Tonight is the finale of Yellowstone Season 1 (yes, the show is returning for a second season.) The show has broken records for the Paramount network and is the second-most watched cable series behind The Walking Dead. Considering how dramatic this series is and how many unexpected twists and turns happen, there’s no telling what will happen on Yellowstone tonight. But it will definitely be dramatic and full of tension. Because of this, Heavy is offering a live recap and review tonight as the show airs. We updated this article throughout the episode, writing in chronological order, so you’ll get a raw, emotional reaction as each of those crazy events happened. (If you like this article, be sure and share it with your friends!)
This is going to be a pretty intense episode, considering how last week’s ended. Jamie and his father, John, came to blows. John was being really cruel and unreasonable to his son, in my opinion, saying he never did anything for him because everything Jamie did was just to inherit the ranch. He told Jamie to step down from his AG run or he would back his opponent.
Meanwhile, things fell apart between Kayce and Monica. And Beth managed to really get Jenkins in a corner, getting the upperhand possibly once and for all.
And Sarah, the investigative journalist, has something up her sleeve that Jamie’s new love interest, Christina, might figure out. Walker also tells Rip that he has no intention of breaking the law and he has boundaries. But Rip is not having any of that.
With so many different plots in the air (and I didn’t even mention them all), it’s tough to imagine how Yellowstone will possibly wrap everything up. But we’re about to find out, as the show begins. So here we go.
The first scene opens with Rip, John Dutton, Sheriff Donnie, and a wildlife officer investigating where Rip shot the bear in self defense. The wolves have had their fill of the bear and left just a carcass, and Donnie is insisting there aren’t any shell casings at the scene to back up Rip’s story. But John finds that Donnie has the shell casings in his pocket and he found them just where Rip said they should be. Why was he lying and trying to set Rip up?
“That is self defense Sheriff. I have no idea why you would choose to disguise that,” the officer says. Donnie claims he forgot (no one is believing that.) Donnie says he doesn’t believe Rip’s story about the two people who died. John believes Donnie is being paid off (and that’s how he can afford his membership to an expensive club.)
“The whole county’s turning on me Rip,” John says as they walk away. Then the opening credits begin.
Will you miss this show once Season 1 is over?
The next scene begins with someone I don’t know throwing up outside John’s ranch. John asks who the heck the person is, which is funny because I was wondering the same thing! Apparently he’s with Beth. (Oh that’s right, he’s Beth’s assistant, Jason. She called Jason two episodes ago to fly out and help her. He was very worried about the cold.)
John says they need a new attorney for the ranch, rather than Jamie.
“I’m going to take away the thing he left us for,” John tells Beth. That seems really unfair to his son. But not everyone agrees with my assessment:
Next, John is coming to a meeting with Gov. Perry and friends (aka the current AG.) Remember, John and the governor used to be close but she’s pulled back and didn’t talk to him at the last fundraiser. He tells her that he wants Jamie out of the race, but she’s not interested.
“We need you to step down as livestock commissioner,” she says instead.
John violated federal law and there are civil suits filed against him, and the EPA is investigating him for rerouting the river. They’re saying they’ll welcome him back once he gets all this behind him. (Right.)
“You want me out of the office? Find someone who can beat me.”
Not surprised that John won’t back down, and why should he?
John then walks in on his son Jamie and his assistant Christina. John walks right up to Jamie. “I never would have let you walk into a room like that son. You’re going to make a great politician,” he says with disdain. “The only thing we have in common is our last name.”
This is sad because Jamie’s reason for wanting to be AG is partially to help his dad keep the land and secure the resources.
By the way, whatever did happen to John’s cancer? Wasn’t he throwing up blood just two episodes ago?
Next we’re back at the ranch, with the cowboy crew who brand themselves. They’re working and roping cattle. It’s always entertaining to watch these scenes because they feel so authentic (even though I don’t have a huge amount of love for the Jimmy character.)
Jimmy’s pulled off his horse pretty violently. No one has any sympathy for him. Rip tells him to stop listening to the others, there’s no such thing as luck but there is stupid. And that’s Jimmy, Rip adds. Ouch.
In the barn, Rip finds John cleaning a horse’s stall. “There’s a lot to fix here Rip.” The subpoenas are smokescreens, John says, and he doesn’t know who’s behind them. But he wants Rip to start with Jenkins.
