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

longmire-robert-taylor

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.

Cast:

 

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

longmire-robert-taylor

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.


Cast:

 

Santa Clarita Diet: We Can Kill People – Cole (Review)

Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet

Episode three of Santa Clarita Diet “We Can Kill People” jumps things into high gear as Sheila’s appetite gets almost out of control. It has been days since she ate parts of Gary. (She moans about all the meat that she wasted to Joel who replies that there was over 150 pounds of Gary left, there was no way she could have polished the new realtor off.)

The couple decide that since the meat must be fresh, it is now okay to kill people who are evil or the dregs of society. Meanwhile Dan is still sniffing around and asking questions about that ant spray.

Abby and Eric decide to help Sarah take revenge on Cole after he dumps the teenager. He is a guy who sells pot to minors, according to Sarah and while the kids plan their revenge, Joel and Sheila decide that the “drug dealer” and “pedophile” will be the perfect snack to end Sheila’s enforced diet.

This episode of Santa Clarita Diet was a real treat. The sight of the real estate couple dressed in clear rain macs, with hoods and rubber gloves, was funny but not as funny as Joel bonding with Sheila’s not so “happy meal.” He learns that Cole sells great weed and that he is not a “pedo” and that he dumped Sarah when he found out she was not 21.

After Joel and Sheila let Cole go, Abby and her friends stage a commando type raid on Cole’s house, where Abby dons a gas mask and rescues the blue sweater she bought her BFF Sarah. Out of the three main characters, Abby is turning out to be the coolest in a crisis.

Her parents continue to adapt to their new lifestyle. Sheila realizes that  frozen food is almost as good as fresh and she decides that they will buy a new freezer to keep her next meal in. She can then carve off what she needs with less waste.

Another comic highlight of the episode has Sheila attacking the douchebag driver of the car that Joel bumps into. The man is aggressive and foul and Sheila leaps on him in mid-rant and bites out his carotid artery.

While it still seems like Dan, the policeman neighbor who is far too interested in what Joel was spraying on his lawn, could be in-line to be a meal for Sheila, the newest victim may keep him alive that little bit longer.

Santa Clarita Diet has managed to mix slapstick type comedy with odd and quirky. It also gives us a chance to laugh at incongruity of the situation. Joel’s calm, yet glassy-eyed, acceptance of his wife’s new condition as a zombie and Abby’s confidence in going along for the ride.

The series is on Netflix, as an original offering and can be streamed or downloaded to watch offline.  The show’s creator; Victor Fresco, has knocked it out of the park with this one and this comedy horror is genuinely funny. Head on over and check this one out. 

Cast:

Guest starring Matt O’Leary as Cole, Kaylee Bryant as Sarah and Richard T. Jones as Rick

Santa Clarita Diet: We Can’t Kill People (Recap/Review)

Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet

Santa Clarita Diet “We Can’t Kill People” continues the hilarity and the premise of the show. How to survive dying, by vomiting up an organ, but coming back to life as a flesh eating and pretty much fully functioning zombie. (Or Mombie…)

The latest episode appeared to give a nod to “The Lost Boys,” or maybe even the comic book guy on “The Simpsons,” with the next door neighbor geek teen who takes Abby down to his comic book store hangout. The same place where he learns about zombies a’la the Frog brothers.

(A comic highlight – no pun intended- was Abby’s attack on the comic book guy running the store. After his repeating the “30 seconds” mantra that one time too many, she grabs him by the neck and slams him to the floor. The mantra ceases. “I think you were right,” she tells Eric, “I am going to like this place.”)

In this episode of Santa Clarita Diet Joel and Sheila dispose of Gary’s remains  by depositing them in a hole dug by Joel in the desert. Abby and Eric arrive and this causes her parents to panic. Spilling the plastic box full of Gary on the ground.

Joel and Sheila manage to argue throughout the episode. Firstly about the missing lid on the box, that Sheila could not find. Then they argue about the eating of flesh. (Since eating Gary, who had two very small balls, Sheila cannot eat package raw meat. Nor can she eat the dead foot they buy for $400 later.)

Dan, the cop next door is suspicious about the chemical that he saw Joel spraying on his grass and comes to investigate. It seems pretty easy money to bet on Eric’s stepdad as being the next victim of Sheila.

This episode had the very funny running argument of “yeah but maybe its not,” between Joel and Sheila. Sheila chasing the rooster down next door while wearing a transparent rain mac and hood was a show stopper and it seemed certain that the hospital orderly was so going to die…

Sheila, besides wanting to constantly hump like a “rescue dog at Rite Aid,” has become more assertive, almost aggressive one could say. It works out well this week as she manages to sell the Peterson’s house because of it.

Joel almost being committed after meeting with Dr. Hasmedi was brilliant and helps us to place him in this the comedy. He will be the one who tries the hardest to normalize the family’s new truth.

Abby moves up a notch to compete squarely with her parents as a comic torch.

Olyphant and Barrymore are perfect together. It is easy to forget that both these actors kill it with comedy. Timothy may have run with the Elmore Leonard country cop series Justified, and he can do a real mean Clint Eastwood impression (Rango) but the actor may well make his fans forget all that.

Liv Hewson is spot on as Abby, the newly rebellious teen “I’m going to be swearing in front of you a lot now.” She is as comically astute as the rest of this excellent cast.

