Yellowstone Season 2 Premiere
The episode first played a montage of key moments from last season. When it opened to its first act, it echoed the pilot with what felt like Rainwater, dazed and distant.
But instead of a violent accident like John Dutton had last season, it appeared Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) was in a dream (vision) of a burning tree, a woman burning alive and Dan Jenkins (his face half torn away) shooting him in the face.
Yellowstone heralded its second season after a stellar first season with a bang. Literally.
It’s only reckless if you can’t see it through.
After the ever beautiful and haunting show’s intro, we open to John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and his men gathered by a line of trees. Their bulls were stuck in a thicket. The only problem was that venturing into the trees with hundreds of angry bulls wasn’t wise. John ordered them to send in the dogs to chase them out. Kayce (Luke Grimes) pulled off a dangerous wrangling; chasing a bull out of the trees despite initial warnings against it. He lassoed it into complacency. You know, in case you need reminding they’re cowboys and all.
That’s what I loved about the first season of Yellowstone.
The core of the show was the family versus progress versus greed. While set in a backdrop of the rough and tumble life on the ranch. Visually, there’s something poetic in watching the machinations of a modern working ranch. Emotionally, its often gory scenes oddly work to lull us from expecting the real violence that lurks ahead.
They call me Cowboy.
As the cowboys rein the bulls through the pens, a lone man (Steven Williams) crosses the fences and asks about day work. He’s making his way to Arizona (from Montana?). First, he’s directed to John.
It’s telling when John informed the newcomer to make his case with Kayce instead. It’s the first sign he’s putting more of the reins of the Dutton ranch to his youngest son.
Better than a regular drip.
Jaime (Wes Bentley) wakes up in Christina’s bed and to a bit of reality. As suddenly, he’s demoted to the coffee boy, standing in a sleepy line waiting for drip brew coffee. Somewhat symbolic with a dash of foreshadowing.
Schwartz and Meyer in Bozeman. I guess we’re a real city now
Meanwhile, Beth (Kelly Reilly) was planting short-term roots, leasing a place in Bozeman and putting down a six-month deposit. She blithely gave herself a deadline: if she’s here for a year, she’ll have her assistant Jason poison her. A sober Beth doesn’t mean a dulled one.
Do I need it?
Rainwater wasn’t scared off by the dream he had. He presented the council his plan: a casino set miles away from the reservation. He promised once they build the casino, they could build housing and businesses and all without state involvement because the casino lands could be annexed to the reservation in the future.
Tom, one of the council members, noted there wasn’t anything in writing that referred to how the development would benefit the reservation. He accused Rainwater of doing what the white man had done to them. Rainwater replied that it was about time someone did to them what was done to their people ages ago.
However, Tom remained unconvinced; he will not give his vote for the loan. Rainwater replied, nonplussed that he didn’t need Tom’s vote.
Which version of Columbus’s history am I teaching?
Monica Long returned to the university that offered her a teaching position last season. She’s changed her mind, in a way. She offered to teach night classes at the university. This would allow her to remain as a teacher in the reservation.
Unfortunately, the funding for the position was deferred to the next fall. The dean offered her an adjunct job teaching American history her way. Monica accepted; she wanted the opportunity to show how Columbus “introduced genocide to the Western Hemisphere.”
My part of Montana you can stand on a can of tuna and see the entire state from there.
Back in the ranch (no, I will never tire saying that), Beth brought in a political candidate Cassidy. Cassidy, from a small town of six hundred voters, was a dead ringer for Beth. Jaime is going to hate her, Beth previously told John with a glee borne from bitter sibling rivalry.
Cassidy questioned why John Dutton wanted to support her campaign for Attorney General and not his own son, Jaime. Beth sardonically answered, “You haven’t met him.” John reassured Cassidy he’ll get the votes for her; she only needed to focus on being herself. Beth threw in to not change her hair.