‘Yellowstone’ Season 3 Episode 2 Recap: “Freight Trains and Monsters”

Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 2
Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 episode 2 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

It’s another gorgeous morning at the ranch as Paramount Network’s Yellowstone season three episode two begins. Tate’s spent the night at the camp with his grandfather and for the first time since his kidnapping, he had a full, peaceful night of sleep.

Tate (Brecken Merrill) and John (Kevin Costner) engage in small talk as they head off to fish. Tate wonders why they can’t always live out in the open under the stars, and John admits he often wonders that too.

Beth (Kelly Reilly) wakes up in Rip’s bed and makes her way to the kitchen. Rip (Cole Hauser) is already up and he’s cooking up fried bread, something Beth reveals she’s never eaten. Rip explains the best way to eat it as Beth looks on, sipping coffee. It’s a hearty meal and Beth seems uncharacteristically mellow as she takes a seat at the table.

Rip admits he ate hours ago and wants to just enjoy watching her eat. Beth tries to hide her face behind her hand and he lovingly pulls her hand away. He then strokes her bruised cheek as she smiles and eats.

Monica (Kelsey Asbille) has also slept in and the house is quiet as she dresses for the day ahead. She’s apparently the only person in the big house and she glances around, taking in the place before heading out to the barn. She asks if she can accompany Rip and Jake (Jake Ream) to the camp to see her kid, but Jake’s leery since there aren’t any good horses left. (They’re all already up at camp.)

Rip makes Jake volunteer his own horse, and Jake’s not happy about having to take one of the “monsters” that was left behind. It’s quickly apparent Jake was correct about the “monsters” label – the one he chooses bucks him all over the place as they ride to camp.

Monica asks why Jake chose that particular horse and Rip replies, “You know what, Monica? He ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.”

Up at the camp, John and Tate have returned from fishing and Tate’s preparing the fish they caught. As Tate cooks, John becomes increasingly frustrated about his phone’s constant ringing. He agrees when Tate says work follows him everywhere.

John orders his men to move the entire camp up onto the ridge above their current setup. His mood’s soured because of his phone. It improves as the new camp’s put in place and his phone shows there’s no cell service available. John can finally stash it away and relax. He even chuckles a bit as he sits next to Tate.

Jamie (Wes Bentley), the newly named Livestock Commissioner, arrives at work and immediately receives a call from Sweetgrass County Attorney Randy Harper. Randy (K.C. Clyde) fills Jamie in on two female barrel racers who were jumped and had their rigs, horses, and supplies stolen. Because horses are involved, Randy thinks Jamie should be included in the investigation. Jamie agrees to send Randy an agent to help out, and Randy asks if Jamie understands they need to handle this in a way that sends a message.

Meanwhile, Monica arrives at camp and Tate’s happy to see his mom. He reports all they do is fish and eat, fish and eat. Monica learns Kayce’s out looking for wolves and John points out which direction to find him.

Rip finally has a quiet moment alone with John to thank him. When John says he deserves the house, Rip explains it’s actually the letter that he’s most thankful for. He confesses no one has ever given him anything like it before and he’s grateful for John embracing him as a member of the family.

Rip asks to hire another wrangler, explaining the last girl he hired has done what drifters do – she’s drifted on to the next ranch. John says it’s his decision when and who to hire, and Rip seems confused. He asks if Kayce understands that and John informs him it was Kayce’s idea.

Before Rip takes off, John suggests that if he does decide to hire another female, she needs to be mean or ugly. “Last thing I need is a lovestruck cowboy climbing in the wrong bunk,” says John.

Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 2
Kelsey Asbille and Cole Hauser in ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 episode 2 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Kayce (Luke Grimes) walks through the woods, rifle in hand. Monica finds him and teases she’s been feeling kind of lonely. They quickly shed a layer of outer clothing and make out. That rapidly evolves into Kayce minus his shirt as they sink into the leaves.

Before they get too hot and heavy, Monica spots a wolf hovering not far away. The wolf stares at them but doesn’t move. Kayce decides the best option is to let him watch if he wants to. The wolf settles down and relaxes as Kayce and Monica enjoy themselves.

Night falls at camp and Monica and Kayce are incredibly happy to see Tate fall sound asleep. Monica didn’t believe he would ever be able to sleep without nightmares. She wishes they could live like this every day, and Kayce promises he’ll find a way to make this their new norm.

Monica was right. The stars helped Tate find his way back to peace and happiness.

Kayce’s awakened by the sounds of restless cows. He leaves the tent and spots the wolf nearby. It doesn’t move as he takes aim. Before he pulls the trigger, he wonders if the wolf has lost his pack and is looking for friends. Kayce lowers his rifle and explains to the wolf there’s nothing for him at this camp. “I’ll give you the forest but the valley’s mine,” says Kayce as the wolf remains frozen in place, returning Kayce’s stare.

After Kayce warns the wolf not to attempt to take the cattle, the wolf runs back into the woods.

It’s only then that Kayce turns around and notices his dad has been standing behind him during this conversation with the wolf. John reveals his dad could talk to animals and make them listen too. When Kayce admits he’s not sure the wolf was listening, John assures him it was.

Over at Schwartz & Meyer, Beth has a teleconference with Bob Schwartz (Michael Nouri) to discuss the purchases made by Market Equities. Bob wishes they’d bought Dan Jenkins’ property and Beth’s shocked they even knew it was for sale. When Bob asks who Market Equities’ main competition is, Beth suggests MGM or Marriott. Those companies have ski resorts while Market Equities doesn’t, but Beth doesn’t believe that’s what Market Equities is after since the property is too remote and doesn’t have a large airport nearby.

