Robert Taylor stars as charismatic, dedicated and unflappable Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire in this contemporary crime thriller based on the best-selling mystery novels. Widowed only a year, Longmire is a man in psychic repair that buries his pain behind a brave face and dry wit. Struggling since his wife's death and at the urging of his daughter (Cassidy Freeman), Longmire knows that the time has come to turn his life around.
Steam rises around a ruggedly handsome middle-aged man as he showers in a partially constructed wooden stall. The jagged scars on his back reveal he is no stranger to violence. The phone rings, and he listens intently as a female voice on the outgoing message declares that no one is home at the Longmire residence. After the beep, a frantic woman's voice echoes through the house. The woman's name is Vic, and she commands Walt to pick up the phone. When he doesn't, she grudgingly continues her message, saying that Billy and Bob Barnes need someone to go out to Pronghorn Ridge, and since it's her day off, she doesn't want to go.
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.
Thick smoke rises past skeletal trees obscuring the night sky. The reflection of flames dances eerily in the side mirror of a truck parked near a barn raging with fire. A terrible screaming fills the air.
A lone fisherman stands knee deep in the water reeling in his line. No fish. He pulls back his rod and casts again. The fisherman tugs at the line, but it's stuck. He wades through the water and finds the lure is hooked on the end of a rope floating out from under a submerged tree branch. The fisherman jerks the rope and a bloated shape bobs to the surface. He leans in, then staggers back in horror with a terrified shout. It's two dead bodies tied together face to face. Scrambling backwards, the fisherman falls into the creek.
CRASH! A man hits the floor in a dark. He is Native American - Crow - and terrified. His long hair sticks to his sweaty face as he begs in his native tongue, but there is no mercy. Huge fists land in his face again and again with bone-crunching fury. Teeth fly from the man's mouth and skitter across the floor. With a final groan he crumples in a heap. The attacker scoops up the teeth in the palm of his giant hand.
A spectacular spring morning in the green hills of Wyoming is shattered by the sound of a woman sobbing. She is a German tourist, crying so hard she can barely speak. Young Absaroka County deputy "The Ferg" is almost as hysterical as she is as he scribbles her information in his notebook. His stammered assurance that "it's ok, it's ok!" doesn't help. The woman makes it clear that she won't go back into the woods! The Ferg asks where she saw the thing that terrified her. The woman points a trembling finger down the hill into a canyon.
Hillbilly rock and rebel yells fill the air at The Red Pony where a rodeo party is in full swing. A drunken cowboy whoops atop a mechanical bull while buckle bunnies and rodeo kings stomp their boots in time to the music.
Ellis Hinkley, bespectacled and balding, stocks cigarettes behind the counter at the gas station convenience store. SLAM! Bloodied hands hit the window by the cash register. A young woman with tangled blonde hair and wild eyes peers in at Ellis like a strange apparition. The bell over the door jangles as she wanders into the store in a mud-smeared sundress with scratched and bloody bare feet. Dazed and sobbing, she begs Ellis for help. They're coming! They followed her!!! She asks if Ellis has a gun. Kindly reassuring her that he'll get help, Ellis calls the Sheriff's office and asks Ruby, the dispatcher, to send Walt or a deputy. As if suddenly waking from a dream, the young woman inquires how much for milk? Before Ellis can answer there's the screech of brakes outside. Terrified, the woman runs out the door. Ellis looks out the window and scribbles numbers on a notepad on the counter, then hurries out the door.
Under the warm glow of lamplight on a table is a pile of mail, a can of Rainier beer, and a gun. Sheriff Walt Longmire settles into his fat leather chair with a tired sigh and starts rifling through the mail. He is listening to DJ Ross Strongbow on the radio, broadcasting live from the Cheyenne Reservation with rockin' blues to get through the night. Walt opens a bill and frowns noticing a charge that makes no sense. He checks the name on the address: Cady Longmire, his daughter. That explains it. But wait a minute, what's that charge...? As Walt looks at the bill again, a frantic male caller comes on the radio, begging DJ Strongbow for help. Someone is coming after him! Walt looks up. What the f***? The DJ tries to calm the caller promising help, but where is he?
A shiny teapot hums on the stove. Sheriff Walt Longmire is asleep on his couch, fully dressed. The teapot lets out a shrill whistle and he opens his eyes to see Lizzie Ambrose poke her perky blonde head out of the kitchen. Even groggy she is radiant in the morning light. Lizzie inquires if he'd like some tea. She is holding the wooden tea box Walt uses to store his late wife's ashes. Walt leaps off the couch shouting, "No tea! Coffee!" He grabs the tea box and carefully places it back on the shelf, urging Lizzie to trust him; she doesn't want that tea. Lizzie laughs nervously. What a nut. Okay, sure, they'll have coffee. She watches Walt fumble with his French press: was it a bad idea for her to stay over last night? It feels weird. Like high school, but without the sex. Does Walt want her to leave? Walt shakes his head no. Does she want to go? With a hopeful smile, Lizzie says no. They're both adults, right? They share a laugh, but are immediately interrupted by the sound of tires on the gravel outside. Walt hurries to the door.