“Touching Your Enemy” (Episode 205)
July 24, 2019
In last week’s episode of Yellowstone, someone put out a hit on the Dutton’s cattle, a mass killing of the herd via airdropped bales of clover (which causes fatal bloat in cattle if untreated). John sent his sons forth to discover the culprit while he chewed out the Sheriff for not being terribly helpful. Jamie uncovered Beth’s plan to buy up surrounding ranches and chewed her out for jeopardizing the ranch’s financial future. Kayce, deputized for the investigation of the cattle hit, got caught up in a tragic situation. Catch up on last week’s action here.
Once you’re all caught up on what came before, saddle up with us as we recap tonight’s all new episode of Yellowstone, “Touching Your Enemy” … BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!!
Flashback Time! Young Rip (Kyle Red Silverstein) is working on the ranch. And Young Beth (Kylie Rogers) is checking out her outfit in the mirror. Young Rip sees a horse out in the field and he wonders aloud how she got out. He gather up a lasso and starts to head out after the horse. Young Beth stops him and tells him that’s the horse that killed her mother and he shouldn’t worry himself about that one. He asks then why do they keep it?Young Beth clues him in on the way of the Dutton mind.
“You’re applying logic to a situation where it isn’t wanted.”
She asks if Young Rip is her Daddy’s “new pet”? And says she’s thinking about getting herself a pet too. With the eyes that would grow into Adult Beth’s eyes. Young Rip isn’t having this and turns away from her temptations. Young Beth tells him it’s okay to watch her walk away; that’s why girls do it. Young Rip just watches her, in awe. One of the older wranglers tells her she’s starting to get some swish in her hips and she advises him to “eat shit, you fucking redneck.”
There she is! The Beth we know and love for her ability to crucify a man with one line. She doesn’t even break her stride.
That night, the “Fucking Redneck” from earlier is heckling Young Rip about falling in love with the farmer’s daughter calling Young Rip “little orphan boy” over and over. Well adjusted young man that he is, Young Rip takes this for a bit but then beats the shot out of the old wrangler. Young Lloyd comes to Young Rip’s defense, telling the Fucking Redneck he had it coming. Young Lloyd sends Young Rip to the barn to go to sleep.
Inside the barn, Young Rip finds Young Beth, sitting there. Waiting. She wants to know why he’s crying? Young Rip says he’s angry and that’s how it comes out sometimes. He’s angry that his family is dead because of him, because he wasn’t big enough to save them. Young Beth says her mother is dead because of her, because she was afraid. Now, Young Beth doesn’t do afraid. She tells Young Rip to kiss her because it will make them feel better. Young Rip confesses he doesn’t know how and she’s all, samesies. But, they figure it out for a quick moment.
The Ranch. Back in the present day, Beth is watching Rip in the corral. He’s genuinely pleased to see her, a big ‘ol smile on his face. He gets none of the venom Beth has to dish out. He asks why the scowl on her face; he can read her like a map. Beth’s worried there’s no good in her. She tells Rip she sees things in people and she feels like if she can touch it, even if the rest of the person is rotten, that she can assimilate that good part into her.
“There’s plenty of good in you, Beth. And none in that son of a bitch.”
Now, they could be talking about Jamie or Kayce because I don’t think Rip would speak ill of John like that. But, the two of them were also giving long, pointed looks at Wrangler Walker in this scene, too. So it really seems like they’re talking about him in this whole scene. So, who the hell knows what that’s about? These two have a secret language worked out over a lifetime.
Beth apologizes to Rip about doing “that to you.” Wait. Did Rip lose his shit on Walker (which ended up triggering John demoting him) because of some situation with her and Walker? Am I missing something here? Maybe.
Anyway, Rip tells Beth that “I’m sorry” are two words she never has to say to him. This is about the most emotionally vulnerable we ever get to see Beth; something about Rip opens her right up.
“Even your walk is angry, sweetheart.”
Beth joins breakfast already in progress and John notes that she is coming in piping hot. Kayce and Jamie are in the middle talking about the search for the plane used in the tainted hay drop from last week. Beth is annoyed they’re talking about work at the table, given John’s recent announcement that work shouldn’t be discussed at the dinner table. There is some back and forth about whether the table transforms from a dinner table to a breakfast table (work talk is allowed at breakfast, John says) and Beth, in a slow burn of losing her shit, makes her larger point that she cannot keep up with John’s ever fluctuating rules on controlling conversations (and everything else) in their lives.
