‘Yellowstone’ Season 4 Episode 8 Recap: “No Kindness for the Coward”

Yellowstone Season 4 Episode 8
Cole Hauser, Kelly Reilly, and Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’ season 4 episode 8 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Paramount Network’s Yellowstone season four episode eight opens with a flashback to John’s great grandmother Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill) serving a meal to a young John Dutton (he’ll eventually be John Dutton Sr.) and his little brother. When John’s prayer doesn’t include any mention of God watching over his father, James, Margaret insists he add something. John jokes that he hopes his dad hangs the horse thieves and Margaret reacts in anger, warning him they never pray for someone to be hurt.

The flashback continues with a brutal shootout on horseback. Men on both sides of the gun battle are shot, but James (Tim McGraw) ultimately wins the skirmish despite being wounded. He pounds a sign into the chest of one dead man that reads “This is what happens to horse thieves here” before stringing him up from a tree. The only outlaw to survive is left tied to the same tree and told to tell others who think about breaking the law that he’s watching.

James returns home and is still dripping blood from his wound when Margaret opens the door. He attempts to stay outside so he won’t mess up the floor, but Margaret will have none of it.

The flashback ends with James entering the house, the door closing, a thump heard, and Margaret wailing, “No! No!”

(The Yellowstone prequel, 1883, starring Tim McGraw and Faith Hill premieres on December 19, 2021 on Paramount+.)

Jamie (Wes Bentley) is furious his dad’s running for governor but Garrett (Will Patton) is certain Jamie has the upper hand. After all, Jamie knows where all the bodies are buried. Garrett suggests Jamie meet with John and set boundaries for what can and can’t be used as campaign fodder. Also, Garrett wants them to get ahead of the story by breaking the news themselves that he’s Jamie’s real father.

Christina (Katherine Cunningham) believes John’s a fool for running. He won’t get votes from new Montana residents and others who view him as just a white, 60-year-old landowner – something they despise. Jamie believes John wants power more than anything else, and Christina suggests John’s never run before because he knows he can’t win.

“He isn’t running for governor; he’s running against you. As soon as you drop out, he’ll pick a candidate to replace him,” says Christina. She suggests he call his dad’s bluff.

Over at the big house, Beth (Kelly Reilly) attempts to make a tiny bit of room for Rip’s five shirts. Rip (Cole Hauser) looks a little lost now that they’ve moved into the lodge and she reminds him he’s the perfect man.

The Market Equities bigwigs gather in a boardroom and watch the news as protesters continue to clash with local law enforcement. CEO Caroline Warner (Jacki Weaver) calls the action an occupation rather than a protest and wants to put in a call to the Governor and Attorney General. She also indicates she wants the protestors charged today, but Beth suggests they hold off. After all, if these protestors take to social media with the arrest news, it might spur more protestors to picket their office in New York and get national news coverage.

Beth believes they should kick the press off private property and then they can take off the gloves and do what’s necessary. Caroline thinks removing the press will become its own story, and Beth agrees. But, that will take the focus off the protestors. Beth adds that people moved to Montana to get away from bad news and this will fall off their radar soon.

Beth volunteers to handle the job of removing the press herself. She arrives at the construction site and yells for the reporters to leave the area. When she’s confronted by a reporter, she explains it’s private property and too much of a liability to have them in the area. The woman introduces herself as Leslie and Beth says that if something newsworthy’s about to happen she’ll call her. Leslie questions her motives and Beth claims she’s a concerned citizen.

Yellowstone Season 4 Episode 8
Kathryn Kelly and Jefferson White in ‘Yellowstone’ season 4 episode 8 (Photo Credit: Paramount Network)

Jimmy (Jefferson White) appears to be settling in and doing well at the 6666 Ranch. In episode seven, Jimmy found himself on the receiving end of a young woman named Emily’s attention. She was really flirty and Jimmy ended their short conversation suggesting they go to dinner sometime. In this episode, Emily (Kathryn Kelly) thinks after Jimmy washes up, they should go out to eat. They’re both all smiles as she tells him she’ll meet him in half an hour for their date.

She arrives a wee bit early while Jimmy’s still naked in the wash rack. (She suggested he shower at the ranch instead of making the ride home.) He quickly covers his privates as she carries on a conversation, giggling while explaining she didn’t really mean he should shower in the wash rack; there’s a shower in the bunkhouse.

They go to dinner at a casual spot and spill their secrets, including the fact Jimmy did time in jail. After a fun evening, Jimmy confesses he doesn’t know the protocol when it comes to dating a Texan. He walks her to the door and stumbles through what to do next. Emily teases him and says he should ask himself what a cowboy would do. They kiss, which was apparently the right thing to do. They kiss again and then make their way inside her place while still continuing to kiss. Clothes are removed as they get to know each other much better on her couch.

Night’s also fallen over at the Yellowstone and Rip awkwardly approaches the formal dinner table, unsure of the seating arrangements. John (Kevin Costner) takes his place at the head of the table and Beth indicates a seat for Rip next to her while John gives Carter the seat immediately to his side, opposite Beth.

Poor Rip’s clearly uncomfortable and turns down the salad as there’s fruit in it. Comments are made about the health of John’s prostate and Beth begins discussing the erogenous zones. Rip has questions but John warns he’s just pouring gas right on the damn fire if he keeps asking Beth for clarification. Beth ignores her dad and continues to discuss off-limit subjects, including sphincters.

Carter’s completely lost and wonders if they’re still talking about the salad. John assures him they’re not and then lets Rip in on the secret that Beth uses every mealtime to get revenge. John confesses he’s never figured out why Beth needs revenge and Carter suggests he just ask.

