'Yellowstone' Recap: Beth Takes Control of the Narrative

Warning: spoilers ahead for season four of Yellowstone. 

Yellowstone season four is proving to get crazier and crazier every week. I'm still on the edge of my seat waiting on the final showdown between Jamie (Wes Bentley) and John Dutton (Kevin Costner), but "No Kindness For the Coward" clearly sets us up for some major drama at the end of the season. This week, Beth showed that she has a clear plan to fight for the ranch while continuing to work for Market Equities, Kayce is growing his family, and Jimmy is getting used to his new life in Texas. Not to mention, creator Taylor Sheridan takes away one of the characters we've been following since the very beginning of the series.

Read on for our six main takeaways from episode eight of Yellowstone season four.

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1. Did we see James Dutton die in a flashback?

Yellowstone's long-awaited prequel 1883 is finally making its debut on Paramount Plus and we've already gotten a teaser of Tim McGraw's James Dutton in flashbacks this season. This longer flashback shows him chasing down horse thieves and getting seriously injured in the process. He returns home to his wife Margaret (Faith Hill) and their two sons (their son John is noticeably older than he is in 1883) and we last see the camera panning away from their cabin while Margaret screams over James' injuries. Did he die?! Did Margaret tend to his wounds in time?! The big question we find out what happens on Yellowstone or 1883?

2. Beth controls the narrative

It seems completely suspicious (from a viewer's perspective) when Beth offers to get rid of the press who have been making things difficult for Market Equities at their airport construction site. But as always, she's five steps ahead of the rest of us. She gets in with the press, telling them that she'll let them know when they should actually be rolling the cameras and tips them off when Market Equities sends in a team to arrest the protestors at their campsite in the middle of the night. Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) calls Beth to let her know they arrived and goes to "take one for the team" i.e. gets herself in harms way and gets noticeably injured. Beth then tips off news outlets in other cities to get national news behind the story. While Market Equities thinks that they are now in control of the narrative...they couldn't be more wrong.

3. Jimmy and Emily keep getting closer

Poor Jimmy, the guy is just so clueless sometimes. Showering in the horse wash rack instead of the bunkhouse did make for a cute moment between him and his new love interest though. And honestly...she's such a breath of fresh air compared to his saga with Mia. Emily is a Texas girl through and through and seems genuinely impressed by Jimmy even though he admits that he really isn't sure he's much of a cowboy at all. It appears it might be Emily who helps turn him into the man he's meant to be.

4. Beth, Rip, and Carter move into the main house

I think we can all take a moment to commend Beth for giving us two of the most awkward dining scenes of all time this season. First, we had that fun encounter with Summer, and now she went on that tangent about prostate wellness before storming off and leaving Rip and Carter utterly confused. But Rip has the wonderful idea of dining at a different table (it took four seasons for someone to suggest this) and it seems like it did the trick to relax Beth. She hated the pretentious nature of the formal dining room and eating at the smaller table just made them feel more like a family. As usual, it's a sweet moment from Rip, who always seems to know what Beth needs.

5. An unexpected and dramatic gunfight

Y'all. I was literally stunned the entire last two minutes of the episode. John and Rip are supposed to meet Sheriff Donnie Haskell (Hugh Dillon) at Ruby's Cafe and show up to find the restaurant held up by a few armed men. Luckily, Rip sees the situation from the window and, together, he and John bring the criminals down with some help from Donnie, who is already waiting in the booth. Taylor Sheridan keeps saying no one is safe on his show and boy was he right. In a heartbreaking scene, Donnie, who gets shot by one of the assailants, calls his daughter for his last few moments with John standing next to him. What does this mean for the future local police force?

6. Jamie is going to fight the Duttons

In an effort to focus on his new family, Jamie decides to go against his adopted father in the race for the governor's office. His girlfriend Christina (are they back together?) is under the impression that John is bluffing and is really just running to force Jamie out of the race. She suggests calling his bluff and sticking with it. Jamie calls John asking to meet at a neutral site which, obviously, John ignores, telling him to come to the ranch. I'm sensing a major blowout happening next episode.