John has no Earthly idea what his daughter is talking about and Beth takes her breakfast and leaves. John turns to his boys and tells them to continue their investigation. He tells Kayce to “go to the source,” John wants “them” to know what the Duttons know. Jamie questions the wisdom of this and John shoots him down hard. John finishes with Kayce by saying to take Ryan with him, to keep it official, and to wear his badge. Meanwhile, Jamie gets a text message from Sarah Nguyen telling him they need to talk.
Reminder: Sarah is the reporter from last season that Jamie spilled tea with regarding dirt on his Dad. That situation is coming to a head no matter how much Jamie tries to ignore her.
After Kayce leaves, John tells Jamie (in the most sinister of ways) that he’s lost the right to question his father for a time. Jamie takes this verbal bitch slap as well as can be expected.
Finished with his sons, John heads to the kitchen to deal with the other Dutton child drama brewing. HE asks Beth why she has to be so drama filled before getting to the point and having the conversation she really wants to have? This is the most dad to child question ever but said in the most John Dutton way possible.
“It’s important that you to understand my passion for the subject before the subject is introduced.”
Beth certainly has a cryptic way with her syntax. Beth asks why Rip is living in the bunkhouse and doing menial ranch hand tasks? John explains the ranch foreman has a house and Kayce is ranch foreman now. As to the bunkhouse over a room in the main house, John tells his daughter that Rip “doesn’t want to stay here.” He tells Beth that if she wants Rip in the house, she can overcome that obstacle herself. She lashes back to not put Rip on her, and tells John that Rip looks at John like a father.
“But I’m not his father. I’m Kayce’s father. And Rip isn’t being punished. I’m making a shift. He’s making a sacrifice.”
Beth tells John his explanation is always good enough for her. Great, John says, now go “ruin someone else’s day.” Beth confirms that is the plan.
Broken Rock Reservation. The Broken Rock tribe relay is coming up and the practices are underway. Monica’s class is watching a man ride a horse around the track, bareback and in full tribe regalia. Her therapist, Martin, is teaching the class about the ways of the tribe.
“Becoming a man requires bravery, witnessed by others.”
It’s not just about words but also, actions. There are 5 achievements (or “coups”) needed to be achieved to become a man within the tribe:
-Touching Your Enemy
-Taking Your Enemy’s Weapons
-Taking Your Enemy’s Horse
-Leading a Successful War Party
-Jumping from One Horse to Another
Martin indicates that the Relay pays homage to these achievements and especially the last; to be able to transfer from one horse to another signifies the ability to get knocked down in battle and continue on. Never giving up. He tells the class that to be a great leader is to lead from the back of a horse. A student raises his hand, asking what does this have to do with Christopher Columbus? Monica answers.
“Absolutely nothing, but look at all you’ve learned.”
Monica and Martin are chatting after the practice relay is over. He invites her to come to Wyoming with him for the actual competition. She looks conflicted about the invite. As she walks back to her class, we notice her walking is improved … no cane anyway. This is presumably due to the PT sessions.
Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. Rip and another wrangler are in the ring, testing out their horses’ abilities to slide. This is a show move and the wranglers get together and wage bets on who’s horse and rider does it better. Lloyd calls out to Rip that if he can get his horse to do that when Travis and his riders get to Yellowstone, Rip stands to make a lot of money. Jimmy comes up and asks Lloyd if there’s any extra work he could do to earn some extra cash? Lloyd tells Jimmy they’re on salary, what they get paid is what they get paid.
“When a cowboy needs some extra money, he wins it.”
Lloyd lists off the ways you can win said money, including bronc riding, roping, and all the other tasks they do every day, which, Lloyd adds, Jimmy can barely do in any case. Lloyd thinks Jimmy is wasting his time trying to win money at it. Jimmy walks away. Lloyd don’t sugar coat shit.
