Yellowstone Midseason Finale Recap: War and Pièce de Résistance

In Yellowstone’s midseason finale Sunday, Jamie stuck his neck way out by announcing that the attorney general’s office was seeking to have John removed as governor. Or, as Beth put it to their father, “He has declared war.” Did it look like a war that Jamie could possibly win, what with his sister having proof that he killed biodad Garrett? Read on, and we’ll discuss that and everything else that happened in “A Knife and No Coin.”

‘IT SURPRISES THE HELL OUT OF ME’ | As the episode began, we flashed back to a young John, Rip & Co. delivering Rowdy to the train station. On the way back to the ranch, Rip admitted to his future father-in-law that Beth’s boy toy had said something sexual about Beth. At last, John understood what was going on between Rip and Beth — and had the boy branded as a part of the Yellowstone forevermore. “You will have a home till the day you die,” John said, “or this ranch is no more. Now that is something worth fighting for.”

In the present, whoa! We found Emily and Jimmy waking up at the Four Sixes in Texas, as cute together as ever. Finally, we got a glimpse of these two! Just a glimpse, though; soon, we were off, following Jimmy cowboying. That evening, the twosome continued their adorableness campaign, and… well, I half-expected her to tell him that they were expecting, but she didn’t. Nice to see ’em, anyway. Back at the Yellowstone, the Texas-bound gang loaded up their cattle, and John asked Monica if she’d let Kayce look after the ranch while he was in Helena and Rip was in the Lone Star State. “We can help,” she said, adding, “That’s all you ever had to do you, know — ask.”

‘THESE ARE CALLOUS, CALCULATED ACTIONS’ | Later, John surprised Rainwater and Lynelle by showing up to stand with the chairman against the pipeline through the reservation… at the very same time as Jamie was calling for his father’s impeachment. Before Rainwater’s subsequent speech was over, the news broke of Jamie’s stunt. “It appears you’ve been ambushed,” Rainwater understated. On the road, John advised Clara that this fight would only be won by menace. How does one fight with that? He’d show her, he promised.

At the Dutton house, Beth and Summer’s bickering was interrupted by the latter’s revelation of what Jamie had done — and the fact that the state had voted to move forward with the impeachment tribunal. Later, as the Texas-bound gang packed up, what’s this? The girl who’d asked Carter to dance came by to say goodbye. Too sweet. Equally cute? How forlorn Colby looked after Teeter set off. (She even whispered “I love you” in his ear.) When Rip and Beth said their so longs, she promised to fly out to see him in a week.

‘IT WAS THE PERFECT SPEECH’ | That night, Beth interrupted Jamie and Sarah’s latest tryst and beat him with… was that a brick? He’d either resign, or his sister would hand over the evidence that he’d killed Garrett, she said. But if she turned him in, she’d reveal how many bodies his father had dumped at the train station, he warned. He went on to note that she knew that John was running the Yellowstone into the ground. “The greatest threat to that ranch is our father,” he barked, “so I will remove that threat.” This, said Beth needlessly, means war. (And at last, we got the Beth/Sarah encounter I dunno about you, but I’d been dying for — and that Dawn Olivieri teased.)

Yellowstone Summer Premiere DateAs the hour neared its conclusion, news broke that the protected wolves might have been killed on John’s ranch. “It’s a hit piece,” Lynelle summed up. “They smell blood in the water.” Just then, Beth arrived and suggested that the reporters be taken to the train station. What is it, exactly? she asked. Without blinking, John gave her the answer. “Jamie knows about it,” she said. John knew, but… but… Was there any “but”? Yes, as she saw it. Jamie needed to take a trip to the train station. Back at Jamie’s place, he admitted to Sarah that he figured Beth would try to have him killed… and asked if his lover knew anyone who might rub out his sister. She did indeed and would meet with potential killers on his behalf.

The next day, Lloyd called Carter on smiling like he’d spent the night in a girl’s arms. (Had he?) Shortly, Monica pitched Kayce the idea of moving onto the east camp with him looking after the ranch while everyone was away. “Maybe,” she suggested, “this is the way we have both” — the ranch and a future. And in the last moments of the episode… wait, that was the end? Hmm. Anticlimactic, huh? So, what did you think of the midseason finale? Grade it in the poll below, then hit the comments.

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