‘Yellowstone’ Recap ‘Going Back to Cali’: Summer’s Over

In the “Yellowstone” recap, John has intruders on his land, Kayce gets an offer he can’t refuse and Thomas Rainwater makes a deal with the devil…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

The conclusion of the latest episode of “Yellowstone” confirmed what’s been the underlying theme of the entire season up to this point — a storm is coming.

While there have been fights and arguments and even a couple of dead thugs tossed around the back of a horse trailer, the overall mood at the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch has been remarkably upbeat.

John found his happy place living off the land on the side of his ranch where it’s hardest to find him. Kayce and Monica have reconnected while watching their son Tate start to emerge as himself again following a harrowing kidnapping a season ago. Jamie had to cover up a murder but he’s got his groove back and he’s about to get a major promotion. Even Beth has allowed herself to be happy, perhaps for the first time ever, as she has finally embraced her relationship with Rip.

But the end of the new episode explains that all good things must come to an end when John Dutton scares off some bikers from his land and that shows the lengths he’ll go to when protecting what’s his. He somberly tells Rip to pack up his tent at the campsite because he’s moving back to the lodge.


Because John knows summer is over and now the real work has to begin protecting the land he loves so much.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of “Yellowstone” titled “Going Back to Cali”…

That Damned Rodeo

Last week’s episode of “Yellowstone” ended in a cliffhanger as Jimmy was bucked off a bronco and laid motionless on the ground as medical personnel raced into rescue him. John tried to warn Jimmy that the life of a rodeo star typically ends this way but he felt like this was the only thing he was ever good at in life.

Sadly when Jimmy wakes up in a hospital bed, John is there to share with him the litany of injuries he suffered as a result of doing the one thing he’s good at.

Jimmy had a hip replacement, a couple of broken vertebrae and a few other injuries that will make the hospital feel like its won the lottery by the time he’s checked out. Of course, Jimmy is terrified at the cost but John reminds him that he’s family and the bill has already been paid.

As a consolation prize, however, John tells Jimmy that his days bucking broncos are over and if he wants to relive his glory days in the rodeo, he should learn how to rope instead.

Later that day as a nurse prepares to change out his catheter, Jimmy receives a visit from Mia, who announces herself as his girlfriend. She gets past the awkward phase of seeing his junk and then helps him walk for the first time since surgery.

Back in his room, Mia wonders for all that’s broken on Jimmy if there’s one particular part that’s still working. He can’t move but that doesn’t mean Mia can’t move for him.

She begins teasing him about his nervousness and Jimmy finally confesses the truth — he’s a virgin. But Mia is determined to change that so she climbs on top of him and they have their own private rodeo in his room.

Call Me Baby

As Beth continues to work behind the scenes to protect her father’s ranch, she decides on a new strategy that will hurt Market Equities where it hurts the most — their bottom line.

While her boss reminds Beth that word of Market Equities moving into Montana has already raised their profits by 20 percent, she’s quick to point out that there’s even more money to be made by hurting them — at least in the short term.

If word leaked out that Market Equities was using their investor’s money to build an airport and a ski resort on land they don’t own with no promises that they’ll ever own it, that might make the company’s stock prices plummet. So Beth decides to leak a story to the press while her boss Bob will do the same with the investors.

The plan is to short the stock — a risky investment game where Beth’s firm is gambling on the fact that Market Equities’ shares will drop in value. That gives Beth’s boss a chance to make some serious money from their downfall by essentially “borrowing” a stock, selling it and then repurchasing it at a lower cost and selling it back to the broker once the price recovers.

Like clockwork, Beth’s plan works because the next morning after she makes the call to leak the story to the press, Roarke Morris wakes up to find out Market Equities has lost several points upon word of this risky investment in Montana real estate. Roarke knows immediately who’s responsible for what happened and now he’s definitely gunning for Beth Dutton.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Beth returns home from a job well done and she arrives at Rip’s cabin with a bag full of groceries to make him dinner. She banters with him a bit and Rip actually makes a joke but Beth can’t help but remind him that he’s a lot of things but funny isn’t one of them.

In the midst of that conversation, Beth calls him “baby” and Rip likes the sound of that. He asks what he should call her and she responds with “wife.”

Beth quickly recoils and takes back her new nickname before retreating into the cabin where she plans to cook Rip some dinner. In the morning as Rip prepares to head off to a cattle auction, he sits down with Beth to talk about the name she wanted.

Because Beth has been so unpredictable throughout their relationship, Rip tries not to look much further than tomorrow when it comes to expectations for them. Beth then reveals at least part of the reason why she’s so terrified of commitment — she can’t have children, which means Rip’s bloodline stops with him.

Rip can only smile and remind Beth that he doesn’t even like dogs — what makes her think he wants children? They promise to revisit this subject at a later date but judging by the splendor that Rip and Beth have been sharing this whole season makes me believe it’s all going to come crashing down around them soon enough.

Deal with the Devil

Thomas Rainwater is facing the same enemy as John Dutton this season with Market Equities determined to take over this valley and build a city where ranch land and a reservation currently stand.

He meets with Dan Jenkins’ attorney, who is overseeing what’s left of his estate following his untimely death. The lawyer warns Chief Rainwater that Market Equities ‘cease and desist’ order might not hold up in a court of law but he can almost guarantee that they will be able to drag this out in court far longer than he can afford to fight them.

