‘Yellowstone’ Season 3 Episode 7 Recap: “The Beating”

Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 7
Kevin Costner and Wes Bentley in ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 episode 7 (Photo Courtesy of Paramount Network)

Wranglers use dogs to herd cattle into a truck under the cover of night as Paramount Network’s Yellowstone season three episode seven begins.

It’s still dark out as (Cole Hauser) gently wakes Beth (Kelly Reilly) to say goodbye before heading out for what’s sure to be a long day. She teases him that he appears torn about leaving her and finally convinces him to briefly climb back in bed for a little morning lovemaking.

Jamie (Wes Bentley) is also an early riser, grabbing files including one with a Warrant Deed and heading off to the city. It doesn’t appear he wants anyone to realize he’s off to work.

Over at the bunkhouse, Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) tells a sleeping Laramie (Hassie Harrison) she’s free to stay in his bed as long as she wants. Teeter (Jen Landon) teases Colby (Denim Richards) about also getting a little something as Rip arrives to find Laramie and Mia snuggled in. He’s not exactly impressed with the wranglers for allowing the bunkhouse to become Paradise Island.

Rip can’t believe Lloyd’s involved in the shenanigans and warns him to stop letting the barrel racers spend the night. Mia (Eden Brolin) claims they’re not freeloaders and offers to work alongside the wranglers.

Mia and Laramie do pitch in, with Mia working right alongside a still recovering Jimmy (Jefferson White). Rip doesn’t want her around but Mia pretty much forces him to let her tag along as they drive a horse to Hamilton. Rip says, “It’s going to be one of these f**king days, isn’t it? I should have never gotten out of bed.”

Kayce (Luke Grimes) inspects the field where the cattle were taken. The fence has been cut and the cows and calves stolen weren’t branded or tagged. Kayce assumes whoever did it will try and sell the calves right away. He instructs Ryan (Ian Bohen) and Livestock Agent Steve Hendon (James Jordan) to split up and visit ranches that could have possibly purchased the calves right away.

Jamie’s assistant informs him there hasn’t been a court document filled locally that changes the Dutton ranch’s power of attorney. Jamie then assumes Beth used Schwartz & Meyer’s attorneys and filed it in Salt Lake.

The assistant also tells Jamie he needs to go downstairs and sign for a certified copy of his birth certificate. It needs to be turned in now in order to ratify his appointment.

Jamie reluctantly heads downstairs where he hands over his driver’s license and Social Security card. The clerk heads off to find his birth certificate.

Beth finds her dad (Kevin Costner) staring into the fireplace and he admits he has a lot of decisions to make. He believes the world’s gotten too fast and they need to find a way to slow it down. He wonders if she’ll marry Rip and she agrees she might if he asks her. John assures her Rip won’t ask her because in order to do so he’d have to ask him for his daughter’s hand first. John doesn’t think Rip would ever do that; Rip wouldn’t put him in that position.

John suggests if Beth wants to marry Rip, she’ll have to ask him. Beth seems to consider that for a moment and then asks if her dad would be okay with that. She then formally asks her father if Rip can have her hand. John asks if she loves him and if he makes her happy. “Since the moment I met him,” replies Beth.

John reveals he’s only ever wanted his daughter to be happy. He supports her marrying Rip, as long as he treats her right.

Beth gets up to leave and John suddenly apologizes. She asks why, and he explains he’s sorry she didn’t think she could come to him all those years ago. He’s sincere when he says he wouldn’t have been ashamed or angry at her. “I’m the one safe person in this world that you can turn to, Beth, for anything,” says an emotional John. He’s heartbroken she wasn’t aware of that sooner.

“I know it now,” says Beth, with tears streaming down her cheeks. She adds, “And now is all that matters.”

The clerk returns after a lengthy absence and delivers a bombshell. She’s unaware Jamie never knew he was adopted and he claims he wasn’t, denying the birth certificate she presents him is actually his. She shows him the official Report of Adoption which lists his birth name as James Michael Randall. His birth parents were Phyllis Mary and Garrett Randall. His name was changed to Dutton when he was officially adopted.

