CliqueClack TV

Longmire – Everybody is unfaithful

If bronc riders do it in eight seconds, how long do sheriffs take? Walt solves the case of the beaten businessman and stolen painting in exactly one episode.

- Season 1, Episode 7 - "8 Seconds"

Longmire looks at that great Western past-time of bronc riding, as part of the rodeo circuit.  A sponsor is beaten nearly to death, a valueless painting is stolen, and the clues at first point to the rider recently dropped from sponsorship. But I watch television so I know that the rider, Levi, probably didn’t do it, even if he’s the logical suspect. When the vet started slamming Levi, I thought the vet or the vet’s kid had done it to frame Levi to punish him for the horse injuries. It turns out I was assuming a little more evil intent than was actually there (a good thing for the show, actually, since that motive is pretty out there) but I wasn’t that far off. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the assault was the kid flipping out after discovering his father was having an affair with another man.

I didn’t expect the many infidelities which seemed to be the theme of the show this week: both the victim and his wife (played by the ever-luminous Stacy Haiduk in a sadly small role) were cheating on the other. Even Walt feels he’s cheating on his late wife when he calls Lizzie Ambrose. Cady feels guilty for sneaking around behind her father’s back with his electoral rival and dumps Branch. Vic’s husband is jealous of her time on the job (I sure hope he’s good in the sack because wow, is he a prick and makes me wonder what she ever saw in him.)

But let’s get to the important event of the episode: the introduction of Barlowe Connally (Gerald McRaney bringing his trademarked crustiness to the episode), having an affair with the victim’s wife when he’s not convincing his son to run against Walt for sheriff because, I guess, it’s his destiny or something. Dude, Branch just told you that he’s not ready; you might want to listen. He strikes me as a man who doesn’t listen, though, and also that he has something personal against Walt. I’m disappointed that “Barlowe” isn’t nearly as ridiculous a name as I was hoping for, though.

I think this is the first episode where I’ve liked Branch. Most of the time I don’t feel much for him either way, and sometimes he’s an unlikeable jerk, but I felt for him when Cady called it off between them, and when he told his father that he still had things to learn from Walt, only to be pressured into not giving up the election. That’s a credit to both Bailey Chase and the writers that he stays sympathetic even while he’s in opposition to our lead character, when it would be easy to make him an unmitigated jerk so we could root for Walt freely. I hope Branch remains conflicted about what he’s doing.

It occurs to me that I don’t really understand the painting. Was the kid trying to make it look like a robbery-gone-bad? I suppose the only way it makes sense is that he had no idea the painting was supposed to be a fake, and he snatched a random one when the alarm went off. So the painting’s authenticity was pretty irrelevant to anything.

I’m pretty excited to find out where Barlowe is going to push this election. Branch is personable and obviously well connected in town, as we’ve learned that his family has been dominant for a long time. Walt is honest but has a secret, and he’s not interested in the politics or the spotlight, which might give Branch a bit of an edge, depending on how big the county is and how many people in it have been personally helped by something Walt’s done (a growing number, each week!). We know Barlowe is going to be digging around for dirt. It’ll be fun to see how Walt and his friends respond when that comes to light.

Quotes that made me laugh:

“I thought you two were fighting.” — Walt
“We are, which is why the sex was so magnificent.” — Vic

“Nobody wanted to drive home a drunk clown?” — Vic

“You are so very serious. You used to be fun. Sort of.” — Henry
“You used to be not such a sanctimonious, self-important, judgmental prick.” — Walt (I want the flashback when they were both young hellraisers)

“Bronc riders do it in 8 seconds.” — The significant bumper sticker

Photo Credit: A&E Television Networks

Comments are closed.

Powered By OneLink