Longmire 3.07: “Population 25” Calls for Help

Victoria “Vic” Moretti (Katee Sackhoff) and her husband Sean (Michael Mosley) on a get-away of hopeful rest and relaxation have anything but and before you can yell, “Watch out for that bear in the road!” their convertible is off the highway and totaled. Cell service in the remote pass is, as always, next to none, so Vic takes off on her own to find a house to call for help. But, unfortunately, Vic has stumbled onto a family home without a phone that, coincidentally, turns out to be some kind of separatist group who’ve been keeping tabs on the sheriff and crew. “Population 25” saw a major plotline come to an end but not before Vic goes through her own Deliverance kind of hell.

Sean climbs for higher ground to get cell service and calls Longmire to tell him he tried flagging down a car that swerved around him and sped away, but not before Sean noticed it was driven by Ed Gorski (Lee Tergesen), Vic’s ex-lover, and he suspects she had been kidnapped. When Longmire arrives Sean is missing, and Gorski, who’s now hiding in the woods, manages to get Longmire’s weapons away from him as he fills Longmire in on the situation.

Never let your guard down, Walt.

It was a bit confusing here at first after learning a second car came through grabbing Sean and how this group managed to be seemingly following Vic and the chances of her unwittingly arriving at the door of the man named Chance (Peter Stormare) whose brother was killed by Longmire.

Still, beyond that, it was a sharp plot twist to have Gorski and Longmire teamed together in desperation to save Vic. As Gorski takes opportunity en route to explain himself and his relationship with Vic, he claims that he’s not stalking Vic but is more or less her guardian angel. Longmire’s not buying it (and neither is anyone else who’s watched this psychopath from day one), but Longmire could clearly use the man’s help because he knows that where Vic is being held spells trouble. When they arrive, Longmire and Gorski cross over a chain-locked up gate with ‘No Trespassing’ signs all over it, and you just have to ask yourself, how’d Vic get past all that and not know she was approaching the home of a nutcase? I mean, the whole place screams dueling banjos.

Peter Stormare’s brother was killed by Walt.

Meanwhile inside, Sean (who’d been dumped off at the house) and Vic are being interrogated by the leader himself, who gives new meaning to creepy paranoid, as he tries to determine why federal officers are hounding him. Part of his itchiness is he has a dead census agent in a freezer—as Longmire discovers—and he assumes the law is closing in. When Sean doesn’t turn over the passcode to unlock his phone, both Vic and Sean are fitted with motorcycle helmets and brutally beaten with baseball bats.

Thrown into a basement, Vic tells Sean that the passcode is the only thing keeping them alive. Vic further explains to Sean that Walt questioned Chance several weeks ago about his wife’s death—and they aren’t getting out alive. After a body bag (inside is a cop who showed up at the compound) is thrown down next to them, Vic goes batshit crazy trying to open the bag thinking it’s Longmire. Judging by the look on Sean’s face, they’re done as a couple.

In a final showdown in the dark of night, Longmire (with the use of some floodlights) lies, successfully convincing Chance there are more lawmen present, and tosses out a Thomas Jefferson quote that he knows will appeal to the nutcase. Longmire requests that everyone leaves unharmed and he challenges Chance to a duel. Chance agrees, then Gorski—to Vic’s shock—comes out of the woods to escort her and Sean away. As the extremist’s hand trembles, Longmire asks point blank, did you kill my wife. Chance says no. The camera switches to Vic’s face and we hear gunfire not knowing who gets shot. Gorski finally says goodbye to Vic, presumably because he now accepts she has suffered as much as he had. She looks at Sean and when he turns away, she runs to Longmire’s vehicle and takes off after him.

Throughout this episode, another continuing thread was boiling on the backburner. In the opening scene, Longmire hunts down Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) in the woods. He brings Branch into the office where The Ferg (Adam Bartley) is searching for last name of Darius. Branch wants to know if he has anything to do with David Ridges. Then Branch and Longmire get into it: Longmire says he needs Branch working in the office not traipsing off on his own agenda, and Branch snaps back with accusing Longmire of not caring about who shot him because Longmire’s too busy with his own wife’s murder and defending Henry Standing Bear. When the call comes in that Vic is in trouble, never wanting to waste a good catastrophe, Branch takes the opportunity to break into Vic’s house and snoop around until he finds a computer with a letter to Longmire that reveals everything she knows about Branch’s conduct in his quest to find David Ridges. Damning for sure.

Lots of action and terrific acting in this episode, but with some head scratching moments in the beginning, and, for the record, if I knocked on a door for help I’d wouldn’t patiently be waiting for food to be prepared before discovering there is no phone. Even so, it was a thrilling, high-octane show.

Trivia: Longmire creator Craig Johnson lives in Ucross, near Sheridan, Wyoming, population 25 like the title of this episode.

