Considering that the new season of Longmire was released by Netflix all at once, which made the impulse to watch the first three episodes too strong to resist, it seems that now watching each episode seperately is now in order. Four Arrows, aka episode four, was in-depth enough to warrant writing about on its own. Besides, skipping ahead and watching episode five made it immediately apparent that Help Wanted was even more involved and needed to be approached on its own.
*Sidenote* Not to mention that there was a glaring error in the climax of the piece (“Help Wanted”) where a gun went from cocked to un-cocked all because of a lack of continuity. Something that is becoming a normal occurrence on television and many films these days. There was no such event on “Four Arrows”, which the superb Peter Weller directed and guest starred in. Hence the decision to write about each one individually.
Peter Weller returned to the Longmire verse to play Lucian Connally, brother of Barlow. Apart from his directing this episode, Weller’s character gets the best lines of the show. He and Walt are talking about Barlow Connally at the episode’s end:
“After you shot Barlow, I cogitated on all the ways I could have been a better brother. Maybe if I’d done more… spent more time with him, Branch would be alive, Martha would be alive.”
“You believe that?”
“I’ll tell you what I believe. My brother would have been a good man if somebody had been there to shoot him every minute of his life.”
Before the episode gets to that point, however, there is a lot of territory to cover. Four Arrows opens with a moving montage that explains everything the viewer needs to know about what happened after the final fight and death of Barlow Connally at the end of episode three.
We see FBI agents and forensic technicians going through the crime scene (Walt’s cabin). The lawman removing the step with Connally’s blood on it, reading John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men (something that will become more meaningful in Help Wanted), after having read a mountain of books while drinking his beer, and finally Walt taking his wife’s greeting off the answer machine.
The most touching part of that being when Walt records his new greeting, he cannot get beyond “This is Walt.” Stopping the recording and replaying it, Longmire deems this change enough and leaves a day early for work.
The episode explores further the whole “Hector is alive” subplot via the auspices of Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Walt’s attachment to Vic. Walt is apparently so jealous of the temporary help from the next county that, after the deputy makes a faux pas, he dismisses the man. It is also a welcome return to the Sheriff’s office investigating other murders.
*Sidenote* In many ways this series of a western sheriff named Longmire which has, it seems, a murder a week, is much like the beloved English drama “Midsummer Murders” (with “Bergerac” star John Nettles as the Inspector). As one witty critic once pointed out, no one would really want to live there with all those homicides going on each week. One gets the same feeling with the “land of Longmire” but as one viewer commented, the scenery is so beautiful…
In this episode the main storyline dealt with a hen party (aka bachelorette party) whose RV crashes with a casino bus (for the opening of Jacob Nighthorse’s new casino Four Arrows – hence the episode title). Lucian Connally is there when the local sheriff’s department show up and after they get everyone from both vehicles on their way, they find the body of a young woman in a black duffel bag.
The women were on their way to Jacob’s new casino and this necessitates Walt having to apologize to Nighthorse in order to question possible witnesses. Longmire apologizes,
“I’m sorry that my deeply held belief that you are a dishonorable, untrustworthy person led me to falsely accuse you of killing Branch Connally.”
“And your wife.”
“And my wife.”
“I now know it was Barlow.”
Jacob then gives his permission but not without the proviso that the news not be spread around. Bad press could hurt his business since Barlow left him in the lurch, the reason his casino’s hotel is not completed. Jacob also tells Longmire,
“For the record Walt, that was the worst apology I’ve ever received.
The temporary deputy Eamon O’Neill (Josh Cooke) and Vic release a picture of the dead girl and Nighthorse is furious. So too, is Walt who lets O’Neill know about it. Shortly afterward, he tells Eamon to go back to his own department.
After a few false leads; an innocent roughneck framed and a driver dodging child support payments, Longmire zeroes in on the real murderers. Henry, under the guise of Hector, helps a mother and son to escape their abusive husband and father. Walt proves once again that he is very “Sherlock-y” (watch the episode and this reference will become crystal clear) and there are not many who can get past his deductive reasoning…even if it is a little “last minute.”
This was the Walt Longmire viewers fell in love with. Not to say that his search for who really killed his dying wife was off putting, but it is Robert Taylor’s sincerity as the Wyoming lawman in his day-to-day interactions that gives the show such a following. (Along with the good storylines and messages the series passes on about life as a Native American and in this season, Japanese American and in the next episode veterans with PTSD.)
Messages aside, despite losing Branch (who was having a very rough time of it before being murdered by his own father) it is the cast that make this show work. Lou Diamond Phillips, Katee Sackhoff, Adam Bartley as “The Ferg,” Louanne Stephens as Ruby, Cassidy Freeman, A Martinez and Zahn McClarnon all make the series feel as real as they present their characters.
Of course the presence of Peter Weller as Lucian made this episode a winner. Along with the fact that Weller’s calm and talent hand guided this segment along.
Episode five, Help Wanted, has Walt trying to find a replacement for the temporary officer that Vic liked. Netflix has all 10 episodes on offer for those who cannot resist the urge to watch the entire season. MikesFilmTalk will, now that the first rush of excitement has passed, review each episode seperately.