Tracker Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Mt. Shasta

Television

Well, what do you know?

Having Colter and Reenie team up together produced one of the best episodes in this series’ short existence.

Tracker Season 1 Episode 4 found Colter taking on a case close to Reenie’s heart, and while it still had the usual twists and turns we’ve come to expect, the personal aspect of this case made it all the more captivating.

Did this hour fly by, or was it just me? There was something about this one that worked on every level, and that’s not always the case with standard procedurals.

Some hours will always work better; some cases will have more exciting characters and pieces than others.

We’ve gotten to know Reenie a little bit since her introduction during Tracker Season 1 Episode 1, but outside of her personal feelings towards Colter due to some questionable past behavior, we don’t really know her.

She’s intelligent, headstrong, and good at her job but still a stranger. We got to see a different side of her when faced with someone she loved being Colter’s latest mission.

Shelter Stone Academy was a place for kids who perhaps ran into some trouble or needed the discipline that regular old public schools couldn’t provide. It was a place where kids could learn to rely on themselves, and while the rigid rules could be off-putting, it was also a place that saw its students thrive.

I could understand why Colter judged the school the way he did at first because he saw it as a place that was stifling its kids by implementing expectations and a rigidity that could be too much for children.

And when Gilroy was quick to scoff at Noah’s disappearance as just a kid sneaking away to do drugs, I wanted to scream at the television.

Trivializing something so serious and not considering genuine worry, all in the name of assuming ‘kids will be kids,’ was infuriating. But that’s why you want someone like Colter to work this case: he’s never content to take the lazy way out.

Erika was worried, and maybe she didn’t know everything about her teenage son. But she knew something was wrong, and it was much more than Noah needing space for the evening.

Once again, Colter’s ability to read people so effortlessly came in handy when he picked up on both Gilroy’s nervousness and Johnny’s not telling him the truth.

There are many things Colter does well, but the best thing he does is humanize his interactions with people to get the information he needs. And he does it in a way that doesn’t come across as condescending or fake, even if the end goal is to walk away with intel.

Colter can often relate a lot to his childhood because it was unique and taught him about more than just outdoor survival skills. But it was the skills that helped him break through to Johnny and get the real story about Noah’s last on-campus movements.

Had Colter not obtained that information from Johnny, would Gilroy and Ritter have told him about Zeke in a timely manner? My guess is no.

Gilroy and Ritter weren’t bad guys, even if I desperately thought Ritter was up until the very last moment. Still, they seemed very beholden to the Academy, protecting it and whatever creed they had.

Colter: Mr. Gilroy, we all want to believe that you’re gonna find Noah, but you’re a little more nervous about this than you’re letting on. Why is that?
Gilroy: Noah is a good young man. But as you know, he has a history of substance issues.

They wanted Noah to be found, but they had rules and regulations, and Colter just did not fit their plans.

It’s too bad Colter never found a rule he couldn’t break.

Zeke, a maintenance worker with seemingly no beef with Noah, felt odd off the bat, and luckily, they steered away from it quickly by introducing the actual situation at play.

The Tracker Season 1 cases rarely play out as you expect, which I’ve talked about in the past. And that felt very real here when we suddenly went from a school employee kidnapping Noah to a jealous ex-boyfriend going after him.

Lisa was scared and injured, and she confided in her person after what must have been a pretty terrifying and traumatic confrontation. She didn’t want Noah to get hurt, but like so many of us would do in such a situation, she got vulnerable with someone she trusted.

And Noah was just a good person. He wanted to protect Lisa and stick up for her, but there was no way he nor Zeke realized that they weren’t dealing with a rational human being.

In hindsight, given the severity of Ray’s violent outburst toward Lisa, going to the authorities was the play, but that’s always 20/20, right? In the moment, Noah wanted to be her knight in shining armor.

Tom: I’m coming with you. Ex-navy. Two tours overseas. Don’t worry I won’t slow you down.
Colter: Happy to have you.

Tracking Noah into the woods, where we’d seen him hiding out in the beginning of the episode, put Colter on comfortable footing. He’s never more at home than when he’s about to pull statistics out of his head and squat down on the forest floor to sniff dirt and things.

I kid, but also not really, because Colter’s a tracker for a reason. He knows how to follow footprints and what the composition of blood means in the long run, and everything he does gives him the best possible chance to find what he’s looking for.

As I mentioned earlier, I had major trust issues with Ritter, if only because so often there’s a last-minute twist thrown in for shock value. And even when he got shot, I was worried Colter would turn his back on Ritter and then be met with the telltale sound of a gun cocking.

But I love being wrong sometimes! Ritter was another good guy, and I owe him an apology.

As soon as Noah stopped for some water, it was apparent that Ray would slink out of the shadows. And he did, of course, but there was no drawn-out fight scene or more running through the woods, which was realistic given that Noah and Ray had been doing that for the last 24 hours.

Realistically, Colter was the one with the clearest mind and least fatigued, and if he could escape without getting shot, he should have easily gotten the upper hand, and he did.

All’s well that ends well in this story, and bringing it all back full circle to recognize the benefits of a place like Shelter Stone Academy was a nice way of wrapping this one up.

From the outside looking in, they can seem extreme, and there may be parts of it that are. Boarding schools and places meant to “fix” what society deems in need of fixing aren’t for everyone.

But Noah found value in the school, as did Lisa, and they found success. Noah survived the worst day of his life because he learned survival skills and had confidence in himself.

The little moments at the end of the hour where Colter gets to say goodbye to the family or take a moment with the person he saved are slowly becoming my favorite parts because they once again reiterate that this is more than a job to him.

This is about using the skills and instincts his father bore into him for the greater good. Making sure those he helped are okay before he’s off to the next.

And that’s no mercenary. That’s yet another good man.

Tracker Notes

  • RIP Zeke. He deserved better.
  • This show is about so much more than romance, but Colter and Reenie continue to have the right amount of chemistry, even if the show decides to keep them in the friend zone.
  • I hope we continue to see Bobby giving Colter a little sass over the phone each hour because it’s funny to see Colter confused.
  • Velma and Teddi in the same city as Colter when?
  • I know this show occurs mostly in the Pacific Northwest, but I hope they branch out to some odd places in the continental United States. Can you imagine Colter in New York? Or Miami? How do those tracking skills translate to Central Park or South Beach?
  • No movement on the Shaw Family drama! That’s a bummer for me as someone who finds it fascinating, but I respect the commitment to the long game. My interest is piqued and will continue to be!

Alright, fanatics, now it’s your turn to tell me what you thought about this one! It was the best mystery since the pilot, and I’d love to know if you strongly agree or disagree!

Let me know down below! 

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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