When Holly Whitish of Holly’s Heavenly Compost discovers a dead body decomposing in her, well, compost heap, she calls the Sheriff in to investigate. As Walt and Vic dig through the roadkill that Holly collects for her compost, they see that the victim has been shot and there are signs of a fight. Holly says she doesn’t know him.
After an autopsy report shows the victim’s stomach contains turkey, duck and chicken – it narrows the restaurants down to one: The Saddle Horn Truck Stop. It’s the only fine eating establishment that sells turducken burgers. As they question the manager, it quickly becomes obvious to Walt that their victim wasn’t really there for the cuisine when he spots a couple of prostitutes hanging around the truck stop looking for some johns.
After questioning one hooker in particular, who says the victim always smelled like tar, Walt and Vic hit up a road construction crew. The foreman recognizes the picture of the victim and identifies him as Ross Lanten.
As Walt and Vic track down Ross Lanten to his home, they go to talk to the Collettes, Lanten’s neighbors, but no one is home. Turns out Mrs. Lanten took the kids and left Ross for greener pastures. Walt is suspicious of the Collettes, as the husband, Greg, is sporting bruises from a fight, and his wife, Brandi, a former Army driver, doesn’t seem all that bothered that Lanten is dead.
Meanwhile, Branch has been looking for Cady, who has seemingly gone missing. He goes over to her house and sees a pile of mail just inside the front door. Wyoming must be a pretty safe place, as Cady has a glass front door which could easily be broken into. Instead, Branch uses his lockpicks and easily opens the back door. He sees a letter addressed to “Punk,” which is what Walt calls his daughter. He pockets it and looks for more clues of Cady’s whereabouts but finds nothing.
As Branch nurses a beer at the Red Pony, a very drunk Holly drags in a deer carcass and confesses to Branch that she knew who the victim was all along. Branch takes her back to the Sheriff’s office where Walt comforts and questions her. It turns out Holly was raped by Ross Lanten decades ago, but never reported it because her god-fearing parents convinced her it was the will of God and that it was her own fault.
While Walt doesn’t think she’s guilty, Branch thinks otherwise and Walt encourages him and Ferg to get a warrant to search her home. Upon doing so, Ferg finds a gun matching the caliber of the bullet that killed Lanten.
Still unsure that Holly is the killer, Walt and Henry go to interrogate Delila, the prostitute Walt questioned earlier, for more information. She recalls a sedan with tinted windows, which brings Walt back to the Collettes, who own a similar car.
When Walt and Vic return to the Collettes, they hear gunfire and Brandi screaming as if she’s still in Iraq. After things return to normal, we find out Brandi is suffering from PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, and has similar episodes where she blacks out and doesn’t remember what has happened. She had a blackout the night Lanten was killed, so it lays doubt on Holly being the murderer.
Branch informs Walt that the ballistics test shows the bullet matches the gun found in Holly’s home. After Walt brings up Brandi, Branch drops the subject long enough to toss back the copy of the “Hound of the Baskervilles” that Walt gave him last season — to read and brush up on his detective skills. I guess Branch is a really slow reader. Branch questions Walt about Cady, and Walt admits he hasn’t heard from her in several days and has no idea where she is.
Walt and Vic travel to Montana to track down Holly’s son, Dacus, at school. When they find him, they realize he’s the same man they saw on the construction site. He runs for it, but even in cowboy boots and 40+ years on him, Walt easily takes him down. Upon questioning him, the truth is revealed.
Dacus is the product of Lanten’s rape of Holly Whitish all those years ago. Dacus somehow found out the truth and always questioned his own ability to have a normal relationship with a girl. After he followed Lanten to the truck stop and saw that he beat up Delila, he lost it himself and shot Lanten, burying him in the compost heap, hoping he would just disappear into the dirt.
The episode closes with Cady showing up at the Denver police station looking for Detective Fales, the detective that was questioning Walt at the end of last season about his wife’s death and the death of the tweakers who killed her.
Not my favorite episode, but it’s still early in the season. I’m hoping Branch will come around to Walt’s side eventually, but it sure is fun to watch him be Walt’s nemesis for the time being. And while I love Walt in a cowboy hat, something about him with a baseball cap has me buzzing.
Will Vic’s husband make an appearance anytime soon? I’d like to know where that relationship is going. I also wonder if they will introduce Vic’s brother (who appears in the books) into the show.
What did you think of this episode? Leave comments below.