Yellowstone Recap: A New Ranch Hand Gets ‘On Brand’ — Plus, Beth Hurts Dan’s Pride (and then Some!)

Whether Yellowstone’s Monica wanted to get to know her father-in-law better, she sure did in Sunday’s double header. Observing John with grandson Tate, she even admitted, “You don’t seem like like the man from the stories I’ve heard” from Kayce. But by the end of episode No. 2, she had glimpsed the flip side of the coin as clearly she could see the stars over the Montana sky. Read on, and we’ll discuss not only why that was so bad but everything else that happened over the course of the latest Season 1 repeats.


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‘IF YOU EVER KILL A BRANDED MAN AGAIN, I’LL KILL YOU’ | In “Long Black Train,” a hand named Fred made the mistake of goading Jimmy into fisticuffs. It wasn’t a mistake because Jimmy was such a good fighter, though; nah, he got the s—t kicked out of him. But then Rip came along and violently impressed upon Fred the fact that the Yellowstone’s branded men were not to be touched, much less punched. Later, Rip told John that Fred had seen too much to just fire him; the foreman recommended a trip to train station for Fred. (In other words, killing him and dumping the body in no man’s land.) To replace the soon-to-be-deceased, John ordered Rip to recruit and brand another convict.

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After Monica had Kayce take Tate to visit John — so that he wouldn’t have to watch his cousins being carted off by their grandmother — the boy had a grand old time. Until, that is, he fell in the river. Despite nearly drowning and then freezing to death, he was unfazed. John, on the other hand, was so wrecked by the fact that he’d almost lost his grandson that he started burning money. In other developments, Beth continued to mess with Dan’s head, making him think that she was going to sleep with him when really she was just setting him up for a black eye and bruised ego at a raucous bar. And to top off what was already a pretty lousy day, Kayce was driving Tate and Monica home from the hospital when he was arrested by the Broken Rock Police.

‘FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TWO YEARS, I DON’T FEEL BORED’ | In “Coming Home,” no sooner had Monica shown up with Tate at the ranch than John had dispatched Jamie to get Kayce sprung. No problem; say what you will about Jamie, he’s a crackerjack lawyer. To Rainwater’s chagrin, Jamie got Kayce off the hot seat in the matter of the predators that he’d shot in less time than it takes to fast-forward through a commercial break. In John’s free moments, he tried to convince Monica that maybe, just maybe, to keep Kayce out of trouble, they should move to the ranch. Unfortunately, she shot down the associate-professor job that he got her offered, and Kayce refused to work at the Yellowstone as a horse trainer. In the end, John concluded, “They’re perfect for each other — both allergic to logic.” His cause was still not lost, though, as Tate loved it at the Yellowstone. And his parents had at least agreed to sleep over.

At the Deerfield Club, Beth’s Schwartz & Meyer boss Bob offered to open a branch in Bozeman if Beth would run it. She agreed, if only so that she could destroy Dan, whose wife Vicky found her to be the first interesting thing about Montana. Too soused to drive after day-drinking with Mrs. Jenkins, Beth accepted a ride from Jamie that soon went dark. Like, real dark. He hadn’t lost their mother, she argued, pointing a gun at her own head. “You’ve gotta watch your mother look you in the eye with no love in her heart, not even a little, and you get to carry that,” she said. “That’s losing.” As she wept, Jamie offered to let her keep hating him if it would keep her from hating herself. “That’s what family’s for,” he reckoned.

When Beth got home, the sight of John reading with Tate sent her running into her closet to shriek. Jamie advised their father to send her back to Salt Lake City before she got any worse, but he refused. “She can be what you won’t ever be,” John said. “She can be evil, and evil’s what I need right now.” (If you’re thinking the show might as well be called Jamie Can’t Win, I’m right there with ya.) Finally, about two seconds after Monica wondered aloud about whether she and Kayce were depriving Tate by keeping him from living on the ranch, she witnessed Rip branding new hand Walker with Lloyd and Jimmy, the Yellowstone’s other ex-cons. That was more in line with the John that Kayce had described, and that was not good.

Your thoughts on Sunday’s episodes? The unexpectedly sweet beginning of Jimmy and Lloyd’s friendship? The even more unexpectedly tender moment between Jamie and Beth? Hit the comments.

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