something that S4 and S5 Longmire never really dealt with – didn’t deal with at all as far as i recall – is that Cady spent weeks thinking that her ex committed suicide, and that the note she found on his computer implied that letting her down was a big part of why he killed himself. Barlow’s fake note making it seem like Branch was too ashamed to face her and his family laid quite a burden on Cady whether Barlow meant it to or not.
And before that, Cady noticed Branch not responding and went looking for him. Cady got her dad and the team looking for him. Cady felt responsible for keeping track of Branch’s well being and being his last supportive person. Even though she spent S3 nervous around him and unsure of his sanity or her safety, ever since he tried to strangle her during that hallucination, which is an incident she never told anyone about.
So even though Barlow was the killer, Cady had to deal with the ex she still cared about as a friend, and who tried to keep pushing for emotional support from her, steadily going off the rails and then feeling like she didn’t do enough to save him. That’s a lot of emotional trauma that’s not been addressed.
And now her father is starting to unravel and get more angry and paranoid, and while Walt’s situation is different than Branch’s…. at least in some way… it’s got to feel a lot the same from Cady’s perspective. A person she cares about a great deal is struggling and possibly becoming dangerous. And we know from all the way back in S1 that she feels responsible for her father, for being the one to put him back together.
I’m worried about Cady, basically. She could end up the collateral damage in Walt’s downward spiral, at least emotionally speaking. I do think she’s trying to separate herself more from Walt’s reality, trying to maintain her focus on her own power and interests. But she’s very willing to take on other’s pain and other’s crusades, not just in a helpful and generous way but in a way that lets her get totally consumed.
Which is why I find the whole situation with her and Jacob Nighthorse so fascinating and so magnetic – but also kind of a highwire act. Regardless of what happens in show, and regardless of what I’d like to see in fic, Cady is getting pulled into Jacob’s worldview and his crusade.
Finding purpose and a sense of community on the Rez could be just what she needs. And I do in fact believe that Jacob’s intentions are only mercenary in so far as how he can see that Cady will fight hard for the people of his tribe, and that yes, you do still need a White person standing with you when the White law comes around. I believe he is in earnest.
On the other hand Cady is still fundamentally the kind of person who get’s totally subsumed into other people’s problems. Working on the Rez is a minefield for that. Idealizing Jacob beyond who he is could be a minefield too.
If anything, I hope that Jacob can try and coach her a little in being pragmatic and learning to put yourself first so that you can survive. Goodness knows Walt and Henry, and even Vic are ‘live by your ideals up to and even past the point where it could get you killed’ kind of people, with Ferg doing his best to follow suit So Cady’s not going to hear it anywhere else.