Longmire 3.02 and the Trials “Of Children and Travelers”

Photo: Ursula Coyote

Okay, so this episode may not have given much time to the running storylines that I was really looking forward to watching, especially after the exciting season opener, but there were some moments in this standalone that played into those threads that were just as satisfying.

Cady can see that Henry hasn't been making friends.
Cady can see that Henry hasn’t been making friends.

Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) has been beaten in jail. Come to find out, the man behind the beating is the former Rez police, Malachi (Graham Greene). Malachi warns Henry that his friendship with a white lawman won’t help and threatens him to “go red or go dead.” Henry doesn’t answer and gets beaten again. Longmire (Robert Taylor) shows up to visit Henry after Cady (Cassidy Freeman) voices her concern for his safety. But Henry doesn’t walk in the room—Malachi does, and he has the cojones to give Longmire an ultimatum: vouch for him at his hearing and he won’t reveal Longmire and Henry’s friendship to other inmates, many of whom Longmire put behind bars.

Branch (Bailey Chase) returns to work, much before he should—he can barely climb the stairs. When he looks at Longmire and thanks him for “finding his hat” (instead of saying thanks for saving my life, but why mince words, right?) we get the feeling that he’s putting past hard feelings behind him. But not so fast. Ferg (Adam Bartley) finds Branch in Longmire’s office looking at a case file. Branch quickly covers for what he’s really after—he’s not done with his own case, or David Ridges. Sidebar: I’m putting The Ferg in for a raise—while moonlighting at the Red Pony Cafe (actually, everyone is pitching in to help keep it going while Henry is in jail), he apprehends a suspect.

Photo: Ursula Coyote

There were three scenes between Longmire and Vic (Katee Sackhoff) where their playfulness, along with some sexual tension, was quite amusing. While on an out-of-town investigation, they arrive at their hotel rooms and say good night. Only Longmire can’t get the door unlocked. Vic comes over and helps him, to which Longmire says, “And they say chivalry is dead.” Then, in their respective rooms, Vic is shown staring at the door to Longmire’s adjoining room. Switch to Longmire, who is seen also staring at the door, when all of a sudden, there’s a knock. As he goes to answer it, we get the feeling that maybe he’s hoping Vic’s looking for a night cap, but she’s on the other side of the adjoining room door, fully uniformed, saying there’s a lead in the case, so off they go. The lead turns out to be a smarmy suspect. Longmire quickly figures out how to play the man up by being the cop who shares a beer and tells jokes. Longmire cements it by sending Vic off with a $20 bill to get more beer and “something sweet for herself.” Vic smiles knowingly and plays her part before heading out, leaving Longmire to grill the man. Btw, was I the only one feeling anxiety for Walt had Vic had walked in with lingerie instead of fully clothed? Is he up to the challenge after all he’s been through?

Still, the main thrust of this episode is the adopted Russian girl, Paulina, who goes looking for revenge and to protect her adoptive sister, Sophia, only to get herself killed by the “rehomed” father who had her locked up in a bad girl’s reform school. Not to worry though, Longmire gets revenge for Paulina (and saves Sophia) when he has to wrestle away a shotgun from the abusive man, slamming his arm in a car door. When the man complains his arm is broken, Longmire says, “I wish I could do more.”

Two things I learned from this storyline: 1) Nicholas is the patron saint of children and travel, and 2) Parents can rehome the children they adopt (damn, does this really happen?!). Oh, and Cady takes the job of defending Henry after she fires the public defender who was assigned to his case. That’s coming up next week … stayed tuned.

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. Ron Scheer

    I recently watched an episode from Season One on netlix, also about adoptions. After finishing the Longmire #2 novel, DEATH WITHOUT COMPANY, I’m still getting over how dumbed down the TV series is. Craig Johnson must be making a truckoad of money or he’d be grinding his teeth.

  2. David Cranmer

    I enjoy the novels a great deal, Ron. I’ve read them all since the beginning and I’m looking forward to reading his latest. I guess to each their own but I’ve been enjoying the series so far and don’t feel like its “dumbed down.” Especially their handling of relationships between the different cultures in the region.

  3. Scott Parker

    I have to tell you that I was talking to the TV when Longmire and Vic were in their hotel rooms. I do NOT want that to happen. Neither does my wife. But I admire the tension the writers brought to that scene. It’ll make for some terrific future scenes in future episodes.

    There’s that part, late in the episode, when he and Vic met with the couple who were going to take their ficticious daughter…and I said out loud “Who’s the husband going to be?” since he had to have been someone we saw earlier. Didn’t see that coming.

    Again, just flat out love this show and Robert Taylor just shines. Props to the co-stars, too. Adam Barley, in his brief screen time, provides some great moments of lightness to episodes that deal with some pretty dark stuff. And Bailey Chase, as the recuperating Branch, was great last night with just his eyes. Oh, and the scene when Longmire gets Katee Sackhoff’s Vic to basically run to the store and get some more beers…the look could have melted steel.

