Yellowstone Season 5’s mid-season finale leaves us with threats of m*rder and beacons of hope as the Duttons go to war with one another.
Jamie goes through with his plan. John has an ask for Monica and lends support to an unexpected friend. The Yellowstone cowboys embark on a big change. A flashback reveals a source of Rip’s loyalty.
Full Recap of ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5 Mid-Season Finale
As Episode 8 begins, we’re thrust back into the mid 1990s with a young John Dutton (Josh Lucas), Lloyd (Forrest Smith), and Rip Wheeler (Kyle Red Silverstein) as they dump the body of Rowdy (who Rip k*lled in Episode 7’s flackbacks) at the Train Station. Afterwards, John wants to know what Rowdy said about his daughter, Beth. Through this conversation, John makes it clear that the only time Rip is to fight is if it protects him or the ranch, not because he’s upset. Rowdy was a good hand, and now he’s gone. Which, consequentially, also reveals to John that something is going on between Rip and his daughter.
In this flashback, we also learn why the Y brand was invented. A long time ago, Dutton cowboys began stealing swaths of cattle. So the Duttons began branding their cowboys, telling them what it means if they steal from their boss. And so Rip is branded by Lloyd, and they return to the bunkhouse that night to thunderous applause as Lloyd shows off the orphan’s brand.
Back to Present Day, Where an Old Friend Returns
Back in present day, we’re surprised to see the first glimpse of Emily (Kathryn Kelly) and Jimmy (Jefferson White) as they make their first appearance in Yellowstone Season 5. Their romance is still going strong down on the Four Sixes, which itself is thriving down in Texas.
These two are living a blissful married life together. This much happiness never last for Jimmy or any of the Yellowstone, however, so it’s sure to be disrupted when Rip (Cole Hauser) and his crew arrive.
Up in Montana, the Yellowstone is preparing for that journey. Monica (Kelsey Asbille) watches as the cowboys go to work loading up half the Dutton herd for their travels down south. And all signs point to this journey leading to Texas. Before long, John (Kevin Costner) comes to talk to Monica, and explains the situation. But Monica takes this opportunity to thank John for what he said to her after the death of baby John.
In turn, John is honest with Monica, and tells her he needs her and her family to come back to the ranch. “The ranch cant be Tate’s someday if the ranch isn’t here.” So he offers them a house on the Yellowstone, and Monica reveals all he ever had to do was ask.
‘I love you, son’
Shortly after, John approaches Kayce (Luke Grimes) and, for the first time on the show, embraces him. “I love you, son,” he tells Kayce before heading off with his assistant, Clara (Lilly Kay).
These words, however, will never be said to Jamie (Wes Bentley), who heads for the courthouse to begin his call for John’s impeachment. As he begins, John himself shows up to the Broken Rock in a surprise move to support Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) in the opposition of the two pipelines the U.S. president aims to pass through the reservation.
“Governor Dutton has violated state law,” Jamie begins as his impeachment speech begins. As he does, John gives his own speech on the pipeline and how it is the opposite of “progress,” as he so often discusses. Rainwater follows with his own speech, but is interrupted as the news hits… The news that Jamie has ambushed him.
“This moment isn’t about me, and I won’t let it be,” John says as he explains how much more important this pipeline issue is than any “theatre” Jamie is conducting in the courthouse. Clara tells him there’s no basis within Jamie’s claims, just “conjecture.” But that’s all it takes to begin, John tells her. And now, he’s going to have to teach his assistant how to “fight with menace.”
Beth Gets the News that John Will Be Put to Trial
After a perfect sparring match between Summer (Piper Perabo), we catch up with Beth (Kelly Reilly) as she gets the news that John will, in fact, be put to an impeachment trial – the first in Montana history.
“That motherf*cker,” she snarls of Jamie. Outside, the cowboys are preparing their horses for the journey. Here, the young Halie (Orli Gottesman) makes her return, too, as she comes to hang out with Carter (Finn Little). Meanwhile, the bunkhouse becomes half-empty as Teeter (Jen Landon) has to say goodbye to Colby (Denim Richards). It’s passionate kissing all around as Teeter tells Colby for the first time she loves him. And off half the Yellowstone goes.
It’s a quiet truck ride for the cowboys after Beth tells Rip she’ll fly out to see him in a week’s time. In the meantime, however, she’s got some work to do. So she heads straight for Jamie[‘s house where he and Sarah Atwood (Dawn Olivieri) are staying. She rings the doorbell, but Sarah tells Jamie to ignore her. “You don’t know my sister,” Jamie tells her.
Beth breaks through the front door’s glass with a rock, before Jamie physically tries to remove her from his house. So she slams her rock into Jamie’s face, almost knocking him out cold. But this is to be a war of words, not fists. Beth orders Jamie to resign, but he won’t. So Beth finally gives us the moment we’ve all been waiting for. She threatens to print the photos she took of Jamie dumping Garrett Randall’s body at the train station and give them to the sheriff. But he knows she won’t do it. Why?
Dead Wolves and Men Come Back to Haunt John Dutton
Here, we learn Beth is unaware of the amount of other bodies buried at the bottom of that train station. We’ve known throughout the series that both her father and husband do not tell her everything, and they don’t want to. They don’t want Beth, who they both love more than anyone else, how many bodies they’ve both dumped off that canyon. Jamie knows that if the police reach the bottom of the Train Station, they’ll find a century’s worth of Dutton murders and secrets.
So Beth leaves to find her father, and immediately approaches him to explain “The Train Station.”
“What do you want to know?” John replies.
“What is it, exactly?” Beth emphasizes.
“It’s a trash can for everyone who’s attacked us,” John begins as he explains exactly what the Train Station is. In this, Beth does not abandon her father, however. Instead, we learn she is her father made over.
“He will use everything he knows to destroy you. He’s made it clear,” Beth tells her father. “If there’s a place that our enemies go and they never come back, then I think that’s the place for Jamie. What do you think, daddy?”
With this, Beth makes it clear that she is finally ready to take Jamie out once and for all.
The Future of ‘Yellowstone’ and the Duttons is in Flux
John doesn’t answer his daughter. But Jamie, back at his house, tells Sarah exactly what he thinks will happen. He knows in his heart what Beth will want to do now: she will want to k*ll him. And Jamie isn’t interested in playing defense anymore. Now, he wants to play offense.
And so he asks Sarah if there are “companies” that could help them with this, which, she of course knows of. So together, they begin hatching a plan to place a hit on Beth Dutton.
Back on the ranch, Monica explains John’s offer to Kayce, and what they can have on the Yellowstone. She’d rather do it and start over, she tells her husband, than stare at the empty nursery of their late second son.
“In my vision, the choice that I saw was between this place and you,” Kayce reveals, however. But the Yellowstone’s East Camp, which John has offered them, wasn’t in his vision. So this, Monica tells him, is how he can have both. With a smile, Monica watches as Kayce helps load up the rest of their Dutton cattle.
Yellowstone Season 5 will return in Summer 2023.