Sunday, July 26, 2015

LONGMIRE | Thoughts | S.1 | Eps. 6-10

A periodic post recording my ever so slightly obsessive watching of Longmire
Starting with episode five of season 1, Longmire really steps up into the realm of awesome for me.   Episodes 5-7 are some of my favorites of the whole show and the finale for season 1 is fantastic.  

Things between Cady and her father come to a head, first because of Cady's relationship with Branch which Walt perceives as betrayal, and more seriously by his neglecting to tell her that her mother was murdered and didn't die of cancer.  In both cases, they were each trying to protect one another and neither likes being treated as weak.  I really like how we get to see a side of Walt that is not heroic and is in fact quite childish and foolhardy.  It adds to the complexity of his character and keeps him from being too much of a Gary Stu.

Lucian makes his first appearance and in the same episode as Omar! Ack!  Lucian makes approximately one appearance per season and they always seem to be one of the more interesting episodes.  Not only is he an interesting character but as the previous sheriff he serves as an intriguing contrast with Walt.  We have yet to see him interact with his oily but formidable brother, Barlow (Branch's dad) and I am dearly wishing for that in some future season.

The "thing" between Walt and Vic also heats up along with the solidification of their awesome abilities as a professional team.  It is revealed that Vic is actually married (why was this kept such a secret until now - was it added by the show creators as an afterthought?) but her marriage is rocky.  Her husband Sean is portrayed as kind of a jerk but as we learn in future seasons, their marriage's problems are not all his fault, not by a long shot.  By the end of the season, I think Vic is realizing that she may have some inappropriate romantic feelings for her boss and this is made pretty clear.  Walt's feelings are MUCH harder to interpret.  He has come to respect and rely on her in a professional capacity and they have become friends of a sort.  He trusts her.  I also think he finds her attractive, physically at least, but recognizes all the obstacles that exist, most importantly the fact that she is married. Walt would never interfere in a marriage.

Plot wise, the season ends by bringing to the fore what has just been the shadow of Walt's wife's murder throughout the rest of the season.  I remember watching it the first time wondering if Walt's marriage wasn't all that is hinted at and that perhaps she had cheated and he had killed her - that all his depression etc... was really born out of guilt.  The last episode puts this idea to rest and clarifies that his wife's murderer is dead and that makes Walt a very attractive suspect indeed.  

It's also apparent that season one only covers a few months and we are still in the middle of the sheriff's election.  Coupled with the revelation that Cady and Branch dated, tempers between Walt and Branch are very high culminating in a middle of the road brawl which Vic has the break up.  Another example of Walt's occasional childishness.   

My thoughts on the second half of season one:


Episode 6 | The Worst Kind of Hunter

Short Synopsis: Walt and his minions investigate a fatal bear mauling only to find the bear is just as much a victim. 

Short Review:  As mentioned below Omar AND Lucian together in an episode kind of breaks my brain.  The involvement of a bear and a bear biologist also breaks my brain.  There are a lot of threads at play here and the conclusion is awesome.  Plus I think this is probably the first official episode to launch the Walt and Vic 'ship.  Grade: A
The long (smart-ass) stare of Lucian Connally

Random Thoughts:
  • Introduction of Lucian who is a character I really adore.  AND it has Omar.  The two together are like some tornado of awesome. 
  • Omar: "I want that feisty Italian." Walt: "Careful what you wish for."
  • This is the first episode that there is any hint that Vic is married and we pretty much immediately learn that it's not a terribly happy marriage.  
  • Omar: "His granola son-of-a-bitch license!" Hee!
  • Vic: "You're different because you're a man Walt."  Damn...
  • Confession by bear:0).
  • Walt and Vic Update -  Walt's pretty peeved when Vic is shot by a tranquilizer and rushes to the hospital.  The drugs loosens Vic's tongue/inhibitions and she obviously embarrasses Walt by spilling about how crappy her marriage is.  Walt is uncomfortable but Vic's revelation that she respects Walt more than her husband causes some worry or maybe thoughtfulness on his part. 

Episode 7 | 8 Seconds

Short Synopsis: The rodeo's in town and a rider's sponsor gets the crud beaten out of him.  It's a case that is broken by the offhand comment of a rodeo clown.

Short Review:  What's better than a tangled web of family secrets and lies?  Not much.  The perpetrator of this is certainly unexpected and does kind of come out of left field.  Lots of good Vic and Walt stuff though and it's good to see him start trying to move on from his wife's death.  Grade: A-

Vic excited about her first rodeo.