“How much time do you have left?” Rip asks, obviously referring to his cancer and reading my mind from a few lines up in this review. John doesn’t know, but it’s not long. He tells Rip that he can call him by his first name. This exchange indicates that John has a newfound respect for the man who has been loyal to him all these years. It’s sad, and it’s making me worried that Kevin Costner might not be around for Season 2. :( Rip is like another son to John, and their bond is deep.
In the next scene, John has a talk with Beth. He wants her to put the ranch in a trust. She’ll be the executor. “Don’t ever sell it. Don’t let Kaycee sell it,” John tells her. When she asked who was the beneficiary, he just said, “Who do you think?” I’m not really sure what that means, but he trusts Beth to handle his affairs once he’s gone.
Maybe Tate and Beth and Kayce are the beneficiaries? I think that with some trusts, the executor can also be the beneficiary, but it really depends on how it’s set up.
John also wants Jamie off the payroll.
Now I’m really worried about Costner being back in Season 2. :(
After the commercial break, Beth comes into Jamie’s campaign office and says some snide things about him. She tells him that she replaced him as chief counsel for the ranch. But she’s not an attorney, he protests.
“I have power of the attorney, it’s sort of the same thing.”
Jamie tells her that she has to pass the bar. She responds that it can’t be that hard if he did it, and she’ll need his keys and credit cards.
“You can’t unmake family Jamie, but you can take their credit card,” she tells him.
Christina tells Jamie this is actually the best thing that’s ever happened to him, separating from his family. Meanwhile, Sarah Nguyen the investigative journalist is just kind of hanging out in the background watching the whole thing.
Beth breaks a coffee cup that was made for his campaign. “Oops. I guess I’ll just pick up another at a yard sale in a few months for a quarter.”
Jamie is really upset. Beth’s news changes everything. Christina tells him to let the feelings run through him.
“You want to know how I feel? I feel free,” Jamie finally says.
Now we’re at a new surprising scene that looks like maybe it’s at a strip club. Don’t invite your family folks… Ohhhh, Rip is here. Still a little gratuitous. Hope you aren’t watching with your parents right now because THAT would be awkward.
Rip was apparently waiting for someone to show up and he approaches her. “How would you like to make $1,000?” he asks. (Sorry I can’t remember who this woman is that he’s talking to. Maybe she’s new?) He tells her this won’t be dangerous for her. She says her talent is breaking colts, but Rip can’t have her in a bunkhouse with all the other men. She says not to worry because she’ll break their jaws if they try something.
Meanwhile Christina and Jamie are hanging out, and Jamie gets supplies at a liquor store. He asks a man sitting outside if he’s a day worker. It’s a tough time of year for that. He offers the man money, but he doesn’t want it. So Jamie’s first attempt to be generous isn’t working so well. But the man tells him that even though his master cut the leash, Jamie isn’t going anywhere. What an odd conversation.
Jamie is pretty bummed when he gets back to the car. This has not been a very uplifting day for him.
It’s the next day and Jamie watches as Sarah Nguyen enters the campaign office (he didn’t even know her name.) Of course, Christina quickly does a Google search on the woman, and the search says that Sarah is an author and journalist who writes for New York Magazine. She writes about politics and poverty, and accountability in leaders. She’s tough. And Christina isn’t happy.
Here’s a screenshot of what she found, which is really poor quality because I took it from my TV while I was hastily writing this live review:
Sarah says that Jamie’s a good man but his dad isn’t. She says that Jamie has a choice: he can be the subject of the story she’s going to write or the source. That’s a good line for a journalist. Remember that one, folks.
Jamie and Christina talk it all over. Christina is livid. She needs to know everything Jamie has ever helped John do. “What is she going to find when she starts digging?” Jamie says it depends on how deep she digs. Christina says this will be the end of his career if they don’t play everything perfectly. She’s probably right.
Sarah comes outside and joins them. She proposes a story focusing on Jamie as a new kind of politician that seeks out corruption, and there’s no greater source than his dad. New Montana vs. Old Montana is the focus of the piece. Then she tells Christina that he’s not running unopposed, so the race won’t be as easy as they think. “You can’t win without me. I don’t think your father will let you,” she tells him.
Honestly, this was a good scene. Sarah is doing the smart thing as an investigative journalist to get her story, but she’s not being seedy about it.
