On September 10th the fourth season of Longmire was released in its entirety on the streaming service Netflix. The western flavored crime drama, based on mystery novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson, is a newly acquired property picked up after cable network A&E pulled it in 2014. The new season consists of ten hour-long episodes.
For those just tuning in, the show follows small town lawman Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) in Wyoming. Haunted by the murder of his wife, the stoic sheriff divides his time between solving weekly crimes and tracking down those responsible for her death. Supporting him is deputy Victoria “Vic” Moretti (Katee Sackoff), a transfer from Philadelphia with a wicked wit and special relationship with Walt. Also present is Walt’s lifelong friend and frequent confidant Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips).
The latest season picks up shortly where the last one left off: Walt is ready to take down the men responsible for the death of his wife through any means necessary. Henry is struggling with the death of Hector, the Cheyenne vigilante who delivered justice to those who the law had failed. Also hanging in the balance is the life of troubled ex-deputy Branch Connally (Bailey Chase), who we last saw with a gun leveled at his head.
A unique feature of Longmire is how central Native Americans and their culture is to the plot. Past seasons have explored the strained relationship between the Cheyenne Nation and off reservation law enforcement. This continues as Walt pursues casino owner Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez) for the death of his wife. But Sheriff Longmire is still sympathetic to the Cheyenne people. Many episodes explore Native American culture as he aids those in need and receives help from reservation Officer Matthias (Zahn McClarnon).
Being only the third show that Netflix has resurrected from cancellation purgatory, some have asked why it was saved from the axe. The answer presumable lies in demographics. Along with original series Grace and Frankie, Longmire attracts a considerable older adult audience- one that Netflix had previously been missing in its line-up. Its audience, with a 60-year age median, is the very reason A&E canceled it.
As of right now, the show has yet to be confirmed for continued renewal on Netflix. The question now is did Longmire attract enough of an audience to stick around. Only time will tell if Walt Longmire and the Absaroka Sheriff’s Office will see a season five or not.