Longmire (TV series)
"Walt Longmire Mysteries" book series|
by Craig Johnson
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||53 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42-71 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||June 3, 2012 – present|
Longmire is an American crime drama television series that premiered on June 3, 2012, on the A&E network. The series was developed by John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin, and is based on the Walt Longmire Mysteries series of mystery novels written by best-selling author Craig Johnson.
The show centers on Walt Longmire, an Absaroka County, Wyoming, sheriff who returns to work after his wife's death. Assisted by his friends and his daughter, Longmire investigates major crimes within his jurisdiction, while campaigning for re-election against one of his own deputies. The third season of Longmire aired from June 2 through August 4, 2014. On August 28, 2014, A&E announced it would not renew the series. Warner Horizon Television shopped it to other networks, and on November 19, 2014, Netflix picked up the show. The entire series is available for viewing online via Netflix in North America and Oceania. On November 2, 2016, Netflix announced that it had renewed the show for a sixth and final season.
Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor), is the sheriff of Wyoming's fictional Absaroka County (pronounced ab-suh-roh-kah [ab-suh-ra-kah by many Wyoming natives]; named after the Native American Absaroke people) (on a map and in many scenes, Absaroka county seat Durant is portrayed by Buffalo in Johnson County situated in northeast Wyoming). Walt's adult daughter Cady (Cassidy Freeman) is concerned that her father refuses to move on after the death of her mother. While preparing to run for re-election, Walt has delegated most police duties to deputies Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) and "The Ferg" (Adam Bartley). Connally has also entered the election, to unseat Longmire. Cady and Branch are secretly dating. Victoria "Vic" Moretti (Katee Sackhoff), a transplanted Philadelphia homicide detective, arrived in Wyoming six months prior and is now one of Walt's deputies. Walt's longtime friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) assists with any dealings with the local Indian reservation.
The first season shows random flashback scenes detailing Walt and Henry traveling separately to Denver, Colorado, where Walt attacks someone in a meth house. Denver Police Homicide Detective Fales (Charles S. Dutton) later arrives in Wyoming to talk to Walt and Cady about her mother's death. Cady is shocked to learn her mother was murdered, as Walt had told her she died of cancer. Fales tells Walt they found the man suspected of killing his wife buried in a shallow grave. Walt denies killing him; however, Detective Fales feels that if Walt did not commit the murder, then Henry did.
Cady arrives in Denver to speak to Detective Fales, who gives her the details of her mother's murder and informs her the suspected murderer has also been killed. Fales prods her for information, and she offers that Walt confides in Henry, inadvertently giving Fales a new target of investigation. Henry tells Walt that he killed the murderer because Walt was unable to do so. Vic encounters Ed Gorski (Lee Tergesen), a retired cop from Philadelphia. They discuss the suicide of Gorski's former partner, whom Vic implicated in a corruption scandal that prompted an internal affairs investigation. Gorski blames Vic for his partner's death, leading to his stalking Vic. Frightened by Gorski's manner, Vic asks Henry for help, and Walt visits Gorski to warn him away. Gorski is subsequently beaten severely. Hector, a Cheyenne mercenary believed to have assaulted Gorski, is protected by Walt. Henry confesses to Walt that he hired Hector to kill Miller Beck, the murderer of Walt's wife, but Hector explains that he only beat him up and took his teeth as trophies. Fales and his team find the teeth at Henry's bar and arrest him. Walt wins the election, and Cady is hospitalized when she is hit by a car after hers is sabotaged by an unknown assailant. Branch investigates, which leads to trouble with the local Cheyenne reservation.
As Branch recovers from being shot, he believes David Ridges, who was thought to have committed suicide and was cremated, was the one who shot him. Since Walt and the others do not believe Branch, he conducts his own investigation. In prison, Henry gets abused by fellow natives, led by former reservation police chief Malachi Strand (Graham Greene), for his friendship with Walt and assisting in his arrest. When Malachi makes it difficult for Henry to obtain an attorney, Cady decides to represent him. Henry gets released on bail and sets out to prove his innocence. However, Malachi is also released and begins working as security for Jacob Nighthorse. Both Branch and Henry uncover clues that point to Nighthorse's involvement in each of their situations, with Ridges as a key figure. Even Walt believes Nighthorse could have had something to do with his own wife's murder, years ago. Branch's dangerous obsession causes him to be suspended from the force and into the care of his father, Barlow. Walt and Henry learn that Ridges's murderous past leads back to his killing Miller Beck. Walt learns of Ridges's location and is forced to kill him when attacked. Fales drops all charges against Henry. However, neither Walt nor Branch believe their investigations are over. As Walt prepares to go after Nighthorse, Branch questions Barlow, who admits to paying Nighthorse to hire Ridges to kill Walt's wife in hopes of helping Branch become sheriff. A tense moment between father and son leads to a gunshot.
