Although the show is called Walker, the driving storyline of the first season has been the mystery surrounding Emily Walker’s death, and it’s possible that death may have been faked. A key figure in that mystery is turning out to be Side Step bar owner and Walker family friend, Geri Broussard, who is hiding her own secrets that may tie into Emily Walker’s death.
The whole setup of Walker revolves around Emily Walker. When first seen, the beloved wife, mother, friend, photographer, and sometimes rebel, was on her way to meet up with her best friend, Geri Broussard, to deliver water and blankets to drop sites for immigrants crossing the Texas border. Then she was seen running for her life only to be apparently shot to death. Her death, nearly a year before the show’s present-day, continues to have a rippling effect on those closest to her, particularly Geri and Emily’s husband, Cordell Walker.
Emily’s husband threw himself into a 10-month undercover assignment to help him get over her death, but, since his return, Jared Padalecki’s Walker continues to ask questions about the night his wife died. Oddly, Geri, the one person who could give him some solace, won’t provide Walker with the answers he needs. She’s uneasy around him and his family, to the point it seems she didn’t even reach out to her best friend’s grieving children to help them. Even though Geri was supposed to be with his wife the night she died, the only thing she has told Walker about the incident is that she closed his “dead” wife’s eyes. Her actions and behavior say a lot more; clearly, Geri Broussard knows a great deal more about what happened to Emily Walker than she is telling.
The official Walker character description for Geraldine “Geri” Broussard describes her as the bartender at the Side Step bar and an old friend of Cordell and Emily Walker, and it’s teased that she and Walker have a long history. Yet, upon his return to town and his first visit to the Side Step, it’s apparent that their relationship is strained. That strain is rooted in her reluctance or unwillingness to talk to Walker about the night Emily died. Side Step seems like the appropriate name for Geri’s bar, as she has proven adept at talking in only the vaguest terms about the murder of her dearest friend and her role in it.
Walker keeps asking Geri for information and she keeps sidestepping his questions. It’s notable that while his asking sometimes sounding more like a true Texas Ranger than her friend’s husband makes her uncomfortable, she doesn’t set any boundaries and doesn’t ask him to back off, suggesting she has some guilt that won’t let her turn him away, even though it is wounding or agitating her on some level. It’s odd, too, that it hasn’t been mentioned if she was questioned by the police about that night, whether her witness statement contained any relevant facts, and if so, why Walker hasn’t looked at that part of the case file.
One of the very first scenes of Walker showed Cordell and Emily talking about her mission that fateful night. She says she must go and pick up Geri because Geri had the supplies. Yet, later as Emily calls her husband screaming “something’s not right,” she’s running for her life alone. So then, where was Geri? It hasn’t been revealed where Geri was at that moment. She later confesses to Walker that she was the one to close Emily’s eyes, confirming that at some point she was with Emily. Another possibility is she was late meeting Emily and was the one who discovered the body.
If Geri was late meeting Emily and she arrived to find her best friend murdered, perhaps her reluctance to discuss it with Walker is rooted in that guilt. Maybe Geri was late because she was in the middle of an assignation with Hoyt Rawlins, the con man drifter who is her and Walker’s mutual friend. Or perhaps, she was meeting with someone else in a not-so-legal business deal, a deal that Emily stumbled upon which led to her death. That would certainly explain why Emily was running for her life alone. And a third possibility is that the women were together and happened upon someone involved in illegal activities, and Emily fled one way to lead them away from Geri. All possibilities give ample reasons for the guilt Geri is obviously showing.
Clearly protecting secrets is haunting Geri almost as much as solving Emily Walker’s murder haunts Cordell. Could one of the secrets she’s hiding be that someone wanted both her and Emily dead, and she’s afraid revealing who that person is could get her killed as well? Or could Geri have indeed done a side deal that took her away from Emily’s side that night? Geri might be hiding from Walker the fact that his wife had done something dangerous or crossed the wrong person in her zeal to help someone coming across the border that got her killed.
Maybe Emily, or Emily and Geri, had crossed a line and discovered something illegal being done by a government agent like the FBI or ICE. Now that agency that killed Emily, served up a quick scapegoat killer in Mendoza, are now blackmailing Geri to keep quiet because they have some dirt on her or her and Hoyt, whom she might still have feelings for. After all, she did briefly put on the twist tie ring Micki brought her from Hoyt after he was arrested. Then again there is even a bigger secret that Geri could be protecting that is eating at her, the secret that her best friend isn’t dead at all and she’s helping to keep that news from her family.
The released synopsis for Walker episode 6, “Bar None”, indicates that Geri is considering selling her bar, the Side Step, much to Cordell’s surprise. The question must be asked, why is she selling now and so suddenly? Does Geri find out that Walker and the Texas Rangers are taking another look at Emily’s murder? Does that knowledge spook her, inciting her choice to depart before they discover her role in her best friend’s death?
With Walker being back and starting to ask questions about Emily’s death again, her part in the events is starting to weigh on her conscience and she can’t hide from the truth any longer. If whatever happened to Emily was the result of a side deal Geri arranged, the risks of staying in Austin could be too great. With renewed interest in the case, her third-party partner could be pressuring or threatening her to keep things quiet.
Of course, the most obvious answer to the question of Geri’s odd behavior since Walker returned is that the secret she is protecting is so big it would devastate him even more than he knows. Emily Walker is not dead and either in hiding aided by Geri or was forced to fake her death and enter Witness Protection by the FBI or other government agency because of what she and Geri came upon that fateful night. If Emily’s wounds were serious enough, or the ongoing threat to her severe enough, Geri could have been convinced to help Emily hide from her family, maybe until such time that she recovered and could return.
Other possibilities include that Emily is being held while she recovers by someone nefarious that Geri was doing business with. That person is holding Emily hostage and Geri is being forced to lie about her best friend being dead. This would tie into Geri deciding to sell the bar and run to protect Emily by not telling Walker the truth.
An obvious resolution to Emily Walker’s story on Walker is that she isn’t dead at all. Regardless of the hows and whys, the key to Walker finding out and the resulting fallout is all going to point directly at Geri Broussard. For the payoff of the storyline to work, the CW Walker needed to make sure they had someone cast in the part that can carry it through, they have such a person in Odette Annable. The revelation of Geri’s involvement in Emily’s story is going to end up being the biggest emotional and story twist of the season for the show.