1.02 Back in the Saddle

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WLK102a 0678r.jpg
Title Back in the Saddle
Episode # Season 1, Episode 2
First aired January 28, 2021
Directed by Steve Robin
Written by Anna Fricke
On IMDB imdb
Outline While Walker tries to recertify as a Ranger, Micki investigates a suspicious fire.
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A view of beautiful night Austin sky filled with stars is opening scene. Manchester Fields, a horse farm is shown. Cameras are shown being shut off then fire starts. Horses are naying and running out of barn. One man is trying to free another horse and gets killed with a burning falling piece of wood.

Next, we see Walker, he is bringing tools to back of his truck. The saddle with the initials "CW" and EW" are shown in a close up. Pans out to flashback of when Emily first gifted the saddle to Walker. Walker again feels the pain of not having Emily alive. Walker proceeds to drive to their family home. His mother would like Walker to start fresh and all be under same roof. Walker does not want this right now. Walker proceeds to ask Stella by text if she or anyone else has been by the house as there is some damage. Stella gives a nasty text answer back. Micki and Trey on the bed kissing. Micki's phone rings and its Captain James telling to report for a case. She then proceeds to call Walker, leaves a message. Micki is getting dressed then asking Trey about why he has so much more belongings this time around. Trey says he is staying for a while. Micki is concerned about this as she wants to focus on her job and proving herself as the 1st Woman of color to be a Ranger. She basically tells Trey that he is a distraction. Trey proves her point by taking his shirt off.

Back at the Family ranch, breakfast is being cooked and served. Walker is looking for his 17 year old coffee mug and asks where it maybe. No one answers. Walker asks about why Liam is there. Liam proceeds to tell him that he has pretty good smoothie skills and that while Walker was away they built a routine. Walker realizes that he needs to deal with this change. Soccer game is brought up as its a big one for Stella. Walker is excited and cant wait to go and watch. Abeline expressed that the kids need "stability" and Walker explains that he wants to ease back on own terms and get back to normal. Stella is upset that she is not being consulted on where to live. August expressed that he will follow his father. August also tells his father about a project he is working on "What Texas Means to Me." Liam is also there as he takes the kids to school. At Manchester Ranch, Walker shows up and is being briefed by Micki. There was one human fatality(Matt Harmon) and one prize winning horse(Texas NightShade). Jed(horse jockey) and Manchester(owner of ranch) are being questioned. Captain James corrects Walker in how he wants to be referred to(Captain James not just James). He also informs Walker that with him being in charge they will be doing things the right way and by the book. Walker needs to be recertified as a Texas Ranger. As of now, Captain James benches Walker.

At the Ranger office, Captain James tells Walker that he wants to prove something and make a difference. Walker mocks this. Walker wants to keep his mind busy. James then askes why Walker why he is looking at footage of the night Emily died. Walker explains that he may have gotten something wrong. James explains that he wants to make sure Walker is stable and is responsible to ensure this happens. Walker is playing with the poker chip while this conversation is occurring. Connie, who is the phone receptionist is speaking to Micki and Walker about a message about the case. Micki explains that the recertification test needs to be completed and passed by the both of them. Micki and Walker start talking about the case, then Micki stops as Walker is off the case. Stella and Isabel are at the soccer field. The coach is telling them who will be playing. Stella is named starter but this means Isabel is sitting. Stella gets angry, storms off and explains to Isabel that why should she get the start just because its a big game. She states that if Isabel doesn't play, that she isn't. While this is happening, August is outside of school and sees someone sitting at a table. The girl introduces herself as "Ruby" she is in charge of AV Club. They talk about the video project and August wants to do something with cameras. Ruby expresses that she will help him make his "mother proud."

At the gun range, Walker is first with shooting targets. He hits all of them dead on and expresses in a cocky manner that he still has it. Micki is next and misses one target and Walker smirks. At the parking lot, Walker is in car. The woman instructor, who knows Walker is going to observe him driving. Walker askes if she is strapped in. Walker then speeds around the road course. When completed, Walker asked how he did and if he passed. The woman nods "yes" then gets out of car quickly. Walker then smirks again at Micki. Micki cracks a smile back. At the next test, Micki and Walker will need to ride a horse. Micki is already mounted. Walker grabs the saddle from truck. A flashback of Emily occurs. Walker is hit instantly with emotion. Walker tries to get on horse, misses stirrup at first then the horse is upset. Micki asked if he is "okay" and Walker is not in a good mood. He gets off the horse and walks off, obviously emotional.

