The season five finale of Longmire feels like a show in meltdown, or at the very least, on its way out. “The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of” manages to put Walt and Henry in jeopardy, from two different agencies. Ironically, Cady – who is being adopted by the tribe – is directly responsible for putting Henry in harm’s way.
It has already been officially announced that Longmire will end after the next season and while fans may be upset at the news there are an equal number who feel the show has lost its way. Whether that is the case, or just the way the storyline is unfolding this season is not clear.
The finale manages to cram quite a lot of things into one hour. Henry returning the plastic indian and cowboy (a sign of his and Walt’s friendship) with a note saying “Remember the asymptote.” For those who are not math oriented, asymptote is a line (basically).
So his best friend is saying, in essence, that Walt crossed the line with his attack on him. It also means that the two are going to go through a cool-down period. The friends will not be very close for some time. If ever again after this.
This is something that Walt has been doing a lot of this season. He has been distancing himself from everyone. Vic, Cady, Donna (while not as obvious he is still removing himself from that possible relationship) and now Henry.
But more disturbing is Walt’s increased obsession with Jacob NIghthorse. In Walt’s mind Nighthorse is the root of all evil and it has blinded him to the more obvious suspect Malachi. Longmire’s insistence that Jacob killed his former security chief even convinces Henry, although he asks Nighthorse if he did circle back and kill Malachi.
Walt is not just distancing himself he is being circled by the hungry wolves who want to build up the area that he owns. The mayor, who offers to get rid of the sheriff in an earlier episode, has now taken action to have Walt removed from office.
The wrongful death suit being pursued by Tucker Baggett is a ploy intended to break Walt and force him to give up the land.The mayor is also all about “progress” so clearly their is a conspiracy afoot to have Walt taken down.
Leaving the lawsuit and all it stands for, there is the Chance Gilbert storyline. He asks Walt to help him be transferred to death row. Longmire refuses. The sheriff knows that losing his freedom is the worst possible punishment for Gilbert.
Vic, however, decides that a move to death row is just what she needs. She goes to see Gilbert and tells him she supports his request. Vic wants the man dead and out of her thoughts. Chance then tells her about the murder weapon he used to kill the man in the freezer.
She goes to retrieve it and is attacked seconds after finding it. When she returns home, Travis insists she go to the hospital. Vic agrees to go the next day and the ultrasound shows the baby is fine.
The whole Travis and Vic storyline feels forced and just a little off-kilter. That may well be down to the Vic and Walt thing, but Travis just seems like a total mismatch.
Cady is overjoyed when Mandy’s aunt wants to adopt her into the tribe. She has a vision while in “The Sweat” showing an empty sheriff’s office and Henry hanging from a tree. Henry also takes a call from his mobile phone while swinging in the wind.
(The shot of Cady walking barefoot through a bloody floor is impressive and eye-catching. Very cinematic in nature and almost beautiful in its simplicity.)
Walt’s daughter agrees to represent Darius which results in his being released and therefore able to help Malachi in the beating and kidnapping of Henry. At the end of the show, Standing Bear is staked to the ground on the Crow reservation.
By the end of the episode Walt learns that Tucker Baggett was Barlow Connelly’s best buddy and as such plans on destroying Walt and getting his land. Henry is in a life or death situation and Cady is in the sweat lodge.
Vic is, apparently, thinking of being with Travis and Longmire is all alone.
After last season’s cracking finish, which was, quite frankly, always going to be difficult to top, this season opts to leave Henry in deep trouble and Walt about to lose everything he cares for.
We care, obviously, about both men but Walt seems to be on a self destructive course this year. He has shut out Cady, become obsessive about Jacob Nighthorse, attacked his best friend and he has even managed to distance himself from Donna.
Walt is a man flailing about this season. He even goes to have a drink with Vic, only to find she has left for the day. In this season it has been suggested that Walt quit, or retire…numerous times.
This could well be the theme of season six, the final season, since the court case will still be looming over Walt’s head when the last season starts.
(One last look at the sweat lodge vision. After Jacob’s moment in the montage with his golf club, there is an owl sitting on a bare branch. The creature is clearly hooting in the daylight. In Native American culture the owl is a sign of death and in other cultures hearing an owl hoot in the daytime is also a sign of impending death.)
The prospects are grim. Henry is out on the Crow reservation and unless he gets help will die. Vic may be pregnant through the upcoming season and Cady may be so enamored of becoming an honorary Cheyenne that she may be of no help to anyone.
There may be some hope for Walt from an unlikely source however. Jacob Nighthorse may just help Longmire out in the lawsuit. This will not be for any particularly noble reason but to show the lawman that he is not he boogeyman that Walt insists he is.
Regardless of how the new season starts out, it is going to be a long wait for Longmire fans. One thing is certain though, even with the jarring aspects of season five, Longmire is still quality television. The cowboy cop will definitely be missed when he is gone.
- 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
- Ally Walker – Dr. Donna Sue Monaghan
- Graham Greene – Malachi Strand
- A Martinez – Jacob Nighthorse
- Louanne Stephens – Ruby
- Dan Donohue – Eddie Harp
- Derek Phillips – Travis Murphy
- Patch Darragh – Dave Milgrom
- Brett Rice – Tucker Baggett
- Joseph Daniel Havenstar – Darius
- Tamara Duarte – Mandy
Guest Starring Peter Stormare as Chance Gilbert.