Jul 23, 201212:57 PMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
TV Recap: Top 5 Things To Know About 'Longmire' Episode 8
Episode No. 8 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 “An Incredibly Beautiful Thing” -- here are the Top 5 things you need to know about it. But be forewarned: The following recap contains spoilers.
HOMICIDE: A distraught young woman, barefoot and disheveled, enters a service station minimart and asks the cashier for help, claiming “they” are pursuing her. The cashier calls the sheriff’s office – but is unable to stop the young woman from fleeing his store when she sees a vehicle pulling up outside. He goes out to investigate – and that, as they say, is that. When Walt Longmire arrives on the scene, he finds the poor guy fatally shot.
PURSUIT: Thanks to a video camera cleverly hidden in the minimart, Longmire and his deputies are able to release a photo of the distraught woman – now considered a “person of interest” in a murder investigation – to the media. Within hours, the woman’s parents are in the sheriff’s office, identifying themselves as Portland residents who have spent the last two years looking for their runaway daughter – whose name, incidentally, is Evelyn. Henry Standing Bear is called into service to track down the missing woman, who’s assumed to be somewhere in the nearby countryside. At first, Henry resents having Deputy Ferg along for backup. But Ferg proves surprisingly useful in picking up a trail that leads to a rabbit hutch where someone, perhaps Evelyn, has left a baby.
INVESTIGATION: Before he was shot, the minimart cashier jotted down part of a license plate number. Using that info, Longmire and Deputy Victoria "Vic" Moretti connect the dots to a mining site operated by Newettt Energy (the same outfit that employs Vic’s husband). Longmire has to issue a couple of none-too-subtle threats to get a company factotum to identify the person with access to the vehicle bearing the aforementioned license plate. This strong-arming causes a minor ruffling of feathers, since the mining site happens to be in a county outside of Longmire’s jurisdiction, and that county’s sheriff (guest star Tom Wopat of Dukes of Hazzard fame) is mildly miffed. But never mind: Longmire and Vic are able to speak with Leland Townes, owner of the land where Newett Energy is mining. Yes, he has sole use of a Newett company car. Yes, he drove by the service station minimart on the day in question. And, yes, he saw a frantic young woman running out of the store. He thought she was a crazy, so he drove away. And, by the way, he saw “a black SUV” pull up in front of the minimart while he was leaving.
SUSPECT: Longmire goes back to the rabbit hutch – and finds October, a young woman who claims to know nothing about the baby that was found there, but admits to knowing Evelyn – who she refers to as April. Back at the sheriff’s office, she spouts a lot of pseudo-mystical gibberish that indicates (a) she’s a member of a cult, (b) she’s taking some heavy-duty drugs, or (c) all of the above. She’s allowed to leave the office – even the chronically rule-bending Longmire can’t think of something to justify arresting her – so she’s conveniently free to attack Cady, Longmire’s daughter, and a social worker while the pair transports the aforementioned baby to Protective Services. You might remember that, last week, Cady tried to break off her affair with Deputy Branch. This week, she indicates that Branch has been pestering her with phone calls and other stalkerish behavior. Still, she doesn’t complain when Branch shows up at just the right moment to keep her from being stabbed by October. (The social worker, unfortunately, isn’t quite so lucky.) October flees the scene and jumps into a car driven by an unseen co-conspirator. The driver hits Vic while speeding away – but that’s not enough to keep the extraordinarily resilient deputy from noting the license plate number.
SOLUTION: Tracing the getaway car leads Longmire, Branch, Ferg and a bruised but unbowed Vic back to – yes, you guessed it – the home of Leland Townes, who turns out to be the leader of a religious cult that appears to be based on polygamist principals. His “flock” consists entirely of young women. Evelyn/April ran away after giving birth to Leland’s baby. (She evidently stashed the child in the rabbit hutch for safekeeping while she sought help from authorities.) But she was forcibly returned to the cult – to join her “sisters” in a planned mass suicide. Relying on his formidable deductive skills, Longmire figures out that Leland’s followers are lying on a nearby railroad track, waiting to be killed and, presumably, elevated to a higher plane by an oncoming train. Evelyn/April has been tied to the track, but the other women are there willingly. (Heavily self-medicated, to be sure, but willingly nonetheless.) Longmire and his deputies arrive just in time to take all of the potential martyrs out of harm’s way.
(Programming note: A&E will present Longmire reruns next Sunday, but don't worry -- a brand new epsiode will air Aug. 5. That should give you plenty of time to ponder the latest clue in the ongoing mystery of just what Walt Longmire did in Denver late one fateful night not so long ago. You know how, every so often, Longmire has a cryptically elliptical flashback that suggests Something Bad happened back then? Well, this week, Henry has a similar flashback, indicating his possible complicity. Curiouser and curiouser.)