Longmire: 3.06 “Reports of My Death” Can’t Be Trusted

After last week’s outstanding episode, “Wanted Man” —where Walt, Branch, and Vic finally located Hector, then the dying man identified a photo of extremist David Ridges as his attacker—I expected to see Ridges back from the dead (especially with an episode titled “Reports of My Death”), and it didn’t happen! But I wasn’t disappointed with this week’s show, written by the always-on-the-mark Sarah Nicole Jones.

Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) blames himself for Hector’s death and is tired of waiting while events whirl around him, but he’s still out on bail with a leg monitor attached to him. No problem. He sticks his leg in a freezer to remove the device and begins an investigation.

That brings him face-to-face with his conniving ex, Deena (Mädchen Amick). No surprise that a shouting match goes down over Henry's missing $40k, until Deena tells him that she was “hired” to keep tabs on him and his business by a man named Darius, who works for none other than Malachi. The plot thickens yet again!

Meanwhile, Good Samaritan Longmire (Robert Taylor) brings food and beverage (not clear if this is a regular occurrence or just happenstance) to a homeless guy stretched out on the town’s park bench, but instead, he finds a dead man—and a national mystery to boot after he pulls the man’s wallet and reads the name on the license. The decedent is the long-lost VanBlarcom sibling named Welles, a man who’s worth a 100-million dollar inheritance. In a humorous scene, The Ferg (Adam Bartley) helps Longmire carry the heavy corpse across the park and upstairs to their offices, pretending the deceased is drunk so as not to alert the media there’s a bigger story on tap.

Walt and Vic go to the VanBlarcom estate to have the family identify the dead man as their brother. We learn that years ago, Longmire’s dad worked for the VanBlarcoms, tending their stable of horses, and young Walt would tag along. He had a good relationship with the family and remembered the sister would come down where they were working and sketch pictures of the horses. Now, the problem is that Welles has been gone so long, that as the siblings Penny and Graham study the body Longmire has in the back of his vehicle, they aren’t sure if it’s him. And there is some confusion later on, when a sketch shown to Longmire by the family doesn’t match the sketch given to a P.I. hired to locate Welles has. We’re left wondering if the dead man is really Welles.

Back to the ongoing David Ridges storyline: Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) has new leads on his own “dead man” via some cameras he installed in numerous outdoor locations, including one on Jacob Nighthorse’s (A. Martinez) construction site. At the office, Deputy Vic Moretti (Katee Sackhoff) looks disgusted with Branch’s answers about what he’s up to and suggests going with him. Branch declines, but Longmire says to take her. Unbeknownst to both men, Vic has discovered that Branch and his friend Travis kidnapped and interrogated that peyote dealer. After she had her heart-to-heart with Walt, I thought for sure she would expose Branch as a corrupt cop abusing his role. But she doesn’t, because she’s still smarting over being labeled a whistleblower at her previous job. I like the direction the writing team went with Vic’s character here, investigating the situation first on her own before revealing her cards to Branch. However, Branch knows right where to sting when he implies Vic has an overly personal relationship with Longmire. And Branch tells her his conscience is clear when it comes to his conduct. Dios mio!

It turns out that Malachi is placed at the head of security for Nighthorse’s wealthy enterprises. Head of Security?! That’s about as crazy as placing Hannibal Lecter in charge of your next church picnic. I had suspected Nighthorse was crooked, but now, with Henry and Longmire’s chief enemy Malachi established, we know a showdown is on the horizon. Malachi and Nighthorse go to Walt’s office, returning the cameras that had been placed on the construction site by Branch. Of course, Longmire looks troubled by this revelation, not that he does much about since his hands are full, but maybe that’s why he had Vic tag along with Branch? As the shady pair leave, Nighthorse tells Longmire to reevaluate his employees because “you’re only as good as the people you hire.”

A man comes forward claiming to be the real Welles VanBlarcom (Parker Stevenson), and what an odd bird he turns out to be. Explaining he disappeared thirty years ago, because “money messes people up” and he wanted to make it on his own as a man, he eventually gave the homeless guy his ID, because he was tired of reporters and detectives searching for him. He returned only because the poor man was murdered and wanted the man’s proper family to know. So, who is the real Welles? Well, VanBlarcom finally opens up with details only the real heir would know, like how Longmire was called Wally by his dad as a child.

In the wrap-up scene, some viewers watching with me spoke to the screen and told Penny to keep her mouth shut and lawyer up. They groaned at the classic end-of-episode full confession (she killed the homeless guy by stabbing him with a needle filled with painkilling opiates intended for cancer patients, not the same as a street junkie's drugs) in a detailed reveal that's been a staple of classic detective and mystery shows for years. However, I thought it was well-handled and appreciated the homage to the shows I watched growing up, like The Rockford Files and Magnum, P.I. Bravo to writer Sarah Nicole Jones and the sharp direction of Christopher Chulack.

Editor's Note: Some of us also grew up seeing the big reveals on The Hardy Boys, IYKWIMAITYD.

The final minutes showed Cady confronting Henry, saying he no longer gets to have private conversations with her dad since she is now his lawyer. Henry shows them both pictures from his stakeout that connect Malachi and his crony, Darius, with Henry's ex, Deena, in Denver. When Cady sees the picture, she asks, “Is this the guy that had mom killed?”

I’m thinking so.

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.


