Longmire: Episode 2.11 “Natural Order”

Walt's sacrificing while Cady's in a coma during Longmire episode 2.11 "Natural Order"Well, the episode title’s prophetic once more for Longmire. We are indeed back to the natural order of things in Durant, and sadly, it’s all a bit anticlimactic after last week’s stellar episode. Walt’s vision quest ends quite conveniently at the same moment as Cady snapping out of her coma, perfectly fine and dandy save for that new hospital gauze accessory wrapped around her head. Not that I wish the girl a horrible fate or anything, but…how about some lasting effects for the gang to continue to deal with? But no, she’s even well enough to play a practical joke, feigning amnesia with poor Branch, who comes visiting with heart on sleeve and stuffed animal in hand. (Awww.)

It’s stuffed animals of a different sort that make up the case of the week, as a park ranger’s body and a beheaded elk are found by Vic.

She and Walt follow the trail to a local taxidermist (played by Supernatural’s Jim Beaver) and the revelation that someone is scraping the velveteen off the elk’s antlers and selling it, because it can be used as a natural steroid. The mystery proceeds in the usual Longmire style, spending a lot of time on the red herring of a teen football player and his hunter father (played by Lochlyn Munro, who popped up as Walt’s waiting room buddy at the hospital last week). However, it’s not just a sports dad gone bad at fault here—as the mystery eventually points back to our taxidermist, whose wife is suffering from cancer and, in fact, knew Walt’s wife Martha.

Because of that, I really wish we’d seen the sheriff arrest the killer this week. Because we’ve seen on several occasions in the past—even just last week—that Walt can sometimes let his secretly bleeding heart take precedence over the law. Especially when it comes to suspects who commit a crime to protect a loved one. I have to admit I did wonder if he’d even bother this week, with the poor cancer-ridden wife right there.

Overall, though, it’s pretty standard fare this week, with a minor moment of excitement when Henry, who’s helping Omar and Walt track in the woods, manages to get his leg caught in an Apache death trap. But even that is dismissed pretty quickly even though the trap (a hole filled with sharp wooden stakes) looked pretty brutal. Maybe he’ll have a cast or a cane next week?

The more interesting thread this episode is definitely Branch following up on the puncture in the sidewall of Cady’s tire. As almost everyone expected, the trail leads him back to an employee of Jacob’s, and it seems clear that whatever partnership they had is over. Branch also goes to a pretty bristly Henry to ask if he thinks Walt will give him a second chance to be a deputy again. Henry tells the story of how he and Walt first met by getting in a fistfight and now they’ve been friends for 38 years, the moral being that he certainly will give second chances. I believe this story is straight out of the books, but…I have to admit that TV!Walt hasn’t seemed like a very forgiving guy thus far. Nevertheless, Walt does magically seem to be “trying to mellow” as he admits to Cady, and allows Branch back with nothing more than an “okay then.” And while I’m certainly glad Branch is back, and didn’t expect any other outcome really—this, too, is pretty anticlimactic.

Sadly, there was no Ferg this week (It would have been really sweet AND good continuity to see his reaction to Cady’s rapid recovery), but that means we instead got an actual Ruby moment! Ruby knows her some Google fu! She successfully tracks down some key info about the velveteen and it’s nice to see her involved in the crime solving and not just answering phones and passing on messages.

Next week looks more promising as there are some dramatic shots in the promo of all of our regulars and the promise of a “cowboy going down”! Also, there’s Vic looking scarily serious and toting a gun. And Katee Sackhoff + firearms is always a great combination.

Tara Gelsomino is a reader, writer, pop culture junkie, and Internet addict. You can tweet her at @taragel.

Read all Tara Gelsomino’s posts for Criminal Element.


  1. bookworm

    My husband and I have lived in WY for 18 years and we were disppointed with the inaccuracies in this week’s episode. The guy who got killed was a game warden with the WY Game and Fish. A couple of times, at least, the game warden was said to have been with the Fish and Game. All game wardens in WY wear red shirts, which the killed game warden did not. It’s hard to concentrate on the show when these discrepancies show up. Otherwise, it was a good show but not as good as last week’s.

  2. snow dog

    I liked this episode. Glad to see Omar again and Omar, Henry and Walt going out tracking together was a treat. I was glad to see some of all the main characters, except The Ferg was noticeably absent. This is not the first time The Ferg has disappeared from an episode with no explanation. They are short staffed as Branch decides what to do and Walt is at the hospital and Ferg is just not there with no explanation? Pretty unbelievable. Plus given his feelings for Cady I can’t believe he wouldn’t be there to find out how she’s doing. Also what happened with Bob? Just saw him in a cell then nothing. The other thing is I wonder if the writers are trying to make us dislike Cady. She doesn’t really have any concern at all for Walt’s feelings. Complains he is hanging out at the hospital too much. What parent wouldn’t after almost losing their child. Then she complains to Henry about him giving Walt his cell phone so Walt can check on her. She really is being written as a selfish, ungrateful brat! I agree she recovered with no side effects way too fast. They drag other things out, like Denver, and then resolve others too quickly. The upside is I’m looking forward to seeing Lucien (Peter Weller) back next week. I really thought we weren’t going to see him this season. I just hope we get the Denver thing settled this season but I suspect we won’t.

  3. Kim K

    Bookworm, I feel your pain about local inconsistencies. I live in DC and watch a lot of shows that are based here (King and Maxwell, NCIS, Bones and Covert Affairs) so it’s fun when local stuff is mentioned or shown but then totally annoying when exterior shots of DC shots look like Toronto (or VA suburb shots on NCIS have mountains in the background). Um yeah, no. Filming in DC is a royal pain (we still have heightened security since 9/11 and our city Film Bureau is notoriously known for being a chore to deal with). But details like the correct name of the WY game bureau and what color they wear is something that a show staffer should be able to easily Google (they were just not thorough and yeah, why not?).

    Re this ep, it was not as good as last weeks for sure. But I did like that after Walt and Branch settled he was coming back is when Walt walks into his office he has a smile on his face. So my question is, next time Lizzie and Walt have an “intimate moment”, how is he going to explain the new scars on his chest from the Sun Dance? And did he have to explain the scars on back the last time? Not scars that can be explained away like “I tripped and fell.” Or maybe I’m just too focused on Robert Taylor’s torso? ;-p

  4. snow dog

    @bookworm Thought I’d let you why the WY Game and Fish was called Fish and Game and the clothing wasn’t correct. I saw a post on Craig Johnson’s Facebook page where he answered this question. He said that WY Game and Fish wouldn’t sign off so they couldn’t use the correct name. He said, yes they do what it’s called but changed it on purpose. Too bad they couldn’t tell the viewers that on the Longmire Facebook page to squelch some of the uproar.

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