Last night, we saw the return of Walker on The CW after a few weeks hiatus. The show, which is currently in its first season, has been packed with twist after twist, hooking audiences.
Walker premiered in January to huge ratings for the network, and has continued to soar — already getting a second season pickup and getting additional episodes added to its first season.
We got the chance to talk to Keegan Allen, who plays Liam Walker, Cordell’s brother. Last night’s episode was a heavy one for Liam, and we couldn’t wait to get to ask Allen all about it.
(This interview has been edited for clarity.)
If you have not seen the episode yet, proceed with caution – spoilers are below!
Nerds and Beyond: Let’s start at the beginning so what initially drew you to Walker and to the role of Liam?
Keegan Allen: My first initial draw to it was reading the pilot. I received the script the day before and I read through it multiple times but I thought it was one of the most interesting television scripts I had read in a very long time. Mainly because it did not lean into what everybody thought it would lean into. It grew its own legs, and it ran completely up a summit that nobody thought of, and I honestly love Anna Fricke. And I got to meet her during the first audition, I just really hit it off with her and she’s just such a brilliant mind such a wonderful and creative soul and she gets human behavior science, in a way that just translates on paper in such a way that I read that and I felt completely intoxicated by not only the entire cast of characters but by Liam Walker. In particular, I thought it was such an interesting character and one that has so much room for evolution.
Nerds and Beyond: So, for the time that Cordell Walker was gone, Liam sort of stepped into the role of a surrogate father for Stella and Auggie. Obviously Cordell’s return home was hard on the kids but we didn’t see as much of the emotional side of the turmoil that this caused from Liam’s perspective. Will that hardship of this transition be further explored in the storyline?
Allen: So, yes and no. We get to of course as the show progresses… I think we all have a very unique opportunity that we, we as the audience, got plucked into the storyline, after so many things had happened. And what’s so wonderful about the way that Walker is structured is we get those puzzle pieces to connect as the story goes on in different ways. Whether it’s in retrospective, whether it’s through a narrative of another character, or it’s simply just a moment in a flashback. And there’s so many opportunities that are coming up in the next few episodes that really, really explain a lot more not just about the turmoil between Liam and the kids, and, you know, furthering understanding those relationships because they are deep relationships, though, you know, obviously, becoming a sort of pseudo patriarch of that little unit, but also how much Liam needs his mother and father and more than anything, his brother, and how much his brother needs him, and what really kind of happened. And what will continue to happen I think that all plays a huge role, moving forward.
Nerds and Beyond: In the most recent episode of Walker, everything that happened in Mexico is heavily weighing on Liam. First, we see that he and Bret break up – will the break up have a longstanding effect on Liam going forward?
Allen: Well, I think there’s something to be said about being, not just in a relationship but beyond that, you know, Bret is his fiance. And Liam is Bret’s fiance. I mean these are two very powerful people that really love each other and have shared a life before in New York and Bret made a huge sacrifice in his life, to travel back to Liam’s origin. And I think Liam made a ton of sacrifices as well. So, you know there’s a lot of elements to break up that, you know, which is why television is so fun to watch sometimes especially when there’s high drama around the condition of the heart. And the most interesting part of its me is obviously Liam lied to Bret to protect him and did it out of love. Sometimes you make terrible terrible mistakes for the good of all involved. Just in real life, I’m speaking to real life. But to see that the effects of that on Bret and what truly was drawn out, I think will be a long lasting scar on Liam to recognize not only his shortcomings and his need for control, or rather his idea of the grasp of his control over his own personal life, but the further tethers to this relationship and what it means to Liam. Of being in a relationship and what that actually entailed.
Nerds and Beyond: And then second, we do see at the end of the episode that Liam finally tells Cordell about Emily’s murder. So will this continue to have a strain on his and Cornell’s relationship throughout the season?
Allen: So there’s an interesting element there that we get to see as an audience moving forward, I’m not going to give too much away, but in that episode, you’re able to see, you know… Cordell’s started to climb this mountain back to, not quite top but get closer to where he would be equalized. He would be equal to what he was before Emily’s murder. Getting back to being a family man, finding some closure, stability, happiness, strength, some joy, and being able to move past his demons, you know, not being there for someone, being one of the most powerful Rangers in the force and losing your wife in a mysterious way… constantly questioning that enough so that he’s leaving parts of himself behind and leaving family behind.
There’s going to be that relationship between Liam and Cordell I think [that] strengthens from this, because there is a unique vulnerability of Liam taking responsibility and that he did make a mistake, not just in the jurisdiction of this like, not just in putting the wrong person away in prison but fully realizing that his brother was right. There’s more at stake now because once Cordell finds this information out, it’s almost what will he do with this and how will this affect the stability that he’s worked so hard to gain? It’s a devastating, catastrophic, conversation at the end of that episode. And even though there is a wonderful overtone of the entire episode, that there is a storm, a physical storm that brewed and wrought havoc on everybody in the Walker universe. The most interesting with the writers, they really made into something so much more interesting is now that storm, the physical storm has cleared, a new one is brewing, and I think it’s brewing internally within, not just Cordell but within the family in different ways. And we’ll get to see kind of how that bond, the brothers’ bond, either keeps things completely together or how that affects everybody within the family moving forward.
Nerds and Beyond: So there’s been a lot of twists and turns this season so far. What has been your favorite episode?
Allen: So far I would say that episode eight with Stacey Black directing was one of my favorite episodes because Liam is this character that — I’ve been playing him in a way that, you know, he’s really utilized in this form factor of stoic control, and for the first time ever we get to see this character unhinge a bit and further unhinging further kind of go back to basics, go back to who he is, without all of his accoutrements. And that’s still interesting as an actor to be able to step into that and start to see kind of what Liam wants. He’s an at service kind of person. And I just love this episode so much, but then again, episode two was a wonderful cathartic episode to play. It was just really fun to do. And obviously I think the storylines of every episode are just tremendous so it’s hard to pick one favorite but I would say, thus far, episode eight is a real banger. It’s great.
Nerds and Beyond: Finally, you kind of touched on this a little bit but what else can we look forward to with Liam’s story this season?
Allen: Yeah, I think just more so this arc of what he truly wants, and who he is and what he can do for the family and for his brother, not just to make up for lost time, but to I think further understand what his overall storyline is for himself, and step into that. So, yeah, I’m really excited honestly. Liam is quite an interesting character and we’re just starting to see that. We’re just starting to get a little piece of his story, but it ultimately comes out to something pretty remarkable.
You can catch Walker on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on The CW.