In the “Yellowstone” recap, Beth continues to poke at a grizzly bear, Kayce and Jamie start their new jobs and John receives a visit from a former enemy…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The slow burn into revealing the true threat to the Yellowstone-Dutton Ranch has been built up through the first few episodes of season 3 but only now is the depth of their power and influence really starting to show.
Market Equities — a company so powerful that it could buy Beth Dutton’s firms 10 times over — has set its sights on Montana as the next land of opportunity where an airport and a ski resort would make them a whole lot of money. Of course, the land they require for this project largely belongs to John Dutton and he’s not interested in selling.
Never mind the fact that Market Equities would make John one of the richest men in the state by paying him somewhere around $500 to $600 million for his land but it’s been well documented that money has never been his primary concern. Unfortunately, as Roarke Morris reminded Beth during their conversation this week — Market Equities isn’t the kind of company that will just take no for an answer.
It reminded me of an episode of “The Sopranos” from late in the series’ run when Patsy Parisi goes to visit the new coffee shop in the neighborhood to shake them down for “protection services,” which is one of the main sources of money making for the mafia. Rather than finding a meek owner too scared to stand up to the local bad guys, a barely 20 something manager informs them that the store could burn down in an unfortunate “accident” and the corporation wouldn’t bat an eye except to rebuild the same store a second time.
A massive corporation like Starbucks isn’t afraid of some local criminals trying to shake them down for what essentially amounts to pocket change for them. The same can probably be said for Market Equities, who have no problem milking John Dutton dry until he can no longer afford to fight them and they’ll get the airport and ski resort they wanted anyway.
The only chance John might have to save his land requires him to team up with a former enemy and unleashing a pair of vicious killers dressed in Armani who will tear this company limb from limb without a drop of blood being spilled. As John reminds his new ally, once this plan goes into effect, there’s no putting this genie back in the bottle.
John won’t win this war by beating up a few henchmen or scaring an executive or two cause there’s always 100 more ready to take their place. Instead, John will need to fight a new kind of battle in the boardroom if he wants to save his ranch from being transformed into another Starbucks.
With that said, let’s get to our recap of the latest episode of “Yellowstone” titled “Cowboys and Dreamers”…
I Am the Tornado
The episode began with another classic “Yellowstone” flashback, this time exploring the reason why Beth and Jamie have been at odds with each other for years.
It turns out when she was still just a teenager, Beth found out she was pregnant and the only person she could turn to for help was Jamie. She asked him to take her to a clinic where she could have an abortion so no one would ever find out about her pregnancy.
Jamie ends up taking her onto the Broken Rock reservation and while Beth waits in the car, he goes to speak to the attendant to explain why they came there for help versus the Planned Parenthood in Billings.
With the last name Dutton involved, Beth’s abortion would never stay secret and he’s trying to protect his sister from any possible shame. The attendant agrees to help him but he has to know that at this particular clinic they require an abortion and sterilization, which would then explain why Beth can no longer have children.
The problem is that Jamie never bothered to tell Beth before taking her inside the clinic to have the procedure done.
After the abortion was completed, Beth went back to the ranch where she confronted a young Rip and lied to him by saying the pregnancy test came back negative. Beth then shuts the door on Rip and tells him they can’t do this any longer.
Fast forward 20 or so years and Beth is very much in love with Rip but she finally revealed to him that they can never have children. Little does Rip know that Beth was actually pregnant with his baby a long time ago but she didn’t tell him about it. As happy as these two have been together all season long, it’s easy to see how they will almost certainly fall apart at some point in the future.
Meanwhile, Beth’s main job right now when she’s not staying with Rip at his cabin is to continue tearing away at Market Equities as they turn their focus to the valley where the Yellowstone-Dutton Ranch is located in an attempt to build their airport and ski resort.
Last week, Beth orchestrated a plan with her boss from Schwartz and Meyer to short Market Equities stock, which basically means she made her company a whole lot of money while tanking the value of the company trying to force her father off his land.
Roarke Morris was already knocked off guard by this strategy a week ago and he’s still dealing with the fallout as he attempts to put Market Equities back on track. Unfortunately for him, all fishing trips have been cancelled because Roarke is too busy trying to clean up the mess that Beth made for him.
Later that day, Roarke spots Beth going into a bar for a drink and he decides to join her.
During a conversation that involves a whole lot of talk about fish and whether or not they actually feel pain when getting a hook stuck through their jaws, Roarke offers Beth a not so friendly warning that she’s fighting a battle that can’t be won. The company he represents is too huge to fail and all she’s doing right now is delaying the inevitable.
Instead, Roarke suggests taking the $600 million that Market Equities will offer for the land and use that money as real generational wealth that will change the Dutton family forever. Beth agrees that’s exactly what she would recommend doing — but that’s not what her father wants.
Roarke tells her no matter what she’s planning and no matter what she’ll eventually do, this company will eventually step down upon her with their boot heel and not blink an eye at the carnage left in their wake. That’s when Beth offers Roarke a warning of her own.
“You are the trailer park. I am the tornado”
~ Beth Dutton
Genie in a Bottle
As John Dutton quietly prepares to face off with the company coming for his land, he’s started to maneuver the pieces in place to secure his future.
First up is Jamie’s appointment as the new interim Attorney General of Montana. He gets sworn in with his father by his side as he takes on the new role as the highest lawman in the state. It’s a fact he reminds Randy Harper — the county attorney who questioned his leadership when they were trying to cover up killing a pair of criminals accused of assaulting a young woman at a rodeo.
As one of Jamie’s first orders of business, he places that call to Randy just as a reminder about who he has to answer to now that he’s the Attorney General of the state. Of course like it or not, Jamie’s leash will only go as far as his father will let him pull it even if he believes otherwise.
