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Longmire

Episode 1.02 : The Dark Road

Longmire Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

June 10, 2012

Distributor

A&E

Genre

Drama

Show Period

2012 - 2014

Production Company

The Shephard/Robin Company, Warner Horizon TV

Cast and Crew


Director

Michael Uppendahl

Screenwriter

Sarah Nicole Jones

Main Cast


Additional Cast

  • Bree Bond
  • Brian Norris
  • Timothy V. Murphy
  • Rebecca Wisocky

Synopsis


Dollar bills flutter like strange leaves at the edge of a highway as a minivan speeds by. A nearby sign points to the turnoff for a tourist site where the minivan parks and unloads a family. A small boy wanders away from the group and spots one bill, then another, and another, and eagerly stuffs them into his pockets. He chases a bill to the edge of a ditch and freezes in horror with a scream that echoes across the Wyoming plains. A teenage girl lies dead in a pool of blood, her vacant eyes staring up at the vast morning sky.

A woman opens her door to a tall man with a cowboy hat tilted over his eyes and a badge pinned to his worn leather jacket. With gravelly severity, Sheriff Walt Longmire warns the woman to keep down the noise, as the neighbors are complaining. She scoffs as she lets him in. It's an old joke between father and daughter. As Cady Longmire gets ready to join her dad for breakfast, Walt checks out the place and discovers a new lock on her door. With a grin, he confronts Cady. Clearly the new, poorly installed deadbolt is evidence of a new boyfriend, and Walt wants to meet him. Cady denies that she's seeing anyone and the two lock eyes in an icy stare-down... until the phone rings. It's Ruby from the Sheriff's office. Family time is over.

Deputy Vic Morretti crouches by the highway, stuffing loose bills into a plastic evidence bag as Walt arrives. She informs him that no weapon has been found, and the dead girl has no identification, just a lot of loose cash, and a note in her back pocket. It has a drawing and text that Walt tries to read aloud, but it's in a Germanic sounding foreign language neither of them recognizes.

Walt examines the dead girl; even bloodied her face is angelic. Her shirt is pushed up and Walt notices body glitter on her midriff, a bruise on her hip, and tears in her jeans. They have to wait for the autopsy to know if the girl was sexually assaulted, but from the glitter and abundance of single dollar bills, Walt deduces she was probably a stripper. He waits with the girl for the ambulance, gently pulling her shirt down to cover her bare skin.

At the sheriff's office, Deputy Branch Connally counts the singles Vic brought back from the scene, a total of $1,237 dollars. He believes that's too much money for any stripper to earn in their small town of Durant. He figures the victim must have worked in Oden, an oil rich town in a nearby county. Branch and Vic discuss how an oil boom could improve Durant, but Walt snaps them back to the tragedy at hand. They have a dead teenage girl who is still nameless. He directs Branch to take the victim's fingerprints to the DMV for identification, and leaves with Vic to check out strip clubs in Oden.

Speeding down the highway in Walt's beat up truck, Vic complains that a stripper makes more in two months than she does in a year. Boasting about her dance skills and genetically superior posterior, Vic threatens to switch careers. Walt doesn't take the bait, bringing up his daughter instead. Does Vic know if Cady is dating someone? Vic knows nothing, but adds to Walt's worry by pointing out that you don't have to be dating someone to sleep with them.

Inside the Oden strip club, dancers wearing little more than pink feathers writhe to blaring music as they're ogled by beer-swilling men. Walt strides in, drawing a few stares, and finds a board with photographs of the dancers. He recognizes the victim's face. Written on the picture is a name: Hannah. The club manager approaches Walt, who asks for Hannah's home address, but doesn't reveal what has happened to her. The manager demands a warrant. Walt replies that it's on the way, and takes off his hat and coat to wait at a table, to the discomfort of nearby customers.

As he waits, a dancer tries to sit on his lap until he gently removes her, showing her the victim's picture. She hurries away. Moments later, another dancer in a low cut bustier snatches Walt's cowboy hat from the table and playfully takes off with it on her head. Walt hurries after her into a back room with a neon VIP sign.

Politely demanding his hat, Walt joins the girl behind the curtain, but now she is all business, and scared. She demands to know why Walt is asking about Hannah. Walt makes up a story about overdue parking tickets, but the girl knows that Hannah never owned a car. After work, she would give Hannah a ride to a convenience store in Abasaroka county where she asked to be dropped off. In the morning, Hannah was driven to work by a mystery man in a "puce" colored car.

Back on the road, Walt points out the convenience store to Vic and directs her to keep her eyes peeled for the car. They continue driving into a rural area where they spot a battered pink car parked in front of a small house. Could that be "puce?"

