Jimmy (Jefferson White) is hard at work on the 6666 Ranch as Paramount Network’s Yellowstone season four episode seven gets underway. Over at the Yellowstone Ranch, John (Kevin Costner) warns Carter he needs to make things right with Beth. After all, she’s the reason he has a place to live and food in his belly.
Elsewhere, Monica (Kelsey Asbille) briefly panics when she can’t find Tate. She relaxes when she spots her son and his dad walking around outside. Their new furry family member’s spotted deer tracks and Kayce (Luke Grimes) gives Tate (Brecken Merrill) a lesson in how to read the deer’s movements.
Kayce’s decided he’s going to put their dog to good use tracking the missing horses. Monica continues to be jealous about Kayce working for “Miss Pouty Lips,” but Kayce reminds her he works for the State of Montana – not Avery. He digs a hole for himself by saying he’ll only work for unattractive women from now on, and Monica latches onto the fact he thinks Avery’s pretty.
Tate’s decided naming the dog “Dog” sucks pickled ass. His mom chastises him but changing the subject to the dog’s name gives Kayce a reprieve. Tate tells his dad he owes him one after Monica walks away.
Carter brings Beth (Kelly Reilly) flowers and she accuses him of being one of those men who use gifts to say they’re sorry. She tells the boy she doesn’t want his flowers and Carter’s about to walk away dejected when he changes his mind. He asks for a ride into town and explains he’s decided to take his chances in foster care. Carter doesn’t want to shovel barns and doesn’t have any friends at the Yellowstone, so he’s done.
Beth asks what he hopes to do with his life and he becomes emotional. “I don’t have any dreams,” says Carter. “I’m too busy trying to figure out what I’m going to eat and where I’m going to sleep.”
Beth lays down the law, telling Carter he needs to do what she says when she says it. Also, he can’t lie and needs to ask questions if he doesn’t understand something. Carter claims he can make that promise and keep it. They shake on it and Carter asks his first question. If he doesn’t give a woman flowers when he’s sorry, when should he give them?
“You give them for no reason, buddy,” replies Beth. “No reason at all.”
Back at the 6666, Jimmy’s summoned back to the main buildings where he’s immediately given a sleeve to place over a horse’s penis. He struggles to keep the massive appendage in place and then realizes what he’s doing. Needless to say, he’s shocked his new job entails masturbating stallions.
Over at Jamie’s new place, his former girlfriend Christina (Katherine Cunningham) chats with his biological dad, Garrett (Will Patton), while Jamie (Wes Bentley) spends time with his baby boy. Garrett thinks Jamie’s going to be a good dad, but Christina’s doubtful given that John Dutton raised him. Garrett believes Jamie learned how not to father from John but is capable of change.
Garrett reveals part of his plan, planting the seed that Jamie would make a good governor.
Beth puts in her first appearance at Market Equities and isn’t impressed with how they’ve decorated her corner office. She wants everything removed and informs her assistant, Cal, that not only will she design it herself, but he should also probably stop sleeping with the receptionist and find a new job.
“I’m 0 for 3 with assistants anyway,” says Beth. “Turns out working for me is pretty f**king dangerous.” Cal has not idea how to respond and Beth makes it clear he’s fired.
Beth puts in an appearance at a design meeting led by Ellis Steele in which a map’s displayed showing all of the different phases of construction. Much of what is on the map isn’t in Market Equities’ portfolio, and Beth asks to see an ownership map over the projected buildings. She’s told who owns specific properties isn’t relevant, and she points out if the first stage is to build roads and sewers for all stages of development then ownership is definitely relevant.
Beth’s unable to hide her shock at seeing the area her family’s called home for decades built into a 52-gate airport and resort town to rival Park City. The model of the area shows the development stretching miles beyond what was initially proposed, with dozens of high-rise buildings populating the design.
Ellis warns this is the first test of Beth’s loyalty.
Back at the Yellowstone, the cowboys are sorting through the cattle and Rip (Cole Hauser) informs John he’s letting Walker and Lloyd take the day off to heal. Walker (Ryan Bingham) picks that moment to emerge from the barn ready to go to work. He looks a bit stiff, but Rip sends him off to help the men sort heifers.
