‘Yellowstone’ Season 3 Episode 9 Recap: “Meaner Than Evil”

Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 9
Kelly Reilly in ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 episode 9 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Season three episode nine of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone immediately reveals both Colby and Teeter survived the attack. Night has fallen as we learn Colby (Denim Richards) appears to have emerged less injured than Teeter (Jen Landon). Colby bundles her in a blanket and then carries her back to their vehicle after it’s obvious she’s in no condition to walk on her own. Hands shaking and voice quivering, she asks if her head injury is bad.

Her face is a bloody mess and there’s a nasty-looking cut that’s pretty deep. Colby cleans it out using supplies from the first-aid kit and is forced to staple it shut to stop the bleeding. He comforts her and assures her a doctor will be able to fix her up just fine.

They kiss and she thanks him for taking care of her. In typical Teeter fashion, she jokes they should have had sex while she still had a face.

Elsewhere, Walker (Ryan Bingham) finishes up his time on the stage and is ready to hit the road. He hasn’t decided where to lay his head that night and when a bar employee offers him her bed, he declines and confesses he has nothing left to give.

That turns out to be a horrible decision when he’s jumped by Rip (Cole Hauser) and Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) outside the bar. They gag him and stuff him in their truck.

The following morning Monica (Kelsey Asbille) is sore from the attack and Kayce (Luke Grimes) suggests she stay in bed and rest. She can’t because Tate needs school supplies. She reminds Kayce there’s a “Meet the Teacher” event that night and she wants him to come with her. Kayce thinks they should just homeschool Tate instead since Monica’s an awesome teacher. Monica, however, is still teaching classes and is definitely not ready to stay at home. Kayce explains he thinks his dad could help teach Tate since eventually the place will go to him. “That’s what grandpas are for, right?” says Kayce.

That leads to a more serious discussion of how John raised Kayce. Monica wants Kayce to remember how that felt, even though John has mellowed in his retirement. Kayce promises he will.

Monica gives up, too sore to go to shopping. She gives in and agrees Tate can be homeschooled. “The lessons he learns on this ranch no school could ever teach,” she says.

Kayce steps outside and Lloyd says Rip’s got something he wants him to see. Lloyd warns it’s something bad but doesn’t elaborate.

Kayce finds Rip outside the new barn and Rip is definitely not happy. He opens the truck door and reveals Walker, tied up and still gagged. It was Kayce’s job to get rid of him permanently, and now Rip warns they need to know exactly who he’s talked to and what he’s said.

Rip demands to know why Walker’s still alive. Kayce replies, “You’ll never meet a man who’s killed more men than me but I ain’t never murdered one. I never will.”

Kayce has Rip bring Walker into the barn and he does so roughly. Rip’s about to leave and Kayce asks him to stay to figure out the next step. Walker claims he never said a word and Kayce reminds him he was supposed to never return to this state. Walker explains he’s on parole and has to come back to check in.

Rip believes if Walker’s ever arrested again, he’ll spill what he knows to save himself time in jail. Kayce offers him his job back and Walker says no before Kayce’s finished with his sentence. Rip doesn’t trust him, and Walker knows Rip will bust his head at the first opportunity. Kayce figures out they need something to hold over Walker’s head to keep him from talking. But, Kayce says it’s his choice whether to offer up something or not. And he can also choose to stay and work or go.

Walker says, “This f**king place – it’s a magnet for everything that’s wrong in the world.”

Kayce cuts him loose and extends his hand. Walker reluctantly shakes it.

Wade Morrow (Boots Southerland) and his son meet up with Roark (Josh Holloway) at his house, and it’s confirmed they’re working for him. Wade explains they’ve been pushing John hard, but they don’t want to go to prison. Roark doesn’t care and wants them to keep at it. Wade explains he needs more men and Roark’s fine with that.

“Keep poking him until that son of a bitch does something he can’t take back,” snarls Roark.

Colby and Teeter make it back to the ranch as Rip and Kayce drive up. Colby helps Teeter from the vehicle while explaining who’s responsible. Rip takes over for Colby, carrying Teeter into the bunkhouse and instructing Lloyd to call the vet.

Colby provides Kayce with details on what went down.

Over at the main house, John (Kevin Costner) isn’t hungry for his regular healthy breakfast and opts to eat chocolatey cereal with Tate (Breckin Merrill) instead. Both Tate and John slept in and Tate says he loves summer. John wholeheartedly agrees.

Kayce interrupts his dad’s breakfast and warns Tate to stay inside the house. John promises to meet Kayce at the barn as soon as he finishes his breakfast. Both Tate and John know something’s wrong.

Lloyd and Rip have retrieved their rifles as John heads into the barn. Teeter’s being sewn up by the vet when John walks in. He assesses the situation and then meets with Kayce and Rip outside, out of anyone else’s earshot.

John’s first question is about Walker’s reappearance on the ranch. All they say is he showed up this morning. Next, they get to the Colby/Teeter incident. Rip and Kayce inform John that Wade Morrow and his son ran them down on this side of the fence. Everyone wants to go after them and John labels him a bully and a coward, but knows he isn’t stupid. John quickly realizes Wade was hired to antagonize him and force someone to react illegally.

They can’t bring in the sheriff but Kayce believes they need to do something. John, however, urges caution. They need to figure out a plan first. “Then you take that trash to the f**king train station,” says John. (Train station = isolated dead body dump.)

