In the second full season of Walker: Texas Ranger
(this is, technically, season 3), a somewhat reigned-in Walker (Chuck Norris) is less Dirty Harry
and more by-the-book, providing, of course, that the book has plenty of pictures of criminals being subdued with roundhouse kicks to the head. In one episode, Walker's partner, Jimmy Trivette (Clarence Gilyard), suggests serving a warrant his way, "nice and easy." There's just one thing: Walker never, ever, does anything nice and easy. He does it nice and rough, and when you're dealing with the likes of drug dealers, bank robbers, assassins, cattle rustlers, the Japanese mob, and vengeful escaped convicts, that's the only way to do it. "If you come back here," a bigoted sheriff warns Walker in the episode "Badge of Honor," "you'd better bring an army because you alone just ain't gonna cut it." Actually, that'll cut it just fine. What makes Walker
so satisfying is that justice may be delayed, but it is never denied. In the episode, "Mean Streets," Walker goes undercover to protect the homeless from a band of rich kids who are preying on them and videotaping the attacks. If this were, say, Law & Order
, the kids' parents would hire an elite defense team and the kids might get off scot-free. That's not the way they roll on Walker: Texas Ranger
. With the kids in custody, viewers are promised an "easy" conviction.
What really kicks this season into high gear is the show's new theme song, "Eyes of a Ranger," performed by Norris himself. Jeff Foxworthy has joked, "If an episode of Walker: Texas Ranger has changed your life, you might be a redneck." Granted, Walker may not be life-changing TV à la Oprah, but there is considerable spiritual uplift in watching an incorruptible hero tossing Texas' scum of the earth into the back of his pickup truck and taking them to jail. We join Asst. D.A. Alex Cahill (Sheree J. Wilson) in raising a glass to Walker. "Here's to the Texas Rangers," she toasts in one episode, "the best there are." --Donald Liebenson