TV Underdogs: Our hope for ‘Longmire’ season 5 and Henry Standing Bear

LongmireThe reality is that it will probably be some time before we hear any concrete news about “Longmire” season 5. Scripts are being written at the moment, but production has yet to start and question marks are juggling around in the air.

We’ve spent some time already pondering about what lies ahead for Walt Longmire; heck, we even wrote a lengthy piece about it over the holiday break. What we are here to do now is look more at the future for Henry Standing Bear. Lou Diamond Phillips was fantastic through season 4, and he had a story that took him long and far down the Hector trail. Is this something that he can or will continue, or should he consider going about some of his work in a safer fashion? These are things that we will examine in the latest edition of our daily TV Underdogs article series.

Why he’s an underdog – You only have to look at the character’s trajectory. Being a Native American man in the 21st century is challenge, let alone one who was behind bars for a portion of season 3 and someone who has had the Red Pony snatched away from him. He’s become a proponent of vigilante justice ever since, but that has led to mixed results after putting himself in harm’s way extensively in the case of Gabriella Langton. Henry is a man battling to defy the odds, and while you may not agree with all of his methods sometimes, that does not make them any less compelling. He’s a character you want the best for when the dust settles.

Why we don’t see more of him – This applies more to some of our past TV Underdogs than Henry, given that the character does get a good bit of face time already. However, one of the challenges to include the character in more of season 4 was that he was often doing his own thing without the knowledge of many of the other regulars. While that did not make him an adversary per se, it did force him to hide many of his true motives and keep his actions quiet. With matters more out in the open, this could easily change.

Ways to give him more airtime – One thing we’d personally love see Henry do is serve as more of a liaison of sorts between Mathias and Walt, someone who can cater to the best interests of the tribal community with passion, and someone who is trusted by many of them. Also, his hands are not so tied like they are with Mathias, and so long as they are on the same page, they could be more of a force to be reckoned with. Whether or not that happens, given the shared history of these three characters as recently as this past season, would be the challenge.

We don’t always advocate for love interests since it can at times be an easy move, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a Henry story that tackles this subject and there are some interesting vulnerabilities that could be explored here. He’s someone who has a tendency to be rather guarded just like his friend Walt, so what happens when those walls are down?

We’ll have some further “Longmire” news as we get further along in the year; for now, we hope that you’ll keep reading, and you can head over here to sign up for updates via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Netflix.)

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