As she’s talking, Beth works through the possible uses of Jenkins’ property. They could be building an airport but there’s no ski resort. She’s onto something and asks Bob to call his friend at the Department of the Interior and ask if Market Equities has been granted a lease. Beth thinks they’re going to build an airport, then a ski resort, and then ultimately they’ll build a city around both.

Bob urges Beth to buy everything surrounding Market Equities’ purchases. She’s still confused as to how Market Equities learned about this area in the first place and asks who manages their hedge funds. Bob’s assistant provides her with info on the manager who handles the real estate funds and it turns out his name is Roarke. Beth doesn’t immediately connect the name to the man she accused of trespassing while fishing. It’s not until she googles him and his photo comes up next to his name – Roarke Morris – that she puts two and two together.

The search results describe him as an international real estate investor. Beth’s pissed she’s going to have to deal with him again and heads over to his family’s Cross Creek Ranch.

Beth finds him outside and her first words are “Market Equities.” He responds, “Schwartz & Meyer, Bob Schwartz’s girl.” Beth quickly sets him straight that she’s nobody’s girl. After he makes a joke and she calls him a cheese dick, she asks about the Sporting Club. Roarke admits he’s going to build an airport – and not just a tiny one. He’s planning for two terminals with 52 gates.

Beth asks if he’s secured a forest service lease, and he explains he doesn’t do anything other than manage the fund. He claims he only knows what’s going on because he sits on the board. None of this is in his control.

Roarke’s read up on what’s going on in the valley and isn’t impressed with the fighting and deaths. He assures her all of that will stop now that Market Equities is here. Roarke asks her to pretend this isn’t her town; if she didn’t live here, what would she do? She admits she’d turn the area into another Park City.

Roarke believes Dan Jenkins’ dream was too small. “Why dream about building golf courses when you can build cities?” asks Roarke.

He’s well aware the Duttons are the largest landowners around, with Schwartz & Meyer coming in second. Beth wonders if he’s considered the ranchers in the area while making his plans, and Roarke claims the ranchers will become so rich thanks to Market Equities they won’t have to ranch anymore.

Roarke warns her to watch the flowers as she’s leaving, so of course Beth drives right over them.

Roarke chuckles as he takes a look at the squished flowers. “I like this girl,” he says, laughing. (Beth would kick his a** if she heard him call her girl again.)

Rip brings in potential wranglers and assesses their roping and riding skills. There’s one woman who really impresses Rip and Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) but they’re concerned she’s speaking Spanish and may not speak English. It turns out she’s not speaking Spanish; Rip believes she’s actually speaking Texan. Lloyd remains unsure until she answers more of their questions.

Her name’s Teeter (Jennifer Landon) but Lloyd thinks she’s calling herself Peter. She cusses him out for not being able to understand what she’s saying…and Lloyd can actually understand the cuss words. Her accent’s incredibly thick but it’s possible to decipher a few words every so often.

Lloyd thinks she’ll “go through the bunkhouse like wildlife,” but Rip believes she’s perfect and wants to hire her.

Beth arrives at the ranch, checks out the job fair (as Rip describes it), and asks about her dad. Rip reveals John’s up at the camp and is deliberately set up in an area without cell reception. He volunteers to take a message to John, but she claims it’s not that important.

Livestock Agent Steve Hendon (James Jordan) shows up at the Sweetgrass County Rodeo and is directed to the possible suspects. One of the victims points out the men who did it and a sheriff confirms there’s a witness who saw them getting in her truck.

Hendon and a deputy come up with a way to punish the thieves while at the same time making an example of them. The men are placed in the trailer they stole and although Hendon threatens to hang them, instead he explains he’s going to deliver a lesson.

They’re in the trailer as Hendon races down the road. He slams on the truck’s brakes, speeds up, brakes suddenly, and swerves all over the road. Each move violently throws the men against walls of the trailer.

Lesson over, Hendon returns to the rodeo. Accompanied by a couple of deputies, he opens the trailer to discover both men have died. They’ve been beat to hell against the interior of the trailer.

Night’s falling as Rip sits outside his house. He can hear a wolf howl and grabs his rifle. He tracks the sound and finds Beth howling at the moon in the corral. She continues howling as he approaches, confessing in 35 years she’s never been alone on the ranch. With everyone up at camp, they can do whatever they want for the first time – including running naked through the field.

Rip turns on the lights, plays music, and helps Beth to her feet. They dance, alone under the stars.

Up at camp, everyone’s chowing down on dinner and relaxing. Tate keeps asking John for biscuits and John remembers how Kayce’s mom used to make two Dutch ovens full of biscuits – one was just for Kayce. He recalls how impatient Kayce would be until they were ready and when they were, he’d use both hands to gobble them up. The wranglers laugh, but Kayce insists they were really that good.

John explains that Kayce’s mom used to hate making those biscuits because they were so time-consuming. He tried to get her to stop and just make Kayce something else because he’d eat anything put in front of him. She said, “I know, but if I don’t make ‘em I can’t watch him eat ‘em.”

John continues the story, revealing this conversation was their last. She died while they were branding cattle on her birthday.

John leaves the men around the campfire and Kayce follows his dad. John admits he doesn’t know the point of finding someone you love so much only to lose them. He doesn’t see the plan but Kayce assures him he doesn’t see it because they’re inside the plan. “You see the plan; we’re standing on,” says Kayce.

Jamie’s getting ready to turn in when he receives a call from Sweetgrass County Jail. Hendon’s been arrested for the deaths of the suspects. Jamie’s his one phone call. “Sir, we have a problem,” says Hendon.

We don’t hear Jamie’s side of the conversation as the episode ends.

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