First Watch: Longmire – “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Longmire has been on my radar for some time, but due to the flood of procedurals we have covered during the summer television season, I wanted to cover some other genres before I took on this series. With a bit of distance between me and my last crime drama (a whole two weeks!), I’m ready to jump into Longmire.

The series follows the exploits of Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) of Absaroka County, Wyoming, an old-school lawman who has spent the last year mourning the death of his wife and not much else. Throughout the episode, the deputies of Absaroka County — especially sheriff-wannabe Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) — make it abundantly clear that Walt hasn’t been around much and when he has been around, he hasn’t actually done much of anything. The pilot has Walt getting back in the saddle and solving the murder of a man he’s never seen before (a rare occurrence in Absoraka).

While Walt is clearly the main character of the series, we’ve got a few other major characters to discuss here. First and foremost, we’ve got his trusty deputies: Vic Moretti (Katee Sackhoff), ‘The Ferg’ (Adam Bartley) and our good friend, Branch. Vic is the newbie of the deputies, having transferred from Philadelphia six months ago, but she also seems to be deputy that is closest to Walt. She’s like Starbuck on land with a little less rebel in her, but with just as much sass. Not much is known about ‘The Ferg’ from the pilot, except for the fact that he’s called ‘The Ferg’ and seems to be an agreeable fellow. Branch, on the other hand, is being set up to be Walt’s workplace antagonist. Unhappy with the out-of-date stylings of Walt Longmire, Branch decided to start campaigning against Walt for Absaroka’s sheriff on the next election without telling him — too bad (for him) Walt sees a sign on the outskirts of the county when he goes to notify next of kin for the episode’s murder victim.

Branch isn’t the only long-term antagonist for Longmire, though. It appears Absaroka County is home to an Indian Reservation whose police force doesn’t care for Walt much. Apparently, prior to the series, Walt arrested their police chief for extortion. Whoops. Luckily for Walt, he has a good friend in Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), who assists him with any dealings he needs to make on the reservation.

Longmire, like many police procedurals, lacks a good Big Bad, but hopefully it will be able to keep my interest without one. The main cast of Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips and Katee Sackhoff seems to work well. I can see a “Bill Adama-Kara Thrace” kind of relationship between Taylor and Sackhoff, which worked very well in Battlestar Galactica, and I think will work very well in Longmire.

Like Rome, I got into Longmire to fill a void left by one of my favorite series being over for the year. So far, I’m content with the job it is doing with my western-theme crime drama fix. Longmire might not be as action-oriented as Justified, but Walt is just as emotionally-damaged and badass as Raylan. That must be why Country music is known for being comically over-the-top in their lamentations: all of their cowboy heroes carry their own weight in emotional baggage.

  • Rating: “Content.”
  • Comment: Longmire is a western-style police procedural which doesn’t seem to offer anything special, but I’m fond of westerns and will probably stick with the show for awhile.
  • You might like Longmire if you like: classic westerns; Justified, but wanted something a bit slower; Walker, Texas RangerBattlestar Galactica (mostly because of Katee Sackhoff, but both shows shun technological advancement!)

Longmire finished its second season (yesterday) on A&E, but you can catch up on the first season on Netflix.

About Daniel

I'm a guy who spends way too much time playing board games and watching television with his friends. View all posts by Daniel

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