‘Walker’ Highlights ‘Changing for the Better’

by Allison Hambrick

The CW’s Walker showcases the high points of its second season so far in a video shared to the series’ Twitter account. Featuring a montage of clips, it features a scene from the show where the protagonist has shares advice with his partner.

“This job, it changes you,” says Walker, played by Jared Padalecki. “All we can do is hope that we change for the better.”

A reboot of the long-running series, Walker, Texas Ranger, Walker follows a Texas Ranger who returns to his family after a year-long undercover assignment. Like the reboot, the original series was set in Texas. However, the newer show focuses on the protagonist’s personal life more.

In this series, Walker struggles with balancing grief, work, and family relationships. A key storyline in the first season involves solving the murder of Walker’s wife, Emily. It was this event that led him to go undercover in the first place.

Walker Changes for the Better

When discussing the differences between his roles on Walker and Supernatural, he emphasized how Walker is “very much a father and a widower.” Padalecki expressed that family is a core motivator in the series.

Moreover, much of the series centers around the grief and love shared by the family. As such, Walker frequently finds his role as a father, son, and brother, requires as much from him as his job. Because of the tragedies endured in his personal life, he takes his work to heart.

Unsurprisingly, healing was at the center of the first season. The family is in disarray because of the loss of Emily and Walker’s undercover assignment. Over the course of the season, her murder mystery is solved, with the aid of Walker’s brother, the local District Attorney. Simultaneously, Walker makes amends with his family, arguably changing for the better as he learns to let Emily go.

Family Is Key

For Padalecki, being a father is also at the forefront of what he does. The actor only agreed to the show to begin with because he could be close to his children. His previous role required nearly constant travel, separating him from his three young children for extended stretches of time. While Supernatural filmed in Vancouver,  Walker films in his hometown of Austin, Texas. Coincidentally, this is also the headquarters of the real-life Texas Rangers.

“It’s awesome,” explained Padalecki. “A lot less flying. I don’t even know where my passport is right now, where I usually have it plastered to me. But yeah, I get to drive to work every day and I get to drive home to my wife and kids.”

Changing for the better is a noble goal. If Walker was correct about being a Texas Ranger changing a person, playing one certainly made a difference in Padalecki’s life.