Beth’s done with all of them and Rip follows her out of the dining room. John scrapes his salad back into the bowl and grabs a steak as Carter wonders if he can still have cake after supper. “Hell, you can have some right now,” says John.

Alone, Rip wants to know what “childhood bulls**t” Beth’s working out at the dinner table. Beth lets loose and explains it’s that dining room – not just the table – that gets to her because it represents a false fantasy of a family that doesn’t exist. Rip actually smiles as Beth, upset, yells, “There’s an oyster spoon on the table. Do we eat oysters?!”

Rip offers an easy solution. She should eat in a different room at a different table. He points out a smaller table and suggests they just eat right there. Beth is momentarily speechless.

The next scene shows Rip’s easy fix worked. John, Carter, Rip, and Beth sit peacefully around the much smaller table and engage in a normal conversation. John tells the story of the largest snake he’s ever encountered and reveals it happened when Rip was Carter’s age. They all laugh as John describes Rip running up the wall like a spider away from the snake. Rip and Beth remember the family’s old heeler and John says the dog and the snake went at it. He then shows Carter a box with the snake’s rattle in it as Beth quietly thanks Rip for handling the meal situation.

“Life is plenty hard. You don’t need to help it, you hear me?” says Rip. They kiss as Carter checks out the rattle which John gives him as a present.

Beth’s relaxed and comfortable enough to laugh a little and smile while drinking her wine.

Elsewhere, Kayce (Luke Grimes) is seated outside his new home at dusk and spots a wolf. There aren’t supposed to be any in the area and when he calls a friend, he’s told not to shoot the wolf. Kayce warns he’ll shoot it if it goes near his horses. He’s told if the wolf goes by the horses, it’s a test. If Kayce shoots it, he fails.

Monica (Kelsey Asbille) learns Tate’s reached puberty when he tells her to close her eyes as he leaves the bathtub. He asks for a solution to a stiff penis problem and Monica suggests it’s best he talk to his dad about that subject. She joins Kayce on the porch and explains the situation and Kayce admits he never had a sex talk with his father. Kayce thinks Tate will figure it out himself and reminds Monica that Tate’s been watching animals have sex and give birth since he was born.

“He knows everything he needs to know about sex,” says Kayce. “One day when he’s 16 I’ll sit him down and tell him why he shouldn’t until he’s married.”

Kayce’s well aware Tate will have sex before he’s married and uses their story to describe what’s going to happen to their son. It’s an easygoing chat and their relationship wounds seem to be completely healed. And then…Monica breaks the news she’s pregnant! Kayce’s smile lights up the porch as their conversation’s interrupted by Tate wanting Kayce’s dog to sleep with him. Tate notices his mom’s crying and Kayce informs him he’s about to be a big brother.

“You better start saving up your money, dad. I don’t babysit for free,” warns Tate.

Summer (Piper Perabo) wakes in the middle of the night and leaves her tent, walking away from her fellow protestors in order to relieve herself. She’s shocked to see cops with flashlights and shields quietly advancing toward the group. She calls Beth and informs her the cops are there and Beth tells her it’s time to take one for the team.

The cops roust the sleeping protestors, slamming some to the ground as they place them under arrest. One cop whacks Summer across the face with a baton and then roughly places her in restraints.

The following morning the group of 300-ish is marched toward the waiting police vehicles as Leslie reports on their arrests. Camera people snap photos as they’re placed in vehicles.

Caroline Warner and Ellis Steele watch the news at Market Equities and wonder how the reporters knew to set up on the nearby road. Ellis believes a protestor must have tipped them off. The reporter explains the leader of Free Earth, Summer Higgins, was charged with felony aggravated assault.

Caroline’s worried this news will go national and could hurt Market Equities’ projects in Montana.

Beth rings up the New York Times as she asks her dad what he’s up to for the day. She tells Brett from NYT about the protests and that they were broken up by federal agents. She suggests he watch KNBS and that there’s potential there for a big story.

John asks what she’s up to and Beth replies, “What you asked, daddy.”

He can only smile and shake his head as she leaves for work.

John and Rip are driving the cattle to market when Jamie calls and asks to meet at a neutral site. John turns him down and says if he wants to meet, then he can come out to the ranch.

John tells Rip they’ll drop off the bulls and then go speak with the sheriff. When Rip agrees, John thanks him for being the only person in his life who doesn’t question why he wants to do something. John then admits he knows who shot him and Rip’s ready to handle it without the sheriff being involved. John explains the man behind it is in prison or else they would take care of it themselves. John says they’re meeting with the sheriff to find out how to make the man’s life shorter.

John and Rip arrive for their meeting with Sheriff Haskell at the diner and as they’re approaching the entrance Rip notices something’s wrong. The sign says closed and the people inside aren’t eating; they’re just staring at each other. Rip and John do an about-face and head back to the truck.

John and Rip get in the truck and pretend to leave the parking lot. They grab John’s pistol and rifle from the truck, and John heads around back and quietly enters the restaurant.

Inside, an armed robber is seated next to a customer while other robbers are in the aisles. The apparent leader demands wallets and jewelry as John creeps through the kitchen with his rifle raised.

He startles the robbers and bullets fly, with John taking out one armed robber while Rip grabs another through the restaurant’s front window. Sheriff Donnie Haskell (Hugh Dillon) grabs his gun and also begins exchanging gunfire with the robbers.

All of the robbers are down except one and he’s grabbed a young woman to use as a shield. Rip joins John inside as they square off with the remaining robber. John tells Rip to take the shot and Rip shoots the man in the foot. He falls to the floor and is about to return fire when John takes him out.

Sheriff Haskell’s been shot and dies just as John helps him call his daughter. John’s forced to deliver the devastating news that her dad was just killed.