Longmire (Season 6) Episode 2: Fever (Review)

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The second episode of Longmire, season six, finds Henry recovering from his ordeal at the Crow reservation. Walt is still facing the wrongful death lawsuit and he starts investigating what happened to his best friend.

Meanwhile, crime continues in the county. A man whose land is a popular place for treasure hunters ends up dead. The solitary man also has cash hidden all over his cabin. Walt has Ferg and Vic start chasing down leads and he stops by Cady’s office to tell her that Jacob Nighthorse must be involved with Henry’s near murder.

This episode features a fair amount of guilt, greed and not a little obsession. Cady’s guilt at possibly aiding Nighthorse to hurt Henry and a man’s stepfather’s guilt at falling out with his son.  After finding the dead man, with all that cash, someone turns up at the station and reports that his brother has gone missing.

Walt heads to a treasure hunters base camp, with the missing man’s brother and asks if anyone has seen him. Longmire bumps into Lucien Connally at the camp and the two men talk about Walt’s court case and why Connally is hunting for treasure. Lucien tells Longmire that he has pretty much figured out where the treasure is really hidden.

Vic finds the dead man’s will, handwritten and not necessarily legal, and they learn who Kayson has left all that cash to. The missing brother uses his credit card at a local hardware store and Cady visits Jacob. It is not a friendly visit and she beats her boss with the stakes that were used to trap Henry.

Walt freaks out when he sees what looks like Malachi Strand’s car and Cady goes to tell her father about confronting Nighthorse. She finds Henry at the Longmire cabin and they talk about Jacob and her attack on Nighthorse.

Lucien suggests that Longmire settle let of court and Walt explains that he tried. He also tells Connally about the murder and asks for his former mentor and friend to help out. Ferg reveals that the missing man never used the credit card. He also tells the two men that the man’s ex-wife used the card.

Walt, and Ferg, force the base camp to search for the missing man and they find him; dead at the bottom of a small cliff. Travis pushes to become more involved with Vic and the baby. During the search, Walt finds that someone returned to the dead goat farmer’s small graveyard and dug up whatever was buried in a grave.

That someone turns out to be Lucien. Walt calls Vic, in the middle of her ultrasound, and she cuts her appointment short. Travis gets upset and asks if Longmire even knows if Vic is pregnant. Walt finds the murder weapon buried in the woods.

Lucien turns up at Longmire’s office with the box he dug up at the farm and Walt works out that the missing man’s brother is the murderer. Henry and the sheriff confront Jacob. Nighthorse gives Walt the doctored books that prove Malachi’s dirty dealings at the casino. He then paraphrases “Jaws” by saying “We need a bigger search party.”

When Walt asks why Jacob is willing to help now, he replies that he more afraid of Malachi than Longmire. Travis turns up and tells Walt that Vic is pregnant. The concerned man has an engagement ring that he intends to give Vic if Walt doesn’t do the right thing.

The obsession in this episode of Longmire reminds us of Walt obsession with Nighthorse and Malachi Strand. Travis’ obsession is still Vic, the dead man’s brother is obsessed with finding the treasure; enough to murder for it, and the stepson is all caught up in hating his former step father.

Greed is covered by the missing man’s brother and all those reluctant helpers out at the treasure hunting basecamp. The guilt belongs mostly to Cady, who feels that Nighthorse betrayed her and put Henry’s life in danger as a result.

This final season of Longmire, especially this episode, makes a huge effort to turn Strand into the bogeyman. Even Nighthorse confesses that he is scared of his former chief of security. This episode also starts to focus on the relationship between Vic and Walt Longmire.

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Longmire (Season 6): What do we do Now? (Season Review)

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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 band, 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.


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Longmire (Season 6): Episode 1 ‘The Eagle and the Osprey’ (Review)

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The last season of Longmire has, at long last, arrived. Watching the first episode, put off as long as possible, was a bittersweet experience. We have grown to love all these characters; their foibles as well as their strengths and follies. Episode one of season six takes up where the season five finale finished.

The opening is a tease. We see a man in a cowboy hat robbing a bank. Shots are interspersed of another man hiding money in jars and ziplock bags. The implication, for a split second, is that Walt Longmire has robbed the place and is burying the proceeds on his property.

Bank robberies aside, Henry’s life is still hanging in the balance as Darius’s thugs watch him slowly die of dehydration and Cady tries to make sense of her vision. Malachi is still in the wind and Officer Mathias, after discovering Henry’s truck, is hunting for his old Hector Lives partner.