Walt and Vic get out of the Bronco and cautiously head up the stairs of the dilapidated house. Vic wonders why Walt is not wearing his jacket; he retorts it's not that cold.

Rock and roll music is blasting so loudly it drowns out Walt's calls of "Sheriff's Department!" Vic draws her gun as Walt slowly cracks opens the door.

The music is deafening, punctuated with machine gun fire from a TV. Walt and Vic creep into the room, avoiding overflowing ashtrays, dirty plates and empty beer cans. A teenage boy, bare-chested in overalls, is on the couch playing a video game next to a teenage girl in a old fashioned bonnet smoking a cigarette. The boy spots Walt and Vic and drops his controller with a shout. The girl jumps up screaming in the same Germanic language as the note found on the victim. Vic commands them to sit the hell down. Just then, a boy with red hair and a sweet face steps in from the hall and Vic whips her gun around to him. The boy throws up his hands while the guttural screaming continues. Walt tells Vic the note might have been in Pennsylvania Dutch. Their dead stripper is Amish.

Walt and Vic interrogate the three teens on the couch. They are Mennonites, not Amish, living on their own as part of a rite of passage called Rumspringa. To their surprise, Walt understands the word (because he reads). During Rumspringa teens leave the Mennonite community to live in the outside world without any adult support in order to choose whether they will return home committed to being Mennonites, or live forever outside as "English." Walt tells them that they're looking for a woman named Hannah and discovers that she is the sister of the red-haired boy, whose name is Samuel. Growing worried, Samuel wants to know if his sister is having trouble at her waitressing job. Walt sidesteps the question and asks to see Hannah's room.

The tiny room is the neatest, cleanest spot in the house. Walt finds a photo of Hannah with a man Samuel doesn't recognize. Vic asks if Samuel is the one who drives Hannah to work in the puce colored car. He tells them that he doesn't have a license and claims all the kids who live there share the car. Vic asks Samuel if he would translate the note found at the scene, but strangely, Walt ignores the question and instead asks for the address of Hannah's parents. The Clausens live on a farm in the Mennonite community in Ashlan. Walt invites Samuel to go there with him, but Samuel refuses, growing agitated. Going home would breach Mennonite tradition.

Leaving the house, Vic chides Walt for not revealing to Samuel that his sister is dead. Walt declares that the parents have a right to know first. He orders Vic to get fingerprints from the puce car, and go back to the strip club in Oden to investigate the man in the photo. In a sly tone, Vic offers to pick up Walt's coat at the club, the one with the evidence in the pocket. Busted! Walt drives off with a sheepish grin.

Walt parks the Bronco and walks the long road towards the Clausen farm. A family rides by in a horse and buggy, staring at Walt like he's from another planet. He gives them a friendly wave and keeps on walking.

At the strip club, Vic gets Walt's jacket from the bartender. Branch joins her holding the photo found in Hannah's room, complaining that it was a waste of time to try and get any of the club clientele to give up the name of the man in the picture. Vic calls him a quitter, so Branch bets her $20 that she can't do better.

Vic climbs up on the stripper bar and swings around a pole, gun, billy club and all. The crowd eats it up. She does a slow strip down to her undershirt warning her admirers that the show is over until someone gives her the name of the man in the photo. Finally, a roughneck spits out the man's first name: Davis. Vic crawls towards him baring cleavage to get the last name: Turner. Vic-torious!

Walt knocks on the door of a neat farmhouse with a white picket fence. Rachel Clausen, a slight woman in puritan-style clothing, opens it a crack. Walt introduces himself and asks to come in, but before she can stutter an answer, Ephraim Clausen barks her name and she shuts the door fast.

Walt apologizes to Ephraim who states tersely that it's not fitting for his wife to talk to strange men. After that, Ephraim goes back to mending the fence, barely raising his head to answer Walt's questions. No, he's had no contact with his children. No, he gets no news about what's happened to them. Ephraim continues pounding at the fence even when told that his daughter is dead. He declares that Hannah was lost to him a long time ago.

At the impound lot garage, Walt sits in the puce car and peels tape off the steering wheel to get fingerprints. As he stares at the tape, he is reminded of a moment from his past.

The hands of an elderly Native American woman sew up a gash in his back while his friend Henry Standing Bear looks on. Walt winces in pain.

Walt snaps out of it as Henry leans in through the window of the puce car. He's brought lunch.

The two men sit in the car talking about the case. As a father, Walt can't understand how Ephraim Clausen could have reacted to the news of Hannah's death so coldly. Henry points out that different cultures process grief differently. Walt changes the subject to his daughter Cady - does Henry know who she is dating? Henry is shocked by the news. He laughs at how children drive parents crazy, which is why he is childless, and warns Walt that it might be better not to know.

