‘Yellowstone’ Sows Conflict Between John Dutton + Beth Dutton in Emotional Sledgehammer [Spoiler Alert]
Yellowstone fans love to speculate about what's coming next online, but nobody could have ever predicted the rift that developed between two main characters during Episode 9 of Season 4 on Sunday night (Dec. 26). In a scenario we've never seen before, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) get into an emotionally wrenching confrontation, and it's not clear if she'll be staying, or if she's leaving the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.
The episode begins with simmering tension between Beth and Rip (Cole Hauser), with her angry at him for not stopping John from going into the diner in the last episode, where a robbery was taking place that resulted in a shootout. When he points out that he can't stop John, she then confronts her father, saying that having cheated death and clung to life after the attacks on their family, "You look for a way to lose it again."
She's also upset that he hasn't attacked Jamie (Wes Bentley), showing him the scars from her burns for the first time and demanding justice for her pain, too. When he tells her that he knows who was behind the attacks, the tension between them just ratchets up, but it finally boils over later in Episode 9 over Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo), who is facing the potential of life in prison after being arrested by state and federal forces who cleared the protestors out of the land where Market Equities are trying to build an airport.
John goes to see Summer, advising her to help him make the charges go away by making it clear to everyone that she is sorry, but she defiantly tells him she's not sorry, adding that she's only sorry that she listened to Beth. It's the first he's heard of Beth's plan, and in a very difficult and emotional confrontation at the dinner table, he tells Beth that she has gone too far and lost any sense of a moral fight in how she goes about trying to help him protect the land. He tells her that he is disappointed in her, which is something that clearly hurts both of them, and he tells her that it might be time for her to think of finding another home.
That could spell bad news for Carter (Finn Little), who is settling into his life at the ranch. John takes enough of a personal interest in him to teach him to ride, and he also shares a story about his ancestors and the true history of the region. Carter later plays poker with the ranchhands at the bunkhouse, where he winds up cleaning up as it turns out that he's a card shark. But the specter of some sort of happy family scenario for him with Beth and Rip is threatened when Rip sees Walker (Ryan Bingham) consoling Beth with a song, which clearly upsets him — and as viewers know, having Rip upset with you is not where you want to be.
Episode 9 also sees Jamie seething at the press coverage John is getting after being perceived as a hero after the diner shootout, while Christina (Katherine Cunningham) tells him his biological father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton) is a political liability that he should distance himself from.
There's also an interesting scene between John Dutton and Randall when John confronts him at a local diner. Randall clearly still blames John for his stint in prison, while John tells him he did it to himself.
"I raised your son with love and respect, and I made him who he is today," he tells Randall. "If he chooses to unmake it, I can't stop that."
The scene is all the more interesting in light of the fact that the militia who were behind the attacks on the Duttons were also behind the diner shootings — which just happened to take place at the diner where John was going to meet the sheriff. And we all know Randall was behind the initial attacks ... but does John?
Jimmy (Jefferson White) seems to have found real love with his new love interest, Emily (Kathryn Kelly) early in the episode, and his life seems to be on a much better track as the 6666 ranch asks him to transport the horses to a big exhibition. There he encounters Travis (Taylor Sheridan), who sees him in a whole new light and gives him newfound respect.
"School's over, Jimmy, and you came out of it a cowboy," Travis tells him, but the joy of that is short-lived when the ranch releases him from his contract — meaning it's time for him to return to the Yellowstone in Montana, leaving Emily behind. He tells her he can't break his word to John Dutton, and she agrees to wait for him, leaving Jimmy with yet another unresolved relationship as part of his story arc.
The episode ends with Kayce (Luke Grimes) seeking advice from Chairman Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) and Mo (Mo Brings Plenty) about the odd wolf he's seen near his family's home. They advise him to undertake a traditional indigenous ceremony to look for the answers, and one can't help but get a sense of foreboding as the camera pulls away from him on the ridge, shirtless and engaged in a ritual he's not even certain about.
There's just one episode left in Season 4 of Yellowstone, and there are still more questions than answers. Will Beth leave the ranch ... and if she does, are she and Rip over? What happens to Carter then? And is Rip going to beat Walker within an inch of his life? What will Kayce find out about the wolf? Will Summer actually end up going to prison? Did Randall arrange the attack on the diner? Who will Jamie wind up choosing when the truth is finally known?
Tune in to Yellowstone every Sunday at 8PM ET on the Paramount Network to keep track of the latest, and stay tuned to Taste of Country as we provide week-to-week coverage of Yellowstone and the first season of the new prequel 1883, including episode analysis, news on the shows, cast interviews and more.
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