Overall, this was a satisfying start to the final season of Longmire. Walt is “circling the wagons” for the upcoming attack (trial) and Vic is proving, yet again, that she would walk through fire for her boss. The Ferg jeopardizes his relationship with the nurse and Walt risks his life to save his old friend.

Jacob Nighthorse was missing in this opening salvo but it is apparent that Walt will be questioning him soon about Malachi. There is the ongoing mystery of Cowboy Bill and the Mayor shows his teeth, and his true colours.

Marilyn, the Crow Medicine Woman,  reappears and after shooting Henry’s captors refuses to save him. Instead she takes the only container with water, leaves some totems on the ground and tells Standing Bear that if he is a true warrior, the spirits will save him.

Later, somewhat touchingly, Walt gives the Medicine Woman the money from his closed bank account. She takes the money and then leads the lawman to his friend, only to disappear when Walt finds Henry. Longmire makes a travois out of his coat and some stakes but is bitten by a rattlesnake on the way back to the truck.

By the end of the episode we learn that Cowboy Bob most certainly did not rob the bank. Cady and Walt reunite and it seems that Henry and Walt have not shattered their friendship after all. (The Ferg also appears to have patched things up with his nurse…)

There are some things that jar. For example: Would Walt have gone up and disturbed an area where snakes tend to congregate? There is no mention of Vic’s “condition” and Cady still manages to irritate the hell out of this viewer with her attitude.

The urge to binge the final season of Longmire has been dampened by the thought that this will be our final journey with the Wyoming lawman. (And an overabundance of films that need attention prior to the Oscars voting coming up soon…)

Without jumping ahead to any of the available episodes, it is our guess that Malachi has robbed the bank since his massive revenue from those Irish Mob deals has dried up. Time, and the rest of the final episodes,  will tell.

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Longmire: Season 4 Finale – What Happens on the Rez (Review)

Walt searches for Gab

The Longmire season four finale, What happens on the Rez ended the show in style. Goose bump inducing to the extreme; that flash montage as the boot kicks in Walt’s door exhibits all that works in the verse of this Wyoming sheriff. By the end credits we are concerned for the life of Walt and Dr. Monahan, worried about Henry and cheering Gab as she “escapes” flying free as a “red-tailed hawk.”

There are other issues still unresolved in the world of Absaroka County.  Zach is missing, Cady seems to have sold her soul to Jacob Nighthorse, Vic has apparently messed things up with both Eamon and Walt and that wild-card Monte is still about.

This season’s wrap-up was a brilliant end to the journey of Longmire…thus far. There are hints of a fifth season and with that “open” ending it seems a definite possibility. Episode 10 was full of Native American mysticism and stoic humor. Take this exchange between the Crow Medicine Woman and Henry:

“What’s wrong with your a**?

I got shot.

I have something for that.

Ibuprofen.

Reduces swelling.”

The  episode also had a lot of violence, mostly from “douche turned murderous thug” Walker Browning. This guy became instantly deplorable, although that may be hard to believe as Browning has never been Mr. Popularity, when he went beyond taking the law into his own hands. Beating Mandy (Tamara Duarte) bloody showed just what Walker was capable of.

The sight of the girl’s swollen and puffy face is enough to bring tears to the eyes of all but the most hardened of hearts. Major kudos to the makeup team and the FX folks. Duarte, as Mandy, looks in agony, and the actress sells the scene effortlessly. Callum Keith Rennie as Browning makes a brilliant villain, although in Walker’s  eyes his actions are all justified.

That the manager is prepared to murder a lawman in order to kill Gab speaks volumes about this despicable excuse for humanity. Browning is beyond misogynistic and is willing to do anything to save the rest of his “murdering, raping” boys.

While the most obvious “big bad” for this season is Walker, the montage at the end shows that in Walt’s world there  have been lot of people with “issues.” In the rapid fire footage at the end, the images of Monahan’s burnt out vehicle and Walker’s open handcuffs and his empty hospital bed  are intertwined with the lovemaking between Donna Sue and Walt and these start the ending sequence.

When the door is kicked in,  we then  see Walker Browning, Jacob Nighthorse, Sam Poteet,  Monte, Zachary, Malachi Strand, Chance Gilbert, David Ridges and Barlow Connally before the camera zooms in on Walt’s eyes.

On a hopeful note, this could all be (a la Dallas season 9)  a dream. Walt has been dreaming again, he has admitted this and we have seen them. In his last nocturnal vision, he and Donna Sue are, apparently, co-habitating at the cabin. That particular dream has him offering to make up for not washing the dishes from the night before.

