Season 6 of Longmire brought the Sheriff Walt Longmire story to an end in a way that I’m sure made many fans happy. As a whole, I thought the season was excellent. It gave the actors some room to stretch, resolved a number of lingering issues, and went out on a golden rainbow of happiness. There are spoilers ahead.
Robert Taylor as Walt Longmire had gone a bit over the deep end last season in pursuit of Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez). He returned to a more balanced view of Nighthorse in season 6, and even came to appreciate the man a bit. That’s because Malachi Strand (Graham Greene) turned out to be the REAL evil guy. Malachi tried to kill almost everyone in season 6.
As usual, Longmire relied on his friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) and his deputies Vic Moretti (Katee Sackhoff) and Ferg (Adam Bartley) with the investigating and apprehension of the bad guys infesting their county in Wyoming. The problems there were the same ones bedeviling the entire country: drugs and corruption.
Walt’s daughter Cady (Cassidy Freeman), who was in the good graces of the Cheyenne nation in season 5, fell out of the good graces this season. After an incident involving a Cheyenne child with Scarlet Fever, Cady lost all her clients. She almost left town but was detained in Wyoming by a handsome fellow who Walt once fired named Zach (Barry Sloane). Cady also had a last minute change of heart about leaving town for another reason I won’t reveal. It was a surprising plot twist.
Vic was pregnant at the end of season 5, but not very far along. Early in season 6 she is shot and loses the baby. The grieving process over that loss was explored in season 6. It gave Katee Sackhoff a chance to show more emotional depth that she previously has in this part.
I discovered when I wrote this post about the age difference between Walt and Vic that many fans of the books felt they should be together in the TV series as they were in the books. I didn’t agree, but those fans got their happy ending in season 6. Vic told Walt in many ways that she loved him, without ever coming out and saying the words. He finally made the move to do something about it, even though he was her boss and shouldn’t have.
The preparation for the final episode, with Vic talking to her dad (John Doman) about being a “girl” and grieving over her lost baby plus her worrying over Walt’s safety weren’t enough for me to accept her transformation in the last episode. Walt and Vic have a big sex scene, then she’s suddenly this little hausfrau in a feminine outfit who waits at home while Walt goes off on adventures. Nope.
I could have done without that bow to the patriarchy as Walt and Vic reached their happy ending.
Despite my complaints about how Walt and Vic ended up, most of the season rolled along with the same amount of danger and tension that characterized all 6 seasons of Longmire. Especially good were the scenes where Henry was staked to the ground in the sun for days before Walt rescued him. Primal heroic story, that.
There are many important characters in season 6 I haven’t mentioned but I want to give a particular shout out to Tantoo Cardinal as the Crow medicine woman. I loved every scene she was in. It was also fun to see Tamara Duarte as Cady’s assistant Mandy because I loved her character in Wynonna Earp so much.
It seemed they were determined to give every good character a happy ending. It got a bit too sweet and fluffy for me. I assume they felt the fans deserved it for saving the show and giving it extra life on Netflix for the last few seasons. Keep everyone on the edge of their seats for 5.9 seasons and then give them 0.1 season that leaves ’em feeling all warm and cuddly.
Longmire inspires admiration for its straight arrow, all American hero Walt Longmire. Robert Taylor plays him with so much depth and strength that you can’t help but love the guy. If only all American men were so morally sound and good of heart. It’s been a wonderful series to watch for 6 seasons and I’m going to miss seeing more of it.