Jimmy’s looking like someone shot his dog as Paramount Network’s Yellowstone season four episode four opens. Travis (series creator Taylor Sheridan) is keeping him busy working at horse shows where Jimmy can only look on in envy at the equestrian skills on display in the ring.
After one of the shows, Jimmy heads into the office and is impressed with the size of the checks the Yellowstone ranch team won. He signs for the checks and asks the clerk if she can send them directly to the ranch. He also asks if he can add a quick letter to the package. The clerk agrees, and Jimmy sets to work writing a letter to Mia. He has difficulty putting together his thoughts and decides not to send a note.
John (Kevin Costner) and Kayce (Luke Grimes) meet for another early morning ride and it’s apparent John’s got a lot on his mind. They head off to the secluded spot the Duttons refer to as “the rock” – the location where John’s father died and where John asked Kayce’s mom to marry him. He refers to the area as the family’s graveyard, even though it’s not the location of the family cemetery.
John hands over the folder of info on Riggins that he obtained from Thomas Rainwater and Mo. Kayce asks the key question: who hired Riggins to kill their family? John doesn’t know but suggests Kayce ask Jamie to get Riggins’ prison records and to interview him. If Jamie doesn’t do it – or if he stalls – then they’ll know he was behind the hit.
Kayce refuses to believe Jamie could have done this and wants John to ask Jamie himself. “I can’t sit in a room with him until we have an answer for this…no matter what the answer is,” replies John.
Kayce agrees to pay Jamie a visit, and John changes the subject to Kayce’s family. John’s worried because they’ve been hiding out in their room, and Kayce says it’s where they feel safe. Neither John nor Kayce know how to fix things, and both realize Kayce will lose his family if he can’t figure it out.
And speaking of everyone’s least favorite Dutton child, Jamie (Wes Bentley) is the new, proud owner of a ranch. He tells his biological dad it’s the first thing he’s ever owned, despite the fact he’s 41 years old.
Beth (Kelly Reilly) makes her usual disruptive entrance when she shows up for a meeting with Caroline Warner (Jacki Weaver), CEO of Market Equities, and Ellis Steele (John Emmet Tracy). After an opening bit that includes a reference to dry humping and rubber penises, they get down to business – minus Ellis who’s too insulted to listen to anything else Beth has to say.
Caroline refers to herself as the big dog and threatens to rip Beth to pieces. “You want to fight, let me introduce you to the fight of your f**king life,” says Caroline, promising to kick things off with an investigation into Beth’s market manipulation. However, she insists there’s common ground to be found. She wants to make an offer on the land trust Beth put together, and Beth insists it’s not for sale. Caroline’s sharp and declares “not for sale” should be the Dutton family motto.
Caroline believes the Duttons need to quit being so stubborn. Jamie’s lease of the Dutton Ranch rather than sell means it will take 50 years for the ranch to recoup what they could have made if they’d just agreed to an outright purchase of the land by Market Equities.
Beth advises Caroline that as long as John’s alive, they will not be selling any of the land. After his death, Beth says she’ll make Caroline her first call. “But in the meantime, his dream is my Alamo and I will die on the f**king wall defending it,” declares Beth. (Love how she’s spelled out the terms so succinctly.)
Caroline offers Beth a job and says she’ll help Beth defend the Dutton land. Beth could come on board Market Equities and put her skills as a corporate raider to good use. Beth admits she’s impressed with Caroline but wonders why the CEO would ever put her – a wolf – in charge of the sheep.
“You can have the sheep, Beth. I’ve taken all your father’s ranch I need for the moment. You want to save the rest of it? Find me something better,” replies Caroline.
Caroline reveals her dream is to make Montana into another Colorado. She wants Beth to build her an equivalent to Aspen or Breckinridge in Montana. Caroline lays her cards on the table and confirms she needs an insider to help make her vision of a destination town in every valley a reality.
