Sunday, August 30, 2015

LONGMIRE | Thoughts | S.3 | Eps. 1-5

A periodic post recording my ever so slightly obsessive watching of Longmire
Time to wrap this series of posts up in preparation for the release of Season 4 on September 10 on Netflix!  So excited though I will sadly be in no-internet land but you can bet I will be binge watching as soon as I get connected again.  Something to look forward to!

Each season of the show thus far has escalated the drama.  I think folk's mileage varies as to how much they enjoy this and I fall mostly on the side of enjoyment.  There is no denying that this season is pretty darn grim and depressing and it starts right off the bat.  Branch has been shot and as he recovers his behavior quickly becomes erratic and obsessed.  If I have one thing I don't like about the events of this season it is that we lose cocky but charming Branch.  He does have a point of course but he unfortunately loses points for being increasingly unbalanced in his pursuit of the truth.

Also, Henry is arrested for the murder of a Denver drug addict and it quickly becomes clear that jail is not going to work well for him.  To make matters work, the significant amount of money he's put by which should buy him a good defense has gone missing.  

Vic also has a bad season as well but in the first half of the season, that mostly involves an increasingly complicated relationship with her boss and a deteriorating relationship with her husband.  She's also developing some disturbing suspicions of her fellow deputy and is unsure how to deal with them.  

So all in all a fraught start to the season and it's only going to get worse in the second half of the series.  There is still some of the humor but it's definitely being overshadowed by the overall bleakness of people's circumstances.


Episode 3.1  | The White Warrior

Short Synopsis:  Walt has a VERY busy episode which starts with him saving Branch's life, then running down and trying to save Henry.  He has to try and figure out how to help Henry and who shot Branch especially since Branch is insistent it's a dead guy.

Short Review:  This is an exciting first episode but also pretty grim which signals a trend for this season.  Also some things don't add up, like Walt being so blindly insistent that Ridges is dead even though he's usually the first to think outside of the box. Grade: A-

Random Thoughts:
  • Even in his franticness Walt notices details like Branch saying he tastes green.  
  • Henry so admires and loves Walt.  He kept the teeth so that there would be no way for Walt to take the fall if things went bad.   
  • Interesting that Vic shuts down Ruby and Ferg so that she can grill Walt.  More surprisingly Walt allows it and goes along with it.  She follows him into the bathroom and they have an interesting interlude while he changes his shirt and Vic looks intrigued and embarrassed all at once. Walt then invites her along.  It's an interesting scene because as we've seen he does not like to be pushed but he lets Vic push him here and is relatively cooperative. Okay sure, maybe it's because they need some exposition delivered but still. 
  • It is a little odd that Walt so resists the idea that David Ridges is still alive.  There was something hinky about the tape of his suicide and the scene and there is no body.  
  • For how wise and noble Henry is, he has terrible taste in women.  
  • I really can't help but like Jacob.  He's an unconventional "bad" guy.  
  • Barlow Connally: "Nothing like a little family trauma to remind you why you divorced someone."

Episode 3.2  | Of Children and Travelers

Short Synopsis:  A Russian teenager is found murdered and Walt and Vic must untangle the complicated path that led her to Absaroka County. 

Short Review:  While I am a little confused about what exactly Polina's situation was, I really like the journey of this one and the teamwork between Vic and Walt.  Grade: A-

Random Thoughts:
  • Is Walt the best bartender ever or what?
  • Walt finds Polina's passport in her boot:).  A callback to a few episodes back when Cady indicated that it was a rule of her mom's to carry any money over $50 in her boot.  
  • From the very beginning Vic's sympathy is entirely with Polina even though she hears all the terrible things the kid does.  I think we're meant to understand that Vic really identifies with her but I seriously doubt Vic was this bad of a "bad girl".  
  • So Vic just walks up and says she got the address for the school in Arizona and we should go check it out and Walt just nods and takes off.  Aren't Wyoming and Arizona like seriously far apart??
  • Vic and Walt do a lot of play acting in this episode  - they both read each other pretty well and I think it's a nice visual of how good a team they have become.   
  • Ahhh... The weird bar scene.  I have no idea what the subtext of this scene really is.  Vic almost seems to be flirting with Walt, enticing him with her "I'm a naughty girl" reveal but it's almost like it's born of nervousness/awkwardness.  Meanwhile Walt stares at her with a look that could mean "you're drinking my g-damn beer" or could mean "I'd like to rip your clothes off."  It's very ambiguous but it does feel like a moment.  Then there's the hijinks with opening their room doors and then the significant stare each of them gives the adjoining door of their rooms.  Vic would totally like to jump him. Walt could be thinking the same thing or could be just puzzling on whether Vic was actually flirting with him earlier.  It's a recognition of tension but not necessarily preference on his part.  
  • Walt takes the measure of the security guard pretty darn quick - I love how they play him. "I know this looks bad but I'm actually a really good guy."  When someone says that?  They ain't a really good guy.  
  • So I don't really understand who these parents at the end are?  Why do they look out for troubled Russian girls?  Is the father sexually abusing them?  And the wife just goes along with it? Is Sofia Polina's real little sister or just someone she connected with?  I find it all very confusing but I'm just going to go with...they were bad people.  