  4. snow dog

    I liked this episode’s storyline but had some issues with it that I’ve had on and off with certain episodes throughout the series. Didn’t think it was a good as the 1st episode. The timeline and distances traveled to follow the leads in regard to Paulina’s death seemed unrealistic or hard to follow/believe. Going from Wyoming to Arizona is NOT a “quick” road trip and yet we are supposed to believe it was. Why did they pick Arizona?Did they have to find a compound type shoot location and it had adobe type buildings so it couldn’t be Wyoming? The flow of time/distance is just off. I also find it hard to believe Walt would go to Arizona (overnight trip or more at least) for a lead on someone that is already dead instead of helping Henry first or at least getting someone else to check on Henry. I know he was trying to call but wasn’t getting through, he would have done something. I loved that they are all pitching in at the Red Pony. I liked Ferg nabbing the suspect that last gave Paulina a ride. Glad they showed Branch still recovering. Someone, was it Walt?, left Branch’s hat on the desk with the luck running out. First thing Branch did was turn the hat over to keep the luck in, I think he’s going to need it! There was a lot packed in this episode. I hope they don’t drag out Henry being in jail being beat up all season, already getting old. They are setting it up that the system is pretty corrupt across the board except for Walt. Walt not able to even call Henry (jail personnel are corrupt at all levels), the pro bono lawyer Cady wanted for Henry being reassigned/not showing up (DA office/Courthouse corrupt). I hope they don’t go over the top with “Walt Against the World” with no one on his side. Yes, I’m in the camp wanting Walt and Vic to get together and loved the interaction between them but nothing can actually happen while Vic is still married would be so against Walt’s core character, he felt guilty having sex with Lizzie. I’m seeing a pattern emerge for me on the episodes I love and the ones I find problematic. The Hunt Baldwin/John Coveny written episodes I love. The Sarah Nicole Jones written episodes I generally really like. The Tony Tost written episodes are hit and miss for me. Some are great and some just don’t flow quite right and it ends up bugging me. This is one of his that just doesn’t flow quite right. He wrote episode 2 last season too, Carcasses, and I was a bit disgusted with that episode and all the dead deer and over the top at times weirdness and haven’t rewatched it as much as others. It did have good moments though as does this episode. The multiple locations in this episode over the time span that we’re are supposed to believe the episode takes place was just off and distracting. Loved the line where Walt said he was checking his email! Does Walt ever eat or sleep? He does find time for a beer. Despite the timeline issues etc. the actors do a stellar job and Robert Taylor is at his best!

  5. David Cranmer

    Scott, Bailey Chase did a super job and I’m hoping Branch keeps investigating what happened to David Ridges. As for Vic and Walt, I’m not sure where I stand but, hell, tension can last for years just look at Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke. Two decades!

    And, agreed, on Adam Barley making the most out of every scene he is in. Loved his turn working the bar. A natural. Cocktail remake, anyone?

  6. Mates

    Another great review Edward A Grainger.

  7. David Cranmer

    [b]snowdogmom[/b], For someone on the East coast I didn’t even consider the timing of the Wyoming to Arizona road trip. Though I usually gives shows a pass on distant issues and they do pop up quite frequently in movies and TV shows. I did think it was mighty strange that the jail was so corrupt that
    Malachi has free reign and agree with you that I hope Henry gets out soon. But Malachi is a sharp villain and I like the way Tony Tost wrote those scenes. I’d like to see this wannabe crime kingpin come back a few more times for Longmire to set straight. And, lets face it, that season opener was a hard act to follow and they made the right decision with going with a quieter episode.

    [b]Mates[/b], Thank you! Very kind.

  8. randal120

    Randy Johnson here,

    I was also glad Longmire and Vic never tumbled. It usually means they’re jumping the shark for a failing series. I may be wrong, but I don’t believe many series last long when that happens. Castle being the exception.

  9. randal120

    Ate my next comment. Enjoyed the story, would have liked more of the main arc though, what with the limited number of episodes.

  10. David Cranmer

    Randy, I’m thinking its just a tease for the viewers and will remain that way for awhile. Knock on wood.

  11. Mary Saputo

    I SO agree that Vic and Walt shouldn’t be together. Don’t even want to think about it. Don’t even like “the looks.” Lets keep it professional, guys.

  12. David Cranmer

    Thus far its unanimous: no horizontal bopping for Vic and Walt.

  13. Lakebluffer

    Wait — what did I miss — was the bad “father” someone Walt had previously interviewed?
    Also unanimous on keeping the tension going between Walt and Vic.
    IMO the role of Vic is totally miscast, but Katee is growing on me.

  14. David Cranmer

    Lakebluffer, When Walt and Vic went to the mobile home park they meet the bad “father” cleaning up an empty trailer space and talking about the family’s deposit, Polina, etc. Later, he is walking with Sophia and immediately recognizes Walt and Vic and takes off sprinting.

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