In the latest “Yellowstone” recap, Beth begins to realize she’s fighting a lost cause, Monica sets a trap and an old friend returns…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
If there’s been a minor complaint from some avid fans of “Yellowstone” this season, it’s been the lack of an overarching villain after both season 1 and season 2 had those roles clearly defined.
It took a little longer to get there, which allowed for some truly great storytelling and character development but in the end it turns out that the enemy in season 3 might end up as the greatest threat this show has ever known.
While the themes surrounding “Yellowstone” have largely been the same throughout — a seven generation ranch and its family defending the land against progress and people who want to take it from them — but the latest episode revealed for all the power John Dutton possesses, it may not be enough to keep a more powerful entity from taking away what he covets most in this world.
To really show the gravity of this situation, Beth Dutton even lost a fight, which is a rarity in her line of business.
Elsewhere this week, Kayce deals with the fallout from his shooting in the previous episode where he gunned down a cattle thief but failed to share that story with the woman he loves most in the world. It turns out, Monica is keeping similar secrets as she sets out to stop the violence against women on the Broken Rock reservation that already cost one young woman her life.
And finally, Rip talks to his soon to be father-in-law about his upcoming nuptials but the celebration is cut short when he goes to a bar to drink to his bride and runs into an old friend who wasn’t supposed to be alive.
With that said, let’s get to our recap of the latest episode of “Yellowstone” titled “I Killed a Man Today”…
He’s Supposed to Be Dead
Lately, John Dutton has been spending less and less time dealing with the daily grind of running his ranch and instead put more time and effort into his family, particularly with his grandson Tate.
As the episode begins this week, John takes Tate along with Rip to a horse show where he’s looking to add some stock to the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch. On this day, John is judging both horse and rider because he’s looking to purchase a truly exceptional animal skilled in the art of cutting.
Cutting is a competition where a horse and rider work together to show off the animal’s skill and athleticism herding and handling cattle. John believes adding a horse and rider with this kind of skill set would be a valuable addition to the ranch.
Before he can buy the new horse, however, he first needs to find a home for the one currently occupying a stall in his barn that bucks too much and refuses to have anyone ride its back. Rip tried and failed to sell the horse to a professional rodeo because the horse didn’t buck hard enough for the big show.
Now faced with a tougher option regarding the horse’s life, John instructs Rip to find a place for the animal to call home that won’t require it to be sacrificed. As John tells it, the horse shouldn’t be punished just because it doesn’t want anyone riding it — especially considering John feels the same way.
Before leaving, John asks Rip if they’re going to talk about the news of the day — Beth’s proposal of marriage to him. John knows soon enough that Rip will officially be part of his family but in that case he’s begging his future son-in-law to be the one person who actually talks to him about their problems.
Rip replies by telling John that his family members aren’t so much scared of him but rather they’re scared to disappoint him. But Rip is going to do everything in his power to never do that to John, especially now that he’s marrying into the family by devoting himself to Beth until death do they part.
Rip returns to the ranch to pick up the horse but he asks Lloyd to join him on this particular journey. After a six-hour drive, they finally arrive at a horse sanctuary where the bucking bronco can run free without anyone ever trying to ride him again.
The reason why he asked Lloyd to come along becomes clear soon after when Rip tells him about his upcoming wedding to Beth. Rip wants Lloyd to stand next to him as his best man and the old cowboy gladly accepts.
Rather than racing home, Rip and Lloyd stop at a local bar to have a couple of beers to celebrate the occasion but a familiar twang is heard in the background that catches their ears. Lloyd turns to find Walker singing and playing guitar on the stage behind them.
Remember, Walker was the ranch hand who decided he no longer wanted to be part of the politics being played at the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch but because he had accepted a brand on his chest, that meant he was either going to die there or get killed for leaving. It was Kayce’s responsibility to carry out that sentence but rather than killing Walker, he let him go under the condition that he would never return.
Now Rip and Lloyd have found out that Kayce didn’t finish the job and Walker is very much alive and kicking.
A Losing Battle
The fight to save the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch has been going on for many years but there’s never been a threat as big as Market Equities and their mission to build an airport and a ski resort right in the middle of Montana. With a promise of new jobs and robust spending for all the local businesses, Market Equities has a tremendous pitch to make sure their project moves forward whether the land owners involved are on board or not.
In an attempt to stop them, Beth has been going after Market Equities with guns blazing but despite her best efforts, she’s been firing with six-shooters while her opponent is blasting back with a bazooka.
The play to stop Market Equities was short-selling their stock, which is an old school investor move that can result in massive windfalls of money but it’s also a very risky maneuver. While Market Equities is taking a hit, the company is literally too big to fail and they have the kinds of resources to out last this attempt to hurt them. As angry as Roarke Morris is about this continued aggression, he’s got backup that will ultimately stop the bleeding before this gets any worse.
In steps Market Equities CEO Willa Hayes, who has the money and resources to survive the short selling of the stock while coming back after Beth with everything in her arsenal. In this case, Willa orders her brokers to buy up every available share of Schwartz and Meyer, the investment firm that employs Beth.
To retaliate, Beth drops a press release touting the hostile takeover from Market Equities but that just gives Willa the ammunition she needs to finish this battle. She’s also impressed by Beth’s moves despite getting rather angry at her methods.
“After we get this bitch fired, I should hire her”
~ Willa Hayes
For all the ways Beth tries to stop them, Market Equities deliver the final blow when Willa Hayes counters the press release by denying her company is trying to take over Schwartz and Meyer, which then causes their stock prices to plummet. Even Beth’s best attempts to stave off a takeover by asking Angela Blue Thunder to buy up Schwartz and Meyer stock doesn’t appear to be enough.
