Walker: Independence Review

Walker: Independence Review
Walker Independence -- “Pilot” -- Image Number: WID101a_0023r -- Pictured: Katherine McNamara as Abby -- Photo: Anna Kooris / The CW -- © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This weekend, Paramount+ unveils its newest drama in Walker: Independence.

A prequel spin-off of Walker, this series tells the story of Abby Walker (Katherine McNamara), an affluent and tough-minded Bostonian who started a life out in Texas in the late 1800s. En route to Independence from Boston, Abby’s husband Liam (Brandon Sklenar) is murdered before her eyes during their caravanning journey. With Liam set to take over as Sheriff in Independence, Abby’s life quite literally goes up in flames before she can even arrive in her new home.

Once she arrives in Independence, only after the help of an Apache tracker named Calian (Justin Johnson Cortez), she meets deputy sheriff Augustus (Philemon Chambers) to report her husband’s murder. Elsewhere, she meets Kate Carver (Katie Findlay, The Carrie Diaries), an idiosyncratic burlesque dancer who has a bit too much of an interest in Abby’s origins, and Kai (Lawrence Kao, Wu Assassins), a soulful Chinese immigrant who runs the local restaurant/laundry and offers Abby friendship without agenda.

Meanwhile, Abby literally runs into Hoyt Rawlings (Matt Barr, Walker), a slippery rogue, thief and con artist with a dented heart of gold. But when she meets Sheriff Tom Davidson (Greg Hovanessian), who Abby believes is involved in Liam’s death. It’s not long before Abby and Hoyt team up to get to the truth.

McNamara is quite compelling as Abby, who looks like she’s on the verge of a breakdown at any second, and it’s a good thing as the rest of the residents of Independence are only given limited screen time during the pilot, which was offered for review. But there is plenty of time for the rest of these characters to develop in the coming episodes.

Written by Seamus Kevin Fahey from a story co-written with Anna Fricke, the premise is an intriguing one and the pilot sets up what should be a must-watch season ahead.

3 Stars

Walker: Independence premieres today on Paramount+.with new episodes weekly on Saturday


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