The second death of David Ridges (David Midthunder) brings all sorts of new facts to light in Longmire‘s Third Season finale. Ending Branch‘s (Bailey Chase) obsession, and his job with the sheriff’s department, the deputy chooses to take his father (Gerald McRaney) up on a job in the family business in order to get a better look at his father’s connection to Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez). The season may end with Nighthorse still free, but it also ends with the identity of the killer behind the deaths of both Walt‘s (Robert Taylor) wife and Miller Beck revealed (although the person responsible for uncovering the truth may not make it to next season’s premiere).
Ridges’ headdress turns out to be the missing clue in the case to not only save Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) but offer Walt some closure by finally understanding why his wife was killed (or so he thinks). An unscheduled trip to Denver for a little grave robbing may not have been the most legal way to get to the truth, but by the end of the episode Cady‘s (Cassidy Freeman) client is a free man once more and Walt can connect Ridges to the murder of his wife pointing the sheriff and his rage straight at Jacob Nighthorse.
The true villain of Walt’s story stands revealed, but not to the show’s protagonist which leaves quite a bit of dust unsettled heading into next season most importantly the health and well-being of the Branch family which is likely to have one less living member when the show resumes next year. What’s most interesting with how the episode ends is no matter which Branch walks out alive the show has plenty of storyline to tell either way whether the older Branch grows into the show’s main villain as he continues to hide yet another murder or Branch and Walt’s relationship continues to evolve now that each man has killed for the other.