This week's "Longmire" episode, "Carcasses," was run-of-the mill as far as mysteries go, but it managed to add enough of its brand of backwoods hillbilly "charm" to make it a solid episode anyway. Heck, there was even a turducken!
The turducken man
A roadkill worker named Holly (Heather Kafka) loads her latest deer victim and dumps it into a compost pile with all the other bodies. Everything seems "normal" until she spots a human hand sticking out. Walt (Robert Taylor) and Vic (Katee Sackhoff) investigate, narrowing the man's time of death by his placement between the carcasses of Big Charlie and Slender Betty. Yes, crazy Holly names her roadkill. She also has a gun that she swears is registered for "mercy killin's."
The medical report contains a bunch of words that Vic can't understand. Walt not only knows that it's Latin but translates: The victim's stomach was full of turducken. The mystery unfolds much like the turducken... until the chicken is revealed on the innermost layer.
The turkey (the dead guy)
Walt and Vic ask Henry (Lou Diamond Phillips) where they can find the "Thanks-taking" (as Henry likes to call it) turducken, and he points them to the only place in town that serves turducken burgers. They only serve the burgers after 5 PM, which narrows the time of death even more.
Before they leave, Walt spots a prostitute and calls for backup. The cop crew waits for "feeding time," when the hookers begin climbing out of the woodwork and into the arms of truckers. They pull apart the operation and line everyone up, but Walt only wants to speak with a girl who tried to escape (Allie MacDonald). The sole tidbit of information she is willing to share is that the dead guy stunk like tar. That little gem leads Walt and Vic to a road construction crew, as well as a name: Ross Lanten (Patrick Robert Smith).
The duck (Ross Lanten's victim)
Ross Lanten's house turns up nothing, but his neighbors hate him. One odd couple consists of a man with suspicious bruises and his wife. She worked in the military and is just itching to get out of the house to go for a run. She's very disciplined about her runs, you see.
Meanwhile, crazy Holly, who is drunk at Henry's tavern, spews a little racism Henry's way and introduces one of her deer carcasses to its papa (a mounted deer head). Needless to say, she's brought to the station, where Walt finds himself holding her hair back while she pukes in his trash can.
Walt seems to want to save the poor soul, and viewers soon learn why: Ross Lanten raped her 20 years ago, then kicked her out of his car in the middle of nowhere. Her parents only compounded her problems by telling her it was punishment for not obeying them.
The chicken (the murderer)
Walt doesn't want to believe that crazy Holly murdered Lanten, so he follows his other leads despite Deputy Branch's (Bailey Chase) insistence that Holly must be guilty. Branch really wants his own win that he can hold up in front of Absaroka County and flaunt for the reason that he should replace Walt as sheriff.
Anyhoo, Walt returns to the helpful prostitute, enlisting Henry to pose as a John to trick her into his car. She describes her encounter with Lanten, which was essentially rape, but tries to convince Walt that Lanten just got what he paid her for.
So Walt and Vic then return to the odd neighbors, who fire a barrage of blanks at them. It turns out that the wife has lost her mind to PTSD and believes she's still in the war, confessing that it's possible she could have committed the crime. But her husband (who got his bruises from being beaten by his wife) admits that he followed Lanten and videotaped him with the prostitutes in an effort to convince Lanten's battered wife to leave him, which she did.
Branch appears to have finally solved a case and proven Walt wrong. Branch found the murder weapon under Holly's bed using the search warrant he insisted on getting. The find helps Walt in another way, because it leads to Holly's son, Dacus (Devon Graye). Dacus did some digging and found that Lanten raped his mother and was also his father. He got a job on Lanten's road working crew, spent some quality time with him, and decided it was time for the man to die.
Holly assures Dacus that he did the right thing, because he answered her only two prayers: for her to not be alone and to punish Lanten for what he did to her. He was therefore doing "God's work."
On a sidenote, Branch has been sneaking around looking for his former fiancée, who is Walt's daughter, Cady (Cassidy Freeman). Even Walt doesn't know where she is. Well, she's in Denver, looking for Detective Fales (Charles S. Dutton). Uh-oh! Is she going to be working against her own father now?
Watch the full episode now: