In the latest “Yellowstone” recap, John Dutton receives a visit from the Governor, Jamie plots a cover up and the real threat to the ranch is revealed…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s a common theme that the biggest ranch in the continental United States would be under constant threat from land developers but John Dutton may be facing a bigger problem than ever before.
In the latest episode of “Yellowstone,” the real threat to the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch is revealed but it goes beyond the latest attempt to bring a new population to this quiet rural area in Montana. Instead of just building a hotel, casino or golf course, these developers are playing a much bigger end game by constructing an entire airport and a swanky ski resort just a few miles away.
That puts John Dutton’s ranch directly in the crosshairs of this development company but even by the end of the episode, he doesn’t quite understand the severity of what’s facing him yet.
Meanwhile, Jamie’s second day on the job as Livestock Commissioner is spent cleaning up the mess from his first day. While he believes his tenure in this new position could be threatened, Jamie will soon find out that there’s a new job awaiting him, which is something he wanted when the show first began.
And finally, Jimmy found something he loved a season ago when he turned to the rodeo in order to make money to pay off a pair of drug dealers threatening his family. In the end, Jimmy turned out to be a natural at bronc riding. Sadly, Jimmy’s distraction when meeting a new girl ends in tragedy by the close of the episode.
With that said, let’s get to our recap of the latest episode of ‘Yellowstone” titled “An Acceptable Surrender”…
John Dutton has loved every minute he’s been able to spend on the furthest reaches of his family’s ranch, far away from the cries of a cell phone or the rest of the world that never seems to leave him alone. Being able to share all that with his grandson Tate has made it even better.
On this particular morning, John is teaching Tate about tracking animals as they see some wolves stalking their prey. He ends up showing Tate how to mark their territory while Monica and Kayce enjoy waking up to the sunrise rather than an alarm.
Without much work to tie them up today, John offers Tate the chance to pick whatever he wants to do. He wonders if they can take the day off then what’s so difficult about ranching?
John then explains to the boy all the day-to-day headaches that come along with owning a ranch rather than just working it. He explains the regulations and the constant problems that plague a working ranch like theirs and then Tate is curious if it’s so much trouble, why do they do it?
It’s mornings like these where they can wake up on the land and see that sunrise and feel like the lords of all creation — that’s why ranching is worth the trouble.
While John is enjoying his morning with Tate, there’s trouble brewing at the capitol.
Governor Lynelle Perry first has to inform her outgoing Attorney General that he’ll need to stick around for a few more weeks. It seems their previously deputy attorney general has been plucked by the Federal government to serve in the same role in Washington D.C. That means his retirement will be delayed until a new appointee can be named.
The governor also receives a visit from Ellis Steele and some of the people he represents from Market Equities as they reveal ambitious plans to build an airport and a ski lodge in the state. Ellis lays out all the benefits — the state retains land ownership while handing them a 30 year lease along with tax credits that make it worth their while to build there. In exchange, the new airport along with the ski lodge will inject anywhere between $3 and $6 billion in revenue into the valley where they plan to build.
It sounds too good to be true — and it is once Ellis informs the governor where he plans to build.
It seems the Paradise Valley land previously owned by Dan Jenkins is too narrow for an airport. The land the company wants to use falls smack dab directly in the middle of the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch.
When Governor Perry tells Ellis that John Dutton will never sell, he reminds her of the right of eminent domain, which means the government would annex the land for the airport. Of course, Governor Perry knows that John has battled out of one of these requests from the state previously but Ellis wonders if he did it with potentially $6 billion worth of revenue being flooded back into the state?
Judging by those estimates, Governor Perry is going to have an awfully hard time helping John save his ranch.
In the wake of Livestock Agent Steve Hendon accidentally killing a pair of criminals accused of assault and stealing horse, Jamie is left to clean up the mess.
First things first, he goes to visit Steve in lockup where he reveals to him what “really” happened that day. First off, the sheriff’s deputies assaulted the two suspects before they weve ever put in the back of that trailer and the reason Steve drove them around was to find the other horses they stole.
Sadly along the way, Steve dodged another vehicle and the sudden movement slammed the suspects around the trailer and thanks in part to previous injuries they already sustained, the two men died. Now that’s obviously not what at all happened but Jamie tells Steve to burn that into his head while he cleans up this mess.
Back at his office, Jamie receives a visit from county attorney Randy Harper, who originally called asking for a Livestock agent to be sent out on this case as well as requesting that whoever goes “send a message” to the men who assaulted those girls.
After tossing a paper weight at him, Jamie shouts at Harper for his idiotic plan and how it went awry. He also informs him that he recorded their previous conversation, which means he has Harper on the record asking an agent to send a message to the criminals.
Jamie has an idea to make this all go away but Harper has to back him up by posing the two criminals as John Doe’s who died after a drunk driving accident. Neither man was local so nobody will come looking for them.
