‘Ride’ Ending, Explained: Do The Mcmurrays Save The Family Ranch?


Our feelings for Ride can be described in one word: sweet. It is an easy-on-the-emotions drama about a family trying to protect their ranch while keeping the style quotient high. That can be expected when there are cowboys and horses involved. Otherwise, Ride is the story of a family trying to find their footing with each other and keep up their legacy, all the while trying to resolve unsaid feelings. There really isn’t much to say. Everybody is nice and trying to do the right thing, and the characters’ greatest complexities are that they want what they apparently shouldn’t. We are specifically talking about Cash and Missy’s relationship, and despite their obvious chemistry, it is impossible to support the decisions of these two that did not allow them to be with each other, at least initially. But luckily for Missy, she and Isabel are really strong women who know how to keep their heads above water and think beyond their tragedies. Here is how that happens, as presented in the recap of Ride.

Spoilers Alert

What Does The Mcmurray Family Do To Protect Their Ranch?

The story of Ride can be broadly divided into three arcs. The first is Missy struggling to find her identity outside the McMurray name; the second is the family’s financial troubles; and the third is Valeria’s true identity.

From what we gleaned about Missy’s past, it looks like she had a casual relationship with Austin, but it was Cash who was in love with her. One day, right when he was about to express his feelings for Missy, he found that Austin was going to propose to her, as he had realized that he wanted to have a partner like her. Cash had always struggled with an inferiority complex against his brother, and when Austin said that he wanted to be with Missy, Cash believed that it would be the better pair as Austin was the better man. He had been planning on gifting a pendant with a horse to Missy, which was placed in a box engraved with dancing horses. Missy loved dancing horses, and knowing that, Cash gave the box to Austin to place his ring in it. Missy agreed to marry Austin because, when she saw the box, she believed that Austin loved and understood her, and that is what she wanted in a partner. Once their wedding was done, Cash left to work in the armed forces, only to return many years later. But tragedy struck the day he came back. Austin was supposed to be in a bull race that day, and he ended up losing his life after being thrown off and stomped to death by the animal.

A year after this tragedy, the McMurray family is still reeling from the grief, and having lost their star rider, they are in danger of losing their ranch due to the debt. Missy is still grieving over Austin, but she wants to start moving on, and she has the support of her family for that. Currently, she is approaching Frontier Jeans, the company that has been a longtime partner of the McMurray business, to be their brand ambassador. Though Missy is uncomfortable with it, she finds that the brand endorsement plans on exploiting her position as “Austin McMurray’s widow.” Missy eventually gets out of it and stops her transfer to Colorado by the company by doing a radio interview where she puts forth her talents of trick riding and how she is more than her relationship with a man. While this works, there is another hurdle for Missy, as her interview means that the company wants to shoot a video of her trick riding. But Missy hasn’t done that since the death of Austin, which was the last time she performed her stunt. With Valeria’s help, Missy buries the shoes she was wearing at that time to erase the last memory of that day. But that is still not enough. Later, she refuses to perform it for the video, but with Cash’s help, she is able to get over her fear and perform the trick, at least in private.

Missy is acting as Cash’s coach, just like she used to for Austin. Missy claims to enjoy the job and says that she is good at it. But as it is pointed out to her again and again, as long as she works for the McMurrays, all of her work and achievements will never receive individual credit or recognition and will be overshadowed by the family. Missy knows it is the truth, as it is what used to happen with Austin as well. She was his coach and spent hours training him, but whenever he used to win a competition, Missy was never acknowledged. The moment Missy finally decided to break away from the McMurray name and start looking for her own pursuits was when she noticed how Cash made his upcoming race all about a competition with his dead brother. Cash simply wanted to outdo his brother, and he did not care that he put himself at risk for that. Watching this madness of his, Missy decides that she does not want to be responsible for him and leaves to judge a rodeo pageant instead. Missy made the right decision, and it helped knock some sense into everyone, including making Isabel aware that her daughter-in-law was craving an identity of her own. Isabel supported her wholeheartedly, and this marked a new system of working for the family.

What Were Valeria And Austin’s Secrets?