John’s Office. Jamie is distracted by his phone while in a meeting with John and Cassidy. Cassidy is investigating the Luke Hayes shooting from last week. She’s asking about the facts of the case to John. Kayce, who was actually at the scene when it happened, is not present and Cassidy is asking questions from the sheriff’s report. Things like, can you confirm the gun the Hayes boy had was loaded? And, who was Luke pointing the gun at, Kayce or the other livestock agent?
These are questions that make you go hmmm? Like how would John and Jamie know these details …?
Jamie fiddles with his phone, responding to the message, which is noticed by John and Cassidy and clearly annoying John. John asks if Jamie will be joining their meeting and Jamie apologizes. He fumbles to regain his concentration, asking Cassidy what the sheriff’s report says about those details. She responds the sheriff’s report doesn’t specify. John is further annoyed by the lack of information in the sheriff’s report. Jamie’s phone buzzes again and John tells him to take the call, for heaven’s sake.
Jamie finally takes the call from Sarah, excusing himself from the room. She tells him that avoiding her will not stop the release of the article. Jamie is really flustered and barely able to get coherent words out, managing to sputter out that things are different for him now. She wants to confirm a few facts with him before she contacts John for his side of the story. Jamie wishes to recant his story, rescinding his consent to be quoted in the article. Jamie further threatens litigation if she proceeds with the article involving him. Sarah is unsympathetic.
“Fine Jamie. I’ll have legal call and walk you through your lack of options.”
Jamie returns to his father’s office where Cassidy is summarizing that it looks to her that the sheriff’s report is intentionally vague to make it look like John’s agents didn’t follow procedure to cover up the failure of the sheriff’s office to respond.
What a good soldier you are, Cassidy.
She tells John she’ll wrap this up first thing when she’s sworn in.
Outside, John joins Beth on the porch. She says she’s “having a moment of sorts.” More philosophical in nature. She asks her dad if he ever wonders what “this place” looked like before any of them were here?
“All the time, honey. All the time”
In these kinds of moments, Costner really, really sells John Dutton’s deep Rancher soul. It’s a pleasure to watch him work.
Out in a random field, Dan Jenkins is learning the art of firing a gun. Looks like he’s taking Thomas Rainwater’s advice and learning about personal security. Not a natural gunslinger, Dan’s instructor, Torry (Wole Parks) gives Dan some good pointers on how to carry himself and get comfortable holding a gun. Torry has a very graceful way of setting him up. Dan hits his target, center mass, over and over and says he feels like a god. Torry agrees that whoever holds the gun IS a god, until they pull the trigger.
“Then you’re the Devil.”
The Jenkins Ranch. Dan returns home from his lesson to find armed Livestock Agent Ryan (Ian Bohen) waiting for Dan outside his official Livestock Association truck. Kayce is with him, presumably but we haven’t seen him yet.
Dan takes the VERY provocative action of reaching for his gun as he steps out of his truck. Ryan draws his weapon, yelling “GUN!” Ryan cautions Dan that he will shoot him in the face if Dan doesn’t drop his weapon. But, he says it with lots more expletives.
Dan reiterates his sentiment from earlier that he’s “a god.” Kayce come up behind God and easily disarms him. I guess covering your 6 is lesson #2, Dan. Dan taunts Kayce, asking if he’s the Devil if he pulls the trigger and Kayce responds he’s already the Devil and hits Dan in the throat with the gun, winding him. Kayce drags Dan into the house at gunpoint as Ryan asks what the fuck they are doing? Kayce tells Ryan to stay behind.
Inside, Kayce sits across from Dan. He’s asking about Dan’s family, as he saw lots of photos on the way in? Dan tells Kayce he sent his family away so ‘they’ wouldn’t kill them.
Outside, Dan’s gun instructor trots up to the front where he meets Ryan. Ryan stops him, asking who he is and Instructor Torry responds he’s with Big Sky Roofing, here to deal with a leak for Mr. Jenkins. Instructor Torry surprises Ryan, knocking him down and pointing a gun at him. Ryan goes to draw his own gun, but Instructor Torry doesn’t think this is a good idea. He tells Ryan to toss the gun and his radio over. He then asks Ryan if he’s got cuffs and makes Ryan put those on himself. He tosses Ryan into the back of Dan’s SUV parked out front. Ryan protests saying he’s a law enforcement agent and Instructor Torry flashes his badge saying Ryan is not the only one. Ryan mocks Instructor Torry’s moonlighting.