Before the day comes to a close, Beth receives a call from her boss’ secretary to schedule a meeting in the city. It’s pretty obvious that Beth’s time at Schwartz and Meyer is coming to a close.
But not before she receives a visit from her brother Kayce, who is actually delivering a message from Jamie.
Jamie showed up to Kayce’s office to inform him about the offer Market Equities made to buy the ranch for $10,000 an acre, which means the Dutton family stands to make $500 million by selling what the state may ultimately force them to give up. Kayce then hands that over to Beth in writing and in turn she shows up at the ranch to inform her father what’s happening.
Following a funny and yet disturbing exchange between father and daughter, Beth lays out the hard truth for her father about the future of the ranch.
He can either choose to sell it and set up their family for years to come by taking that $500 million and investing it or Market Equities will strike a deal with the government in Montana, forcing Jamie to recuse himself as attorney general due to conflict of interest, and they’ll use eminent domain to take the ranch away. At that point, John will make pennies on the dollar in regards to the worth of his ranch and there will be nothing left to leave to Kayce or Tate or anyone else for that matter.
The truth hurts but John tells his daughter that he promised his own father that he would never sell this land. He’d rather have it taken from him and he gets nothing than to willingly sell it and make millions.
The World Needs Bad Men
As Kayce prepares to leave for work, he can’t help but notice the rather attractive outfit that his wife is wearing as she tells him she’s off to do some charity for the day.
Last week saw Kayce hunt down some cattle thieves and his investigation ended with a shootout where the perpetrator was gunned down. While he’s currently on mandated leave due to the shooting, Kayce still plans to head into his office but not before stopping to visit with his son and father.
It seems Kayce hasn’t told Monica about the shooting and it’s only a matter of time before she finds out the wrong way rather than hearing it from him. More on that later.
When Kayce finally arrives at his office, he’s bombarded by cattle owners from all over the state who have come to personally shake his hand. They want to thank him for going above and beyond when protecting their livelihood. As a livestock commissioner with the last name Dutton, he already had the kind of authority that the ranch owners would follow but now he has their admiration and respect.
That’s worth more than any badge dangling off his belt.
As for Monica, she was orchestrating a plot that put her in harm’s way but for a good cause.
After leaving for her “charity work,” Monica is stopped on the side of the road on the Broken Rock Reservation with a broken down car as she awaits someone to pass by to help her. Finally, a work truck arrives offering her a ride into Billings where she can find a tow for her car.
Along the way, the work truck pulls off a side clearing under the guise that he’s taking Monica to a spot where her cell phone can get service. Soon enough, the man is pulling Monica out of her side of the truck where he obviously plans on assaulting her but she’s able to run away.
Eventually, the man catches up with Monica, takes her to the ground and begins choking her and just at that moment a shot rings out and the assailant’s head splatters like a balloon exploding. Monica is covered in blood and in the distance we find Chief Thomas Rainwater’s No. 2 man Mo perched in a sniper’s position with a rifle in hand.
A second later, a swarm of police vehicles arrive to offer assistance as Monica’s planned sting to lure out the man assaulting women on the reservation paid off.
A search of the area reveals numerous bodies littered in this clearing where the utility worker had kidnapped women, assaulted and then killed them before leaving their remains behind. Monica is obviously shaken despite knowing she did a good thing because one wrong move in that situation and she could have ended up dead.
Instead, she’s just covered in the blood of a man who deserved to die and now Monica’s trying to figure out how exactly she can tell Kayce about what she did. Chief Rainwater then reminds Monica that the man she loves is more than capable of keeping the same secrets as he hands over a newspaper that reveals the shooting he was involved in a few days earlier.
After returning home, Kayce finds Monica in the shower washing off the stains of the day and they both confess what they’ve done. Monica knows every single person that Kayce’s been forced to kill and she’s never judged him for it.
But in Kayce’s eyes, he doesn’t want to share that with Monica because no matter how justified he might feel in killing those people, he can’t help but think that makes her look at him as a bad man.
“I’m always in a position where I need to kill or be killed. Hell, it’s my job now. I didn’t want you to think I’m a bad man, even if I think it.”
~ Kayce Dutton
As Kayce confesses to him about the man she killed that day, the two of them embrace in a shower together with both knowing that this probably isn’t the last time they’ll keep secrets from each other. But hopefully when the day is done, they’ll still end up in each other’s arms.
Judging by the other event that unfolded this week, the body count on “Yellowstone” will only get higher.
After repairing some fence line, Teeter decides to tempt Colby into a skinny dip in the nearby river. While Teeter is quick to remove her clothes, Colby has to talk himself into it before climbing down the hill as he takes off his shirt.
But what he finds in the river is Teeter covering up and Wade Morrow along with his son staring back at them. Colby warns them to get off the land because it doesn’t belong to them but Wade plans on using this particularly vulnerable moment to send his old friend John Dutton a message he’ll never forget.
With Teeter and Colby in the water, Wade and his son charge forward with their horses, whipping them up into a frenzy. All the while, Wade and his son are lashing out with ropes to keep the horses jumping and trouncing everything below them — and that means Teeter and Colby are getting trampled.
When the water finally stops splashing, Wade and his son ride off back to their own side of the land but there’s no sign of Teeter or Colby. Now like every great television death — nobody dies unless you see the body, so it’s entirely possible that the ranch hands will reappear in the next episode.
But for now it appears Wade Morrow is living up to his reputation by responding to John Dutton’s threats with retaliation that will almost assuredly end with more bloodshed.
Only two episodes to go this season so make sure to return next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET for the next episode of “Yellowstone” on the Paramount Network…