ⓘ Longmire (TV series)
Longmire is an American modern Western crime drama television series that premiered on June 3, 2012 on the A&E network, developed by John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin. The series is based on the Walt Longmire Mysteries series of novels by Craig Johnson. It centers on Walt Longmire, a sheriff in fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming. He is assisted by staff, friends, and his daughter in investigating major crimes within his jurisdiction.
Longmire became the "highest-rated original drama series" on A&E; however, the network announced in August 2014 that it would not renew the series after the third season. Warner Horizon Television offered it to other networks and Netflix picked it up, starting with season four. Netflix released the sixth and final season on November 17, 2017. Episodes of all six seasons are available for streaming and viewing online via Netflix in North America and Australia.
Walt Longmire Robert Taylor is the sheriff of fictional Absaroka County. Sheriff Longmires longtime friend Henry Standing Bear Lou Diamond Phillips, a Cheyenne man, provides insight to and sometimes aids in dealing with tribal police. As the series progresses, the friends deal with issues of gambling at a casino on the reservation, issues of competing jurisdictional authority for protecting people and prosecuting crimes, and other issues of contemporary Native American life.
In the first season, Walts adult daughter Cady Cassidy Freeman is concerned that her father has been stuck since 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. Branch has also entered the election, to unseat Longmire, and he is secretly dating Cady. Victoria "Vic" Moretti Katee Sackhoff, a transplanted Philadelphia homicide detective, arrived in Wyoming six months prior and works as one of Walts deputies.
In random flashback scenes, Walt and Henry travel separately to Denver, Colorado, where Walt attacks someone in a meth house. Denver Police Homicide Detective Fales Charles S. Dutton later comes to Wyoming to talk to Walt and Cady about Cadys mothers 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 murder suspect buried in a shallow grave. Walt denies killing the man; however, Detective Fales suspects that if Walt did not commit the murder, then Henry did.
In the second season, Cady goes to Denver to speak to Detective Fales, who gives her the details of her mothers murder and informs her the suspected murderer has also been killed. When Fales questions her, she says that her father confides in Henry Standing Bear, 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 Gorskis former partner, whom Vic had implicated in a corruption scandal that prompted an internal affairs investigation. Gorski blames Vic for his partners death and begins to stalk her. Frightened by Gorskis 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 Walts wife, but Hector explains that he beat him and took his teeth as trophies. Fales and his team find the teeth at Henrys bar and arrest him. Walt wins the election. Cady is hospitalized after being hit by a car after hers is sabotaged. Branch investigates, leading to a confrontation with members of the local Cheyenne reservation.
In the third season, as Branch recovers from being shot, he comes to believe he was shot by David Ridges, a Cheyenne who was thought to have committed suicide and been cremated. Walt and the others do not believe him, and he begins his own investigation. In prison, Henry is abused by other Native Americans, led by former Cheyenne reservation police chief Malachi Strand Graham Greene. Strand believes Henry contributed to his arrest through his friendship with Walt. 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.
Malachi is also released and begins working as security for Jacob Nighthorse, a prominent Cheyenne businessman and developer. Both Branch and Henry uncover clues that point to Nighthorses being involved in their cases, with Ridges as a key figure. Walt believes Nighthorse might have had a part in his wifes murder. He begins to believe that Branch is obsessed by his ideas about Ridges and suspends him temporarily, putting him in the care of his father Barlow. Walt and Henry learn that Ridges killed Miller Beck. Walt learns of Ridges hideout location and kills him in a confrontation, in self defense. Fales drops all charges against Henry, but the investigations continue. Branch questions his father, who admits to having paid Nighthorse to hire Ridges to kill Walts wife in hopes of helping Branch become sheriff. The season ends with the sound of a gunshot.
