[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 2 of Yellowstone, “Freight Trains and Monsters.”]
One of John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) children messes up in a big way in Sunday’s episode of Yellowstone, and yes, you only need one guess. Jamie (Wes Bentley) has taken over as Livestock Commissioner and his attempt to handle a matter the right way goes horribly, horribly wrong.
Meanwhile, it turns out that sleeping outside was the right move for Tate (Brecken Merrill). The kid sleeps through the night, as his mother Monica (Kelsey Asbille) learns when she joins the others at the camp. Plus, Beth (Kelly Reilly) has another run-in with hedge fund manager Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway).
Also, there’s at least one new face joining the ranch: Teeter (Jennifer Landon), who’s a bit of a wild (and fun) one and makes quite the impression on foreman Rip (Cole Hauser) and ranch hand Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) during try-outs. She’ll “go through the bunkhouse like wildfire,” Rip determines.
If You Tell Beth Not to Do Something…
We get to see a softer, dare we say, shy side to Beth when she wakes up in Rip’s house and he makes her breakfast. And he refuses to let her feel awkward about eating in front of him. It’s sweet, as is their moment later on after she lures him onto the empty ranch by howling like a wolf. “We can do whatever we want,” she tells him. Her suggestions include running around naked and having sex in the dirt, but first, he wants to dance with her.
Elsewhere in the episode, Beth realizes the newest plans for developing the land in the valley: an airport, with a ski resort, and then a city around it. And she also learns that the guy she found fishing in the river in the premiere is the hedge fund manager she needs to talk to. “It’s like Lucille Ball and Fabio made a kid, and I have to go make a f**king deal with him,” she laments.
With that, we get another back-and-forth with Beth and Roarke, which only confirms that bringing him (and Holloway to play him) in was the right move for Yellowstone. Imagine once he starts interacting with the rest of the family. He even gets her to agree that she’d have similar plans if her family didn’t live there and she didn’t know anything about the place. As she leaves, he tells her to mind the flowers … so she drives right over them, of course. “I like this girl,” he laughs, watching her.
After sleeping—late!—Tate wishes that they could “live right here like this, all the time,” at the camp. John agrees. He even goes so far as to move camp up a hill to where he can’t get any service on his phone after people keep bothering him. “This [is] much better,” he says.
Rip takes a moment to thank John, but not for the house — for the letter. “Nobody’s ever given me anything like that before,” he says. They quickly turn the conversation to ranch talk.
Meanwhile, Monica joins her family and finds Kayce (Luke Grimes) in the woods. But just as they start undressing, she notices a wolf! “If he wants to watch, just let him watch,” Kayce says.
Later, as Tate sleeps in their tent, Monica remarks how much she likes it out there, and yes, she’d like to do it more often than just as a weekend getaway. He promises to find a way to make that possible.
When he hears the cattle making noise, he goes outside to find the wolf at the edge of the forest. “Lost your pack, huh? Don’t know where to go? You looking for friends? Look at me and know that I’m not your friend,” he tells it. “I’m your enemy. Whether I like it or not, I am. There’s nothing for you here, okay? I’ll give you the forest, but the valley’s mine. The cattle are mine. If you try and take them, I’ll kill you.” After the wolf runs off, John comments that his father could talk to animals and they’d listen. When Kayce calls out that he loves him, John pauses on his way back to his tent.
Near the end of the episode, John recalls his late wife making biscuits even though they were a lot of work because Kayce loved them so much and she liked watching him eat them. And after he remembers their last night together, he walks off, his son following him.
“Makes you wonder the point of it all, find someone you love so much, just to lose them,” John says. “I like to believe there’s a plan to it all, but I don’t see a plan.” Kayce thinks that’s because they’re in the middle of it.
You Screwed Up Again, Jamie
Jamie’s day as Livestock Commissioner starts from the moment he walks into the office, as a matter in Sweet Grass County requires his attention: two women were loading up their horses when they were jumped and their rig stolen. Since the horses were stolen, it falls under his purview. Off the recommendation that he handle it the right way and “send a message” to make a lot of friends, Jamie sends Agent Hendon (James Jordan).
But when Hendon sets out to do just that, taking the guys responsible who were found and teaching them a lesson, he messes up. He drives them around, roughing them up, in the back of the women’s trailer … and when he goes to let them out to take them to jail, they look dead in the back of the trailer. Uh-oh.
As the episode ends, Jamie’s getting ready for bed when Hendon calls from jail to tell him they have a problem. And of course Jamie looks like he has no idea what to do. This can’t end well.
Yellowstone, Sundays, 9/8c, Paramount Network