The season 4 premiere of “Longmire” for the most part was excellent, as it dropped a pretty major surprise. Of course, there are SPOILERS ahead from episode 2, and for those who missed it, we are reviewing an episode a day until season 4 is complete.
Going into the show’s run on Netflix, one of the things we were curious to see is if the show was going to keep mostly to the spirit that it had on A&E. With this, we mean mainly seeing if they would continue to have procedural elements while still stretching out a story over the course of all the episodes. There’s less of a need to have each episode stand on its own, and therefore the writers had the freedom to do what they wanted.
At first, we admit that we were a little taken aback that the show decided to go a one-shot route with the whole mystery revolving around the Japanese internment camp and the man locked up there to die. It didn’t connect much to what happened to Branch, and it took up a good majority of the episode.
Then, the more that we thought about it, the more it does make sense and these cases are in many ways a part of the spirit of the show. They give us the cultural road map of Walt Longmire’s world, and make it clear that just because there is a major case on his mind, he cannot stop working on everything else. Taking on this case, which did have a motive that is still a little sketchy to us (we understand that this went back generations, but the victim was not directly responsible for all of it), was just a part of the job for Walt.
We did not make any huge progress with Branch in this episode either, other than maybe learning a little more about how his body was placed at the river and the scene was staged. Mostly, this could be assumed, but the show is clearly slow-playing this at the moment.
To us, one of the more intriguing aspects of season 4 is seeing the build of Henry into the new “Hector,” helping people of the tribal community in any way he knows how. This is him making the most of what he feels is a second chance, and maybe it also helps him handle being a part of a job he no longer enjoys as much as the Red Pony now that Malachi has more control over it.
As a whole, episode 2 (entitled “War Eagle” after the camp) was somewhat of a step down in terms of revelations, but still a solid “Longmire” episode that shows that while many things have changed for the series, many others have stayed the same. Grade: B.
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