In the fourth season, Walt, Vic, and Ferg set out to search for Branch, after finding a disturbing 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 Branchs death a suicide after he finds soil in the shotgun shell. This shows that the shell had been ejected from firing and put back into the gun. Walt thinks that Nighthorse is behind the murder, until a drunken Barlow Connally confesses to the sheriff about killing his own son. The murder had followed Branchs finding out that his father had ordered the murder of Walts wife. After his confession, Barlow provokes Walt to shoot and kill him, increasing official suspicion of the sheriffs behavior. Meanwhile, Walt and his department join forces with Mathias Zahn McClarnon, chief of the Cheyenne tribal police, to investigate the rape of a Cheyenne woman, Gabriella Julia Jones, by several oil-field workers. The men escape prosecution because of conflicting authority and the reluctance of federal officials to prosecute. Walker Callum Keith Rennie, the oil foreman, buys off Gabriellas family, who urge dropping the case. Henry takes up Hectors role of avenger and plans to exact justice on the rapists. One is found dead, and Gabriella shoots the other as Henry is threatening him. Shot in the dark by Walt, Henry takes Gabriella into the Crow Nation territory to protect her. Both Walt and Walker seek to find her, ending up in a stand-off. Later, Mathias catches up with Henry and takes him into custody. Walt relaxes at home with his new love interest, Dr. Donna Sue Monaghan Ally Walker, but an unknown intruder invades and shoots them.
In the fifth season, Walt conducts an intense search for the person who kidnapped Donna after the home invasion and seriously wounded him. Walt and Donna continue their relationship. Nighthorse becomes increasingly suspicious of Malachis activities, and suspects he is skimming at the casino or otherwise earning illegal money. Mathias figures out that Henry has taken over Hectors duties as vigilante and uses that to his advantage. A heroin operation by the Irish mob is discovered in Walts jurisdiction. Walt defends a wrongful-death suit; if he loses, he will lose everything he owns, and probably his job. Vic learns she is pregnant and suffers an assault. Walt ends his relationship with Donna. A future possibility of a relationship with Vic is suggested as they acknowledge their feelings toward each other. As Henry gives a ride home to a presumably drunk woman, Malachi and his men kidnap him. He is taken to a remote area of the neighboring Crow reservation, staked to the ground, and left to die.
In the first episode of the sixth season, "The Eagle and the Osprey", Henry is still being held by kidnappers and might die if not found. Walt investigates a bank robbery with some unusual aspects. In the final season, several other aspects are explored, including the civil lawsuit against Longmire and his plans for the future.
2.1. Cast and characters Main
- Bailey Chase as Branch Connally is an ambitious deputy who comes from a wealthy local family. His uncle, Lucian Connally, was Walts predecessor as sheriff, and Branch hopes to be sheriff one day, as well. He was romantically involved with Cady Longmire. After being shot by David Ridges in season two, he is shown during the next season recovering and investigating the attack. He was suspended from the force at the end of season three.
- Adam Bartley as Archie "The Ferg" Ferguson is an awkward but hard-working young deputy, who felt unappreciated next to his more senior deputies, the handsome Branch Connally and the former Philadelphia Detective Vic Morretti. His eclectic knowledge and skills have helped solve cases, justifying Walts hiring him, despite the fact that one reason Walt hired him was as a favor to his father. He continues to feel overlooked, even when he is promoted to a more senior deputy status. In the early seasons, he has an unrequited crush on Cady. In season five, he meets Meg, a local nurse.
- Katee Sackhoff as Victoria "Vic" Moretti is a sheriffs deputy and a former Philadelphia Police Department homicide detective. She moved to Wyoming with her husband Sean following an incident with her superior officer in Philadelphia. She has four brothers, and at least one sister.
- Lou Diamond Phillips as Henry Standing Bear is a Cheyenne who is Walts best friend and closest confidant. Their friendship began when they met in the sixth grade. Henry owns and operates the Red Pony, a local tavern and restaurant. An expert tracker, his name is described as meaning "a bear who protects those whom he loves". Henry is initially treated as a minor character, but as the series goes on, his position as a well-respected member of his community becomes a prominent storyline, and he actively helps Walt and Cady on numerous occasions. Henry does not speak in contractions.
- Cassidy Freeman as Cady Longmire is Walts daughter, an attorney who initially works for a local law firm. Later, she works for Jacob Nighthorse, to provide representation to residents on the reservation. She was romantically involved with Branch Connally for a time. Later on, she becomes romantically involved with "Zach" Heflin. In the series finale, her father convinces her to run for sheriff.
- Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire is the long-time sheriff of Absaroka County. His character is a throwback to the iconic heroes of classical Westerns, laconic and introspective, with a strong sense of duty and justice. As the stories build, Walt is shown to have a knack for finding the truth behind the various crimes that have been committed. His wife died a year before the series started, and he has told his daughter and friends that she died of cancer. Walts grief leads to isolation and guilt.
2.2. Cast and characters Recurring
- Lee Tergesen as Ed Gorski - ex-cop from Philadelphia who worked with Vic seasons 1-3. He was previously romantically involved with her but she broke off the relationship, causing him to stalk her.
- Mary Wiseman as Meg - a nurse at the local hospital who begins dating Ferg seasons 5-6.
- A Martinez as Jacob Nighthorse - a local Cheyenne businessman representing the interests of his people seasons 1-6. Nighthorse becomes a villain in later seasons.
- Derek Phillips as Travis Murphy - a boyhood friend of Branch Connally. He aspires to be a sheriffs deputy seasons 2-6.
- Noam Jenkins as FBI Agent Towson - a by-the-book agent seen by the sheriffs department as a negative force seasons 2, 5.
- Tamara Duarte as Mandy - a young Cheyenne woman hired by Cady Longmire to assist her in the legal-aid office on the Cheyenne reservation seasons 4-6.
- Mike Pniewski as Judge Clarence Drood - the judge presiding over Walts civil suit season 6.
- Arron Shiver as Billy Barnes - Bobs son seasons 1-2, 5
- T.J. Alvarado as Dillon - the doctor at the reservation clinic seasons 3-5.
- Josh Cooke as Eamonn ONeill - a deputy from Cumberland County who fills in briefly at the sheriff’s department seasons 4-5.
- Peter Weller as Lucian Connally - Branchs uncle and Walts predecessor as sheriff, now retired seasons 1-4, 6.
- David Midthunder as David Ridges - a Cheyenne man who shoots Branch and becomes a fugitive seasons 2-3.
- Tom Wopat as Sheriff Jim Wilkins - sheriff of neighboring Cumberland County seasons 1, 4-6.
- Hank Cheyne as Sam Poteet - is a Cheyenne White Warrior and sage seasons 3-6.
- Ally Walker as Dr. Donna Monaghan - a therapist treating local veterans seasons 4-5. She becomes a love interest of Walt’s.
- Callum Keith Rennie as Walker Browning - the manager of a regional energy company; Walt suspects him of criminal activity seasons 4-5.
- Stephen Louis Grush as Monte Ford - a young man who applies to be a sheriff’s deputy. After Zach is selected, Monte responds angrily and follows Zach around to annoy him seasons 4-5.
- Bob Clendenin as Jamie DeBell - a nervous weed dealer, who has also worked a variety of low paying legal jobs, such as a pizza delivery man and Uber driver, who occasionally gives Walt information about criminal activity.
- Julia Jones as Gabriella Langton - a Cheyenne girl who is raped season 4.
- Marylouise Burke as Beverly Joyce - Megs mother season 6.
- Irene Bedard as May Still Water - Cheyenne woman who respects Walt and Henry seasons 1, 3-6.
- Gerald McRaney as Barlow Connally - a wealthy, powerful, local, real estate developer and Branchs father seasons 1-4.
- Brett Rice as Tucker Baggett - a lawyer and wannabe real estate tycoon who is a close friend of Barlow Connally seasons 5-6.
- Joseph Daniel Havenstar as Darius Burns - Malachi Strands right-hand man seasons 3-6.
- Dan Donohue as Eddie Harp - a drug dealer affiliated with the Irish mafia seasons 5-6.
- Danny Winn as Roughneck Gambler - a suspect in the rape of Gabriella Langton who was found to be uninvolved. season 4
- Peter Stormare as Chance Gilbert - the leader of an anti-government movement who is both insane and very intelligent. He kidnaps Vic and her husband after their car breaks down. He only appears in 6 episodes, but becomes a major villain seasons 3, 5-6.
- Tantoo Cardinal as Marilyn Yarlott - a Crow hunter and medicine woman who lives alone in the vast wilderness of the Crow reservation seasons 4-6.
- Jeffrey De Serrano as Hector - Cheyenne ex-boxer who lives on the reservation, is a mercenary-for-hire and vigilante for Cheyenne people who seek justice seasons 1-3, 6.
- Katherine LaNasa as Lizzie Ambrose - wealthy local woman with whom Walt has a tentative romantic relationship seasons 1-2.
- John Bishop as Bob Barnes - the town drunk who has worked a variety of odd jobs seasons 1-6.
- Ralph Alderman as Judge Joseph Mayhew - the judge presiding over the trials of Henry Standing Bear and Chance Gilbert seasons 3-6.
- Zahn McClarnon as Chief Mathias - chief of the Cheyenne reservations tribal police seasons 1-6.
- Michael Mosley as Sean Keegan - Vics husband, natural gas company executive seasons 1-3.
- Louis Herthum as Omar - local hunting guide with expertise in firearms seasons 1-3, 5. Omar regularly flirts with Vic, to her dismay.
- Eric Ladin as Mayor Sawyer Crane - the ambitious mayor of Durant, Wyoming seasons 5-6.
- Dylan Walsh as Shane Muldoon - the leader of the Irish mafia seasons 5-6.
- Charles S. Dutton as Detective Fales - from Denver, investigating the suspicious death of the murderer of Walts wife seasons 1-3.
- Raphael Sbarge as Agent Decker - a corrupt FBI agent with ties to Muldoon and Malachi season 6.
- Louanne Stephens as Ruby - dispatcher and manager of the sheriffs office seasons 1-6.
- Graham Greene as Malachi Strand - the former chief of the tribal police and Nighthorses chief of security at the casino seasons 3-6.
- Patch Darragh as David Milgrom - Walts lawyer seasons 5-6.
- Scott Michael Campbell as Dr. Weston - a doctor at the regional hospital who occasionally assists in Longmires investigations seasons 3-6.
- Nick Gehfluss as Cameron Maddox - a lawyer who went to law school with Cady. He helps her try to prove Henrys innocence season 3.
- Patricia Bethune as Mary Jo Murphy - Travis mother seasons 3-5
- Barry Sloane as Zachary "Zach" Heflin - a new deputy hired by Walt seasons 4, 6. He later becomes romantically involved with Cady.
3. Development and production
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.
The story is set in northern Wyoming, but the series has been filmed in several locations in New Mexico, including Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Eagle Nest, Espanola, and Red River. Buffalo, in Johnson County, in northeast Wyoming, is the setting for some scenes set in the fictional town of Durant, county seat of Absaroka.
Casting announcements began in February 2011, with Robert Taylor cast first in the lead role of Sheriff Walt Longmire. 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 the series for a 10-episode first season. A&E renewed it for a second season on June 29, 2012, following early success as the highest-rated summer scripted drama debut, and as A&Es highest-rated scripted drama. The network renewed it for a third season on November 25, 2013.
In 2013, massive wildfires scorched the Valles Caldera National Preserve, which disrupted the series production. Three fires started over a three-week period, two at the same time. The Prescott Fire Departments Granite Mountain Hotshots assisted in preventing the destruction of the area around where Walts house is filmed. Nineteen of the Hotshots 20 members were later killed battling the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. The second seasons finale honored them 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. According to the New Mexico State Film Office, exteriors were filmed in and around Santa Fe and at Garson Studios.
On August 28, 2014, A&E announced that Longmire was cancelled after completing its third season, despite consistently strong viewership that made it "the most-watched original series in A&E history, packing almost 6 million viewers" per episode, "reportedly because it appealed to an older demographic that was unappealing to advertisers" and was produced by an external studio.
Three months later, Netflix confirmed that it had picked up the series and would film additional episodes. The 10-episode fourth season filmed on location in New Mexico, and was made available for viewing in North America and Oceania on September 10, 2015.
On October 30, 2015, Netflix announced that Longmire would return for a fifth season. Season-five location filming was scheduled for late March to late June, 2016. It took place primarily in Las Vegas, New Mexico, the town shown in the series. Other locations included towns in the surrounding area. The studio work was completed at Garson Studios at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. The 10-episode fifth season was made available for viewing on September 23, 2016.
According to Eric Witt, director of the Santa Fe Film Office, season-six filming was scheduled to begin in March 2017. By June, the interior scenes had been filmed at Garson Studios; location photography was underway in various New Mexico locations including Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Valles Caldera, Pecos, and other sites in the northern part of the state. The director was by T.J. Scott and the producers included Hunt Baldwin, John Coveny, Greer Shephard, and Michael M. Robin. Filming concluded the last week of June.
4.1. Release U.S. television ratings
Longmire debuted as A&Es number-one original-series premiere with 4.1 million total viewers.
4.2. Release Broadcast
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.
The sixth and final season began airing on TCM in the UK, on January 7, 2018.
The series is shown in Ireland on RTE One and in Germany on RTL Nitro, as of January 10, 2014, at 10:05 pm. It made its Canadian debut in English, in January 2014 on APTN, and in French on May 26, 2014, on Series+. International broadcasters retain the rights to new Netflix-commissioned seasons of the show until their licenses expire.
4.3. Release Home media
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.
5.1. Reception Critical reception
In its first season, 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 thats also got a glorious setting under the big sky of Wyoming." She added: "If it werent 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 doesnt shout Love Me! but instead works its charms subtly, quietly. Theres promise here." Alan Sepinwall of HitFix said of season one, "theres a sense of place to the show that makes it feel unlike every other cop show on television", and 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."
The San Francisco Chronicle s David Wiegand was critical, writing 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: "Theres very little drama, and the pilot episode lumbers along like an overfed elk."
Three years later, after viewing the first three episodes of season four, a top critic on the Roger Ebert site wrote, "It sometimes sounds like faint praise to describe a series like you would a reliable car, but Longmire is just a sturdy show. It is well-constructed all around - confidently made, well-acted, and the writing is much smarter than many shows like it. It hums, each episode these three sic feeling more well-paced than the one before." At the same point in the series, Mike Hale of The New York Times also filed a favorable review, with particular praise for actor Robert Taylor, described as a "modern-day Gary Cooper or Joel McCrea".
In the aggregate, Longmire received favorable reviews on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. For example, season four received an average rating of 8.5/10 based on seven reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. By season five, and especially season six, however, no reviews by critics and few comments in the Audience Ratings section have been made.
5.2. Reception Accolades
In 2013, the pilot episode of Longmire, whose teleplay was written by Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. The season-two episode, "Partys Over", was 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 Museums Bronze Wrangler for Fictional Television Drama. The series won a Bronze Key Art Award for its season-two television advertisement, titled "The Oath".
In 2014, Steve La Porte was nominated for a Makeup Artists and Hairstylist Guild Award for Best Special Makeup Effects.
Over the years, the series has also received two Key Art Awards and two Red Nation Film Awards of Excellence, the latter for Supporting Actor A Martinez and Graham Greene.
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