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The Longmire Scene That Still Has Fans Scratching Their Heads

The end times of a television series can make for strange bedfellows. Loyalties might have shifted over the course of dozens of episodes. Motivations may have clouded. The mechanics of sustaining the drama for so long can pull some characters apart and push others together in ways that might never have seemed possible in Season 1. But for fans of the modern Western crime drama "Longmire," one moment in the show's sixth and final season goes beyond the pale.

"Why did Nighthorse give Walt an out during the trial?" wrote Reddit user u/HakMac2K. "I would've made sure Walt never sniffed the inside of the Sheriff's Department again if I was him."

Given the pair's lengthy feud, it would be understandable for Jacob Nighthorse (A Martinez) to want Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) to suffer. For six seasons, Nighthorse has been Longmire's usual suspect, accused of everything from helping murder Walt's wife to killing deputy Branch Connally (Bailey Chase) to using the casino he owns as a front for drug-dealing and money laundering. Longmire's not entirely wrong –– Nighthorse is not exactly the state of Wyoming's most scrupulous businessman, and has a tendency to employ unscrupulous characters to get what he wants –– but the sheriff's attempts at barking up this tree often lead to him delivering an apology later, and had some fans wondering what exactly Nighthorse had done that had Longmire so irate with him.

Longmire fans think they know why Nighthorse helped Walt

But as for why Nighthorse helped Longmire during his trial, one responder thinks he has that answer, and it has everything to do with the particular nature of Walt's trouble. "Because as much as Nighthorse hates Walt, he hates rich white men conspiring to steal land from its rightful owners even more," wrote u/Sgt_Smitty. The case in question, remember, is being brought by Barlow Connally (Gerald McRaney) in the interest of bankrupting Walt so that Barlow can seize his land and put a golf course on it. "For him it was a matter of principle. Barlow conspired to steal Walt's land out from under him and in Nighthorse's book that was a bigger crime," u/Sgt_Smitty said.

An alternative theory was proposed by u/VonnDB. "I think he did it partially for [Walt's daughter] Cady. At the time she worked for Nighthorse (being a tribal legal advisor) and I believe she kind of talked to him about it."

Some fans wish Walt let his grudge against Nighthorse go

Regardless of his motivations for helping Walt, some fans hoped the act would have turned over a new leaf in their relationship, but it remained strained even up until the season finale, when Walt has to deliberate about whether to save Nighthorse's life after Nighthorse has been kidnapped by Malachi (Graham Greene). Nighthorse finally goes to prison, turning control of the casino over to Longmire's friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips). But some commenters thought that ending was a little too pat.

"I never really cared for the fact that Nighthorse ends up in jail at the end," wrote the original Reddit poster, u/HakMac2K. "They treated it too much like a 'Walt was always right' situation if that makes sense."

"A better ending would have been tying Walt's retirement to the fact that he let his emotional connection with the casino to cloud the way he judged Nighthorse and accepting responsibility for overly pursuing that character," wrote u/NightmareXander. Instead, Walt gets away with it, and never has to confront the part of his character that made him so suspicious of Nighthorse.