Rainwater and Jenkins are meeting in the next scene. Rainwater is committing to 400 rooms in the hotel. “I see good things in our future Dan. With us working together, John Dutton doesn’t stand a chance.” Meanwhile, the woman Rip hired is sitting next to them, spying.
Beth and John are going over attorney options. John needs an attorney that does everything, but Beth says that doesn’t exist. Jamie could handle a lot of different things, she admits.
Rip shows up and has some serious news. (What happened to Rip and Beth’s romance?) They’re building a casino with a 400-room hotel and a housing development around it, he tells John. “Right up against your fence.” Ummm, that’s not good.
“When I’m gone they will gobble this place up,” John laments. “Rainwater will annex that land to the reservation, I don’t have a child who can fight for this. I’m running out of time… My children aren’t ready to protect this place. These problems have to go away before I do.”
(Hey, does this give anyone else Game of Thrones feels? The political intrigue and vying for power…)
Beth is listening to John, but he doesn’t know it. She’s probably not too happy about his assessment. John wants the problems to go away and never come back, so the land is safe. But I guess Beth can’t do that for him.
Beth wants Rip to tell her what this was about, but he won’t. “It’s not my place to tell you,” he says.
“I can’t help him if I don’t know,” she says.
But Rip says she can’t help with this. And that’s when their romance comes up again. (It really is like this show is reading my mind.)
“Men are such children,” Beth said. “I thought I made it clear. This was never exclusive.”
Rip says he doesn’t care who Beth is with. And then he leaves.
Now the cowboy crew is playing poker, featuring Jimmy (who still isn’t super interesting to me. Do you like Jimmy?) Rip returns and introduces Avery, the new groomer. “You treat her like a cowboy. You understand what I mean?” Guess Avery’s spying job won her the job she really wanted. Good for her!
Party’s over. The guys are confused. “Which bunk is free?” she asks. “Where’s the pisser? Shower that way too?”
The guys are REALLY confused. I think this whole storyline might get a lot more interesting with Avery here.
She claims her bunk and Walker is there just chilling. Everyone walks in to follow and watch. “Let’s get this over with,” she says, undressing in front of them. They aren’t really sure how to take that, but it’s an entertaining scene.
Beth is out talking with her horse, and Walker comes to join her. (He gave her advice a couple weeks ago on how to get the horse to trust her, and it really made a difference for her.) Walker says there’s something evil about the place, almost as if the land doesn’t want them there. “I felt that way my whole life,” Beth tells him.
“I’d quit but they won’t let me,” Walker tells her. He can’t get away from the ranch.
“I hate to tell you this, but you ain’t going nowhere,” Beth tells him.
“That ain’t right,” he says. And Beth and Walker have a little romantic interlude over their shared hatred of being stuck at the ranch. (Who did you like Beth better with? Rip or Walker? Or would you prefer someone else entirely?)
These scenes are stunning. Absolutely breathtaking. I honestly can’t get over the scenery in this show.
In the next scene, Sheriff Donnie is paying an unwelcome night visit, dropping off Kayce at the ranch. Donnie says that someone pulled a knife on Kayce and Kayce took it too far. (That was in last week’s episode, in case you don’t remember.)
But Donnie’s not going to press charges and he doesn’t mind sending that message to drifters. John tells Donnie that Jenkins is NOT the answer. Donnie says he can’t make the problems go away. John insists Donnie once could but no longer has the stomach for it. What does THAT mean? Makes me wonder about the skeletons hidden within Dutton Ranch.
Kayce and John are going to have a talk now. (I still can’t forget that John branded Kayce just because he wanted to have a baby with Monica.) John says he’s just trying to leave Kayce something that Kayce can leave to his son one day. (Ohhhh. This answers my question from earlier about the trust beneficiaries!) Kayce says he’d like to come home if John will have him. (This is because Monica kicked him out for some crazy reason. Kayce was by her side in the hospital and then she didn’t want to be together anymore.)
Kayce said that Monica left him, but John said that he doesn’t want Kayce to be a cowboy again. But Kayce insists that is ALL he has to give Tate. That’s probably not true, but Kayce has a bad habit of being really down on himself and not seeing all his potential that he has to give the world. His own self-doubt and self-hatred is his biggest enemy. He may have learned some of that from how harsh his dad was on him growing up, but he needs some serious therapy so he can get past all that.
