Thanks to my fellow members of the Longmire Posse and the good people at Netflix, us folks at home can once again ride along with the Absaroka County Sheriff's Department. If you haven't had a chance to watch Season 4 yet, this is your warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.
When we last left our heroes, Branch had a serious confrontation with his father Barlow. A gunshot rang out and the screen faded to black. The season premiere opens with Walt stalking across the prairie with homicide on his mind. He intends to kill Jacob Nighthorse, the man who hired a meth addict to stab Walt's wife Martha to death. Henry has followed Walt and convinces his friend not to go through with it.
Cady goes to her father, concerned that Branch isn't answering his phone. Walt can't get a hold of him either and senses something isn't right. He organizes a search party. Walt, Vic, and Ferg find a man's body in the river, dressed only in boxer shorts with a rifle by his side. It's barely recognizable as Branch. Everyone present is stunned. Suicide is initially ruled the cause of death due to the angle of the wound and the note Vic found in Branch's house. Walt, however, firmly believes that his deputy was murdered.
Meanwhile, Henry has signed over the Red Pony's deed to Malachi. Malachi is also now in charge of day-to-day operations of the bar. People are continuing to leave letters for deceased Cheyenne vigilante Hector, asking for him to intercede in matters such as abusive husbands and drunk uncles. Henry seems to be contemplating taking over where Hector left off.
The cast is in fine form, as always. Rookie actor Adam Bartley continues to show great potential in his role as Ferg. There's an especially heartbreaking scene where Ferg breaks the bad news about Branch to Cady. He chokes out that he doesn't know how he'll get through going to Branch's house to take back the fallen deputy's uniform and squad car keys. I cried myself watching it unfold.
The season's main story arc is intriguing. Even though I already know who killed Branch, it will be entertaining to see how Walt figures it out. I'm not sure how I feel about the implication that Walt and Vic could become romantically involved. However, I can easily picture Henry becoming the next Hector; after all, Lou Diamond Phillips did play one of the Lincoln County Regulators :-)
Boy howdy, what a start!