‘Yellowstone’ Season 3 Finale Review: That Was the Craziest Cliffhanger Yet

Paramount Yellowstone

The Season 3 finale of Yellowstone on Paramount Network just aired, and fans are going to be reeling from what happened for quite some time. The episode is called “The World Is Purple,” but fans are going to have a lot more colorful words to share after the way it ended. The description for tonight reads: “As the battle for the future of the Yellowstone heats up, nothing will be the same.”

That description is an understatement.

This article will have major spoilers for Season 3 Episode 10, the finale of Yellowstone for its third season. 

There’s Trouble in Paradise for Jimmy & Mia


The episode begins with a peaceful scene at the Dutton ranch as morning dawns. Last week, it became apparent that Mia isn’t so sure about her involvement with the ranch after things started heating up and she realized that they’re not necessarily the most law-abiding crowd. I worried at the time if her relationship with Jimmy would survive.

The episode begins with her telling Jimmy that he must have been drunk to do what he did last night. She and Laramie walk into the bunkhouse bathroom to see everyone with new brands, and her eyes are opened to just how serious things are there. Mia’s not happy about it, and she confronts Jimmy in a later scene.

Halfway through the episode, Mia questions Jimmy’s desire to quit the rodeo because of John’s and the doctor’s warning. Jimmy doesn’t want to risk being paralyzed, but Mia says that shouldn’t stop him. Yeah, she’s really pushing to get Jimmy to leave the Dutton Ranch. But will it work? I doubt it, I mean Jimmy’s branded now. She doesn’t want him to be someone’s “cattle,” but he’s too scared to leave.

Later, trying to prove that he still has what it takes to be in a rodeo (and maybe one day leave Dutton Ranch), he tries to ride the wild horse from a previous episode. But the horse bucks him off and it looks like he’s knocked unconscious. We’re left wondering if Jimmy survived his attempt.

Jamie’s Letting His Biological Dad Influence Him Too Much


Near the beginning of the episode, we see a strikingly gorgeous view of the mountains as Jamie surveys the landscape. He just met his biological father in last week’s episode, and it looks like he’s still there with him. Garrett Randall, Jamie’s real dad, is played by Will Patton. I remember him from Falling Skies, when he did a brilliant job in one of the lead roles. It looks like he is perfectly cast again.

Jamie wants to know if he has any siblings or cousins. He has a 100-year-old grandfather, a half-brother somewhere, and some cousins. (I personally am looking forward to Jamie meeting his half-brother someday.) Garrett said he came home one day to find Jamie sucking on a crack pipe and starving, while his mom was sleeping with someone else. He said Jamie’s only chance at life was to not have his mom in his life, “So I did what I did. I took her life and gave up mine for you.”

Garrett asks if John Dutton loves him, and answers for him, saying the only thing John ever loved was his ranch. He then tells Jamie that you take empires like Yellowstone by killing the king, you don’t buy them.

Well, that was dark. Garrett didn’t waste any time. He tells Jamie that he’s killed before because he’s a Randall and it’s in his blood, basically. So this father-son reunion is going really well. Jamie doesn’t need this type of influence, that’s for sure.

In the next scene, Monica is still really shaky from her sting operations a few episodes ago. She said she finally understands what it’s like to be Kayce, so it looks like what she did is going to help them get closer.

Meanwhile, Roarke’s stock is suffering again and he can’t find Wade (he doesn’t know yet that Wade was killed in the previous episode.) Roarke’s appearing weak now, but that’s going to change.

Rainwater and Angela have a meeting against another stunning backdrop (thank you Yellowstone for the scenery.) She doesn’t believe Rainwater is capable of taking back the Yellowstone land if he tries to stay moral.

Rip finally comes home and Beth picks up on the fact that he killed someone. She tells him that he’s not allowed to keep secrets from her anymore.

“There’s things I do, and then there’s things I gotta get done. You don’t want to know about that,” he tells her.

He tells her that he doesn’t honestly know how many were killed. She tells him that she believes in loving with your whole soul and killing anything that wants to destroy what you love. They’re on the same page, so there’s no danger to Rip and Beth’s relationship. The two are on very solid ground.

I also find it interesting to compare this to Jamie and his biological dad’s conversation, which was also about killing to save those you love. Although philosophically they are similar, the way their approaches affect their souls seems to be very different.

The All-Hands Meeting Kicks Everything to a New Level


In the next scene, there’s a sure-to-be-intense meeting involving the Governor, Jamie, Rainwater and Angela, John Dutton and Beth, and Roarke, Willa Hayes, and his crew. Roarke starts out by saying that a lease has been secured, the airlines and FAA have approved his plans for an airport, and his leases with retailers are moving ahead, letting him fund the airport bill without state funds.

But in the middle of their meeting, a news alert shows up on everyone’s phones claiming that the MKT Equities CEO is accused of harassment by a “Jane Doe” at the workplace. Willa has to leave the meeting to deal with this, and Roarke steps into her place.


And that’s when Roarke and John Dutton speak to each other for the first time. I hadn’t realized until now that the two hadn’t even met yet.


Roarke says that part of Yellowstone’s land is needed for the airport. Beth thought she had power of attorney over the Montana land, but Jamie explains that her authority is only in Utah and Montana’s laws don’t recognize that. So that was a twist I wasn’t expecting.

