A Ranger Christmas, Part 3
So off Ranger Cooper rides, “determined to rescue Timmy from the outlaw, Cody Diggs, and restore Stanton’s family and his good name.”
Wow…um, what a Scrooge? What with being selfless and heroic and stuff? I guess?
Speaking of our own Bob Cratchit, he’d better keep a low profile while Cooper’s off rescuing Timmy. Because the whole town thinks he’s on his way to prison. The family will have to put on an act, too. “Oh boy, yeah, I sure do miss my husband who is totally on his way to prison at this very moment!”
We cut to Walker Texas Ranger and the kids, and Walker explains that a lawman like Cooper had no choice but to try to rescue the baby.
“I hope he does,” pipes one of the little cherubs, and I know I’ve pointed out that there is some fairly intense stuff here for a childrens’ Christmas story, but I doubt even Walker Texas Ranger would tell a bunch of orphaned kids a story that ended with a dead baby:
“And so, kids, when the outlaw Cody Diggs completed the robbery and Will Stanton was of no more use to him, Diggs just went ahead and killed little Timmy.”
So I’m guessing the little girl will be vindicated.
Cooper arrives in the town, where the outlaws have kinda taken over. We catch a glimpse of a Hooker with a Heart of Gold, played in a dual role by Walker Texas Ranger’s girlfriend, Alex.
Cooper immediately runs afoul of a local gunslinger, also played in a dual role by Trivette. Trivette immediately calls out Cooper as a lawman (Cooper had previously removed his badge), and it all ends with Cooper shooting Trivette in the hand, so a) he can’t be a gunslinger anymore and b) he can try to keep his word to Bob Cratchit not to kill anyone.
Cooper pulls an Infiltration and convinces Cody Diggs to let him in the gang. And y’know, I really like Cody Diggs. He’s smart and savvy and it’s clear he doesn’t totally trust Cooper (no surprise, since Cooper gave himself the original nom de plume “John Smith”). But he’s a pretty good bad guy.
He also reminds me of Badger:
Later that night, at the saloon over booze and cards, the Hooker with a Heart of Gold, for reasons best known to herself, brings the baby down into the saloon. And Cooper spots a horse thief he once knew, so he’s worried about his brilliant cover as John Smith.
Cooper sneaks up to the HHG’s room, where she’s hanging out with the baby. He explains that he’s a Ranger and is going to take Timmy back, but turns out Cody Diggs gave Timmy to the HHG as a little present, telling her the mother was dead. And the HHG lives up to her name: though she loves the baby, she “would never take a baby from his real mother.”
But just as she’s about to hand the baby over, the bad guys burst in, the horse thief having ratted him out. (Good job, Cooper, your cover lasted four whole hours!)
They take Cooper outside and kick his ass a bit, and I take back what I said about the four hours. Apparently, it was less, as it’s still full daylight out in December. I got confused because in the previous two scenes, it looked like nighttime and all the lamps were lit.
Then they take Cooper out to the woods to kill him.
“You see, children, the bad guys set up an elaborate lynching: tying a rope to a tree, making a noose and putting it around Cooper’s neck, and then setting him on a horse. That way, they could spook the horse and the rope would hang Cooper when the horse ran. ‘Course, since Cooper wouldn’t be falling very far, he would probably slowly suffocate rather than having his neck snapped…”
Hilariously, they actually do cut back to Walker and the kids at this point.
“Did they hang him???”
Man, kids, amirite?
But it’s mostly to show that Joey, the “Christmas ain’t real” boy, is engrossed in the story now. Though so far, the story hasn’t done much to prove that Christmas is, in fact, real.
Back in the past, Cody spooks the horse, but at that very second, Red Bear (remember him???) Shoots the Rope with an arrow, his aim having improved vastly overnight. So off Cooper flies, still firmly on the horse.
The bad guys give chase, but Red Bear is faster. He comes up behind Cooper, knife in hand, and they play it out for several seconds too long like he’s going to stab Cooper. Instead, he slices through Cooper’s bonds.
The two elude the bad guys, and Red Bear reveals that he overheard everything Back at the Ranch, and opted to save Cooper’s life so he could collect the baby, and because “You have a good heart.”
Man, so does Red Bear, if having a good heart made up for killing his brother.
The two exchange pleasantries (Red Bear even wishes Cooper a Merry Christmas!) and they part ways.
Cooper sneaks back to town and the bad guys start the search. True to his word, Cooper dispenses the baddies by, in order:
- Shooting gun out of hand
- Shooting in an unspecified area (the actor reacts as though it’s a pretty bad wound, but we’re told later that it was non-fatal)
- Knee-capping again
- Shooting gun out of hand again (and kudos to the stunt guy, who took a helluva dive from his horse)
Then Cody appears, and Cooper takes him out in a special way, as befits a Boss Battle. First he shoots the gun out of Cody’s hand, then shoots him in the ass. Literally.
“Oh, my butt!”
Cooper even has the courtesy to kneel down next to the writhing Cody and explain that he’s not going to kill him, because he’s “got the Christmas spirit.”
Yeah, I totally remember that one parable where Jesus teaches us to shoot people in the ass so you don’t have to kill them. Then again, Old West medicine being what it was, any of the wounds Cooper inflicted were potentially fatal.
Next time, the finale, as Cooper brings Tiny Tim home.