As difficult as it is to accept, we’ve arrived at the penultimate episode of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone season two. Episode nine, “Enemies By Monday,” kicks off with Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Dan Jenkins’ bodyguard sneak into the hanger and drop a bomb into the fuel tank of the Teal brothers’ plane.
The next morning Kayce joins his dad as they watch the wranglers prepare the equipment for winter. They both admit the annual ritual makes them sad, but really it’s just a little small talk before they can address the elephant in the room.
Kayce confirms the plan is in motion and warns his dad it’s too late to reverse course. John (Kevin Costner) assures him the Duttons won’t be making up with the Teals. John also confirms Kayce’s worst fears; generations have had to protect the ranch and address unfriendly advances. It’s the one aspect of running the Yellowstone Ranch that remains constant.
Tate (Brecken Merrill) passes his horse some hay and then says goodbye before heading off to school with his mom.
Elsewhere, deputies examine Jimmy’s grandfather’s dead body. It’s likely he died from injuries suffered when Jimmy’s druggie ex-friends came to collect what Jimmy owed. A blood vessel ruptured and caused his death.
Jimmy’s working with the wranglers and giving Cowboy (Steven Williams) a hard time when a deputy arrives to deliver the news of his grandfather’s death. Jimmy (Jefferson White) refuses to answer when the sheriff asks if he knows who beat up his grandfather.
After the deputy leaves, an enraged Jimmy tells Jamie he paid his debt and his grandfather died anyway.
Rip (Cole Hauser), Kayce, John, and the others ride up as Jimmy’s taking out his anger by hitting a tree with a bat. He drops it as the men dismount and is out of control when he demands a truck from Rip. Rip, using his best soothing voice, asks Jimmy to explain what happened. He sends the others away and pulls Jimmy to the side, using probing questions until the basic facts are laid out.
Jimmy wants to kill the people responsible, but Rip warns him he’ll wind up in jail. Rip has a better idea and takes the rifle from Jimmy, giving him a short hug. He sends Jimmy back to the bunkhouse and tells Kayce they’ll need to handle this that very night. The Jimmy situation can’t wait, even though they already have so much on their plate.
Jamie gets a call from Christina (Katherine Cunningham) demanding he meet her at the coffee shop. He heads over and learns she’s figured out he was responsible for the reporter’s death (which was reported as a kayaking accident). The timing of Sarah Nguyen’s death is too coincidental.
Jamie doesn’t deny any involvement, and Christina is worried for her own safety. He assures her she’s completely safe, but she doesn’t buy it. She demands he try harder to be a good man and then drops the bombshell that he’s going to be a dad.
Christina insists she’s going to handle the pregnancy on her own but expects him to be ready to act like a father after the baby’s born. Jamie’s initially stunned but then runs after her as she leaves the coffee shop. He asks her not to tell anyone he’s the father until he can figure things out. He’s worried about how his dad will react (grow a pair, Jamie!) and Christina advises him to either serve his father’s family or his own.
Monica goes shopping in a high-end clothing store in town and the racist sales associates treat her like trash. One insists on searching Monica’s purse and has a security guard stand near the door so Monica can’t leave. When Monica refuses to allow her to look in her purse, the clerks call the police. The snottiest of the two says she’s used to dealing with Monica’s “people.” The other clerk calls the police while the leader of the racist duo says, “In for it now, you little b*tch.”
Monica takes out her own phone and makes a call.
Beth (Kelly Reilly) is back in her office, watching as the glass doors are replaced. When one of the workers admits he’s never seen this particular glass break before and asks what she threw through it, Beth replies, “My face.”
Beth’s phone rings and apparently Monica thought if she called Kayce for help, he’d wind up killing someone. She needs Beth’s help and Beth actually responds without putting up a fight.
Two police officers arrive and the clerks go through Monica’s purse while the cops watch. One officer asks if Monica’s a student and when she says she’s a teacher, the bimbo clerk thinks she’s lying. The officers don’t find anything in Monica’s purse, so the clerk lies and says she saw Monica stuff something down her pants or up her shirt.
