Bar brawls, Beth Dutton, and an overwhelming sense of grief took center stage in the fifth season’s third episode of everyone’s favorite cowboy drama, Yellowstone. That’s right; if you feel you’re still trying to make sense of everything that happened in last night’s episode, you’re not alone. From the heavy conversations about the potential burial site for Kayce and Monica’s son to the fact that our favorite powerhouse is sitting in a jail cell at the end of the episode, “emotional” and “intense” are words too weak to describe what we saw unfold last night. With all of the high stakes in the previous night’s episode, there’s a lot to unpack today. You know the drill from here; grab your Yellowstone-loving bestie and your drink of choice, and let’s ride in.
Kelly Reilly talks Beth Dutton’s bar brawl
One of the stand-out moments in the previews for Yellowstone‘s fifth season was a bar brawl fans caught a small glimpse of. With a beer bottle in hand, Beth Dutton seemed to go after someone while the other ranch hands started throwing punches, too. It was a scene that seemed, albeit violent, fun and something out of the norm for the ranch hands who spend so much time between work and playing cards.
As the third episode, “Tall Drink of Water,” unfolded, we saw that the setup was exactly that. It was Lloyd’s birthday, and Beth said they weren’t celebrating in a way that honored the man of the hour. So she suggested they go to a local cowboy spot, have some drinks, dance, and get out of the bunkhouse. Her sweet husband tried to say no, but she laughed at that response, and everyone else ran to the trucks to go have a drink, especially since the first round was on Beth.
It didn’t take long for trouble to find the Dutton crew, and while they were trying to have fun, they’re always ready to go to battle if necessary; and last night — it was necessary. Reilly describes the moment as something we should have seen coming from Beth, who is very in touch with a particular side of herself.
“Walking into the bar was like having a gang, and she’s not looking for a fight. She just wants to hang out and have fun with her friends, and you never get to see that side of her, and of course, trouble finds her.”
Continuing, she says that Beth is primal, and she’s not afraid to act on those instincts.
“She’s primal, she is absolutely in touch with her animal instincts good or bad, and at that moment, she decides to see that through.”
When a young woman walked up to Rip with every intention of taking him home, she was singing up for trouble. He politely tried to tell her he was married, but she said she was too and didn’t let that stop her. They both laughed, but Rip’s giggle was because he saw the look in Beth’s eyes as the other woman touched her husband. She asked Rip where his wife was, and he told her she was right across the bar, staring directly at her.
“I’ll handle that,” she tells him, and he advises her against it, but she was already on her way to Beth. Before she could get a word in, Beth hit her over the head with a beer bottle before kneeing her in the face. From there, it was pure chaos.
The fight that ensued led to Beth getting arrested, and she sat in jail as the episode came to a close; we know she won’t be there for long. Still, it was undoubtedly an interesting predicament for our favorite powerhouse Dutton.
Kayce Dutton makes a life-changing decision
Luke Grimes says that in the last episode, Kayce finds himself in a spot where he’s not sure what to do. He can’t fix Monica’s grief and take her pain; Kayce isn’t even sure how to make sense of it for himself. They were delighted to bring new life into the world, and it was cut so tragically short.
Fans got a sense of that last night, the feeling that Kayce is lost right now, but we also sensed that he feels a piece of responsibility for not being there with Monica in those moments of need. This spurs a conversation with Chief Rainwater and Mo about handing in his badge as livestock commissioner and working for them. While Rainwater can’t offer him a position that makes sense right now, Mo hints that there’s someone else he could be asking: his brother, Jamie.
Kayce isn’t moving forward with that decision just yet, but he does tell John that he needs to hand his badge in; his father tells him that the state needs him, but Kayce says his family needs him more.
It feels weird to imagine Kayce not holding that badge anymore, but it would feel unauthentic for him to continue to do something that causes him so much emotional turmoil, at least in the state of mind he’s in currently.
The conversation between Kayce and John also touches on Monica’s request to bury their son, John, at the ranch so that he is with family and she can visit him whenever he wants. Kevin Costner says this idea is important to Monica, so it’s also important to John.
Grimes says it’s a moment he treasures in their otherwise emotionally charged relationship.
“I think that just sort of solidifies how much John has accepted Kayce’s life, as sort of gruff and almost mean these characters can be to each other sometimes; they’ll surprise you with how much they love each other at the end of the day.”
Yellowstone, a Western chock-full of shock and awe, is about love at the end of the day. Even when the characters are motivated by greed and a selfish way of thinking, love is always somewhere in the equation.
An important speech signals trouble for a fan favorite character
Chief Rainwater and Mo find themselves up against a potential threat as they happen upon a speech being given by Martin Kills Many. The timing is something fans will keep an eye on after the last conversation the two shared with Angela Blue Thunder; it almost seems too perfect not to be a setup.
Of course, the speech’s contents were aligned with what Blue Thunder was telling Mo and Rainwater during the season premiere; they’re letting John and his ideas win, and she’s not going to stand by and watch it happen.
Part of Kills Many’s speech had the same idea; he tells everyone in attendance that the only men making money off of the casino are white men and Rainwater himself, and that it’s a selfish thinking cycle they’re stuck in. This character seems to be buying what Blue Thunder is selling, and it is a taste of something new for Rainwater and Mo; they’ve never faced this kind of adversary before.
Will he garner attention from enough of the Native American community to take a stand against Rainwater? We certainly hope not, but we are sure of one thing; Rainwater and John Dutton need to have a conversation soon — before things get worse for everyone involved.