Yee-haw! “Longmire” is back!
We had to wait almost a year for the new season to begin, but it was well worth the wait! In the season two premiere, “Unquiet Mind,” we find Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) and ever faithful deputy Vic (Katie Sackhoff) transporting an unnamed prisoner over to federal agents. Walt is able to surmise that said prisoner is notorious serial killer (aren’t all serial killers notorious?) Wayne Durell. Hoping to get a stay of execution, Durrell confesses the location of one of his victims — in Absaroka County, where Longmire is sheriff.
When the remains are uncovered, Longmire knows exactly who it is, a kid named Theo Half Moon — a missing persons case that haunts him still.
After Durrell escapes, killing most of the federal agents and dragging along the other prisoners and a hostage in the transfer, he takes to the mountains, which on a nice day would be somewhat difficult to traverse, but now there’s a blizzard brewing and visibility is close to zero.
The prisoners commandeer a Sno-Cat and head up the mountain with a hostage, so Walt does what he can — follows them on foot in the midst of a snowstorm. Trudging up the mountain in sub-zero temperatures, Walt tries to keep his wits about him, but he starts hallucinating about the people who mean the most to him. Walt’s a thinker, not much of a talker, so his mind goes into overdrive as he tracks the fugitives.
Back at the station, the Special Agent in Charge of the transfer gone awry takes over the station and sets up a temporary outpost there to find the prisoners. Vic and he immediately butt heads over how to proceed.
Shots are fired, and Walt tracks them to a cabin in the woods. There he finds a dead convict and Omar, Absaroka County’s resident guns and ammo expert (and outrageous flirt). Omar is true and there in the flesh, not one of his hallucinations. He outfits Walt in warmer clothes and snow shoes, and arms him with a small arsenal of guns to even up the odds.
Hot on the heels of the escapees, Walt loses his footing when he is shot at and tumbles down part of the mountain and into an icy cold river. With the threat of hypothermia very real, Walt hallucinates even more as he seeks shelter by stumbling into an abandoned shack.
I’ll stop my recap there, as I don’t want to spoil the episode for you. I’m rather excited to see where they go with the character development this season. What kind of silly trouble will Ferg find himself in? Will Lizzie Ambrose, Walt’s love interest from season one, return? Katherine LaNasa, who played Lizzie, is now free from her commitment to “Deception,” as NBC recently cancelled the show. Will Branch have a successful bid running for Sheriff of Absaroka County and take Walt’s job away from him? Will Vic get a love interest this year? Maybe it’ll be the Special Agent in Charge seen in this episode (“Rookie Blue‘s” Noam Jenkins).
I’ve read many of the “Longmire” books, and I love how the show embodies the essence of the west depicted in Craig Johnson’s novels. Robert Taylor is Sheriff Walt Longmire, despite the fact that Taylor is Australian and normally sounds more like Crocodile Dundee than a cowboy roaming the plains of Wyoming.
This episode loosely follows the plot from Johnson’s seventh book in the “Longmire” series, “Hell is Empty.” The book itself is obviously way more intricate and dynamic and could no way be truncated into a one-hour episode. One of the book’s integral characters, Virgil, is decidedly missing from the premiere, but it’s just as well, as his backstory and involvement with Longmire would have taken several episodes to flesh out.
Craig Johnson wrote a short article about the ins-and-outs of “Longmire” season two, along with his behind-the-scenes take; it’s currently available as a free download for iTunes and Kindle, and includes preview chapters of “Hell is Empty” and his new book “A Serpent’s Tooth.”
Are you excited for season two of “Longmire”? Who’s your favorite character? Leave comments below.