At the bar, Walker and Geri are talking. Walker is day drinking speaking about the recertification tests and how he should be passing them with ease but his mind is else where, he is both rusty and mainly thinking about Emily. Geri confides in Walker about hearing her laugh sometimes, remembering how she would change the music stations, 2nd guess directions and those delicious overnight oats. Geri and Walker both can't stop thinking of that night. Walker mapped everything out for them. Walker is fixated on how the body was treated. Geri becomes emotional and gives Walker the answer to why the eyes were shut. Geri explains that she closed them as she couldn't leave her like that. Walker and Geri are both crying and Walker says "thank you".

Next, we see Liam sitting outside of a restaurant. He is waiting for Walker, as they had lunch plans. We are then introduced to Bret, who is Liam's fiancé. Liam is surprised to see Bret there but realizes quickly that Bret saw this on his calendar. Bret questions again why Liam is so close to Walker and his family. Bret wants to marry Liam and move to New York. Liam does not want to argue about this again. We then see the Family ranch and August is with camera(mom's) and is taking pictures. He then has a flashback of when Emily(mom) was teaching him the basics of using the camera. Abeline observes this and is concerned with August. She is speaking to Bonham about how he needs to be checking in on Walker and how family needs to be together. Bonham is trying to convince her that Walker should figure this out and what is stable for him.

Micki is speaking to Dr. Jamison, who is the vet. He proceeds to tell her that the autopsy is not of Texas Nightshade as the horse who died did not have a fracture and that Texas NightShade did. This means that the horse is alive. At office, Walker is enjoying some "queso". Again, Micki is speaking about the case. They are putting the pieces together and realize that its an insurance scam. Micki again explains that they both can get into a lot of trouble if Walker is working case. Walker pleads for him to help as this is all he has for now as he is stuck with no place to fit. Walker is stuck with remembering Emily and what he had and Micki confirms that he will always remember. Walker then changes subject and asks about Trey. Micki does not answer. The scene is then cut to a highway in Downtown Austin and a beautiful horse is walking down the street.

At office, Walker gets confirmation that Manchester is about to leave town but in order to have a case, they need to find Texas NightShade. Micki then communicates this with Captain James. Walker comes up with plan. Walker will get the horse(as he states he is still a cowboy if not a ranger) and that Micki and Captain will go after Manchester. Walker drives to where the horse was spotted. Walker tracks the horseshoe prints in the dirt. He finds the horse by water. Walker and NighShade have a moment and he is able to calm horse down and proceeds to ride him. Micki and Captain James are chasing the Jeep with Manchester and suspects. Gun shots are exchanged and tires of James's car are blown out. Walker then shows up on horse and wants to help. James screams that he is good to go(means he is certified). He picks up Micki and the proceeds to reach the Jeep, where Micki jumps into the car and punches and kicks the suspects unconscious and stopes the car. At bar, celebrating and making the recertification official, Captain James explains that the Jockey was in on it but that he couldn't kill the horse so he just let NightShade go. Walker is confused by this and James expresses that "it would be a crime to give up on a thoroughbred just cause its injured. This has more of a significant meaning to Walker. Liam shows up, looking upset. Walker is ready to go to soccer game but Liam informs him that Stella is not at game and that Walker can take it from there. Walker knows where Stella is and asks Micki for some backup.

