How Walker's Upsetting Season 3 Premiere May Change Cordell Going Forward

Cordell in a cell in Walker on The CW
(Image credit: The CW)

Warning! The following contains spoilers from the Walker Season 3 premiere “World On A String.” Read at your own risk!

Walker wasted no time getting into action in the Season 3 premiere, as it picked right up on Season 2’s cliffhanger that showed Cordell in a tight spot. The Texas Ranger was kidnapped by a gang of guys and whisked away in a vehicle, which left his friends and family to wonder where he was. Finally, they figured out Walker is in some serious danger, and it’s looking like it’ll be big enough to really change the character going forward. 

This highly-trained group of criminals took Cordell to a black site, and did just about everything they could to break him. The idea, as Walker’s Season 3 premiere unraveled, was that these guys are somehow tied into the greater criminal activity in the area (they seem cartel-affiliated), and they want Walker to serve as an informant to them so they can monitor the moves of the Texas Rangers. 

Walker was prepared to be tased and tortured within an inch of his life before he’d agree to that, which was upsetting to me because it was hard to watch. Weirdly enough, when the criminals dragged in his brother Liam, it seemed like his attitude changed. Jared Padalecki, fresh off his Harry Styles concert look, spoke to TVLine about a hard lesson Cordell has ahead of him in Season 3, and how that could alter the way he operates as a character going forward: 

We’ve seen Walker go through a lot, and when he lost Emily that we flash back to in Season 1, we’ve seen him kind off flee, and try and avoid. And then we saw Walker realize how him avoiding and being absent affected his family. So he doesn’t want to make that same mistake. It doesn’t mean that he’s not going to make another mistake of a different type… He knew when he signed up, whether he was in the Marines or now in law enforcement, his life’s in danger. He’s got a target on his back, and he accepts that to some degree. But now that it’s become much more clear that his job and his lifestyle has put his family and his loved ones in danger, he’s going to be scrambling a little bit with how to make everybody feel better and safer, and we see him kind of spiral in a different direction.

Liam is now officially in danger of being tortured, which sounds like the exact kind of torture Cordell can’t withstand. The Walker hero is fine with absorbing all the punishment associated with protecting the people he loves, but it's a different story when those criminals then go and hurt the people he loves. One has to wonder if this is a result of him losing friends like Micki in Season 2, which could get him thinking about her and the others he can still lose due to this job. 

I can’t help but wonder if Cordell is going to have a crisis of confidence or lose some of his edge once this experience is all said and done. After all, once word spreads that the easiest way to break him is by targeting his family, he’s going to have some trouble going headstrong into every situation without regard for his own safety. He’ll need to be smarter, or at least ensure his family’s safety before acting. 

There’s also a part of me that wonders if Walker may be setting up for Cordell to be “broken” by his captors, and he’ll play ball as an informant until he can find a way to bring them down while still ensuring his family is safe. If anyone could pull off something as impossible sounding as that, it’s him. We’ll just have to wait and see how Walker gets out of this, and how it changes him down the line. 

Walker airs on The CW on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. It’s one of the latest fall arrivals on our 2022 TV schedule, so be sure to check that out and get a lay of the land of all the new shows coming over the next few weeks. You can also revisit past seasons streaming with an HBO Max subscription.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.