‘Yellowstone’ Fans Can Breathe a Big Sigh of Relief After Episode 7 — But Not for Long [Spoiler Alert]
Yellowstone took everything fans were expecting — perhaps even dreading — and completely upended the apple cart during the show's most recent episode on Sunday night (Dec. 12), and that's probably for the best.
Episode 6 of Season 4 left fans shaken, confused and even angry after Lloyd's (Forrie Smith) knife attack on Walker (Ryan Bingham) resulted in the two men having to engage in a brutal fight that Rip (Cole Hauser) had to settle. After the trouble the presence of the women had caused at the bunkhouse, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) then decreed that they would all have to go, including fan-favorite Teeter (Jennifer Landon), who hadn't been directly involved.
Fans who reacted negatively to those results online in the days that followed the episode should be breathing a big sigh of relief after Sunday night's Season 4, Episode 7. The episode spent some much-needed time repairing the ruptures in some of the show's storylines, including Teeter's. The foul-mouthed ranch hand with a heart of gold goes to John Dutton with her hat literally in her hand in Episode 7 to beg for her job, startling him when she tearfully demands whether the brand she now wears for life actually means anything to him — because she and the others took the brand after he had been savagely attacked, and he was not aware of it.
The reversal of that decision is a moment of real satisfaction in Episode 7, and so is another scene between Lloyd and Walker. There's a foreboding sense that Lloyd still might not be done with his vendetta when we see him trading an irreplaceable personal item for something — a gun, perhaps? —in a pawn shop, but it turns out to be a guitar for Walker, replacing the one Lloyd smashed before throwing his knife at the singing ranch hand. As it turns out, Walker is very pleased with the instrument, which he says is far better than the one that got broken.
"As it should be," Lloyd assents.
Carter (Finn Little) also gets some real redemption in Episode 7, taking sage advice from both Lloyd and John Dutton, who have advised him to get back on Beth's (Kelly Reilly) good side. While his attempt is clumsy, he ultimately sways Beth, who relents and allows him to return to the cabin with her and Rip under conditions he has to shake on. We later see Rip begin to really soften with Carter and offer him the first real praise we've seen from him as he shows the boy how to tie some knots and set his equipment.
There's also some levity with Jimmy (Jefferson White), whose new job at the 6666 ranch leads to an unexpected task and a line that is pure comedy gold, but can't be printed here. Jimmy also seems like he might be on his way to moving on from Mia, but we'd be willing to bet we haven't seen the last of her yet.
Beth also appears to be on her way to forming a possible new alliance with Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) despite getting off to the worst possible start with her. After seeing Summer's "Fur Is Murder" protest at a local boutique, she challenges her to take what she calls "real risk" in taking on something far more impactful. Beth has just received the news that the plans developers have for the area are far more extensive than she had known, which will test her loyalties, so it'll be interesting to what role she thinks Summer can play in changing the course of events.
There's also new conflict in Episode 7 as Kayce (Luke Grimes) tracks down and returns the stolen horses to the reservation, where Avery (Tanaya Beatty) confesses that she fell in love with him at first sight. Though he reminds her that he's married, it seems clear that there's some mutual attraction, leaving viewers to wonder if Monica's (Kelsey Asbille) fears and jealousy were totally unfounded or not.
Elsewhere, Beth encourages John to ask Rip an important question that results in powerful moments between all three, but there's really big trouble brewing as Episode 7 comes to an end. Jamie's (Wes Bentley) biological father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton), encourages him to run for governor, which he decides to do. When John Dutton gets wind of that, he decides, albeit reluctantly, that he will accept the endorsement that Jamie was expecting from the current governor, and the episode closes with foreboding music that seems to foreshadow some terrible conflict coming up as Jamie seethes.
What will next week bring on Yellowstone? We're all learning the folly of that question at this point, since everything we thought we knew seems to turn out to be wrong. But there are certainly still pressure points left to play out between Jamie, John and Garrett Randall, and it looks like more emotional storms might be blowing toward Kayce and Monica's newfound domestic bliss away from the ranch. There are also question marks around Beth, Carter ... pretty much everyone, in fact.
Tune in to Yellowstone every Sunday night at 8PM ET on the Paramount Network to keep track of the latest, and stay tuned to Taste of Country as we provide week-to-week coverage of Yellowstone and the first season of the upcoming prequel 1883, including episode analysis, news on the shows, cast interviews and more.
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