Longmire 5.10, Season Finale: “The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of” Episode Review

Is that it? After a knock-‘em-down brawl between Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Walt (Robert Taylor) at the Red Pony, Henry won't press charges if Walt will drop the Hector business. Walt agrees, aided by his very worried lawyer reminding him of his upcoming civil lawsuit. 

Later, Henry approaches Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez) and asks if he killed Malachi (Graham Greene), and he seems satisfied with the reply—and the suggestion that Malachi wrote “Hector Lives” with the rocks to make people feel safe after the vanquishing of the casino’s former head of security. Nighthorse has beefed up his security and suggests Hank do the same.

In other tête-à-têtes, Mayor Sawyer Crane (Eric Ladin) calls Nighthorse to his office, looking to gain some of the businessman’s clout—and money—for reelection. In exchange, he’ll take down Sheriff Walt Longmire. I couldn’t really tell by Nighthorse’s expression if he’s excited by the mayor’s offer or not.

Sawyer has requested that the governor temporarily remove Walt from office until the wrongful death lawsuit plays itself out—i.e., after the election in which he’s running on a strong anticorruption platform, which the sheriff’s daily “wild west” news headlines ain’t a-helping. Sawyer lets it slip to Walt that the FBI has some evidence against him but won’t gab more when Walt presses for info. Meanwhile, Tucker Baggett (Brett Rice) quizzes Donna (Ally Walker) on how long after she had been cleared by Walt, as a suspected drug dealer, did they begin dating.

Chance Gilbert is found guilty on all charges and immediately asks to speak to Walt about helping him to land a seat on Death Row, but the sheriff declines saying Chance deserves his twenty-year sentence. Later, Vic, who still suffers trauma from the beating she took at the hands of Chance, agrees to help the clan leader, saying: “I want you to die. I want to wipe you off the face of this earth so I never have to think about you again.”

So, get this, Chance admits to killing the federal census worker and directs Vic to where he stashed the gun on the compound grounds. Really, Vic?! You are contemplating going back without realizing this could be a snare? And adding insult to injury, she borrows Ferg’s (Adam Bartley) Trans-Am? Whaaat? 

Sure enough, she goes … then WHACK! to side the head as Ida (Genia Michaela) gets the drop on her after Vic finds the weapon. Though it was an exciting mano a mano, I file Vic’s actions under: When Smart Characters Do Dumb Things.

In an episode where Walt proclaims, “It's done. It's not for me to interfere with the law. That kind of behavior's been getting me into trouble,” and shortly therafter, he finagles Ferg’s assistance with the caveat, “… it’s not, strictly speaking, uh, legal,” I’ve gotta ask, what is he doing? Literally, what he’s doing is breaking and entering a private residence without a warrant as a sworn officer of the law to find the evidence that Monte Ford (Stephen Louis Grush) has against him. Walt would’ve gotten caught too if Ferg hadn’t pulled Monte over for running a stop sign.

Regardless, Walt discovers some of the evidence and a whole lot more during a private meeting with Barlow’s estate lawyer, Tucker Baggett. Tucker explains he was made CEO of Connally enterprises perchance Barlow didn’t live—which he didn’t, he died the following day. The lawyer’s plan, after financially decimating the sheriff, is to build a golf course on Walt’s scenic Cheyenne property.

In another “what were you thinking” moment, Henry offers to give a ride home to a woman who claims her jacket and car keys were swiped from the Red Pony. I understand being a good Samaritan, but then he doubles down by offering to go inside her darkened house, you just know that—yes, wait for it—Malachi and his thugs are there waiting for him. The woman turns out to be Malachi’s granddaughter, and the scar-faced hood (Graham is badass with the new look) takes Henry to the Crow reservation and pins him under the unforgiving sun with stakes that belong to Nighthorse.

Cady Longmire’s (Cassidy Freeman) perpetual wide-eyes effectively close out the show’s cliffhanger as she participates in a ceremonial sweat. She’s finally accepted into the community—into the tribe. At the ritual, she begins having visions of her father’s house, empty, and she’s walking through blood on the floor. She also “sees” Henry hanging from a noose, alive and making a phone call, presumably for help. Images of her father screaming out and the box with her mother’s ashes in Walt’s otherwise empty house. Evocative imagery that will make Longmire fans wish the next season was now.


  • The lovable, too funny Travis (Derek Phillips) is moving into Chrysalis to be closer to Vic. He’s immediately worried when he finds she has gotten into a scrape and has been kicked in the stomach. If you were just a shade smarter, Travis, you would be a perfect match for the deputy. It would appear that he has a right to be concerned by the sonogram Vic is fixated on. 


