This one is a bit obvs but I never thought about it. I always assumed that the episode title refers only to Richard's journey back to work again thru Rory's school project. But it might also refer to the other part of the episode - Dean back to his subdued, let me woo Rory mode after a few eps of anger. He's gone to his old habits and the phrase \"back in the saddle again\" can mean returning to any routine from the past.
Eddie is attending a family reunion with Christopher, and discusses with his mother Helena on Shannon's funeral yesterday. Eddie's father Ramon takes the chance to criticize Shannon for betraying Eddie, much to Eddie, Helena and Josephina's disapproval along with other relatives. Ramon backs off and apologizes, while Helena wants Eddie to return to Texas as Shannon is dead anyway, and Ramon believes it doesn't make too much of a difference joining Texan fire departments. Eddie disagrees, as he is moments away from certification, and he definitely doesn't want to discard what he had in Los Angeles. While his sister Sophia comes to the table, Eddie accuses them of attending Shannon's funeral for unscrupulous motives. He considers his life in Los Angeles valuable and doesn't want to move himself or Christopher around again, as to him, the 118 is his family at work and he is unwilling to leave them. Ramon points out Christopher spent six years in Texas with his extended family, but Eddie argues what's best with Christopher is with himself, and he has the choice. Ramon suggests he could have picked something different, to which Eddie simply remains silent and sips some alcohol.
The LAPD and FBI has the scene cordoned off from onlookers and LAFD, among them Athena, Shawn and Bobby. Maddie begins to cry in despair as people aren't helping Buck. Josh informs her they can't as long as Freddie is there. Freddie demands to see the captain, and Chimney, who was demanding SWAT support, approaches. Freddie refuses him, instead specifying he wants Bobby. Knowing he has no other choice and must save the crew, Bobby bids farewell to Athena and confronts Freddie, in spite of Shawn's advice, as he believes unless Freddie gets what he wants, other members of the 118 will be killed, and he isn't concerned if he dies. As he walks up, unidentified by the media, he gets Freddie's attention, while Athena dials Rick. Bobby brings up on the irony of Freddie harming and taking the rest of 118 hostage. Freddie threatens to detonate the explosives on him when Bobby gets closer, who cites while Freddie was indeed a victim, he lost his chances when he decided to exact his retribution. He further refutes Freddie with how everyone he's targeting are not conspiring against him, as their ruin were the unintended and unforeseen consequences. Athena and Rick escort Ellie to the scene on time just as Freddie begins to mention her suffering. Bobby, who notices them, distracts Freddie, telling him whatever he plans to do would end up worse. While Freddie has his back turned, Bobby sneaks upon him and begins wrestling for the detonator, allowing the SWAT to enter the fray. They seize the detonator and arrest Freddie without further incident, with Ellie being removed from the scene as well. Remaining emergency units pour in to assist Buck as Ali witnesses the chaos. Chimney, who was attempting to obtain reinforcements, informs Bobby there isn't much time. They fail the first two attempts, and Eddie suggests they could try it somewhere else. Bobby counters him, claiming they just need a couple more helping hands, and Chimney observes a swarm of onlookers approaching thanks to the authorities rescinding the lockdown, much to the relief of TV viewers. Securing their presence, Bobby gives the order a third time, and they lift the vehicle just enough to withdraw Buck. The crowd cheers on as Buck is loaded onto a stretcher by firefighters and transported. After Buck is inside the ambulance, Athena embraces Bobby for his reckless yet heroic act.
Buck angrily condemns Maddie for tearing off his trouser legs, even when she reveals it can't be repaired. She then cites how Buck insists on moving around when he should have been resting, though he believes medical assistance will cure all his injuries, if any. He also reveals future potential surgeries, but insists having it instead of waiting around. Even though he is suggested to just stay back, his occupation is all he lives for. Maddie fails to fight his refusals, as he doesn't believe he will be himself ever again if he isn't on the team.
Walker goes home where he finds Liam on a bench outside. He's looking for Stella, though Liam notes that she's inside and Walker realizes she's hiding from him. Walker fidgets with the poker chip again and Liam calls him out on his mind not being at home. Liam knows the chip only helps him worry, with Walker asking why Emily had a poker chip on her the night she died. She and Geri were just supposed to drop supplies by stations in the desert. Liam tells him to stop thinking about it as it will make him crazy. Walker presses that her eyes were closed as if someone laid her to rest, and the perp today said that Walker couldn't protect Emily. It made him start thinking about what he missed. Liam reminds him that Carlos Mendoza confessed, and Walker looked him in the eye and believed him. There's nothing he can do to bring back Emily so he just has to be here.
He takes her to their old house to dig up the concrete slab with her and August's handprints. She tries to lift it out with a shovel and it breaks in half. She is overcome with emotion despite him assuring her that it's okay. He comforts her as just because it's broken doesn't mean they can't take it with them. He pulls her in for a hug and comforts her. They return to the ranch where Walker talks to Bonham alone. Bonham gives him a new saddle and pouch. He knows that getting back to normal means starting fresh and saw the old one and reminded him of an old life. Every big birthday Bonham's father made him something, and since he missed Walker's birthday last year he's giving him the pouch. The conversation is witnessed by Abeline.
In Don't Fence Me In, Micki and Walker drive down the road in her truck. He asks how Trey is settling in, to which she replies fine. He brings up her middle name again as he never knows when a minor detail could help them. They receive an urgent radio call from Connie, who directs them to the Harlan Oil Field where the Sheriff needs backup. She explains that Sheriff Shaw received a distress call from the owner of the field, Bob Harlan, but when he arrived Bob was DOA with the shooter fleeing the scene. Connie describes the shooter as a Hispanic male in a yellow truck. The partners hurry to the field and pursue the suspect. Walker tells the driver to pull over but he swerves instead. Walker tells Micki to bulldog the truck as it's heading for a flare that will trigger an explosion and kill everyone. She does so by swerving in front of the truck causing it to crash into a ditch. With the driver now unconscious, Micki examines a tattoo on his forearm that reveals him as a gang member.
Our hero goes up against a vengeful gunfighter (Brian Libby) as Ethan Cord and Guns Of Paradise ride off into the sunset after three seasons. This episode is a genuine series finale packed with touching flashbacks, so have tissues handy! 781b155fdc