‘Yellowstone’ Season 3 Episode 8 Recap: “I Killed a Man Today”

Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 8
Kelly Reilly and Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 episode 8 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Monica (Kelsey Asbille) have the house to themselves as Paramount Network’s Yellowstone season three episode eight opens. John’s taken Tate to see the cow horse guys in action, and Kayce realizes his dad is shopping for a new horse. Monica reminds him that’s fine since John’s retired, but Kayce begs to differ. He claims his dad isn’t retired. Monica lays out exactly how John spends each day now…walks with Tate, baseball with Tate, fishing with Tate…he’s definitely retired.

Kayce finally concedes his dad is taking it easy, and Monica points out he’s lucky John’s not out with a 25-year-old woman, buying sports cars and condos. Kayce believes that might actually be cheaper than horse shopping.

Before they go their separate ways for the day, Monica explains she’s heading out to do volunteer work.

Rip (Cole Hauser) and Jimmy (Jefferson White) are also checking out horses with John (Kevin Costner) and Tate (Brecken Merrill). John explains to Tate why he needs more horses on the ranch – it’s to market the horses as an added source of income. He’s also looking at the riders, acknowledging these are some of the best in the world. He’ll need to hire one to show the horses.

Kayce joins his dad and is about to advise him they don’t need to buy a horse when he’s distracted by the new horse in the arena. Apparently, he and his dad both share expensive taste in horses.

Kayce and John carry on a conversation by just mouthing words behind Tate’s back. John wants to know how the investigation’s going and Kayce tells him the guys are recovering from the shoot-out. Neither Monica nor Tate are aware of the cattle thief Kayce was forced to shoot, and they want to keep it that way as long as possible.

Over at Schwartz & Meyer, Beth (Kelly Reilly) continues to wreak havoc on Market Equities. Roark (Josh Holloway) paces at home, screaming on the phone that every hedge fund manager is now shorting them. He thinks a buyback by shareholders is the only way to right the sinking ship.

Market Equities CEO Willa Hayes (Karen Pittman) is jumping into Beth’s game, ordering shares of Schwartz & Meyer to be snatched up. She wants this particular “bug” squished today.

Kayce shows up at his office to find it packed with ranchers. They’re in town supporting him and to thank him for protecting their ranches. One by one they extend their hands, acknowledging he risked his life to protect their cattle.

Jamie (Wes Bentley) is in Kayce’s office waiting for him, and Jamie assures his brother nothing like that ever happened when their dad was in charge. “He had their respect. He had their loyalty, but that…I don’t even know what you call that,” admits Jamie. Kayce suggests it was gratitude and then confirms the shooting was justified. Although Jamie claims his office won’t question it, Kayce believes they should to keep everything on the up-and-up.

Jamie’s actually there on a personal matter. He wonders if he can still call Kayce his brother and Kayce quickly replies, “To the day you die you better never call me anything else.”

Jamie lays out Market Equities’ plans for the valley, including the permissions they’ve already been granted for their proposed ski resort and international airport. Jamie explains Montana wants this deal to go through and that there’s an offer on the board for $10,000 an acre – and there’s 50,000 acres involved.

Kayce understands the situation but Jamie further explains that if they don’t accept the offer, Market Equities will begin a legal battle over eminent domain. Jamie won’t be involved in the legal battle because he has a horse in this race. He admits Market Equities does have a real shot at winning in court and Kayce asks if there’s a solution to this dilemma.

“We sell it to them,” responds Jamie. Jamie notes the ranch is only on solid financial ground for the next year or two. After that, they’ll probably fall behind on taxes and other expenses. One way or another, the ranch will be sold.

Jamie explains he can’t discuss this with their dad. (He says Beth’s poisoned that relationship.) Kayce knows their dad doesn’t want to hear about “numbers” from him and Jamie believes this has to come from Beth.

Kayce appears willing to speak with Beth about it, but he wants this offer in writing. A verbal agreement won’t cut it. Jamie understands.