  • In other “relationship” news, Walt tells Donna that they may have met each other at the wrong time. Just when I was starting to like this sharp, complex psychologist, and now it looks like splitsville.


  • Mathias’s symbolic move of smashing the Hector glass jar relieves a thankful Henry of his self-imposed burden. The Mathias character was more well-rounded in Season 5 and not just a heavy to play off. I’d love to see a two-hour film with Mathias as a lead character going through his own day.


  • Walt receives a gift with no return address: Henry’s Cowboy & Indian toy figures and a message that did my mathematics enthusiast heart good, “ALWAYS REMEMBER THE ASYMPTOTE.” Math Is Fun’s definition: “a line that a curve approaches, as it heads toward infinity.” Is this a message from Henry saying that their paths will never meet, that there will always be a gap between them, even if small? Or, as my constant viewing partner suggested: it’s a warning not to cross the line? Your thoughts?

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. KL

    You forgot the part of the vision where Jacob Nighthorse practices his golf swing in full Dog Soldier get-up. Given what Tucker Baggett wants to do with Walt’s land, it seems like a pretty incriminating tidbit about Nighthorse’s alliance with Connally.

  2. David Cranmer

    KL, This show certainly likes to toss a lot of red herrings out and we will see if Cady’s visions of Nighthorse ala Arnold Palmer (A Martinez is tops in this role) is tied to any reality. And also in that sweat vision she saw Mandy cleaning up the blood and if I remember correctly an owl made another appearance–a harbinger of death in Native American symbolism.

  3. Dave White

    My wife & I just finished a two day marathon of season 5 of ‘Longmire’. We’re so glad Netflix saw fit to continue this show when A&E foolishly (in our opinion) cancelled it after Season 3, leaving things on a cliffhanger. Here was our main problem with the season 5 finale; we’re supposed to believe that Henry Standing Bear, who by all indications has lived his entire life on the reservation, wouldn’t recognize the granddaughter of his arch-enemy Malachi? Just seemed the writers were stretching a bit with that one. Having said that we’re all-in, and anxiously awaiting the premiere of season 6 already.

  4. David Cranmer

    Dave, my constant viewing companion also thought it strange that Henry didn’t know the granddaughter. And my biggest issue of season 5, among us devoted Longmire fans (I’m all in for season 6 too), is that Walt creates a majority of his problems that he then has to get out of and often places his friends/co-workers in danger. I’m writing a Dear Walt article to address that flaw in his armor. Still, what a top show.

  5. Margot Core

    Dave & David! Hi, I too love this show, but I had to binge watch it alone because my husband is just not interested. I too found the likelihood that Standing Bear did not recognize Malachi’s relative to be slim but was outwise just thrilled. True David, Walt does create a lot of his own problems, but that is the character as created by Craig Johnson I think.

  6. David Cranmer

    Hello, AnnaZed! Yes, the show for the most part is very faithful to Mr. Johnson. Fun to think, though, as I watch the season 5 episodes could I work for Walt Longmire and the answer is a resounding no. Ferg yes and maybe Vic but I would end up like Eamonn shot in the leg for my troubles (working for Walt) or bent over the hood of the car with the Irish Mob threatening me. Ha. No thanks.

  7. Sself

    “Always remember the asymptote!” As it goes, it gets closer and closer, but never crosses the line.

  8. David Cranmer

    Sself, That must be it though I’m wondering if there’s more to read into this message?

  9. Joe Desormeaux

    Asymptote = Greek for “not falling together”

    Could that mean several things in the relationship between Walt and Henry!

  10. David Cranmer

    Joe, Such sharp writing on this show and like I said include an ode to mathematics and I give the writers bonus points.

  11. John Swinford

    Did I miss something in the earlier episode with Chance Gilbert? That survivalist story ended with Longmire and the bad guy (I don’t even recall hearing his name in that episode) facing off for a duel, then…fade to black…BANG!! The next episode started off with Walt doing some normal sheriff’s business as usual, so I figured Chance was a goner. Until Vic has to go testify at his trial, even then I didn’t know who it was until he appeared in the courtroom. Did that ever get explained?

  12. Koholaz

    Since Henry is staked out on the Crow reservation (archenemies of the Cheyenne) I am hoping that the Crow Medicine Woman (Tantoo Cardinal) somehow comes to save him. I loved her with Gabby.

    And holy cow, the evil apple doesn’t fall far from the Strand tree with that cold blooded grand daughter leading Henry to the slaughter.

  13. Lawnmower

    “Always remember the asymptote!”
    The asymptote and a curve head in the same direction, not ever reaching the same point but neither wavering from a similar trajectory. Henry, like an asymptote will always be there for Walt, seeking the same thing – justice?