Before Rip walks off, John says Wade has something of his and he wants it back.

Elsewhere, Jamie (Wes Bentley) is at work researching info on his birth dad.

When Beth (Kelly Reilly) walks into Schwartz & Meyer she’s shocked to see Willa Hayes (Karen Pittman) sitting at her desk. Willa claims it’s all hers now since Beth “f**ked with the bull” and got the horns. She’s disappointed Beth didn’t anticipate this outcome, given both their reputations.

Willa admits she’s impressed with Beth however now that her shareholders own the majority of Schwartz & Meyer, Beth is out of a job. Willa reveals Beth’s attack cost her shareholders billions and yet now they own all the land around Yellowstone Ranch that Schwartz & Meyer had previously snatched up.

Once all this is over and done, she suggests Beth give her a call about a job. Beth gets within inches of Willa’s face and warns, “When all this is over, I’m going to hang your diploma above my toilet in my guest house. You have my word.”

After issuing one final threat that Willa’s about to learn a hard lesson, Beth walks out, head held high.

Willa points at her retreating back and says, “I really like her.”

Jamie’s doing what we expected Jamie to do; he pays a visit to the address listed as his birth dad’s. No one answers the door so Jamie heads around back where he finds Garrett Randall working. Jamie introduces himself as the Attorney General of Montana and then reveals he’s there to see if he recognizes anything of himself in this stranger.

Garrett realizes this is his son and claims Jamie has his mom’s eyes. Apparently, Garrett and the woman he murdered did massive amounts of drugs which led to the murder. Jamie asks why Garrett killed his birth mom and Garrett finally admits it was because she sold her body for drugs. That’s what Jamie came from. Garrett’s happy Jamie got the best parts of his birth parents, according to what he’s done with himself.

It appears Jamie didn’t get the answers he was looking for or any closure. He walks back to his car and delivers a pounding on its hood. But then instead of driving away, he returns to talk with Garrett. He desperately needs to know more about his birth dad in order to know himself.

Garrett invites him in for a chat over coffee.

Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 9
Cole Hauser, Luke Grimes, and Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ season 3 episode 9 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Back at the ranch, the wranglers are all loading their guns and preparing for war. Jimmy’s girlfriend, Mia (Eden Brolin), and her friend, Laramie, arrive and he tells them to leave. Before they do, Laramie approaches Walker and wants to know where he’s from. She flirts a little but is quickly kicked out when Rip and Lloyd arrive.

Before heading off, Colby reminds Teeter she doesn’t need to come with them. Teeter replies, “I wouldn’t miss this for the f**king world.”

The wranglers ride out and Wade and his son watch from a short distance away. They only see one wrangler working on the fence and decide it’s the perfect time to stir up more trouble.

Walker watches them approach and as they charge, he jumps on his horse and rides away, leading them right past where the other wranglers are hidden in the woods. As Wade and his son pass, the wranglers spring into action and drop in behind them.

Wade begins shooting but fortunately no one is hit. Rip gets a lasso around Wade and drags him from his horse.

The son is attempting to get his gun out when he runs into a low-hanging branch and is knocked from his horse. He falls to the ground and hits his head on a rock, instantly dead.

The scene switches back to the main house where John, Beth, Kayce, Monica, and Tate are sitting down for an early dinner. Kayce wants to be out with the men but John stops him from talking about it. Instead, he asks how Beth’s day went and she reveals she was fired. That’s also not a topic for dinner conversation. The illusion of one big happy family is shattered and only John and Kayce remain at the table. It’s quickly down to John when Kayce goes to check on Tate.

Back out in the woods, the noose tightens around Wade’s neck as the wranglers prepare to string him up from a tree. His eyes momentarily linger on Teeter just as Rip asks for the name of whoever hired him. Rip threatens to cut off body parts until he gets what he wants.

No blood needs to be shed as Wade says, “Roark, Market Equities son of a b*tch.”

Wade mistakenly believes it’s over, but Rip reveals he’s about to kill him. However, first he needs to retrieve something of John’s. The item in question is the Yellowstone brand on Wade’s chest.

Rip calls on Walker to do the task, saying if he does this, he will have their trust and will have proved himself. If not…

Walker accepts the knife from Rip and carves the brand from Wade’s body. They then string him up and Colby stands next to Teeter as they watch Wade die.

Kayce joins John outside and confirms the wranglers are all fine. Kayce apologizes again for bringing it up during dinner and John reminds him you can’t reason with evil. In order to kill it, you have to be meaner than evil. That’s Kayce’s last lesson – learn to be meaner than evil and still love his family and the sunrise.

Lloyd and Walker drive the dead bodies to the “train station” in Wyoming. Lloyd explains this location is used because no one lives within 100 miles. There aren’t any people or sheriffs nearby to snoop around.

Lloyd and Walker toss the men down the cliff. As they’re driving back, Walker asks how many dead bodies they’ve dumped there. Lloyd confirms it’s a commonly used dumping ground for lots of unwanted individuals. (It’s pretty suspicious how many questions Walker’s asking and how he just showed up in the area again out of the blue.)

Lloyd suggests Walker figure out how not to be one of those dead bodies.

Back at the ranch, Rip prepares the branding iron. Colby goes first and then Teeter.

The episode ends with a tribute to Wilford Brimley who passed away on August 1, 2020 at the age of 85:

“In loving memory of Wilford Brimley
A cowboy, an artist, and a damn good friend”