In the “Yellowstone” recap, John confronts Beth over her methods to save the ranch and Jimmy is forced to make a very tough decision…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The war to save the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch has been at the heart of every season of “Yellowstone” thus far but the battle took a dramatic turn in an unexpected direction on Sunday night.
With Market Equities already planning to build an airport in the dead center of the largest ranch in the United States, Beth Dutton has been doing everything possible to bring the corporation to its knees and make them realize that there are far less dangerous places to develop than rural Montana. In order to slay the beast, Beth has taken no prisoners — except Summer Higgins, who joined her cause and ended up behind bars for assaulting a pair of police officers that have grave consequences as the latest episode reveals.
That leaves Beth’s actions at odds with her father John, who is all for fighting dirty when your enemy is doing the same but that doesn’t mean taking out innocent bystanders along the way.
Meanwhile, Jimmy’s season long sojourn to Texas finally comes to an end this week but only after he’s found another woman to love. Jimmy’s fast romance with Emily turned up another notch just as he got the word that he’s leaving to return to the Yellowstone sooner rather than later.
And finally, Kayce has largely been on the backburner throughout the season and his strange trip continued with the latest episode as he decided to turn to spiritual answers to help guide him through whatever obstacles life seems to be throwing at him lately. It’s an odd storyline for one of the show’s major characters but hopefully there will be a big payoff in the season finale next week.
With that said, let’s get to our full recap for the latest episode of “Yellowstone” titled “No Such Thing as Fair”…
For his morning ride, John decides that he doesn’t want to go alone so he has Carter saddle up a horse and join him on the trail while teaching the boy how along the way. Once they arrive at a field overlooking the valley, John tells Carter a story about how that particular area used to be littered with buffaloes and how his great grandfather did his best to preserve the animals despite the government having other ideas entirely.
At one time, this was land owned by Native Americans and the thriving American government wanted them gone so what better way to eliminate a people than to take away their main source of food, clothing and revenue. John’s great grandfather did everything he could to stop it but in the end, there’s only so much one man could do.
That’s when he explains to Carter the inspiration for the title of this week’s episode.
“Let me tell you what fair means — fair means one side got exactly what they wanted in a way the other side can’t complain about. There’s no such thing as fair”
~ John Dutton
Back at the ranch, Beth is giving Rip the roll over because she’s irate with him that he allowed her father to go cowboy when stopping the crooks from robbing the local diner that ended up getting Sheriff Donnie Haskell killed. Rip explains that when John has his mind set on something, there’s no talking him out of it so he decided to help rather than abandon him in that situation.
Beth understands the logic but she’s still got a bone to pick with her father.
She vents in the kitchen after tossing a cup of coffee at her father and smashing it into the wall while chastising him for taking such reckless chances with his own life. Beth berates him about spending two months by his bedside, hoping and praying that he would survive while doctors, nurses and machines kept him alive.
Now that he’s been given a second chance, Beth refuses to let him waste it but John tells his daughter that he’s just not built any other way — and he has no plans on changing.
That’s when Beth reminds John that the world he’s been desperately fighting to preserve withers and fades away if he’s no longer around to protect it. Perhaps that’s what John should think about the next time he sees a bunch of junkies holding up a coffee shop.
“Because when you die, everything that you’ve fought for and everything that you’ve had me fight for, dies with you.”
~ Beth Dutton
Beth then turns her attention to the problem that John hasn’t been solving, which is the man responsible for attacking the entire Dutton family. She’s still convinced that Jamie was behind the attempt on all of their lives but John finally sets her straight by revealing that it was a man named Terrell Riggins, who is currently serving a life sentence behind bars.
John tells her that Riggins did it to score points with the local gangs and now he’s probably living in fear because the hit didn’t pay off. Of course, John has no idea that Riggins’ was just a middle man hired by his old cellmate Garrett Randle to eliminate the Dutton family once and for all.
