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Series / Longmire

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A New Old Western that premiered on A&E on June 3, 2012 based on the "Walt Longmire Mysteries" novel series by Craig Johnson. It follows the adventures of Walt Longmire, a Wyoming sheriff attempting to keep the peace in his county while recovering from the loss of his recently-deceased wife.

Initially cancelled by A&E after its third season, the series was rescued by Netflix for a fourth season. Netflix released the sixth and final season on November 17, 2017.


This show provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Ed Gorski is one for Vic after it's revealed they carried on an affair when they were both on the force in Philadelphia.
  • All-Natural Snake Oil: Elk velvetine is a remedy made from elk pancreas and powdered elk horn. When ingested it can sometimes cause an otherwise healthy young man to develop a debilitating wasting sickness.
  • Always Murder: Technically averted in that it isn't always murder... but it's nearly always murder.
  • Always on Duty: Justified in that the Absaroka County Sheriff's Office consists of Walt and three deputies. Anything more than a noise complaint will be an all-hands operation.
    Vic: We are "911".
  • Animal Assassin: A bear is baited into killing a convicted killer who was granted early parole in "The Worst Kind of Hunter".
  • Artistic License – Law: Wyoming has no gun registration despite characters discussing whether a firearm is registered or not. In fact, the state doesn't even require concealed-carry permits, though you an acquire one (they're shall-issue) if you want.
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  • Ascended Extra: Branch. In the book series, his character only appeared in the first book.
  • As You Know: Ferg explains that the first two digits of a Wyoming license plate indicate the registered owner's county of residence. Immediately lampshaded when Vic gives him an annoyed "No shit."
  • Back from the Dead: David Ridges... maybe. In the season 2 finale, Branch goes to the rez to interrogate Ridges for sabotaging Cady's car, only to learn he's committed suicide and Jacob Nighthorse has ceremonially burned the body. However, when Branch goes to collect ashes for DNA testing, he's assaulted and shot by someone he swears is David Ridges. During surgery, a peyote-laced feather is found inside Branch's wound and DNA tests on the ashes confirm they belong to Ridges, so Longmire thinks Branch simply hallucinated his shooter's identity. However, Branch conducts a test of his own, using a rabbit, his own blood and hair samples, to create more ashes that come back positive as belonging to himself, proving that you don't have to be dead. On top of that, Hector positively ID's Ridges as his killer before he expires. However, both Branch's mental state and Hector's condition—scalped, shot, and bleeding to death—cast doubt onto whether or not Ridges really is alive or if the power of suggestion is in play. Ultimately proven right at the end of "Harvest."
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The pilot episode for the series at first makes Walt out to be a mess of a man unable to take care of himself and no longer fit to be sheriff, especially Branch, who points out the beer cans littering his truck and how he reads books in his office. He then spends the latter half of the episode proving everyone wrong about him as he puts together the pieces of the case, culminating in a scene where he tears Branch's accusations apart (the beer cans were litter he picked up, the book was Sherlock Holmes)
    • "Harvest" ends with Vic giving Walt what looks like her two-weeks notice. It turns out to be a list of transgressions Branch has done while on his personal crusade, including lying about abducting a peyote dealer and choking Cady while under the influence of peyote.
    • Another one in "Reports of My Death" when Henry goes to visit his girlfriend, Deena Many Camps:
    Henry: Deena, I have a question for you. [gets down on his knees]
    Deena: [tearing up] Oh my god...
    Henry: ...Where the hell is my forty thousand dollars?!
    • In Season 5’s “Chrysalis,” Cady is meeting Nighthorse in his office to talk about her difficulties in getting the Cheyenne to trust her due to her association with the casino. Nighthorse begins speaking cryptically and picks up the antique Henry rifle displayed in the office. Cady initially thinks she’s being threatened, but it turns out Nighthorse is giving her the rifle (and ammo) both as a symbolic gift in Cheyenne tradition and to make sure that she’s armed and able to defend herself, just in case.
