Season “3” of “Longmire” (A&E) ended its' run on Monday Aug. 4, 2014. The season finale was called, “Ashes to Ashes” which was an extended episode. There was a cliff-hanger involving Branch Connally (Bailey Chase), his dad Barlow, plus two loaded shotguns. In the overnight TV ratings it garnered 3.677 million TV viewers overall. It reached 0.6 in the all important 18 to 49 adult demographic.
This is what TV fans know after the episode “Ashes to Ashes.” Barlow Connally paid Jacob Nighthorse $50,000 to kill Martha who was the wife of Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor). Jacob hired David Ridges to do the job who was a self-proclaimed Cheyenne “dog soldier.” He influenced a meth addict named Miller Beck to kill Martha in Denver. Miller was then murdered by David who shoved a black crow feather down Miller's throat. This happened three years ago.
Detective Fales did not ask for a complete autopsy on Miller Beck. He found out that Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) was in Denver when Miller was killed. Henry went to Denver & tried to protect Walt by removing evidence. No one has given a full explanation of the scars on Walt's back & how he got them. Did he fight with Miller Beck? Detective Fales wanted to quickly close the case & charged Henry with Miller's murder.
Lucian Connally used to be sheriff of Absaroka county. He is the uncle of Branch who ran against Walt for sheriff last year, but he lost. Branch's campaign money was funneled through Jacob Nighthorse by his father Barlow. On election day, Jacob hired David to run down Cady Longmire (Cassidy Freeman) with his car. She was knocked into a drainage ditch & survived. Branch & Cady used to be lovers which Walt didn't like. Branch began his own investigation of Jacob which led to David who staged his own suicide. He asked Jacob to cremate an animal body & spread his fake ashes near a Cheyenne burial site. David came back also as a fake spiritual “white warrior” when Branch went to the burial site.
Branch was shot in the stomach & claimed that it was David who shot him. David placed a black crow feather inside Branch's bullet wound. It was tainted with “peyote.” Branch was then tormented by dark visions & nightmares. Barlow claimed that he only paid Jacob to kill Martha & not to have his own son shot later. David was alive & wanted to kill Branch as this “dog soldier.” Walt found out where David was, who then later ambushed Walt, dressed as a “white warrior.” David fell upon Walt's knife & was killed.
Walt & Henry dug up Miller's dead body & performed a full autopsy. Part of a black feather was still lodged inside Miller's throat & they found David's skin under Miller's fingernails. He fought David before he was murdered. The district attorney dropped the murder charges against Henry. Ruby earlier told Walt that if he found the person who paid Miller to kill Martha. She wanted him to hurt them badly. As Walt spread his wife's ashes on an open hillside. He told her to forgive him for what he was about to do. Do what? Kill Jacob?
Walt grabbed his gun & was about to get into his truck. A gunshot was heard & he noticed an owl sitting on his porch. What or who does this owl represent? Walt's dead wife? That gunshot came from Branch & Barlow skeet shooting. Barlow confessed that he paid Jacob to kill Martha. And as he did so, Barlow stepped on the trigger that released the clay pidgeon. Branch looked up into the sky & a shotgun went off. Who was shot? Was Walt going to hurt Jacob? Why did that owl land so close to Walt on that porch?