‘Yellowstone’ Season 2 Episode 3: Recap & Review of ‘The Reek of Desperation’

Paramount Yellowstone

After a week hiatus, we’re finally back for Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 3. Tonight promises to be an epic episode, after the last episode showed John Dutton slowly helping Kayce rise to power at the family ranch, while Jaime continues to defy the family every step of the way. Meanwhile, Rip is feeling left out and disgraced, so there’s no telling what he will do next if he thinks he’s no longer truly part of the family. And just what is the mysterious “Cowboy” hiding? Here’s a recap and review of episode 2 of season 3: “The Reek of Desperation.” This post will have spoilers. 

The episode began with Kayce and John discussing future plans. “The whole world’s a test son, don’t let it trick you into thinking any different,” John advised. Kayce is pretty hard to understand, and I’m guessing that’s on purpose from his fight with Rip in the last episode.

Rip is backing up Kayce in front of the wranglers and he tells Kayce not to ask the wranglers questions or the questions will never stop. So it looks like Kayce is still learning leadership lessons today.

Jenkins and Rainwater are in the next scene and they’re presented with a check just before meeting a group of reporters. “The old ways of gambling with our future are over,” Rainwater says, saying they’re marking a new era for the nation and Montana.

The next scene is Jamie’s campaign office. It looks like Cassidy stole his campaign speech. Underhanded jerks. :-/ Jamie’s told that running for office is a zero sum game and only winning matters. That’s when they bring Rainwater to his office, asking Jamie to team up with John Dutton’s biggest enemy. Rainwater says all he wants is for Jamie to make tribal issues the central part of his campaign. (But does anyone trust Rainwater? He’s obviously using Jamie to get at his dad.) But does Jamie owe his dad much right now? John Dutton pretty much disowned him when he ran for attorney general.

John wants to prepare Kayce for his land commissioner position (sometime in 15 years) and wants Kayce to work his way up. But Kayce is convinced he’ll never pass a psych evaluation because of his nightmares… Interesting.

Still feeling terrible about his breakup, Kayce shows up at Monica’s new home next to visit Monica and their son. But once again, they don’t have a meeting of the minds and just seem to talk past each other.

This episode doesn’t have a lot of action so far, but the drama and scheming is top notch, and sometimes you need episodes that focus just on that.

John Dutton meets up with the governor (Lynelle Perry) next (played by the talented Wendy Moniz.) He said he remembers when she was the rodeo queen. She said she can’t accept John’s choice of Cassidy as attorney general because the AG needs to be loyal to her, not John. But John says that all Jamie needs is approval and he won’t be needing that if he becomes AG. But the governor is NOT impressed, although she points out it was inevitable that the pack would turn on itself.

John said his life turned out how he expected, except for “losing her.” For some reason, this helps bridge a romantic connection between Lynelle and John (I thought he was talking about his wife who died, did I miss something?) No, I didn’t miss anything because Lynelle asks later if John will ever fall in love again and John says no. She says she won’t fall in love again either.

They’re both still mourning their spouses, all these years later. It’s romantic but also sad. :(

John and Lynelle have a very complicated relationship, but it’s not a big surprise since all of John’s relationships are complicated. I think maybe Rip was the least complicated until the last episode.

Speaking of Rip, guess who’s in the next scene? Rip and Beth. Beth warns him that Kayce can’t run the ranch. Things will only get worse if he’s in charge. (Sometimes I think that maybe Beth’s ultimate plan is to give the ranch to Rip when her dad dies. Or at least, that’s what she would prefer. But John wants the ranch in a trust so that will never happen.)

AND the new character is here! Malcolm is finally joining the show. And he is NOT happy about Dan Jenkins’ plan to build a resort hotel so close to the national park. Interesting. ?

In the next scene, Avery and Jimmy are loading a truck outside a grocery/hardware store. (Am I sensing a possible romantic connection between these two? Hmmm.) Inside, two guys appear to be considering robbing the store when a law enforcement officer walks in. Ohhhhh I get who these guys are. Blake and the other guy are from Jimmy’s past and he still owes them money. But Jimmy refuses to buy them what they want. Finally he’s doing the right thing!