Walt, Vic and Ferg set out to search for Branch, after finding a typewritten note on his home computer. Walt finds him dead in a river from what appears to be a self-inflicted shotgun wound. Walt refuses to rule Branch's death a suicide after he finds dirt in the shotgun shell, signifying that the gun had been fired, the shell ejected and put back into the gun. Walt maintains that Jacob Nighthorse is behind the murder, until a drunken Barlow Connally confesses to Walt about killing Branch for finding out that Barlow had Walt's wife killed. Barlow then causes Walt to shoot and kill him, furthering the suspicion around Walt. Meanwhile, Walt and his department join forces with Mathias (Zahn McClarnon), chief of the tribal police, to investigate the rape of a Cheyenne woman, Gabriella (Julia Jones) by several oil field workers. The men are never prosecuted, after the case gets mired in governmental red tape and Walker (Callum Keith Rennie), the oil foreman, buys off Gabriella's family. Henry takes up Hector's role of avenger and plans to exact justice on the rapists. One turns up dead, and Gabriella shoots the other as Henry is threatening him. Shot in the dark by Walt, Henry must then take Gabriella into the Crow Nation to protect her. Both Walt and Walker set out to find her, ending up in a stand-off. Later, Mathias catches up with Henry and takes him into custody. Thinking the recent events are over, Walt relaxes at home with his new love interest (Ally Walker), but an intruder interrupts them, as it is revealed that Walker has escaped his hospital custody.
Walt conducts an intense search for the person who kidnapped Donna and seriously injured him. Walt and Donna continue their relationship. Jacob becomes increasingly suspicious of Malachi's illegal activities. Mathias figures out Henry has taken over Hector's duties and uses that to his advantage.
Cast and characters
- Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire: the long-time sheriff of Absaroka County. Laconic and introspective with a strong sense of duty and justice, his character is a throwback to the iconic lone hero of classical Westerns. As the stories build, Walt is shown to have a knack for finding the truth behind the various crimes that have been committed. Walt's wife died a year before the series started. Almost everyone believes her death was due to cancer, but a few people know the truth: she was the victim of a murder in Denver. Walt's grief over her death fuels his isolation and self-recrimination. (Season 1-)
- Katee Sackhoff as Victoria "Vic" Moretti: a sheriff's deputy and a former Philadelphia Police Department homicide detective. She moved to Wyoming with Sean, her husband, following an incident with her superior officer in Philadelphia. She has four brothers. (Season 1-)
- Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry Standing Bear: a Cheyenne who is Walt's best friend and confidant. Their friendship goes back to their early school days together. He is the proprietor of the Red Pony, a local tavern and restaurant, and an expert tracker. His name is described in Season 3 as a bear who protects those he loves. (Season 1-)
- Cassidy Freeman as Cady Longmire: Walt's daughter, an attorney who works for a local law firm, and later for Jacob Nighthorse, providing representation to residents on the reservation. She was romantically involved with Branch Connally for a time. (Season 1-)
- Bailey Chase as Branch Connally: an ambitious deputy who comes from a wealthy local family; his uncle was Walt's predecessor as sheriff, and Branch also hopes to be sheriff one day. He was romantically involved with Cady Longmire. He was shot in "Bad Medicine" by David Ridges, and spent most of the next season recovering and investigating his assault. He was suspended from the force at the end of Season 3 for kidnapping and drugging Sam Poteet and is later shot and killed by his father, Barlow Connally (Season 1-3)
- Adam Bartley as Jim "The Ferg" Ferguson: an awkward but hard-working young deputy who often feels unappreciated. His eclectic knowledge and skills have helped solve cases, justifying Walt's intuition in hiring him. Despite this, he continues to feel overlooked, even after he becomes a more senior deputy following Branch's death. (Season 1-)
- Louanne Stephens as Ruby: the dispatcher and manager of the sheriff's office. (Season 1-)
