The Great Yellowstone Rewatch: S3 E6: "All For Nothing"
4 stars out of 5
A lot of this episode feels a little different in tone than the rest of the show, as Yellowstone attempts to tackle a subject that it has referenced, but only obliquely in the past - the murdered and missing indigenous women plaguing a lot of the country's poorer Native Reservations.
So we open with some characters we've never seen before, including Dana Whitefeather (Amelia Rico) and her son Derek (Mosiah Silentwalker). Dana can't find her daughter Sila. She's not in bed, and then she calls various family friends and finds that she's not there either. By that afternoon, she's getting panicked. By twilight, Derek is outside shouting for his sister, and by nighttime, Dana has called 911 to report her daughter missing.
It's a powerful cold open because, even though we've never seen these characters, they seem compassionately rendered - perhaps more so than the more typically stock characters Yellowstone employs a lot of the time. These are neither heroes nor villains, just people.
After the credits, we see the Broken Rock Police Chief Ben Waters discover a car on the side of the road. Suddenly, dozens of tribal police are scanning the area with flashlights. The next day, Thomas Rainwater arrives at the trailer of the Whitefeathers, currently being used as a de facto base of operations for the search. Ben fills Rainwater in: no sign of struggle at the car, which had run out of gas, so she was either picked up or tried to walk. Rainwater already knows it's not looking good, telling Atticus, "You know exactly what her chances are."
On the Yellowstone, Dutton and company are attired in their Livestock Agent vests, preparing to confront Wade Morrow. Dutton tells his men not to confront the men or say anything unkind, but then he immediately calls Morrow a SOB and asks him what scam he's running. Morrow tells him it's no scam. He's babysitting the buffalo for Market Equity, who will charge $600 to have dudes ride up and take selfies with bison. Kayce asks for paperwork attesting to their having been tested for Brucellosis, which Morrow hands over. Kayce tells him that he'd better keep those animals on Morrow's side of the fence or he'll do it himself, probably in some violent and menacing way.
Dutton remarks to Morrow that he's "long in the tooth for old feuds," but Morrow avers that without feuds there's nothing to life.
Beth and Jaimie spend about two seconds in each other's company that morning before it comes to yelling. Jaimie suggests they get to the root of the matter. She tells him that he thinks he's helping, but he's too broken to know all the pain he's caused. Then she calls him evil. It's a classic Beth speech. Jaimie says that he's only tried to protect the family. It's all terribly dramatic, and it makes this particular viewer what the end game is for all the Jamie/Beth stuff. Will they reconcile? Kill each other? Regardless, for those keeping count, this is the umpteenth scene in which Beth has ruined someone's meal in the dining room.
At what is presumably supposed to be the Bozeman airport, a private jet lands, and off steps Willa Hayes, the CEO of Market Equity. She's peeved that she has to come to the boonies to deal with her company being shorted, and makes Roarke feel small about it.
Lloyd and Jimmy, meanwhile, are continuing to explore the mysteries of love, as their respective squeezes, Laramie and Mia, practice barrel racing at the arena. Jimmy watches, barely able to see over his neck brace, while Lloyd stoically receives a wink from his ladylove, who is probably a third of his age.
If Lloyd and Jimmy look troubled, it's because Ryan's joke about barrel racers has come to pass. Lloyd laments that it only took two dances for him to be hauling these girls to the arena for practice. Oh well. Jimmy and Lloyd also reflect on the rodeo - Lloyd considers trying roping, but Lloyd tells him he's no good at that. But he can ride the heck out of a bucking bronco. That is, until his whole body got shattered. In the end, Lloyd gives him some questionable advice: decide with your heart, not your head.
Kayce, sitting in his new office, returns a call to Rainwater, who is requesting some men to help, maybe some volunteers if necessary. Kayce says he thinks he can get volunteers, so he calls someone, presumably his wife. Rainwater sounds as if he's not used to being so warmly received by a Dutton.
At a fancy downtown Bozeman eatery, the Market Equity gang meets with Jamie in his capacity as DA. They tell him about the short, which of course Beth didn't tell him about, and then that the State is poised to buy Dutton's ranch. Unintelligible legalese and business-ese ensue, but what matters is that Willa Hayes offers half a billion dollars for the Yellowstone.
The search for the Whitefeather girl continues as Monica's student volunteers and Kayce's livestock agents show up to search around the car. They form a line with searchers every ten feet and begin to scan the ground systematically. Sadly, they find the girl's body after they see a coyote and follow it to a ditch. "Let's go tell her mother," Rainwater says and walks heavily back to his car.
The next scene will begin in a way instantly reminiscent to any thirty-somethings who ever spent any time on the internet: with the bunkhouse boys and their babes watching the internet-video classic "Guy On A Buffalo." They begin discussing the logistics of buffalo riding, with Lloyd telling everyone that bison can't buck, although they can roll over on you and crush you. Naturally, they all decide, or rather Eden, Mia and Teeter do, to go try to ride Market Equity's bison, which they do. No one dies.
Kayce walks into his wife having a bath in the Y's extra huge marble and log bathroom. Monica says that it isn't fair the girl died. Kayce mumbles something about killing monsters, but that's how he sees the world - line 'em up and shoot 'em down. Monica says she intends to make it her problem.
Dutton spends the next morning brooding under a tree, until Beth joins him for some doubles brooding. She tells him that what they're facing isn't an enemy. It's a "shift in values." Dutton finally asks what's going on between her and Jaimie, and she tells him offscreen.
Monica is now personally combing the field for clues the police may have missed when Rainwater sees her from his car and asks Mo to pull over. Rainwater asks her what she's doing, and tells her that she's putting herself in danger out here, alone on the road. Rainwater gives a classic Rainwater speech. She asks how she can help, and he tells her to join a council he's formed to bring attention to violence on the Reservation. She agrees to help lead that fight.
"That's how you help," he says.
Dutton walks into the Yellowstone ranch house to find Jaimie in the kitchen. Dutton rolls up his sleeves and says that if he hadn't made his late wife a promise to protect Jaimie he'd, well, do something brash. Oddly enough, he doesn't frame the argument in terms of the profound breach of trust he committed upon Dutton's beloved daughter, but in terms of the lack of grandchildren to lead the fight to protect the ranch after Dutton's gone. In other words, Jaimie unwittingly denied Dutton more heirs to help Tate fight for the ranch in the next few decades. Oh, and what he did to Beth was wrong too, I suppose. Kayce arrives in time to break up the potential fight, and Jaimie embraces his brother, crying about how "all I do is give!" while Beth listens. Dutton, too incensed to be in the house, returns to his front yard for more brooding and muttering, "it's all for nothing. Everything I've done, it's all for nothing."