Monica’s car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and, unfortunately, she doesn’t have cell service. Her options are either to wait for a car to come along or start walking. We think the decision’s made for her when a car arrives on the scene, however it keeps on driving without slowing down.

A truck pulls up moments after the car passes by, and Monica explains she thinks it’s the radiator and she needs a hose. The driver offers her a ride to Billings. After considering it for a minute, Monica takes him up on the offer.

Elsewhere, Schwartz & Meyer’s stock is being negatively affected by Willa Hayes and Market Equities. Beth instructs her boss what to buy and to keep spending on it until she tells him to stop. We don’t hear his side of the phone conversation, but Beth appears very much in charge of Schwartz & Meyer’s reaction to what had to be anticipated revenge by Willa Hayes.

The appearance of calm is shattered when Beth fires her assistant for offering coffee she didn’t request and then spilling the pot as she tried to escape her wrath.

Beth calls Angela Blue Thunder (Q’orianka Kilcher) and asks if she wants to make some money. Of course Angela does and Beth tells her to gobble up stock because Market Equities is going on a run.

Over at Market Equities, Willa and her team pay close attention to the action. A breaking news announcement declares Market Equities is attempting a hostile takeover of Schwartz & Meyer. Willa dislikes Beth but also respects her game. “After we get this b*tch fired, we should hire her,” says Willa.

Just then Jamie calls and asks Willa for a written offer. She quickly agrees to have something written up and emailed.

Rip and John have a discussion about horses that ultimately leads to a discussion about Rip’s intentions with Beth. Rip doesn’t seem to be of the mind to talk about it, but John says, “If you’re joining the family can you please be the one person in it who f**king talks to me?”

Rip confesses he loves Beth and will always take care of her. John knows that and reveals that’s why he said yes. Rip explains why people don’t talk to John…he believes it’s because they’re scared they’ll let him down.

Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 8
Kelsey Asbille in ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 episode 8 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Monica hasn’t been in the truck long when the driver pulls off the main road, claiming he knows a spot with cell service so she can call home. Monica’s instantly leery of his motivation and asks that he get back on the road. He doesn’t.

They park and the driver instructs her to walk out a few dozen feet to get service, but she declines and says she’ll stay in the truck. He doesn’t allow that and opens her door, urging her out. Monica immediately makes a run for it and he gives chase, quickly catching up to her.

The driver tackles her and tries to pin her down but she’s able to hit him in the head with a rock. She makes a run for it again but he’s back on his feet and faster than she is. She’s forced onto her back and he sits astride her.

Whatever was going to happen next – rape, murder, or both – is terminated when he’s shot through the head.

Quite a distance away a man looks through his scope and verifies his target is down.

Monica finally makes it to her feet, blood soaked into her clothes and face. She runs toward a line of approaching police cars, and it’s confirmed this was a setup. Still, she’s upset it went as far as it did. Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) assures her EMS have already been alerted at the tactical center and they’re on their way to check her out.

Monica gives the man who shot her assailant a hug, thanking him for not missing.

Monica had no idea how much blood was soaked into her clothes and gasps when she sees herself in a car’s window.

A signal comes in from out in the area where Monica was attacked. There’s a least one dead body out there.

“People talk about making a difference but they don’t because they don’t try. They don’t risk. You risked…everything. Today, you made a difference,” says Thomas.

As Thomas is talking, whistles are heard in the background indicating more dead bodies have been located.

Monica admits she didn’t tell Kayce what she was up to and Thomas reveals Kayce has a little secret of his own. He shows her the newspaper with the huge front-page article about the shoot-out with the cattle thief. She thinks it just goes to show why they’re married; they think exactly alike.

Beth’s day is pretty much done – Schwartz & Meyer’s stock wound up plummeting after Willa denied the rumor of a hostile takeover. She receives a call from Bob Schwartz’ assistant setting up a meeting the following day.