  • Bears Are Bad News: One Victim of the Week was drugged, tied up, covered in meat and left in an area where a bear was known to live. It was one of the most gruesome crime scenes Longmire and his deputies have ever seen.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear are two nice guys who work hard to support their community and do the right thing. But piss either of them off, and God help you.
    • Branch is a quite decent man who really believes that he can be a better sheriff than Walt. When he finds out that Cady's car was sabotaged he goes after the perpetrator full bore, not caring that he is digging into things that his most powerful backer would rather leave hidden.
  • Big Bad:
  • Book Ends:
    • The first episode ends with Walt posting an election campaign sign. The last episode ends with Cady posting an election campaign sign. Possibly even the same sign.
    • Subtler: Walt's wife's ashes were in a tea box, and Lucian's ashes are in a coffee can.
  • Bury Your Gays: One of Walt's cases turns out to be a case along these lines: A son is unable to handle his father having sex with the local beer distributor.
  • Calling Card: David Ridges puts crow's feathers soaked in peyote in the people he kills. This helps link the man who killed Longmire's wife with the man who attacked Branch.
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: When Vic is being stalked by Ed Gorski in "A Good Death is Hard to Find", she starts taking her gun into the shower with her.
  • Casual Kink: Ed Gorski did this to Vic during their affair to the point where it freaked her out and made her want to stop the whole thing. He decided otherwise.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Longmire does not own a cell phone and refuses to buy one. Though for everyone else, reception is surprisingly good, even in the back country.
  • Chained to a Railway: A woman who tries to run away from a cult ends up tied up to railroad tracks as a train is approaching. The other members of the cult lie down on the track voluntarily.
  • Character Development: Accomplished with one line, though it's been hinted at a little all through the final season:
    Walt: [answering his new cell phone] Hello?
  • Chekhov's Gun: There's at least one in every episode.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Early in season 3, a religious sect of "White Warriors" is introduced to cast doubt on Branch's story that David Ridges shot him while dressed like one of them. Guess who took Ridges' body in the season finale?
  • Clueless Deputy: To begin with, the Ferg is something of a joke in the sheriff's office; Walt hired him mostly as a favor to his father. However, while he is not much of a street cop, the later seasons do show him to be a canny investigator.
  • Cool Car: Walt's beat-up Ford Bronco starkly contrasts with his deputies' brand-new patrol vehicles and firmly establishes his "old school" status. Like Walt himself, the Bronco is old, but tough. It gets wrecked in the pilot episode, but is still drivable, so Walt continues to drive it. The next few episodes show the Bronco in between multiple visits to the body shop, slightly more repaired each time, until it's good as new(ish) again.
    • The Ferg drives a blue Pontiac Trans Am.
  • Cool Gun: While Vic and Branch carry 9mm pistols (Vic a Glock 19 and Branch a Smith & Wesson Sigma), Walt keeps a more powerful and well-used 1911 with bitchin' custom antler grips on his belt. For longer-range gunfights, he has a Winchester '94 in his Bronco. The Ferg packs a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver in .44 Magnum.
  • Cowboy Cop:
    • Walt is a good detective, but a rubbish sheriff, and as he spends less time keeping his workmates in the loop, he risks losing his job.
    • His predecessor was one too.
  • Crime After Crime:
    • A man starts out by simply buying an illegally manufactured natural remedy for his sick wife. When he cannot afford more he resorts to poaching elk to make it himself. However, he ends up killing a witness and then frames another poacher for the crime. When that fails he adds attempted murder of a police officer to the list when he attacks Walt with a hunting knife. The remedy is primarily All-Natural Snake Oil and he was simply deluding himself into thinking it helped.
    • Connally tried to do. First he made it look like his son committed suicide. After it is told to him that it was a murder he tries to make it look like it was Nighthorse and then try to make it Walter was going rogue to get him. Then when Longmire confronted him, he tried to frame Longmire for killing him but then killed himself rather than let him take him to a hospital.
