Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer.
When A&E cancelled Longmire, I was extremely disappointed, but that feeling was short lived when it was announced the series would continue onNetflix. This is one of the most underrated shows but thankfully Netflix believes in it and gave it a fifth season, which is dropping on September 23. It has been a long year between seasons, and I'm sure it will be worth the wait.
Based on the novels written by Craig Johnson, Longmire follows the Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor). Having recently solved and finally coming to terms with his wife's murder at the Season Three, he is now tormented with the apparent suicide of Deputy Branch Connally (Bailey Chase). When he refuses to rule the death as a suicide, he starts down a path that brings more surprises about his wife's murder and creates more conflict with the Cheyenne reservation.
Longmire continues to be suspicious of Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez) whose main objective is to get the new casino up and operating at seemingly any cost. Meanwhile, an alliance is forged with reservation chief Mathias (Zahn McClarnon) to investigate the local oil company for the rape of a Cheyenne woman, which forces Walt's best friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Philips), to continue his new role of reservation avenger. Victoria "Vic" Moretti (Katee Sackhoff) is finally divorced but that doesn't lead to a romance with Walt as he now has eyes for a veterans therapist (Ally Walker).
The three-disc DVD set only offers the 10 episodes. It is too bad there are no extras as previous season releases have included interviews and behind-the-scenes information which helped to deepen themes and character development. However, for those without Netflix, the episodes are all you need to enjoy this terrific season.
The fourth season felt more like one long well-woven story rather than standalone cases as in seasons past, which worked well with being released on Netflix. When originally released, I watched it in three days. The characters have found their strides and you know who they are and the motivations behind what they do.
The loss of Bailey Chase created a gaping hole that I hope they can fill in the next season. Ally Walker, whom I have been a big fan of since Singles and Profiler, is a welcome addition and has tangible chemistry with Taylor. I had originally hoped for a romance between Taylor and Sackhoff, but Walker is a much better fit. Phillips is riveting in his role, and his storyline I found the most interesting. The whole dynamic with the relations between the reservation is extremely compelling and could be explored even further.
I can't recommend Longmire strongly enough. It is well written, brilliantly acted, and continuously offers spectacularly beautiful cinematography. It is the rare western these days that is thought provoking with grit, questions of morality, and good old fashioned crime solving.