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In case you are unfamiliar with the narrative of Longmire and why it’s a TV show worth watching here is a quick, but far from complete list of reasons Longmire stands out from other shows in the procedural crime show with a smaller serialized storyline genre.

1) The setting – Set in fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, although filmed in New Mexico, Longmire serves as a very nice contrast to the majority of procedural crime shows centered in major cities (New York, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles, etc.). Not only does this provide scenic views of beautiful parts of New Mexico, but it also means that the actual crimes that are being investigated seem like they could actually have occurred in real life (illegal rodeos, illegal poaching, hit and runs, to just name a few). There are no trips to a lab to investigate trace evidence or overlong scenes looking into information online, instead at a maximum we get a brief interlude with a coroner and this allows the main leads to spend the majority of their screen time in the field interacting with the suspects and one another. Similarly, there is no need for the writers to invoke a giant bogeyman (terrorism, worldwide plots, etc.) to bring the viewers in. There are no embellishments needed to get the viewer invested in the weekly case.

2) Walt Longmire and Branch Connally – Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) and Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) have spent the majority of the second season in a heated race for sheriff. This has unfortunately meant that the two have not spent a lot of time onscreen together interacting this season. However, *spoiler* with recent events and the return of Branch to the fold great things could be ahead. In season 1 Walt and Branch butted heads quite a bit, but there were also times when Branch acknowledged Walt’s leadership and seemed to learn from Walt. The two characters are two sides of the same coin, Walt lives in the world with the everyday man and tends to solve most of his cases this way, mostly while at odds with the elite of the county, whether it be a specific person or corporate entity. On the other side of this coin is Branch who grew up the son of one of the richest men in the county and tends to work his cases starting from the corporation side, especially so this season in several cases involving Jacob and the casino. The greatest line that made me smile a few episodes ago came when Jacob declared to Branch “Walt has rubbed off on you more than you realize.” This is true whether Branch wants to admit it or not, Walt has become the father figure he may not really want, but he is the one that he needs.

3) Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear – Lou Diamond Phillips and Robert Taylor have the chemistry between these two friends down pat. As one of the few people in Walt’s life who can consistently make him smile or even get him to joke, Henry is also Walt’s only true confidant. Unlike most shows where peripheral characters not directly involved with law enforcement are thrown into cases under extraordinary circumstances, Henry’s involvement always actually makes sense. His skills as a tracker and as an emissary to the reservation get put into use for and even at times against Walt which only gives us a greater insight into what drives each man and how deeply rooted their friendship really is.

Bonus – Katee Sackhoff – It’s always nice to see actors that played iconic roles land on other great shows. I have never once thought of Sackhoff’s Vic as Starbuck in a cop uniform which simply means that she has done a great job assuming a new role. Her character has been slightly under-utilized, however her rapport with Walt and her antagonistic, but friendly relationship with Branch are great to watch. I’m looking forward to upcoming episodes that previews have led me to believe feature her.


What do you like the most about Longmire?

What is your favorite scene from the series so far?
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It's a shame that with the high ratings, A&E went ahead and canceled Longmire. Makes it look like A&E doosn't want this kind of entertainment when the can have blockbusters like Cement Heads.
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I love this show, so happy for the 3rd season. Every town needs a Walt Longmire. Great work.
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I love this show I wish it would come back on soon
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Love this post and this show. Longmire for me is first and foremost the stunning scenery and great camerawork. Second the fantastic character that is Walt. The scenes between him and Branch this season had so few words but so much meaning. So I'm over the moon that we get a third season. ((:
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Great article for a great show and you pretty much said it all. My wife and I are still in late season two--not wanting it to end, I guess. Love it that both Walt and Branch are good guys at odds with each other. The election forced Walt to get a cellphone, so It's a good thing. I really don't care who wins the election, because they are both well qualified. Love his show...
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This post makes me want to give the show a try!
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Great news, season 1 just popped up on Netflix too! (Here's the pilot episode page). This post convinced me, I'm going to give it a shot.
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I always feel there something of Columbo about Walt Longmire he looks a bit dishevelled, he doesn't rush and he always knows a little more than he's letting on. And each episodes never feels rushed or hectic, the show is set in a small town and it's got that small town pace about, with possible exception of Vic but she is a big city gal.

And then there is Walt wife, it's almost the end of season two and we still don't really know what happened with his wife and her killer. But that's not a bad thing, even if the show ran for another 10 season and there was never a full explaination of what happened in Denver it wouldn't hurt the show.
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