John instructed Rip to fire all the women, but Teeter (Jen Landon) hasn’t left yet and wants a word with John. John, who admits he can’t understand a word that comes out of her mouth, rides over with Rip and Teeter pleads her case. She was always the first one up, never caused a problem, and was always the last to be done. Rip confirms no one works harder than she does, but when John asks if she ever got together with anyone in the bunkhouse, Teeter doesn’t lie but does say she was never told she couldn’t.
John’s about to dismiss her when Teeter shows the Yellowstone tattoo on her chest and asks if Yellowstone for life is all a lie. John sends her away for a minute and asks Rip when Teeter received her tattoo. Rip explains it was when they “took care of that thing in the forest” and John’s shocked he’s just now been made aware that everyone involved now wears the ranch’s brand.
Rip says it happened the night before the attack and reluctantly confirms Kayce knows about the new brands. John doesn’t explicitly say Teeter is rehired, but Rip understands that’s a given as John rides off.
Teeter gives Rip an awkward hug when he tells her to put her gear back in the bunkhouse. She’s relieved and overcome with emotions, and Rip tells her the brand does in fact mean something. (Rip never wanted to fire her but followed John’s orders without question, as always.)
Governor Lynelle Perry (Wendy Moniz-Grillo) shows up unexpectedly and John anticipates bad news when she asks him to walk with her. She announces she’s running for the Senate because she believes that’s where she can make a difference. Lynelle suggests Jamie would be the perfect candidate for governor, and John’s reaction is immediate and negative. He believes that’s too much power for Jamie to handle, but Lynelle says he’s the only one who wants the same thing for Montana that they do. He’s the devil they know.
Lynelle jokingly suggests she’d back John if he made a play for the position and is stunned when he accepts her endorsement. John truly believes Jamie would be horrible and if he’s the only option, then he’ll run for governor to avoid Jamie obtaining that much power.
John’s certain Jamie would destroy everything and Lynelle reminds him the press will cover him hard. John claims to be okay with that and won’t even try to defend his past actions. He suggests “Damn right I did it” as his campaign slogan.
In other news, Beth spots Summer (Piper Perabo) among the protesters outside the J. R. Hall Master Furrier store. She decides to use Summer to help her fight Market Equities without letting Summer know what she’s up to.
Beth tells Summer 15 people in front of a store yelling isn’t changing anyone’s mind; Summer’s not actually making a difference.
“This store is the caboose of the problem. The engine of the problem doesn’t know you exist. This isn’t saving the environment, sweetheart. This is just inflating your ego with very little effort,” says Beth. She adds that Summer will eventually go away and yet the world will continue getting raped.
Summer falls into Beth’s trap by asking what Beth could possibly know about protecting the environment. Beth replies by describing the international airport going in just 15 miles outside a national park along with a massive ski resort. Condos and shopping plazas will disrupt the most fragile ecosystem in North America. Beth adds a few snarky comments about Summer’s mob of protestors while Summer, again, responds exactly as Beth planned. Beth proves she didn’t make up anything about the airport or other developments while telling Summer a protest against it will take effort, strategy, sacrifice, and risk.
Beth explains it’s all about how much money people can make and no one involved cares about the animals that will be killed to build it.
Elsewhere, Mo (Mo Brings Plenty) and Kayce follow Kayce’s dog as he picks up the scent of the horses and follows their tracks. When Kayce says they’ve just been calling the dog “Dog,” Mo says he does the same with his but in Lakota. Kayce likes that idea and asks if he can steal it, deciding “Sunka” is a better name than “Dog.”
When Kayce yells out Sunka, the dog stops and looks his way. Sunka, it is.
Sunka leads them to a pen in the middle of nowhere with a sign declaring it’s a Mustang Control Facility run by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. Kayce introduces himself and Mo to the officer guarding the pen, explaining the horses belong to the Confederated Tribes of Broken Rock. The officer claims they’re wild mustangs but Kayce points out wild mustangs don’t have shoes and brands.
