Buckle up and grab the tissues. Season three episode 10 of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone – the season finale – puts viewers through the emotional wringer.
Episode 10, “The World is Purple,” opens with Mia and Jimmy in bed, and Mia’s shocked Jimmy allowed himself to be branded. Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) kicks her out but first sends her over to fetch Laramie out of Walker’s bed.
Before the girls leave, they spot Teeter (Jennifer Landon) in the bathroom taking care of her new brand.
Jamie (Wes Bentley) is still over at his birth dad’s place when we catch up with him. He peppers Garrett (Will Patton) with questions about possible siblings and other relatives and learns there are a few scattered around, but no brothers or sisters. Garrett recalls coming home once to find Jamie screaming and starving…and sucking on a crack pipe’s tip like a nipple. His mom was busy servicing a stranger and that’s when he killed her.
“I took her life and gave up mine for you,” says Garrett. “Looking at you now I would say that’s probably the best choice I could have made.”
Garrett wonders whether John Dutton loves Jamie and admits he thinks John only loves his ranch. He declares himself the only family Jamie really has. Jamie confesses he’s going to lose everything. He claims he was raised to run the ranch and he’s the one who built it into what it is today. (He doesn’t acknowledge that Beth, Kayce, and his deceased brother Lee were also responsible for the ranch.)
Jamie can’t afford to buy it flat out and Garrett hints the only way to procure Yellowstone is by taking over the empire. And the only way to do that is by killing the king! Jamie doesn’t immediately respond but finally says he’s not a killer. Garrett looks him in the eye and can tell Jamie has killed before. It’s in his blood as a Randall.
Meanwhile, over at the ranch the rest of the family prepare for the day. Monica (Kelsey Asbille) reminds Kayce (Luke Grimes) she and Tate moved there to be closer to him, but he’s always at work. She smiles when she notes how much he likes his job, and Kayce concedes it means a lot to him to have someone to fight for – rather than some “thing” – as the Livestock Commissioner.
Willa Hayes (Karen Pittman) and Roarke (Josh Holloway) also prepare, separately, for a busy day. Willa’s at work watching stock market reports while Roarke’s placing another call to Wade Morrow. His calls keep going straight to voice mail…and always will, given dead men don’t answer their phones.
Over on the reservation, Angela Blue Thunder (Q’orianka Kilcher) joins Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) on the casino’s roof. He likes the view it affords him of the reservation while she likes the view of the parking lot better. Angela reveals she wishes she could go back in time and tell her people to sell their belongings, go to New York, and hire a huge law firm.
She warns Thomas he’ll ultimately be judged by whether he owns the land or loses the land – not how he got to that outcome.
Rip (Cole Hauser) has obviously had a long night when he joins Beth (Kelly Reilly) for breakfast. She jokes about who he killed the night before and he tells her not to ask him that. Beth realizes she hit a nerve and when he continues to refuse to say what happened, she reminds him they don’t get to keep secrets from each other anymore.
Rip doesn’t think he’s keeping a secret, he’s doing her a favor by not saying how many people he’s killed. Beth doggedly pursues an answer, continuing to probe Rip for an answer about his death toll. Rip says it’s a big ranch and their enemies don’t fight fair.
Beth ultimately allows him to keep this particular secret. She then grabs her phone and asks him to excuse her. “I’ve got to kill someone too,” she says as she walks out the door.
Beth and Rip arrive at the big house and she greets her dad with a kiss. After he asks if she’s ready for this, she replies, “They f**ked with the wrong bull, daddy.” John (Kevin Costner) chuckles and says, “They sure did.”
After Beth walks away, John and Rip have a cryptic conversation about Wade Morrow. Rip assures him he got what was John’s back and Wade will not be causing any further problems, ever.
Rip reveals Roarke is the person who hired Wade, and surprisingly John’s never heard of him. (It’s strange Beth never mentioned his name to her dad.)
Kayce’s getting ready to head to the office and John’s happy Kayce’s settling into the job. John planned this for his son all along, but it wouldn’t have happened if it also wasn’t Kayce’s dream. Kayce tells his dad to have a good day and John assures him he won’t. “I believe I’m all out of those,” says John.
Mia (Eden Brolin) and Laramie (Hassie Harrison) load up their horses and hit the road with Jimmy (Jefferson White). Mia still won’t let go of the fact Jimmy now wears the Yellowstone Ranch brand.
John, Beth, Thomas, Angela, Willa, Roarke, and assorted minions from Market Equities gather at Jamie’s office for a meeting to discuss the future of the valley. Governor Lynelle Perry (Wendy Moniz-Grillo) is the last to arrive and Jamie rises to greet her, noticeably avoiding shaking the extended hand of Willa Hayes.
Roarke shows the completed lease with the Forest Service and with other deals in place, Market Equities no longer needs state funding or for a bond to be placed on the ballot. As he’s speaking, Willa’s shown an article that just popped up accusing her of workplace harassment by “Jane Doe.”
