What a tragic confluence of events.
At the same time that half of the ranch’s cowboys — trusted members of the Yellowstone family who will do anything for the Duttons and the ranch — head off to greener pastures, an all-out war breaks out within the family.
Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 8 introduced Beth to the Train Station, and as she pondered that being Jamie’s final resting place, Jamie was preparing to put a hit on his family.
A good portion of the episode focused on how the ranch saves itself.
We were reintroduced to Jimmy and his gal, Emily, who are very much in love and enjoying each other’s company.
It’s an hour where Taylor Sheridan gets to show the world what his ranch is all about while preparing the audience for what is to come in the second half of the season when the two ranches join forces to save the Yellowstone.
The episode was dedicated in loving memory to Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Horse Division Manager at The 6666 Ranch. A personal loss like that can impact the direction of an episode, and in this case, it was beneficial to get reacquainted and perfectly timed with how the story is progressing.
As noted above, it’s also impeccable timing that the group is splitting at a time they will need all hands on deck more than ever.
This is the Dutton story, though, and Jamie, despite his fiery passion for the ranch and cockeyed desire to save it, isn’t a Dutton by blood.
Jamie has finally made the move that will end his time with the family who raised him and Wes Bentley’s tenure on the show. Of that, I have no doubt.
Jamie cannot survive his attack on his father and family. But damn, did he ever pull out a whopper in an attempt to steer events.
Jamie: Ask your husband where the train station is and how many times he’s been there. You want to know the real price for protecting the ranch? I don’t think you do. If the goal is protecting the ranch from future generations of which you have none, then monetizing the ranch is the only option. The airport was the only option, and you fuckin’ know it! You’re a businesswoman. How’s the cow business treatin’ you, Beth? You see any long-term plays there? You know all of this! And you can’t convince him. Well, I am guaranteeing the ranch is passed down to Tate, to my son, to their children someday. That is the promise that I made, and that is the promise I’m gonna keep. The greatest threat to that ranch is our father. And you know that, too. So I will remove the threat. [Sarah appears]
Beth: You’ll take your approval anywhere you can find it, won’t you, Jamie? Bet you’re one expensive hooker. Enjoying your marionette?
Sarah: Every inch of him.
Beth: OK. So, it’s war.
Jamie: War’s over, Beth.
Beth: No, Jamie. War is just beginning.
Beth’s beloved husband has just driven away, and now, of all times, is when she discovers the lengths he’s gone to for her family for the past decades.
It makes sense that Beth would be in the dark about the Train Station (capitalized so as not to confuse it with any potential actual train station). Rip has been protecting Beth since they met. He’s been protecting the family since they met. And gaining a family by covering up a murder is an incredible price to pay.
Rip went to the mat for her without hesitation. He would never do anything that would hurt her, no matter how many times over the years she hurt him. Still, keeping secret where all the bodies are buried is just standard operating procedure as a Yellowstone cowboy.
Jamie has never had Beth’s or the family’s best interests at heart. It made perfect sense to him to shove Beth’s face into that history when he got cornered.
And Jamie is cornered. He killed his father. Beth has photos. But all this time, I thought Beth knew where he had taken the body. I thought that’s why she was there. I actually thought she might have been there before Jamie. How wrong I was.
Instead, Beth unwittingly stumbled upon a century’s worth of skeletons in the Dutton family closet. Now it makes sense why Jamie has not been stopped in his tracks. He knew that if Beth really used it against him, he could go on the defense.
But he’s under no illusion that Beth will spare him, and with Sarah coddling him (she really is a hooker if she’ll sidle up to someone as smarmy as Jamie all in the name of business), he’s emboldened enough to go on the offensive this time around.
Every season ends with someone’s life in jeopardy. Beth has been under attack how many times now? John, too.
It’s unclear what direction Jamie will take, but the only way he can enact permanent change is to take out John. Sarah’s connections can make it look innocuous. There are many people around John now that he has no connection to and cannot vet.
It seems it would be relatively easy to slip into his food, whatever it is that makes it look like a heart attack. We’ve all watched enough true-crime shows to know that stuff doesn’t leave a trace.
If Jamie makes an attempt on John’s (or anybody’s) life, no matter how innocent it seems, Beth would know it was him. If Jamie’s smart, Beth also needs to be on the docket. That would require a car crash or something to get more than one at a time.
What Jamie won’t expect, because he’s too egotistical and insipid to consider it, is that Beth will have John on board with her plan to dispatch her irritating brother. John loved him once, but this will be hard to overcome.
If there is a place our enemies go and nobody ever knows they went there and they will never come back, then I think that’s the place for Jamie. What do you think, daddy?
Panning away from that conversation without hearing John’s answer is answer enough for me.
It’s in John’s DNA to step away from the more lurid sides of his family life. He’s got cowboys now who do his dirty work. He didn’t even want to stick around to see Rip branded. It’s ugly business, even if it’s ultimately for the good of all of them.
John can’t get out of this. Rip is gone, and Beth’s right. If there is such a place, then that’s where Jamie should be. It’s simple.
Kayce is the man left to handle situations like this. How John and Monica talked was prophetic. John didn’t know what he was asking of Monica when he served up East Camp in return for their help with the ranch, but he won’t hesitate to involve Kayce.
With Kayce’s background and how crucial he was to ending the reign of the Beck Brothers, he’d be the right man to step up while Rip and the others are away.
Rip’s time in Texas is just as important to saving the Yellowstone as it would be to take the fight to Jamie and Jamie to the Train Station. They can’t call him back, and if that’s the case, he’ll have to remain in the dark because to know would mean he’d return.
Kayce reminded Monica that there was a choice in his vision of her or the ranch. She feels comfortable that East Camp is the solution. She’s not like Beth, though. She’ll fight hard for her family, but it seems like she’d draw the line at murder and would blanch if she learned what Kayce has done for the family.
It’s an ugly position for everyone to be in. There’s not a good solution, but if Jamie comes after the family, the family has to go after him.
It’s war and not the first time the Duttons have been called to action. If you watched 1923 Season 1 Episode 3, you saw the parallels as the family was struck down after a lovely time in Boseman.
This ranch has been living off Dutton blood for over a century, and it’s not yet finished. But if Beth and John make the first move, maybe Dutton blood will be spilled in name only.
We have a good six months to ponder what this all means since Yellowstone won’t return until the summer. Talk about torture!
Were you surprised that Beth was in the dark? What’s their next move?
Will Jamie live to see the end of Yellowstone Season 5?
Please, please drop below and share your thoughts on what you think is next for the family. And remember, you can always watch Yellowstone online if you need to revisit the season for your hypothesis.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.