Longmire 3.03: “Miss Cheyenne” is a Winner

Jumpsuits breed hostility, it’s a fact/ Photo: Ursula Coyote for A&E
Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) goes before the judge and his lawyer, and good friend, Cady Longmire (Cassidy Freeman) is hoping to get him released on bail until the trial. And with good reason, because the jail where Henry is housed is one of the most corrupt facilities since Strother “what we got here is a failure to communicate” Martin in Cool Hand Luke. He’s been enduring beatings at the hands of fellow inmates led by the exceptionally villainous Malachi (Graham Greene), former Rez Chief of Police until Walt busted him. Problem is, the judge makes it known that he doesn’t grant bail to murder suspects and gives Cady the weekend to consider whether she wants to waste the court’s time on a hearing.

Meanwhile, Longmire agrees to take Henry’s place as a judge in the Miss Cheyenne beauty pageant (first stand-in bartender, now substitute pageant judge—what will Walt do next?). In the middle of the proceedings, Vic shuffles her way past the dancing contestants to tell Longmire that a male murder victim has been found stabbed twice in a barn. 

Did they give Walt a clipboard full of women? /Photo: Ursula Coyote for A&E

The initial investigation points them to the Rez clinic which Branch jumps at the chance to go and collect some leads into the murder victim, Doctor Ben Mallory, but it’s pretty clear he has ulterior motives. After asking the clinic attendant a couple of questions about Mallory, he switches gears asking about his shooting. He shows a picture of David Ridges and the attendant said he last saw the ‘dead man’ about a month prior. Dollars to donuts we’re going to get sprinkles of this arc all season, which I think will eventually lead to Ridges being found to be alive. Where’s your money?

The Miss Cheyenne beauty pageant presents more leads into Mallory’s murder. The doctor had been treating a girl and suspicion lands on the girl’s irate father who claims the doctor had molested the daughter. Later, Longmire reveals the girl is pregnant which gets him attacked by the father who says the girl was disqualified from the pageant. The father then reveals the doctor had suggested an abortion which led into a disturbing history of forced abortions and sterilizations of reservation women at the hands of white doctors—including Mallory’s own father.

Branch isn’t moving on, he’s digging in. /Photo: Ursula Coyote for A&E

The killer was well-hidden among the red herrings and Longmire’s confrontation at the end packed an emotional wallop within its twists. Sarah Nicole Jones has written some great Longmire episodes like “The Dark Road” and “Death Came in Like Thunder.” “Miss Cheyenne” is no exception. The way she interwove Cheyenne customs, the murder mystery, subtle nuances of personal relationships with political agendas, and the ongoing David Ridges thread was precision storytelling.

Back to Henry’s hearing. In one of the best lines in this episode, Police Chief Mathias (Zahn McClarnon) makes a damning statement that he doesn’t support bail because, “If you can’t trust the company a man keeps, you can’t trust the man himself.” Something tells me the Chief may have lost a vote in the next Rez election. But based on the moving statement of Mrs. Stillwater who tells of Henry’s instrumental help with her daughter Lilly and the meaning behind Standing Bear (one who doesn’t run), Cady manages to get his bail.

All it cost was grievous bodily harm, six figures in cash, and Henry’s free (ish). /Photo: Ursula Coyote for A&E

It was pretty obvious early in the storyline that Henry would be granted bail because they were making the judge look like the toughest a-hole alive. And yet when the judge announced a 1-million dollar bail, I was floored. Even more so when Cady told her father they were only 100k short of making bail (because bail bondsmen typically want 10% of the total). Branch writes the check that gets Henry out—nicely using his bastard of a father’s money. But Branch is clear that he didn’t do it for Henry.

So what’s in store next week? Henry leaves jail with a monitoring device on his ankle, and I’m thinking he may have to go beyond its boundaries to help Longmire clear his name. One thing is for certain: the sheriff is playing for keeps. The show ends with Longmire saying, “No matter what happens, you’re never going back.”

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. snow dog

    I liked this episode but I have to admit that I’m partial to the episodes involving the REZ. I thought I had the killer figured out from the get go, the stepmother, but turns out I was wrong and glad it wasn’t as obvious as I thought. I too like Sarah Nicole Jones episodes. I was hoping they would move more towards Mathias becoming friends with Walt and them working together but doesn’t look like the are going that way. I find it funny that people complain about Vic, her uniform shirt unbuttoned too much, uses her sexuality, and Vic gets on their nerves but I think Cady is the one that uses her sexuality much more. First with Branch and now with her lawyer classmate. I bet he is going to challenge Branch for her affections, new storyline! Is anyone going to complain Cady’s blouse was unbottoned to far or is that venom reserved for Vic because it’s her “uniform” shirt. I’m actually more annoyed about how they are developing the Cady character. She suffers one setback at the bail hearing and she runs right to the bottle! She apparently is developing a drinking problem. They are making her much to whiney and weak. I don’t think Walt and Henry (her Godfather) would raise such a weak and whiney women. Her legal skills do not seem very good either without a lot of help. May Stillwater saved her bacon at the bail hearing. In the books Walt refers to her as “The greatest legal mind of our time”, she has a long way to go to get there. I was happy to see Irene Bedard back as May Stillwater, they should make her a regular.

  2. Mates

    Very interesting storyline. Great review , can’t wait to watch the show.

  3. randal120

    Randy Johnson here,

    I quite liked this one. A look at Cheyenne customs, the heinous history of white dealings on the REZ, and the Henry arc. Things are shaping up nicely for a slam bang finale.

    And yes, I agree that Ridges is still alive.

  4. David Cranmer

    [b]snowdogmom[/b], I’ve enjoyed Katee Sackhoff’s performances since BattleStar Galactica where she portrayed a reimagined Starbuck. And her take on Vic is spot on to my eyes. I’m not sure I’m interested in
    Mathias being friends with Walt but I’d love to know more of what makes him tick. I would enjoy an episode where we follow him investigating a crime and his home life, friends, etc.

    [b]Mates[/b], If you don’t have A&E you can watch Longmire on the A&E web site.

    [b]Randy[/b], I remember the Ridges video and the suicide happens off camera. So I’m guessing were dealing with a cover-up.

  5. Lean Hart

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  6. Kevin

    You are.incorrwct.with what you said:

    “Even more so when Cady told her father they were only 100k short of making bail (because bail bondsmen typically want 10% of the total)”

    Cady said the bail bondsman would cover 90% & they needed to come up with $100,000. If bondsman was covering 90% & they still needed $100k, that’s $1M dollars (total of the bail), but you only have to post 10% to get out. It’s not the bondsman who wants 10%, it’s the court. So they only needed to come up with $100,000 TOTAL to get Henry out.

    • Kevin

      The episode was incorrect with how much they needed to post in order to get Henry out.

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