‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Episode 4 Review & Recap: ‘Winning & Learning’

Paramount Yellowstone

Yellowstone” season 4 episode 4 has just premiered on the Paramount Network. And once again, this was a stellar episode that was captivating from beginning to end. This week, Jimmy was one of the characters who stood out, as he slowly began to appreciate the new life waiting for him.

This is a review and recap of “Yellowstone” season 4 episode 4, so there will be SPOILERS below. 


Jimmy Opened Up the Episode

As the episode begins, we see Jimmy on the road with Travis and the rest of the horse training gang, heading to Texas. We hear the same song that we heard when Jimmy was leaving Dutton Ranch last week: Shane Smith & The Saints’ “All I See Is You.” It’s a great song, and I’m happy to hear it again.

Travis is really impressive at the horse showing, and Jimmy is obviously taken in by watching his talent. Jimmy had a heart for the rodeo himself, but couldn’t quite cut it. Seeing how well Travis navigates this world that Jimmy loved really draws him in and helps him gain a unique appreciation for where he’s going. These opening scenes are beautiful. This is a unique way to open a new “Yellowstone” episode.

Jimmy considers sending a letter to Mia, but decides better. He’s moving on and making a fresh start. (I also want to just mention that I really appreciate the moment where Jimmy couldn’t decide if it was Dutton Ranch or Yellowstone Ranch. Even writing these reviews I sometimes find myself wondering! It turns out that either term is acceptable.)

With this opening, we move into the gorgeous intro that is so characteristic of “Yellowstone.”


John & Kayce Have a Heart-to-Heart & We See That Kayce Hasn’t Given Up on Jamie

After the intro, we’re back at the Dutton Ranch. (I was hoping this wouldn’t be a Jimmy-only episode, and I’m glad to see it’s not.)

John takes Kayce to the place where his dad died, where he buried his wife’s ring, and where he asked her to marry him. It’s a special spot.

“This is our graveyard,” he shares.

Paramount

He shows Kayce the same picture of the man in federal prison that Rainwater showed him in last week’s episode. A man by the name of Riggins, from what I can tell from his arrest record. John’s still trying to figure out who hired him to kill them. He wants Kayce to get Jamie to access his prison records, and if he balks at all they’ll know he was involved. Kayce doesn’t buy it though. He thinks Jamie would never betray them.

John also wants to know what’s going on with Kayce’s family and why they’re hiding out. He says Kayce needs to fix how unsafe they’re feeling or he’s going to lose them.

We get a Jamie scene next, and he’s still hanging out and bonding with his biological dad Garrett. They just bought some property and Jamie feels like he’s finally standing on his own, outside of the Dutton shadow.


Caroline Warner Approaches Beth Wisely

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In the next scene, Beth is meeting with Caroline Warner, whom we saw in the premiere but not at all last week. (In case you forgot, she’s the chair of Market Equities’ board of directors, so is essentially stepping in and taking Roarke’s place after his death.)

Beth insults her assistant to the point where he walks out of the room. But Caroline isn’t going to be intimidated. She basically tells Beth that she eats women like her up for breakfast, and she’s already planning an SEC investigation of her. But she also tells Beth they don’t have to go down that road. They can seek common ground instead (aka “door number two.”) She references the land trust that Beth put together, and that she wants to make an offer on it.

“…Stubbornness is not a business strategy…It’s how you lose the ranch all together,” she tells Beth.

Beth admits she doesn’t agree with her dad’s tactics and will take Caroline’s offer after her dad dies. (A fascinating admission, I must say.) But for now, she has to stick with her dad’s plan. So in response, Caroline offers her a job and promises to help her defend the Yellowstone land if she does. She says she has all the land she needs at the moment, and Beth can save the rest if she finds her something better. She wants a destination town “in every valley,” but she needs an insider’s help.

Beth says that if she gives her the majority share of Schwartz & Meyer, then she’ll work for her. (If you recall, this was the land Beth was fighting over last week.)

OK, this whole conversation really surprises me. It’s an interesting tactic on Caroline’s part, turning Beth into an ally. She sees her value and wants that value on her side. Smart move. It’s also great writing. They put a twist here that I had not expected and didn’t see coming.


