Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: “Behind Us Only Grey”

Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 8
Kelly Reilly in ‘Yellowstone’ season 2 episode 8 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Paramount Network’s Yellowstone season two episode seven featured an emotional, gut-wrenching performance by Kelly Reilly. The episode, titled “Resurrection Day,” drew in a record number of viewers (5.4 million) and if the world is fair, it will earn Reilly multiple award nominations.

Yellowstone season two episode eight begins with the wranglers preparing for work. Kayce (Luke Grimes) grabs his brother from the bunkhouse and tasks him with feeding the horses. Jamie (Wes Bentley) is the low man on the totem pole, and Kayce apologizes and asks him not to hold the position against him. Kayce assures Jamie he’ll forgive him anything because they’re brothers.

From that quiet moment between brothers, the setting switches to Beth nursing her nearly unrecognizable swollen face. For a brief moment it appears the sink is full of bloody teeth, but it turns out it’s actually bloody tissues. She picks up her makeup and almost immediately sets it back down. No amount of concealer will hide her bruised and battered face.

Beth returns to the bedroom and gently kisses a sleeping Rip (Cole Hauser) on the forehead.

In the big house, John (Kevin Costner) advises Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and Tate (Brecken Merrill) not to bother waiting for everyone to arrive to eat. Beth makes her way slowly into the dining room, and all Monica can do is stare. Beth’s unable to chew and asks for a special smoothie (two scoops of ice cream with three shots of vodka). Given her condition, no one dares to suggest she forego the vodka.

As she’s leaving the room, she pauses by Monica’s chair. “You should see the other guy,” says Beth.

John joins his brave daughter outside, and she wonders what they’ll tell Jason’s parents. John assures Beth he’s not thinking about that; he’s only worried about her condition.

Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) and his right-hand man arrive at the ranch as John and Beth are outside talking. Shortly thereafter Dan Jenkins (Danny Huston) and his bodyguard also arrive for a meeting. Beth wonders what her dad’s up to.

Dan’s the only one who approaches Beth, asking if the Becks are responsible for her condition. Beth, never one to mince words, replies, “My face was just the appetizer.”

Dan’s clearly upset at what happened to Beth, and when she tries the old “what doesn’t kill us” bit, he cuts her off. He believes it might make us harder, but not necessarily stronger. Beth assures him she’s shooting for Teflon. That elicits a smile from Dan who then admits he thinks he understands the Duttons better after being on their ranch.

The meeting begins between Thomas, Dan, and John and they compare the damage done by the Becks. Dan doesn’t understand the Becks’ goal, and John explains the Becks want Dan to leave, Thomas to quit building, and John to be the enforcer.

Prior to the Becks’ intrusion, the fight between these men had not involved any families. It’s basically been against each other with minimal collateral damage. They grudgingly admit their if not admiration then at least tolerance of each other’s tactics thus far.

John thinks the Becks will now move to killing whoever it is they each hold most dear. Dan demands John speak plainly and say that he wants to kill the Becks. John doesn’t hesitate as he reaches into Dan’s jacket pocket. He pulls out a recorder, and Dan confesses he’s using it because he had no idea what John was going to expect of them at this meeting.

Dan claims the recorder’s for his protection and to prove it he says, “We should kill them,” into the recorder. He’s now the first to voice the opinion out loud but not the last. Thomas takes the recorder and explains that it’s different for him because he has the weight of the Indian nation on his shoulders. He doesn’t explicitly say to kill the Becks but implies the sentiment into the recorder. He gives the men his word no one will look for the Becks on the reservation when they go missing.

John won’t say to kill the Becks. Instead, he tells Thomas and Dan he’s the one who will be doing the killing. He expects their help if he needs it, no questions asked.

Beth is sucking on her smoothie when Monica asks to speak with her. The women admit they don’t know each other, and Beth assures Monica the attack was not committed by anyone in her family. When she says it was busy, Monica asks, “What kind of business does that?”

Beth replies, “The family business. With that face I recommend you stick with teaching.” She then tells Monica not to judge them and not to try and understand them.

Malcolm Beck (Neal McDonough) storms into his brother’s office, throwing items, and tossing desks. He’s furious and his brother’s worried people will notice if this fight against Thomas Rainwater, Dan Jenkins, and John Dutton expands.

Malcolm believes they have to take the fight “all the way,” no matter what at this point. Teal (Terry Serpico) agrees and asks who’ll they start with. Malcolm replies, “The one he loves the most.”

The scene immediately shifts to a close-up of Tate.

Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 8
Brecken Merrill and Luke Grimes in ‘Yellowstone’ (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Tate watches his dad work his horse, smiling as he takes it all in. Monica joins them but doesn’t bring up Beth. She explains she doesn’t have doubts, she has worries. Kayce asks her to trust him.

Monica lets them know she’s got a field trip planned for her students and will be home late.

Livestock Agent Steve Hendon (James Jordan) reports in and it’s not good news. He tells John he still hasn’t found out who rented the airplane that was used to kill the cattle. He can’t even locate a feed store that sells clover. However, he does have paperwork from a packing house in Butte.

A lightbulb goes off and John, frustrated with himself over missing the connection, tells Steve to look up Malcolm Beck on the FAA website out of Billings or Butte. Steve discovers Malcolm has three cargo planes at the airfield in Billings. John realizes Malcolm used his own plane.

John dismisses Steve and sets things in motion.

Monica takes her class to a concert on the reservation. Rappers describe life as Native Americans and as Monica listens, she looks torn between two worlds.

