‘We Hit the Ground Running!’ Jared Padalecki Hypes Us Up for ‘Walker’ Season 2

Walker Season 2 premiere
Q&A
Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

The CW‘s Walker returns for its second season tonight and it’s gonna be hotter than a Texas barbecue. Cordi (Jared Padalecki) still has no idea what his partner Micki (Lindsey Morgan) is doing undercover, or that his entire family is secretly being watched. A longtime Walker family rivalry is about to resurface when the Davidson family — led by matriarch Gail (Paula Marshall) — returns to Austin. And his brother Liam (Keegan Allen) is not in a great place.

So, of course, we roped series star and executive producer Padalecki into answering a whole bunch of questions before tonight’s big premiere. And as always, it was a wild time.

I was going to say, you’re finally coming back, but the show has actually not been gone that long. This is the weirdest window of hiatus for any season.

Jared Padelecki: No shit. [Laughs] I mean, no kidding. I think when we all showed up back on set, we’d all had our own little two-month hiatuses or whatever. Hiati? I don’t know…

Hiati? Yeah, sure.

OK then. [Laughs] But it was like, OK, “It feels like it’s been forever, and also it’s been no time whatsoever.” But it was great.

Walker + Keegan Allen + Jared Padalecki

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

You are all literally back in the saddle. So, we’re coming back, Micki’s undercover and Cordell has no idea what she’s doing, right?

Correct. So, all we know at the end of Season 1 is that Micki is being asked to go undercover down in San Antonio and the Del Rio area to look into whomever it was who shot Stan Morrison…and also shot Cordell Walker. And so, it’s sort of a need-to-know situation and Captain James [Coby Bell] feels that Cordell doesn’t need to know, so he doesn’t tell him. He just says Micki’s going on a work trip. And so, Cordell, being the professional that he is goes, “OK, well, all right, let me know what I can do and how I can help, and when I can hear from her.”

And so, a few months have passed and in that time, Micki’s been hard at work down in San Antonio and trying to get the bottom of who in the Northside Nation might have been behind this double-assassination attempt. Meanwhile, he hasn’t heard from her, he hasn’t talked to her. Trey [Jeff Pierre] hasn’t heard from her or talked to her.

Oh, that’s not good.

Yeah. And also the Walkers have kind of taken Trey under their wing. They loved him already, but now that their mutual friend is away, Trey’s coming over, and he’s having dinner, and they’re working out together and checking up on each other. Trey obviously already had a relationship with the kids as well, so he’s fitting in like a glove. But there still is that underlying bit where Trey is kind of thinking that Walker might know something that he’d like to know. And Walker has to say like, “Hey man, I don’t know.” Then a couple of episodes in, Walker does find out what Micki was up to and what’s been going on, and that puts Walker in a pretty uncomfortable situation. He’s between a rock and a hard place with his friend Trey, his partner, Micki, and what she’s been dealing with.

Walker + Lindsey Morgan

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Just what he needs is a little bit more drama. Especially with this new family coming in…

The Hatfields to our McCoys. The Davidsons have moved back into the ranch next door. And when we were kids, the first 12 to 15 years of Cordell’s life, his friend Denise, who is the same age, lived right next door. And we have Amara Zaragoza, a wonderful actress who’s playing Denise Davidson, but long story short, there was a tragedy that happened in the Davidson family on their ranch right next door to the Walkers and they had to leave Austin.

As kids, Cordell had a little crush on Denise. They would play and they were closer in age than he was with his brother, so with Liam, I think there was a little bit of underlying like, “Oh, well, Denise is here, so great, you’re going to go play with her and not me? I’m your brother.” And she’s also coming in to take over the role of district attorney from a prior DA…

The job Liam wanted. Oh no!

[Laughs] Yeah, I know. So Liam has to deal with the fact that not only is she back in town and probably going to take his brother’s time, energy, and focus away, but also she took away the job that he was trying to get elected for. And so that doesn’t make things easy.

In addition, Cordell is feeling a little bit of guilt, which we’ll get into as the season progresses. He is trying to bury the hatchet with the Davidsons and the Walkers. Trying to say, “Hey, let’s give them a chance. It’s been a long time. It’s been 30 years. They just came back. They’re trying to get their life started over again.” And Denise is sweet, they have a kid, her husband is…fine. He’s a little rough around the edges. [Laughs]

Walker + Dave Annable

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Okay. Is this Odette‘s real-life husband, Dave Annable?

Yep. Dave Annable plays Dan Miller, Denise’s husband. Dave is awesome. Dan is kind of one of these guys, he’s written like a very classic kind of Texan. You know, “I heard that you messed with my family before I even knew you, so I don’t like you.” [Laughs]

Hence the tense bar scene we’ve seen in the promos.

That’s right. There’s a volcano brewing with Dave’s character Dan because all Dan knows is that there’s some drama between the Walkers and the Davidsons, and as far as he knows, it was the Walkers’ fault. They are the linchpin behind a lot of the problems that the Davidsons have had and he’s part of the Davidsons. He has a spouse that’s a Davidson, and they share a child, Colton, who goes to school with August [Kale Culley] and Stella [Violet Brinson], which causes more drama. But as far as he knows the Walkers are a crap family who caused a lot of drama for his spouse’s family many decades ago.

