Stars: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman, Bailey Chase, Adam Bartley, Louanne Stephens
Writer: Hunt Baldwin & John Coveny, Based on the novels by Craig Johnson
Director: Christopher Chupack
Network: A&E, airs Sunday nights
Original Telecast: June 17, 2012
“A Damn Shame” actually has a lot of flavor and content from the LONGMIRE Craig Johnson novel “The Dark Horse.” Like the pilot episode this one takes more elements from the source material and then makes them work in the 45 minute frame than a single episode of the series allows.
I have to agree with a lot of people that are watching this series (including my mother who got me started reading the books before all this) that each episode just keeps getting better and better. The further we go along, the characters feel like they’ve been established forever instead for three episodes. All of the actors seem so at home in their roles and so comfortable in the world around them.
Of course, Robert Taylor is leading that brigade as Sheriff Walt Longmire, and I just absolutely love him. He is so perfectly Wyoming, with his speech pattern, his mannerisms, and the way he plays things no matter how serious the situation is getting. Taylor’s Longmire is a character to admire and adore, he’s a father figure, an unflappable symbol of an incorruptible lawman, and he has spiritual ties to nature through his interaction with Henry Standing Bear (Lout Diamond Phillps) and his tribe.
This episode is hard on us animal lovers. I can handle seeing people get killed off in crime shows on TV, in fact I would go so far as to say as a reviewer you get a little bit desensitized (especially after reviewing some of the shows I review where violence is not only expected but rooted for). But, this time around seeing horses burned to death and slowly dying in a veterinarian hospital…..whew. The last scene of the episode with Walt reading the poem to horse and placing his medicine bag on its neck so that it could let go and find peace. Wow. Again not a dry eye. But along those same lines, kudos to the effects team! The prosthetic horses in the barn and the burns on the surviving horse are incredibly real. Plus the burned up body is nothing to scoff at either.
I like the fact that this was a storyline I am familiar with, but it still had some twists and turns to it that were completely different than the book. I really liked the brief scene at the beginning with Walt in the sweat lodge being part of a ceremony, but I want more out of his connection with the tribe on the Rez. I know that his spirituality is a big part of the books, so I’m sure it’s going to come into play further in to the season.
This episode also had a nice spotlight on The Ferg, (Adam Bartley) who is a heck of a lot more likeable in the series. I always thought he was just an annoying screw up that Longmire had gotten saddled with, but now I kinda like him. He’s a bit of a bumbler, but he seems to have his heart in the right place. Again, I’m sure there will be more with him on down the line.
Now if we could just get them to show the Busy Bee I would be happy. That’s all for now folks, can’t wait for next week for another doozy for the Sheriff and his crew, boy howdy!
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Article: TV Review – LONGMIRE – Season 1 – “A Damn Shame”