“Alimony is a bitch.”
Instructor Torry draws his gun and heads towards the house. Kayce is still inside with Dan. Kayce tells Dan no one wants to kill him, but the Duttons want to be left alone to live their lives the way they have for the last 100 years. Yet, people like Dan keep trying to take that away. Dan is getting mad now that Kayce is threatening him, again. The last time Kayce and Dan met up in Season 1, Kayce had a rope around Dan’s neck to threaten him to leave his family along. Kayce tells Dan he’s there because Dan killed the Dutton’s cattle.
“I don’t know how to kill cattle you stupid fucking redneck.”
Dan continues that he does know how to crush empires and he’s out to crush John Dutton’s empire. Dan appreciates, with great sarcasm, Kayce showing him the rules. As Dan is talking, Instructor Torry creeps into the area behind where Kayce and Dan are seated, opposite each other. Kayce senses someone coming up behind him and pops up to attack Instructor Torry a split second before he reaches Kayce. They struggle as Kayce tries to get the gun off him. Instructor Torry body slams Kayce onto the coffee table, busting the glass. Kayce grabs a large shard of glass and gets above Instructor Torry, laying on the ground. Dan gets up and points his gun at Kayce’s head just as Ryan pops back into the scene. Seems Instructor Torry forgot to take the handcuff keys with him. Ryan says he’ll have to be the grown up in the room.
Everyone gets up slowly and then Kayce grabs Dan and pushes him to the deck ledge demanding to know the truth.
“I don’t know how to kill cows, but I wish I did. Now that I see the pain this caused you and your family. I wish it had been me.”
Rut Roh, Kayce. Lots of property damage for nothing, friend. Kayce and Ryan skedaddle but not before Kayce warns Instructor Torry that the rules are different out here in Montana and advises him to go back from wherever he came (which Kayce guesses is California). Hopefully no one calls the cops on you, Teflon Kayce.
The Ranch. That night, John is in the living room, sipping on a libation. Kayce reports back that it wasn’t Jenkins. John says it has to be but Kayce tells his Dad he looked Jenkins in the eye and it wasn’t him. John asks Kayce what happened to him because he doesn’t look good. Kayce dismisses this as nothing. John says he sometimes doesn’t recognize the man staring back at him when he looks at Kayce, to which Kayce rolls his eyes. John asks Kayce what happened to him over there”? Kayce doesn’t like to talk about, nor does his father, Kayce points out.
“We might be more alike that you want to admit.”
Kayce sits down across from his Dad and asks if John wants to hear a war story. John says yes, if it will help him understand the man before him. Kayce launches into a story about a time in Pakistan, chasing a high value target. The target was using his wife as a shield, with his 8 year old daughter on a leash, and holding an AK-47 over their heads. This memory is tearing Kayce up. He continues the story, saying that the target started firing at Kayce and his men and they all froze because of the guy’s family there. Kayce killed the target, his wife and child, and made the choice in a split second decision.
“Soldiers don’t tell war stories anymore, dad, ‘cause war these days is about trying to live through them.”
Kayce leaves. And now everyone feels like shit.
The Home of Sheriff Donnie. Sheriff Donnie is home, watching some football when there’s a knock at the door. At the door, he sees a parcel delivery truck driving away and a small box sitting at his feet. Inside, Sheriff Donnie finds a bottle of bourbon, an envelope and a bullet. Here is what the note says:
The Sheriff is not pleased with this present.
Sheriff’s Office. The next day, Sheriff Donnie holds a press conference to exonerate the Livestock Agent in the shooting death of Luke Hayes as well as take the blame for the Sheriff’s office failing to provide back-up when requested. He says the shooting was a justifiable use of force and apologizes to the Livestock Agents involved as well as the Livestock Association for the whole affair. Sheriff Donnie finishes that he’s conducting an internal investigation into the Sheriff Office’s internal procedures and response times.
The Ranch. The Duttons are watching the Sheriff’s conference in John’s office. I can’t say the look on John’s face is smug, but there’s definitely a look of satisfaction. Beth asks her father how he got Sheriff Donnie to take responsibility and John replies innocently, he didn’t.