Kayce & Jamie Are Still Brothers Who Care About Each Other

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When Kayce stops by to visit Jamie, he finds him thriving in his job and taking the same no-holds-barred approach that he learned from his family. But both brothers briefly admit to each other that they’re struggling. Jamie says he gave his dad police protection at the hospital for two months and ensured the deaths at the ranch wouldn’t be investigated. He never stopped protecting the family, he tells Kayce. And that’s also why he couldn’t call or visit, or he’d be suspected of collusion.

Kayce tells Jamie about the man who ordered a hit on them, and assures Jamie that John doesn’t hate him. Kayce tells him that John wants Jamie to interview the man personally. Jamie seems moved by that and agrees immediately to do the interview. This is a great moment in the episode.

Luke Grimes and Wes Bentley played this scene in an understated way that perfectly portrays the restrained affection they have for each other. It’s really easy to forget that there were once three brothers in this group, but one died at the beginning of the series. I’d love to see Kayce and Jamie talk about him, especially when Jamie brings up Beth with such bitterness and Kayce doesn’t argue against it.

After his heart-to-heart with Jamie, Kayce finally has a heart-to-heart with Monica too. Looks like he’s ready to tackle the tough conversations. She tells him that she didn’t really mean it when she said she hated him, and Kayce offers to take them back to her grandfather’s until they can find their own place. Tate’s comforted by this and Monica’s thrilled. He just didn’t feel safe at the ranch anymore.

Back at the bunkhouse, Mia tells Laramie that they should be back on the road and she’s leaving tomorrow. But that’s nothing compared to the tension between Lloyd and Walker that erupts into a huge fight. Lloyd’s making a lot of bad business decisions in this episode, based solely on a hatred for Walker that he can’t seem to contain.

Because of the ranch’s rule about fighting, Rip has to beat up Lloyd personally and he’s not happy about it.

When Beth gets back to the ranch later that night, things feel a lot more peaceful. She tells John (after finding a lot of big checks) that she was wrong about the horses, and then tells him about the job offer. She might consider taking the job in order to control what the ranch can’t, just like John and Kayce did. It makes a lot of sense. John trusts her and tells her just to do what she thinks is best. It’s nice to see his healthy relationship with his daughter, and how much faith he has in her. It’s a good contrast to how tense things have always been between him and Jamie.

Rip visits Carter later, and tells him that he’s got to find a way to get Beth’s trust back. He’s laying down the law for Carter, but you can tell he’s doing this because he cares about him and Beth. Cole Hauser really plays his scenes with Carter quite well, and Finn Little does a great job of portraying a young teen who has experienced too much for his age.

Now we return back to Jimmy’s travels to Texas. Jimmy tells Travis that he likes horses but he’s scared of them. Travis is being nice to him now, and gives him some good advice about how everything he does needs to be for the good of the horse. He talks about how they’re going to the “sixes” and it’s not going to be easy. After the commercial break, they’re finally arriving at the ranch where Jimmy is going to be living from now on.

Lloyd, meanwhile, is struggling with his decisions from the night before. But he gets back up, ready for a new day. Carter also is ready to make up for his bad decisions. It seems like everyone is beginning the day ready for a fresh start, and I’m enjoying that theme.

Well, maybe everyone but Jamie.

Jamie gets a file from the Bureau of Prisons about the man who set up the hits on his family. He was born in Iowa in 1958 and his name is T. Riggins. His record includes a list of his cellmates — and Garrett Randall, Jamie’s biological dad, is on that list. It looks like Garrett might have been behind the attacks on the Duttons. I’m honestly not certain who Jamie will side with at this point. I want to think he’ll side with the Duttons, but I think he might be tempted to help the man who showed kindness to him.

The episode ends with Jimmy arriving at the 6666 Ranch in Texas. The camera pans away as Jimmy begins to set out on his new adventure.

Overall, this was a strong episode that delivered every scene powerfully. I didn’t feel like any moments were wasted. Each scene either moved the plot forward or brought some much-needed character development without any plot holes. I’m glad to see a show of this caliber back on TV for another season.

READ NEXT: Yellowstone Season 4 Premiere Review & Recap

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