  • Cultured Badass: Aside from being a seasoned sheriff, Walt is also well versed in various Native American traditions and customs. Henry, naturally, is even more well versed in his people's traditions and quite the badass, especially once he takes up Hector's mantle.
  • Cut Short: Due to policies at A&E, the series was cancelled on its original network. Read about the details here. However, the series was rescued by Netflix [1] and wound up going six seasons, and ended on its own terms.
  • Dark Secret: Something happened in Philadelphia that caused Vic to relocate to Wyoming.
    • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She blew the whistle on a fellow cop who was involved in corruption. This caused the corrupt cop to kill himself. His partner retaliated against Vic by stalking her. Said partner was also her superior with whom she was carrying on an affair.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Walt and Henry are the masters, and Vic is a skilled understudy.
  • Death Seeker: Lampshaded in the season two premiere. A group of armed prisoners escape into the mountains and Walt goes after them alone in the middle of a snow storm. The other characters start wondering if Walt is trying to get himself killed. When Walt starts to hallucinate, one of his hallucinations accuses him of this which means that he is actually thinking that dying up on the mountain might be a solution to his problems.
  • Department of Child Disservices: Jacob Nighthorse accuses the DCF of being this in "Dog Soldiers" and accuses them of profiting off taking Cheyenne children from perfectly fine homes and he's right, though it also turns out that the "Dog Soldier" who's been abducting them back is Nighthorse himself.
  • The Determinator: Branch is a not-so-nice one. To prove that David Ridges isn't dead, he's pulled himself out of a peyote-induced stupor and returns to the job before he's truly ready, but before long he's abducting a local peyote dealer and dosing him with his own product, circumventing protocol and asking friends to perjure themselves, conducting his own forensic test without Walt's knowledge, and more recently ignoring Cady's search for her mom's killer and snooping into Vic's personal laptop to prove himself right.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: Longmire only drinks Rainier brand beer. It becomes important when he crashes his truck and scatters empty beer cans all over the accident scene. He is accused of drinking too much and drinking and driving. He explains that he picks up litter and points out that none of the cans are his brand. Subverted in "Of Children and Travelers": apparently he's not above drinking a Coors if Rainier is not available.
  • Everything Is Racist: Almost every non-white character will at some point remark that all their problems are caused by white people. Or fall back on Sins of the Father towards individual white people who aren't racist. Though the Cheyenne and Crow certainly have some legitimate long-standing grievances.
    • Detective Fales assumes this about Walt for no particular reason other than that he's a small-town sheriff with a cowboy hat.
  • Evil Is Petty: Ed Gorski has a serious vendetta against Vic for turning his partner in and cutting off their affair.
    • Jacob Nighthorse and Barlow Connally will cheerfully screw each other over in any way they can, no matter how minor. Subverted a bit when it's revealed Barlow and Nighthorse work together regularly, and that he's also been doing business with Nighthorse's shell companies in return. Doesn't make him like Nighthorse any better, though.
  • Faking the Dead: Branch is convinced that David Ridges did this before shooting him. Season 3 episode "Harvest" reveals that this is true.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Cady, midway through Season 2, loses her job at the law firm, and ends up working at Henry's bar (much to Walt's disapproval).
  • Flaying Alive: Poor Hector is scalped, shot, and seconds from death when Longmire and his deputies find him.
  • Foreshadowing: In the pilot Walt sees an owl outside his window in broad daylight as he's making coffee. In Cheyennenote  mythology, owls are a symbol of foreboding or a messenger of evil things. Later, a stuffed one appears in the background of a scene when he's talking to Dan Estes, who turns out to be the killer.
  • Has a Type: Several.
    • All of Walt's love interests are blondes. Including Vic.
    • Both Cady and Vic tend to go for cops.
    • Ferg likes redheads.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Walt Longmire speaks German, quotes Winston Churchill, and is a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Hand Waved simply with "I read."
