The third season of Longmire continued what had been previously established in the first two seasons as a strong crime drama rooted in deep and interesting characters. What was unique about this season is that it followed three fully developed storylines involving the main characters rather than just standalone murder mysteries, unfolding a complex interconnectedness between them. It is a much darker season as well with a strong undercurrent of evil that wove throughout. This drew me in further and resulted in a huge cliffhanger that left me anxious for the next season. A&E didn’t have as much faith and canceled the show. Thankfully, it has been picked up by Netflix for a fourth season.
Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is still struggling with the murder of his wife and figuring out who was responsible. He gets closer when his deputy Branch (Bailey Chase) is shot by a man after he was believed to have committed suicide. As everyone else in the department believes that Branch is losing his mind, he starts his own investigation solving not only the attempt on his life but the conspiracy behind the murder of Walt’s wife. Meanwhile, Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) is on trial for a murder connected to the conspiracy and Walt’s daughter Cady (Cassidy Freeman) decides to defend him. The romantic tension between Vic (Katee Sackhoff) and Walt grows stronger when her marriage finally collapses.
The DVD collection includes all 10 episodes and only one special feature. “Longmire: The Ghost in the Storm” is a 30-minute behind-the-scenes featurette containing interviews with producers, cast members, and Craig Johnson, the writer of the book series. It offers a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for the prevalent themes not only of this season but of the entire series. It elevates the chain of events and connects them in a more meaningful way.
Taylor continues to be the foundation of the show and the main reason for its success. He is handsome, rugged, and rooted in finding truth through his sense of justice, integrity, and honor. He has flaws but strives to overcome them as he performs his duty to protect the people in his town and those closest to him. All of the supporting actors, Chase, Diamond Phillips and Sackhoff do a tremendous job playing off Taylor, enhancing the strength of his character, but also in providing counterpoints and helping to steer him when he is wrong. There are so many formulaic crime dramas these days, Longmire offers something different which starts in its unique western setting and ends with the weaving of an intricate engaging tale leaving me wanting more with each episode.