Apparently, her day’s not quite over as Kayce arrives with the written offer. She realizes before he even hands it to her that he’s just the middleman and that it’s Jamie who wants her to know about this deal.

Meanwhile, John told Rip to decide what to do with the horse no one can ride. Rip figures out the solution and asks Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) to accompany him on the ride. Six hours in and Rip hasn’t really spoken, so Lloyd is justified in wondering why he needed any company.

They arrive at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range which is the perfect place for a horse that doesn’t like to be ridden. And it turns out Rip’s been trying to find the right words to announce he’s getting married and to ask Lloyd to be his best man.

The horse takes off and then looks back as if to thank Rip for his freedom. He then gallops away, out of sight.

Back on the ranch, Colby (Denim Richards) and Teeter (Jennifer Landon) are out fixing fences when she notices the nearby creek. She immediately begins stripping off her clothes, suggesting they go skinny dipping. She beats him to the river and is already in it, naked, when Colby walks up. Unfortunately, Wade Morrow (Boots Southerland) and his son are also there, and Colby points out they’re on the wrong side of the fence.

After making a snide racist comment, Wade and his son ruthlessly attack Colby, riding into the creek and beating him and their horses with a rope as Colby slips underwater. Teeter and Colby are both repeatedly stepped on by the horses and forced underwater. Wade and his son eventually ride away, but neither Colby nor Teeter surface as the scene shifts to the ranch house.

Monica’s in the shower when Kayce arrives home. He tries to join her and she keeps him out. He quickly learns she knows about the cattle thief. Monica wants to know what he’s protecting her from by keeping secrets. She’s aware of what he’s gone through and capable of, and believes not sharing what happens to him isn’t protecting her.

Kayce explains he didn’t tell her because he’s always in a position where he needs to kill or be killed. He didn’t say anything because – and this is heartbreaking – he doesn’t want her to think he’s a bad man. He may think it of himself, but he doesn’t want her to believe that.

Monica reveals that with every man Kayce kills, he makes the world safer. She then confesses she killed a man. Kayce’s speechless as she says she killed a man today. He joins her in the shower – fully clothed – and comforts her with a hug and kisses.

John’s relaxing outside when Beth joins him to discuss the offer. She’s reluctant to show him the offer and stresses he needs to know everything she does is for him – to please him and protect him. Although she can access the numbers and offer suggestions, she will do whatever he wants her to do.

Beth passes her dad the written offer. He reads it and asks if she believes it’s a legitimate offer. She does, and they’ve promised to wire 10% the following day if John agrees to it. John believes Beth’s going to run through the list of why he should say yes, but she explains she’s actually going to list the consequences of not accepting the offer.

Beth ticks off the key points, including the drawn-out court battle, Jamie’s recusal from being involved, and the fact the government will ultimately condemn the land. The Duttons will receive 15 cents on the dollar once that happens, according to Beth. The rest of the ranch will also be taken. Plus, the property taxes will be so massive John will lose the land anyway within three or four years.

“The cycle will continue until the ranch is whittled down to its least valuable parts,” explains Beth. “Then you’ll die and there will be no way for Kayce, and certainly not Tate, to make a living from it.”

John understands and doesn’t disagree with her reasoning. However, he won’t budge one inch. He will not be selling the ranch.

Beth doesn’t believe there’s any other option and doesn’t want his pride to factor into the decision. “No pride, honey,” says John. “I made a promise and I’d rather lose it than break it. He’d rather me lose it, too.”

John says an early good night and leaves Beth alone outside to consider the future.

The episode ends with Rip and Lloyd stopping on their way back to the ranch to celebrate Rip’s engagement with a beer at a bar. As they’re sitting at the bar, a man begins singing. Lloyd turns to look at him and is shocked to see Walker (Ryan Bingham) playing the guitar on stage. Lloyd says in surprise, “He’s supposed to be dead!”

Rip doesn’t say a word.