    • The Ferg in the second season; he goes from cuddly doofus to a very competent and smart investigator.
    • Lucian Connally, who fires off shotguns in nursing homes and snarks at anyone and everyone available, is a poet.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: In "8 Seconds", Walt walks into the Red Pony and asks Henry to shock him with a cattle prod. Walt claims to be doing this so he can check if the mark left by the prod matches the marks he found on the victim, but Henry suspects he is doing it to punish himself. After some provocation, Henry obliges.
  • Humble Pie: Jacob Nighthorse seems to have eaten a generous slice of this pie by the end of Season 4. When he discovers that Malachi has been using his casino to launder money, greatly jeopardizing everything he has worked for, he realizes that everything they have said about the man is true. He sits down with Cady and tells her how all he ever wanted was to help his people. So he tells her that her client has his job back, back pay, paid vacation, and he wants to hire her so his people have good legal council.
  • Hypocrite: Jacob Nighthorse, full stop. He will happily talk up his heritage when it suits his purposes, but will also cheerfully discard it if it gets in the way of his business enterprises. For example, his paying for Cheyenne graves to be defiled so he can build his casino.
    • Also Detective Fales: He gives Longmire a long rant about corruption in small town police departments, yet he himself is revealed to have suppressed evidence pointing to Henry's innocence, as well as to have screwed over a fellow cop, all for the sake of getting a promotion.
    • One Indian remarks that he hoped all of the white people would leave. After being told that Nighthorse's Casino will do the opposite, he states that's fine as long as they bring money.
    • Some Indians as well. They constantly blame all their problems on white people, but do little to better their own lives. In fact one episode where one of them did better in his life and came back to help them, they called him a traitor and assaulted him.
      • This only applies to some of the Indians on the show. Others are shown to be honest, hard-working folks who've been dealt a lousy hand in life.
  • Idiot Ball: Cady Longmire gains the trust and respect of the Reservation Cheyenne to the extent that they bring her to a ceremonial sweat lodge and make her an honorary tribe member - and then throws that away in Season 6 by helping a school teacher abduct a Cheyenne boy to get him medical care his parents didn't consent to. Anyone with the least inkling of history and law as regards aboriginal relations knows that no tribal people will forgive taking a child, yet lawyer Cady apparently has no clue about it. The resulting anger destroys her legal practice.
  • Implied Death Threat: Walt delivers some fish to a bad guy at one point. On one level, it's to make good for interrupting the bad guy's Mook's fishing trip. On another level, it's, as they say, a Sicilian message.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Longmire is able to fire his rifle and hit the driver of a moving SUV that is a fair distance from him and driving over very bumpy terrain. Just hitting the car would have been a very good shot. Somewhat justified in that he takes his time and uses proper marksmanship technique instead of just jamming the rifle into his shoulder and firing.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: A murder suspect incriminates himself when he claims that Longmire has no jurisdiction because the murder occurred on the reservation. However, the official story is that the murder occurred just outside the reservation. Only Longmire, the tribal police chief and the actual murderer know where the real crime scene is.
  • Instant Sedation: Averted. Vic is hit with a Tranquilizer Dart meant for a bear and she stays on her feet and talking for quite some time before becoming incoherent and losing consciousness. She is taken to the hospital where she spends some time recovering from the effects. Walt realizes that if the dart was really meant for a bear, the dose would have killed her. The shooter shot her on purpose but did not want to kill her.
  • Inspector Javert: Detective Fales from Denver. He's investigating Walt and Henry for the murder of the crackhead who killed Walt's wife. This bites him in the ass big time when Longmire discovers Fales suppressed evidence that would link David Ridges to said crackhead, and gives it to his daughter, allowing the charges against Henry to be dropped.
    • Season 5's arc is partially devoted to investigating how Walt's misplaced obsession with Jacob Nighthorse is interfering with his ability to be a good sheriff.
    • Malcolm Xerox: Detective Fales distrusts Walt because of his own experience growing up in a small Southern town that had a corrupt sheriff who abused his power.