- Zahn McClarnon as Chief Mathias: chief of the Cheyenne reservation's tribal police. (Season 1-)
- A Martinez as Jacob Nighthorse: a local businessman representing the interests of the Cheyenne. (Season 1-)
- Gerald McRaney as Barlow Connally: a wealthy, powerful, local real estate developer and Branch's father. (Season 1-4)
- Peter Weller as Lucian Connally: Branch's uncle and Walt's predecessor as Sheriff, now retired. (Season 1-)
- John Bishop as Bob Barnes: the town drunk who has worked a variety of odd jobs. (Season 1-)
- Tom Wopat as Sheriff Jim Wilkins of neighboring Cumberland County. (Season 1-)
- Louis Herthum as Omar, a local hunting guide with expertise in firearms whom Walt occasionally uses as a resource. (Season 1-3, 5)
- Katherine LaNasa as Lizzie Ambrose: a wealthy local woman with whom Walt has a tentative romantic relationship. (Season 1-2)
- Charles S. Dutton as Detective Fales: a detective from Denver investigating the suspicious death of the murderer of Walt's wife. (Season 1-3)
- Derek Phillips as Travis Murphy, a boyhood friend of Branch Connally who wants to be a sheriff's deputy (Season 1-)
- Michael Mosley as Sean Keegan: Vic's husband, who works as a natural gas company executive. (Season 1-3)
- Jeffrey De Serrano as Hector: A Cheyenne ex-boxer who lives on the reservation and is a mercenary-for-hire for Cheyenne seeking justice. (Season 1-3)
- Lee Tergesen as Ed Gorski: an ex-cop from Philadelphia who used to work with Vic. (Season 1-3)
- Graham Greene as Malachi Strand: the former chief of the tribal police, whom Walt arrested for extortion prior to the start of the series. Jacob Nighthorse hires him as Chief of Security after his release. (Season 3-)
- Hank Cheyne as Sam Poteet: a Cheyenne White Warrior and sage, whom Branch kidnaps and tortures. (Season 3-)
- Scott Michael Campbell as Dr. Weston: a doctor at the regional hospital who occasionally assists Longmire's investigations. (Season 3-)
- Josh Cooke as Eamonn O'Neill: a deputy from Cumberland County who fills in briefly after Branch's death. (Season 4–)
- Barry Sloane as Zachary "Zach" Heflin: Walt's new deputy. (Season 4-)
- Ally Walker as Dr. Donna Monaghan: an over-taxed therapist treating local veterans. (Season 4-)
- Callum Keith Rennie as Walker Browning: a manager for a regional energy company. He has close ties to Sheriff Wilkins of Cumberland County. Walt suspects him of criminal activity. (Season 4-)
- Eric Ladin as Mayor Sawyer Crane: the ambitious mayor of Durant. (Season 5-)
- Brett Rice as Tucker Baggett: close friend of Barlow Connally. Organizes a wrongful death lawsuit against Walt Longmire for the shooting of Barlow. (Season 5-)
- Dylan Walsh as Shane Muldoon: Leader of the Irish Mafia. (Season 5-)
- Noam Jenkins as FBI Agent Towson: a by-the-book agent who is seen by the Sheriff's department as a negative force. (Season 2, 5-)
- Tamara Duarte as Mandy: a young woman who assists Cady Longmire with her legal practice on the Cheyenne Reservation. (Season 5-)
Longmire received a pilot order on December 14, 2010. The pilot was written by John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin, and directed by Christopher Chulack. Coveny, Baldwin, and Chulack serve as executive producers alongside Greer Shephard, Michael M. Robin, and the production companies Warner Horizon Television and the Shephard/Robin Company. The series is an adaptation of the Longmire mystery novels written by best-selling author Craig Johnson. While the story is supposed to take place in northern Wyoming, the series is being filmed in several locations in New Mexico: Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Eagle Nest, and Red River.
Casting announcements began in February 2011, with Robert Taylor first cast in the lead role of Walt Longmire, the sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Katee Sackhoff, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman, and Lou Diamond Phillips followed, with Sackhoff cast in the role of Victoria "Vic" Moretti, Chase cast as Branch Connally, Freeman cast as Cady Longmire, and Phillips cast as Henry Standing Bear.
On August 26, 2011, A&E picked up Longmire for a 10-episode first season. Following early success as the highest-rated summer scripted drama debut, and as A&E's highest-rated scripted drama, A&E renewed Longmire for a second season on June 29, 2012. On November 25, 2013, A&E renewed Longmire for a third season.