Even more disturbing is that Garrett has promised to try again and John seems to be none the wiser about it all.
It’s around this time that John gets a collect call from the local jail — Summer Higgins has been locked up and she’s been told that life in prison is a possibility for her sentence after assaulting two cops during the raid to get the protesters off Market Equities’ property.
As for Jamie Dutton, he has to watch the news to see about John’s heroics at the diner where he stopped a group of junkies from robbing and possibly killing a diner full of patrons. The news replays a part of John’s speech when accepting the endorsement from Governor Perry when he announced his own run of Governor where he declared that he’s the opposite of progress in Montana.
Between the endorsement from what appears to be a popular Governor and this real-life vigilante stunt to save a diner from some armed junkies, Jamie doesn’t see any road he can travel down that leads him to becoming the Governor of the state.
Christine believes exactly the opposite.
She tells Jamie that if John Dutton is the person most opposed to progress in Montana then he needs to be the exact opposite. Jamie should embrace the progress that’s going to drop millions of revenue into the state, provide jobs and help create a robust economy that has nothing to do with farming. Christina and Jamie’s father know that John was already going to win the votes of the ranchers throughout the state — now he just needs to win the population centers in all the major cities.
If Jamie can win those, then he beats his father in the election.
Christina also believes it might be time to put a face on this campaign to separate Jamie from his former family and that involves introducing Garrett to the world. The only problem is Jamie just now reveals that Garrett spent 30 years in prison for killing his mother — a crime that he’s forgiven his father for committing but that’s not necessarily going to make him a sympathetic figure in the voters’ eyes.
“If you have any interest in being Governor, get him out of your house and get him out of your life.”
Garrett seems to agree with Christina but Jamie doesn’t want to hear any part of it. His father reminds him that it’s quite often that what we want isn’t nearly as important as what we need.
Down in Texas, Jimmy is enjoying his whirlwind romance with Emily as they continue to spend nights together. He’s falling for her hard and Jimmy appreciates that Emily embraces the man that he is today rather than the person he could be tomorrow.
That’s the way Mia loved him — with conditions because she saw potential in him while he was doing the rodeo but she never quite accepted him for who he already was.
As head over heels as he is right now, Jimmy has to leave his lady love to head out to a horse competition where he’s helping the Four-Sixes ranch with their stock. After arriving, Jimmy spots Travis out doing his thing on the horse with a reining competition as he continues to build up the reputation of the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch.
In the back, Jimmy congratulates Travis on his run and the once very skeptical horse trainer is impressed to see the man standing before him now. If the Four-Sixes ranch trusted Jimmy enough to help them run those horses, then he must finally be a cowboy for real.
Jimmy confesses that he finally learned what Travis was trying to teach him — that it all comes down to just a cowboy and his horse. He’s starting to learn what the more experienced cowboys have been trying to teach him all along and it’s paid off in the end.
Their conversation is interrupted to go watch a horse being praised out in the center ring — it’s a stud named Metallic Cat, who has sired over $37 million worth of horses in his lifetime. Jimmy is surprised to hear that the Yellowstone-Dutton ranch is a half-owner of this particular horse, which means John Dutton really is starting to create the empire he always wanted.
Travis then tells Jimmy that he’ll be driving Metallic Cat back when them when they leave for Montana later that night.
“School’s over, Jimmy and you came out of it a cowboy.”
Of course, Jimmy is stunned because that means he’s got to leave Emily behind if he’s going back to Montana. When he tells her the news, she’s understandably upset but she believes it’s better to make a clean break than to drag this out any further to where both of them will just be hurt even more in the end.
Jimmy wants nothing more than to stay with her but he gave his word to John Dutton that he would return to the Yellowstone and she won’t let him break that promise.
Later that night after packing up his belongings, Jimmy goes back to Emily’s house and this time he makes a promise to her instead.
“I’m not saying goodbye. I’m keeping you.”