Abilene (Molly Hagan) is somehow tied to all of this, too. I feel like they’ve hinted that her affair may have been with a Davidson?

So what happened is that Abeline was, her affair was with “Gary from the shop.” But what happened is with the Davidsons is that Abeline used to be engaged to Marv Davidson. The patriarch of the family, Denise’s father, and Gail’s late husband.

And so when Abeline broke off her engagement, she started dating Bonham Walker, our beloved patriarch, Mitch Pileggi, and so that’s an additional kind of source of contention and strife.

Walker + Keegan Allen + Jared Padalecki = + Odette Annable

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

I just spoke to Keegan about expanding the Walker world in Season 2 and getting to play the nuances of your characters now. You’ve got to be having the best time.

I was having a great time until I just found out that you [bleep]-ing talked to Keegan before you talked to me? What the [bleep], man!? [Laughs]

Yeah, this is really fun. Obviously, as you know in TV, so much of the first season is spent setting up who the characters are, what they want, what they do, what their relations are with each other. But with Season 2, we hit the ground running. I can’t help but think back to Supernatural, it also seemed like — especially when we got into the later years, obviously — “Oh, this just feels like an extension of last season.” Not like we were trying to introduce a brand new TV show, with brand new characters and trying to get the audience to learn them, fall in love with them…orhate them, if they need to. So we walked into day one of Season 2 a couple of months ago, just like, “Alright, we’re back. This isn’t Season 1, Episode 1. This is Walker, Episode 19.”

And that’s great because it really is like you left us with something to pick up from and a family we do care about. I talked to [showrunner] Anna Fricke over the summer…

Oh, you [bleep]-ing talked to Anna, too?! You’re just rubbing it in now. First Keegan, now Anna. [Laughs]

Well, you were busy running around Europe!

Alright. Fair enough. I accept that. [Laughs]

Walker + Jalen Thomas Brooks + Jeff Pierre + Kale Culley + Violet Brinson

Rebecca Brenneman/The CW

Anna said that the Davidsons have this kid, Colton (Jalen Thomas Brooks) who is a peer of August and Stella. And I was like, “Wait a minute, Stella’s already been through the heartache. Leave her alone!”

Amen! [Laughs] Yeah, that poor girl. Stella’s now a senior in high school. She obviously had a pretty colorful junior year with everything that happened at her ranch, with her uncle being shot, her father coming back. And Violet, who plays Stella, is such a wonderful actor to be able to capture all that. But yeah, Stella has certainly been put through the wringer. And it doesn’t slow down this year.

 

And Kale is getting a storyline that is probably very close to you about dealing with August’s mental-health issues. How has that been?

It’s been wonderful. I’m consistently impressed with the way our writers, Anna and Seamus Fahey and the gang, are portraying these very real and very pertinent issues that we’re dealing with in society right now. One is the effects of mental health on our youth, on our high schoolers, on our teenagers. And so we see Kale’s character, August, dealing with some signs of PTSD because he’s dealt with some really intense things and he doesn’t really know how to elaborate on it, or how to ask for help. And he’s got this hard-assed Texas Ranger father who doesn’t admit that it’s good to ask for help.

He’s in a situation that a lot of children find themselves in, actually that a lot of children and adults all over the world find themselves in. And part of what Cordell’s doing is, he’s trying to go like, “No kid, everything’s OK.” Like, “Listen, it’s all going to be all right. Just take it easy.” And then Cordell’s going to his room and having himself a cry or having a moment. But August doesn’t see that and he doesn’t want his dad to be scared. He was without his father for so long after he lost his mother and so his thinking is, “No, I’ve got to be tough. I’ve got to be the man of the house.” Liam has his own place now since Cordell is back, so even Uncle Liam isn’t here and August is like, “I’ve got to take care of my sister and my dad’s going through stuff.”

That’s a lot of pressure for a teenager.

Yeah. And hopefully, as the season progresses, August realizes that the best way to get through those times you need help is to say, “Hey, I need help.”

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A former Winchester and a crime syndicate are on the horizon.

 

Now, what’s up with Geri? You have Annable as a series regular, but Cordi’s childhood crush has come to town! And she’s someone you already knew, as well.

Yeah. Amara’s awesome. And yeah, it’s funny, I met Amara, who plays Denise, back in like Season 2 of Supernatural. She was in Vancouver and she was in one of the episodes Kim Manners directed. So it’s funny to see her after 15 years. She’s an absolute sweetheart and a wonderful actress.

We kind of teed up that Geri and Cordell were there for each other for years and years…as friends. And then for a while, as well, after Emily was murdered. And so we know that they share a deep, deep connection. But now there’s someone else in town from Cordell’s childhood and we have to figure out what’s going on with Cordell and Geri. Like, “Hey, is this something where we’re just going to be each other’s confidants and best friends forever and ever? Or is there more here?”

Oh, there is.

We’ll see! [Laughs]

Walker, Season premiere, Thursday, October 28, 8/7c, The CW