The Great Yellowstone Rewatch: S3 E7: "The Beating"
4 Stars Out Of 5
Very early in the morning on the Yellowstone, some no-good rustlers are making off with Dutton's cattle, having cut the fence, backed a trailer up, and even employed some shepherding dogs to round them up. Well, that's no good.
Meanwhile, in Rip's cabin, he's already up and ready to face the day (he says it's going to be a long one). He kisses Beth goodbye, but she decides to tempt him with a little morning delight. Despite his protestation that "God doesn't like me enough" for Beth in the morning, one of the two of them, either he or God, yields.
Next it's the morning ritual of Jamie Dutton, who dresses and then sneaks into his father's office to retrieve the deed of the ranch. What kind of trouble are you going to get in now, Jamie? He drives off the ranch just as the sun begins to rise and the Bunkhouse Boys are getting up, including their paramours, leading to a great Rip line; he walks in and asks "when the **** did the bunkhouse become Paradise Island?"
Rip then makes clear to Lloyd that he'd better get rid of the barrel racers before all the bunkhouse boys are ruined. But Mia says that they're no free loaders, and volunteer to work, loading a horse into a trailer and then telling Rip that she'll take his spot because he's still too busted up to do any good (although you gotta admit, he's looking pretty good for having broken his back - maybe that the healing power of love, the best medicine at all). Rip asks who the spirited lass is, and Jimmy sheepishly tells Rip that Mia is his girlfriend. Rip accepts it with as much good humor as he's able to muster, and maybe even a little affection for the now all-grown-up Jimmy. Mia gets her way, and goes with them.
Then Kayce, Ryan and Agent Hendon investigate the missing cattle, including some calves that hadn't been branded yet, which are most likely to show up in Billings, so Kayce decides to try to head them off there. Then he commits a true Montana cardinal sin, and reduces the Montana street cred of the show just a bit, by saying that they oughta check LEWISTON too. That's LEWISTO(W)N for you out of staters. We'll forgive you, Yellowstone, but watch yourself.
Jamie is trying to do some sort of nefarious Jamie stuff when his secretary enters and informs him that he'll need to file a signed copy of his birth certificate to officially be ratified as Attorney General. He goes downstairs to do so, gives them the proper ID, and waits.
Beth drives back, presumably from the office, and gets to the ranch, where they're replacing a window. They recognize her from Schwarz and Meyer, since they probably replaced all the glass windows in her office when the Beck brothers sent assassins to kill her. She suggests they use double planed glass, which is always a good idea anywhere near the Duttons. Beth finds her father brooding in the, what do you call that, a living room? The big giant room with the fireplace.
Dutton growls something about having decisions to make, boiler-plate Dutton stuff. Then he asks Beth if she intends to marry Rip, and she says that she will marry Rip. She says maybe, if he asks her. Dutton tells her that Rip will never ask, because he would have to ask Dutton for his daughter's hand, which he won't do. If it's what she wants, he tells her, she'll have to do the proposing. She thinks about it, and then the two dance around the issue of whether Dutton would be ok with that. Finally, she asks him point blank, and after confirming to her father that she loves him and that he makes her happy, Dutton gives his consent, which of course he would, because why not?
Then Dutton tearfully apologizes to her for making her feel, all those years ago, as if she couldn't come to him about her pregnancy. That she felt she had to go to Jamie instead. Why did she go to Jamie again?
She tells him that he knows she can go to him now, and that's all that matters.
Back in Helena, a bored Jamie wonders what's taking his birth certificate so long. Then the clerk returns, and delivers a bombshell: he's adopted, and his real name is James Michael Randall, born in Bozeman. Then she shows him the adoption papers. He's confused. Then she hands him a criminal file - it appears his father killed his mother. Jamie is not pleased, returning to his office for some of his own brooding. He shirks his meeting, and then asks his receptionist to find out whether his birth father, Garrett Randall, was paroled, is still in prison, is dead, whatever.
Rip's still driving the truck to Hamilton when Mia inquires where he got his coat. He tells her it was the Murdoch's in Dillon, and she asks if it's Filson. Mia then tells Jimmy and Rip her theories on what's sexy in fashion, her love for Sturgill Simpson. Rip tells her to please play her some Sturgill in the earnest hope that she'll be quiet. Then he tells Jimmy that he's going to kill him. But the song plays, and its pretty good.
Beth meets with the supposedly satanic Broken Rock attorney Angela Blue Thunder that so put the fear into Rainwater and Mo. She and Beth seem like peas in a pod. Their brief meeting ends when they mutually agree that to beat Market Equities they'll have to get dirty. Is there any other way when it comes to Beth?
Rip, Mia and Jimmy arrive at Hamilton to sell their too-touch horse to Sid Steiner the (real) legendary rodeo rider. Mia is starstruck. Steiner has his son ride the horse and then says that he'll pay him a few grand, but that the horse isn't mean enough to be a rodeo horse; doesn't buck hard enough. Jimmy's seen how mean the horse can be, and he can't believe it. Rip tells him that the boy has been riding sheep since he was four, and has rodeo in his veins, but even then, safety is not assured; he could die any day. Jimmy gets the picture. He asks Rip if this is Rip's way of telling him not to rodeo, and Rip says no, its his way of showing him why he shouldn't. Whether he does or not is up to him.
In Billings, Kayce tries to suss out which of the calves in the lot might be Dutton's when he sees a trailer ride up with dogs and gets the feeling it's his suspect. The driver of the trailer sees Kayce eyeballing him and decides not to try to sell the calves at this lot, driving away. Kayce mounts up and races after him. Kayce manages to lasso the man around the neck through the window of his truck, a hell of a stunt, and then Kayce drags him out and interrogates the man as to who he was working with.
Dutton goes to the diner (we haven't seen this set since the first season) to order a steak when who should he see but Wade Morrow. We still don't know the nature of their feud, but Dutton makes it a little clearer, but not much. Apparently Wade used to work for Dutton, and stole something from him. He also did some time behind bars. Dutton promises he'll come and get whatever it is that Morrow stole from him.
On the way home, Rip's trailer gets a flat. He gets mad, and Mia and Jimmy cower in the truck. Once they get back to the Yellowstone, Rip shotguns three beers before he's calm enough to talk, and when he does it is to ask Beth how her day was. She confounds his bad day by proposing to him, giving him a pretty cool looking jet black ring. She really has to spell it out for him, and just as Dutton predicted he say she wouldn't be comfortable without asking her father, and she says its taken care of. He can't go to a courthouse since technically he doesn't exist, but she's not too particular as to whether it's a legal wedding or not, so they're engaged.
Kayce and the livestock agents arrive at the trailer of the other rustler and find a mess of stolen beef. No one answers the door, and it quickly turns into an ambush, with Ryan and Hendon both taking bullets before Kayce shoots the gunman. Hendon gets some glass in his face and arms, but he'll live, as will Ryan. Then they hear a scream, and Kayce goes into the trailer just in time for the man's little daughter to find his corpse. What a mess.
At the ranch, an incensed Jamie confronts Dutton about the adoption and after some initial weight-throwing around, they settle in for a big, meaty Costner speech. Dutton tells Jamie that a father and a mother are who love you, not who sired you. His biological father was a vicious murderer who killed his mother with a showerhead, and his mother was a good woman who for whatever reason loved a bad man. Dutton thinks that makes him Jamie's father, but if Jamie wants to track his own murderous father down and look him in the eye, he should. Then Dutton says he's tired, and goes to bed, leaving Jamie to stare into the fire and another episode of Yellowstone to conclude.