Longmire is a slow burning crime drama that premiered on A&E in 2012. It centers around the quiet and laconic Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) and his major crimes investigations in Absaroka County, Wyoming. Though Longmire was never a big hit in the ratings, it quietly amassed a dedicated following and when it was cancelled after Season 3 aired in August of 2014, the show was picked up by Netflix for a ten-episode Season 4.
It hasn't been the easiest run for the embattled show, but the transition to Netflix sounds fairly seamless. We can now elaborate on some of the key plot points hinted at in the new trailer, and some of the character arcs that will develop next next season.
During the TCA Press Tour Longmire stars Taylor and Lou Diamond Phillips - who plays Henry Standing Bear, Longmire's best friend and resident tracker - discussed the differences from Season 3, and what lies ahead for the modern day Western (via Collider). It seems clear that the mystery the show is founded on will not be ignored going forward. According to Phillips, the existing plots will carry over, and new threads will be woven in.
"What our writers – specifically Hunt [Baldwin], John [Coveny] and Greer [Shephard] – have done is they’ve taken a thread and stretched it out over multiple episodes. In some cases, especially with the death of Walt’s wife, Martha, they have continued to twist it and turn it and keep it compelling and interesting. So, certain threads are going to come to their conclusion in Season 4, but like everything else, there are going to be repercussions and ripples from actions and reactions that are going to play out and present new storylines and new issues."
The relationship between Walt and his daughter will continue to evolve, though Taylor was characteristically tight-lipped about the specifics.
"It’s a very interesting season for Cassidy Freeman’s character. It’s so hard not to give stuff away. She’s branching off more. She has a lot of challenges and a lot of dilemmas. Opportunities arise in odd places for her, this season."
There will be some new characters added into the mix, and while Taylor would only reveal that they are "male and female," Phillips highlighted some newcomers, and the changes they will bring for his Native American-focused plot-lines.
"I’m thrilled because it’s a very Native-centric season. Graham Greene is back. A Martinez, Zahn McClarnon and Irene Bedard will be on. We also introduce a storyline that involves my friend Julia Jones, who I adore. She was in the Twilight series of films, and she is amazing. I have a wonderful arc with her that also involves Tantoo Cardinal, who I also absolutely adore and who I think is probably one of the pillars of the Native American acting community, along with Graham Greene."
Both men are optimistic that Season 4 will not be their last time playing these characters. When asked if the series would be wrapping up within these ten episodes, Phillips responded with an emphatic "oh, hell no!" and Taylor explained some of the season outline, clearly indicating that the show is planning to expand long past Season 4.
There are some very dramatic developments in Season 4. If something is resolved, perhaps the manner that it’s resolved might blow something else apart. There’s a lot of big stuff going on. It’s very hard to talk about it without giving anything away, but there’s a lot of stuff going on. All will be explained pretty quickly.
It sounds as though the transition to Netflix has not impacted the core of the show, or changed the slow-moving, introspective nature that made it so beloved by fans. While Netflix revivals don't always go as planned, and have been criticized for failing to capture the magic of the original, the short time-span between seasons has it poised for success. Whether that success will translate into a Season 5 renewal remains to be seen.
Longmire Season four will be available on Netflix starting September 10th, 2015. Seasons 1-3 are now currently streaming on Netflix.