Jared Padalecki previews the biggest Walker episode of the season 'by far'
Thursday's episode was originally written as the season 1 finale.
Walker's past has quite literally landed on his front doorstep. For two episodes now, Walker has been building to a massive showdown as the Rodeo Kings arrived, armed and ready, at the Walker ranch. And as we saw in the last episode, the Rodeo Kings aren't messing around. They've already shot Liam (Keegan Allen).
All of that tension builds to this week's episode, which will show viewers exactly what happens during that standoff. EW spoke with series star and executive producer Jared Padalecki about what to expect from the hour.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Liam's been shot. Are we picking up right where we left off, in the action of it all?
JARED PADALECKI: We pick up right where we left off. We've seen that the Rodeo Kings have figured out how to get onto the Walker property and they're armed and caught the Walkers off guard. After the intense moments at the end of [episode] 11 where Cordell has maybe let his guard down a little bit because he's more concerned about being in the car with his daughter and calming her down after she shot him in the shoulder accidentally, Walker finds himself in this family moment and he gets back to his oasis, which is the Walker family ranch, and then things take a big turn for the worse. We pick up in real-time right where [episode] 12 ended and carry on from there.
How do they not have a force field installed around this ranch?
That's episode 14. [Laughs] Building a force field. You would think so, right? I think it's the idea that there are a lot of law enforcement agents in Texas and there are a lot of ranches. Walker's famous among his friends and family and the Rangers but really he's just a Ranger. He's one of so many law enforcement agents we have here in Texas. That will probably change moving forward, but he didn't realize just how much of a target was on him. So he learns really quickly in episode 13.
I'm sure he also never thought the Rodeo Kings would show up on his doorstep.
I don't think it's something they really considered, just how much danger they might be in with these Rodeo Kings. They thought they had taken care of it. Turns out they had not.
Walker still has so much guilt about leaving his family for that undercover work. How's he going to cope with it threatening the lives of those he loves?
Like so many of us do when we go through a tragedy or a loss, it's easier to go, "I'm going to go back to work and bury my head in the sand." Then you finish your job in six months, and you're like, "Oh s---, that didn't go away, I didn't actually deal with it." The events of [episodes] 11, 12, and 13 really let Walker know that he has to actually confront this and deal with it. Walker's the kind of guy who would rather get shot at than get yelled at by his kids. The events of 13 certainly force him to look in the mirror more deeply and go, "If I don't deal with this, it's going to keep on happening." So to try and look on the bright side of things, the tragedies that have already befallen Cordell Walker and what we'll see happen in [episode] 13 will help him realize that he's gotta get himself straight first.
This was originally written as the series finale, correct? Before you all were given five more episodes?
Yeah, it was. And it didn't change when they added episodes, so it's an enormous, enormous episode. It's the biggest by far. It was meant to be a three-part finale with [episode] 13 obviously being the big guns, so it's huge. I remember telling [his wife] Gen before we were shooting it, "I'm going to be a little off for the next week and a half. I'm not really going to be present as a husband or father, I apologize, but there's so much." I had to stay in a certain headspace. I really wanted to do it properly; I wanted to give everything to Walker. It's a huge episode. It was an enormous season finale, and now it happens to not be our season finale, but it's still equally as enormous.
Walker airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.