  1. Mates

    It was good to see Parker Stevenson again, I remember watching him on The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Mysteries many more years ago than I care to remember.

  2. David Cranmer

    Mates, I read The Hardy Boys books growing up and watched that show too. Yep, big fan in the day and I had a crush (thats what you call it when you’re seven, right?) on Pamela Sue Martin who played Nancy Drew.

  3. ProfDavidSevenson

    Whilst this was a pretty good progression in the series, with Henry’s plotline developing nicely, unfortunately there was one moment which broke the immersion for me: Branch Connally advising Vic that his “conscious is clear”… Ugh, it grates to even write that down. >:/
    Whilst it may be Bailey Chase’s character development as a result of Connally’s recent injury, I actually think that perhaps Mr. Chase needs to spend more time examining his script or learning the English language.
    Now, if he were playing a brain-dead coma victim, perhaps his uttered phrase would be apt, but as it stands, it just makes him look like a first-yearESL student. “Conscience”, Bailey, “conscience” – see me after class.

  4. David Cranmer

    ProfDavidSevenson, I agree that the Henry plotline is developing nicely and I’m looking forward to his eventual showdown with Malachi.

  5. randal120

    Randy Johnson here,

    Quite nicely developed storyline despite my hope, like you, that David Ridges would be found. Of course, you know that puts Nighthawk in Branch’s crosshairs as he claimed to have burned the body.

  6. David Cranmer

    Randy, I’m seeing a rough end for Jacob Nighthorse and
    Malachi though I’d like to see Malachi continue on for another season.

  7. sonjablue

    Who is the actress that played Penny?

  8. David Cranmer

    Kathleen York according to IMDb. A very fine actress.

  9. Mary Saputo

    I, too, noticed the statement by Nighthorse and was yelling at the TV: Take a look in the mirror! I’m looking forward to Malachi’s comeuppance. As to Branch, I think when someone is so bent on proving themselves, they have a tendency to go overboard and morals can be pushed aside to prove a point.

  10. David Cranmer

    bitsyo8, Agree on Mr. Nighthorse. And I got to thinking that Malachi was playing big man with his security badge but Walt, Vic, and Branch will push that title out of the way without blinking an eye.

  11. snow dog

    Anyone besides me wonder why Malachi and Jacob came to Walt wanting to question Branch? I actually know why they came to Walt, to yank Walt’s chain, but given Malachi is only head of security for Jacob and NOT law enforcement and the cameras were found on the REZ he had no authority to insist on talking to Branch. Plus he should have gone to Mathias not Walt. Malachi apparently thinks he is still head honcho on the Rez. I wonder how Mathias will feel about Malachi usurping his authority. Will Mathias align with Malachi and Jacob or with doing the right thing? When Walt arrested Malachi did you notice Mathias did NOT draw his gun like the other Rez deputies did?

  12. David Cranmer

    snowdogmom, When Malachi pulled his jacket back to flash his badge I thought it was a rather bold move for a security guard to lawmen but usually someone that has that much nerve has something to back it up with. I would definitely like to see Mathias dragged into the fireworks, he’s a favorite character of mine.

  13. ScottTPatrick

    Anyone know why the scene with Branch accosting Jacob on the site was shown in a brief flashback at the start of the episode? The previews at the end of the previous episode made it look like an actual confrontation, but in this episode Longmire just casually tells Henry that Malachi is now the head of security. Did a scene get cut?

  14. David Cranmer

    Good question, Scott. Not sure if a scene was cut but I did wonder, briefly, why such a major confrontation was regulated to a pithy flashback.

  15. snow dog

    I listened to a podcast interview with Bailey Chase yesterday and he said the Branch/Walt/Jacob scene had been cut. He was disappointed it had. Given what I’ve seen of extended episodes like on the season 2 DVD they have to make hard decisions to fit the show into 42 or so minutes. A lot of good scenes are ending up being cut. Scenes that actually make some of the story arcs make more sense to the viewer. Such a same. This great show could actually be even better. Way to many commercials per episode at the expense of the story.

  16. David Cranmer

    snowdogmom, I couldn’t even imagine the resposibilty of cutting a scene like Branch and Walt confronting Jacob. Essential to my way of thinking. Longmire would make for a terrific 90 minute show like they use to do in the seventies with Columbo and Banacek. Ok, now I’m off to listen to the Chase interview. Thanks for the tip.

  17. snow dog

    FYI the podcast has spoilers. Bit bummed by one.

  18. David Cranmer

    Whew, that was close! It didn’t load for me right away so I ended up skipping. Maybe I will avoid altogether for now. I’m enjoying the show too much to find out any particulars of future episodes. Especially since we only have a few left.

  19. snow dog

    Yes, good call. Better not knowing.

  20. Mary Saputo

    I feel it necessary to say, EAG, that I am enjoying your reviews much more than the previous reviewer. Your reviews are more positive towards the show and not so technical.

  21. David Cranmer

    [b]snowdogmom[/b], Amen. 🙂

    I’m glad I’m hitting the mark, [b]bitsyo8. [/b]Thank you for the kind words. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how I’m doing because the turnaround on reviewing these shows is fast and furious and then I’m on to the next. I appreciate the feedback and will have to read some of my predecessor’s reviews at some point. I purposely didn’t ahead of time because I wanted to have my own opinion on the different storylines of the show.

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