John reconciled with Beth — and Beth took care of business.
Warning: This is an overview of Episode 410 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’ll have to alert Judge Mitchell Davis that you are a public nuisance and a threat to the community. Sorry, but those are the rules.
We bid goodbye to two characters — one, permanently — and saw the stage set for a battle even Beth will be hard-pressed to win. What are we to make of all this? Here are our five takeaways from “Grass On The Streets and Weeds on the Rooftops,” Episode 410 — the supersized Season 4 Finale — of Yellowstone.
Takeaway No. 1
To be honest, we didn’t think Beth was going to make it to the closing credits of this episode. After patching things up with John, it appeared everything she did — ordering Carter (Finn Little) to never refer to her as “Mom,” marrying Rip (Cole Hauser) in an amusingly improvised ceremony, blithely dismissing threats from angry Market Equities CEO Caroline Warner (Jacki Weaver), blackmailing Jamie (Wes Bentley) into killing his biological father — was just another loosening of the moorings before she sailed away on the River Styx. Indeed, even during her climactic moment of triumph, when she took an incriminating photo of Jamie as he disposed of Garrett’s body, thereby ensuring complete control over her treacherous adopted sibling, we couldn’t help thinking: “Don’t turn your back on him, Beth! He’s already killed once, and he might still have the gun!” (By the way: Is Wyoming positively littered with corpses attributable to the Dutton clan?) But no: Beth survived to scheme another day. On the other hand, she may have more than she can handle next season if and when the full force of Market Equities is brought to bear on her. People forgive and forget. Corporations never do.
Takeaway No. 2
For various reasons (snobbery doubtless among them) Emmy voters and other awards givers chronically snub Yellowstone. But they should really should take a closer look at Kelly Reilly for her potent performance as Beth — not just in this episode, but all season. And while they’re at it, they should also consider Will Patton, whose multifaceted portrayal of Garrett has proven to be a mesmerizing mix of insidiously vengeful manipulation and twisted paternal affection. Never thought we’d be saying this, but Patton actually had us feeling a bit sorry for Garrett during the minutes leading to his death at Jamie’s hand, in a scene that echoed the ending of, believe it or not, Of Mice and Men.
Takeaway No. 3
Kevin Costner had the best line of the line, as John Dutton forcefully discouraged his daughter from being too, ahem, fast and loose with sexual innuendo: “Beth, I’m not your buddy, I’m your father, OK? So could you factor that into our conversations going forward?” But Costner was even better in a far more serious scene, as Dutton aggressively pressed the hardline Judge Mitchell Davis (Pat Skipper) to reconsider his harsh sentencing of activist Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo). While both men contemplated a worst-case scenario about a Mother Earth exploited and ravaged by mankind in general and Market Equities in particular — cuing the episode’s cryptic title — Costner sounded very much like Dutton had resigned himself long ago to the inevitability of nature punishing us for our wanton hubris. Which, of course, leaves us wondering: How will this influence his decisions as he continues (with a little help from Beth) to preserve the Yellowstone/Dutton Ranch next season?
Takeaway No. 4
It’s hard to tell what affected Jimmy more deeply after he returned from cowboy school at the 6666 Ranch: Finally being accepted by Rip, Lloyd and all the other ranch hands as a “real cowboy,” or having John Dutton address him as Jim, not Jimmy, while granting the young man freedom to pursue a new life in Texas (and, probably, another Yellowstone spin-off series). Either way, we bid happy trails to Jimmy — but not before we got to see a bunkhouse brawl between Mia (Eden Brolin), the barrel racer who once claimed his heart, and Emily (Kathryn Kelly), the lovely veterinarian who’s now his fiancée. Yes, we laughed at the ruckus. But we still can’t understand what makes this guy so dadgum irresistible that women literally fight over him.
Takeaway No. 5
And no, we can’t figure out what Jayce (Luke Grimes) saw in his vision, either. (Although it was nice to be reminded that he once had a far less duplicitous brother.) But whatever it was, it’s a safe bet that will influence his decisions in Season 5 of Yellowstone.