Beth understands the game and she’s willing to play, if Caroline gives her Market Equities’ controlling interest in Schwartz & Meyer. Beth admits she’s going to bankrupt Bob Schwartz and make sure his grandkids are on welfare, if Caroline hands over the shares. (This exchange between these two fierce women is one of the best scenes of season four thus far.)
After Beth leaves, Caroline tells Ellis she believes Beth can make Montana the fastest-growing state in the nation. “Behind every milestone in human history stands a monster – and that’s our monster,” says Caroline with a smile.
Kayce shows up at Jamie’s office just as Jamie’s finishing off a contentious argument with attorneys attempting to stop the airport. When alone together, Jamie and Kayce can be honest in a way Jamie can’t be with anyone else in his family. Kayce wonders why his brother never came around after the attack on the family. Jamie explains he’s the one who got police protection for John while he was in the hospital for two months. He claims he never stops fighting for their family and he’s why there wasn’t an investigation into the murders at the ranch. Jamie also prevented there from being an investigation of the men Kayce gunned down on a public road.
Kayce really wants an answer as to why Jamie didn’t even call, and Jamie explains if he did it could have been seen as collusion. Everything he swept under the rug would be exposed. Plus, he knew Beth was always with John and he wasn’t about to see her. “The only space I’ll share with that bitch is a courtroom or her f**king death bed,” says Jamie.
Jamie blames John hating him on Beth. Kayce says that’s not true and that their dad is why he’s there. Kayce hands over Riggins’ folder and Jamie looks through it. Jamie questions how they came to assume it was this man who put out the hit but Kayce can only reveal their dad said it was from a reliable source.
Kayce passes on John’s requests – that Jamie look through Riggins’ prison files and secure an interview with prisoner. Jamie balks at the interview request, explaining it needs to be conducted by a homicide detective and the state’s attorney. He adds that the interview will also involve Riggins’ attorney and will be recorded. Everything has to be done by the book.
John wanted Jamie to do the interview and when Kayce tells him that, Jamie agrees without any hesitation. Kayce thanks his brother and tells him he loves him. Jamie says it back…again, without hesitation.
Meanwhile, things are getting hairy back at the ranch. Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) insists he’s the boss when Rip isn’t around and demands they treat the cattle for pinkeye by pushing them through the chute. Walker (Ryan Bingham) suggests they do it right there in the field, and Colby (Denim Richards) agrees with Walker. Lloyd informs them they’ll do things his way or else.
John and Rip (Cole Hauser) ride out into the ring as Lloyd and the ranch hands bring in the cattle. Both men are confused why the cows are there instead of being doctored in the field. Lloyd says since they all have pinkeye, he was going to run them through the chute, but John and Rip disagree. John’s upset the cattle are back at the barn area and can spread the infection to the rest of their animals.
Rip loses his temper and yells at Lloyd to move the cattle back out in the field. (If only he’d listened to Walker in the first place.)
Kayce returns to the ranch and tells his dad Jamie didn’t hesitate. Jamie will notify Riggins’ attorney and set up an interview. John’s relieved – and satisfied – that Jamie had nothing to do with the hit. Kayce also believes he’s come up with an idea to fix things with Monica and Tate.
Kayce has a heart-to-heart with Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and asks if she really meant it when she said she hated him. Kayce doesn’t think she or Tate will get better if they remain on the ranch and suggests they move to her grandfather’s place. Before he can even finish his sentence, Monica grabs him in a hug.
She asks when they can leave and Kayce says as soon as she packs. Monica immediately gets to work packing up the family’s belongings. She races around the room and smiles for the first time in weeks. Tate’s happy they’re leaving but even happier to learn his dad’s coming with them.
John walks up as the last of their belongings are loaded in Kayce’s truck. Kayce assures him he’ll be back in a few days and explains they’re going to move back by the reservation, closer to her family and friends at least for a while.
John walks off knowing he’s shared the last of his early morning rides with his son.