Commercial break is over and Avery is really fitting in now. Kayce walks in, looking for an empty bunk. Looks like Avery might have a thing for him. Maybe Season 2 will be a love triangle between Avery, Monica, and Kayce. Calling that now.
Meanwhile, Monica and Tate are staying with Monica’s grandpa, Felix Long. Monica needs a lot of physical therapy and Tate isn’t happy about this because he’d rather be at the ranch. Felix’s property is beautiful, though.
Felix wheels out his wife to sit next to Monica outside. I didn’t even know she was still alive until this moment. Tate is crying at the fence. Monica can’t take it. Her grandmother is apparently vegetative and can’t communicate or notice much about the world around her, and Tate is crying. “I’m ready to go inside!” Monica yells out, while crying. This is getting to her fast.
In the next scene, Jamie is getting ready for his interview with Sarah. He’s about to turn on his dad, but it’s not a huge surprise considering what his dad just did to him…
“I realized something last night,” Jamie said. “The only way to protect my father’s legacy is to destroy the man…” He pauses. This is tough on him. “I didn’t think it was going to be this hard.”
Jamie is destroyed.
“OK,” he says taking a deep breath. “I’m ready.”
Everyone on this show is suffering, folks. :(
Next, Jenkins is out walking and whats-his-name and Rip follow him menacingly. Jenkins is about to get into his car, but they take him before he can. Wait, Kayce is part of this too. What the heck? They just kidnapped Jenkins!
WHAT. Now Jenkins is sitting on a horse with a noose around his neck. This is CRAZY. Jimmy is here too. But I don’t think I see Walker.
“That semi that ran into Mr. (?)’s truck. Was that an accident?”
Jenkins: “That was a convenient opportunity.”
Jenkins admits to faking the land prices and running up the property tax to price people out so he could get the land. “Your father has two choices, either sell it or lose it…”
Kayce hits the backside of the horse and the horse runs away from Jenkins, leaving him hanging. Literally hanging. Kayce is darker than Rip, because Rip seems kind of surprised by what Kayce did.
UMMMM, is Jenkins dead? Did they just MURDER Jenkins?
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
This show is dark.
In the next scene, Beth is crying at the dinner table with John. “You should buy a smaller table, Dad,” she says between tears.
“I remember a time when every seat at this table was filled.” But Beth says that isn’t true. “That’s not a memory, that’s a dream.”
Wait, why is Beth crying? Is it because she knows that her dad is dying? That scene started kind of abruptly.
Beth is outside smoking now and her dad joins her. They talk about Kayce for a bit.
“It doesn’t matter how many people sit at the table honey. What matters is that they have a place to sit.”
“I’m not doing this for a table. I’m doing this for you,” Beth tells him. “When you’re gone, we’ll sell the table first.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” John says.
“I sure hope not,” Beth answers, with tears, giving her dad a hug and a kiss. She really does love him. :( And fans all across the country agree with Beth. We all sure hope that Kevin Costner isn’t leaving this show any time soon.
The scene where they’re talking is just absolutely stunning.
And now the finale is wrapping up. John walks across the field toward the majestic mountains as the ending scene music plays. The song is really sad, talking about a man whose work is almost over and won’t be around. The woman is singing about how she loves her father. Oh my gosh, this is so sad.
The song goes on to say that people in power will do anything to keep their crown.
This was an amazing season finale. And the last scene truly touched my heart, as we watched Kevin Costner walking away. Everyone is suffering. And the finale was amazing.
Here’s a quick summary of where the finale left us:
- Jamie is revealing his family’s dark secrets in order to try to survive on his own. And John has essentially disowned him.
- Beth is heartbroken about her dad’s illness and starting a new romance with Walker.
- Avery has joined the cowboy group.
- Kayce is back in the ranch’s cowboy group, separated from Monica, and letting his dark side take control.
- Monica is freaking out at her grandparents and has a long road of physical therapy ahead of her.
- Rainwater is still trying to take the ranch, but things might get tougher with Jenkins gone.
- And now there’s a new murder for Sheriff Donnie to investigate. Considering how suspicious he already is, this is not likely to fly under his radar.
- Just how many other skeletons are hidden at Yellowstone?
- John’s cancer is still a big question mark. Just how close is he to dying?
Wow. I can’t wait for this show to return.
After you watch the finale and read this story, let us know in the comments below what you thought of the series as a whole and how it ended its first season.