  • Insult Backfire: A white security guard tries to insult Henry by calling him "kemosabe". Henry points out that the Indian was called Tonto and Kemosabe was the white guy's nickname.
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: In "The Cancer", Branch interrogates some teenagers by confiscating the case of beer they had bought illegally and starting to empty each can on to the ground till they tell him what he wants to know.
  • Jerkass: Jacob Nighthorse and Barlow Connally, the latter to the point where Branch finds it actively humiliating.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: Nighthorse, at least, turns out to be dead on about Cheyenne children being taken by the DCF for a profit.
    • Matthias the tribal police chief to a lesser degree, but he slowly gets over it as Walt demonstrates respect for his jurisdiction and helps him root out problems.
    • Branch's shooting and self-propelled crusade to find the supposed-dead shooter has turned him into one, to the point where he tells Cady that she should forget who killed her mom and focus on his problems.
    Branch: Cady, your mom's dead. I'm still alive....
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • The sheriff's department and the reservation's tribal police really don't get along at all. Must have something to do with Longmire arresting the previous tribal police chief, who was running a protection racket on the Rez. Things are so bad that he has to sneak onto the reservation at night in the back of a pickup truck just so he can speak with a witness who lives there.
    • Both Longmire and the tribal police hate to get the feds involved.
    • When Longmire's investigation leads him to a neighboring county, the county's sheriff is not happy that Longmire did not check in with him before interrogating a resident. Then when Henry independently follows the trail to the same location, the sheriff thinks Walt is responsible.
    • Inverted when the tribal police are nice to them and ask for his help. Longmire and Vic suspect that they are about to be set up for something bad. They are proven right when Longmire discovers that the tribal police chief moved a dead body just outside the reservation border so Longmire is the one who has to investigate a politically sensitive murder that could scuttle his chances at re-election and is also a proverbial hot potato for the Tribal Police.
    • Vic punches an FBI agent when he refuses to send a helicopter to search for Walt who is alone on a mountain looking for escaped prisoners. She is then booted off the investigation and barred from the room.
    • Oddly enough, the tribal police seem to get along well with the Denver police, but that may only be because they're investigating Walt.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the series finale, when Walt tells Vic that he's retiring because he wants to end things on a high note instead of staying around too long like Lucian did.
  • Legacy Character: Henry has taken up Hector's mantle in Season 4.
  • Malcolm Xerox: Jacob Nighthorse is an Indian version. He is always quick to blame white people or call Walt (or anyone against him) a racist. In fact it is revealed in Season 4 that he actually used to belong to a Indian group similar to the New Black Panthers.
  • Malicious Slander: Jacob Nighthorse, after being shot at, has a news conference where he accuses Walt Longmire of attempting to assassinate him without any evidence.note  He never seems to suffer any backlash for this illegal action.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • David Ridges claims to have used bad medicine on Branch when they meet again, "counting coup" with him by "touching" him three times, as old Native American Dog Soldiers used to do: first, by shooting him and touching him with a crow feather laced in peyote, to take his courage, then reaching out in his dreams and tricking him into strangling Cady in a peyote-induced hallucination to take away his peace, and finally taking that picture in a bar with both of them in the frame that then deleted itself to take away his soul. Branch then opens fire on him at nearly point-blank range as his enemy jumps into the river to drift away, boasting that Branch has no power over him and cannot kill him. Indeed, Branch's sanity gets worse and worse as the season wears on, but when Ridges is dead, even before he knows it, he very-quickly comes back to himself. On the other hand, nothing of what is seen can't be explained by Branch just losing it as a supposedly-dead man repeatedly gaslights him, except maybe the rapidness with which he recovers, and that Branch is seemingly getting better while walking down the road before he even knows his enemy is dead.
    • Did Gab turn into a hawk?
    • In general the series tends to depict Native American mysticism in a very vague manner that suggests it is real, but leaving enough room for doubt.