Episode 3.3  | Miss Cheyenne

Short Synopsis: The death of a doctor distracts Walt while he is also trying to support Henry through his Bail hearing and serving as a judge in the Miss Cheyenne Nation pageant.

Short Review:  This is one of the most intriguing of mysteries that also deals with a  morally complicated issue.  Again, there is a very strong supporting cast and also the suspense of Henry's bail hearing.  Grade: A

Random Thoughts:
  • WALT: "Are you wearing makeup?" HENRY: "A little."  the way Henry says it - all defiant is adorable.
  • Nice callback to the first episodes of the show with the girl who they saved from prostitution in that episode showing up as a contestant in the pageant in this episode.
  • Love the response of the nurse at the Res clinic to Branch - giving him a big hug, like an old friend.  
  • It's great to see Cady in her professional capacity and not just as Walt's daughter.  It's also great to see how Walt and Cady's relationship has evolved  - they are pretty sweet together.
  • Love the testimony by Miss Stillwater - Henry is awesome.  
  • Branch paying the remainder of Henry's bail is a little sketchy and Branch does of course take advantage in later episodes.
  • Again this show produces a very powerful and moving confession scene. They do a great job constructing these scenes and hiring guest actors that can really carry them.
  • Walt sure does end up carrying around a lot of injured people.   

Episode 3.4  | In the Pines

Short Synopsis: Branch loses his mind while the rest of the Sheriff's department investigates the murder of a youth wilderness adventure leader. 

Short Review:  The mystery in this episode didn't really grab me but it has some interesting guest actors.  I wish Branch wasn't going insane and that Vic and Walt and Sean weren't quite so angsty. Grade: B- 

Random Thoughts:
  • The episode where Branch really starts to go off the rails. 
  • Poor Walt realizing that one of his enemies may be responsible for his wife's death.
  • Oh Sean.  And Poor Walt - this is all he needs with everything else going on.  Again I think Sean is mostly reacting to a read of his wife and his own baggage jealousy issues and not from any preference for Vic he's witnessed coming from Walt.  
  • Vic has told Walt that she and Gorski were lovers - why lie about not knowing what 32 means?  She's definitely trying to play things down and keep Walt out of it.
  • Trey's mom is a little over the top but pretty perfect as the clueless mother of a troubled kid.  The actor who portrays Trey is also very good.  Creepy and off.  
  • And then Vic brings the whole 32 thing back up at a really inappropriate time.  It's like she has good intentions of keeping Walt out of it but she wants to lean on him and have his protection.  And Walt seems a little irritated with her for bringing it back up and that he has been dragged into Vic's personal problems. He keeps encouraging her to spend time with Sean.   I notice that Vic now wears her wedding ring.  
  • I like the conversation between Sean and Vic  - they really sound like a husband and wife who are having problems.  Sean admits that he knows Walt and Vic are not fooling around but that doesn't make him less jealous of Walt.  
  • Go Ruby.  "I want you to hurt 'em."  She's got some Wyoming in her after all:0)!

Episode 3.5  | Wanted Man

Short Synopsis:Walt teams up with Lucian to visit some of his cleverest and most devious enemies in an attempt to figure out who might have killed his wife and her killer.  Vic is left in charge and investigates the kidnapping and drugging of a Cheyenne Man.

Short Review: I don't like how separate everyone is but there are some great scenes and I do love a Walt-Lucian team.  We also see the emergence (out of jail) of Malachi who promises to be a sinister adversary indeed.  Grade: B+

Random Thoughts:
  • WALT: "Character is Fate. The philosopher Heraclitus said that. I think he meant, Man makes his destiny through his choices and his values."
  • Walt's testimony against Malachi is pretty damning and he's the damn sheriff.  It's pretty bad that the parole board still decided favorably for Malachi. 
  • Yay for Walt teaming up with Lucian:)!  
  • I kind of like Travis and feel bad for him.  His mother is hilarious as is Vic's bossiness.  
  • Vic is SO suspicious of Branch at this point - she can smell the bullshit for sure.  Interesting that Walt pauses to make sure all is well. 
What do you think about the darker and more drama-filled tone of season 3?  What was your favorite of the above five episodes?  I really love the first three episodes.  How do you interpret Vic and Walt's little interlude at the hotel?  How excited are you about season 4??

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