The male cop asks for the security footage since a camera’s pointed directly at the store’s sales floor. The clerk claims the cameras don’t work. The officer then tells Monica they can search her at the store or take her to the station. The female officer tries to get Monica to step into the dressing room but Monica – quite justifiably – demands to know what happened to innocent until proven guilty.
Monica does reluctantly step into the dressing room under the watchful eye of the female cop. She’s told to spread her legs and put her hands against the wall, and she complies.
Meanwhile, the clerk has taken a ring out of the display and dropped it on the floor. She covers it with her shoe.
The officer leaves the dressing room, announcing Monica doesn’t have anything. The clerk claims she stole a ring, pointing to the empty spot in the display.
The female cop returns to the dressing room and Monica’s had enough yet she still manages to comply. She takes off her shirt and pants at the officer’s instruction, and then is forced to turn around, face the wall, and remove her underwear.
Beth arrives and the lead racist clerk instantly recognizes her. She tells Beth they’re closed right now and then is confused when Beth asks where “she” is. Beth says she’s looking for her sister-in-law and opens the dressing room curtain. Monica has her bra off with the female cop still watching her.
Beth says, “I’m no lawyer but I believe it’s the 4th Amendment that deals with unlawful search and seizure.” She whips out her cell phone and takes photos as the female officer lies and says Monica volunteered to be searched.
Beth kicks the cop out of the dressing room, closing the curtain so Monica can get dressed. She recognizes the male cop as someone she went to school with. Beth then recognizes the female cop as someone who used to babysit Kayce.
The cops leave, aware of how much trouble they’re in and that Beth is not going to drop this.
Monica’s about to quietly leave the store when Beth beats her to the door. She locks it and flips the sign to closed. “While I’m here, I might as well shop,” says Beth. She looks into one of the glass cases as racist clerk #1 sends the security guard and the quieter racist clerk into the back room. Beth shatters the glass case and pulls out a necklace. She tosses it to the floor and continues to break things. The best, however, is yet to come.
“And you, you f*cking c***. I remember when you gave out hand jobs for lunch money, Veronica,” says Beth. She ticks down a list of “improvements” Veronica has had done, including a boob job, as she continues to break glass display cases.
She picks up a dress and tells Veronica to model it. When Veronica walks toward the dressing room, Beth halts her progress. She wants Veronica to feel as humiliated as Monica and tells her to take off her clothes in front of them. If she doesn’t, then Beth will just keep breaking all the glass in the store.
Beth stares at Veronica, telling her once again to try it on. Monica watches from a short distance away as Veronica pulls off her clothes. When it’s revealed she’s wearing Spanx, Beth laughs.
Beth pulls Veronica’s Spanx away from her skin and looks down. “Well, you’re not a real blonde. What a surprise,” says Beth.
Monica asks Beth to stop. She doesn’t think humiliating Veronica will undo what was done to her.
“I didn’t steal from you and you know it. You judged my skin. Just say it,” demands Monica.
Veronica admits she’s a racist and apologizes.
Monica leaves but Beth lingers. “You’re lucky she has a conscious. I was going to get you to f*ck that mannequin,” says Beth, just inches from Veronica’s face.
Beth meets up with Monica outside and suggests they get a drink. Monica doesn’t drink, but Beth understands Monica needs support. She actually places an arm around her sister-in-law’s shoulders and escorts her into a nearby bar.
Monica wonders if Beth’s concerned that people are staring at her face, but Beth assures her she’s not. Beth opens up, telling Monica she has a kind soul and that’s why Kayce fought so hard for her. Beth thinks that kind soul will make people hate Monica and that’s actually probably what set Veronica off. Veronica saw Monica as someone younger, prettier, and better, and hated her for it.
“You’ll forget about her in a few weeks, but she’ll never forget you forgiving her,” says Beth with a chuckle. “That’s going to haunt that b*tch for the rest of her days.”
Beth warns Monica that Kayce has the potential to be just like their father. She wants Monica to do whatever she can to make sure that doesn’t happen. Beth describes her mother as the spine – the center – of their family and that something in her dad died when she died.
Beth believes something in Kayce will die when Monica leaves him again, something she’s sure is going to happen. Beth says Monica’s too good for this place and this family. She asks Monica to take Kayce with her next time she leaves because he’s also too good for the family.