To be sure, the lovemaking scene at the end  has a dreamlike quality to it. Although this whole theory is a little shot down by the events surrounding and simultaneously occurring as the camera moves jerkily toward the Longmire residence. Vic looking at the picture of her and Walt, Ferg calling Zachary and prior to the last sequence, Cady looking at the huge check from Jacob Nighthorse.

Walt is feeling melancholy however. The song he plays on the piano sounds like a snatch of some blues song and his voice over, as the camera moves through the grass:

“Do you ever feel you’ve created more evil than you’ve stopped?”

These two things combine to show us that the Wyoming lawman is feeling a little down and possibly overwhelmed with events. Things have not been good for Walt, even though he did finally solve his wife’s murder, occurrences on the periphery of his search have been dire.

In this season alone, Branch was shown to be murdered by his own father, Barlow who is then killed by Walt.  A horrific rape occurred on the Rez and the two men responsible were murdered, Cady choses Nighthorse’s money and lies to her father, Henry is the new Hector and although he saved Walt’s life, he is under arrest by Officer Mathias.

Branch’s demise alone weighs heavily on Walt, his confession to Ferg that he allowed his personal feelings to make him misjudge the Connally situation proves that. As does his decision to fire Zach, a good deputy who made a mistake in this dealings with Monte.

Walt also has issues in the nature of his relationship with Vic. Even Eamon knows this, as well as recognizing that Vic and her boss have a weird dynamic that she needs to sort out.

The music that the last of the episode is set to is Civilian by Wye Oak (arguably almost overused as the track has graced no less than six shows on television, including The Walking Dead trailer) fits the final scene like a glove and brings up the tension and sense of expectation beautifully.

Civilian may provide some clues as to what is really going on in Walt’s mind, the song itself feels as though it is all about memories and regrets, albeit set to a driving backbeat, these things seem to be  going through the sheriff’s mind. These may have come about by his decision to believe that Gab turned into a red-tailed hawk, as the Medicine Woman (Tantoo Cardinal who just kills it in this final episode) told him.

Regardless of whether this season finale is a dream or Walt and his new lady are in danger from, what appears to be, a wounded Walker Browning, the outcome will have to wait until a fifth season is approved and produced. Until then, there are words of praise to be handed out.

Major kudos to: Cardinal who manages to turn a small cameo into something beyond special. Julia Jones as Gab,  Emmy material here, Barry Sloane as the tortured and recently fired deputy, Robert Taylor, for his continued truth to the role, Katee Sackhoff as Vic, aka Philly who just rocks it each and every episode, Duarte as Mandy.

Mad props to Callum Keith Rennie, this actor knows that the good guy is only as good as the villain and Rennie has made Walker into a man we loathe but also fear. Well done sir.

Lou Diamond Philips worked his “shot” a** off as Henry/New Hector in this season and the man showed that, without a doubt,  he still has massive chops.

The remainder of the cast also turn in star performances each episode and a huge honorable mention goes to Cassidy Freeman as Cady Longmire. That shot  in the finale where she cradles the massive check from Nighthorse is priceless. Cady is torn about her pride of achievement and it shows on her face, there are not many who can convey that sort of emotion with just a look. 

All who want Netflix to continue airing Longmire should make sure they vote on the episodes of season four as, according to sources, the star rating will ensure a favorable response from those who matter.  This season has been well worth the wait and the time spent watching.

‘Longmire’ Episode 9 Season 4: Shotgun (Review)

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In Longmire, episode 8, titled Shotgun, we pick right up where Hector Lives ended, with Tyler Malone being shot by a .410 snake slayer and Walt firing in the dark at a fleeing figure.  This week the episode starts out at a pretty hectic pace. The suspects are about to depart the crime scene, Walt tries to help the wounded Malone, Henry and Gab run from the area and finally Trot Simic is arrested as they let everyone else leave. Malone is rushed to hospital in Walt’s vehicle.

Gab waits for Henry and the two drive off in his truck, Walt questions the wounded man in the back of the car. Meanwhile Henry passes out from the .30 calibre slug  he got from Walt.

Longmire realizes at the hospital that he may be dealing with two different killers and Henry realizes he has his best friends bullet in his bum.  As the doctor removes the slugs from Tyler, Henry asks Gab to help him remove the bullet from his wound.

