Episode PremiereJuly 15, 2013
Show Period2012 - 2014
Production CompanyThe Shephard/Robin Company, Warner Horizon TV
A rodeo trick shooter climbs on his horse as two men in the arena place cigars carefully in their mouths. The marksman spurs his horse into motion. As he passes the first man he fires his pistol, blowing off the tip of the man's cigar. The crowd cheers as the marksman approaches the second man. He takes aim and fires, but the cigar remains intact. Slowly, the man crumples to the ground as the crowd reacts in horror.
The next day, Walt Longmire pays a visit to a local man named Travis. He hasn't been keeping up with his payments to the bank, so it's up to Walt to repossess Travis' trailer. Walt isn't thrilled to be relieving citizens of their property with the election coming up, but Branch is out sick for the day, so it's up to Walt to handle it. Travis begs Walt not to take his trailer, saying that he's a friend of Branch's. Walt gets a call from the Ferg. There's a loose horse running around, and no one else is available to handle it. Walt gets an idea. He boots the trailer so Travis can't take off and decides to let Branch deal with it, once he's "feeling better."
Walt readies his lasso as Henry herds the horse towards him using Walt's truck. Henry is disturbed to see that there is a man tied to the horse. He can't tell if the man is alive or dead, but considering the speed the horse is going, he hopes it's the latter. Walt manages to lasso the horse and calm it down. He and Henry examine the body and note that the dead man has a bullet hole through his neck.
The team arrives, and Vic checks the dead man's pockets, but anything he may have had on him was lost while he was being dragged. Branch shows up, apparently feeling better. Walt notes the horse's lack of shoes and its winter coat and realizes that they're dealing with a wild animal. The saddle, however, is expertly made and has an image of a yucca plant imprinted on the side. Walt tells Vic to get the horse to a vet while he and Henry follow the trail to see where it came from. He sends Branch to visit his old buddy Travis so he can repossess his trailer.
The trail leads Henry and Walt to an exposed, circular field strewn with litter. "An arena," Walt says. "Looks like the rodeo's in town."
Walt and Vic head to Beltro Corporate Farms, the owners of the property on which the illegal rodeo took place. Walt tells Vic that all the family farms were bought up by big corporations around fifteen years earlier. They approach a group of laborers who either ignore them or move away from them as quickly as possible. One man, Cal Weston, asks if he can help. He says he's just a hired hand, and he hasn't seen the foreman, Titus, all day. Walt mentions the rodeo, leaving out the part about the dead body, but Cal went home before the festivities began. Walt asks Cal to make sure Titus gets in contact with him as soon as possible. He worries that if news of the crime spreads, evidence and witnesses will start to disappear.
Branch arrives at Travis' place, and Travis is pleased to see his old high school pal. Besides playing on the football team, they also rode in rodeos together, and Travis is still at it. Travis tells Branch he was injured and couldn't work, so he hasn't been making his payments, but he assures him that he's ready to start riding again, so he'll have the money soon. Branch decides to loan him the cash he needs, but only if Travis lets him know the next time he hears about an illegal rodeo happening. Travis reluctantly agrees.
Louis Frier, a corporate manager at Beltro, sits in Walt's office. He identifies the victim as the foreman, Titus. Titus lived at the farm in the company house and was Frier's highest grossing employee. Walt wonders if Titus worked the laborers especially hard. Frier says he may have, and assures Walt that the laborers are all legal, although he can't actually provide any records. The Ferg enters as Frier leaves to let Walt know the horse will be fine, but the vet can't keep it forever. Walt says he'll take care of it. Branch returns to the office with news; he's learned that there's going to be another rodeo that night.
Walt, Branch and Vic arrive at the rodeo which is in full swing. Vic marvels at the extent of the festivities. Walt leaves his hat behind and hands them photos of the victim as he warns them to keep a low profile. Vic spots a sharpshooter performing and heads his way. She flirts with him after he performs and notices that his leather holsters have the same yucca plant image as the saddle. He tells her they were made by a local man named Javier Hemendez.
Branch spots some men he suspects are bookies and approaches them, saying that he'd like to ride in the rodeo. The men burst out laughing. It seems they've noticed his "Branch Connally for Sheriff" signs all over town. Branch is thoroughly busted.
Meanwhile, Walt has spotted a familiar face at the tequila table. Good old Bob Barnes is surprised to see Walt. He tells him he knows the rodeo isn't on the up-and-up, but his new girlfriend, Yelena, really wanted to come and support her friends. Walt asks if Bob was there the night before, and he reluctantly admits he was. He tells Walt that someone was shot during a trick shot demonstration, and everybody cleared out. He suggests that Walt meet with the rodeo doctor, but is then quickly escorted away by Yelena. Thanks to Branch, the crowd knows the "Sheriff" is present, and has decided the rodeo is over for the night.
Later at Walt's office a young medical student sits in a cell. He tells them that the man who was shot, a Javier Hemendez, is fine. The bullet passed, relatively harmlessly, through his cheeks. The med student wanted to take Hemendez to the hospital, but Titus paid him not to. The team is shocked to learn that Titus was the man in charge of the rodeos. Walt and Vic leave to track down Hemendez, but Walt tells Branch to stay put. He's had enough exposure for the day.