Meanwhile, Jamie heads out to a ranch to meet with the father of the girl who was assaulted as he returns their horse trailer. As Jamie twists around the truth to fit the narrative needed, he gets the father to admit he wishes the people who assaulted his daughter wouldn’t get to take another breath.
Jamie then explains how his wish has been granted — those two men will never hurt his daughter or anybody else ever again. He then shows the father the bloody trailer and how they’re in this together now that he knows the truth.
The father is overwhelmed with emotion because his daughter still won’t tell them exactly what happened during that assault. Jamie then uses Beth’s attack last season to serve his purpose when telling the angry father than any man who touches someone in his family, will never live to touch anyone again.
The explanation is all the father needs to hear — in fact he suggests Jamie should run for governor after dishing out a little bit of frontier justice. Jamie shakes his hand and exits after avoiding a massive landmine on his first day in office.
Of course just because he dodged one doesn’t mean there aren’t a few more still ahead of him.
An Offer He Can’t Refuse
Back at work, Beth gets a call from Governor Perry’s secretary, who she’s paying a hefty sum to serve as an informant. Beth soon learns that Market Equities isn’t just building in their valley — they plan to use eminent domain to take over the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch.
First things first, Beth pays a visit to Roarke Morris, who is back in the river fly fishing again except this time it’s not on the Dutton’s land.
Beth lashes out at Roarke for the plans he’s helping to put into motion that will run the Dutton’s off their own land. Roarke counters by reminding Beth that her father will become one of the richest men in the state as a result of this business venture.
Of course, Beth knows the money isn’t what matters to her father — it’s all about the land.
As for Jamie, he returns to the office and receives a call from the governor asking to meet with her later that day and he should bring his father. While Jamie assumes this is his cover up beginning to fall apart, it’s really the governor giving them the heads up that a developer is coming for everything they own.
Paranoid as ever, Jamie calls Randy Harper asking if he’s already spilled the beans but the county attorney tells him that he’s said nothing and now he’s finished with this problem.
So Jamie races back to the ranch to tell his father about the meeting with the governor, which she says simply can’t wait until morning.
After a peaceful morning with his grandson, John returns to see the new barn is finished and the latest ranch hand to join the crew is working out just fine. Teeter shows she’s worth every penny after scaling the roof to help put the finishing touches on the building.
As John wonders who is going to mind the herd that night, Jimmy hopes that his boss will sign off on allowing him to go to a local rodeo competition. It seems this particular rodeo will allow him to earn pro points, which means an even bigger prize than last time.
While John is hesitant at first — a ranch hand can’t do much work with a busted arm — he eventually comes around after hearing that the governor is requesting a meeting. He tells Jamie to inform the governor that if she wants to meet with him, she’ll need to come to the Livingston Rodeo because everyone from the ranch will be there to see Jimmy try to bust this bronco.
Later that night with family flanking him on all sides, John watches Beth cozy up to Rip only to see him lean away. John then informs the two of them that there is nothing happening on his ranch that he doesn’t know about — so he tells Rip to go ahead and hold his daughter’s hand.
Beth is immediately over the moon knowing that she has her father’s approval.
When the governor arrives, she sits next to John but he’s still not all that interested in talking business. He’d rather spend some alone time with her behind closed doors as they tend to do in various rendezvous whenever they can break away from their duties in the government and ranch life.
Governor Perry tells John that the threat this time is bigger than any he’s faced before but she promises they can act like teenagers the rest of the night so long as he agrees to the solution she’s presenting to him and then they’ll deal with the problem the next day.
She wants to appoint Jamie as the interim attorney general and then John can appoint a new person to serve as Livestock Commissioner. John seems open to the idea but there’s no one he can place into the commissioner’s office right now.
When Governor Perry suggests Kayce for the job, John is quick to tell her that he already turned down that opportunity. She then promises to make him the same offer with a little sweetener on top and this time Kayce won’t turn it down.
The Broncs and the Blood
And finally, Jimmy is preparing for his latest ride on a bucking bronco except he’s completely distracted by the girl riding around the arena with the flag during the playing of the National Anthem. After the song finishes, Jimmy goes to meet her as Lloyd and the other handlers talk about the horse he’s riding tonight being so nasty that it doesn’t even have a name.
Jimmy is so smitten he can barely trip over his own words as the girl introduces herself as Mia and she already knows him. It turns out Jimmy beat her brother in a rodeo competition previously but she’s happy to root for him tonight.
After essentially telling Jimmy to ask her out, Mia agrees to a date with him as he tries to get his head back into the game.
As he mounts the horse, Jimmy is still distracted by the pretty girl smiling at him from the crowd but before he can set himself, the gate is opened and the horse goes flying out. The bucking bronco violently thrashes and Jimmy can’t hold on.
As he goes flying off the horse and crashes back to the earth, the crowd gasps in horror.
In the end, the family from the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch rises to their feet in a hushed silence as they watch over one of their own as Jimmy lays motionless on the ground. As the episode fades to black, we are left to wonder about Jimmy’s fate following a tragic end to the rodeo.
“Yellowstone” will return with a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on the Paramount Network