Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day One Hundred and Ninety-nine - Longmire: Season 1, Episode 5, "Well, they can't all be good, I guess."

I was really starting to enjoy Longmire there, for a while... but with today's entry it seems that the quality has fallen off quite a bit, in different ways than I was expecting.

Surprisingly, Lou Diamond Phillips isn't one of them. In fact, he's probably at his least annoying for the entire series up to this point, being the Sheriff's faithful sidekick and go-between with the Natives and all.

No, mostly, the problem I have with Longmire is that, even though the series tries to treat its Native population even-handedly (which, for the most part, it does), even while acknowledging the tensions between rival cultures and governments, there's still a little too much blanket racism and reactionary behavior going around this episode.

Maybe it's just my perspective, living in a Rez border town myself, that makes it feel a little off... or maybe I'd just like to think that we've come farther than the events in Dog Soldier present, as a society. Or, maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.

In any case, the grand majority of the episode just felt awkward.

While I'm thankful that the showrunners didn't pull any cheesy spiritual shenanigans that other shows (like BONES) have been known to do, it just felt that there was still a bit too much hokum being implied even if they don't outright say it in the duration. It also felt a bit disingenuous to connect it to the season arc mystery of the Sheriff's flashbacks and what they mean.

I mean, honestly, just freaking deal with it, already. Stop seeding us the clues if you're going to waste them like this.

Also, everything was way too connected in the episode. The Sheriff's daughter, the Native bruiser, the slick politician, the pedophile, the scammers... I know that this is the West and all, but it was just a bit too convenient to have so many people revolving around one issue. I'm fine with the drama they're trying to insert with Branch and Cady, but does she have to show up every episode to chime in on a case?

Most disappointingly, the theatrics of the prologue only have a brief bit of lampshading and a small denouement scene to explain things... and precious little action to tide me over for the remaining forty minutes. The mystery itself was pretty darn weak and the red herring was cheap stereotyping.

Story aspects aside, I still dig the cinematography. I really like the way the director switches between static shots and handheld work. It gives a nice impression of actually being in the room for these conversations while not becoming overly noticeable or giving me motion sickness.

And I really love the act transition with the blood spatter. Very catchy hook. 

Overall, I can't rightly say that I enjoyed today's entry, but I'll give Longmire the benefit of the doubt and finish a few more episodes before bailing. Here's hoping things get better and Dog Soldier was just an off episode.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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