We begin with Cordell and Grandpa clearing up the crime scene. How much do I love Cordell saying "Daddy?" A lot. And not in that way, you perverts. It just really brings out the Texan.
Liam is in bed, recuperating. He gets a call (note that he calls himself William professionally, which is news to me, and I like it for whatever reason) from someone asking for a comment, which he starts to angrily refuse before Gramma Walker grabs his phone and hangs up. Gramma Walker going all Mama Bear for Liam is also interesting, and unexpected. But Liam says "I can take care of myself" and she says "No, you can't. None of you boys can." And then looks sadly out the window, where Cordell and Grandpa are taking down the crime scene tape. I just have to think "none" and not "both" means she's thinking of poor dead Hoyt, who she obviously loved like a son, if not more so. (More evidence for the Hoyt is her lovechild file? Maybe.)
Geri shows up, wearing an unnecessary cowboy hat and Hoyt's old jacket. She's bearing Hoyt's last will and testament, written on a bar coaster! Oh, my heart. And in case you can't read it:
If I get shivved in the shower or some old horse kicks me upside the head. For real Liam stamp it and everything - I leave everything to Geri/"Geraldine Broussard"/angle [sic] face sweet lips etc. So that plot I bought over in Tanglewood is for her and whatever I got in my pockets or elsewhere. See ya in the next life.
I'm not sure this would stand up in court, since he didn't even sign his last name, although it is witnessed by William Walker. Anyway, it's a moot point, because the land Hoyt intended to give Geraldine "Angle Face" Broussard is transferring to new owners, effective tomorrow. Which makes no sense. The deal fell apart because he died, and yet it's so soon after his death that the police tape is still up. New owners wouldn't be in the picture that quickly. Reverting to previous owners, because it was owner-financed? Sure. But not new owners. (Whatever, Caranfindel. Move it along.) She asks Cordell to go with her to gather his personal belongings. And to bring the kids. Hmmm, let's see how Stella can mess this up. (Tanglewood is 71 miles from Austin. Of course I looked it up.)
But first, Cordell has to sign paperwork to begin his leave of absence. So he didn't actually intend to quit. I mean, we all knew he'd be back, but I kind of thought he was, at the time, intending to quit for good. Does Connie the HR person have a big old crush on him? There is hand touching and deep, serious gazing.
Touch him, Connie. Touch him for those of us who cannot.
Micki is sitting right outside the conference room where he signs his papers but still acts surprised that he's in the building. Did she not smell the rosemary mint shampoo as he walked by? He thanks her for the flowers and apologizes for not calling her back. And then cancels their lunch plans so he can go off with Geri and the kids.
Someone said this on Tumblr, and I think it bears repeating here. It's interesting comparing Cordell's grief, over his wife and now his best friend, to Sam's grief. Cordell is clearly deeply affected, and is also clearly moving on. Sam is just unhinged.
Elsewhere. The gang stops for lunch and reminisces about Hoyt dressed as Santa, wearing assless chaps. Well. That's memorable. (Also, I know people who did the whole leaving horse manure and pretending it's reindeer poop thing. Some people are just a lot more into Santa than I was.) Trevor (Travis? Whatever) called Stella. She's apparently avoiding him. Probably a good call, sis. Maybe the only one you've made in 14 episodes. (To be fair, I didn't watch the first four.)
Micki shares tacos with her boyfriend, whose name I can never remember, having been stood up by Cordell. She tells him Cordell seemed "off," which is great now, Micki. Why didn't you pay more attention to that feeling last week? The BF thinks Micki herself might be off, because she misses her partner. And she calls him family. Captain What's His Face comes to talk to Trey (that's his name, dammit) and asks if he knows a guy who goes to the same physical therapist's office. Friends, when I've done PT, I don't even know people who go to my therapist, let alone just go to someone in the same office. But maybe folks in Austin are just friendlier than they are round these parts. Oh, wait. The guy is missing, and was last seen in a heated discussion with Trey? What's up with that, Trey?
Tanglewood. Cordell asks the nice lady (realtor? owner?) about Hoyt's "personal affects," and she says "they are probably out grazing." Because Hoyt's personal effects are four horses and a llama. Which Geri owns now. "Where am I going to board four horses and a llama?" she asks. Cordell is oddly befuddled (and adorably, cause y'all know how I feel about befuddled Jared), as if he didn't live on a ranch. With horses. The family business, remember? The kids are entranced. I would be too. It's a damn cute llama. One of the mares actually nursed the llama, so they're family. (Watch out for falling anvils.)
