Season 2, Episode 8: Behind Us Only Grey
3 stars out of 5
It's early morning on the Yellowstone, and as the bunkhouse boys clean up their beer cans, Kayce walks in and asks Jamie to come with him. Then Kayce shows Jamie how to feed the horses and muck out their stalls, telling him that making him low man wasn't his idea. But Jamie says that he deserves it. Kayce, a man who has shot several people and so therefore might know a little something about murder, tells him to try to lose himself in the work and forgive himself. Jamie, ever dramatic, asks if Kayce has forgiven him. Kayce answers by saying he's her brother.
Beth, meanwhile, is looking pretty rough following her horrific treatment at the hands of the Beck brothers' hired goons. After applying makeup to try to cover her bruises, she goes to Rip's bedside and kisses the face of the man who saved her.
Monica and Tate are ready for supper at the Dutton family table. Tate is hungry and reaches for the bread, but Monica admonishes him to wait. Then grampa Dutton comes in and tells him to dig in - waiting for everyone to sit means that you'll never eat. Beth comes to dinner, looking even worse than before (why isn't she in the hospital?), realizes she can't eat solid food, and asks Gator to make her an ice cream and vodka smoothie. "You should see the other guy," she quips before leaving the table dramatically for, what, the fifth time this season?
Dutton follows her outside. Beth expresses concern for the parents of her murdered assistant, but Dutton tells him that he is only concerned about her.
It's time for Dutton's detente with his various erstwhile enemies. First, Rainwater arrives with his driver Mo. Then Dan Jenkins with his driver. Dan, showing a moment of humanity, notices Beth's face and asks if the Becks did that to her. Dan says that he thinks he understands Beth and Dutton a little better, having been on their ranch.
The three formerly bitter enemies discuss their options. They mutually agree that though they hate one another, or at least some combinations of the three hate the others, none of them have attacked the other's families over business. Rainwater's got a great line: "You've been a good enemy, John. A fair enemy."
Dan, who has the least to lose insofar as he's the only one who hasn't suffered through having family or employees brutally attacked, tells John not to mince words. "We should kill them," he says. Rainwater is a little more reluctant, pointing out that if he is caught breaking the law it will change the way that people see Native-American leadership across the nation. Even so, he says that he'll make sure not to stand in the way.
Dutton says he's going to be the one to kill them. Not any outside hitmen, no one from LA or out of state, just him. Beth, meanwhile, slurps on her "smoothie." Monica joins her on the porch (have they spoken before on the show?). Understandably troubled by Beth's injuries, Monica says that she doesn't understand the ranch. Beth tells her not to try.
Malcolm Beck walks into the office he shares with his brother and throws some glassware, pitching himself a little fit. He even smashes the nice big flatscreen hanging above the stuffed hyena! Teal waits until he's calmed down, and asks him how far he intends to take this feud with Dutton. Malcolm, perhaps the more psychopathic of the two by a hair, says they have to take it all the way. They have to kill "the one he loves the most," by which they evidently mean poor little Tate.
Tate's got his new horse, by the way, a spirited animal that Kayce has to work to calm. Monica joins her boys at the corral and commences to moping. Kayce asks her to trust him and says she'll be home late after class. Later we see that the field trip that Monica takes her class to is a Native American rap concert. Monica, as usual, looks troubled as she watches the performances.
Then, in Livestock Commissioner Dutton's office, Agent Hendon walks in and says his investigation of the air-dropped clover has been a bust. He's found no rented planes, no stores that sell clover, and reveals that Dan Jenkins doesn't even own a plane. Didn't we already know this?
A cursory googling reveals what we already know: the plane is almost certainly one of three Cessnas that belong to the Beck brothers' Montana Gaming LLC.
At the Yellowstone, Rip awakes to find Beth watching him. He says he wishes the men he shot would come back to life so he could kill them again. Monica, meanwhile, returns to the ranch and tries to sneak into bed without waking Kayce, but Kayce's awake. He asks why she's not speaking to him, and Monica asks what happened to Beth.
