Well, I have to give Longmire points for audacity. In the most recent episode, “An Incredibly Beautiful Thing,” Longmire re-works the most classic (or most clichéd?) of melodrama scenarios—the beautiful heroine tied to a railroad track by a nefarious villain. The only thing missing is a handlebar mustache for the villain to twist.
And, to give credit where it’s due, Longmire makes it work quite well, upping the ante with a dozen heroines rather than just one (although, most of the women are there voluntarily—only one is tied to the tracks). The women have also taken poison, so they are unconscious as their fate approaches in the form of a freight train bearing down on them. This ups the suspense as well, as Longmire and his deputies rush to remove all the women from the tracks before the train arrives.
This is all put into motion by John Pyper-Ferguson, or rather, by Leland, the cult-leader character that Pyper-Ferguson plays. I continue to love the casting in Longmire, as they often bring forth some of my favorite actors from westerns past. Like Gerald McRaney (who played Branch’s father in the previous episode) and Jim Beaver (who just appeared in the premiere of this season’s Breaking Bad), Pyper-Ferguson is a popular character actor who seems to pop up in almost every television show on the air at some point. Western fans will remember him as one of Little Bill’s deputies in Unforgiven (one of the few who survive), and fans of the sci-fi western comedy Adventures of Briscoe County, Jr. will remember him as Pete (who had a particular fondness for his “piece”).
On a side note, I’m continuing to read the Longmire novels by Craig Johnson, and just started noticing references to Vic Moretti as a brunette. In “8 Seconds,” I was puzzled by a comment that Vic’s husband made, something along the lines of “I’m just starting to get used to you as a blonde.” My only guess as to what that meant (since we haven’t seen the tv character as anything but blonde) is that it’s a reference to Vic of the novel, acknowledging that the blonde Katee Sackhoff is playing the character in the tv series.