It’s a money and waiting game — two things Rainwater can ill afford if he wants to build a casino that will further the profits for his people.

Rainwater tells Jenkins’ attorney that there are two futures for this valley — one where the people live off the land and survive together or another where concrete buildings and roads eat up the last little bit of nature left in this world. The lawyer tells Rainwater that most people prefer the second future but the Native American chief refuses to give up on the first one.

To fight back against Market Equities, Rainwater is going to have to team with a person who he used to see as an enemy. A woman named Angela Blue Thunder, who his bodyguard Mo believes is pure evil incarnate. It appears Angela had a different vision for the tribe and she wanted Rainwater’s job.

Considering what’s happening right now, she may still get it.

Her arrival signals to Rainwater just how much he wants to save this land and prevent Market Equities from taking over. She knows Rainwater is desperate if he’s calling her for help and once Pandora’s box is open, there’s no shutting it again.

Rainwater also reaches out to John Dutton because they once again find themselves with a common enemy — and he’s beginning to learn that the man he once went to war against might be his greatest ally in this coming fight.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

The Governor of Montana arrives at the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch for a meeting with John, but he’s out in the summer camp, which is too far away to go by car or truck. So one of the ranch hands offers to drive her out there in a utility vehicle.

When they arrive, John informs the ranch hand to go find Jamie but don’t be quick about it.

Governor Perry tells John that it’s time to have that conversation with Kayce about his new responsibility as Livestock Commissioner. Of course, Kayce wanted no part of that job previously and he doesn’t seem to warm to the idea after spending the past couple of weeks living off the land with his family.

He even enjoys another rendezvous with Monica in the woods when his favorite wolf comes to pay them a visit again. This time, Kayce believes it’s time to put the animal down but Monica warns him the wolf will still be there tomorrow and he better not stop loving her to go kill something else.

Considering how well things have been going for this once rocky relationship, it’s understandable why Kayce doesn’t want to leave but Governor Perry explains to him that there are people coming for this land and she needs help to protect it.

She reveals to Kayce that she’s appointing Jamie as the new Attorney General because he knows the law well enough to stop Market Equities legally and she needs him to serve as Livestock Commissioner to help protect the ranchers of this state. Governor Perry warns Kayce that if she pushes too hard on her own that a firm as big as Market Equities will just eventually force her out of a job and put a politician in there who will say yes to them.

Kayce finally relents and agrees to take the position — while offering the governor a warning of his own. He’s going to do this job his way but it turns out that’s exactly why Governor Perry knew he was the right man for the post.

Back at camp, John convinces the governor to spend the night with him to enjoy this land for a little while longer before the fighting truly begins.

Summer’s Over

After leaving Beth that morning, Rip goes to a cattle auction where he once again watches his newest hand Teeter prove she was absolutely worth hiring. After packing up the stock, the ranch hands drive back with Rip and Lloyd following behind.

Along the road back to the stables, the bunkhouse boys (and Teeter) notice a motorcycle club has cut through one of their fences and the whole group is currently partying in the field. The ranch hands stop and issue the bikers a friendly but firm warning that this land belongs to the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch and it’s private property.

Ryan even flashes his livestock badge as proof of his authority but the bikers aren’t interested in listening. When one of the women doesn’t like that Teeter is staring at her, a full blown fight breaks out. While the bunkhouse boys are handling themselves, the bikers have them outnumbered — at least until Rip arrives and sees what’s happening.

He takes his truck and uses it  like a battering ram to take out all of the motorcycles belonging to the bikers — and if you know bikers that’s like a shot to the heart.

Rip then exits his truck and beats down a few of the bikers with a branding iron before staring down a gun and daring the man to shoot him. Of course the trigger doesn’t get pulled, especially with Lloyd pointing a gun right back at him.

Rip pulls the leader of the biker gang aside and tells him to get off the land right now if they want to walk away at all. If they ever come back, Rip promises that they’ll never leave this land again.

Like clockwork, the bikers return later that night with gas cans intending to burn down the field but when they cut through the fence this time, the group finds John Dutton waiting for them. He wonders why the bikers are so hell bent on destroying what belongs to him and he asks the leader of the bikers what he would do if someone busted up his home the same way.

The biker responds that he’d kill that person — and John absolutely agrees.

At that moment, lights flicker on as the bikers find themselves with a whole lot of ranchers pointing guns at them. John tells the leader that he made them a promise and now they’ll never leave this land again. He tosses them shovels and tells everybody to start digging.

After several plots have been hollowed out and the bikers are literally begging for their lives while standing in their own graves, John offers them one last chance to repent. He tells them to return to California where they’re from because Montana doesn’t want them anymore. The bikers agree and they scurry off into the night, thankful to leave the land still alive.

John then tells Rip to have the ranch hands pack up his tent and belongings at the summer camp because he’s returning to the lodge.He also tells Kayce not to fill those holes that have been dug because it’s possible they’ll still need them before this fight is finished.

There’s work to be done to stop the company trying to take his land and that means summer is officially over.

“Yellowstone” returns next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET with a brand new episode on the Paramount Network

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