  • Mind Screw: Season 3 seems to be one long one for Branch. From getting shot and nearly dying, having the wound laced with peyote so he hallucinates his shooter, and seeing a self-deleting picture on his cell of the supposed dead shooter standing behind him in a bar to being the only one who believes his attacker isn't dead has made everyone around him question his sanity.
  • Mistaken for Racist: How Henry and Walter first met. When they were kids Henry put his mouth on a water fountain and Walter told him not to do that. Henry mistook this as a racist comment and decked him. Later it was revealed that Walter was just pointing out there are germs there and he could get sick. After this they became best friends.
  • Morton's Fork: Walt presents the bad guy with one of these in the episode "Dog Soldiers". Namely, "Turn yourself in for murder and go to jail, or get beaten and possibly killed by the guy you framed for the murder."
    • He does it again next episode. Turn yourself in or get mauled by a bear.
    • He (with Vic's help) does it again in "The Great Spirit". Confess, or get dragged off by a horse.
  • New Old West: Takes place in modern Wyoming and features pickup trucks and modern bars alongside cowboy hats and horses.
  • Noble Savage: Totally averted with Lou Diamond Phillips's Henry Standing Bear, a Deadpan Snarker modern-day Native American (i.e. wearing usual modern American western clothes rather than traditional garb) who is Walt's best friend.
    • Played a bit straight with Hector though, minus the traditional garb. He's an enforcer for the local Cheyenne, has a constant look of stoicism on his face, speaks in somewhat simple and old-fashioned terms. However, as Walt himself points out in the Season 2 finale, he's the only one whose conscience wouldn't allow him to play judge, jury, and executioner of Walt's wife's killer.
    • Completely subverted with Jacob Nighthorse. Not savage, but definitely not noble, either. Being a powerful businessman/politician, he happily flip flops between the Native American community and the White corporate world, depending on whatever will profit him the most.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Absaroka County is Johnson County, WY. The author of the novels on which the series is based is a resident of the county seat, Buffalo, and in one interview noted that he even neglected to change street names. The Chamber of Commerce even holds an annual "Longmire Days" festival.[2]
  • Not Big Enough for the Two of Us: Played straight and cold as ice when the Irish Mob starts pushing heroin in Absaroka County. Walt hunts down the person responsible, takes him some fish and tells him flat out that Absaroka is off limits.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Longmire doesn't always reveal how much he knows to people he is questioning.
  • Offing the Offspring: It appears this is what Barlow does to his son Branch at the end of Season 3 after Branch finds out it was his father that set up the death of the man who killed Longmire's wife.
    Barlow: I don't have time to make another fortune. But I do have time to make another son. [Causes distraction and a gunshot is heard.]
    • Confirmed in the first episode of Season 4 on Netflix.
  • Oh, Crap!: Longmire gets one when he sees David Ridges in full corpse paint, bearing down on him on horseback, carrying a rifle and yelling wildly.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The Cheyenne gangster Malachi Strand and the Crow medicine woman Marilyn Yarlott are played by Graham Greene and Tantoo Cardinal, who are both First Nation Canadians rather than Native Americans. There's a hint of Not Even Bothering with the Accent mixed in, because they're doing little to hide their rather thick Native Canadian accents, probably on the assumption that most viewers except Canadians and Natives from both countries can't really tell the difference.
  • Papa Wolf: Barlow Connally comes roaring into the station when he finds out they have Branch locked up for attacking Vic. His version is less than heroic, more concerned with appearances than his son's safety, causing him to do things like threatening Ferg's father with joblessness if he doesn't free his son, up to and including paying his business rival to assassinate the wife of the man currently holding the job his son wants so he can have it. Somewhat subverted in the season 3 finale where it's indicated he shot and possibly killed Branch after his son followed the money trail and realized his dad was paying for Longmire's wife's death.
  • Parents as People
  • Perfect Poison: Averted. A man drinks poisoned tea and it takes quite some time before he starts convulsing and vomiting. Longmire pours water into the man's throat to induce more vomiting. The man is miserable but lives.
