[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers from Walker‘s mid-season finale, “Douglas Fir.” So if you haven’t seen the episode yet, ya might wanna make like a tree and…well, Douglas firs don’t have leaves, but you get it.]
‘Tis the season for Walker to break our hearts, apparently. Not only did Christmas in Austin find Cordi (Jared Padalecki) and brother Liam (Keegan Allen) even more at-odds than ever over Dan Miller (Dave Annable) being a scumbag, but it also marked the final case for our beloved Micki Ramiriez (Lindsey Morgan).
Earlier this season, Morgan announced that she would be leaving the show for personal reasons and that news began to seemingly shape her storyline as the first female Latinx Texas Ranger dealt with the fallout from her stint undercover. Broken up over the death of her ex-lover-turned-informant, who died while trying to help her case against Serrano down in Del Rio, Micki came back to Austin all sorts of undone and unsure of what she needed to do to heal. The ensuing tension this caused with her current fiancé Trey (Jeff Pierre) eventually led to a tearful moment of truth in which Micki broke down and told him everything, in hopes of finally move on. Unfortunately, what soon became clear was that she actually had to move away instead, and do the work she needed to on herself. The goodbyes were heartbreaking, yet hopeful: Micki may have turned in her badge and gun, but she’ll always have a home on the Rangers. And the so-insightful and brave Morgan knows that, too, so read on…
This episode, my God! I love how they gave you your exit.
Lindsey Morgan: Yes. It really was beautiful. And also, it was really honest. One thing I love about what we got to do in Walker, and especially in first season with Jared’s character, is that we can see people in law-enforcement as kind of like superheroes. They put their lives on the line and they’re so brave, they’re so strong, but I feel like what isn’t explored enough is the toll it takes. How that lifestyle and the sacrifice they make for everyone else affects their own lives, their home, their family, their well-being. So I really thought it was a really accurate, honest portrayal of what could happen to somebody in that situation.
Especially now when there’s so much conversation about self-care and mental health. Micki was always a strong character, but taking care of herself may be the best show of of her strength.
Yes. And it’s kind of funny how art can imitate life. I had a lot of parallels with Micki, and that’s why I thought when I had made my decision—and it was such an incredibly hard decision—but there was something to say about the kind of strength it takes to put yourself first, and being able to deal with the guilt or the shame, those feelings of, “I may have let all these people down, but I have to take care of me to be my best me.” So, Micki’s going through that. I’m going through that.
And that’s part of growing as well.
Completely. I think it’s also what you were saying before, Damian. You hit the nail on the head, that we’re shifting into a new consciousness as a society, and that focus is on our self-care, on our well-being as a whole. We’re really shifting priorities and seeing that our life is not meant to just be about work. I think that’s that one saying is, what is it? We don’t live to work, we work to live.
Exactly. This also really kind of presents a very interesting change for the show, because Trey stays behind, and this will hopefully force the men that you leave behind to kind of explore the work-life balance.
And how much they’ll miss me. [Laughs]
But how difficult was that final scene with you, Jared and Coby Bell (who pays Ranger boss James)?
Oh my gosh. It was ridiculous. Even when the cameras weren’t on me, I was crying. And Jared was like, “Hey, save it.” And I looked at him, but I was like, “I’m not trying!” And then he made fun of me. He’s like, “Oh, you’re not trying? You can just cry?” But it was so beautiful.
Also, I had no idea, but the entire cast came back for that scene. It was my last scene and they were all watching it in video village [on set]. I had no clue. [Showrunner] Anna Fricke even flew in from Maine to be there. So just to be supported and nurtured by so many wonderful people, it just touched my heart in such a profound way. And that last scene was just…it will stay with me forever, yeah. You forget about a lot of scenes after so many years of doing this, but that’s one scene that I will just treasure in my heart forever.
Aside from that scene, what was your favorite stuff to play as Micki?
Oh my gosh, I loved all the comedy. I loved all the banter that Micki had with Walker, or with Trey. Just kind of the lighter stuff. Because you know, I’ve kind of had a career of playing tougher things.
So much suffering.
[Laughs] Suffering, yeah! I’m really good at it. I’d like to branch out and show my range. I just love how much lightness the show was able to find. The levity and friendship, and the power of that, I found it very healing. And I think especially now, that’s the kind of things we need to be seeing on television. I mean, that’s what I’m being drawn to right now. I love Succession, it’s literally one of my favorite shows, but sometimes I can’t watch it.
They’re the worst people!
Oh my God, they’re terrible. They’re terrible! [Laughs]
Had there been any discussion with the writers about Micki’s exit? Because when the news dropped, the first thing we were all like was, “Oh, they better not kill her off.”
Well, thank you! [Laughs] Yeah. It was kind of interesting, and I’m not sure how much I can say, but as far as my knowledge is, I believe we were kind of building up to this storyline, to maybe Micki going home, or reassessing who she is. And that really kind of was going to be my arc of the second season, Micki asking “Who am I now after these experiences, and why do I do what I do?” After everything that happened with Garrison, it really puts Micki in this kind of existential crisis of, “I’ve been running so long and I’ve been trying so hard, but for what?”
She really had to reevaluate who she is now and I feel like you really can only do that when you go home. We were building to that and I think the [original] plan was that we were possibly going to go see Micki in San Antonio. She was going to take a break from the force, sort herself out, and then, of course, I think, come back.
And you know this is important for Micki because going home means going home to her mother (Alex Meneses).
I know! [Laughs]
Even though they’ve mended fences, that is not an easy woman to deal with.
Oh, definitely not. But I think that’s something they built into a really beautiful storyline in the first season, and is also something that begs to be explored more. So maybe in the future. I’d love to do that. I’d love to work with Alex and Leticia Jiminez (who played Micki’s birth mother, Mercedes) again, they’re amazing.
And they’ve left the door wide open for Micki to return if you choose. I Googled it and San Antonio’s only 80 miles from Austin.
It’s not far. Yeah.
So this isn’t a full goodbye.
Well, you never know. I hope not. My plan is…I hope not.
Good. And I hope that whatever you need to do, you do, and it all works out.
Now I just need to talk to Jared and Anna about the fact that Trey needs at least a full season before they even toy with introducing a new love interest for him.
Right! Thank you. Thank you. You’ve got my back. [Laughs]
Walker, Thursdays, 8/7c, The CW