Longmire 5.05: “Pure Peckinpah” Episode Review

Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) finds Joey Takoda (Alex Livinalli) parked outside The Red Pony, dead of what’s supposed to look like an apparent heroin overdose. Longmire (Robert Taylor) deduces that someone else injected Takoda with heroin in his right arm because Joey had a left-handed baseball glove in his trunk. Walt is really kicking it—two for two in Season 5—for Sherlockian assessments. First, the kidney-urination connection (I’m feeling certain I may have just coined that dubious phrase) in “The Judas Wolf,” and now this gem. 

A jittery Henry worries privately to Officer Mathias (Zahn McClarnon) that someone may be on to his Hector Avenging Angel role because of Joey's body being dumped outside The Red Pony. But bigger problemas first: Walt believes the new Hector may have turned to murder, and the sheriff briefly considers Mathias a likely suspect until Henry’s well-conceived distraction redirects Walt away from that line of inquiry. For two supposedly best friends, Walt and Henry certainly have a lot of secrets from each other. 

We know Malachi (Graham Greene) is rooted deep in the dirt, but in “Pure Peckinpah,” he doubles down, dealing with Joey Takoda’s killers by renegotiating for another 5% on everything (drugs, whores, etc.) they run through the casino. To sweeten the deal, he offers to bring the head of Hector to the “Belfast” duo.

Of course, the new Hector is really Henry Standing Bear, and Malachi’s thugs begin scouring high and low. Well not all of his thugs; one man refuses to go, believing Hector’s an ancestral spirit of the Dog Soldiers. So Malachi guns him down in cold blood, saying, “Well … if Hector really is a spirit, you tell him hello for me.” 

A heroin epidemic is sweeping through Absaroka County, and Walt’s friend Bob Barnes (John Bishop) comes to him for help with his son Billy, (Aaron Shiver) who is an addict. Walt gets Billy to go to rehab by threatening to arrest him for possession.

He later questions him about the death of Takoda, which leads to an eighteen-year-old high school girl named Jule (Melanie Green) who was looking for someone to help her rob Takoda. She had been sleeping with the dealer in return for drugs, but that stopped when an enforcer named Eddie Harp (Dan Donohue) threatened to “get emotional” on him if he came up short again.

Walt uses a comical cannabis peddler named Jamie DeBell (Bob Clendenin) to lead them to Harp. It works, Harp’s arrested and brought in for questioning. However, a database records request has the FBI calling direct to the sheriff’s office, and they want to extradite Harp to Montana. On the drive, The Ferg (Adam Bartley) is stopped on a desolate stretch of road, sandwiched between two vehicles. Assassins with assault rifles exit, and the show ends in a cacophony of gunfire.

Such a taut episode though I wish they had concluded it on MORE of a Sam Peckinpah note. “Bloody Sam” (Ride the High Country, The Wild Bunch, The Getaway) was known, in part, for his revisionist westerns where spurting blood and death were filmed in explicit detail, often slowed down for maximum effect. An appropriate coda would have been seeing the action instead of the deputy’s shocked expression, fade to black. They had some operatic slow-mo scenes earlier when Malachi killed his goon, and that’s what the end really called for—something worthy of Peckinpah.


  • Zach, who was fired by Walt last season, keeps getting mentioned again as a suspect. Got a feeling we will be seeing him soon.
  • Funny as hell back-to-back episodes of Vic getting crap on her—first when she was puked on, then, well, the faulty black-water hose incident.
  • Ferg has a girlfriend—Ferguson has a girlfriend—or so I'm assuming Vic would chant if given the opportunity.
  • Favorite scene by far is Travis running down Jule, and then showing up on the girl’s grandma’s doorstep with the teen slung over his shoulder, saying to Vic, “I really hope this is the girl you're looking for.”

See also: Longmire 5.04: “The Judas Wolf” Episode Review


David Cranmer is the publisher and editor of BEAT to a PULP. Latest books from this indie powerhouse include the alternate history novella Leviathan and sci-fi adventure Pale Mars. David lives in New York with his wife and daughter.


  1. Zapp

    Of course, the “comical peddler” was a return appearance from a past season. So was Travis. And so was father and son Bob and Billy. Quite impressive to manage so many fan faves in one and the same episode.

    As for Peckinpah, I guess I feel more for the Ferg than having him get killed just to have a worthy ending. I guess he’s still dead (especially since it’s such a trope that the guy with a brand new love interest buys it) but with the fade to black we don’t know for sure…

  2. David Cranmer

    Zapp, I didn’t want Ferg to die. But to have an episode built around Peckinpah deserves a Peckinpah ending. Not seeing the action doesn’t work for me. And I agree the show knows how to balance its character actors—Travis is a favorite of mine.

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