In Yellowstone style, he answers with a cryptic response about how his father used to tell him about defending the ranch and he never believed it until now. Monica tells him the ranch isn't a home; it's a "giant Alamo." He tells her he'll live off the ranch if she wants him to. You know, a lot of this season has revolved around sleeping arrangements - people moving out of the house into the bunkhouse and vice versa, etc.
Later that night, Rip decides he's too manly for bed rest and decides he's got to go back to the bunkhouse before he gets used to a cushy ranch-house bed again. He limps into the bunkhouse, where the gang is sipping coffee and Jimmy asks Floyd to borrow his truck. Jimmy figures he's made enough money now that the rodeo check has cleared and wants to pay his debt to avoid his grandfather getting attacked. That's when Rip enters and gets in his bunk. Everyone looks super happy to have an angry, injured Rip sitting around wincing, so Jimmy goes ahead and leaves.
After withdrawing the amount of his debt from the bank, Jimmy then drives to see Ray, his one-time meth dealer or whatever. Ray, the debtor, says that maybe he's paid up but he's still sore about getting bear-sprayed and eventually asks for another $1000. Jimmy pays with his brand-new rodeo champion belt buckle.
Tate is impatient to see someone ride his horse, but Kayce tells him you can't be impatient with horses. Monica watches from a distance, as John approaches. John says that sometimes a sight like his son and grandson training a new horse reminds him why it's all worthwhile. Dutton knows she's not happy, but asks her to give the ranch a chance - she agrees.
Rip shuffles up to John and the two dance around the topic before Dutton comes out and says it as clearly as he can: seeing Beth coming down the path, he turns to Rip and says, "thank you." Ever stoic, Rip acknowledges him, but just barely. Then Rip takes over training the horse while Dutton tells Kayce what he knows about the Beck brothers' plane and private airfield in Billings.Kayce suggests that Dutton arrange to meet the Becks somewhere too far to drive - Jackson Hole, maybe, as then the plane would presumably fly right over them. Then Kayce says that he wants the help of Jenkins's bodyguard as insurance against Jenkins somehow using the situation against them later.
Rip, meanwhile, explains that horses don't play, they figure out their place in the world (whatever that means). Beth watches, teary-eyed. Then Dutton watches Beth watch, saying that Rip's just a big teddy bear: "who knew?" Beth wanders into the barn, where Jamie mucks out the stalls. What do you think happens? Beth insults him, then tells him that if he ever loves anyone or anyone loves him she'll take it from him with her bare hands. In case you thought this was the kinder, gentler Beth, well, it's not so. In addition to all the other people she hates, you've really got to give her that she really hates Jamie.
Then, on the reservation, a black truck pulls up and asks for directions from the Native law enforcement officer. Then, when he walks near to the window, whoever's inside the truck shoots the officer.
Monica and Kayce are enjoying a nice bath when Dutton interrupts with a curt "get dressed." Then Dutton goes to the bunkhouse and collects Jamie, too. He pointedly does not ask Rip to go with, which is probably for the best since Rip's ailing. Jamie gets in the back of a big Yellowstone Ranch truck, but not before noticing that Kayce's strapped up for a shootout. Jamie seems to think that Dutton and Kayce are taking him out to shoot him, but they turn up at the scene of the shooting of the tribal officer.
Sheriff Haskell's already on the scene, arguing about whether it's a tribal or county matter. Regardless, an investigation will halt construction on the casino, at least temporarily. Haskell warns John that he's next, and that if the Beck brothers see deputies on the Yellowstone they'll come for Haskell too. No one is too sad at that thought.
The Becks are in their mansion when they get the call. A meeting? At Jackson Hole in broad daylight? Sure, they agree to meet him. Then, in the last moments of the episode, we see that the Becks have photos of all the Duttons. The picture of Tate is the largest.
"Who he loves the most," Malcolm mutters.