  14. cythere72

    I just finished watching season 5 in its entirety. I didn’t think of that point that Henry didn’t recognize the granddaughter. That is rather odd. I felt that it was a set up but was not sure about what exactly till they walked into the house.

    I am hoping that Nighthorse isn’t involved in the golf course/housing deal. I am hoping that he turns out to be somewhat of a good guy after all. I never liked him but in season 5 it seemed that he really wanted to do good for his people. I also agree that A Martinez is tops in this role (as is everyone).

    Strangely, I am hoping that Vic and Travis get together. That Travis starts to grow on Vic and they end up together. An odd but I think good pair as Travis seems to have a good heart and Vic needs someone that may not be so smart but does truly look out for her welfare.

    I will be sad when Longmire ends after season six. I think that Walt is found innocent and he realizes it is time for this cowboy to walk off into the sunset of retirement and that is where the show will end.

  15. Ronald J Gilbert

    In mathematics, an asymptote is a line that approaches but never intersects, therefore, the logic that Walt crossed a line with Henry is flawed. Their relationship is too complicated for such a simplistic analysis. As a songwriter, I have heard many explanations of my lyrics. None and all were correct. Perhaps they answer lies in the beholder or as the titular episode implies with Prospero:Our revels now are ended. These our actors,As I foretold you, were all spirits, andAre melted into air, into thin air:And like the baseless fabric of this vision,The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,The solemn temples, the great globe itself,Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuffAs dreams are made on; and our little lifeIs rounded with a sleep. Ron Gilbert.

  16. Jay Cee

    I believe the reference to the asymptote refers to the likelihood of anyone ever knowing the full truth. Henry is reminding Walt about the nature of any search for truth.

  17. Rob

    “Always Remember the Asymptote”

    Two things may appear to be connected but they are not. Walt investigating Hector/Henry, the Mob/Nighthorse.

  18. TG

    Hurry up with Season 6! Please. Have some Craig Johnson books ordered to hold me over! Read the books are even better? Can’t imagine!
    Because “Always Remember the Asymptote” came from Henry consider the source, i.e., Jay Cee’s comment referring to pulling together the full truth. I appreciate Rob’s comment about Walt’s investigation not coming together, so… (Walt’s phrase). Consider Walt & Donna’s conversation in this episode, regarding truth, is one’s truth another person’s truth? Or is truth just an impression of such for each.
    And, yes, I hope the Crow woman rescues Henry otherwise why mention the location?

  19. tas

    Another reference: the movie The Maltese Falcon. In the final scene with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre they have just discovered that the falcon statuette is a fake. Greenstreet and Lorre say they are going to keep looking for the real one. Bogart asks why and Greenstreet says that “it’s the thing that dreams are made of”. I think he means that it doesn’t matter whether it really exists or not, the chase is the thing.

    This is a great series, much improved since Netflix took it over. I am looking forward to season 6.

  20. LongmireForPrez

    With the reference of “Always Remember the Asymptote.”

    I think it has several meanings.

    Firstly, to show that over time, Henry and Walt continue to grow closer and closer and nothing can ever make him cross that line.

    Secondly, I think it refers to him dodging so many bullets, figuratively and physically. For instance, being shot but not killed, and everything looking like he is 100% going to lose his job and everything he cares about, but no matter how bad it looks, it won’t come to that. I think that is a nod to the viewers.

    Lastly, I do believe it means that even though Walt and Henry want the same thing, to help people and to do things for the good of it, they will never be the exact same because Walt will never know how it feels to live the life of a Native American and experience first hand that sense of helplessness, like Cady was talking about earlier.

    I may be off on the last one, but I think the first two are definitely true. It could also mean something between Walt and Vic. Not sure.

    By the way, this has been my favorite mystery type show of all time!

  21. GrantC

    I actually wonder more about the hat rack portion of Cady’s vision. Could it symbolize the incapacitation of her father’s ability to do his job due to the suit, or his bias toward Nighthorse. And Henry is trying to remind him, as his best friend, that there are often similarities in cases but rarely do they make a full connection. These of course are the trickiest because it requires a clear head to decipher.

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  23. Colin Bridges

    Asymptotes are defined by examining Limits at specific values of x (e.g., when x = 0) and as x approaches either positive or negative infinity. The $heriff is limited by his fixation on Nighthorse, and $tanding Bear needs Jakob to prevail over Malachi in order to regain The Red Pony. It seems that The Indian and The Cowboy are approaching a conjunction from opposite sides of that particular asymptote …

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    • Krista Cisco

      Thank you all for the insightful comments. I am new to Longmire. I just started watching 1 month ago but just finished season 5 & looked up the meaning of asymptotes. What I don’t understand is when did Vic and Travis get together? I don’t remember that!

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