Longmire: Season 3
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Longmire: Season 3

Ever since television began quickly becoming the primary source of home entertainment, there were two genres that immediately became perennial standards represented in almost every season; police procedures and Westerns. In 1970 there was an attempt to combine two popular categories with ‘McCloud’ but like everything else about period was generalized, formulaic and designed to be as family-friendly as possible. Then a few years ago a new hybrid series found its way to the programming schedule of ‘A&E, Longmire’. Unlike McCloud, the protagonist of this series did not have the fish out of water plot contrivance a western lawman reassigned to the big city, New York City. Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is an old school Sheriff sensibility of life and methods on the job would be more at home in the 19th century than the 21st. It is set in the big sky country of Wyoming the beauty of the location and the vista of wide-open space unimaginable to city trailer becomes a character itself for the series. Fans of traditional police mystery shows readily confirm that the prime locations include such well-known urban centers as New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. There, the second unit photography unit provides the inevitably shots of traffic, people busily walking on streets and shots of the skyline unique to the city itself. The beautiful photography of this series is not only relief from the scenes most of us are used on a daily basis but they allow the writers to juxtapose the crimes, political intrigue and prejudice that drives the series and its component stories.

The third season, under consideration here, was to be its last. A&E issued public announcement that the show was canceled. This was despite stellar ratings made on fan base. Thankfully, cancellation is no longer as absolute a death sentence as it was during the time when television was restricted to three broadcast networks. Now there is an entirely different paradigm of how the show may be distributed to the viewers. In addition to the broadcast networks and a few syndicated stations, there in our premium and basic cable networks. Recently, a new major outlet has appeared that has quickly achieved sufficient status to begin winning awards for quality and offer their own original content. Streaming video services such as Netflix and Hulu have made the plunge have begun acquiring the rights to populist theories abandoned by their originating networks. Season four is set to stream on Netflix shortly.

Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is far from the prototype lawman embraced by so many TV shows. Is a middle-aged man is relaxed fit jeans and hasn’t gotten around to getting his own cell phone yet. But in some ways, his lack of sophistication is as much a guys as it was with Lieut. Colombo. Behind that role grizzled space with eyes peering out from beneath the Stetson is a mind that is sharp and agile as any who put on a badge. At the end of the second season, deputy Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) had lost his bid to replace Walt in the election. Along with several extraneous factors this resulted in Branch to return to work his tail between his legs and uncommon situation for the son of the richest man in town and perennial winner. One of the key points to the success of the series is how it manages to strike such an exquisite balance between a couple of plot lines that have been worked out over the entire series, those that tied the current season together and the episodic problems that arise each week. At the apex of this hierarchy of troubles is Walt trying to get to the bottom of who murdered his wife years ago. After making some progress in season two is attention is pulled away to help his other deputy Vic Moretti (Katee Sackhoff) was being stalked by an ex-lover and former fellow Philadelphia police detective, Ed Gorski (Lee Tergesen), quickly escalated to violence. The event that would ultimately propel this third season is a murder involved with the sect of the Cheyenne known as the Dog Soldiers. When one is cremated on a funeral pyre, branch attempts to get evidence from the ashes against the warnings of everyone including Walt’s best friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips).

All present in every season, the third season there was far deeper into the ancient and rich culture of the Cheyenne people. Most of us grew up on simple division of cowboys and Indians, good guys and bad guys. The heart of this series is that Walt has a deep and long abiding respect for Native Americans. At one point when he feels he must atone for bad decisions in his past he subjects himself to an arduous ritual of piercing his pectoral muscles looks and hanging himself in the hot desert sun. There’s a large Cheyenne reservation adjacent to Walt’s town but according to federal law the sheriff has no jurisdiction there, only the tribal police embodied here by Chief Mathias (Zahn McClarnon). Even though Walt said his Vic as a daughter he has his own biological daughter that he is very close to, Cady (Cassidy Freeman), former lover with Branch. The rest of the show for the staff slightly overweight deputy seems to be daily rare what’s going on referred to as ‘The Ferg’ (Adam Bartley) and the civilian secretary Ruby (Louanne Stephens). Both are exceptionally loyal to the shelf. In this season The Ferg rises above being the general gofer, proving him to be a lawman worthy of this team.

There’s a great deal of respect demonstrate the context of the series is the character Walt Longmire to the customs, beliefs and intrinsic spiritual nature of the Native American. Henry, is in modern man owns the local bar and grill, ‘The Red Pony’ but he’s also deeply spiritual. They have been friends since childhood firmly based on unbreakable bond mutual respect. In this season one of the main threats is Henry is framed for the man believed to have killed Longmire’s wife. Cady comes to his defense both as a lawyer friend while Walt diverts much of his resources to disproving those charges. Towards the end of the season the integrity of war Meyer is once again tested and its strength proven. Vic is kidnapped by some antigovernment faction wall was everything to save her. This goes to the point of him agreeing to face the leader of the group will best be described as an old-fashioned dual. Even if this season had not ended with a major cliffhanger, there is still so much great material to be tapped by the characters in the situation. These are characters such depth and realism portrayed by actors impeccable ability. As many fans, I’m very glad that the television paradigm has changed the degree that Netflix is able to rescue this exceptional show from a premature and undeserved demise.

Features:

"Longmire: The Ghost in the Store" - The storm defined the characters in Season Two, and now our band of heroes must face the aftermath. How will Walt, Branch, Henry and the others survive their trauma and outrun the ghosts haunting them?

Posted 03/01/2015

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