Longmire Season Five, Episode Three: Chrysalis (Review)

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The third episode of Longmire may turn out to be a  “personal best” for the fifth season.  The subplot of Malachi being up to no good and Jacob pressing Henry to learn what the chief of security is really up to takes a back seat to the main storyline.

Cady’s story starts off the show. She is learning that the realities of helping the tribe are going to be very different from what she imagined. Jacob does not really help and his little talk with Cady leaves her feeling exposed and a little paranoid.

The main storyline begins in the casino parking lot.  A little girl sits alone in the passenger seat of a car. Cady stops and learns the kid saw her father go in but he has not come out. She does not know when he went in.

Cady calls Walt.

This episode was a proper “whodunit.”  While Walt worries about Donna, she is not returning his calls, he and Vic chase down clues to learn what happened to Olivia Parr’s father. Along the way they must figure out her mother’s issues. At first glance, it appears that Melissa Parr is a drug addict.

Walt takes the little girl home and they find her mother passed out in her car with the engine running.  Olivia asks Walt to take Melissa into the house. She tells Longmire that she will sober her up, “I’m used to it.”

Olivia’s father turns up dead on the other side of the county. His body is found near the Chrysalis mobile home park. The man has been run over and later they find his blood alcohol level is two times over the limit.

Meanwhile Cady and Henry look for space on the reservation for her legal aid office. Her attempt at giving the tribe something to actually see.

Walt tries to track the dead man’s movements and keeps drawing a blank. Olivia says that her father was a heavy winner the night before and Jacob asks Malachi to check the casino footage.

They find the man playing the night before, just as Olivia said, but there is no sign of him the night he went missing.

Walt stops by the school to drop off the girl’s  homework and he learns more about the missing Vincent Parr and his wife.  Parr is the guidance counselor at the high school and “one of the good ones” according to Olivia’s teacher. She tells Walt that Melissa seems to have an substance abuse problem.

Walt thinks that since Vincent was a heavy winner, that Malachi is up to his old tricks.   However as Walt and Vic question Olivia’s mother she  proves to be evasive and vague.

Donna finally responds to one of Walt’s calls. He asks her to check on Melissa. When she arrives Vic rips a strip off the doctor for not taking Walt’s calls. The two women have a little cat fight of the verbal variety and at the end Donna realizes she is in the wrong.

As the investigation continues it turns out that Vincent was not a “good one” after all. He was an abusive alcoholic who beat his wife and kept their daughter away from her.

Part of what Walt learns is that a company is renting out room 503 and Jacob then learns that it is being used for prostitution.  It seems that Jacob is getting tired of Malachi’s illegal activities. He learns what is going on in 503 by hiding cameras in the room.

A witness tells Vic that Melissa was near where Vincent’s body was found Mrs. Parr becomes the prime suspect.

A packet of half-eaten skittles in Vincent’s car and lack of car keys leads Walt to the killer. It was Olivia.  The 10 year old knew about her dad beating Melissa and she was protecting her mother.

By the end of the episode Olivia is in counseling and Cady finds a office. (It is a foreclosed home on the reservation.)  Jacob has tasked Henry with keeping an eye out for Manifest Destinations on Malachi’s books.

On a sidenote Cady gets the best line of the episode.  She asks Henry, “you love me like a father don’t you?” Henry responds in the affirmative.

“Well you are underestimating me like a father too.”


Due to Vic’s verbal telling off of Donna, the doctor does apologize to Walt and they get back together.

It does not go smoothly.  Donna first tells Walt she is pregnant. He offers to make it legal and she then explains that she is not really pregnant.  She was, she says,  trying to make a point.

While they drink a beer, she asks Walt if he knows how babies are made.  Apparently despite all the heavy breathing in the season four finale, they never actually “got physical.”

Walt explains that with the concussion he really does not remember if they had sex or not.

This episode was top notch. The mystery of Vincent’s death and his hidden abuse, along with the false face he presented to his colleagues was brilliant and touching.

On a sidenote it is interesting that Malachi helps Walt out when he wants to search room 503. Perhaps the man is not all bad.

“Chrysalis” saw Vic reach new heights of loyalty to Walt and her telling off  Donna was brilliant. (So too was Donna’s reaction to it. “Just stop with the subtle insinuations. Especially since you aren’t very good at the subtle part.”)

Longmire manages to cover  domestic violence with this storyline; keeping to the show’s tendency of covering topical issues. It could well be a personal favorite out of the new season.

All 10 episodes are available to stream over on Netflix right now. Mosey on over and catch this or all the cowboy detective’s cases from season five.


Guest starring  Hannah Nordberg as Olivia Parr,  Anne Dudek as Melissa Parr and Beau Garrett  as Shawna Crawford.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

2 thoughts on “Longmire Season Five, Episode Three: Chrysalis (Review)”

  1. I think Robert Taylor and the entire cast has done a fantastic job. I have watcheD the entire 5th season and can hardly wait for the 6th season. Vickie lahman


  2. Malachi is as bad as Don Corleone.
    Like the Don, he just has a particular soft spot.
    Keep watching…it only gets better.
    I hope you watch it once for enjoyment before cataloging the play-by-play.


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