In 2013, massive wildfires scorched the Valles Caldera National Preserve, which disrupted the series production. In a three-week period, three fires started up (two at the same time). The Prescott Fire Department's Granite Mountain Hotshots assisted in preventing the fiery destruction of the area around where Walt's house is filmed. Nineteen of the Hotshots' 20 members later died battling an Arizona wildfire. The second season's finale honored the firefighters in the closing credits.
Production for the third season began in early 2014. Filming of the interiors took place in New Mexico at Garson Studios, on the campus of Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Exteriors were filmed in and around Santa Fe and at Garson Studios, according to the New Mexico State Film Office.
On August 28, 2014, A&E announced Longmire was canceled after completing its third season, despite consistently strong viewership. Three months later, Netflix confirmed Longmire would resume on its service. The ten-episode fourth season, which continued to be filmed on location in New Mexico, was made available for viewing in North America and Oceania on September 10, 2015.
Broadcast and release
As of September 23, 2016, 53 episodes of Longmire have aired, concluding the fifth season.
U.S. television ratings
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||# Ep.||Premiered||Ended|
Netflix, which aired the fourth and fifth seasons, does not publish ratings.
Longmire began airing in the United Kingdom on TCM on March 17, 2013, at 9:00 pm, in Australia on GEM on May 15, 2013, at 9:30 pm. Season two began airing in Australia on July 31, 2013, and in Italy on Rete 4 on July 4, 2013, at 9:00 pm. In Ireland, the series is shown on RTÉ One, and in Germany on RTL Nitro as of January 10, 2014, at 10:05 pm. The series made its Canadian debut in English in January 2014 on APTN, and in French on May 26, 2014, on Séries+. International broadcasters retain the rights to new Netflix-commissioned seasons of the show until their licenses expire.
Home media release
The first season of Longmire was released on May 28, 2013. It featured a documentary about filming in New Mexico, when the setting is in Wyoming, a gallery of photographic stills, and some unaired scenes. The second season was released on May 13, 2014. The three-disc set included an extended directors' cut version of the seventh episode, "Sound and Fury", as well as the season finale, "Bad Medicine". A bonus featurette, "Testing Courage: The Storm Defines the Man" was also included. The third season, including a bonus featurette, "The Ghost in the Storm," was released on March 3, 2015. The first three seasons were added to Netflix in the United States in June 2015. The fourth season was released on September 16, 2016, in a three-disc, 10-episode set. The Blu-ray releases of the series were handled by the Warner Archive Collection.
Reception has generally been positive. Nancy DeWolf Smith of The Wall Street Journal called the series "the best of two worlds: a modern crime drama with dry wit and sometimes heart-wrenching emotion that's also got a glorious setting under the big sky of Wyoming." She added: "If it weren't for a few modern conveniences, like cellphones and trucks, it might as well be 1875, so rugged and unspoiled does the scenery look." Newsday's Verne Gay stated: "Longmire arrives as silently as a dust devil kicked up by a high wind on the Wyoming plains. With little in the way of fanfare and a lead actor unacquainted with household name status, it must instead rely on a quiet fortitude, much like its namesake." He added: "Unassuming Longmire doesn't shout 'LOVE ME!' but instead works its charms subtly, quietly. There's promise here." Alan Sepinwall of HitFix stated "there's a sense of place to the show that makes it feel unlike every other cop show on television" and that he would "like to see the mysteries grow more engaging as the series moves along, but Longmire at least starts with a good foundation in Walt, his sidekicks, and the wide, open spaces they travel." However, some negative reception included the San Francisco Chronicle's David Wiegand wrote that the series "has the look and feel of a show cooked up by a bunch of bored TV industry types while they were waiting for the valet to bring their car to them at the Beverly Hills Chuck E. Cheese." He added: "There's very little drama, and the pilot episode lumbers along like an overfed elk." In the aggregate, Longmire has received favorable reviews—receiving an overall score of 67 out of 100 across seventeen media reviews on Metacritic.
Awards and nominations
In 2013, the pilot episode of Longmire, teleplay by Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. The series also won a Bronze Key Art Award for its season two television advertisement, titled "The Oath". The season two episode, "Party's Over", was also nominated by the Entertainment Industries Council for a PRISM Award for Best Drama Series Episode – Substance Use. Also in 2013, the series won the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Bronze Wrangler for Fictional Television Drama. In 2014, Steve La Porte was nominated for a Makeup Artists and Hairstylist Guild Award for Best Special Makeup Effects.
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- Longmire on Netflix
- Longmire at the Internet Movie Database
- Longmire at Metacritic
- Walt Longmire series of books on Goodreads