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All 6 Seasons of Longmire, Ranked Worst To Best




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Summary

  • Longmire effectively mixed police procedural and Western genres, becoming more complex as the series progressed.
  • Walt’s pursuit of his wife’s killer added emotion and depth, impacting relationships and the overall narrative.
  • While the final season provided closure, it struggled with pacing and complexity, losing some of the show’s original charm, and the overall quality changed from season to season.

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Longmire successfully blended the police procedural and Western genres throughout the course of the show, but some seasons were better than others. Longmire followed Sheriff Walt Longmire and his duties as Absaroka county’s long arm of the law. As the show was set in rural Wyoming, Walt and his deputies didn’t have access to high-tech police resources, and they had to rely on their own investigative skills, logic, and knowledge of the county and its people to solve crimes. That premise alone was incredibly compelling, but as the series went on, it also introduced an intriguing conspiracy.

Throughout the show, the question of who killed Walt’s wife in Longmire loomed overhead. Her death granted the show a lot of emotional weight and gave Walt much more depth than the archetypal Western lawman, and it also made Walt and Vic’s relationship even more dramatic. Over the course of the series, Longmire became much more complex than its original premise, forcing Walt to balance the interests of Abseroka’s local businesses and the nearby Cheyenne reservation. While much of that complexity worked, not every season benefited from the complicated story.

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6 Season 6

A satisfying conclusion, but not quite as good as earlier seasons

Longmire Season 6 Poster

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score

Audience Score

Not Rated

87%

Every season of Longmire provided a solid story and an interesting plot, but the final season didn’t shine quite as brightly as the others. The show didn’t end on the strongest note, but Longmire‘s series finale still delivered a heartfelt and satisfying conclusion. Longmire season 6 finally resolved the many conspiracies at the heart of Walt’s story, and revealed his true enemies. It did develop and redeem several supposed antagonists, like Jacob Nighthorse and Mathias, but the conclusion to the central conspiracy often felt rushed and half-baked. Season 6 also lost sight of what made Longmire so interesting in the first place, and marked it as the worst of the show’s six seasons.

One of the issues with crafting as big and complex a conspiracy as Longmire did is that it can take over the entire story. Longmire season 6 fell into that trap, and was mostly dominated by resolving all the loose threads previous seasons used to spark intrigue. Season 6 had fewer individual mysteries than other seasons, and it lacked the variety those episodes brought. It still had more than a few things going for it, though, and viewers clearly resonated with the show’s happy conclusion, as evidenced by the season’s 87% viewer score on Rotten Tomatoes.

5 Season 5

Interestingly complicated, but with too many things happening at once

Walt (Robert Taylor) and Vic (Katee Sackhoff) kiss in Longmire season 5 episode 1

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score

Audience Score

Not Rated

90%

Season 5 had very large boots to fill after the first seasons, and while it faltered a bit in that task, it was still compelling. One of the best parts of the season was that it utilized the Ferg much more than any other season, giving him both a love interest and a compelling plot line with his run-in with the Irish mob and the trauma that resulted from it. Longmire season 5’s biggest fault was that it tried to do too many things at the same time, and many of its story elements suffered from not being paid enough attention.

Walt’s legal troubles showed the darker side of his policing style, and gave him real consequences for his actions. They also distracted from more compelling stories, though, and they ultimately weighed the season down. Vic’s pregnancy and the Irish mob plot felt like side stories that detracted from the rest of the narrative. Most of Longmire season 5’s new stories fell flat, even though some of them worked. It was an inconsistent addition to Longmire‘s story, which made it one of the less impressive seasons of the show.

4 Season 1

A very strong start to the show

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score

Audience Score

86%

92%

Longmire immediately captured audiences’ attention in season 1. The first season was the most similar to other police procedurals, but it managed to stand out because of both its setting and Walt’s unique investigative style. While it lacked many of the more complex elements that made later seasons so compelling, it made up for that with solid mysteries that were delightful to watch unravel and believable characters. Longmire season 1 may not be the best the show has to offer, but it laid the groundwork for the coming seasons in a masterful fashion.

3 Season 2

It built off the intrigue of the first season

Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) punishing himself in Longmire season 2 episode 11

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score

Audience Score

80%

91%

The first season set up what would become a much larger conspiracy surrounding the death of Walt’s wife and his dark past, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting without season 2. The slow burn revelations of Henry’s involvement in Miller Beck’s death, as well as the consequences Branch faced trying to help Cady, made season 2 a solid and well-rounded season with a bit of everything. It also gave Cady much more agency than the first season, which set up her satisfying conclusion in the series finale.

Season 2 also introduced Hector and set the groundwork for Henry later taking on the role. Hector and his role as a source of frontier justice added a lot to the Cheyenne reservation side of the story, and helped develop both the reservation and the Cheyenne people. Season 2 went a long way in making the Cheyenne important and well-developed aspects of Longmire‘s story, and it also showed how Walt interacted with the Cheyenne culture on a more personal level, which are some of its greatest strengths. Vic also had her most compelling story in season 2 in the form of Ed Gorski, who forced her to reconcile with her past.

2 Season 3

The best suspense and buildup of the entire show

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score

Audience Score

Not Rated

95%

Longmire season 3 marked a transformation for the show, and it did so with Branch Connally. Up to that point, Branch was just a thorn in Walt’s side, but throughout the third season he found his own stride. Branch’s story in season 3 increased the spiritual aspects of Longmire and challenged the hard nosed, logical reality the show had been based in via David Ridges. Season 3 also made Barlow a much more prominent character, and he changed from a hated business person into a case study of how far ambition can force someone to fall.

Season 3 leaned into its characters more than any other season before it, and that decision paid off in dividends. Henry’s time in prison and the lengths Walt went to in order to help his friend gave valuable insight into the show’s central characters. While it was able to focus on its characters, season 3 also prepared much of the foreshadowing necessary for Barlow’s role in later seasons. The only thing better than Longmire season 3’s buildup was the climactic payoff in the next season.

1 Season 4

Everything that makes Longmire great, firing on all cylinders

Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) in Longmire season 4 episode 4

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score

Audience Score

100%

96%

Everything that made Longmire season 3 great came to fruition in season 4. Longmire season 4 is the best the entire show has to offer, and its reception by both critics and viewers alike proves it. The story nailed its level of complexity, raising the stakes on the events affecting individual characters, the casino, the reservation, and the entire county expertly. Season 4 managed to instill a sense that the entire county hung in the balance while also leaving space to explore the core aspects of Longmire that made it so beloved in the first place.

Longmire TV Show Poster

Longmire

Cast
Katee Sackhoff , Bailey Chase , Lou Diamond Phillips , Robert Taylor

Release Date
November 17, 2017

Seasons
6

Source link
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