Random Thoughts:
  • We get to meet Sean quite intimately:).  And Vic leaves bed with her husband on her day off when Walt calls.  Walt's maneuver is pretty sneaky as all he wants is a ride home.  Not sure why he couldn't just call a cab?  It would be like him to not want others in the community to know the sheriff is too intoxicated to drive.  One interesting moment here is when Vic in her annoyance tells Walt that his little stunt interrupted her and her husband having breath-taking sex, and Walt says "Well then, I'll have to apologize to your husband." and gives her this flirty smirk and she tilts her head all saucy like back at him.  Not sure how to read that but it's fun. Is Walt perhaps suggesting that Sean is the one really losing out since he was lucky to have Vic as his partner?
  • The scene with Sean is insanely humiliating.  He does seem like a douche but I kind of don't blame him for being really irritated. 
  • Bob: "I had no idea she even had a husband." Walt: "We all have our little secrets, Bob."
  • Walt purposely uses Vic and her "attractions" to suck in Levi.
  • I learned a new term"Chasing Trim". Trim is apparently a colloquial name for lady parts.
  • Now it's Walt's turn to be humiliated by Lizzie revealing in front of Vic and Branch that Walt drunk dialed her.  Ha Ha!
  • Vic: "Sometimes you just realize you married the wrong person."
  • Henry: "You are Alive. She is not. That sucks but it is what it is." Walt: "I hate that phrase."  I really love this scene between Henry and Walt.  Walt doesn't like things out of his control.
  • They never explain why the painting was taken?  Was it a lame attempt to mislead investigators to think it was robbery?  Even though he left his belt and buckle and bloody footprints everywhere.
  • Vic and Walt Update:  So what got Walt interested in getting some lady company?  Coincidence that it is right after Vic's drugged confession that she respects him more than her husband?  Stirred up some feelings maybe which he can't pursue with the lady that stirred them so looking for an alternative?  I know.  I'm stretching.  But I don't think I'm stretching to suggest that Walt and Vic have definitely reached a new stage of their relationship, even if it's mostly professional.  Walt is relying more and more on Vic and trusts her. To the point where he admits to her that he called Lizzie on purpose and that he felt like he was cheating on his dead wife AND more importantly he puts weight in Vic's answer to his confession.  Vic has also developed some firm and devoted loyalty to Walt.  So much so that, she jumps when he says jump even if it means alienating her husband.  Vic no longer seems thrilled with the Walt-Lizzie match making.

Episode 8 | An Incredibly Beautiful Thing

Short Synopsis:  A distraught young lady shows up in a convenience store pleading for help and the next we know, the convenience store owner is dead.  Who killed him is not the only mystery either - the identity of the young woman is unknown and following her trail leads to an abandoned baby.  Walt and crew try to untangle the mess. 

Short Review:  The only thing better then dysfunctional families is a cult!  This one was good but missed the mark a little and could have ratcheted up the creepy a bit though that is not this show's m.o.  Grade: B.
This sort of thing just doesn't happen back east.

Random Thoughts:
  • In Wyoming, the first two numbers of the license plate identify the county - that's useful.  
  • I wish we got more Ruby - she's great in this episode making sure we remember the victim is a good person.  
  • The Ferg teaches Henry a little something and makes a major break in the case!  Go Ferg!
  • One thing that confuses me about this is that when the social worker GETS STABBED, Branch's first concern is whether Cady is all right (she is totally fine), then he runs off to see if Vic is okay as she's just been hit by a car.  Nobody seems concerned about the lady that GOT STABBED. 
  • Vic gets hit by a car, pretty violently and just continues on, business as usual.  Tough Cookie is she.  
  • Hippie organic farmer types = cult.  Not sure I love that connotation:).  
  • Awesome ending, reminding us of the victim.
  • Vic and Walt Update:  Vic's husband has developed a dislike for Walt.  Vic and Walt play off each other perfectly when interviewing the energy company exec - they've become a very in sync professional team.  

Episode 9 | Dogs, Horses and Indians

Short Synopsis: An important tribal elder and administrator ends up dead just outside the reservation boundaries sinking Walt into a complicated and incendiary murder case.

