Yellowstone recap: Beth's bad day
After breaking a beer bottle over someone's skull last week, it's no surprise Beth (Kelly Reilly) begins Yellowstone's fourth episode in a prison cell. But attorney general brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) soon shows up to discuss her options. He stresses the seriousness of the potential aggravated assault charge, as well as the embarrassment it'll bring the family. With blackmail still hanging over his head, she orders him to do whatever it takes to make the problem go away.
When the bruised and battered victim shows up to the police station to press charges, he does just that – strongly warning the out-of-towner she could be exposing herself to potential legal action if she moves forward with a case. And just like that, the previous episode's big bar fight cliffhanger is resolved.
Of course, it'll take much more than getting Beth sprung from jail to extinguish the burning hate she holds for her brother. In fact, her hostility toward Jamie reaches an all-time high when, on the ride back from the police station, she notices a baby seat in his car.
Last season we learned of his love child with former campaign manager Christina (Katherine Cunningham,) but he hadn't shared this big news with his family. The baby boy – named after him – only serves as salt in the wound first inflicted by Jamie when he arranged to get a teenage, pregnant Beth sterilized. Despite him tearfully confessing that the past mistake was his "greatest regret," Beth is beside herself with rage. She promises to take the baby from her brother, and rob him of the gift of fatherhood.
It seems the Dutton's wolf problem isn't going away either. Governor Dutton (Kevin Costner) arrives at the capitol building in his usual politics-loathing fashion, canceling meetings and firing key staff members on the walk to his office. The Fish and Wildlife authorities do little to improve his mood. They've arrived to share their suspicions over the ranch's cowboys' killing the protected animals and attempting to cover up the crime. The officers seem potentially willing to look the other way, but warn that the nonprofit organization behind the project will soon come knocking.
Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by his new job, John makes a lunch date with Lynelle (Wendy Moniz.) She advises him to immediately hire an environmental advisor and to start thinking about his legacy as Governor. She suggests there's plenty more he can do for Montana beyond just nixing the airport project.
Back at the ranch, Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and Kayce (Luke Grimes) are holding a traditional Native American burial ceremony for their recently deceased newborn. Following the funeral, John comforts a grieving Monica by sharing a story of a baby brother he lost as a child. He tells Kayce he can continue collecting a paycheck for the livestock commissioner post he recently left. He also exchanges pleasantries with Rainwater (Gil Birmingham,) before the pair schedule a meeting at the reservation to discuss the 300 jobs John eliminated when he axed the airport. Finally, back at the house, Dutton senior talks to Rip (Cole Hauser,) who spills the beans on the incident involving the wolves.
The episode – dubbed "Horses in Heaven" in reference to a deceased steed buried alongside Kayce's boy – spends much of its runtime tying up previous plot points. That changes, however, when we pay a visit to the Montana Women's Prison.
Last season's imprisoned animal activist/Dutton senior one-night-stand Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) is being released early courtesy of a clemency order issued by the new governor. Taking Lynelle's advice on hiring an environmental advisor, John offers her the gig and invites her to stay at the ranch. He also promises their relationship will remain professional.
Jamie's also having an awkward meeting of sorts. He and Sarah Atwood are having that business date to help find a civil way forward, but their verbal sparring at dinner quickly turns to flirting at the bar. They both admit to feeling "irresponsible" and sprint to the bathroom to act on their impulses. Beth is also in the restaurant, spying on her brother from behind a glass of whiskey. She secretly follows the couple and, while they're having sex in a stall, snaps a pic of Sarah's driver's license.
Beth's wide awake early the next morning. She fires up her laptop to dig up dirt on Jamie's bathroom-stall fling. But it seems "Sarah Atwood" is an alias, so the search continues. Beth's investigation is interrupted by a stranger in the kitchen. It's Summer, sans pants and wearing John's shirt. The two expectedly trade some biting jabs before Summer heads back up stairs.
Beth barely musters a"I'm not starting this day sober.," then hits the porch with her cigarette case and a bottle of vodka. She lights one up and pours a glass while gazing at the gorgeous horizon – and plotting her next move.
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