He tells Emily that he’ll fulfill his duties to John Dutton and then he’s going to come back to Texas for her. She then returns his promise with one her own that she’ll wait for him to comeback.
It’s a sweet moment but one that just feels like tragedy is waiting around the corner for these young lovers or maybe that’s just the pessimist speaking when it comes to happiness and cowboys.
Of Wolf and Man
After seeing a wolf yet again last week around his home, Kayce is starting to believe that perhaps it’s some kind of sign that he needs to pay attention to.
He speaks with Chief Thomas Rainwater and his right hand man Mo to get some spiritual guidance about the significance of the wolf in relation to man.
Rainwater explains that wolves are at constant battle with mankind because the animals are meant to stop the expansion of man and men are then resolute in stopping the animals. That puts Kayce in direct conflict with the times he’s seen the wolf because it would appear that the animal is protecting him or at the very least protecting the once he loves.
“So if we’re supposed destroy each other, why is one protecting me?”
~ Kayce Dutton
Rainwater doesn’t have the answers but he knows a way that Kayce can find them on his own. He suggests a vision quest of sorts where Kayce will pray, smoke something (presumably peyote, although it’s never clearly stated) and over the course of four days and four nights he’ll get the answers he seeks.
It’s the kind of ceremony typically reserved for members of the Broken Rock reservation but Kayce has become almost like family to them and so Rainwater proceeds with the ceremony.
They take Kayce deep into the woods and set up the area where he’ll stay for the next four days and by the time he’s done, he’ll know why that wolf has been following him and what direction he should be headed next.
Kayce’s storyline has taken a weird turn this season after it appeared he was the one in line to get a push into the Governor’s office a season ago before then exacting revenge in a blood-soaked fit of rage to get back at the people who tried to kill him, his father and his entire family. Since that time, Kayce has left the ranch, moved into a new home with Monica and Tate and just found out that he’s about to become a father for the second time.
Still, Kayce has taken a mighty big backseat this season and it’s not entirely clear why.
With one more episode to go this season, hopefully we’ll find out more about where Kayce is headed for the future.
When John arrives at the jail to see Summer, he first discovers the news that Sheriff Haskell has been replaced by an interim sheriff named Bill Ramsey. It seems Sheriff Ramsey is much more by the book than Sheriff Haskell, which means he’s not beholden to old agreements — including the favors constantly done to help John Dutton and his family.
John can only scoff at Sheriff Ramsey’s attitude towards things because this probably isn’t the first lawman he’s known that’s tried to do everything to the letter of the law.
After getting permission to see Summer, John heads down to the meeting room where she’s being advised about a possible plea deal by her public defender. While it’s not likely that Summer will likely do life in prison, there’s a better than average chance that she’ll be doing some serious time — maybe up to three decades for assaulting a pair of police officers.
The lawyer leaves and John gets an earful from Summer, who is irate that she’s about to go to prison and she manages to take a swipe at his ego by proclaiming that he’ll be the last man she fucks for the next 30 years. Mostly, Summer is just angry, scared and lashing out after she protested Market Equities thanks to the information she received from John’s daughter Beth.
Summer explains that Beth wasn’t wrong for what she was asking the protestors to do by trying to stop an airport from being built next to a national park but she was told to take one for the team by assaulting those officers and now she’s all alone with a 30 year prison sentence hanging over her head.
John is not the least bit amused to find out that Beth was behind this — not only because he had no knowledge that this was her plan to stop Market Equities but more importantly that she used Summer so recklessly that this woman’s life is about to be upended by some dire consequences.
“I’m going to get you out of this, I promise and when I make a promise, it means something.”
~ John Dutton
John heads off to think about his next move but when he stops for lunch at one of his favorite restaurants, he can’t help but spot a familiar face sitting at the table behind him.
It’s there Garrett Randle is enjoying some coffee and John decides to have a conversation with him about the destructive force that he’s proven to be Jamie’s life for the second time in the past 40 years.