I like seeing this character growth in Jimmy. He even takes one of the guys out, standing up for himself for the first time pretty much ever … AND DANG. That does not go well. They shoot at him and try to drag him out of the truck, but Avery sprays the two guys (and Jimmy too) and escapes. (See folks? That’s how you escape an attempted kidnapping.)

After the commercial break, Monica is back to her physical therapy with her oh-so-good-looking-and-conveniently-the-same-age physical therapist. She is obviously into him. “I’m married,” she tells him after flirting with him. So…that surprised me. It looks like she’s not ready to move on, and neither is Kayce.

I’m really enjoying this episode. The surprise love connection possibility between Jimmy and Avery is a fun diversion.

And now Malcolm and Dan Jenkins come face-to-face. We’ve barely seen Malcolm and he already seems to be a force to be reckoned with. Malcolm tells him that thriving in Montana is all about staying in your lane. Dan gets mad and says they need to take him to court.

It appears that Malcolm’s head of the Montana Liquor Board and he plans to never issue their new venture a liquor license. He tells Jenkins that he needs to leave the deal and make a new deal with them, or else. “You’ve got lots to think about,” Malcolm tells him.

Dan is NOT happy.

It looks like there’s a new major player in town.

Meanwhile, Jamie is doubting running altogether. He doesn’t want to take funding from his dad’s enemy. “This is too much.” His assistant/girlfriend tells him that he needs to find his compass so that he can compromise with people. (Is that good advice though? it’s important not to take funding from the wrong people. I don’t feel like she’s ever really had his best interests at heart, she just wants him to climb the ladder so she can be with him there.)

AND it looks like we’re finally getting a Beth and Jamie scene! This is going to be a trainwreck, haha.

Jamie wants her to remember that they’re family, but Beth says the word “family” doesn’t grant him absolution for what he’s done. Jamie wants a truce so he doesn’t have to go with Rainwater and he flat out tells Beth this. “Jamie you’re not a politician,” Beth says. “The best politicians are narcissists, the very best should probably be committed, you aren’t that… You don’t know who the f*** you are and you’re looking for the world to tell you. You reek of desperation and they can smell it. They will pull you, they will twist you, and they will tear you into tiny pieces and our father with you.”

Wow. That is a GOOD speech from Beth. And it’s probably true.

Beth tells him to think about everyone else in his life, not himself, and do what’s best for them Although her advice might be good, I just don’t see it coming from a good place. So I’m doubting that Jamie is going to follow her advice.

The next day, Jamie says he can’t and won’t take Rainwater’s money, but not just that, he can’t play this dirty. “To beat her I have to attack him, because there’s nothing about her to attack. I won’t do that,” he says.

But his girlfriend is mad, saying he’s just quitting at the first hint of opposition. “Your sister is right. What a chicken heart.” So she’s going to kick him out. She doesn’t want him if he’s not going places and is just going to work with his “suicide waiting to happen” sister and “monster father.” Kinda sounds like Monica’s speech, to be honest.

Back at the Dutton Ranch, it’s dinner time and Beth ordered octopus! Yuck. :( And Jamie shows up for dinner. He tells them he withdrew from the race, and looks like all’s forgiven. He’s invited to the table and is back in the family, just like that. (That’s quite the dynamic. And that was quite the quick end to the Jamie Attorney General plotline!)

I guess a good question is just how long anyone does what John Dutton doesn’t want. (At least anyone in his family.)

John sees Rip outside walking alone, still separated and not even invited to the dinner table. :(

And John watches him, saying “Goddam you for leaving me.” He’s talking about his wife, but I’m guessing Rip feels similarly about the man he saw as a father. :(

And that concludes tonight’s Yellowstone. I’m not sure how I feel about Jamie giving up the fight so quickly, but it looks like the family’s back together, just in time to face a new threat from Malcolm.