Tracker, the new CBS thriller series starring Justin Hartley, received the network's coveted post-Super Bowl slot. The new series aired its first episode after the most-watched Super Bowl in history, and delivered some fantastic ratings of its own in the aftermath. While the second episode is set to air on February 18th, CBS is running the premiere back again on Thursday night for those who might have missed it. Be warned: the recap is full of spoilers. Read at your own risk...
The episode opens with Colter Shaw attempting to rescue a woman named Jessie, who has had an accident out in the mountains and is too injured to move on her own. This rescue doesn't appear to have anything to do with the story of the rest of the episode, but it does a lot to establish how capable Colter can be. He talks a lot to Jessie about her survival odds if she listens to him and it seems to calm her down. After getting Jessie to safety, Colter works to track down the $50K reward that was issued for her return.
Once he's back in his Airstream, Colter has a video chat with Teddi and Velma, his friends and co-workers who help find and set him up with new jobs. They've been working on getting a new job. They also inform Colter that an "old friend" called looking for him. Colter clearly knows exactly who it is, instructing them to ignore the call next time. He's got several missed calls from the same number on his phone.
Colter's new job is to locate a 14-year-old boy who is believed to be with his biological father. He meets with the boy's mother and stepfather to get information about where their son could be. The mother later tells him that Gil has had a relationship with his birth father as of late, but that her new husband doesn't know because she thinks it would break his heart.
Colter has a brief flashback to a rock climbing trip with his father, who taught him not to let panic take over when he's faced with a difficult situation. After returning to the present, Colter calls his associate, Bob, a hacker who can help him track down Gil's father's phone. Another phone call from the mysterious number leads to another flflashback to his teenage years. Colter's father got rough with his younger sister in front of him and his brother, before storming out of the house.
Back in the present Colter sees the texts between Gil and his father and learns that they were supposed to meet at a restaurant called Burger Bin. When he's not given access to the security cameras, Colter locks himself inside the manager's office as the employees call the police. He gets a photo of Gil meeting his father at the restaurant and learns that the man who met with Gil wasn't actually his dad. As he's being booked in jail, Teddie and Velma work to get whatever lawyer is available to help get him out. They land on Reenie Green, who clearly has a personal history with Colter. She begrudgingly gets him out and he has another text from the mysterious number, saying there's something he needs to know.
Colter soon gets a call from Bob who informs him that Eddie, Gil's father, has been dead for months. He digs around and shows the picture of the man who took Gil to some former friends of Eddie's. They say the man is "a nasty piece of work" names Jack Horvath. They explain that Eddie told a story to everyone about a stash of money he buried out in the woods where he and his son used to go camping. There was never any money, but Jack clearly took Gil out to find it. He and Gil's convince the local police to allow him to continue working on the case before they get too heavily involved.
On the way out to the woods, Colter talks with a local officer he has made a connection with about his history with his dad. He took the family out to the woods to live off the grid when Colter was young. As he talks about his dad, a flashback shows them out in the woods learning how to track, hunt, and learn how to survive out in the wild. When he put his hands on Colter and Russell's little sister, Russell tried to fight their father. He ran out on his own an Russell went out to find him. When Colter went to find them later, he found his father lying dead at the bottom of a cliff. It looked like Russell had killed him.
In the present, Colter walks up a trail into the mountains and finds Gil, tied up in the back of Jack's pickup truck. He convinces Jack to let him leave with Gil, but Jack gets spooked with the police helicopter shows up earlier than they're supposed to. This starts a chase down the mountain. Colter is able to get into the back of the truck and help protect Gil as Jack tries to escape from the cops. They surround him and the standoff results in Jack's death. The pickup truck starts falling off the edge of a cliff, but Colter and Gil are able to leap into the river and swim to safety.
Before heading out to his next job, Colter heads out to a cabin in the woods and finds his father's grave. His mom comes out to talk with him. He reveals that the person calling him is his older brother, Russell. He asks his mother about it and she tells him not to answer. "Block that number."