Longmire: Season Four is Full of Character

Is wanting something, the only factor into why you should get it? 

Longmire: Season Four was released in 2015, is a Netflix original series. The show stars Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire, Katee Sackhoff as Vic, and Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry Standingbear. After one of his deputies, Branch Connolly, has seemingly taken his own life, Sheriff Longmire & company investigate to find his death is covered in conspiracy. 

The biggest pro with the treatment of the characters is how much time is given for them all to fully develop. Most of these scenes give great moments for the actors to play off one another; it’s clear they’re all having fun with these roles. Because of this, something like seeing Walt and Reservation police chief Mathias interact feels very natural, and it’s really satisfying to them working together. 

Much of Walt’s dialogue is well written and adds to his character. There’s a moment where he’s discussing a case with one of this season’s villains, Walker Browning, who asks, “What did me and my men ever do wrong?” To which Walt responds, “Aside from rape and murder? Well you all seem like great guys.”

Barlow’s speech at Branch’s funeral is really smart and the staging of the scene is clever as well. When you look back at the season, the scenes between him and Walt are, for the most part, filled with cool and interesting sub-text. Overall, this season does a lot to add to every character’s relationships. 

Another pro in this regard is Henry’s character. It’s apparent how little Henry cares about other people’s opinions by the end of the season. With everything wrong that’s happened based on him trying to help, it totally fits and it’s fun to see him go this route. 

There are some moments, here and there, that do try and have some overarching political meaning, but unlike last season, when the show deals with these issues, it at least ties them into character motives.

From a writing perspective, the final confrontation between Walt and who he discovers to be heavily involved in Branch’s death, tries to be clever and thought provoking, but the way it concludes comes off as a bit out of left field and awkward to watch.

The first 3 episodes felt more like season 3.5, which in this case is a good thing. It goes into more detail about certain storylines from the previous season, and makes it feel more conclusive.

The 4th episode begins with a montage of Walt ‘taking time off,’ after discovering what happened with Branch, and it unfortunately misses a subtle writing opportunity. In visual storytelling, giving a character a beard, who normally doesn’t have one, symbolizes a depressive state of mind. Here, it sounds silly to say, but if they had more of the season with a bearded Walt, instead of for a 30 second scene, it would have added a lot to his character development.

The theme of this season is how the repercussions of our actions can affect us. Some really powerful moments are found here dealing with that. A scene that stands out comes in episode 6, when they fail to convince a woman to press charges for a crime, and in silence, Walt, Cady, and Vic pass around a bottle of alcohol. It’s cool to see how this story deals with each character’s reaction to death, or the events of the previous season. Which, in turn, makes the story flow more naturally.

Throughout the entire season, the cinematography, and production design are top notch. Walt’s reveal in the first episode is subtle, yet the combination of the music choice makes it truly satisfying and awesome.

Longmire: Season Four’s biggest problem is that while the season is exciting, I’m not sure we needed more than the first 3 episodes to finish the show’s overarching story. Longmire at its core was about an honest small town sheriff caught in a string of conspiracies who just wanted to find out the truth about his wife’s death, and other than those first 3 episodes, there isn’t much more found here to add to that story. 

[My grade for Longmire: Season Four is a B]

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