(Can we pause the recap a moment to acknowledge the simply stunning work Kelly Reilly is doing in Yellowstone? She was terrific in season one, but in season two she’s acting on a whole different level. She is brilliant.)
Dan (Danny Huston) arrives at the ranch to speak with John, and for the second time acknowledges the beauty and serenity of the ranch. He claims he just wanted to share this beauty with visitors; that’s why he wanted to build hotels. At this point Dan wants John to buy the club from him, but John confesses he’s not a rich man. He would if he could, but he can’t. However, he doesn’t want John to sell his property to anyone else because they would want to expand.
That evening Tate spends time with his grandfather as Kayce prepares to go out for the night. Monica questions him about his evening “ranch” activities, wondering why he does so much work after dark. He promises they’ll talk about it tomorrow.
Rip prepares to go out with Lloyd and Jimmy to take care of Jimmy’s business when Ryan surprises him by saying he wants in. Ryan’s already into the ranch deep and might as well go all the way in. Rip agrees and welcomes him along.
They hop into Kayce’s truck and take off.
After they leave the ranch, Cowboy packs up his stuff. He knows it’s time to get out and suggests Colby should head out, too.
John and Tate eat alone and then Tate (a typical growing kid) asks if he can have ice cream for dessert. John asks if he fed his horse, and Tate admits he didn’t. John suggests he head out and do it before enjoying his own dessert.
Tate walks alone into the ring and gives Lucky his hay. He tells him good night and then starts to walk back to John’s place. He doesn’t notice that he failed to chain the gate shut behind him.
Something in the dark gets Tate’s attention and he stops and turns around.
Kayce, Rip, and the men make it to drug dealer’s place. There’s a man passed out inside and he doesn’t hear the drill creating a hole in the floor. A plastic hose is inserted through the hole.
Rip spots Jimmy as he’s about to go inside to retrieve his belt buckle. Jimmy doesn’t stop when Rip tells him to and enters the house. Jimmy picks up his buckle and then stomps his foot down on the man’s neck. He doesn’t want the guy to sleep through what’s happening next.
Jimmy escapes as Rip warns him it’s about to blow. The man emerges and fires off a shot before the house explodes.
Back at the ranch, John waits by Tate’s ice cream dish for the boy to return from feeding Lucky. He grows concerned, heads outside, and spots Lucky standing alone outside the ring. Tate’s nowhere in sight.
John returns Lucky to the ring and closes the gate. He looks for his grandson in the barn and doesn’t find him. Returning to the house, John continues to look for Tate, growing increasingly worried. He knocks on Monica’s door and she says Tate’s in his room.
Kayce and the men return to the ranch and Kayce immediately realizes something’s wrong. The wranglers are outside with flashlights searching for Tate, and Kayce’s group quickly joins in the search.
Kayce catches up with Monica who’s outside yelling for Tate along with Beth and the others. Kayce can’t believe his dad let Tate go outside to feed his horse alone, but John claims no one is ever alone on the ranch. There’s always supposed to be a dozen wranglers around.
Flashlight beams light up the ranch as everyone searches the property.
Dawn breaks and the men are still in the fields, moving in a line as they continue to search. John comes upon tire tracks that shouldn’t be there in the field. Kayce takes off running, following the tracks. The others follow as fast as they can, but it’s Kayce who finds Tate’s boot.
Monica drops to the ground and lets loose a scream of pure agony.
More on Yellowstone:
- Yellowstone Series Review
- Recap of Season 1 Episode 2 “Kill the Messenger”
- Recap of Season 1 Episode 3 “No Good Horses”
- Recap of Season 1 Episode 4 “The Long Black Train”
- Recap of Season 1 Episode 6 “The Remembering”
- Recap of Season 1 Episode 7 “A Monster Among Us”
- Recap of Season 1 Episode 8 “The Unravelling: Part 1”
- Yellowstone Season 1 Finale Recap
- Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 1 “A Thundering” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 2 “New Beginnings” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 3 “The Reek of Desperation” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 4 “Only Devils Left” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 6 “Blood the Boy” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 7 “Resurrection Day” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 8 “Behind Us Only Grey” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 2 Finale “Sins of the Father” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 1 “You’re the Indian Now” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 2 “Freight Trains and Monsters” Recap