Short Review: I like that we see a little of the less-than-perfect Walt Longmire in this episode and it all happens on a fascinating backdrop of Cheyenne politics and culture.   The chase scene is a highlight and Jacob Nighthorse just gets more and more intriguing.  Grade: B+
Boys. *shakes head in disgust*

Random Thoughts:
  • Walt just poured his coffee on Vic's arm on purpose to demonstrate how blood would drip from a wound in someone standing up, lol.   I'm not sure I ever registered that before. 
  • Malcolm Eaglestars' girlfriend is gorgeous.  He seemed kind of middle aged and dumpy and has a gambling problem - how'd he score her??
  • I like when Walt and Mathias work together - I wish Mathias could relax and just admit he likes Walt:). 
  • Mathias has a prairie chicken painting in his office!!
  • This is a big episode for the development of Walt's character.  He loses his shit over discovering that Branch and Cady dated which causes him to make some VERY questionable choices.  We get to see what happens when he lets his buried emotions come out - he opens up a very unwise can of whup ass on a tattoo parlor full of bikers.  It's pretty bad ass but a  juvenile and unhealthy way to deal with his anger.  Vic:  "It's all subjective, right. One man's excessive force is another's gentle persuasion. Nobody died, right?"  Always sticking up for him:).  His anger at Cady is COMPLETELY unfair but loyalty seems to be of paramount importance to him and he feels Cady has betrayed him.
  • Mrs. Lamebull is kind of awesome! "I'm a gold digger.  So sue me."
  • I really love how Walt works the bikers with the one odd duck, convincing the rest of the bikers that odd duck is spilling the beans.  Vic and Ferg play along effortlessly.  
  • And Jacob Nighthorse has now appeared to do another good thing. 
  • Cady "Dad, you can't keep avoiding this situation." Vic: "Just watch him."
  • The chase of the perp - is another great example of how well this show uses music.  It's hypnotic.
  • The U.S. Government only quantifies three things by blood - dogs, horses and Indians.  
  • Vic and Walt Update:  Vic gets to see a less than flattering side to Walt.  Her expression in the biker parlor is pretty classic What the Hell, tinged with disappointment.  She still defends him though and is mad at Branch while sympathetic to Walt.  

Episode 10 | Unfinished Business

Short Synopsis: An old case comes back to haunt when the boys accused and (likely wrongfully) acquitted of raping a mentally challenged Cheyenne girl start dying. 

Short Review: The ultimate scene that resolves the mystery is a powerful and surprising moment.  With that plus the menace of Detective Fales and the emotion between father and daughter it makes a fantastic finale to a really strong season.  Grade: A
Fales finally pins down Walt.

Random Thoughts:
  • The morning with Lizzie is SO awkward.  Also awesome once Vic and Ferg show up.  Walt's embarrassment is delicious and hilarious. 
  • I like the constant reminder and symbolism of Walt's wife's voice on the answering machine.  
  • No wonder Detective Fales thinks Walt is guilty and corrupt to boot.  
  • Henry to Walt: "What a rich inner life you lead.  From time to time, you should consider sharing it with the rest of us."
  • Branch and Walt exchanging punches but first they must remove the cowboy hats - they mustn't be dented:).  
  • Vic's disgust at the rampant testosterone between Walt and Branch is potent.  
  • The scene between Lizzie and Vic is hilarious in its fakeness and cattiness.  They both pull it off REALLY well.  Vic doesn't even try to hide from Ferg that she dumps the froofy present from Lizzie in her bottom drawer :).  
  • The scene between Walt and Cady is really well done  - the two actors hit it out of the park.
  • Vic and Walt Update:  I think it's fair to say at this point that Vic has developed some feelings for Walt.  She not only isn't encouraging the match between him and Lizzie she's actively hostile to it at this point and is protective of Walt.   One scene I missed the first three times I've watched this series is Vic contemplating her wedding ring and then the gift for Walt all pensive like. It seems to suggest that she was bull shitting Lizzie, at least a little as to why she doesn't wear her ring.  She's unhappy in her marriage and starting to realize she may have inappropriate feelings for Walt.  Walt at this point seems oblivious and rightfully distracted.  I still question the timing of his deciding to half-heartedly pursue Lizzie though he really doesn't seem emotionally ready.  My theory is that he's rebelling against some feelings of physical attraction to Vic and hoping that blond Lizzie will distract him.  I'm currently reading book two of the Longmire series and there's a lovely description of Walt's "situation" with Vic: "I guess it had never really occurred to me though I constantly swam against the undertow of my attraction toward her.  The thought of myself involved with a woman who was the same age as Cady was an image so pathetic that I erased it in wide sweeps on a regular basis."  I basically think this is where Walt is as season 1 comes to a close.
Favorite episodes in the second half of Season 1 are definitely The Worst Kind of Hunter and Unfinished Business followed closely by 8 Seconds.  What about you?  Favorite moments? 

Next week  - first half of season 2. 

Season 1: Eps. 1-5

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