DVD Review– Longmire: The Complete Fourth Season
Based on Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire Mysteries (as yet unread by me), Longmire is a series rescued from a premature cancellation. After three superb seasons on A&E, the show was cancelled while still popular, and after some anxiety on the part of fans, Netflix came to the rescue.
Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is the sheriff of a small community in Wyoming. Walt is laconic, dedicated to his work and principles, hates cell phones, and is protective of those close to him. Over the course of the first few seasons, we learned that the widowed Walt’s beloved wife had been murdered, saw an innocent person arrested, and finally saw the mystery solved at the end of season three. Yet the third season ended with a bang—literally—and the cliffhanger over who (if anybody) had been killed might have left a permanent sour note if the fourth season hadn’t been made.
As season four opens, one prominent character from the earlier seasons has been murdered, and Walt and his deputies are left reeling yet determined to get justice. Though I thought this storyline would continue throughout the season, it’s actually resolved by episode three, one of the best in the series. The killer’s performance is particularly memorable.
The storyline soon turns to other crimes, including the rape of a young woman and potential criminal activity at a new casino. Native American culture and issues have always been central to Longmire, and one of the show’s two best relationships is between Walt and his longtime best friend, Henry Standing Bear. The other great relationship is that of Walt and his daughter, Cady, a lawyer seeking to jump-start her career.
What makes Longmire work so well is the central characters’ commitment to truth and justice, along with the show’s reverence for history and culture, warm humor, and the continually expanding scope of the fictional universe.
The fifth season was recently released on Netflix, and a sixth and final season will, we hope, wrap up all of the remaining plotlines. Longmire is great entertainment for fans of both mysteries and westerns, though if you’re new to the series, you should start at the beginning.
Longmire: The Complete Fourth Season