When it comes to presenting the most surprising story twist, nothing on “Longmire” season 4 is probably going to top the third episode and the confrontation between Barlow and Walt Longmire, leading to the death of the former and the end of the Martha mystery.
Yet, there was something still magical about some of the events of episode 5, mostly notably Walt finally letting loose of the guilt he has felt over Branch, and that maybe there is something he could have done to keep him from going down the path that lead to his eventual death (which, by the way, we are still not entirely over). Through most of the episode, he put a series of candidates through the wringer, testing them as to how they could handle every aspect of being a potential deputy. Through most of this, Walt seemed intent on finding something wrong, whether it be a behavioral issue, something in their past, or just something as simple as bad intuition.
Then, there was Zachary. Despite somewhat of a checkered past of his own, there was a sense of inner peace that he carried. He did not follow the rules verbatim, but he still understood the rules and was clearly not in this business for the glory. This was the man that Walt was looking for, and after one last test (telling the remaining candidates they were not worthy) and hearing his story about losing his brother, Zachary got the job.
Zachary is played by Barry Sloane, who was very good on “Revenge” but may be even greater here. Through this episode, we really do like this character and his unique philosophy on life. It may take some time for him to replace Branch on that sign outside the door of the office, but he is making his way there.
When it comes to the Robin Hood sort of story regarding the drug trade for veterans who need them, let’s just say that it was complicated. We’re never as big on the show’s procedural elements, but we like how they took on a complex moral issue here. Veterans do need more support when it comes to their mental health, but there is a right and wrong way to go about being a catalyst for change. Breaking the law and putting lives in jeopardy is not it. Eventually the case was settled, but not before Walt was at gunpoint and that his intuition was not 100% correct.
For the most part in this episode Vic and Henry’s stories took somewhat of a backseat, but we were fine with that given that through this episode, we feel like Walt may finally have the tools to start to move forward. Season 4, now that we are at the halfway point, it looking like it may be the finest yet. Grade: A.
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