  • Pop the Tires: In "Wanted Man", Walt and Lucien shoot out the tyres of a fleeing suspect. Lucien calls Walt weak for choosing to go for the tyres rather than the windscreen.
  • Racing the Train: Longmire and his deputies must outrace a train to free someone who is Chained to a Railway.
  • Rape and Revenge: In "Unfinished Business", someone starts using a bow and arrow to pick off four boys who had been tried for rape and acquitted.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Malachi Strand gives one to Henry, saying (actually gloating) that Henry, like most other Native Americans, does nothing but whine about how he's being mistreated.
  • Red Herring:
    • "Tell It Slant" features the Phony Psychic Cassandra, who could've been murdered by any number of the political powers in the town, since she's the only living person to remember where Cheyenne burial grounds ripe for development are located. But the actual killer was none of them. Her brother, an alcoholic and supposed heyoka, killed her in a fit of rage when she simultaneously announced she was cutting him off and that she didn't believe he was a "real" heyoka, just an untreated schizophrenic.
    • Two from "In The Pines." The first is the sociopathic teen nicknamed "Wolverine," since he has a fascination with death, is generally unlikable, and even has a sketch of the dead man in his sketchbook depicting the way he died. The second more subtle one is Marshall, who first found the body and was hiding a juvy record with a violent criminal past. The actual killer turns out to be one of the other guides, who was angry that the dead man was having an affair with his wife, another guide.
    • "Harvest" has the snarky, greedy landowner who leased the land to the dead man. The real killer turned out to be the family lawyer, who helped the dead man fake his own murder instead of the suicide it was, so his family would get his benefits.
    • Played with and ultimately subverted regarding who shot Branch.
  • Retired Badass: Lucian Connally is implied to be this in the TV series, and more obviously one in the books.
  • The Rez: A major setting, and Walt's history with the police there make up a major source of conflict in the show.
  • Running Gag: Longmire does not own a cell phone but his people are often able to reach him — by calling the cell phone of the person he is with at the time. This once occurs while he's in the middle of a Cheyenne ceremony at a lodge and one of the Cheyenne's phones goes off. Played with when Longmire asks to borrow someone's cell phone, causing Henry, Cady, and Vic to shoot shocked looks at each other. Until near the end of the series,
    Vic: You're really getting the hang of that whole cell phone thing.
    Walt: [while texting] Well, I got to admit ... they come in pretty handy.
  • Sanity Slippage: Branch seems to be sliding into madness after getting shot by the supposedly dead David Ridges and trying everything he can to prove it.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Lucian Connally (And how). The man gets kicked out of a retirement home for firing off a shotgun.
  • Secret Relationship: Branch and Cady. Also, Vic and Gorski, which is part of what drove her out of Philadelphia into Wyoming.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Of sorts. The people are told the police can't do anything to help them, therefore they avoid helping them as much as possible, in-turn making it so the police can't do anything to help them.
  • The Sheriff: Walt Longmire himself.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Subverted, since "the Ferg" is not a term of respect from other members of the Sheriff's Office. Over time he gains respect, and they drop the "the".
  • Stalker with a Crush: Ed Gorski.
  • Suicide by Cop: Barlow Connally, and Walt says as much in the final episode of season 5. What Walt doesn't know is that it was part of a larger plan.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: A Victim of the Week was a Cheyenne man who left his tribe, got a college degree, married a non-Indian and then decided to come home so he could help others out of the crippling poverty that plagued the tribe. Quite a few of the Cheyenne considered him a traitor who sold out to the white man and was acting like he was better than them. He ended up being force-fed alcohol and painted red so he appeared more like a 'real Indian'.
  • Treasure Map: A treasure allegedly hidden by Anson Hamilton is important in a few episodes. Hamilton published a poem full of obscure clues, which a lot of people have taken a stab at interpreting. Lucian thinks he's solved the riddle. Walt is going to see if he was right.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The ex-Reservation sheriff, despite being clearly corrupt, seems to still be well-liked among the Reservation cops and other Indians simply because he is an Indian.
