‘Longmire’ season 5 premiere review: Clues in a haze

Longmire -

To think, it has been more than 365 days since we previously reviewed an episode of “Longmire.” That’s a long time! We are therefore happy to be back on the job today, kicking off our first of what will be ten reviews taking place over the course of the next ten days.

For the sake of the season premiere, we saw a story that was all about Walt Longmire trying to seek justice for what was at its core a mystery: What happened to him and Donna at the end of last season. He knew there was an attack, but that was all remembered. Cady found him and brought him to the hospital, which began a “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” sort of series of escapades for Robert Taylor’s character throughout the premiere. Maybe it was his ego, or maybe it was the exhaustion. Either way, he refused to believe the possibility for the longest time that the killer was anyone other than Walker Browning or someone else targeting him. By the time he was convinced that Donna may have been the target, the investigation was made all of the more challenging. Walt was on the brink of passing out and heavily-medicated. Meanwhile, Vic and the rest of the Sheriff’s office was forced to look into someone from another county, and not even someone they particularly knew well.

While the investigation proved compelling, we cannot say we left the premiere with a happy ending. Instead, the Coroner called Walt to inform him of a blonde Jane Doe victim that could match the description of Donna. We’re not watching these episodes ahead and cannot say for sure she’s a goner; for now, it’s not looking great.

Performance-wise, Taylor and the rest of the cast remained true to the characters, but we do continue to have a frustration of the writing towards Vic. We were so impressed with her forcing Walt to take his medication, even shoving it in his mouth and making him swallow. Why take his admission that he needs sleep later at face value? That felt like a bit of a stretch that she’d be willing to accept that. We’re sure some also questioned her hospital kiss, but we didn’t quite mind that. That was her chance to get her feelings off of her chest in the only way she knew how.

Speaking of getting feelings into the open, seeing Cady admit to her father the truth about her new job was a small but effective scene in the episode, as was Henry realizing that Mathias had him precisely where he wanted him, and he’d manipulate Hector to do work on the reservation; otherwise, Henry could head back to prison.

While we won’t say episode 1 of this season was perfect or gave us everything we wanted (we do feel like Henry and Cady were pushed to the side slightly), there was tremendous entertainment in seeing Walt sort through the blur of his mind to understand what happened, and there was solid police work from Vic and The Ferg in the process. Overall, this premiere made the lengthy wait worth it. Grade: B+.

You can see further “Longmire” news and reviews over at the link here; come back tomorrow for a review of episode 2! Also, sign up over at this link to score some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Netflix.)

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