Stars: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman, Bailey Chase, Adam Bartley, Louanne Stephens
Writer: Sarah Nicole Jones, Series created by Hunt Baldwin & John Coveny, Based on the novels by Craig Johnson
Director: Steve Robin
Network: A&E, airs Sunday nights
Original Telecast: August 5, 2012
“Dogs, Horses, and Indians” is not a play on the old WIZARD OF OZ song…just in case that’s where your brain goes when you see or hear the title of the latest episode of LONGMIRE; rather it refers to an archaic government term called a Blood Quantum Law that is used to measure the degree of ancestry of a person and their membership in a particular Indian Tribe. There are only 3 groups in this country that are measured by Blood Quantum law, and those three are the title of this episode.
Besides the fact that I enjoy LONGMIRE because I’m from the area and it’s a really well written and executed series, I like that the plots are never just one simple thing. There are always layers to each mystery, and like peeling back the layers of an onion you find more and more as you go along. This episode starts with something that looks relatively straight forward and then quickly gives you a turn that puts Walt (Robert Taylor) in something of a rock and a hard place, especially considering he’s in the middle of an election. Then there are complications both within Walt’s personal life and with the case, and things don’t even really get completely resolved by the credits at the end; which is just fine. Who wants to watch a cut and dried show where everything is tied up all nice and neat at the end of every episode? This allows the writers to use threads from multiple episodes for upcoming stories and is a mark of good plotting and execution.
Lots going with the Reservation in this episode, and the Blood Quantum Law was something I wasn’t really aware of until watching this. Again, yet another disturbing part of life for the Native Americans of this country that I was completely oblivious to. The simple fact that people who have been considered part of a Tribe their whole lives, can be dis-inherited because of a blood test on their ancestry is a frightening thing.
There is more Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) this episode which is NEVER a bad thing. I like seeing Henry interact with his Tribe and getting more of a feel for what kind of a role he plays in the whole structure of the Tribal Government, and a bit of what he means for his people. Plus he seems to know that Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez) is not completely on the level. Watch your back Henry, besides having money, Nighthorse is a Dog Soldier and clearly capable of manipulating lots of events to his benefit.
Walt seems a bit bent on self-destruction this time around, recklessly charging into a suspected location of an illegal poker game run by bikers, and almost having his ass handed to him. This is a direct result of finding out about Cady (Cassidy Freeman) and Branch’s (Bailey Chase) relationship. We all knew this was coming sooner or later, and Branch is now determined to stomp Walt out in the election, so all this mess just got messier.
One more thing in this episode is absolutely delightful and that is Vic (Katee Sackhoff). Whether she is telling Branch not to s**t where he eats, or is rolling her eyes at a gold digging whiskey tango woman that is being questioned, she steals most every scene she is in, and she’s an absolute delight to watch. Seeing Sackhoff settle into the rhythm of this character has been a nice journey this season and I look forward to what might be waiting for us in season two.
Plus more on Denver! If you watched the preview for the finale then you know that Walt’s wife was killed — she didn’t die of cancer like in the novels. Now we at least have some kind of idea what he was doing in Colorado, cracking down on bad guys so far outside of his jurisdiction. This episode we see how he gets the cuts on this back (a sword!) and we see a bit more past him storming down the door we saw a few back. Maybe someone should compile all the flashbacks into one scene and post it on YouTube. Hint, hint, dear readers.
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Article: TV Review – LONGMIRE – Season 1 – “Dogs, Horses and Indians”