Longmire Season 3 Review “Wanted Man”

Longmire Season 3 Episode 5 Wanted Man 2

This week’s episode of Longmire highlights one of the show’s weak spots – random characters with potentially pivotal roles who are challenging to keep track of. We get a lot of this as Walt heads out on his quest to rundown all the lowlifes in a 20-mile radius who could have been involved in his wife’s murder. At the end of the episode, we don’t end up making much progress on discovering who set in motion Martha’s murder, and instead come back to the story of David Ridges.

We start out with Walt deciding whether to help Malachi at his parole hearing. We get a sweet flashback of when Walt first arrested Malachi, before Walt tells the board about Malachi’s attempt to extort his assistance in exchange for helping Henry. I like that Walt stuck by his guns and integrity. It’s important to the core of this character that he doesn’t bend the law too far, and giving into a criminal like Malachi would’ve felt like a complete betrayal.

Walt makes the decision to take a vacation and spend his spare time unraveling the plot behind Martha’s death. This leaves Vic in charge of the office. She quickly has her hands full dealing with the fallout from the peyote dealer who was abducted by Branch and his buddy, Travis. Before we get into Vic, let’s pause for a moment to discuss Branch. He looks like death warmed over. Are we inching towards a lengthier hospitalization for him? He looks like he’s one staph infection away from a coma. He’s also gone completely off the rails as he thinks he can shake down the drug dealer for information about the white warriors.

Vic knows something is off when she learns the guy identified Travis as one of the abductors based on a mug shot. She goes to visit Travis and his cuckoo nuts mother to get some answers. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that Branch is involved in the situation. I was surprised at how doggedly she pursued the truth behind the kidnapping, even after she suspected Branch. Given her recent unsavory dealings with the Gorsky situation, I kind of expected her to cut Branch some slack.

Meanwhile, Walt and Connally, who is delightfully portrayed by Peter Weller, set out to crack some skulls and ask questions later. They have a run in with a drug cooker and another man who Walt put in prison. Given the prominent role that Malachi is playing, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suspect that he is behind Martha’s murder. Does that mean, though, that Cady may be in danger again?

Cady is trying to help with Henry’s defense and having a hard time locating Hector. When a local woman asks her to stop looking for him, Cady gains insight on the void that can be filled by vigilante justice. You see on her face that she’s starting to understand that the world is more complicated than she previously understood it. Think about what Cady was like at the beginning of the series compared to know. Her optimism has been completely stripped away. She’s an interesting character and it would be great if we got more time with her.

The end of the episode drops some bombshells. Malachi is released from prison for some unknown reason. I would like more information on how exactly this happened, despite Walt’s testimony against him. Walt and his team also discover Hector – shot and scalped by David Ridges. Again, it doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that this all happens after Malachi’s release.

I think it’s time for them to put the Martha mystery to bed. Let’s get it over with on the big killer reveal and move on. This intrigue is starting to drag and is getting too convoluted.