That evening Beth returns to bed with Rip. She stares at him as he rests, recovering from a gunshot to the abdomen. He stares at her and then says, “God I wish they would come back to life so I could kill them again.”

Bruised but not broken, they hold each other gently.

Monica arrives home and attempts to quietly get into bed. Kayce’s not asleep and tells her they can not fall back into the trap of not speaking to each other. She wants to know what happened to Beth and Kayce pauses before explaining his dad used to tell him about all the wars he had to fight to keep this place. He didn’t believe him then but does now.

“There’s people who all they care about is more – how to get more, take more – and they’ll stop at nothing,” says Kayce.

Monica compares Yellowstone Ranch to the Alamo, describing the whole family as prisoners. She doesn’t want that to be them, and Kayce agrees they can live in town if that’s what she wants. He doesn’t care where they live as long as they live together. Monica thanks him and actually smiles before moving in for a kiss. They even tease each other about expanding their family.

Rip manages to get up and get dressed, saying he was built to go through hell. He’s returning to the bunkhouse, explaining that’s where he belongs. For one of the rare moments in two seasons, Beth looks lost and forlorn.

Rip makes his way slowly to the bunkhouse where the wranglers are all awake. Jimmy asks to borrow a truck to take money owed to his grandfather, and the men joke about whether Jimmy can actually drive.

Shortly thereafter, Jimmy’s the first customer at the bank. He takes his winnings (now that the check’s cleared) and heads over not to his grandfather’s but to the druggie he owes money to. The small house is packed but Ray, the guy he owes, isn’t there. Jimmy gives the new meth cook the cash and demands they leave his grandfather alone. The cook’s still angry over Avery dousing him with bear spray. He’ll take another $1,000 in exchange for letting Avery off the hook.

Jimmy doesn’t have it and instead the cook’s satisfied with taking the belt buckle Jimmy just won.

Back at the ranch, Kayce and Tate work with Tate’s horse. Monica’s watching them as John arrives, admitting watching Kayce work the horse helps remind him why he loves the ranch. He realizes Monica doesn’t like it there and she confirms she doesn’t want her family to be involved in this fight.

When she says it wouldn’t happen if they lived in the city, John contradicts her. He points out the scale in the city is smaller but there are still plenty of people who want to rob you and do harm. He asks her to give them a chance and she agrees.

Next, John meets up with Rip as Rip is slowly making his way around. He asks John if he happens to have any spare pain pills and John doesn’t respond.

They both spot Beth not far away, walking by herself. John thanks Rip for saving his daughter, assuring him he sincerely means it.

Rip takes over for Kayce in the ring as John needs to talk privately with his son. He informs Kayce the Becks have their own plane, wondering if that’s important information to a soldier. Kayce confirms it is and John gives him the go-ahead to act on the info. When Kayce asks how much John wants to know about his plans, John says everything.

Kayce asks John to set a meeting too far away for a man with a plane to drive. John wants to be able to control the location, so it has to be the Yellowstone Ranch or the reservation. Kayce does a quick calculation and tells his dad to set the meeting for Jackson Hole so the Becks will fly over the ranch.

Kayce asks his dad to get Dan’s bodyguard on board to help him, but John’s leery of bringing him in. Kayce reminds him Dan won’t be able to use anything against them if his employee’s part of the plan.

Beth walks up as Rip is having a man-to-man with Tate about horses. Rip’s explaining why horses shy away and that it has to do with where the horse stands in the world and who’s their friend. Rip’s really good with Tate and John, who’s returned from speaking with Kayce, calls him a big Teddy Bear. Beth doesn’t respond and simply walks away.

Rip tells Tate they’ll make the horse the best they’ve got on the ranch.

Beth runs into Jamie who’s in the barn shoveling horse manure. She refuses to soften toward her brother, telling him that some day when someone loves him she’ll take them away from him. Her hatred toward Jamie is palpable.

Beth begins to cry as she tells her brother she’ll kill the person herself. Jamie stands silently and absorbs his sister’s vitriol.

Elsewhere, the Becks begin the next phase of their plan by shooting a guard on the reservation.

Monica and Kayce relax in a bathtub full of bubbles. Kayce teases her that John outfoxed her, and they laugh as they enjoy a quiet, peaceful moment alone together. She admits she loves the bathroom but not the bedroom. The house is so huge she wants to have more children just to fill the empty spaces.

They’re interrupted by John knocking at the bathroom door.

John orders Kayce to get dressed and then wakes up Jamie and tells him the same.

Jamie joins Kayce and his dad in the truck, and immediately notices their guns. As they drive in silence, Jamie’s face reveals he thinks he’s about to be shot.

They arrive at the guard shack which is blocked off with crime scene tape. John needs Jamie to be a lawyer and as Jamie reacts, it dawns on John that Jamie assumed the worst.

A discussion’s going on over who has jurisdiction and Thomas Rainwater says they all know who’s responsible. Sheriff Donnie Haskell (Hugh Dillon) believes the best course is for Thomas to say they’re halting construction because it’s obvious that’s what the Becks want. It’ll give them time to figure out their next move. Haskell warns John he’ll be the next target, unaware of the attack on Beth.

John says he’s fine with the Becks coming for him on his ranch. He’ll even leave the gate open.

John calls Malcolm and sets the meeting for Jackson Hole during the day in a public place. Malcolm seems to agree and hangs up. There are photos of Monica, Tate, Kayce, Beth, and Jamie on the table, and Malcolm uses his boot to push the photo of Tate toward his brother. Malcolm says, “Who he loves the most.”

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