Later at the sheriff's station, Branch needles Walt about leaving his coat at the strip club, then eagerly reports that he and Vic discovered the identity of the man in the photo with Hannah. His name is Davis Turner, and it turns out that has a police record. No one knows where Davis is, but he has a new job driving a truck for Farion Energy. Just then, Cyrus Brooks arrives. Walt wants to talk to him about his car.

Walt confronts Cyrus with the registration of the puce car. Cyrus confesses that he is a converted Mennonite and has been secretly helping the Mennonite kids get through their Rumspringa rite of passage by finding them housing, jobs, and giving them his car. He clearly has a soft spot for Hannah, and drove her to work so her roommates wouldn't know that she was an "exotic dancer." Walt reveals that Hannah is dead and Cyrus is shocked and devastated. Believing him to be sincere, Walt gives Cyrus the note found in Hannah's pocket to translate.

The words are from the book of Matthew, and the drawing is of a tree. Cyrus mentions that it looks like the trees on the "dark road" leading out of the Mennonite community that every kid walks down alone on their way to Rumspringa. Sometimes parents secretly meet their children on that road at night, risking eternal damnation to find out how they are. Most of the kids eventually return home. But Cyrus believed that Hannah never would... she had bigger plans.

With Cyrus gone, Branch tells Walt he got Davis' employer to switch his shift, so if they hurry back to Oden they can catch him at home. Vic wants to join them, but Walt orders her to stay and go through the fingerprints from the car. When she protests, Walt declares that Oden has seen enough of her for one day. Now who's busted?!

At the Red Pony, Cady sits at the bar, looking over a legal document for Henry. She comments that it doesn't seem complex enough to have required a rush visit and Henry jokes about not trusting white people. Then he casually inquires if she's seeing anyone new. Smelling a rat, Cady demands to know if her father put Henry up to this. Henry denies it and promises not to share any information with Walt, but Cady isn't buying it. She says she's dating an older man - 120 years older. And he's a vampire. Henry takes the hint and backs off.

By early evening, Branch and Walt are at the dusty trailer park by Farion Energy. Branch points out Davis' trailer, and knocks on the door calling, "Sheriff's Department!" Wham! The door immediately flies open, smashing Branch in the nose. Davis takes off with Walt hot in pursuit.

Walt chases Davis across the housing complex, but is clearly straining to catch up to the much younger man. Bloody nose and all, Branch quickly overtakes him and tackles Davis to the ground. Walt is panting, but manages to find enough breath to point out to Branch the wisdom of standing to the side of the door when making a house call.

Back at the sheriff's station, Davis cries out in disbelief and horror when he finds out that Hannah is dead. He saw her just two nights earlier! When Vic points out that makes him a prime suspect, Davis vehemently protests. He and Hannah were stashing every dime of their money in the bank to move away together; she was his soulmate. Vic counters sarcastically that she was a stripper, and strippers are paid to like people. Davis lunges at her and Branch rushes over to help Vic shove him back into his seat.

Now behind bars, Davis continues to proclaim his innocence and love for Hannah. He was her protector from the creeps at the club, including a man he never saw before who was arguing with her that night. Branch asks Davis why, if he truly didn't know Hannah was dead, was he still at home and not going to the club to see her? Davis claims that it's her night off and she always spent those with her family, where he wasn't invited. Vic points out that might be because Hannah was a Mennonite. This is news to Davis, but he does remember her quoting the bible. Walt suddenly puts two and two together.

He rushes over to Ruby's desk and pulls out her bible. He flips to the book of Matthew and scribbles down a verse, and then dashes for the door ordering Vic to check Hannah's bank account to see if Davis is telling the truth. He quickly explains that the bible quote on the note in Hannah's pocket was code. Matthew, Chapter 12, Verse 30. Hannah planned to meet someone on the dark road at 12:30. Walt is hoping the meeting might still be on...

Walt waits on the dark road under a craggy tree like the one drawn in the note. He checks his watch and is about to give up when a slender figure in a white hat approaches from the distance. Walt steps out to greet her - it's Hannah's mother, Rachel Clausen. She is startled to see Walt, but admits that she's there to meet her daughter. Her husband only told her that Hannah would not be coming home. Rachel is glad of that. She encouraged her daughter to leave the Mennonite community to avoid making the same mistakes Rachel had made as a girl. But when Walt shows Rachel the note she begins to tremble. Why does he have it? Before answering, Walt asks how Rachel got the note to Hannah, She confesses that Cyrus Brooks was the intermediary, but immediately asks again - why does Walt have the note? Rachel starts crying even before Walt says softly, "Hannah is dead." She crumples to the ground, broken.

