeply involved with anyone since Emily, phew! No pressure there at all Cordell - but apparently, it's as easy as Liam saying "I love you" to Trey and vice-versa. It's time for them to brainstorm ideas, and in the end, a dresser drawer seems to be the way to go! Once Trey heads out, the Walker boys are left together and surely enough, Liam decides to bring up his niece to his brother.

I was on Liam's side when he suggested that Cordi should try and reach out to Stella to get an idea of what exactly she's been going through and be there to support her and help her through it, but Walker, who has just started to make peace with the idea of both his kids leaving the nest and being free, thinks that he needs to take a step back and wait for Stella to come to him first. I guess we're going to have to wait a little longer to see how that conversation is going to go, because we know that sooner or later - perhaps the latter - Cordell is going to find out everything about that fateful night!  

"Lessons From the Gift Shop" – Walker. Pictured (L-R): Keegan Allen as Liam Walker and Jeff Pierre as Trey Barnett. Photo: The CW © 2024 The CW Network. LLC, All Rights Reserved

Stella is remembering the horrors of that night with Sadie and for the first time since the finale, we get to see a little more about what went down in the immediate aftermath of the shooting - a flashback scene with the two girl's that tells us Sadie was the one who insisted on keeping the entire truth of how they both knew Witt from Liam, which also shows just how similar to Hoyt his daughter is. We're getting to see another generation of Walker & Rawlins together. (There's a twig in my eye. I'm fine! Hoyt is still with us in spirit, he's with us through Sadie!) Cue up the loud knocks on Stella's dorm room and we see that Sadie's back! It looks like that phone call was basically a Bat-Signal telling her to come back to Austin ASAP. And even though it doesn't look good that Sadie decides to erase the "This Isn't Over" message from Stella's window, from her perspective, she's trying to not just look out for herself, but Stella as well, even though the way she goes about it makes that a little hard for Stella to wrap her head around. 

On the Cassie side of things, she spends most of her time this episode with Liam and it's another wonderful pairing that we get to see together - both of them have been in each other's lives through Cordell (Cassie's partner and Liam's brother) and Ben (Cassie's brother and Liam's boyfriend) so it's nice that they have a chance to develop their own friendship; most of which includes playing Cassie's own version of a Hawk's Shadow board game while they go through her possessions in storage - complete with Bot Fight posters, Hawk's Shadow DVD's, an egg cooker and alligator hats! The two of them start to bond over the "Summer of Stella" but soon their conversation goes a little deeper, about themselves, about how Liam always tends to put the needs of everyone else that he loves above his own (taking care of other people is his love language!) and Cassie who has been running from one thing to another, starting all the way back with Miles before joining the Rangers and then going to the FBI, that she hasn't had time to pause and just be... until now. She's starting to realize that there's more to life than just her career, she can find time to just take a vacation to Coney Island if she wants to and collect all of the keychains she finds with everyone's name (minus her own? Someone needs to fix that!) 

We do get to see August starting his boot camp training officially, with Bonham tagging along, much to Abeline's surprise as he keeps on referring to the fact that Trey might not be in this alone if he has anything to say about it! The term "we" pops up more than once... perhaps his talk of retiring came a little too soon? Abeline certainly might have something to say on that matter. As we expected, Augie's training does not go as planned, and when he talks to Trey, he takes his advice to heart a little too strongly - he may be starting a new symphony by joining the military and even just growing up, but the key isn't to give up all your earthly possessions and discard the distractions! It's about finding a balance. Trey puts it beautifully later on in the episode during the "Rangers 4 Paws" charity donation drive that's being held at Ranger HQ - "It's not all or nothing that determines success ultimately, it's how we manage everything so we don't end up with nothing." - wise words indeed!

"Lessons From the Gift Shop" – Walker. Pictured: Violet Brinson as Stella Walker. Photo: The CW © 2024 The CW Network. LLC, All Rights Reserved

It's time for us to pivot over to seeing how Walker giving Geri a dresser in his room is going to work out! At first, things are going well for them, there's some cute or awkward nervousness on Cordell's part, he's still not sure how to say how he feels or even if this is the right way to go, and it's not just that these two are friends-turned-lovers; they've been intertwined in each other's lives for so long - with Emily and Hoyt and without them - that it's not an easy journey at all! But even though they may stumble a little, causing tensions that arise, when Walker finds out that Geri unintentionally and accidentally donated one of his shirt's that Emily had bought him... in the end, it's a heart to heart talk with his mother that gives Cordell the courage that he was looking for. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the show's strengths do lie in the character moments with each other when they're opening up and having conversations that aren't just meaningful, but important and impactful. Cordell isn't used to being with someone who isn't Emily, he doesn't understand how Geri could have thrown away something that was reminiscent of a trip that she was a part of too, but Abeline explains to him that people can experience things together but still not have the same experience. Which sounds confusing, because it is! Love is confusing. People are confusing. But communication is key in any relationship and Abeline knows that Cordell and Geri have found themselves together, now it's time that they put in the work and effort, to talk, to wake up and choose each other every day. That's what love is.

Once the charity drive begins, we get a small scene of Stella and Sadie meeting Geri, who immediately clocks that the two girls are up to something! She has lived her life with Hoyt in it for a very long time that it's definitely obvious to her that his daughter would also perhaps be... in need of someone to talk to when the time comes. I would love to see more of that! 

"Lessons From the Gift Shop" – Walker. Pictured: Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker: The CW © 2024 The CW Network. LLC, All Rights Reserved.

Walker and Geri talk inside the station - she came over to apologize - it's never about the material things, or even the memories, but rather how they can honor those memories and the people they're associated with, it's about how they move on with their lives with each other, but still keep space for the ones that they both loved. And Walker is all in; he's taken his mother's advice to heart and even though he learns about the mug that broke last week was Geri's "shirt" from Hoyt, he gathers up his courage and says "I love you" and gets it in return from Geri! 59 episodes in and we're finally here people! 

The ending montage shows us how Cassie gets Liam a keychain with his name on it, plus tickets to Bot Fights from Liam to Cassie - definitely need to see an episode of that please! And once everything has wrapped up, she joins Trey and Walker for a night shift at work and gets looped in on the investigation that the boys are working on discreetly on "The Jackal" while making sure that Captain James stays unaware of this... Geri is settling in at the guest house with a newly repaired mug that Walker fixed (was it with gold ink like Kintsugi is all about? Either way, the sentiment was heartwarming!) and of course, Sadie and Stella encounter Witt with a gun pointed at them in the back of Stella's car! My oh my! 

Over to you folks! Did anyone else see the cliffhanger coming from a mile away and I was the only one surprised? Is Bonham going to join Trey as an official-unofficial drill sergeant? How long do we think Capt. James is going to be kept in the dark about the trio's investigation? Detective Luna seems to be making his long-awaited appearance next episode, so things are probably going to escalate now! 

Anjali S
Anjali is a reviewer for SpoilerTV - her favorite shows include 911, Walker, The Rookie, Supernatural, Doctor Who! When she's not watching tv, she spends her free time reading and writing. She is a newly published author; her first book was released in March 2024 and she hopes to keep writing more!