Micki's house. Trey says the "heated discussion" was the missing guy showing him a judo move. Captain asks Trey to ride along and help him investigate, and poor partnerless Micki asks if she can come with.
Tanglewood. Apparently Hoyt's personal affects also included gear for the four horses, because everyone is saddled up. Geri doesn't seem like an experienced rider - she keeps her hand on the pommel of the saddle, which I always heard was a rube move. (At least she's not clutching the saddle horn. No shade. It's hard not to. It's a perfect handle and it's just right there.) Cordell, of course, rides perfectly, as he does everything perfectly.
Everything except his job. And raising his kids. But do I care about those things? Not so much.
Geri thinks the llama looks unwell. What is she, a llama expert? A veterinarian? And what are they doing on this trail ride anyway - taking the herd back to the Walker ranch? It's 71 miles away! It's an hour and a half driving! How will they get the truck? Why didn't Cordell just say "let's go back to the ranch and get Daddy's cattle trailer?" WHY.
(No one cares. No one but you thinks about these things.)
Stella is on her phone, but it turns out she's (allegedly) re-reading Hoyt's last text, not chatting with friends. And then she says she was "responsible for everything." Oh, wait. We're going there? Stella is finally going to face the music? Cordell says it's not her fault, but they're interrupted by the llama, who apparently is in distress. Cordell wants to leave him at a random homestead. Permanently? Like, "excuse me, ma'am, but can you take this llama?" Or just while they get the horses home? I dunno. August doesn't like this, because the llama and the horses are family. Geri distracts him by claiming Hoyt wanted him to have the jacket she's wearing, although I find this rather dubious, because why did she wait so long to mention it? Why is she wearing it herself? It's a lucky jacket he won from a tarot card reader and card hustler named The Mystifying Mehar, who was "infamous for getting out of trouble because of that jacket." Cordell then asks Geri to go off with the kids while he hangs back and tries to ditch the llama. Oh no, Cordell, don't do that. He's family!
Back at the ranch, Grandpa chases off some more journalists. He also ignores Gramma's concern about his cancer.
Trail ride. We skipped the whole bit where Cordell found someone willing to take in a goddamn llama, caught up with his kids, and told them what he did. They're mad that he wouldn't even try, and then Stella impulsively rides off, almost falling into a ravine.
Team Sassyboots 2.0 questions the missing guy's wife. Turns out he left a note. Doesn't sound like he's as missing as they thought. He said he would "fix everything," i.e., their upcoming foreclosure. They check his workshop and find evidence that he was a military contractor, and apparently this means he should have no money problems whatsoever, because they don't understand how money works. His gun safe is empty, so they figure he's on some kind of "black ops" job. And if it's going to be complete by Monday, I assume it's something local, and not a military operation.
Walker Ranch. Someone who is Liam's "political opponent" comes to take care of him? And he's bringing barbeque? Is it poisoned? Gramma says Liam can't have barbecue because he's on bedrest, as if one had anything to do with the other. And... Grandpa wants to go mushroom hunting with her? Is that what the kids call it these days?
Trail ride. Cordell found someone to keep the horses. Temporarily? I'm still confused. Stella and Geri talk about Hoyt, and Stella asks about her forgiving him. Thinking about some forgiveness toward your own bad boy, Stella? She says "the two of you were always kind of like the dream to me," which is odd considering they were off-and-on, while her parents were very much on, and definitely seem more like couple goals. But okay. Stella confesses again that she is responsible, and Geri says "you let love in, maybe; that's your worse crime." I wonder if Stella blames herself for the fake truck crash that started the whole domino effect, or if she even realizes that's what happened. Obviously Geri wouldn't. Hmmm, I wonder what August thinks about all this?
Walker Ranch. Whoever this political opponent is, he must be a family friend, because he gave a toast at Cordell and Emily's rehearsal dinner. "Hey, when did your brother have such long hair," he asks, looking at a picture of the happy couple. Liam is growing facial hair again. I like it. Opponent suggests the spicy barbecue will put hair on Liam's chest and Liam tosses it aside and says "no, dammit, after I spent all that time waxing?" And Liam might drop out of whatever race he's in. I don't really care about that part. Let's talk more about Liam's chest.
I love that they can use actual Padalecki family photos as Cordell and Emily photos. No bad Photoshop needed!
Team Sassyboots 2.0. I don't really care about this missing guy either. Skipping it. You know, I understand this is meant to be an ensemble show, and Jared Padalecki and his stupid pretty face and long legs are not going to be in every scene. But Micki working a case with her boss and her boyfriend just bothers me and I don't want to be a part of it.
