Five takeaways from an eventful installment of the Paramount Network drama.
Warning: This is a recap of Episode 406 of Yellowstone, so there will be scads of spoilers here. We strongly recommend that you not read this if you have not yet watched the episode. If you do read it before watching the episode, and then complain about spoilers, we’re just going to have to ask Rip to take you down to the train station. Sorry, but those are the rules.
So Jamie didn’t kill his biological father for trying to murder his adoptive father, Rip did punish Lloyd for his bad behavior in the bunkhouse, and that little scamp Carter may have chosen a new role model. What are we to make of all this? Here are our five takeaways from “I Want to Be Like Him,” Episode 406 of Yellowstone.
Takeaway No. 1
Can’t say we were entirely surprised when Jamie (Wes Bentley) lost his resolve and failed to drop the hammer on Garrett (Will Patton), his errant biological father. And not just because, well, Jamie is something of a wuss — a conniving wuss, to be sure, but a wuss nonetheless — and Garrett is a smooth-talking devil who knows all the right buttons to push when dealing with his son. By this point, it’s clear that Jamie isn’t merely pliable — he’s downright needy. Makes you wonder just what life was like for him while growing up with John Dutton (Kevin Costner), his adoptive father. Maybe Jamie didn’t know at the time that John wasn’t really his father — but perhaps he always felt the vibe that John was doing him a favor just having him around, and he could never do enough to please the guy? Just asking.
Takeaway No. 2
It also didn’t come as a shock that Jamie appeared about a quarter-mile away from being upset that Garrett had Beth (Kelly Reilly) on his hit list. (After all, it’s long been established that there’s bad blood between them — for good reason, as longtime viewers know.) On the other hand, Jamie seemed genuinely concerned about Kayce (Luke Grimes), the sibling for whom he expressed love just last week. Are we to assume that, while they were growing up, Kayce was the only one in the house who ever was nice to him? And by the way: How come no one ever talks anymore about Lee Dutton (Dave Annable), the brother who was killed in the very first episode? If he were still around, would Jamie worry about him, too?
Takeaway No. 3
OK, admit it: Your first thought was that Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) had killed Walker (Ryan Bingham) when he stuck that knife in him, right? We sure thought the cocksure young cowboy was headed for the last roundup, and Lloyd would soon be on his way to the train station. But no. Walker’s patch-up by the horse doctor — insert joke about Ivermectin paste here —provided some darkly amusing comic relief. The altercation led to John’s finally proclaiming: “No more girls in the bunkhouse.” (No big loss, really, though we’ll miss Jennifer Landon’s foul-mouthed — even by Yellowstone standards — Teeter.) And Rip (Cole Hauser) once again came across as the implacable enforcer for a demanding Old Testament God — i.e., John Dutton — when he demanded that Lloyd and Walker duke it out in one of the longest fights in TV history. (How long? Director Christina Voros and scripter Taylor Sheridan felt compelled to interrupt the extended dustup to briefly focus on other matters.) Some viewers who have been complaining about Rip’s harsh treatment of Lloyd in recent weeks doubtless were upset by Rip’s tough-love punishment of the old cowboy here. But, hell, Rip, John and even Walker are right — Lloyd should have known better. And besides, young Carter (Finn Little) now has a new role model — John — after seeing the way John handled the situation.
Takeaway No. 4
Poor Kayce. He can’t even spend some quality time house-hunting with his wife and son, Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and Tate (Brecken Merrill), without Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) and Mo (Moses Brings Plenty) calling him away to investigate horse thievery on the reservation. And to make matters worse, once Kayce arrives at the scene of the crime, with Monica and Tate in tow, he notices Avery (Tanaya Beatty), a beautiful former ranch hand (and before that, former stripper) who abruptly left the area back in Season 2. Worse, that is, because Monica notices him noticing Avery — whom she later references as “that little bitch in the tank top.” But here’s the thing: If memory serves us correctly, Avery had been involved with Jimmy (Jefferson White) — who’s now slowly but surely training to be a better cowboy off in Texas at the 6666 Ranch. Will Jimmy will tempted to return if he hears she’s returned? Or will Mia (Eden Brolin), who departed the Yellowstone/Dutton Ranch this week, catch up with him first?
Takeaway No. 5
Beth really shouldn’t complain about new-to-the-series Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) spending the night with John, even though she’s an animal rights activist who’s half his age. After all, Beth was the one just two episodes ago who insisted that what her father needed was some, ahem, female companionship. Still, Beth — aptly described by John as “over-protective,” a classic understatement — initially reacted to discovering a stranger in the house by pulling a knife, albeit with less bloody consequences than Lloyd’s blade-wielding. And the breakfast conversation was, shall we say, strained. Summer didn’t help matters by asking: “Is there anything to eat that didn’t have a heartbeat last week?” But Beth, as usual, had the last word: “I hope you die of ass cancer.” That was the second-best line of the episode, topped only by Beth’s warning to Jamie when he learned she is now in control of Market Equities: “I’m something bad.” Hmmm. Maybe Jamie will come over to Garrett’s side after all.