Outside, in the ring, Jimmy is on a horse and asking Walker for some pointers on how one may get a horse to slide. Walker doesn’t think neither he nor Jimmy can win any money at it. Jimmy is just about out of options so, advice? Walker gives him a step by step on how to get a horse to slide and, while it’s only a few steps, it sounds sorta complicated.
Jimmy gives it a go, resulting in the horse slowing down abruptly and gnashing Jimmy’s nuts on the saddle horn. The second time is better. Jimmy practices a few times before Travis Wheatley and the McCutcheon family from North Texas are due to arrive.
Sometime later, The Yellowstone Ranch and the McCutcheon family take turns sliding to show off their skills. Winning, and therefore earning money, is based sliding the longest distance. The McCutcheons bring the heat but Rip does fairly well and thinks he should get extra points for holding his beer the whole time. He does not get said points. Even though this is for money, the atmosphere is congenial and everyone here is friendly. Jimmy saunters in on his horse and is warned by his fellow wranglers on who to avoid as competition.
[Note: The McCutcheon Family riders in this scene (besides Sheridan, who plays Travis), are REAL cowboys. Matt Mills, and Tom, Cade and Mandy McCutcheon.]
Travis Wheatley (series co-creator, Taylor Sheridan, reprising the role) sees Jimmy enter the ring and asks Rip about him. Travis doesn’t want to take money from some shitty wrangler. But, Rip disagrees.
“If he’s dumb enough to play this game. you should take every cent from him.”
Rip wants Travis to teach Jimmy a lesson. Travis calls Jimmy over to show him the rules of a “pay up.” If Jimmy comes in last, he has to pay everyone who comes in ahead of him or if he comes in third he pays the second place and first place finisher. That’s a pay up.
Sounds like a pyramid scheme.
Travis tells Jimmy to start and Jimmy heads off the wrong way. Not a great first impression “Jim” is making here.
Travis turns to Rip and asks if they’re “running a special needs program at this ranch?” Watching Travis and Rip comment on Jimmy is very VERY funny. Also, Travis has the best t-shirt. See if you can see what it says …
Jimmy slides, but his slide is short of the mark. Like, don’t even need to measure it kind of short. The rest of the riders take a turn with impressive slides, each easily outdistancing Jimmy. Travis is taking Rip’s wish to heart and basically inviting every single horseman he brought to ride – even the teenager easily outdoes Jimmy. Travis is taking the piss out of Jimmy at each turn. It’s fantastic.
Jimmy asks Travis if Mandy McCutcheon (the mom of Cade, the teenager) rides? Oh, she rides. To the tune of two million dollars worth of earnings!
“Two million and $20 after this.”
Travis wraps up the Slide contest and obviously outdoes Jimmy. Jimmy says he doesn’t have “enough horse” to compete. Sure, Jimmy. That’s the problem. Travis swaps horses with Jimmy, removes the bridle and slides; the reins just barely looped around Jimmy’s horse.
“Ain’t the horse, kid.”
Meanwhile, Jimmy senses that Travis’s horse does not like him. He starts trying to get Travis’s horse to move and Lloyd intervenes, telling Jimmy to get off the horse before he hurts himself, “the horse or both.” Rip agrees. Travis tells Jimmy they won’t take his money but Rip insists Jimmy will pay. He calls Jimmy over to him to discuss the moral of today’s story.
“There are sharks and minnows in this world, Jimmy. And if you don’t know which one you are, then you ain’t a fucking shark. Now go pay Travis.”
Jimmy stalks off, his wallet is in his bag, while Travis and Rip play around some more.
We come back from break and its now nighttime at the Ranch. John is in the living room, looking through old photographs of the ranch from long ago. I guess the conversation with Beth from earlier is on his mind. Those pictures look about a century old.
In her room, Beth is doing her beauty self-care after a shower when Jamie comes in to talk. Jamie stammers that he’s painted himself into a corner and can’t get out of it. Beth turns to him asking what he did?
Jamie starts off his story setting up his excuses and when he mentions a reporter secretly working on his campaign staff, Beth slaps him because she KNOWS trouble is coming down the pipe.
“What the fuck did you do, Jamie?”
Jamie whispers, so ashamed, that he gave an interview. Beth whispers back asking an interview about what?
“Not what. Who.”
