Walt Longmire says it himself in the season six finale, “What do we do now?” He is talking to Vic, after they have finally, and officially, become a couple after almost six seasons of “will they, won’t they” false starts and stops. We ask ourselves the same question.
The popular cowboy cop show has ridden off, not into the sunset, but into a manufactured sunrise. Walt goes off to find the buried treasure that Lucien spoke of while Vic sits on the porch of the Longmire homestead sipping coffee. The Ferg looks to be soon reunited with his very angry ex-girlfriend, Cady will be stepping into Walt’s boots and the big bogeyman from the previous few seasons; Malachi Strand, is finally dispatched with extreme prejudice.
We also have Henry Standing Bear getting Longmire’s blessing to run the casino after Jacob Nighthorse leaves the money making venture and Cady Longmire has found love now that Zach Heflin (played brilliantly by Barry Sloane) is hired, again, by Walt.
A lot of things are tied up in this final season of Longmire. Ferg gets a very final bit of closure when he shoots Eddie Harp right between the eyes. This closes the chapter on when the drug pushing enforcer terrorized The Ferg last season. We also find out that this WASP mob member was playing Hector for Malachi Strand to make sure that only the Boston Mob heroin was being sold on The Rez.
Along the way to the season six finale, Vic saves Walt’s life, gets shot and loses the new life in her womb. Travis takes off for parts unknown (not to be cruel but it this was a good thing, he was never a good fit for Vic…) and Henry comes close to death a number of times.
Even Longmire is wounded by the vicious Strand in the final showdown before being shot to death by the bleeding lawman. Cady kidnaps a Native American child to give him penicillin and loses whatever goodwill points that her shooting of the white man earned last season. Mandy; her secretary/receptionist, also turned out to be more loyal to the tribe than her employer.
Cowboy Bill, the elusive McGuffin that takes most of the final season to wrap up, turns out to be the local woodworker, nee’ rodeo clown. It is after Ferg shoots Harp dead that the local deputy decides that his girlfriend’s ex is the polite bank robber. His investigation leads to the nurse dumping him like a hot rock.
Overall, this was a fairly satisfactory season. There were overtones of manufactured stories though. The Lucien storyline, with Walt’s former boss killing the despicable Tucker Bagget, played superbly by Brett Rice, felt a tad too convenient and there was far too little of Radha Mitchell.
Marilyn, the Crow Medicine Woman, is killed by one of Strand’s Rez goons and it was a shame to see this character go. It was also sad to see Lucien self destruct. “No one notices old people,” he says before revealing that Walt Longmire was right about who murdered Bagget.
(One of the better scenes in this season was the very short, and up close, gunfight between the two lawmen.)
Jacob Nighthorse is almost vindicated when he admits to doing some dodgy business deals with the Boston mob. He did so for the greater good but even he has to admit that Longmire was not too far off base with his accusations of criminality. Nighthorse was not greedy so much as speedy. He wanted good things for the tribe, but at a cost that was detrimental overall.
This final season still had the issue of bad continuity with any scene dealing with guns and close-ups. When Walt confronts Cowboy Bill in the bank, the gun is uncocked in many of the shots and they vary from the robber holding the gun with two hands to one and only at the climax of the scene is the pistol cocked and ready for action.
Of course the biggest letdown of all has nothing to do with plot holes or continuity errors. Longmire has finished and fans of the series are mourning the loss of a brilliantly “adult” television show. Not having read the books that the show was based upon it is hard to tell just how far the show deviated from the stories written by Craig Johnson. But one feels that the characters have changed steadily as each season ran on.
It does not really matter however as changes were to be expected. There were, after all, only 13 books about the Wyoming lawman and these were, presumably, stretched into six whole seasons. One can assume that after A&E dropped the popular show that they were nearing the end of book storylines already.
Walt Longmire may be searching now for buried treasure while Vic waits for her new partner to come home but the sheriff will live on. In fact, there were no major character deaths, apart from Strand (and Peter Weller’s Lucien) but these were to be expected, and all our heroes look to be carrying on regardless of Walt’s stepping down from the saddle.
There are moments of comedy, tragedy and not a few tears in this last season. While it may be bittersweet, this last season has managed to deliver on many levels. It may not contain the sheer level of entertainment of the first seasons but damn it it has given its fans a bit of closure.
For those who can make the time, all six seasons are on Netflix for the bingeing. Check out Walt and his story, if you have not already, and you will not be disappointed. In answer to Walt’s question, “What do we do now,” we say head back and start watching from the beginning. If for no other reason than to see the Longmire/Moretti relationship blossom and evolve.
- Robert Taylor – Walt Longmire
- Katee Sackhoff – Victoria “Vic” Moretti
- Lou Diamond Phillips – Henry Standing Bear
- Cassidy Freeman – Cady Longmire
- Adam Bartley – The Ferg
- Zahn McClarnon – Officer Mathias
- Graham Greene – Malachi Strand
- A Martinez – Jacob Nighthorse
- Joseph Daniel Havenstar – Darius
- Tamara Duarte – Mandy
- Tantoo Cardinal – Marilyn (Crow Medicine Woman)
- Dan Donohue – Eddie Harp