Longmire Season 5 dropped Sept. 23, on Netflix, and by now you’ve probably had time to ingest all 10 episodes.
If you haven’t, you simply have to do so before reading another word. This article will veer heavily into spoiler terrain, so if you’re not prepared to go there, get out now.
That said, it really is time to talk about what just happened.
Longmire Season 5 was a problematic one on many levels. While the season had some of the best episodes of the series in it — that cliffhanger with Ferg at the midway point was equaled only by Hank’s climactic gun battle in the last season of Breaking Bad — the overarching trend is a disturbing one.
— Criminal Element (@crimehq) September 30, 2016
Netflix has apparently committed to a one-season-at-a-time mentality with Longmire — first with Season 4 and now here.
One can only assume they will want to bring everyone back next year, but as of now, Longmire Season 6 exists only in expectation.
Until Netflix makes it official, Longmire Season 5 is the end of the story, except after setting up several strong storylines for Longmire, Vic, Henry, Cady, and, yes, even Ferg, nothing was resolved.
For a season to be effective, it must give viewers some sense of closure. That doesn’t mean it has to tie up every loose end, but it does mean some thread should have a sense of finality.
But as you wrap up episode nine and head into the 69-minute finale, it becomes clear Longmire Season 5 is too busy to bring any of its threads to a satisfying conclusion.
A sense of panic sets in when there are only 15 minutes left in the episode and you realize Vic, Walt, Henry, Malachi, Jacob, and Cady are all pretty much exactly where they were five or six episodes ago.
Ferg does have a realized arc, but it’s hardly the backbone of the season.
Seeing the show wind down in this way with so much unresolved after two straight seasons of expertly orchestrated cliffhangers leaves a sour taste in a fan’s mouth.
The cliffhangers of Seasons 3 and 4 had an energizing punch to them. Longmire Season 5 simply runs out of time, or feels that way, and that’s extra frustrating considering Netflix doesn’t follow a strict episode structure. Times are all over the place with some episodes running 54 minutes, some 56, and others 70.
Exacerbating that problem, nine of the 10 episodes take all the time they need to tell the story and bring it to a logical stopping point. The finale fails to do so.
By the end, Vic is still pregnant and in love with Walt. Walt is free of his psychologist girlfriend and thinking more about a romance with Vic. Malachi is still a problem. Henry is still the same gullible pawn he started the season as. Jacob is still being duplicitous. Cady is still at odds with her dad and trying to find her place with the Cheyenne.
Very little growth — only the promise of another season that will have plenty to do provided Netflix greenlights it. If not, then Longmire fans just received the world’s worst finale in the history of television.
That’s a scary place to be considering the show has been getting by via the skin of its teeth since the masterful double cliffhanger at the end of season three, just before A&E canceled.
With what fans know about Netflix, it’s probable the streaming platform will approve Longmire Season 6 in a month or two. GameNGuide and some of the stars are already thinking it’s a done deal, though nothing has been confirmed.
But with Bloodline recently hitting the chopping block — per Vulture — it’s time Warner Horizon started thinking about payoffs for the show instead of taking its new home — and its viewers — for granted.
— Laurie (@Lauriedarln) September 30, 2016
But what do you think, Longmire fans? Was that finale the worst, or did you like it? What did you think of Longmire Season 5 as a whole? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Warner Horizon/Netflix]