Abby, Hoyt and Calian join forces against the murderous sheriff while Kate maintains a watchful eye.
Warning: This is an overview of Episode 102 of Walker: Independence, so there will be scads of spoilers here. We strongly recommend that you not read this if you have not yet watched the episode.
Sheriff Tom Davidson proves to be diabolically clever. Hoyt and Calian stage a saloon brawl, but their master plan doesn’t quite pay off. And Kate isn’t just a Pinkerton operative — she’s a hard-bargaining labor spokesperson. What are we to make of this? Here are our five takeaways from “Home to a Stranger,” Episode 102 of Walker: Independence.
Takeaway No. 1
The more we see of Tom Davidson (Greg Hovanessian), the less we like him. And mind you, we were already a quarter past hating his guts when we learned in the series premiere that he had killed Liam Collins (Brandon Sklenar), Abby’s husband, in order to hijack Liam’s lawman gig in Independence. But to give the devil his due, he’s one cool, calculating customer. When Hoyt (Matt Barr) slips Gus (Philemon Chambers), Tom’s deputy, a note informing him where the body of the M.I.A. Liam is buried, Tom intercepts the message, exhumes the corpse — and brings it back to Independence, where he vows to the credulous populace that he’ll bring to justice the killer of the man whose mortal remains he fortuitously found. (“I take no pride,” he says, “in saying I filled this man’s shoes.” Yeah, right.) Later, after killing most of his cohorts in a cattle rustling scheme — with Gus conveniently watching nearby — he arrests the sole survivor and blames him for the murder. And then he tries to exploit Abby’s knowledge of the law by offering her a job as his legal advisor. Is this part of a seduction plan? Or does he want to keep an eye on her because he knows, or at least suspects, she is connected to Liam? (After all, there is that note to consider.) Or both?
Takeaway No. 2
Meanwhile, Abby (Katherine McNamara) manages to enlist Hoyt and Calian (Justin Johnson Cortez) in her campaign to somehow bring the sheriff to justice. Trouble is… well, bless their hearts, but her allies aren’t helping much so far. First off, it was a pretty dumb move on Hoyt’s part to leave that note on the desk where Tom could easily find it (and did). And later, when they collaborate with Abby to plot a jailbreak so Tom’s former accomplice might reveal more about the murderous sheriff, they fail to count on the fact that the unfortunate fellow might be shot while trying to escape. Which he was — by Gus, who just happened to use the rifle once owned by Liam. Are we to think that this was a coincidence — that Gus simply used whatever weapon was close at hand — or does this indicate the deputy might really be in league with his boss?
Takeaway No. 3
On the other hand, you have to give Hoyt and Calian this much: When they staged a saloon brawl to get Hoyt arrested and tossed into the same cell as the accomplice, they really threw themselves into the faux smackdown. Indeed, you couldn’t help suspecting that, deep down, these guys really don’t like each other, and relished the opportunity to throw punches (among other things) at each other. Perhaps they really are evolving into two points of a romantic triangle with Abby.
Takeaway No. 4
Nice to see a bit more character development for Kai (Lawrence Kao), the entrepreneurial laundry owner, and Lucia (Gabriela Quezada), who, curiously enough, does not appreciate Hoyt’s robbing a bank in an effort to help her financially strapped rancher father. But the real breakthrough supporting player this week was Kate Carver (Katie Findlay), the undercover Pinkerton operative who’s keeping tabs on Tom while working as a dancehall girl at the saloon owned by, and named after, Hagen (Mark Sheppard). Apparently, the Pinkerton agency has been hired to check out the sheriff because the railroad is coming to Independence. Kate has already uncovered Tom’s ties to a wealthy family involved with steel and cattle — two things that will in turn tie Tom to the railroad — and the sheriff’s effort to buy Hagen’s place. She’s also taken a sisterly protective interest in Abby — at least, that’s what it seems to be — and has asserted herself as a hard-bargaining labor rep for the dancehall girls Hagen tries to underpay (when he pays them at all). Yes, we know we’re only just two episodes into Walker: Independence. But we won’t be shocked if we soon hear about Katie Findlay being cast in another Walker spinoff series: Kate Carver: Woman of Mystery.
Takeaway No. 5
We’re still not wild about the anachronistic music. But it’s not a deal-breaker. Not yet, at least.
Photography: Richard Foreman Jr./CW