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

    Where did Branch go toward the end of the episode? It seemed like he was outside the compound and then disappeared? Am I wrong?

    • Laura

      Yeah. I watched again because I thought I missed something. Branch was yelling Walt’s name and then nothing. Where did he go!

  2. David Cranmer

    Mates, He made it as far as Vic and Sean’s car calling out Longmire’s name once. He then checked the trunk and saw Vic’s indentification. Come to think of it, yeah, he must have known how close Chance’s compound was to the accident site.

  3. Mates

    Branch probably didn’t feel much like helping Vic after finding out she was writing a report on his shady operations.

  4. randal120

    Randy Johnson here,

    Interesting twist with Gorsky. Is he really given it up? I think so.

    One thing that bothered me though. Of course we know Longmire wasn’t killed in the duel. We’re left to wonder, though, if he was wounded. They scotched that quickly with the trailer for next week’s episode. They could have let us wonder for a

  5. randal120

    Left week off for some reason.

  6. David Cranmer

    [b]Mates[/b], yeah, good point! That might put a damper on saving her life but, you know, I don’t see Branch as being a bad guy though the farther he travels down this mission of revenge and self destruction it is certainly shaping up to look like his character is headed to a dark place.
    [b]Randy[/b], my thoughts exactly! Once next week’s trailer rolled by I told my wife, “Well I guess Walt’s ok.” Yeah, they should have let the weight of that final scene settle for a bit.

  7. snow dog

    Liked the episode but you do have overlook some things that don’t seem to be credable. How could Vic not recognize this cabin was not your run of the mill family residence. Had they taken down the target silhouettes of lawmen that were there when Walt visited? I think Branch was there in hiding backing Walt up in the showdown with Chance. Even though he’s fixated on Ridges I don’t think he’d intentionally let Walt or Vic get hurt. We’ll see if they fill in what happened next episode. I hope so. I hate it when they leave something hanging in one episode and never explain it. I loved the scenery in this episode and I loved Henry’s brief appearance when he says I think that bridge has been incinerated.

  8. David Cranmer

    Yeah, the target silhouettes of lawmen should have been a dead giveaway or the fence and barrier practically screaming were going to kill you if you enter. Too funny. But on another note I will add that Katee’s performance in the last half of that episode was powerful as hell.

  9. John M. Whalen

    Well, I’ve only watched three Longmires so far, and I’m wondering if this Wyoming Sheriff was once a college professor. (Maybe he was and I’m showing my ignorance.) First he quoted Thucydides in one ep and last night T. Jefferson. But despite the obvious plot holes and strains on credulity in the latest episode I have to admit I liked it. Give me demented hillbillies with guns every time. I especially liked the young boy with the baseball bat and the helmets. Nice touch.

  10. David Cranmer

    John, It had a lot of energy, that’s for sure, and one of the best endings in the series. And, hey, they stuck to basically one plotline which I’m sure you appreciated, right? In the scene with the Jefferson quote I especially liked how the survivalst corrected Longmire.

  11. Shannon King

    So much unspoken too, such as the grim realization on Sean’s face that Vic probably cares more deeply for Walt than for him, as he watches Vic frantically trying to open the body bag she fears contains Walt’s body. Likewise, Sean’s later acceptance that he has lost Vic, as she takes a final look at him as they are in the backseat of the escape car, where Vic has just told Ed to pull over by Walt’s parked SUV. She then jumps out and runs to Walt’s SUV, turns it around, and heads back where she has left Walt; she has made her choice. Ed’s emotion is not as clear to me, as he looks back at Vic in the backseat before he says goodbye to her and walks away. Maybe the gravity of the situation they have both just survived made his stalking her and trying to get her back seem less important. I don’t know if he’s giving up because she was so adamant about stopping at Walt’s SUV and he knows how she feels about him.

    • Laura

      I wondered if he realized that his obsession for her, matched her obsession with Longmire. Realized she was a lost cause.

      • Crash

        Fu***** A. I never considered that. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  12. David Cranmer

    Shannon, Good take on the meaning of Ed’s goodbye. Like I mentioned above, I feel he’s a sociopath who feels that Vic has now suffered as much as he has and feels their somehow even. And, yes, those unspoken words between Sean and Vic coupled with that music made for a killer scene. I hope Katee Sackhoff is recognized for her acting when award season rolls around.

  13. Mary Saputo

    And I sure hope this isn’t the start of kissee, kissee between Walt and Vice. Ick! Really good show.

  14. David Cranmer

    I’m right there with you, bitsyo8. Most fans that have left comments here see a father and daughter or big brother and little sister relationship between Longmire and Vic. A romantic relationship may shock the monkey a little too much.