Beth looks like the cat that ate the canary. Willa steps out but first assures them Roarke has the authority to speak for Market Equities. John perks up as that’s the first time Roarke’s name has been mentioned. Roarke confirms his identity and says, “Once you put a name to this face, you will never forget it.”
“I don’t believe I will,” replies John.
Roarke continues his presentation, laying out the added revenue this development will provide to Montana. He then turns his attention to John and points out on a map the land on Yellowstone Ranch most suitable for building an airport. Jamie inserts himself into the conversation, saying any land purchases of Yellowstone need to go through him. Beth corrects him and says she’s the one Roarke needs to discuss land purchasing issues with.
Beth claims Power of Attorney but Jamie points out Beth filed in Utah and Montana doesn’t recognize PoAs issued in other states. Jamie declares himself the legal authority and adds that he approves the sale of that tract of land.
John quickly responds, “Like hell you will,” and Jamie explains that if he doesn’t sell it, John will get paid only 1/10 of what it’s worth because the state will condemn it. Either way, he’ll lose the land and millions of dollars.
John suggests Jamie shouldn’t condemn the land since it’s his choice as Attorney General. Jamie shocks John by explaining it’s actually Governor Perry’s decision. John asks Perry what her choice will be, and she admits there aren’t any choices left – only options.
Thomas asks for the environmental impact report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife on the impact of an airport beside the river that supplies water to the oldest national park. Angela reveals that will be the basis of their class-action suit, citing how it will impact native land and park land. She will gather attorneys from the Sierra Club, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and others to take on Market Equities.
When Roarke wishes her luck, she reminds him her people were able to put an end to hunting wolves for a decade. “What do you think we’re going to do to an airport? We don’t need luck. See you in court,” says Angela.
Thomas and Angela prepare to leave the meeting, but first Thomas suggests John join them in this fight since it will impact the remainder of the Yellowstone Ranch. It won’t cost John anything to join their suit and he won’t even have to hire an attorney. The class-action suit will take care of all of that.
John doesn’t reply before Thomas and Angela leave. Once they’re gone, he acknowledges that’s a “curveball from the reservation.”
John declares he’s the only person who can sell that land. It’s his. Roarke suggests John say that as much as he can now because soon it won’t be true. John stands inches from Roarke as he warns Roarke he doesn’t even know the rules of this particular game. John continues with his warning, explaining he will teach Roarke the rules.
Beth and John are next to leave the meeting. John pauses at the door, observing Jamie never says hello or goodbye to him. Beth suggests Jamie has nothing to say and when he claims he has lots to say, she tells him to speak up. He doesn’t. Beth wins this battle with barely a shot fired.
Roarke claims not to be concerned about the lawsuit. He reminds them they put a pipeline through the reservation. Plus, Market Equities is too big to fail. (Apparently, Roarke learned nothing from the big banks.)
It’s only Governor Perry and Jamie in the room when she reveals she believes John will ultimately realize Jamie did this for him. Jamie corrects her and says he didn’t. What he does now is just for him, not his family.
Elsewhere, as Mia prepares to enter the arena she’s still upset about the brand. Jimmy admits he’s thinking of quitting the rodeo and confesses he doesn’t want to end up in a wheelchair. Mia shows him a rider entering the arena right that minute who is paralyzed from the waist down. That rider always wins.
Mia reminds him how happy he was while he was rodeoing. If he goes back to it, she’ll stick with him. If he doesn’t, she’s done.
Jimmy confesses he’s scared and Mia admits they all are. They all cowboy up. If he wants to belong to something, it should be to her. They can hit the road and rodeo across the country. She doesn’t want him to be one of John’s cattle.
Jimmy says okay and they kiss, but it doesn’t look like he’s sure of his decision.
During the drive home, Angela reveals now is Thomas’ chance to free the land of John without even having to look like the person who did it. Thomas assures her he’s not a criminal, but Angela believes it’s not a crime by their laws – only the laws of white people. For Thomas, this should be a duty to protect the land and preserve their way of life.
Angela reminds him the United States always breaks their treaties, including ones with Native Americans. “They take what they want and then they make rules to keep you from taking it back,” says Angela. “They make rules for the slave and they make rules for the masters. You’re following the slave rules.”
She believes Thomas should kill John and get the land back. Angela speaks directly to Mo Brings Plenty who’s driving and listening in. She suggests he do it – that he go and make war – without asking permission.
Kayce shows up at work and meets with the heads of the Stock Growers Association. They explain Governor Perry will be out of office in two years and they want to back Kayce to run. He laughs, reminding them he’s not a politician. But they believe he’s what Montana wants and needs.
They think the fact he killed a cattle thief will get him the backing of those who actually turn out to vote, not the student protestors and people who tweet but don’t actually show up at the polls. It’s ranchers and farmers who decide the elections, and they’ll back Kayce.