Night falls and the ranch hands unwind in the bunkhouse. The guys are starving because Gator, who always cooks, is out of town. Teeter (Jen Landon) whips something up and tries to get Colby to eat, but he pushes the bowl away. He’s sure she can’t cook. Ryan (Ian Bohen) is so hungry he’ll eat anything and grabs the bowl. He takes a bite and everyone in the bunkhouse anxiously awaits his reaction. When it declares it’s f**king great, they make a line for their own bowls.
Ryan can’t figure out what’s in it and Teeter finally explains it’s called Sonofabitch. One of the guys immediately spits it out and explains that means it’s made from everything from the cow that no one else wants.
Walker tries to hand Lloyd a bowl of food, but Lloyd won’t take it or respond. Walker decides he’s had enough. Lloyd gets in the first blow, kicking Walker in the chest and sending him flying. He hits Walker in the face and Walker falls over a couch. Walker springs up and smacks Lloyd in the face before pinning him down and delivering a quick series of punches.
Rip finds Carter (Finn Little) in the barn still working and tells him he’s messed up his last second chance. (Rip hasn’t had the opportunity to speak with Carter since the boy’s disastrous shopping trip with Beth.) However, their discussion’s cut short when Rip hears screams from the bunkhouse.
Walker and Lloyd are still going at it when Laramie punches Lloyd in the head. Colby and Ryan grab a hold of Lloyd just as Rip barges in. Rip asks Lloyd about the rule about fighting, and Lloyd doesn’t reply. Rip says, “God damn you for making me do this,” and then hits him in the face and the stomach before sending him sliding down the dinner table.
While Lloyd’s knocked out, Rip turns his attention to Walker. He reminds Walker there’s no fighting but if he feels the urge – there’s a solution. Rip tells Walker to seek him out; he’ll fight him “all f**king day.”
Disgusted, Rip leaves the bunkhouse without saying another word.
Beth returns home and discovers the envelope containing checks Travis’ team won is waiting on her porch. She joins her dad at the big house and he glances through the checks. Beth admits she was wrong and he was right, and John reminds his only daughter that he knows horses. John wants to turn over that end of the business to her, and Beth reveals Caroline offered her a job at Market Equities.
Beth doesn’t believe Market Equities will accept her demands. However, she reminds her dad that he, Kayce, and Jamie all took jobs to control what the ranch isn’t capable of controlling. The same can be said of her accepting Market Equities’ offer.
“My loyalty is the one thing on this planet that you don’t have to worry about,” declares Beth.
John trusts his daughter and suggests she do what she thinks is best. They discuss Kayce moving off the ranch to keep his family together, and John wonders why his kids have to leave to find happiness. Beth explains it’s because there’s no peace on the ranch. She thinks he and Kayce aren’t peaceful men and suggests she’s not peaceful, either.
Beth pushes her dad’s tolerance level to its limit by telling him he needs a girlfriend. Even though he protests, she says she’s going to get him one.
Meanwhile, Jimmy and Travis have what appears to be their first real conversation while on the road late at night. They discuss ranching, rodeoing, and show horses, and Travis is adamant that Road House is the best movie ever made. Period. Travis dispenses sage advice but there’s no telling if Jimmy’s absorbing what he’s dishing out.
Beth and Rip wake before dawn and their pillow talk turns to Rip’s birthday. Beth wants to know when it is and Rip confesses he has no idea. He doesn’t possess a drivers license or other ID, and he reminds her he’s said there’s no proof of his existence. Rip’s never celebrated a birthday and Beth’s upset; she declares his birthday is September 28th.
Rip has no choice but to give in; Beth always gets her way.
The ranch gets busy with morning activities while Lloyd remains in the bunkhouse. He’s sore and out of sorts as he looks around the place he’s called home for decades.
Jamie receives details on Riggins including a list of his former cellmates. His biological dad’s name – Garrett Randall – is on the list. Jamie reacts in shock and quietly says, “Oh my god.”
Travis drops Jimmy off at the ranch in Texas and wishes him luck. Apparently, he’s going to need it.
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