Henry pulls Walt aside to speak privately. Detective Fales is in town to talk to Henry, so he wants to make sure he and Walt have their stories straight about what happened in Denver.
Walt and Vic arrive at the Beltro company housing block. Cal meets them and tells them that not only are the laborers illegal immigrants, Titus knew all about it. When they arrive, they discover that no one is there. All of the workers have disappeared.
Back at the Red Pony, Henry is surprised to see Fales who tells him they have a suspect in the murder of the meth head who stabbed Walt's wife. He's just in town to rule out other possible suspects. He asks Henry if he knew that Walt was in Denver. Henry replies that he did. Fales asks why Henry was in Denver at the same time as Walt, and why he returned again a week later. As Henry replies, "I went to help a friend," he flashes back to that night in Denver.
There's a pounding on his motel door. Henry opens the door and Walt staggers in, his back soaked with blood.
Henry tells Fales he was in town checking on an elderly woman named Ada Black Kettle. As he mentions her, he flashes back again.
Henry looks on as Walt grimaces while an elderly woman sews up the long knife wounds that criss-cross his back.
Fales asks if Henry saw Walt while he was there. Henry admits that he did, and that he knows Walt was there to make sure the Denver Police were doing their job. Fales notes the anger in Henry's voice, and responds with some heat of his own. He says that he's sorry he wasn't assigned to the case back then, "But I'm here now. And once a case gets in my head, I just can't let it go." Henry watches him leave with trepidation.
Walt brings Bob down to his office and asks him to talk to Yelena to see where the workers have gone. Bob resists, saying that he doesn't want to upset her. Walt assures him that he's not after illegal workers, he just wants to solve the murder. He tells Bob that once the company notices the workers have taken off, they may have them all deported. If Bob helps Walt find them first, he can stop that from happening. Bob agrees to ask, and Yelena tells him where everyone is.
As Walt heads out, the Ferg stops him. It seems Travis hasn't paid the bank. Branch is furious. Walt tells him that, "A man will say or do just about anything to keep his home." Then he tells Branch to go down and actually take the trailer this time. He even sends Vic to make sure he goes through with it.
Walt and the Ferg find the workers' camp in a canyon. They identify Hemendez by the bandage on his face, and Walt decides to use a play from Branch's book to catch him. Walt puts on his sunglasses and hat and makes sure his badge is nice and visible before walking straight down into the canyon. The workers scatter, but just as Hemendez nears a waiting truck, the Ferg tackles him from out of nowhere.
They ask Hemendez about Titus, but he denies killing him. He tells them that they do the trick all the time, and getting shot in the face was an accident. He tells them that Beltro brought the workers to Wyoming with promises of homes and papers, but then made them work with no hope of leaving, and even split up families to ensure no one would try to escape. Titus was good to them. He ran the rodeos to make extra money that he divided amongst the workers. He was even planning on blowing the whistle on the company.
Meanwhile, Branch arrives at Travis' trailer. He tries to repossess the trailer, but Travis pulls a gun on him. Luckily, Vic is immediately on the scene with her gun drawn. Travis lowers his gun, ashamed. He hands the gun to Branch as he starts to apologize, but before he can finish Branch has already laid him out with a punch. "Don't you ever point a gun at me," he yells. "I'm not the quarterback anymore. I am the next sheriff!"
Walt has Frier meet him outside his office. He tells him what he learned about the illegal workers, but Frier doesn't care. After all the money he's made for Beltro, he's sure the company will stand with him, despite his hiring practices.
Travis sits in a cell as the team interrogates him. Travis used the money Branch gave him to pay off a gambling debt he ended up with after placing a bad bet at the rodeo. They realize he was there the night of the murder, and are shocked when he reveals that the farm used to belong to Cal Weston's family before they were bought out.
Walt heads back to the Beltro farm where he finds Cal in Titus' former house. He's been promoted to foreman by Frier. Walt informs him that Frier no longer works for Beltro, as he's been picked up by the Feds on human trafficking charges. Cal notices that the horse is outside, but before he can ask what's going on, Walt ropes his feet and ties the other end to the horse. Startled, the horse moves a few feet, dragging Cal to the edge of the porch where he latches on to a rail in terror. Vic restrains the nervous horse with one hand. In her other hand is her gun.
"Losing your home can cause a man to do crazy things," Walt tells Cal. "That's the horse you tied Titus to. Vic fires that gun, that mare'll take off. So either you tell me what you did to Titus, or you're gonna learn firsthand what he went through." Cal reveals that Titus never cut him in on the rodeo money. He never even gave him a raise. Cal went to him to ask for his fair share, and Titus refused. Cal snapped and shot him. Watching him live in his old family home had become too painful. "It just wasn't fair," Cal cries as Walt hauls him away. "Those people chose to leave their home. I never got that choice."
In Denver, Henry sits with Ada Black Kettle. He explains that someone may come calling with questions about what happened the night he brought his friend to see her. He asks if she remembers, but she shakes her head "no" and grins. Henry shares the smile knowing their secret is safe with her.
Walt takes the horse out into the countryside and sets it free. The horse runs off, but slowly returns to Walt and stands next to him. Walt smiles and runs his hand along her face.