The next morning at the station, Walt tells Branch and Vic that Hannah's father never told his wife about her death. But it's not Ephraim Walt wants to see again, it's Cyrus. Why didn't he tell Walt that he was passing notes between Hannah and her mother? Then Vic reveals another stunner: Hannah was saving all her money, but not with Davis. Her joint bank account was with Cyrus! And Cyrus' fingerprints are all over the car.

Later, Cyrus is back in the hot seat in Walt's office, but he has a plausible excuse for everything. He opened a joint bank account with Hannah because she had no social security number to do it herself. He hasn't touched a penny of her money. He claims he didn't tell Walt the note was from Hannah's mother because he didn't know. It was given to him in a plain white envelope, and he didn't consider it his business to open. To Vic's astonishment, Walt thanks Cyrus and escorts him out.

As they leave, Walt asks Cyrus to look at Davis in the jail cell. The two men silently glare at each other for a moment, and then Walt lets Cyrus go. The minute the door closes, Walt asks Davis if Cyrus is the man he saw Hannah arguing with on the night she died. Davis says no. Walt insists that Davis look at a picture of Cyrus with the kids standing around the puce car to be sure. Davis still says no, but then suddenly recognizes someone else.

The phone rings at the Red Pony bar, and Henry leaves some ladies he is flirting with to answer. It's Walt calling from the phone booth in the parking lot. He asks Henry if there's a kid inside who looks like Opie. Sure enough, Hannah's brother, Samuel, is at the bar. Walt tells Henry not to serve him alcohol. Henry is curious. Is he not supposed to serve him because he's the guy Cady is dating? Walt retorts no, he's just under age.

Walt only has to wait a moment outside the bar before Samuel storms out and gets into the puce car. He blasts the radio while trying to light up a cigarette, but Walt reaches in and shuts it off. Reminding Samuel that he doesn't have a license to drive, Walt insists on giving him a ride home.

Driving down the dark highway, Samuel is clearly uncomfortable. Walt asks how long Samuel knew that his sister was a stripper. Samuel denies it, but Walt reveals that a witness saw him arguing with Hannah in the strip club. Samuel panics as Walt drives past the turn off to his house. He demands to know where they are going, but Walt keeps firing questions: Is Samuel afraid of his father? Did Samuel tell his father that Hannah was stripping? The boy can't take any more, and before Walt can stop him, Samuel flings himself out of the moving car.

Walt keeps Samuel in the high beams as he chases him into the field off the side of the highway. Samuel's head is bleeding from his fall from the truck. The sight of Samuel running in the blinding floodlight flashes back to:

Hannah running along the same route alongside the highway and into a field, lit by headlights from a car...

Walt's truck gets closer to Samuel... he reaches out of his window to try and grab the boy... flashback again to:

Hannah running. A hand reaches out to grab her... and knocks her to the ground. Her head hits a rock with a sickening thud, and she is suddenly silent and still. Samuel stops chasing her. He drops to his knees crying out her name. She is dead.

Back in the field with Walt, Samuel rocks on his knees calling Hannah's name and weeping. He swears to Walt that her death was an accident. He just wanted to bring her back home. Samuel hadn't even wanted to come out on Rumspringa in the first place, but his father had demanded that he go to help his sister and bring her back. Home is where they belong, but now neither of them will ever return. Where will he go? What will he do? Walt offers him a hand to get up.

Later, in the dim light of the Clausen porch, Walt tells Hannah's parents what happened. They stand stoic and silent, but there is rage along with sorrow in Rachel's face as she turns away from Ephraim.

Back in Walt's office much later that night, he sips a beer and thinks.

The Native American woman is stitching the wound in Walt's back while Henry watches. Walt tells Henry never to reveal this to Cady. Henry promises, but warns that secrets like this can tear a family apart.

Back in the office, Walt picks up the phone and dials.

Cady is in the arms of her mystery man rolling around on her couch. They are disheveled, but still clothed - although maybe not for long. The phone rings a few times before Cady decides to answer. It could be an emergency. Looking at the caller id, she sees it's her dad.

Cady goes into her bedroom to take the call. She is worried - is something wrong?

Walt reassures her that he just wanted to apologize for butting into her private life that morning. He'd love to meet her new boyfriend... but only when she's ready. He tells her that he loves her.

Cady is moved and a little embarrassed as she buttons her blouse. Watching her from the doorway is her would-be lover, Branch Connolly. Does she want him to leave now? Cady can't decide...

Alone in his office, Walt hangs up the phone and sighs, "OY!!! Vot a day!!!"

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