While standing-in for the incarcerated Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) as one of the judges at the Miss Cheyenne beauty pageant, Walt (Robert Taylor) investigates the death of a well-respected young doctor volunteering on the reservation. When the pageant and the case collide the Sheriff Longmire stumbles upon a dirty secret and the motive for the murders of both the doctor and his brother one year prior. The episode also marks the return of once-troubled youth Lily Stillwater (Amber Midthunder) and her mother (Irene Bedard) who Henry and Walt helped back in the show’s Pilot episode.
Branch (Bailey Chase) continues to ease his way back into duty making his first return to the reservation clinic since his shooting learning both about the victim and also about his own case and the Native American who everyone except the deputy believes is dead. Meanwhile Cady (Cassidy Freeman) enlists the help of an old law school friend for Henry’s bail hearing. Noticing the closeness between the pair leads Branch to make a surprising offer of his own to help free Cady’s client.
As many of the best episodes of the series have done, “Miss Cheyenne” unravels a painful motive for murder tied specifically to the setting of the series. The actions of the dead doctor’s father decades ago involving forced sterilization of his patients prove more than enough for the murder of both of the man’s sons years later. Henry’s release from prison removes the immediate threat to his well being and the show teases Walt beginning to look for someone with an old grudge behind the death of his wife and all that followed.