Jul 2, 201210:48 AMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
TV Recap: Top 5 Things To Know About 'Longmire,' Episode 5
Episode No. 5 of Longmire – the hit series based on the western mystery novels by Craig Johnson – aired Sunday evening on the A&E Network. If you missed this segment – titled “Dog Soldier” – here’s the Top 5 things you need to know about it. But be forewarned: The following contains spoilers.
CHILD’S PLAY: When a Native American youngster is abducted from his foster parents – a Caucasian couple looking forward to adopting the boy – Sheriff Walt Longmire and Deputy Victoria "Vic" Moretti initially suspect that he was swiped by his biological parents, who claim their son was wrongly taken from them by over-reacting child welfare bureaucrats. But after a tearful mom visits Longmire’s office to reveal her missing adult son is an unregistered sex offender, a far worse scenario is considered by the small-town Wyoming peace officers.
RED HERRING: When two more Native American children disappear from a state-run group home – along with the group home supervisor – Longmire and Moretti consider the possibility that the unregistered sex offender and the missing supervisor may be partners in unspeakable crime. Their worst suspicions appear to be confirmed when they discover the two men were on the same high school wrestling team. But when Longmire and Moretti arrest the offender – after he is waylaid by some “law-abiding citizens” who also suspect the worst – they find the guy has nothing to do with the missing kids.
NECESSARY EVIL: Hector, a hulking Cheyenne with a scarred face and a bad attitude, frequently is employed as a free-lance vigilante by reservation residents who need help that traditional lawmen can’t or won’t provide. (Henry Standing Bear, Longmire’s buddy, describes him as “an unfortunate necessity of reservation life.”) Longmire thinks the guy may believe himself to be a real-life “dog soldier” – a warrior of ancient legend – who considers it his duty to retrieve Native American children who have been seized by welfare officials and placed in foster homes. When the group home supervisor is found brutally murdered, and a Children’s Protective Services worker claims she was attacked by someone fitting Hector’s description… well, Longmire comes up with a theory that greatly enrages Native American activist Jacob Nighthorse (played by series semi-regular A Martinez).
MONEY IS THE ROOT: As Oscar Wilde once noted, the truth is rarely pure and never simple. Hector is indeed a brutish badass – one who leaves Longmire seriously bruised even though the lawman actually wins the fight that precedes Hector’s arrest – but while he may be snatching kids (with, perhaps, Nighthorse’s active encouragement), he’s not a killer. Turns out that the government pays double to anyone who takes in Native American children removed from allegedly unfit and/or abusive parents. Trouble is, the foster parents in Longmire’s jurisdiction know nothing of this extra compensation, because the Children’s Protective Services worker and the group home supervisor have been running a scam to wrongly seize kids and then pocket half the money paid foster parents. When the supervisor announced he was ready to end the scam – after a visit from Hector – the CPS worker killed him. She defiantly tells Longmire he’ll never prove her guilt without her confession. Longmire suggests that if she doesn’t confess, Hector will do what the law cannot. At that point, the CPS worker’s survival instincts kick in.
THINGS LEFT UNSAID: Throughout most of the episode, Longmire carries around – but does not open – a letter from the Denver Police Department. In ambiguous flashbacks, viewers see that Longmire spent some time in a Denver hotel room a while back – and may have done something in the Mile High City he now regrets. At the end of “Dog Soldier,” he tosses the letter into the fire burning his hearth. But we likely haven’t heard the last of this.
In related news: Longmire picked up for a second season.