  • Vomiting Cop: Happens to Ferg when he discovers the body of a man who has been mauled to death by a bear in "The Worst Kind of Hunter".
  • Wham Episode: "Death Came In Like Thunder": Walt didn't kill the man who murdered his wife. Henry did.
    • Season 2 finale gives us a few more details and twists. Walt tracked the guy down, but he and a few friends of his damn near beat Walt to death. So Henry goes to Denver, finds the guy and tells him he's a dead man, then sends Hector, a local thug from the rez, to handle it. But Hector isn't a killer, and just kicked the guy's ass and took some of his teeth to give to Henry. Teeth that Detective Fales finds, and thus has Henry arrested. So the real killer is still out there, Walt's best friend is more than likely going to prison for something he didn't do, one of his deputies is being stalked by a man from her past, and Branch got shot out on the rez. Oh, and Walt also learned his wife's death was quite possibly a paid hit. Walt's episode ending office trashing is entirely justified under the circumstances.
    • Before that, "Election Day" features Cady being hit by a drunk driver, Branch discovering the man backing him in the election was playing dirty, and the Ferg showing a fairly serious case of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. The election, which the show has supposedly been building to since the first episode, is mentioned only in passing.
    • Season 3 finale "Ashes to Ashes" has Henry and Longmire discover Detective Fales suppressed evidence in his investigation of Longmire, something that allows Cady to link the dead man to David Ridges and get the murder charges against Henry dropped, Branch seemingly quits the force and goes to work for his father, Longmire finally lets his wife's ashes go, and swears vengeance on Jacob Nighthorse for taking her from him. Finally, during a skeet shooting session, Branch confronts his father with the knowledge that Barlow Connally paid Jacob Nighthorse to kill Longmire's wife, so that his son would be able to take the sheriff's job from him. The episode ends with Walt hearing a gunshot and seeing an owl on his front porch, signaling the possible death of one of the Connallys.
  • Wham Line:
    • Season 2 ends with:
    Walt: Who shot you?
    Branch: A dead man.
    • Season 5's finale gives us:
    Tucker Baggett: 4 seconds.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The end of "Harvest" pans out of the bar where Branch is drinking to the parking lot, where the very-much alive David Ridges is standing.
    • "Ashes to Ashes" has a Branch find a video of his dad's car paying a visit to Jacob Nighthorse's business around the time that Walt's wife was murdered.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When Longmire accuses Henry of being a pimp, Henry calls him out on the fact that they have been friends for 37 years and Longmire still does not seem to trust him. He also gets very snarky over the fact that Longmire was basing his accusation on a vague description of "the Indian at the Red Pony" and only found out later that it was referring to Henry's also-Cheyenne busboy.
    • The Ferg gives a pretty good one to Longmire, berating him for treating him more like a secretary and junior officer than the very competent law enforcer he's become and for keeping him out of the loop while Longmire and Vic rush around conducting their secret investigations, and Branch is compromised but still given a lot of leeway. Somewhat subverted when Longmire throws a fit by sweeping Branch's desk clean onto the floor and making a show of placing Ferg's nameplate on the now-clean desk before walking off like nothing's changed.
  • Worst Aid: When Walt finds a woman unconscious at the bottom of a tall cliff, he hoists her onto his back and has the deputies lift them both back up, rather than immobilize her in case of spinal injury.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Branch hits October reasonably hard in "An Incredibly Beautiful Thing" to stop her attack on Cady. Ironically, he also chokes Cady pretty damn hard when his peyote-induced state makes him think he sees David Ridges attacking him in his hospital bed. He also went after Vic angrily when he accuses her of spilling the beans on his personal investigation.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: When Lucian Connally shoots up his room at the retirement home Longmire sends in Vic, on the assumption that Lucian would not shoot at a woman.