She calls him a selfish piece of shit and takes off out of the room.
Beth walks down the hall to find their father. Jamie comes after her and strikes her, sending her flying into the wall in the hall. Beth, not to be beaten by someone she views as a weakling, knees Jamie in the balls sending him to the floor. Beth grabs Jamie by the hair and drags him into the living room where their father is.
“You tell him, motherfucker. You TELL him.”
[Ed. Note: Beth has NEVER been hotter than she is right now.] Jamie is cowering on the floor as Beth continues to beat the shit out of him. John rescues Jamie by telling Beth he can take it from here. Beth tells John to come find her after Jamie talks to him so he doesn’t, “Jamie his way out of this.” Beth leaves the men be. Alone, John turns to his son. John is perplexed because for a woman as mad as Beth, he’s never seen her so angry. And for a woman who doesn’t scare, she’s scared. So, what did you do, Jamie?
Jamie breaks down crying. John shatters his glass on the fireplace. Like his daughter, he too knows that something bad is about to be revealed.
“What the fuck did you do to me?”
Truth be told, I jumped a mile when John threw that glass against the fireplace. I felt all of the anger and disappointment he feels for Jamie in that glass explosion. Speaking of Jamie. Dammit, you are a sniveling, weak man. Jamie has ZERO courage and ZERO conviction. If Beth is the calculating type, measuring twice to be able to cut once, then Jamie is the fly by the seat of his pants type. Jamie had a fit of rage after his father turned his back on him in the midst of the attorney general campaign and ran to a reporter to spill the beans about dear old Dad. Now that the shit is hitting the fan regarding the article, he’s trying to backpedal throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Sarah. And nothing sticks except the fact that Jamie is fucked. I can’t wait to see the fallout from this.
My moment on a soapbox: Not to generalize all men, but why do some men feel it’s okay to talk to girls/women/females about their bodies? The old wrangler who tells a 14 year old Beth that he sees a swish in her hips? Just why? That’s gross. Most 14 year old girls don’t have the biting tongue Beth has and most are self conscious enough about all the fucking changes going on literally from head to toe without comments from creepy old men highlighting that. It’s harrowing enough to have hips to swish without being called out on it.
Darling men, it is never okay to make a female feel uncomfortable with your inappropriate comments. Imagine, if you will, how your asinine comment would make you mother, grandmother or sister feel? Yeah. Not good. Shut your mouths. It’s not okay. Ever. Descending from the #metoo soapbox.
The Duttons are no closer to an answer on the cattle assassin. The man John was convinced did it, Dan Jenkins, looks exonerated according to Kayce. Jamie thinks it was someone out of state because his investigation of the airstrips and sky diving planes has come up empty. A thought on Dan, he’s worrying with that “I’m a god” stuff with the gun. He’s an amateur with a chip on his shoulder. Someone is gonna get killed by his recklessness.
Sheriff Donnie and Cassidy are good foot soldiers for the Duttons. Cassidy is a lot less bothered by it than Sheriff Donnie, but Sheriff Donnie came through big time. I feel there may be some backlash for that public humiliation and having to be reminded who he works for. Unless the delivered bottle of bourbon is medicinal for Sheriff Donny’s jaw … recall John’s right hook from last week.
Kayce’s war story. Damn. My heart was breaking for him with that story. I’ve heard a few war stories from my inner circle and there’s nothing good in them. Experiences like that damage the DNA, fundamentally changing the person. I don’t know if stoic and holding it in are the best course of action for anyone, but letting go of some of that burden is necessary. Otherwise, that new DNA eats away at the core.
John looks like he has some ghosts of his own floating around in there from a different era, but the demons of the present are more pressing on his mind. Including, the relationship he has with his kids. He’s really trying to connect better with them so it’s not all about business. It’s easier with Kayce and Beth because John has more in common with them and sees himself reflected back in them. Jamie on the other hand … I don’t know if there’s any help for him in the eyes of his father.
Yellowstone airs Wednesdays at 10pm (ET/PT) on The Paramount Network.
Thank you for reading! Follow us for all your Yellowstone updates on Twitter @popcultureview and on Instagram @pop_culture_review. Follow me on Twitter @SheilsMcGangsta. See you next week for the events that will surely raise John Dutton’s blood pressure.