The clerk passes him another file which will explain why John and Evelyn Dutton lied to him. (It’s info he could have found on the internet if he searched for it.) The file contains the criminal court record of his real dad who was convicted of second-degree murder. Apparently, he killed Jamie’s birth mom and the clerk believes John did the right thing by not telling him about his adoption and his birth parents.

An angry Jamie stalks out of the office and returns to his desk. He doesn’t have time to consider what he’s learned as he needs to head into a meeting. However, first he hands off his birth father’s file and tells his assistant to find out if the man has been paroled. He wants all the info they have about his location, employment, etc.

He stares at his diploma from Harvard University on the wall and asks, “Who the f**k are you?”

Mia’s keeping up a steady stream of conversation from the backseat as Rip drives and Jimmy sits in the front passenger seat. Jimmy’s clearly worried Rip’s going to explode from Mia’s constant narrating of everything within her eyesight. Mia pauses for the briefest of moments before asking them about songs they would take with them to a desert island. Rip actually chuckles and agrees some music would be nice right about now.

Oh no…that chuckle wasn’t a good sign. He makes Jimmy lean in close and warns him, “When we get back to the ranch, I’m going to kill you with my bare f**king hands.”

Mia, oblivious to how annoyed she’s made Rip, sings along to what she labels her favorite song.

Beth arrives at work to find Angela Blue Thunder (Q’orianka Kilcher) waiting to discuss Market Equities. Angela explains she and Beth are on the same side of this issue, and Beth seems to relish the idea of teaming up. Angela believes Market Equities CEO Willa Hays will try to get Beth fired, but Beth isn’t worried. When asked if she can trust her brother, Beth’s answer leaves no doubt they can’t trust Jamie one iota.

Angela warns Beth they’re going to have to get dirty. That’s just fine with Beth.

Rip’s insufferably long road trip finally comes to an end. They arrive and see a man riding a bucking bronco, and Rip explains this is “business rodeo.” World champion Sid Steiner greets them and instructs Rip where to unload his horse. Mia’s super impressed they just talked to Sid, fangirling over the opportunity.

Jimmy’s also incredibly impressed with the young man who gives their horse a ride. Sid explains the horse isn’t right for the rodeo (he’s too easy to ride), but he’ll take him off Rip’s hands anyway – just because it’s Rip. Rip decides not to make the deal, not wanting to push the horse off on Sid when he can’t really use him.

Jimmy can’t believe Sid didn’t think the horse could buck hard enough. Apparently, Jimmy’s having second thoughts about his dream of being a part of the rodeo. Rip explains the boy who tried out the horse has been riding since he was four and has three world champions in his family to teach him. Rip adds, “And he could still die. I want you to think about that.”

Rip reveals this is his way of showing Jimmy why he shouldn’t want to return to the arena. But, it’s ultimately Jimmy’s choice.

Kayce heads over to a livestock auction and watches as a trailer pulls up. He asks the men standing around if they’ve ever seen this particular trailer before and they haven’t. The driver spots Kayce and decides to take off rather than empty his load, and Kayce pursues him on a horse. He draws alongside the truck and lassoes the driver around his neck, forcing him to stop.

Kayce pulls the driver from the cab and demands to know if he stole the cattle alone. The man indicates he did but Kayce doesn’t believe him. He hits him across the chest and warns him he’ll deliver a beating if he doesn’t reveal the names of his criminal cow-stealing cohorts.

Meanwhile, John shows up at a diner and is ordering up a “just whisper fire to it” steak when Wade Morrow and his son wander in. John doesn’t believe in coincidences and tells the man so. Wade’s son makes a move, but John easily takes him down and turns his attention back to Wade. He reminds Wade he gave him a job and a place to live and Wade stole “the one thing a cowboy doesn’t steal.”

Wade taunts John, telling him he’s ready to fight him whenever John chooses. As he’s leaving the diner, John warns Wade he has something of his. John’s planning on getting it back.

Rip’s rig gets a flat tire on the way back to the ranch and he’s just done with this day. Wisely, Jimmy thinks he and Mia are safer inside the truck than outside with a raging Rip.

Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 7
Cole Hauser and Kelly Reilly in ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 episode 7 (Photo Courtesy of Paramount Network)

They finally return to the ranch and Rip heads straight home. He doesn’t even say anything to Beth as he passes her by on the porch even though she reminds him, “Don’t blame me. I gave you a choice.”

Rip returns outside within minutes holding a six-pack of beer. Guzzling two quickly, he feels better and smiles as he asks Beth how her day went. She calls her day illuminating and asks him to sit beside her. She presents him with a ring box and Rip’s understandably confused. Inside is a man’s ring and she jokes she doesn’t think he’s a diamonds and pearls kind of girl.

He assures her he doesn’t need presents; he just needs her. She stares into his eyes and replies, “Well, that’s what it means. It means that you have me. That I’m yours.”

Beth asks that he outlive her so she doesn’t have to live another day without him. He promises to try and do that. And that’s it – she announces they are getting married! Rip says, “Married…” and she confirms she’s asking him to marry her. He’s hesitant because he thinks he needs to ask her dad, but Beth assures him it’s handled. He laughs as he says, “I mean, I’d like some diamonds actually.” They kiss as he continues to laugh.

Beth wants him to confirm that’s a yes and he reminds her there’s no official record he exists. She says a marriage license is just a contract and she doesn’t need that legal document. Beth just wants him to take her in front of her family and friends – if she ever makes one – and declare there isn’t any more you or I, only us.

Rip nods yes and says he can do that.

Kayce, Ryan, and Hendon arrive at a trailer with stolen cattle penned up out front. Kayce knocks on the door and demands they open up. He hears movement inside and goes around back as Ryan watches the front. He instructs Ryan to get away from the wall and turn his chest toward the building just as shots ring out from inside. Ryan goes down as Kayce shoots back.

As Hendon’s about to burst through the glass front door, there’s another gunshot. Kayce continues to advance and kills a man who emerges holding a rifle. Kayce immediately checks on Ryan and because he listened to Kayce and turned his chest toward the house, he’s fine. The bullet hit his vest and took the brunt of the impact.

Kayce runs to check on Hendon next and he’s alive but hurt. The glass door shattered and he’s got shards sticking out from various body parts. Kayce continues to take care of him as he calls for backup and ambulances.

Kayce hears a noise from inside the house and enters to find a young girl standing by her dad’s dead body.

Night falls and John thumbs through old photo albums in front of a blazing fire. Jamie joins him and reminds his dad he always preached they were supposed to tell the truth. He wonders if John might have an alternate version of truth or live by different rules. Jamie says all he knows is lies and John had him tell a lie every day. When John asks, “What lie is that, son?” Jamie pounces on the word “son.”

John realizes Jamie has learned the truth. When Jamie refuses to listen to his dad after he instructs him to sit down, John warns him he can sit down or get out. He only has those two options.

Jamie chooses to sit.

John uses a bull analogy saying calves are not the sons of bulls, they’re just a bull’s offspring. John explains Jamie’s birth father beat his birth mom to death with a showerhead when Jamie was just three months old.

John says his wife should be called Jamie’s mom because she fed him, protected him, and loved him. John also believes he’s earned the right to call Jamie son because he protected him, taught him, and gave him love and kindness. He says Jamie can call him whatever he wants, however he’ll continue to call him son because he’s earned the right. He adds, “Earning it has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Jamie’s been silent during this and finally asks if John knew his birth dad. John did and reveals everyone begged the woman who gave birth to Jamie not to marry his birth dad. Unfortunately, Jamie’s birth mom thought she could save the man she loved but it didn’t work that way.

John believes Jamie’s in a unique position. He can actually choose to have different parents – a choice not many people get. John also admits he understands Jamie can use his resources to locate his birth dad, if he’s still alive.

“You can look into his black f**king heart,” says John, adding, “You can look into his eyes, Jamie, and you get to choose. You can choose who you call father.”

John’s bone tired. He confesses in his soul he still feels 16 but his heart is tired. He reveals he never expected to be tired of living while he was still strong enough to go on.

Jamie’s been staring at his dad during this without speaking. John says, “Good night, son,” and leaves him sitting in front of the fire on his own to contemplate this turn of events.