Writing reviews on movies and TV shows is a difficult task for me. It doesn’t come as naturally as writing reviews on consumer electronics, I debated even attempting this review for that very reason. You don’t find me writing much over here on MOARGeek for the simple reason that I’m more plugged in to the tech world than the entertainment world. So plugged in that I completely missed one of my favorite shows last season (Blacklist) and haven’t even attempted going back to watch any of the episodes. But there was one single show, one shining diamond among the tumbleweeds that stole some time away from my schedule. This is my review of Longmire Season 4 on Netflix.
The first time I flipped on Longmire, then on A&E, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew one thing and one thing only, Katee Sackhoff had a role in the series, and I wasn’t thrilled with her performance in Battlestar Galactica. I know I’ll probably catch some flack for that from those geeks who thought that series was brilliant. What I did know for certain was that I wanted to watch something different for a change, something that wasn’t a rehash of an old TV show, something fresh. So I went in hoping against all hope that Longmire might be that something, and it completely rocked my TV-watching world.
From the very first episode the principal character, Walt Longmire, resonated with me in such an impactful way, I was instantly hooked. I like to think of the character as a cross between John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. The man has a deep wisdom and demeanor about him that you can’t help but respect and want to emulate. But at the same time he holds somewhat of a grip of fear on you because you know that he’s a badass cowboy. Walt Longmire has reinvigorated and reinvented the Hollywood cowboy.
Warning: Spoilers are ahead…
Chances are if you’re reading this you know the backstory already and are up to speed on where Season 3 left off. Season 4 picks up Walt and his crew searching for Branch Connally, hoping he’s still alive. We quickly find out that Branch is no longer among the living, and that sends a crushing blow through the department and Absaroka County. At first, Branch’s death looks like a suicide complete with note and all. Walt wasn’t completely convinced that this was self-inflicted and pushed himself to find evidence to the contrary. Walt did discover a clue that leads him on through the series to find Branch’s killer.
Walt’s prime suspect and one of the show’s principal protagonists is Jacob Nighthorse, the owner of the Cheyenne casino Walt’s late wife fought to keep from being built. Walt’s distaste of Nighthorse drives him to push for evidence he perceives is there which clouds some of his judgement in many situations. Through the series, as cases come and go, we find out that Nighthorse was not involved in Branch’s murder, but Branch’s father, Barlow Connally, was. Barlow killed his own son because Branch found out that Barlow had Walt’s wife murdered to make way for the casino that Nighthorse built, unbeknownst to Nighthorse.
During this revelation and confrontation at Walt’s home Barlow and Walt fight and it ends up with Walt shooting and killing Barlow which then turns the Feds on Walt. While the Connally storyline is being followed and eventually wrapped up, a secondary storyline involving a local oil rig company is unfolding. A young Cheyenne girl is raped and Walt and his team are investigating who is responsible. Walt can’t complete an investigation without the help of the Cheyenne Police chief Mathias. In earlier seasons Mathias and Walt were not very cooperative but in season 4 their relationship softens and they are able to work together to solve the rape of the Cheyenne girl (Gabriella), but it doesn’t end there. Gabriella ends up shooting and killing one of her rapists and now the police are after her.
Meanwhile Hank is moonlighting as “Hector,” a local Cheyenne boxer who doled out street justice to criminals he deemed guilty. Hector is murdered in a previous season but some Cheyenne believe his spirit is still alive and Hank takes that opportunity to right some wrongs. Hank takes Gabriella to the Crow nation reserve to try and smuggle her out of the area and Walt gets wind of the whole scheme. Walt intervenes and is confronted by the oil riggers foreman and his henchmen, Gabriella gets away as a bird, and we think the story is over.
As Walt relaxes and takes in some time with his new found love interest, a local psychologist, the last episode ends with a dark figure walking into Walt’s home and fades to black.
After A&E dumped Longmire like a bad habit I thought it was over. When Netflix picked it up I had hope and boy am I glad Netflix picked this series up. Not only did they stay true to what Longmire was all about they enhanced the experience 100 fold! The writing was better, the stories bolder and the acting even more intense. While I disliked Katee Sackhoff in Battlestar Galactica her performance in Longmire since season 1 has been stellar. In season 4 she reveals an even more broken and confused side of her character and she along with Robert Taylor are the driving force behind this entire series.
Lou Diamond Phillips as Hank is a powerful supporting character and Phillips is spot on in his delivery of this character. Since La Bamba and Young Guns I’ve always liked Phillips and this role is dead on all his. Another notable in the series is Zahn McClarnon as Chief Mathias, this guy is intense and owns that role. A Martinez as Jacob Nighthorse is also a notable supporting actor, I’ve seen Martinez in several movie roles but this one is again, tailor-made for him.
Overall Longmire Season 4 was amazing, it went by way too fast and I’m already ready for the next season!