At the Walker residence, Stella and Isabel are having a party. Walker comes up and they proceed to fight again regarding 2nd chances and how Walker is not really at home. Stella asks if he will have time to talk about books of importance or teaching the guitar or helping with a baby cow. Walker is distraught to find out that Liam tried to get custody of kids while he was undercover. Walker leaves in anger. Walker then drives back to farmhouse. Walker proceeds to confront Liam and they physically fight and words are exchanged. Walker is furious and wants to know why Liam would do this. Liam never had intention to take kids away just wanted to protect them as Walker went dark the last three months of being undercover. Liam expressed to Walker that he really is not there and chasing ghosts. Walker wants to know answers. Liam then tells Walker answers will never be good enough and that Walker needs to stop searching or he will lose everything. During this interaction, August is standing outside. August walks away. Walker is still upset and sits next to August. August proceeds to give Walker a box. Walker opens it and a close up of a poker chip set with deck of cards. August explains that this was going to be a Father's day gift from Emily. He also explained that his mom had taken chips to show people. The poker chip that was left on the body matched the set. Walker is upset again and apologizes to August for being so turned around. August expressed that he understands and that they will figure it out and pats his father on the back. Walker received another answer to one of his questions about Emily's death. While this is going on, Micki walks into her home and Trey is cooking. Micki then explains that she is happy that he is back but also scared as she wants everything to work out. Trey wants same thing and that he wants to be with her and is not going to re-up in the Army. Micki is up for the challenge.

Next day, at the family ranch, Walker is cooking breakfast, Stella walks in, ignoring him. Walker then sees Stella pick up her phone. Walker then proceeds to text Stella about his mug, and how he should of asked her about what she wanted. Stella texts back that she misses her mom and Walker agrees. Stella then goes to drawer and takes mug out. She hands it to Walker and explains that it reminded her of him not being there. Walker then comes up with idea. They drive to the Walker residence where the cement with the handprints are. They proceed to loosen it. While Stella is doing this, the cement block cracks. Stella starts to get upset. Walker calms Stella down and gives her a hug. They drive back to Family Ranch, where Bonham is waiting for Walker. Bonham has heart to heart with Walker about going back to normal can also mean a new start. Bonham explains that he wanted to do something special for Walker's birthday as he missed it due to the undercover operation. The gift was a saddle with the same bag from the old one with the initials "CW" and "EW". Walker is touched and says "thank you".

The last scene is in the farmhouse. August is showing Stella the video project he has been working on. August askes if Walker wants to watch. Walker says yes. The video is a montage of past memories of Emily and the family growing up. It showed the kids doing the hand prints and being sprayed with water, Emily taking the picture, August riding a horse when younger and Emily throwing kisses. The episode ends with a close up of Walker and the pain in his eyes.



  • "Waiting for the Sun" by The Jayhawks
(playing as Walker and his mother discuss his house)
  • "Rollin and Tumblin" by Jackie Venison
(playing as Micki and trey fool around)
  • "You Must Have Met Little Caroline?" by JD McPherson
(playing as Walker and Micki take their recertification tests)
  • "Born Dirty To Last Forever" by Wires on Fire
(playing as Walker and Micki chase down Ed Manchester)
  • "Dizzy Spells" by Sadie and the Ladies
(playing as Walker, Larry and Micki drink in the bar)
  • "Wrecking Ball" by Lower 48
(playing as Walker and Stella text each other over breaksfast)
  • "Extraordinary Life" by Gordi
(playing as Walker, Stella and Augie watch Augie's "What Texas Means to Me" video)


Captain James: "Reform doesn't mean relax."
Micki: "Maybe you should've shaved."
Geri: "Why are you getting all day drinky about it?"
Walker: "Because I couldn't pass a simple test I should've been able to in my sleep?"
Geri: "I can hear her laugh sometimes."
Walker: "Might not be a ranger, but I'm still a cowboy."
Walker: "I would love to help sir?"
Captain James: "Your certified!"
Liam: "I would never take them. I wanted to protect them, for them to be with family because we are all that they got."
Liam: "You will lose everything, all of it, if you don't stop searching for something that isn't there."
Walker: "Hey Stell, its okay...Just because it's broken doesn't mean we can't take it with us, alright"
Bonham: "Sometimes getting back to normal might mean starting fresh."

Trivia & References

Captain James: Always good to see your face. Be even better if you'd shaved it. Or worn the white hat.
The dress requirements for Texas Rangers are to wear a hat that is "light-colored and shaped in a businessman's style."
Liam: Babe, we will all succumb to the sweet death of queso.
Queso is a melted cheese dip] eaten with tortilla chips that is a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine. It is inspired by dishes from Mexico such as queso flamedo.
In this episode, Cordell finds out the answer to 2 of the mysteries around Emily's death - Geri was the one who closed her eyes after she died, and the poker chip she had on her was part of a set she was going to give to Cordell.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts