Tue
Jul 1 2014 12:30pm

Longmire: 3.05 “Wanted Man”

“If you do the job right, Walt, by the time you put down your sheriff’s badge, you’re a wanted man.” —Lucian Connally.

“Wanted Man” started strong and remained strong through the very end. A terrific episode written by Tony Tost and directed by Lucian himself (Peter Weller) followed the ongoing plotlines with some interesting twists and surprises. In a finely crafted opener that interweaves a flashback with current day narrative, Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is leaving his cabin, his late wife Martha calling after him to be careful. Even though you know he’s headed for a dangerous assignment, he looks relaxed; there’s an easy-going manner in his countenance. In a testament to Mr. Taylor’s skillful acting, this brief scene says it all: Martha was the balance that set his sail and when he had her, he had a reason to believe in life.

The flashback further reveals Longmire teaming up with Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) to arrest the corrupt Malachi (Graham Greene) and ends in the present-day with Malachi seeking parole, as Longmire explains that Malachi extorted him several weeks prior and he’s not in favor.

Are you also starting to think Malachi should be on Walt’s wall of possible suspects in Miller Beck’s murder? You may remember Beck killed Martha Longmire, and of course, Walt’s trying to clear Henry’s name as the chief suspect in Beck’s murder. To that end, Longmire takes a day off (not to burden the taxpayer) to track three likely candidates who could have eliminated Beck. When he realizes he could use some renegade back-up, he calls on Lucian Connally.

Weller may be best known for his roles in the Robocop franchise, the cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, and recent films like Star Trek into Darkness, but for the past twenty years, he has also directed some notable episodes of television, including stints on Homicide and Sons of Anarchy. Besides his crisp, no-nonsense direction in “Wanted Man,” he also, once again, doubles in front of the cameras as Lucian Connally—Longmire’s predecessor and Branch Connally’s (Bailey Chase) uncle. Lucian’s no-BS ways make him a darker version of Walt Longmire, or what Longmire would be like if we removed all of his better qualities of honesty and sense of morality. Still, Longmire finds himself asking the former sheriff for help in tracking down leads that could exonerate Henry. The rapport between these two law enforcers is particularly engaging and entertaining. In the scene where a suspect is fleeing in a pickup truck, Longmire and Lucian have their guns drawn and Lucian asks, “Windshield?” “Tires,” Longmire replies. Lucian then lowers his aim, “Softie.” A moment later, the suspect asks if they have a warrant to search a locked van for evidence. Lucian yells, “Fore!” as he shoots off the padlock from the back doors.

Branch picks up where he left off in last week’s episode “In the Pines” by interrogating the Rez peyote dealer he kidnapped with the help of his friend, Travis. Using his own version of waterboarding, Branch gets no useful information after dumping peyote tea down the man’s throat, and then he releases the hallucinating man into a desolate stretch of land. Travis, who hasn’t been at all pleased with Branch’s behaviors, voices his opinion that the treatment of the dealer is harsh. And Travis eventually regrets helping his childhood friend, because Vic comes to question him after his description was given to the Rez Chief Mathias by the peyote dealer.

In the last several minutes, this superb episode doubled down with two—didn’t see it coming—surprises. First, Malachi is released on parole and stops by the Red Pony Cafe to rub it in to Henry that he’s now free, but Henry will undoubtedly be heading back to jail. Then, to add insult to injury, Malachi says Henry will have to sell the bar, implying he will buy it as he throws down a wad of cash on the bar to purchase the taxidermy specimens Henry is selling to raise money as a reward to find Hector.

The second surprise comes when Longmire, Vic, and Branch finally find Hector—who is Henry’s best chance of getting cleared—but he’s been scalped and shot three times, and is dying in a cave. He's able to identify the picture of David Ridges that Branch is carrying as his attacker. In a heartfelt, moving scene, they move Hector outside the darkened cave to die in the openness of nature. His last, gripping words are, “This is between me and my ancestors now.”

Writer Tony Tost knocked another episode out of the park, he’s two for two in season three, and Director Peter Weller scored big time with “Wanted Man.”


Under the pen name of Edward A. Grainger, David Cranmer writes the continuing adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles. He is also the editor/publisher of the BEAT to a PULP webzine and books.

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16 comments
1. randal120
Randy Johnson here,

Nice little plot twist thrown in. They do a nice job of making all Longmire's suspects viable. Yes, Malachi probably should be on that list I agree.

With subplots coming together, we may get resolution after all.
Edward A. Grainger
2. EdwardAGrainger
Randy, I see where next week's title is "Reports of My Death" which I'm assuming means possible closure with the David Ridges story. Sharp the way Ridges path crossed over with Hector. Once again, well done Tony Tost!
3. Snowdogmom
I loved this episode. Lucien is always a bonus. I loved the part when Walt and Lucien discuss Martha. Lucien admits he made a pass at Martha and Walt says Martha said it was twice. No secrets between Martha and Walt. Lucien misses the Christmas Pot Lucks, that would be a great flashback scene. In addition to Lucien and Malachi, Graham Greene is always a presence and good to see him even as a bad guy, we also got a bit of Mathias actually being nice. Loved him holding the swinging half door for Ruby, and Jamie the Pizza Guy was back! I love his scenes with Walt. Interesting they put Vic in the same ethical dilemma as back in Philly. I think we found out Branch REALLY thinks he's entitled big time. His comment to Travis that people like him get caught and people like me don't. He's proving Det. Fales point about unethical small town deputies. Not sure what happened to Travis, did Vic actually arrest him the second time? The next scene showed Vic and Branch at their desks but no sign or mention of Travis. Continuity problem or done on purpose? Liked seeing Nia Peeples but almost didn't know it was her do to the weird lighting. They did light up Cady's face but not Nia's. Sorry to see Hector go. I think they could have done a lot with his character in future episodes. They wanted him to suffer, sclaping, shot in two legs, and the chest.
4. Snowdogmom
By the way Malachi was on Walt's list he moved his picture off to the top on the right side of the wall but he was in jail when Martha and Beck were killed so he may have ordered it but Walt thinks someone else actually killed Beck. Walt was concentrating on people that were not in jail at the time of the deaths first.
Edward A. Grainger
5. EdwardAGrainger
Snowdogmom, Yep. I'm thinking Malachi could have ordered the hit but if he didn't and we can keep Malachi around next season as a kingpin of sorts I'm ok with that as well. Graham Greene like Peter Weller is always a huge plus. And I like your idea on having more flashbacks of Walt and Martha. That would be nice little additions.
Edward A. Grainger
6. EdwardAGrainger
Snowdogmom, And I want to add that, yes, I'm sorry to see Hector leave too. Well drawn character and terrific actor and, once again, powerful final scene.
7. Tanner
One correction. You say that Hector was shot twice.

In fact, he was shot three times. Once in the chest, and once in each leg.
8. B. Robert
Writers and actors are the best on Longmire. Like to see more of each character with episode additions. Henry and Cady are great characters for creative writers. Walt definitely requires closure on his wife's murder. Like to see the character move forward. Not sure how I feel about any other type of relationship between Vic and Walt as the one existing now. Although, the heart wants what the heart wants. Walt is a great character to look up to and admire.
9. Mates
I enjoy Peter Weller's acting in just about anything, especially the first Robocop film.
Edward A. Grainger
10. EdwardAGrainger
Thank you, Tanner. And Snowdogmom on the correction for the number of times Hector was shot. I guess I didn't want him to suffer as much as he did.

B. Robert, I couldn't agree more on the top Longmire creative team and acting. As for Walt and Vic getting together, my vote is no.

Mates, And Weller was perfecto in the Naked Lunch adapatation.
11. Oscar Case
Nice review. I havent' seen or read any of the Longmire books or shows yet. They sound really exciting.
Edward A. Grainger
12. EdwardAGrainger
Oscar, You can start with any of the books and I'm betting you will be an instant fan. And the show is on next Monday evening and I'll meet you back here Tuesday. :)
13. Victor
Great episode. The opening voice over was a nice touch. Didn't pay attention that Weller directed this episode. Weller and Tost sure elevated this episode to a new standard.
Edward A. Grainger
14. EdwardAGrainger
Victor, And I might add Weller is one rugged looking bad-ass who could have a show of his own where he leaves the old folks home once a week to trackdown some hardcases.
snow dog
15. snowdogmom
I hope we get a season 4, ratings are down for season 3. I think a lot of people still don't know about Longmire. I think the ratings system needs a major revamping. The key demographic is outdated. More people watch than the ratings indicate and they need to get over the 18-49 demographic being all that counts. There are more baby boomers than any other group.
Edward A. Grainger
16. EdwardAGrainger
Years ago my parents and their friends (all over 60 at the time) use to laugh because they had money and it spent just as well as 18-49 year olds.
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