This has also been a tough week for writing--lot of family crapola. Hopefully things will improve sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I've been watching the television series Longmire, which I started after reading this article on how it was canceled despite good ratings. (An interesting case of the network's business model not being aligned with ratings per se: Advertisers think the audience skews too old, while the network doesn't own the program and won't get any revenue from streaming or DVDs. ETA: Netflix has decided to ressurect the show.)

It's a very good show. I'm almost through the second season, though, and one decision they made really bothers me.

This is going to get VERY spoilery, so be warned. Again, the show is excellent, so you very well might want to stop reading this and go watch it first.

If you're still reading: Longmire is the title character, and he is the sherrif of a rural county in Wyoming. His wife died the previous year, and he is still very tramautized.

You discover through a gradual series of reveals that he has especially good reason to be tramautized: His wife had cancer, but that's not what killed her--she was murdered while getting treatment in Denver. Longmire kept the fact of her murder a secret from everyone except a particularly close friend of his who owns a restaurant. Longmire traveled down to Denver, found out who his wife's killer was, and murdered him.

Now Longmire is desolate and remorseful--and no one other than the friend knows why, because he's still keeping everything a secret. He talks a lot about how he never realized the horrible things he was capable of, and he throws himself into high-risk suicide missions whenever he can.

Except that, in! a! shocking! twist! it turns out that Longmire didn't murder his wife's killer--his friend did.


I don't know if this was just a twist-too-far decision or a preserve-the-main-character's-purity one--or maybe the writers wanted Longmire to have yet ANOTHER secret, because he just didn't have enough already--but in any case, I don't like it.

Think about it: Before, Longmire was tortured because he did something very bad. Now's he's tortured because somebody else did something very bad--that's called being an emo drama queen, dude.

Before he was throwing himself into these high-risk suicide missions because he felt despair and remorse. Now he's doing it . . . I guess because of his frustrated homicidal rage, right? That makes me kind of worried for the residents of his county, to be honest.

And before a lawman crossed a line and applied a harsh and inappropriate form of justice because his beloved wife was murdered. Now a guy who serves burgers and mixed drinks committed murder to keep his buddy happy. (Hmm. A lot of homicidal people in this county, apparently.)

I hate it when the integrity of a character (or two) is destroyed because someone just had to tack on another twist. You have to have these things make sense. If it's going to turn out that a person didn't do what everyone thinks they did, then they need behave from the beginning like someone who didn't. Otherwise it's just cheap.