Longmire‘s Third Season begins tumultuously as Sheriff Longmire (Robert Taylor) must deal with the recent shooting of Branch (Bailey Chase) and the fact that Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) has been arrested for the murder of the man who killed Walt’s wife. After rushing to get Branch medial attention to save the deputy’s life, the investigation into his shooting is complicated by Branch being dosed with peyote and the deputy’s certainty that the man responsible, dressed up as a White Warrior, was a suicide victim whose ashes Branch was collecting against Indian wishes when he was attacked.
Henry’s situation is no easier for Walt to deal with. Willing to take the fall for a murder he didn’t commit (but certainly helped arrange), the future for Walt’s best-friend looks bleak (especially after the pair discover Henry’s girlfriend has stolen the money needed to afford a proper lawyer). Given Henry’s arrest, Walt is also forced to admit to Vic (Katee Sackhoff) how his wife really died (although he leaves out the more interesting details).
As a season premiere “The White Warrior” doesn’t attempt to wrap-up either hanging plot thread from last season’s finale as the fallout from both storylines will likely be felt through most of the show’s Third Season. Branch’s certainty of the man who shot him leaves Walt without any real suspects, although he certainly suspects Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez) knows more about the situation than he’s willing to admit. Although we get some evidence that Henry’s trial may get started sooner than later, it appears his time in prison isn’t going to be easy for anyone and the lack of money and disappearance of Hector (Jeffrey De Serrano) leave Walt without the resources needed to save his friend from a likely conviction.