The officer agrees there’s been a mistake and reveals they were about to be sold at auction. Mo produces proof the horses belong to the tribe and the officer says they can have them if they get them out before Friday. It’ll be difficult because the area is inaccessible to trucks.
The day’s work is finished but Carter’s not done. Carter listens as Rip instructs him on the proper way to tie knots while Beth relaxes on the couch with a beer. She’s called up to the big house and Rip tells her to drive. He doesn’t want her eaten by a bear and chuckles when she reminds him a bear knows better than to f**k with her.
John confesses he’s lonely and that his great-grandfather built this house so his family could stay together. He also confesses he wants Rip and Beth to move in, and Beth says he’ll need to ask Rip himself. John would really rather she ask Rip but Beth refuses. If this is what John wants, he needs to ask – not tell – Rip himself.
Beth’s just about to leave when John informs her he’s – reluctantly – running for governor to keep Jamie out of the position. Beth grabs him up in a big hug and is happy that now they’ll control the narrative. She leaps into campaign mode and tells her dad to start dismantling everything Jamie’s done. However, John shuts her down pretty quickly when he asks that she help him find a way out of running. He doesn’t want to leave the ranch for four years.
Beth reminds him the ranch will be there and that as governor he’ll have the power to shut the airport down and reverse state land grants. She runs down the list of everything he’ll be able to do if he wins and insists this is the way to save the ranch without selling.
John admits everything she said is true and Beth promises to help him with the campaign.
Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) returns to the bunkhouse as everyone’s watching TV. Teeter’s teasing Colby and Laramie’s still there with Walker but when Lloyd arrives, they all stand and focus their attention on him. Earlier in the episode Lloyd pawned his one-of-a-kind belt buckle to replace Walker’s guitar, and Walker takes a look at his new guitar and is impressed. It’s better than his old one and Lloyd smiles in relief. (Why didn’t Laramie leave when Rip told her to pack her stuff?)
Walker asks what Lloyd wants to hear and Lloyd doesn’t care – he just wants Walker to play a song. The bunkhouse is silent as Walker dedicates “The Poet” to Lloyd.
The following day John’s having a rough time figuring out how to ask Rip about moving up to the lodge. He blurts out, “The lodge is where family belongs,” and then realizes that doesn’t sound like a question. Rip figures out what John’s asking and reminds him they’ve got the stray kid. John’s fine with that but not stray dogs and Rip says he doesn’t like dogs. (Rip, you’re breaking my heart! Don’t make me re-think my support of a Rip/Beth spinoff.)
Mo and Kayce gather a bunch of men and get the process of herding the stolen horses underway. As soon as the pen’s door is open, the horses race off and the men have a hard time keeping up. Fortunately, they’re heading in the right direction and the men are able to bring them home. The family cheers and Avery (Tanaya Beatty) smiles as Kayce suggests she get some trail cameras in case this happens again.
Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) thanks Kayce and says although this is a little victory, it mattered. Thomas chuckles as he warns Kayce to watch out for Avery.
Avery grabs a moment alone with Kayce and asks if he believes in love at first sight. He says that’s how he felt about Monica. Avery confesses that’s how she felt about him but Kayce believes it can’t be love. “God wouldn’t let you love something that can’t love you back,” says Kayce.
Season four episode seven ends with Governor Perry hosting a press conference and Jamie mistakenly believing she’s about to endorse him to run for governor while she runs for the Senate. Jamie’s confused to see John and Beth but is still taken completely by surprise when Perry announces she’s endorsing John Dutton’s run for governor.
John steps in front of the press as Jamie pauses on the stairs to consider what just happened. John tells the assembled press that a war is being waged against their way of life as Beth whispers to Jamie, “This is just the beginning.”
John explains he’s going to protect Montana and its land. “If they get it, it will never look like our land again. That is progress in today’s terms. So, if it’s progress you seek, do not vote for me. I am the opposite of progress. I am the wall that it bashes against and I will not be the one who breaks,” declares John.
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