Valeria had quite the tragic story of running away from home after her mother’s death when her father started moving on with a different woman. Valeria’s father had pretty much abandoned her and did not look for her. She was 16 years old when Austin found her at the ranch, and the McMurray family had taken her in. Valeria’s real name was Estella, and she had taken on her mother’s middle name when she started living with the McMurrays. The fact is that Austin always knew Valeria’s truth, but he kept it to himself—that is until the day he needed her help.

Austin had taken a massive loan from Tucker, and he needed to pay it back. On the day of Austin’s competition, he had asked Valeria’s help, believing that she could reach out to her rich family. We are not sure whether Valeria reconnected with her father, but she certainly stole a ruby necklace from her house to help the McMurrays, since she considered them her real family. But the money from the necklace was not enough to get the McMurrays out of trouble. Austin had been desperate for money, and that is why he had rigged the race to get the strongest bull, which proved fatal for him because he was already disturbed due to Tucker cornering him for the money. In a way, it was the family’s finances that had killed Austin, but the mistakes of his journey finally taught Cash that he did not need to try so hard to be like his brother. Austin was not a perfect or infallible man, and the only reason he had been able to have Missy in his life was because he had gone after what he wanted. Cash had failed to do that, and he needed to focus on what he could do instead of trying to match up with what his brother did.

‘Ride’ Ending Explained: Do The Mcmurrays Save The Family Ranch?

The entire family had been trying to come up with ways for the ranch to make more money right from the beginning of Ride. Valeria had come up with the idea of bringing some sheep to the ranch while Missy was working a gig as the ambassador for Frontier Jeans. They were even trying to get the sponsorship for Cash, which is why it was so important for him to participate in the Cheyenne competition. Then there was Gus, an investor who could really help the family, but the McMurrays knew that taking their help would mean that the family legacy might get pushed into the background. There is also the case of a wedding where the bride elopes from, and the responsibility for the payment falls on the shoulders of the McMurrays, though Missy works to get them out of that trouble.

These financial troubles are further complicated by the ongoing love triangles between Missy, Gus, and Cash and a second one between Missy, Cash, and Valeria. All these feelings never go beyond the initial stage of interest. Gus doesn’t stand up for Missy when he should have, and that pushes back their relationship by a few steps. Cash decides that though there is a spark between him and Valeria, he doesn’t want to explore it and just wants to stay friends. Finally, when Missy comes to know that the box that had made her agree to marry Austin had come from Cash, the two lovebirds briefly get together before Missy understands that Cash made some very unfair decisions for her by never expressing how he felt. If she has to be involved with a McMurray again, it cannot come with such baggage, especially when she wants to find out what the world has in store for her without the family name.

It is true that Cash is not the best decision-maker out there. After he gets into a violent disagreement with Tucker and both of them land in prison, the latter bails him out on the condition that Cash helps him make back the money with some bets on the bulls. Cash agrees, and he even wins the competition in Cheyenne against Hudson on the same bull (Hurricane) that killed his brother. This victory makes Cash the brand ambassador of Frontier Jeans and brings the family out of some of their immediate financial troubles. But Cash now wants an out from his deal with Tucker, who refuses because, more than the money, he wants the connection, a way into the bull riding world that would eventually give him more power.

On the other hand, Valeria’s father seems to want to reconnect with her. If not that, he might have discovered her theft, and there is a confrontation in store for her. At the end of Ride, Cash and Gus are waiting for Missy, hoping to continue their relationships with her that were halted due to their own foolishness. But Missy is far from it all and is looking for the things that she loves the most, namely, trick riding. But there is a lot more trouble waiting for her. Polly, the woman who told Missy about Austin rigging the race, reveals that much before Austin married Missy, he had an affair with her, and they had a son from that liaison. Austin had found out about him four months prior to his death, and right now, Polly probably wants him to know his family.

Final Thoughts

We know that Ride is a Hallmark series, so we shouldn’t expect grit and harsh politics from it, but we are wondering what the series would have been like with those elements. A sport as harsh as bull riding probably deserved the construction of a world around it that wasn’t so soft. Again, we are not finding fault with the Hallmark series, but it did not feel special. This could have been set around any other business, and it would have been the same story. It was sweet, but it could have been dashing and memorable with a grittier execution. Regardless, Ride is a nice watch if you are looking for something easy and sentimental.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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