Kayce doesn’t say yes…but he also doesn’t say no.
Ellis Steele (John Emmet Tracy) and Willa Hayes try and handle the sexual harassment claim which Willa knows is all Beth’s doing. Roarke arrives and suggests Willa should have hired not fired Beth. When Willa tells Roarke he needs to start playing dirty, he assures her he has been doing just that.
Neither believe this feels like an oil deal in Montana and Willa says it’s more like an oil deal in Yemen. (They must have done something illegal there that she wants to be replicated here.) Roarke confirms he can handle it.
John’s driving back to the ranch when he stops to help a mother and child with a flat. She doesn’t have a cell signal and doesn’t know if she has a spare because it’s a rental. John locates the spare and she explains she doesn’t have any money to pay him. He asks where she’s from and she says California. John explains here in Montana they do things because they’re the right thing to do, not just for money.
John volunteers to teach the young boy how to change a tire.
Rip visits his mother’s grave and has her coffin brought up. The embalmer did a good job and as Rip kneels next to her, he explains he’s in love. He wants to give Beth his mom’s ring rather than a store-bought ring. He gently removes it from his mom’s hand and says through it he hopes she may be able to know Beth. He says he loves her and thanks her before closing the lid.
Jimmy returns to Yellowstone and enters the ring with a horse. He’s alone as he climbs into the saddle. The horse immediately bucks him around and Jimmy is able to hang on for a short while. Unfortunately, he’s tossed off and lands hard on his stomach. He doesn’t move and appears to be knocked out.
Beth returns to her office at Schwartz & Meyer to pack up. She’s being petty as she asks for everything including pens, pencils, and paper to be boxed up. “We’re taking everything. I want it all,” she says.
She pauses to watch a news report about Willa Hayes being placed on leave until the investigation is over. Her assistant asks if she wants a box addressed to her put in her car. Beth has no idea what it is and the assistant describes it as a box within a box as she’s opening it. Beth tries to get her to stop when the bomb inside goes off!
The explosion is massive. Windows are blown out and parts of the building fall into the street. Cars screech to a halt as the dust cloud and debris surround them.
Kayce’s on the phone with Monica discussing the possibility of running for governor when he hears crashing and gunshots from the lobby. He immediately springs into action, pushing over his desk to use it as a barrier between him and the bullets. An armed man breaks through Kayce’s door and immediately begins shooting.
Monica screams Kayce’s name over and over again as she hears the sound of gunfire through the phone.
John’s still stopped on the side of the road helping the stranger as his family is being hunted down. He’s sent the little boy off to look for the lug nuts when a van stops on the side of the road. John attempts to motion it to leave, signaling they’re okay. He approaches it to thank them and as they’re about to drive away the driver asks, “You’re John Dutton, aren’t you?”
When John confirms it, the van’s back doors spring open and a gunman riddles John with bullets.
The van backs up to pursue the fleeing woman who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. After shooting her the van screeches away.
Rip can’t reach Beth, Kayce, or John and finally calls Jamie. Jamie doesn’t sound concerned as he replies, “Rip, I don’t think you should call me anymore.”
Rip, confused, hangs up. He immediately spots a downed horse in the field and pulls over. The horse is on its side but not yet dead and Rip puts it out of its misery. “I’d rather kill a thousand men than shoot another horse,” says Rip.
Rip notices vultures circling in the sky not far away. Death is in the air.
John has been shot but isn’t dead. He clutches his abdomen as he’s seated leaning against a tire. He manages to pull out his cell phone. He glances at it and says, “Doesn’t that f**king figure.” He looks toward the sky as the episode ends.
NOOOOOOOOO! Do not tell me that’s it for season three! I can’t believe we’re going to have to wait to find out the fates of John, Kayce, and Beth. Oh, and also Jimmy who’s unconscious in the arena without a soul in sight.
That ending was intense and terrifying, leaving so many questions to be answered. Did Jamie follow his birth dad’s instructions and kill the king? Was it Roarke acting on Willa’s orders to be ruthless? Or did Angela convince Thomas and/or Mo to go to war with the Duttons? If I were a betting woman, I’d go with Roarke only because I have to believe Jamie slaughtering his own kin is a bridge too far even for that slimeball. But then what about his final phone call with Rip?
Thomas is an honorable man and I truly don’t see this being the moment when he crosses that line and pulls the trigger. I can’t accept that Thomas would ever go after John’s children. Ever. It has to be Roarke, Willa, and Market Equities behind the attempted murders. Roarke flat out stated he’d do anything to get this deal done and he doesn’t appear to have a moral bone in his body.
Episode 10, “The World is Purple,” was a traumatic, gut-wrenching end to an absolutely terrific season. Season four can’t arrive soon enough.
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- 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
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- Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 2 “Freight Trains and Monsters” Recap
- Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 3 “An Acceptable Surrender” Recap
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