In Absaroka County, there are no endings. Everything is cyclical. We are all a part of a larger, living, breathing world. These are lessons that we often hear about in Native American teachings, and this philosophy was at the root of the Longmire season 6 finale. This was an emotional, heartfelt hour anchored by an incredible performance by Robert Taylor, and one that also offered up just about as much closure as you’re going to get for a show that never will have an ending.
The main event of the hour seems clear: Walt Longmire is no longer Sheriff. Following the advice of Lucian Connally, he opted to turn in his badge after Malachi Strand was dead and the county’s immediate future was secure. He didn’t want to stay on the job too long and realized that there could still be a future for him elsewhere. Do you really think that Walt is going to stay out of trouble in his retirement? It’s hard to imagine it. His relationship with Vic finally turned romantic, and now that he’s not her superior that does away with one big conflict of interest. What their future holds is unclear but their scene the morning after sleeping together was one of their best. They recognize that they cannot replace some of what they’ve each lost, and they just have to plot their own path forward.
Walt now faces a future doing anything he wants, whether it be treasure-hunting, raising horses, or actually embracing a little bit of change. Him getting a cell phone was a big step forward — he now recognizes the value in someone knowing and understanding that he’s safe.
For Henry, his closure comes now in being the leader that people on the reservation deserve. Jacob Nighthorse showed that he wasn’t entirely evil; his viewpoints where just skewed and distorted. He did right here and there by the tribe only to fail them in other ways. He failed them all financially and by cutting corners; while Walt made sure that he didn’t die at Malachi’s hand, that doesn’t mean he is free from prison. Nighthorse giving control of the Four Arrows over to Henry shows that he understands the right thing to do — give the job to an honorable man, even if the casino is not exactly an honorable place all of the time. Henry has enough moral ambiguity to tackle that while also doing the right thing.
If you do want to quibble with one part of the finale, it’s probably Cady making the decision to suddenly run for Sheriff while also pondering a move to New York City. This does keep Longmire cyclical in that having a Longmire look after Absaroka seems appropriate; yet, we probably would’ve preferred to see Vic go for that title and Cady work her way up, provided that this is what she wanted to do; or, just find another way to help from a legal vantage point, even if her resources apparently were dried up on the reservation.
We’re assuming that The Ferg found a way to win over Meg (he was certainly trying hard), and it was great to see Zachary finally get himself back on the force after losing that chance back in season 4. Also, he and Cady continue to be together for now. You can see the road ahead for these characters, but it’s far from paved out. It’s a trial of dirt, one that could be easily covered up by indiscretions or other changes in their lives. Maybe that’s frustrating to some, but with this world such uncertainty feels perfect.
The Longmire season 6 finale was a fantastic end to the series, provided that it is the end of the road. While we were concerned as of a few episodes ago that there wasn’t enough time to offer up closure for some of these characters, the producers did find a way to pull most of it off and deliver something that feels true to the show.
What did you think about the Longmire season 6 finale? Did it give you enough of a satisfying conclusion? Share in the comments!