The guest star list is impressive, Nathan Fillion as victim number one and Patton Oswalt as the virologist who wants Joel committed were both brilliant.

Santa Clarita Diet is a real winner on Netflix and should be watched…right now.  The series can be streamed or downloaded for offline viewing. Check it out.

Cast:

Guest starring Patton Oswalt as Dr. Charles Hasmedi, Roxana Ortega as Dr. Hernandez and Adam Rose as the orderly. 

Dr Ken: A Dr. Ken Valentine’s Day – Was That a ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ Reference? (Review)

 DANA LEE, JUSTIN CHON, KRISTA MARIE YU, SUZY NAKAMURA, KEN JEONG, ALBERT TSAI

Dr. Ken continues to shake things up a bit with a sly reference to a new Netflix show.  Initially it seemed that the show that “everyone is binging” on the platform might have been Stranger Things. However, the response of “zombies” means it can only be Santa Clarita Diet. You have to love a show that brings topical humor with a capital T.

“A Dr. Ken Valentine’s Day” gives us a generational look at the “corporate” holiday. We see it from Dave and Emily’s viewpoint (Ken Jeong’s daughter Zooey reprises her role as the practically silent girlfriend of Dave.), Ken and Allison, Molly and Jae as well as D.K. all have a different understanding of the holiday focussed on true love.

We also see Clark and Connor, still very much in love and caught up in the wonder of each other. Pat manages to get a date with Megan, the woman he tried to con into believing that Dave was his adopted son and Damona ends up telling Eric about dating Pat.

The story:

Allison sends Ken a text saying that she does not want to do anything for Valentine’s Day. She tells him that laying around the house in her sweatpants is her plan for the holiday.

Clark sets up an intricate scavenger hunt which will lead Connor to a romantic gift of love. He asks Ken to drop off the box in the sculpture garden near his home. Clark then learns that Damona never told Eric about dating Pat after she reveals that their Valentine’s Day dinner will be at a steakhouse they discovered.

Dave is cooking a romantic meal for Emily, with help from D.K. while Molly and Jae are doing nothing for the day; opting to “Netflix it” on the couch. Things get complicated when Dave asks Ken to read the poem he wrote for Emily.

Ken recommends dropping the poem. Later, Allison gets emotional when Dave’s roses for Emily are delivered and she believes that Ken got them for her. She is now regretting her decision to ignore the holiday. Allison then discovers the poem and she thinks that Ken wrote it for her.

Connor and Clark are at the sculpture garden when they learn that Ken did not drop off the gift box as promised. Clark is furious and calls Ken repeatedly. Dave’s meal is ruined and Allison learns that the poem was written by her son for Emily and not by Ken.

Damona and Eric see Pat with Megan at the steakhouse. Megan goes to the restroom and after a very long period of time everyone believes Pat’s date left him in the restaurant. Eric invites Pat to join them at their table.

Ken makes a “sketchy” reservation to apologize to Allison, Connor gets his gift, an email that Clark sent Damona the day after they met, Dave and Emily get past their dinner disaster, Molly and Jae make use of Ken’s reservation and he gets Molly a teddy bear.

Pat learns that Megan did not desert him at the steakhouse after all, she got trapped in the ladies room, and Eric is okay with the news that his girl dated her colleague.

Standout Moments:

Pat’s re-entry into the room to speak with Megan.

Dave’s creme brule gag.

D.K. and Dave’s double act.

Allison’s reaction to the poem.

Pat, Damona and Eric “Sometimes a lot of fun together.”

Megan and Pat.

The “Simpson’s” shot on the sofa with the (possible) reference to the new Netflix show Santa Clarita Diet.

Clark and his reactions to Ken’s forgetting the gift placement.

The cute “flat, warm coke” story about Ken and Allison’s first Valentine’s Day together.

Connor and Clark.

Final Thoughts:

The added bonus of having a second season with a full order of episodes allows Dr. Ken the latitude of being self referential and topical.  The Netflix binging reference, which may or may not be SCD, was brilliant but so too was the return of Megan. “The one that got away.”

It was also nice to see this follow up the Pat/Damona romance after it was made abundantly clear that they both still have feelings about one another. In a perfect Dr. Ken world, these two would eventually get back together. If not, then at least Pat seems to have found a spiritual twin, if not soulmate in Megan.

Molly and Jae (Krista Marie Yu and Justin Chon) could win the perfect couple of the year award. These two young performers look great together and their character’s seem so in sync that they should never break up on the show.

D.K. and Dave are still the perfect double act and the return of Emily was perfect. Zooey Jeong is clearly a chip off the old block. The storyline with Allison and Ken proved once again that these two are the best television husband/wife team on offer.

Suzy Nakamura not only has comedy chops for days but she can exude emotional sincerity almost effortlessly.  The ongoing storyline of Connor and Clark is touching and funny. May these two never ever break up.

Guest star Gillian Vigman killed it as the adoptive mum who gives Pat a second chance. Hopefully she will return and make Pat complete. She and Dave Foley made a brilliant temporary couple.

Dr. Ken airs Fridays on ABC. Tune in for your weekly ration of fun and laughs courtesy of this brilliant ensemble team. On a sidenote, if the characters were not talking about Santa Clarita Diet, what other zombie show is worth binging on Netflix? Answers on a postcard please, or in the comment section below.

Cast:

 

Guest starring Zooey Jeong as Emily and Gillian Vigman as Megan.