Back at the ranch, John receives a visit from Thomas Rainwater and his man Mo.
Rainwater warns John that they are once again facing a similar enemy, who is determined to take their land away from them. He even concedes that he doesn’t really want to build a casino so close to the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch, but that will give his people a means to an end as he attempts to preserve the land that they all live on.
While John tells Chief Rainwater that he’s got the Attorney General and the Governor ready to back him against the corporation, this won’t be a fight won so easily. Rainwater reminds John that if the Governor passes on a project that could bring 4,000 new jobs to Montana, it’s likely she’ll be out of a job on the next election cycle.
Rather than solely relying on politicians, Chief Rainwater tells John that his background in business will help them stop Market Equities from taking their land.
He explains to John that no single incident will stop this corporation from steam rolling over everyone and everything in this valley. But instead perhaps their methodology should be death by 1,000 cuts — Market Equities might keep coming if they only have to stamp out one raging fire but are they so willing to invest to put out 10 or 20 fires that just keep springing up all around them?
Chief Rainwater then reveal to John that he has a person in his employ who is more than willing to strategize and plot against this corporation in order to stop them. John tells the Chief that he has one of those as well and perhaps it’s time they team up together for the common good.
It appears that Beth Dutton will be working alongside Angela Blue Thunder in order to bring Market Equities to their knees.
The fight won’t be fought just in the boardroom, however, as Rip and the boys find out later that same day.
After packing up the summer camp outside of one tent left standing where Monica promises to bring Tate, the rest of the crew is moving back towards the main ranch house. On the way back, Rip notices a herd of buffalo grazing just on the other side of their fence that once belonged to Dan Jenkins and his company.
It’s there Rip is introduced to Wade Morrow — a grizzled old cowboy made of leather, who apparently has a past relationship of some kind with John Dutton. Rip’s introduction is to punch the ranch hand helping Wade but in the end, everyone goes their separate ways.
As Rip tells Ryan before leaving, those buffalo were put in the field for one reason only — they are meant to tear through the fence lines that separate the Dutton ranch from their neighbors and disrupt the cattle living on the other side.
It would certainly appear that Market Equities is starting to turn to some local cowboys to help them secure the land where they intend to build that airport. Just as John plans to use all of the weapons in his arsenal to defend the ranch, Market Equities aren’t only counting on governmental support to help them win this fight.
They are ready and willing to get dirty.
A Greater Good
While Jamie starts his job as Attorney General, a few offices over Kayce Dutton is beginning his new appointment as livestock commissioner.
On his first day, Kayce gets a call from the local sheriff, who informs him about a ranched named Boyd Nelson that committed suicide. It seems Boyd’s ranch was being foreclosed on by the bank and rather than watch everything he worked for get taken away, he decided to take his own life instead.
Sadly, Boyd’s death doesn’t do much for his wife and two children, who are now left the burden of a dead father and husband and a ranch that’s about to be repossessed by the bank. Kayce wonders if perhaps it wouldn’t be better served to sell the stock of horses that Boyd was raising before his death and at least give his family something to help them survive.
Of course this is highly illegal but the Boyd was cousin to Sheriff Haskell so he has no problem looking the other way.
Kayce then turns to his father for advice on what he should do — and John believes that his son’s heart is in the right place but he’s not going to make this decision for him. Instead, John tells Kayce that it’s his call to make and he’ll be there to help him no matter the decision.
So Kayce decides to sell the horses, which requires help from his father and the other ranch hands as they corral the animals to be sold at auction. Rip comes up with a rather intricate plan to herd these horses into pins — it’s a strategy he calls “fuck it” and John can’t help but smile and agree with the ideal.
After chasing all of the horses down into the stables, Rip, John and Kayce can’t help but laugh because nobody got hurt, nobody died and apparently just saying fuck it pays off every now and again.
After the auction ends, Kayce shows up to Boyd Nelson’s ranch where he hands over a check for $16,000 to his wife. Boyd’s widow (played by actress Kathleen Wilhoite, who you might recognize from “Road House”) thanks him for the money but won’t spend a minute of her day grieving the coward that abandoned her and their children.
Then again, she tells Kayce that she’s always had a thing for cowboys and dreamers (thus the title of the episode) and chances are she’ll end up marrying one of those again.
Back at the ranch, Jimmy is just returning from the hospital with his new girlfriend Mia and her friend Laramie getting him situation at the bunkhouse. The ladies feel like partying so they bust open some beers, crank up some Sturgill Simpson and wait for the cowboys to come home.
When Colby and the rest of the bunkhouse boys get back, they decide to join the party as everyone starts drinking and dancing.
Not too far away, Rip hears the loud noise coming from the bunkhouse and he goes down to bust a few heads but once he gets through the front door, he sees his lady love Beth dancing alongside all of the cowboys. Rather than getting angry, Rip just takes the chance to dance with Beth and enjoy the evening.
At the house, John smiles as he hears the party happening down in the bunkhouse and he finds out from Kayce about the good deed he did that day for the Nelson family. Kayce wonders why his father doesn’t go down and join the bunkhouse boys for a drink and a dance but John says he’s never been very good at barking orders at people he considers friends.
He suggests that perhaps Kayce would be willing to take that approach once the ranch belongs to him.
As John heads back inside, Kayce takes a glance down at the bunkhouse and then sits down in a chair on the porch in the same place where his father was just seated. Kayce lived a rebellious life in direct opposition of everything that John wanted for him growing up but now that he’s back as part of the family, he’s beginning to realize something.
Kayce truly is his father’s son.
“Yellowstone” will return for a brand new episode next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on the Paramount Network.