He puts the handle of his knife between his teeth and when Gab attempts to remove the slug, he screams in pain. The young woman then tells Henry she cannot take out the bullet and he has to use his Hector pliers to remove the slug. Bellowing in pain, he uses the pliers and collapses.

Walker Browning confronts Walt about two of his men, both rape suspects, dying and Gab patches Henry up. He tells the young woman she should have left and Gab confesses that she thought about it. She then tells him that she could not leave Hector to die. “I’m not Hector,” Henry tells her. She replies:

“What you said, while you were beating that scumbag?

It was in my note, word for word.

If you’re not Hector you should stop reading his mail.”

Henry tells the woman that they both have a secret to protect.

The tension in this episode is high. Henry’s struggle to move Gab out of harm’s way. Walt trying to catch Gab after initially denying that she was most likely Tyler Malone’s killer. Zach’s discovery that Monte had been tailing him and everyone connected with Longmire. Cady’s decision to lie about not seeing Henry with Gab. All these combine to add to the turmoil.

*Sidenote*  Walt knows that his daughter is lying, you can see it in his eyes.

Browning is becoming even more antagonistic toward Walt and Vic finally gets together with Eamon. Apart from all the relationships shifting in this season and these episodes, Shotgun  shows Henry and Walt struggling on parallel journeys. Walt is seeking answers while Henry seeks justice for Gab, initially, and then seeks the Crow Medicine Woman who can help Gab escape.

This episode, more than any other, points out the hostility between the local Cheyenne tribe and the white legal system. For example, when Vic goes to the bar looking for a lead on which women were at the Res at the party, she is hindered in her search for Laila Bixby (Alicia Urizar). 

The deputy is tripped by another woman and it results in an injury requiring treatment.  Later, when they go to see Gab and question Sam Poteet and a strung out Linda, Gab’s mother, Sam questions Mathias’ presence. One imagines that the tribal lawman will be facing some strong animosity from the Cheyenne people because of his cooperation with Walt.

After Walt talks with Laila, who tells Officer Mathias (Zahn McClarnon) that her rescuer had no face and was Tsitsistas, the tribal lawman explains that the term means “ourselves.” In other words that it was another  Cheyenne  who saved Laila from being Malone’s second victim.

The fleeing couple, Gab and Henry, get another car, after Gabriel threatens the woman and after she gets the keys, Gab strides to the station wagon to find Henry already in the passenger’s seat. “Shotgun,” he says wearily as she grabs the car door and closes it.

Episode 9 is all about threats, anger, animosity, and struggle. Henry’s and Gab’s journey is so full of struggle and pain that it is almost epic. There are a few moments of humor. Mathias tells Walt he really needs to release Trot Simic as Walker Browning “knows his way around the law.”

Longmire releases Simic and then arrests him again. Ferg reads Trot his rights while taking him back upstairs to the cell. Vic and Eamon getting together has a comic feel to it, or at least amusing and the interaction between Walt and the doctor does as well. Walt brings Donna Sue his copy of John Donne’s poetry:

“I know you’re busy, but you said you enjoyed him.”

“No, I didn’t. I-I-I said I had to read him in college.”

“Oh. Give it back.”

“No, it’s mine. You just gave it to me.”

Sadly, this “cute” moment between the two is interrupted by Walker Browning who is upset that Tyler Malone just died. He blames Walt who then implies that Browning may have done it. Emotions are running high from all concerned and Walker is sure that Longmire is responsible for his men’s death.

The long painful journey of Henry and Gab ends at the Crow reservation. They finally reach the Medicine Woman’s wheel and shots ring out. Henry throws up his hands and bellows out:

“Stop! I have been shot at enough for one day!”

The woman comes out and gives him one minute to explain why he is there. After he starts talking she smashes him across the face with her rifle butt, Henry collapses.

This penultimate episode is all go from frame one.  By the time the end credits roll, Henry is flat on his back on the ground. Walt now thinks that Browning killed Balint, Cady sides with Henry, and Zach may be in trouble. Season four is zooming to its conclusion and things are coming to a head. More importantly, Mathias confirms that there is a new Hector.

Episode 10, What Happens on the Rez looks to be a continuance of this intensity.

Kudos to Tantoo Cardinal as the medicine woman, she is only on screen for a split second in this episode but what an entrance.

Lou Diamond Philips and Julia Jones, as Gab, own this episode full stop. The two are a great double act in their flight to the Crow Medicine Woman’s camp.  Shotgun is Longmire gold and it looks like the finale may well be platinum.