  15. snow dog

    Well there are 2 camps about a Vic and Walt romance and the ones not wanting it seem to say NO at any opportunity they get so I will speak up for the less vocal and I think as big other camp. I want to see Vic and Walt get together once her situation with Sean is resolved. I think it would work as it does in the books and is what both of them needs. I never got the father/daughter brother/sister vibe at all. Walt doesn’t act anything like the way he does with Cady with Vic. Walt as a mentor to Vic yes, but not a father. Lizzie was definitely not right for Walt. Speaking as a women if I were Vic I’d go after Walt, what’s not to like. The age difference would not be an issue. I’d take Walt over Branch, Sean, or Gorski any day. I question Vic’s taste, Gorski? Really?

  16. David Cranmer

    No doubt the show is headed in that direction and I’m sure the top actors will win me over minutes after the big romance starts. But I’m a hold-out until then. 🙂 Gotta say, snowdogmom, I’m with you on Vic’s previous choices and agree Walt is a huge step in the right direction for her. And it will be interesting to see how Cady handles the possibilty of a potential stepmom.

  17. DrewOFB

    Does anyone know what the music was at the end of the show?
    Frankly, I don’t care to see a romance between Vic and Walt. Is this what happens in the novels? I like Vic’s character, but she has a little psycho in her, as well. I agree with the other comments about the questionable plot turns, but otherwise, a good, exciting episode.

  18. west

    anyone know what she screams while she opening the bag we tried to replay it few times and couldnt figure out what she said.

  19. David Cranmer

    [b]DrewOFB[/b], Found out the song at the end is Up from the Ground by Fort Atlantic (
    [url=http://www.tunefind.com/show/longmire/season-3/18883#songs]http://www.tunefind.com/show/longmire/season-3/18883#songs[/url]). I liked that one as well.

    [b]west[/b], I have no unearthly idea, but I’m going to check it again to see if I can find out.

  20. David Cranmer

    west, I just played it back on closed captioned and it says “screaming indistinctly.” On another social networking site someone humorously says she yells, “How do you open this thing?!”

  21. west

    i didnt hear it but my wife thinks she screams WALTDONTLEAVEME but i tried to play it back and idk maybe, but who knows. The scream felt real thou such good acting.

  22. David Cranmer

    Yeah, Katee Sackhoff knocked this one out of the ballpark. I’ve also been watching reruns of the reimagined BattleStar Galactica where she plays Starbuck. She’s so damn good, I forget its the same actress in both parts.

  23. Toni Meyer

    I recorded last week’s show and as my husband and I watched it, it stopped when Vic got into the SUV and started back to Walt. What happened next?!

  24. David Cranmer

    Stay tuned next week, Toni. Ongoing storyline. And something tells me fireworks between Walt and Vic are past due.

  25. DrewOFB

    Thanks for the name of the song. That might go on my iTunes. I’m looking forward to Monday’s show to see Branch and Vic go at it. That’s been simmering on the stove for a while and seems ready to boil over.

  26. David Cranmer

    I’ve already added the song to mine. And I’m with you, Drew, tomorrow’s episode should be fairly explosive in the Walt & Vic department. Though my favorite plotline is Branch and his Ahab obsession for finding David Ridges.

  27. Toni Meyer

    Thanks Edward. We love this show and have been watching it from the beginning. The last one just got cut off early and I was not sure if you got to see watch happened to Walt. Also did not get to see any previews for the next one like we normally do.

  28. David Cranmer

    Yeah, the trailer revealed Walt alive so we know Chance bought the farm or at the very least is down for the count. Looks like tomorrow’s episode has Vic confronting Branch over entering her house. Also Branch has another David Ridges sighting. Do you think we’ll have closure with the Henry Standing Bear storyline? I hope so but am wondering if the writers will keep us waiting another year.

  29. Mary Saputo

    You know, as we age we have a harder time “hearing” things, especially words uttered on TV. We’re told it’s because we are losing our hearing so we end up rewinding over and over to figure out what they said. How wonderful it is to find out we’re not the only ones; we “old” people. We even use the “closed caption” only to find out they write – “words uttered.” Thank GOD you young ‘uns are having the same problem. Maybe I’m not as old as I thought and maybe my “parts” are workin’ just fine, thank you very much!

  30. David Cranmer

    bitsy08, *chuckling* I’m not sure how well my middleaged parts are doing these days but I’m sure glad to help when I can. And I super appreciate you stopping by to comment on the individual posts. Looks like tonight’s episode titled “Harvest” should be another stellar show.

  31. Chgojack

    I believe Gorski said goodbye because he knows Vic is in love with Walt. When she says stop here. He knows she is going back for Walt. Walt is a real man in his book. In the end he accepts its over for him and Vic. However the look on Vic’s face when he says goodbye. She is totally shocked her stalker is moving on.

  32. CliffJeoky

    Joe Bonamassa is a famous country singer, so don’t miss the possibility to visit Joe Bonamassa Portland tickets

  33. Pona

    I definitely agree with you! I don’t see anything wrong with it. All I see are two people with an electric attraction between them.

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