You see Garrett puts the blame on John for refusing to stand up for him in court to explain to the judge that his wife was a junkie and she would have killed Jamie as a baby if she was allowed to live. John contends that Garrett only killed what he helped create in the first place.
Regardless of their differences, John raised Jamie as one of his own, gave him his name and helped him start to create a legacy of his own. Now he’s witnessing Garrett Randle do everything possible to unravel everything that Jamie has been able to build but John can only do so much for his son these days if he’s no longer willing to ask for help.
John won’t tell Jamie that he can’t have a relationship with his birth father and he certainly won’t prevent him from running for Governor or stop him from falling down the same pit of despair as Garrett. But John refuses to let Garrett do any further harm to his family — and he still has no idea that this is the man who orchestrated the hit on him a few months earlier.
“If your plan is to get me back for what you did to yourself, I will treat you like everyone else who has showed up with the same idea and I will rid the fucking world of you.”
~ John Dutton
John then hands over his Salisbury steak to Garrett and says to enjoy a meal on him because you never know when it could be your last.
Back at home, John storms through the door and snatches Beth away from dinner to return to the main dining room because they need to have a conversation that neither one of them will enjoy. He then confronts her over the plan to stop Market Equities that involved using Summer as a sacrificial pawn in her scheme.
Despite his desire to save the Yellowstone ranch from anybody who would try to take it from them, John doesn’t believes in the kind of fighting that leaves innocent people dead on the side of the road or facing a life sentence in prison. John preaches to her about morality in a fight, even when it’s tooth and nail and you’re scratching and clawing for your very life — there are still some boundaries that must not be crossed.
“I’m saying no more collateral damage. You understand me? We don’t kill sheep. We kill wolves. What you did was cruel, honey.”
~ John Dutton
Of course, Beth disagrees because she has made it crystal clear that she will do anything and hurt anyone in order to achieve the goals that her father put upon her. Beth tells John that the only things that matter to her are him, Kayce and Rip and goddamn anybody else stupid enough to get in her way.
But John refuses to hear it and he won’t allow Beth to fight his battles any longer if she refuses to honor his wishes to leave the innocent bystanders alone. Like a knife to the heart, John says that perhaps for the first time in a long time, he’s disappointed in Beth and now maybe it’s time that he fights this fight all by himself.
John: “Maybe it’s best if I fight this alone. Maybe it’s best if you go somewhere else while I do it.”
Beth: “This is my home.”
John: “It might be time to find another one.”
In an instant, Beth’s heart shatters into a million pieces and she’s not sure if she’ll ever be able to put it back together again. She heads down to the bunkhouse to find Rip, who took Carter down there for some dinner after realizing that Beth was about to get into quite a fight with her father.
Carter is now fleecing the cowboys in poker and trash talking them along the way, which has Rip smiling and laughing the entire time.
Beth peaks her head through the door and sees how much Rip and Carter are enjoying themselves and she refuses to interrupt them but Walker spots her standing there looking quite sad and alone. Walker approaches Beth and she asks him if he knows any sad songs he could play on that guitar — he responds that some people believe sad songs are all he knows.
So Walker talks Beth over to the barn where he plays her that sad song and she begins to weep uncontrollably. Beth confessed to Walker that she tends to destroy whatever loves her most and that’s been proven with her father shunning her and now she’s attempting some serious self-sabotage by turning to a guitar playing cowboy rather than the man she’s going to marry.
Rip finally walks outside and he spots Walker playing a song with Beth crying into her hands. Rather than run over to attack the man serenading his future wife, Rip just turns back around and returns to the bunkhouse.
Whether that’s simmering rage inside of Rip that’s about to boil over next week or just the sad inevitability that he’s come to expect where Beth is concerned remains unclear. The finale next week should answer some of those questions on whether or not Rip and Beth will make it through the season and if John Dutton is truly ready to fight this fight without his entire family beside him.
“Yellowstone” returns for the final episode of season 4 next Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on the Paramount Network.