Yellowstone Episode 9
In the last episode, ties were broken and new ties were formed. As we stand at the start of the second part of the finale, one Dutton was out, another may be gone soon and one may be coming home.
The scene started with a lingering shot of the storm front looming before panning down to Rip’s current situation. Fish and Wildlife sent another officer to inspect the bear Rip had shot. However, the wolves made a feast of the grizzly last night. We’re treated to a messy carcass instead.
“Pretty damn close.”
Fish and Wildlife couldn’t determine what happened based on the remains. The sheriff was more than happy to offer his input. He’s determined to pin this on Rip, which again, oh the irony, because for once, there wasn’t anything to pin on him. The sheriff disputed Rip’s claims of where he stood; there were no shell casings found. John Dutton, however, asked for his rifle and positioned himself where Rip was. He fired into the air and observed where the casings fell.
When John confronted the sheriff, sure enough, there were casings in the officer’s pocket. Fish and Wildlife determined it was self-defense just as Rip claimed. The sheriff told John he was still going after Rip for the tourists. And John warned the sheriff he’s made a list; his former ally is now on it.
The sides have changed. The sheriff’s blunt attempt to sabotage has made it clear: “The whole county is turning on me.”
“Walk it off is a metaphor.”
Back in the ranch (I will never get tired of saying that), a hungover Jason stumbled out barefoot to vomit over the porch fence in front of an unamused John Dutton. Beth makes no apologies—as usual—and glibly replied: “hangovers build character.” John said he needs a new attorney and Beth appeared unsurprised and even delighted when she asked what Jamie has done this time.
“Chose himself,” John replied. And now he was going to take away the very thing Jamie left the family for.
“The days of appointing politicians are over.”
John’s meeting with the Governor and the Attorney General did not go as planned, though. He went to them, informing them he was pulling Jamie out of the race. Instead of complying, the two countered with a strongly implied suggestion John stepped down as Livestock Commissioner. His current legal battles were reflecting poorly on their offices. John told them if they want him out, they’d better find someone who could beat him.
As he was leaving, John spots Jamie in a private room with his campaign manager, musing about missing Boston. John stepped into the room and Jamie is scrambling, backing away until John has him up against the wall.
John never laid a hand on Jamie.
“I never would have let you walk into a room like that, son.” John chided a shaken Jamie and told the Governor that Jamie “is not the next generation of me” and “The only thing we have in common is our last name.” John left the room, effectively declaring Jamie was out of the family.
“It’s a task I can complete.”
It’s a bit of relief to abruptly switch to something lighter with Jimmy learning his place among the cowboys. Rip and the guys are practicing roping. The ribbing and teasing painted the macho image many of us associated with the Old West, or at least what’s depicted on screen. It’s also a sad juxtaposition: one group (the Duttons) was breaking apart while another (the boys in the bunkhouse) was forming.
After a bit of fiasco with Jimmy’s first successful (sort of) roping, we eased back into the serious side of the ranch. Rip caught John cleaning up a stable. John brushed aside Rip’s reminder they have people to do this.
The moment shared between John and Rip was one of my favorites. Every scene shared with John Dutton and Rip Wheeler was both comforting and heartbreaking; a father-son piece shared by two men who felt denied of it in life. Rip didn’t have a real father; John was rejected as one. They fill each other’s needs with these quiet words and a faith John wanted to achieve with his own sons. When Rip asked how long John has left and John told him he’s given up on doctors, Rip said he’s “sorry to hear that, sir” and John corrected Rip with a quiet “John.” And when John said he was sorry, too, I can’t help but wonder what else he was sorry for when he glanced back to Rip. Secretly, I thought John should leave the ranch to Rip, but that’s just me.
“Well done, Jamie.”
John asked Beth to put the ranch into a trust and appointed Beth as the executor. And in one swoop, Beth has the future of Yellowstone in her grasp and Jamie left on the outside. There was a vulnerable moment when Beth, unsettled by the implications, gave John her word she would never sell the ranch. But when John leaves, Beth smirks to herself at the shift of power finally in her favor.
There’s a bit of glee with how Beth stepped into Jamie’s campaign office and announced she was here to take Jamie’s keys and cards back. As our undercover reporter Sarah looks on, Beth informs Jamie he’s been disowned. Jamie doesn’t appear to believe it at first, but Beth pointed out “You can’t unmake family, but you can take away his gold card.”
Victoria seemed confident this was the best thing to happen to Jamie. Is it? He’s leaving the shadow of his father, but was he indeed as he later confessed “free” or did he land into another’s control?
“How would you like to make $1000?”
At John’s behest, Rip started to look into who was behind the multitude of legal battles attacking the Dutton ranch, in particular, Dan Jenkins. Rip goes to a strip club to recruit Avery, who would rather have a job as a ranch hand. “It’s all in the hips,” Avery told Rip. She could ride and break colts, but Rip turned her down again. “It’s not a place for a woman,” Rip tells her.
Avery’s an interesting character. I’m usually leery when a show abruptly introduces a female character and hard sell her as a tough persona that was a potential gender issue/romantic foil. The way Rip put it, though, was not that Avery, as a woman, can’t handle it, but he wasn’t comfortable putting a woman in a bunkhouse full of men. Sounded reasonable to me and I appreciated how the show moved on from this issue and continued with the plot.