Trail ride. They're bedding down in the barn for the night? What the fuck? Where are they? Why didn't they just drive home? I'm so confused! Cordell and Geri talk about Hoyt some more. Cordell makes an awkward comment about "us together" and then amends it to mean all of us together, as in you and me and the kids camping right now, not, like, you and me together together, and then does a little eyebrow thing like whoo, good job, talked your way out of that one. NO, CORDELL, YOU ARE NOT AS SMOOTH AS YOU THINK YOU ARE. Anyway. There's a lot of guilt about poor dead Hoyt. Cordell tells Geri her name is still on the Sidestep lease (lease? I thought they owned it?), as if being part owner of a bar is always going to be a good thing, with no liability at all. And they don't kiss, for which I am grateful. The horses are really acting up. I hope nothing's happening.
Cordell checks on the horses and apologizes to the mare for leaving the llama behind. He realizes he made the wrong choice. "You know what," he says. "Let's go fix this."
I adore him.
Walker Ranch. Grandpa and Gramma have been mushroom hunting and are now getting silly. Um, what kind of mushrooms did you two find? And then Grandpa says "tonight's about Hoyt," which I do not understand. "I saw the joy he gave you," Grandpa says. Yes, Grandpa, and do you not find that even a little bit fishy? And then he decides to build something.
Trail ride. Cordell went and retrieved his llama! He is precious. I love him so much. He has some pratfalls in the same ravine that almost caught Stella, and then his family shows up and rescues him. (Can I point out that his "a-ha-ha" laugh is the same one we heard when he opened his gift from Dean in "A Very Supernatural Christmas" and I'm not sure it appeared in any other episode?) August offers the Lucky Jacket to use as a llama harness to haul the little guy out of the ravine. Oh, and it turns out the llama is about to give birth.
And, while I'm skipping Team Sassyboots 2.0, it's hard to ignore that Micki is now in a UFC fight. That might have been an interesting story after all. Y'all can fill me in.
Walker Ranch. They're building a little stable. Because this big horse ranch doesn't have enough stables. Liam, who was bedridden to the point of not being able to eat barbeque yesterday, is now helping build. He gets a text from his former fiance, who wants to talk. And Grandpa has decided to treat his cancer. Happy endings all around!
Micki's house. She says she was passive-aggressive with Walker because she's afraid of losing him. I get it, sweetie. He's someone you don't want to lose.
Trail ride. August is carrying the newborn llama, wrapped in the Lucky Jacket. Geri wants to cut out before they get to the ranch. She's going to ride the bus home? Seriously? Isn't her car at the Walker Ranch? She and Cordell talk abou their unfinished business. Yeah, like the fact she was probably involved in your wife's murder? That unfinished business, Geraldine? Grandpa meets them before they get to the ranch and informs them he has a strict no-llama policy on the ranch. But luckily, he just built an alpaca stable. They’re alpacas, not llamas. So, Geri called him, but how did he know they were alpacas? Did she send pictures? I am so confused. Anyway. The new family goes into their new home. They name the baby alpaca Hoyt, of course.
Little Hoyt, guys, he's the sweetest thing.
Breakfast. Political Opponent gives Liam a contribution. Oh, I get it. They're running for the same office, and he thinks Liam will draw votes away from his other opponent. Shrewd. Stella calls Trevor and says she might need to leave the past behind. And you are the past, Trevor. Cordell sees a truck pull up and runs out to meet Micki. She apologizes for holding a grudge over him leaving. She tries to shake hands and he hugs her instead. She thinks they can just be friends now instead of partners, and he says they're not friends, they're family. And then she oohs and aahs over the alpacas, which she recognizes immediately as alpacas and not llamas, and also points out that little Hoyt is actually a girl. Oops. Awkward. Cordell is surprised she can just tell. "Most people can." Yeah, you are the worst rancher's son ever. Then Cordell sees the fence is carved with a memorial to Hoyt. Aw.
He is also the sweetest thing.
So. Less drama than last week. More warmth. A ridiculous B story that was as annoying as giving Cas his own plot. Will I still watch next week? Yeah, probably. I have questions. How did Grandpa know they were alpacas? Where is the baby daddy? Can Cordell and his rancher father really not tell the difference between a male and female alpaca? Why is Geri riding the bus home, when her car is at the Walker's? Why is she avoiding the Walker Ranch? Will August ever get his own plot again?
It's just a shame that this episode didn't have any shout-outs to Supernatural, like the last one did...