Thursday marks the season 4 premiere of “Longmire” on Netflix, and with that, we begin what will be hopefully an enjoyable next week and a half covering a show that we do very much love.
Part of the craziness that comes with writing about a Netflix series, is avoiding the temptations that come with watching a show in a vacuum. We assume that there are some out there who have already seen the first four or five episodes of the show, and are reading this review with more knowledge than we do as someone who has only seen the premiere. For us, the question that we have resounding through our head is “what just happened”?
You see, the premiere made a very good effort to show to us that Branch (Bailey Chase) is gone from the show and dead. If this is true, then the show pulled off one of the greatest fake-outs in recent TV history. Chase is credited online as being a part of this season, and we even saw him in the trailer, which we thought was a pretty good giveaway that Barlow shot him in the closing seconds of season 3.
Yet, in this episode, we saw his body in river, seemingly dead as a result of a suicide. There was a note, and most of the evidence lined up in such a way that made it very convincing that there could be no other truth. However, enter Walt Longmire, a man who never leaves anything alone until satisfied. He was intent on it being murder, with Jacob Nighthorse being the likely killer given his ties to murder of Walt’s wife, and also the expose that happened with David Ridges. This led to that insane confrontation at the end of the episode, which almost felt more like a mob movie than anything else.
Walt is in the dark regarding Barlow’s actions with what happened to his son, and that is the puzzle piece that he’ll need to pick up to start to connect the dots. Robert Taylor played a tortured soul very well in this premiere, though additional credit has to go to Katee Sackhoff for having the most emotionally poignant moment of the hour, breaking down in hysterics after killing a possum, allowing this moment to be what took her to that point after sifting through the layers of guilt in her head.
Is Branch truly gone? We’re starting to be like one of those UFO conspiracy theorists in thinkin that maybe this entire “death” was a set-up, so we will see. All we’ll say is that if he is in fact alive, the show has a long ways to go to have it feel believable. As it was, this was a gripping, powerful start to season 4, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for it to be on Netflix. We feel it having more creative freedom already, and it is allowed to run for however long it wants. Episode Grade: A-.
You’re going to be able to see the rest of our “Longmire” coverage throughout the season on our official show page! Also, sign up now in the event you want some other TV news on all we cover, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Netflix.)