Episode three of Yellowstone season four had it all: tense shopping trips at western outlet stores, lovelorn ranch hands, arguments with California llama farmers (?) and an Old West-style shootout. Following last week's two-episode premiere, the Duttons continue their quest for vengeance and wrestle with trauma. Read on for our four main takeaways from this episode of Yellowstone.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead for season 4 of Yellowstone.
Beth Tries on Parenting
My Beth and Rip-loving heart grew three sizes last week while watching the couple serve as (reluctant, in Rip's case) guardians to Carter, a 14-year-old who just lost his father. But as we see in this episode, it ain't exactly Full House. The show doesn't shy away from the difficulties of this new family dynamic; Rip (Cole Hauser) still calls him "boy" and is still more "irritated supervisor" than father figure to the kid. ("It ain't 'gotcha,' it's 'yes, sir'. Learn some f*ckin' manners," he tells Carter, in classic Rip-fashion.)
Beth (Kelly Reilly) takes a more gentle approach, offering to buy Carter some new work boots and jeans. But when Carter insists Beth buy him a fancy western shirt instead, Beth has had enough. A fellow shopper insults Beth's parenting and begins filming her and you can imagine how that goes. (Beth smashes the shopper's phone and says something that will likely haunt shopper lady for the rest of her days.)
Later on, Beth tells Rip she no longer wants Carter sleeping in the house and sends him to the barn. Harsh. Ok, so much for my dreams of Wheeler familial bliss. But I still have hope. "There's a man in there somewhere," Rip says of Carter.
Jimmy is Texas Bound
Jimmy, my personal favorite bunkhouse dude, is officially headed to Texas to work on the Four Sixes ranch and he's not happy about it. His one way ticket to the Lone Star State puts another strain on his already rocky relationship with Mia (Eden Brolin), who proceeds to give him the cold shoulder for not "choosing her." Oh, sweet Jimmy. My heart aches for you.
Later on, Jimmy is Texas bound with Travis the horse trainer. He stares out the window at Mia as Shane Smiths and The Saints' "All I See is You" plays and it's the emo-country anthem we never knew we needed for this couple.
Kayce & Monica Are at Odds Again
Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and Tate are understandably still reeling after those devastating attacks on the family in the season premiere. Kayce finds Monica sitting by the bed, which Tate is hiding underneath. Kayce (Luke Grimes) criticizes Monica's parenting and pulls Tate out from under the bed, telling him to go eat dinner like "a human." I seriously hope they get Tate therapy because seeing him struggle like this is heartwrenching.
Monica then drops the bombshell that she hates Kayce and wants to leave the ranch. If you remember, Kayce previously promised Monica that if she ever wanted to leave the ranch, they'd leave. But given how tied up Kayce is with the family business now, it's difficult to see that happening.
Revenge, Dutton Style
After Roarke (Josh Holloway) suffered death by Rip's ol' rattlesnake in the cooler trick last week, the Dutton fam continues to wreak havoc on those who've wronged them. Kayce and the bunkhouse crew go after the militia members who attacked the family and John Dutton (Kevin Costner) comes face to face with the man who was overheard bragging about coordinating the attacks (more on that later), thanks to Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham), who delivers the man to Dutton. Dutton is also shown a photo of the man who ordered the attacks on them, but he has no idea who the man in the photograph is.
But it's not all fights with dangerous members of organized crime syndicates; Kayce is still the Livestock Commissioner, which means he has a day job and, in this case, a California llama farmer to deal with. Turns out, llama guy has been putting up cattle guards, preventing his neighbor Emmett Walsh (Buck Taylor) from moving his cattle. Kayce, in an effort to teach the guy about being a "good neighbor" places the Californian underneath one of his own cattleguards. I'm not an expert on Montana law, but I'm pretty sure that can't be legal. Once again, I'm reminded of how much I do not want to cross any member of this family.
Meanwhile, John Dutton drives the man from the casino to the Wyoming bornder -- the one place you don't want to go with a Dutton. Unwilling to shoot the man in cold blood, Dutton proposes an Old West-style shootout. ("Care to send me to Heaven before I park your sorry ass in hell?" is already a classic John Dutton-ism.) Unsurprisingly, Dutton wins.
So, who is truly behind the attacks on the Duttons? We still don't know, but, judging by the episode four preview, it seems we'll at least get some answers next week.
Stay tuned to Wide Open Country for more Yellowstone updates and weekly recaps.