What should have been a routine, dull day at the courthouse is anything but for Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) and Vic Moretti (Katee Sackhoff). Jury selection is underway for Walt’s upcoming case, and Vic has shown up to hear the charges leveled against Chance Gilbert (Peter Stormare)—he and his compound thugs had terrorized Vic by putting a motorcycle helmet over her head and beating her with a baseball bat.
Chance overtakes an officer then escapes while donning a gas mask. When Vic and Walt give chase, they run into dozens of people wearing gas masks, losing sight of the fugitive in the crowd. The “accomplices” had answered a Craigslist ad that promised to be “lucrative,” and in the “flash-mob distraction,” Chance chanced an escape. Vic, who is still shell-shocked from her previous experience, blames herself, telling Walt, “I got him a new hearing so he could escape from the courthouse.”
Poor Travis (Derek Phillips). He has prepared a candlelit steak dinner and is patiently waiting for Vic—though she hasn’t bothered to call to say she won’t be home because an escaped convict who hates her is on the loose. Would have been nice for someone to warn him, especially when two masked men arrive with guns, painting “He remembers your lies” on the outside of Vic’s trailer in blood before running off.
Travis hops in his car and follows them, calling Walt to let him know he’s in pursuit. Walt doesn’t tell Vic who is sleeping in the jail cell, and he meets Travis at a secluded area where all of Chance’s “family” is present. Wearing a red tie and covering his head with a motorcycle helmet, Walt goes in, determines Chance isn’t there, and leaves, putting Travis in charge of informing the US Marshals when they show up.
Walt and Vic’s investigation leads them first to Chance’s cellmate and then the prison library—bonus points are given from this Thomas Paine enthusiast when torn-out pages from The Federalist Papers and Paine’s Common Sense provide some clues. Chance had been leaving notes for someone who facilitated his escape, and that someone turns out to be a guard named Eubell (Graham Shiels). Walt threatens Eubell with major prison time, and being a family man with a daughter to look after, Eubell breaks down and reveals his quid pro quo with Chance: in exchange for help in an escape, Chance would kill an extramarital-affair partner of Eubell’s who was threatening to tell his wife.
Knowing Vic is pregnant, Walt asks Travis to come (Absaroka County better have some petty cash to cover his support) and take her away for safekeeping, which rightfully doesn’t sit well with her. She manages to ditch Travis and catch up with Walt, who is back at Chance’s compound trapped in an underground bunker. Vic duels Chance head on, firing repeatedly at the lunatic and taking him down, but she gets a bullet to the upper thigh that results in a lot of blood loss.
I liked that Vic got her vindication while confronting her fear without help from anyone else, offsetting the tired “man protects the woman and baby” that Walt and Travis were dictating. Though because of her injury, we still have a dash of man to the rescue with Walt carrying Vic to get medical attention. But admittedly, it’s far from the cavalry coming in to save the day. Her “thank you” sweetly reminds that even the most hard-edged individuals need to know someone has their back from time to time.
Now that the Chance Gilbert storyline has been completed, we can look forward to concentrating on Walt’s court case and the revenge of Malachi.
See also: Longmire 6.02: “Fever” 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.