Longmire: Season Three Pops a Tire

According to IMDb, “A&E canceled the show after the third season.” Wanna find out why?

Longmire: Season Three was released in 2014, and is a Netflix original series created by Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny. The show stars Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, and Lou Diamond Phillips. With his innocent best friend Henry, in prison, and his deputies seeing dead people, Longmire must solve crimes under more pressure than ever. 

Lou Diamond Phillips’ performance in the role of Henry should not be ignored.  The show spends more time on him, so we get to see all sides of his seemingly calm character. Bailey Chase as Deputy Branch, is this season’s stand out. He’s incredibly compelling as a sort of ‘mirror image’ of himself, due to events that happened in the previous season. Unfortunately, you know when the best written character is one that’s supposed to have gone crazy, you’ve failed in the writers’ room. 

Not even Longmire could save the poor writing due to the fact that epic, well-written moments with him are few and far between. For example, when a man orders two very specific drinks for him and his girlfriend at The Red Pony, Longmire puts two beers on the counter and simply says, “Here you go. Five bucks.” This is one of the only good Longmire moments this entire season. The main reason these moments aren’t so prevalent is because about half way through the season, Longmire makes choices that are completely out of character. 

For example, in episode 5 (this season’s best episode) titled, “Wanted Man,” Longmire further investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding his wife’s death. In this episode, he takes the day off to do this, because as he clearly states to Vic, “I don’t think our taxpayers should be paying for me to pursue a personal matter.” In almost every episode past this, he looks into his wife’s death WHILE ON DUTY. It takes the viewer out of the show and is, again, completely against character. 

One episode where he doesn’t, titled “Population 25,” is a great example of the show’s unnecessary filler episodes. In this episode we get to see more of Vic and her relationship with her husband, and stalker. This is also a great example of how Vic is terribly written. Many times in the episode, she is put into life threatening situations, and you feel little emotional attachment to her due to disagreeing with several choices she’s made earlier in the season. 

Each of the individual episode’s cases aren’t well written, nor fun. Yes, the previous seasons, and this season, deal with things like murder and drug abuse, but there’s something missing here. Perhaps a combination cool idea, poor execution is the answer. For example, episode six, titled “Reports of My Death,” revolves around Longmire finding the body of a long lost millionaire in the park directly across from his department. Things get twisty when the real man shows up to the station, claiming he’s not dead. On paper this may seem like fun, but the end of the episode is unsatisfying and sad. 

In my reviews of the last 2 seasons, I brought up how the politics in the show hadn’t taken a stance about anything in the real world. This season takes that idea, chucks it out the window, goes outside, gets in its car, and drives over it. There are several examples of real world politics in the show for no reason, and some are quite random as well. In episode 2, “Of Children and Men,” Branch unexpectedly brings up Russia’s child adopting laws. The episode does contain adopted Russian children, but when he says it in the episode feels forced, and out of place. 

Longmire: Season Three is watchable at best, and not the worst thing on the planet, so keep in mind, it can get worse. This season’s odd politics and terrible character development drag the show down from greatness to mediocrity. If it was my call, I would have cancelled it too.  

[My grade for Longmire: Season Three, is a C+]

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