Jamie says he’s the legal authority representing Yellowstone and, as such, he approves the sale of the tract of land for the airport.

Wait, what?

Jamie says he has to do this, otherwise, the Land Commission will condemn the land and John Dutton will get paid pennies for it. “And you will lose millions on attorneys because I can’t represent the ranch and condemn it at the same time.” He adds that he has no choice about condemning it, because that is the Governor’s choice.

Lynell says there are no choices anymore, only options.

Rainwater asks for the environmental impact report from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. They explain they’re going to use that as the basis of their class-action lawsuit. Rainwater invites John Dutton to join his suit.

Roarke’s very confident, but John tells him that he’s going to teach him the rules.

See, that’s a threat Roarke won’t take seriously, but he should.

Beth and John are not happy with Jamie, but it seems that Jamie didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. Even though Jamie is saying he did this for himself, there seems to really not have been another play to make.

Angela, meanwhile, is seen later encouraging Rainwater to make war and not try to befriend John.

And Then Everything Explodes in Their Faces

Kayce arrives at work to find the Chairmen of the Stockgrowers Association waiting on him. (He’s barely been in this episode, come to think of it.) They want Kayce to run for Governor. He’s surprised and not sure about the idea, but they’re really pushing it. They tell him that there’s no way he’ll lose, because the progressive residents aren’t going to take the time to vote. So now Kayce has a big decision to make. (I can see this ultimately gearing up to be a big showdown between Kayce as Governor and Jamie as Attorney General one day.)

Now we’re seeing the fallout of the accusations against Willa and she is not happy. She wants a real war from Roarke and she tells him that he has to step up.

In the next scene, John pulls over to help a woman and her son who are stranded on the highway. I’m not really sure what’s going on here, but this being Yellowstone, I’m feeling nervous. John tells her he’s helping because it’s the right thing to do and she doesn’t need to pay him back. He offers to teach her son how to change a tire.

Then Rip is seen exhuming a body and it looks like the body is someone named Wheeler. The man opening the casket tells Rip, “I never thought I’d have to do this for you again.” Hmmm.

The man then explains that if the right guy did the embalming, then she’ll be preserved well. He opens the casket, revealing a blonde woman. I really have no idea what’s going on here, to be honest. But of course, with this being Yellowstone, we see the body in the casket clearly. As Rip kneels down to talk to her, we learn that this is his mother. So… It’s kind of dark, but he’s taking the ring from his dead mom’s finger to give to Beth. So it’s sweet too, but in a dark way. Which is fitting for Yellowstone. 

And then things get really dark. In the next scene, Beth is getting ready to move out of the office after she was fired. But her assistant starts to open a box that Beth doesn’t recognize. It’s a bomb and it blows up in a huge explosion, killing her assistant. And once again, Yellowstone shocks me.


I thought I knew what to expect, but I was wrong.

The craziness isn’t over. In the next scene, Kayce is one the phone with Monica. But their conversation is interrupted when someone breaks into the Montana Land Commission office, shooting. He’s under attack. I’ve got admire how quickly Kayce reacts though. He doesn’t hesitate. He flips over the desk and hides behind it, ready for the fight.

ParamountUnidentified man shooting at Kayce.

And now it looks like my fears about John Dutton are going to be realized. I’m super nervous about how he stopped to help the mom and her kid. A van pulls up and this can’t possibly be good.

And it isn’t. She wasn’t a plant, but she’s going to be used to get at John, whether she knows it or not. A man driving a van stops, confirms he has John Dutton in his sights, and then a man riding in the back opens the doors and shoots John multiple times straight on. I have no clue how he’s going to survive. Then he guns down the mom too as she screams and tries to run away! This is awful.


Rip, meanwhile, is driving with his dead mom’s ring and has no idea that the world is falling apart, except he can’t find anyone in the family. With Jamie’s notoriously bad timing, he simply tells Rip not to call him anymore. Great Jamie, just great.

Rip finds a dying horse in the field, as if this episode wasn’t heartwrenching enough already. After everything that happened, why did I need this part? :( Ugh. This is so sad. Rip says he’d rather kill a thousand men than shoot another horse, and I want to cry now. :(

Rip sees more vultures circling in the distance. This is not good. Is it Jimmy? He’s the only one in a field that the vultures might circle, right?

In the next scene, it looks like John has survived. He’s shot and he looks bad, but he’s still alive. As luck would have it, a bullet hit his phone rather than his heart. (Though he’s shot in other places too, like his arm.) But he also can’t call for help.

“Doesn’t that f****ing figure?” he asks. And then the episode ends.

My guess is that John Dutton will be fine. Remember, that little boy is still in the field somewhere, and he’s probably going to help John. Kayce seems like he will be OK because he was prepared for the shooter and ready to fight back. Jimmy and Beth are the biggest questions.

And of course, there’s also the question of who ordered the shooting. It seems pretty obvious that it’s Roarke after what Willa told him, but some might argue it could be Rainwater because of how Angela was urging him to go to war. But my money is on Roarke.

And that was the biggest cliffhanger in Yellowstone history, without a doubt. We’re going to have a long wait before we find out for certain who lived and who died.

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