On the third episode of “Longmire” season 4, we saw the Netflix revival take what is probably the biggest risk we’ve seen on the series to date. The writers could have easily saved the Walt versus Barlow showdown until the finale, but instead they decided to go ahead and close the door on what happened to Martha, the death of Branch, and really the core of the series’ origin.
From here, we had a chance to move forward, though it is very clear in episode 4 that Walt is still struggling to deal with the demons of fighting Barlow on his own front steps. The opening scene involving the removal of the blood and the rebuilding was poignant and a little heartbreaking; yet, through this and Walt changing his answering machine, maybe he got a little bit of catharsis and now can start to focus on moving forward in his life.
It probably would have helped Walt’s emotional state greatly if he was not forced to deal almost immediately with the opening of Nighthorse’s casino Four Arrows right away. Walt is right that this is a shady guy, but not in the exact reasons he suspects. His forced apology to him as a means to forge a better relationship, (one that was ultimately short-lived) also ranks high among the episode’s uncomfortable moments.
The majority of this hour was fixated around the murder of a young woman whose body was discovered in a suitcase aboard a bus that had been involved in a crash on the way to the casino. This was basically just like the pilot for “Blindspot” minus the tattoos and the fact that the “Blindspot” character was still alive. This was a procedural case, but for the most part an interesting one since it finally brought us to the casino, and showed us that Walt can still investigate even while dealing with emotional trauma.
We also had our first look in this episode at Josh Cooke, who is playing fellow officer Eamonn O’Neill. He came by from a nearby county to help out, but his relationship with Walt soured almost immediately after he roped the media in to his investigation, something that violated a deal Walt had with Nighthorse. Also, maybe Walt just isn’t trusting of many newcomers at the moment. Eamonn thought it was jealousy of the time he had with Vic, and that’s something that will need to be explored as we go along. We do feel bad for Josh Cooke, though, given that he always plays guys who never seem to get their way. Look at what happened to his character on “Dexter”!
The weakest part of the episode is once again (much like episode 2) the murder motive, which seemed to come almost out of left field and was somewhat glossed-over in the midst of an emotional conversation. One thing, meanwhile, that we are really liking is Henry trying to become Hector to people on the reservation, but realizing that it is very hard to operate in the shadows. Walt had to work with the tribal police briefly after Henry was seen in the middle of his latest mission: Helping a mother and her child after incidents of domestic violence.
Overall, another solid “Longmire” episode, and we’re thrilled that we still have six more to go. Grade: B+.
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