We’re back with another lively round table discussion. This time, the table shares their thoughts on Yellowstone Season 4 Episode 5.
And let me tell you, there is a lot to unpack!
Once again, the round table features participants from The Yellowstone Bunkhouse, including Julie Castaneda and Jim Thomas who join TV Fanatic senior staff writers Whitney Evans and Jack Ori this week.
What did you think of Piper Perabo’s introduction as Summer?
Jack: I’m not quite sure what to make of Summer yet.
Her politics certainly are different than most of the characters, and I’m sure John’s decision to bail her out comes with more strings attached than just her agreement not to throw any more rocks at Kayce.
She might be an interesting foil for Beth if they ever cross paths. What did you think of Piper Perabo’s introduction as Summer?
Julie: I am holding judgment on this until I see a little more. I’ve honestly not been a fan of her acting in previous performances. With that said, I will trust Taylor on this and see what develops.
Jim: Nothing against Piper, but do they really need to introduce another character at this time? I am not a fan of how this season is being dealt with.
It seems like they are all over the place. As another fan pointed out, it seems like they are trying to cram too much into an episode, and the show’s quality is suffering.
Whitney: I don’t have many thoughts about Summer. I’m not sure what her purpose is at this point, so I need to see more of her and what she was introduced to do before I start having any real thoughts about her character.
What the heck do you think is going on between Rip and Lloyd? Is there any hope for them to mend fences?
Jack: Lloyd seems to feel that Rip is on Walker’s side in their ongoing fight, and Rip seems to be punishing Lloyd by making him watch other people break in the horses.
These two aren’t going to see eye-to-eye for a while, and now that Lloyd seems to have befriended Carter, it may get even messier. I have to wonder if Lloyd feels Carter is a kindred spirit or wants to use the kid to get under Rip’s skin.
Jim: Remember the joke about the barrel racers making a week seem like a lifetime? Lloyd’s ego got a hell of a boost when Laramie started snuggling up with him, and as much as he knew it wouldn’t last, it was hurtful and humiliating when she turned her affection to Walker.
So is his anger for Walker solely because Laramie chose him? I doubt it. He’s mad at himself for becoming the Buckle Bunny and letting his emotions get the best of him. You can see the contempt in his eyes that he has for Walker, and he’s justifying that contempt by saying Walker should be dead.
If he had only taken Walker to the train station, he would still be snuggled up with Laramie. Unfortunately, Rip sees what is going on, and while it may seem harsh, he is trying to get Lloyd back on track and acting like the 2nd in command.
The people wearing the brand are like a Made Man in the mafia; you don’t touch them. Lloyd started the fight, so Rip was forced to put him in his place.
He didn’t want to, but he had to. Lloyd’s life depends on him getting back in line, or he will be on that midnight train.
Julie: It’s the cowboy way. I look at it like a chain of command. Lloyd has lost his edge and the respect of the bunkhouse. He’s old enough and wise enough to know better than to lose his mind over some girl.
Rip’s putting an end to it by shoving Lloyd down the totem pole and making him earn his way back up. The whole ranch is watching Rip, and if he doesn’t make this example of Lloyd, he risks having trouble down the road.
I have confidence this will be resolved. In the meantime, I hope we get some of Lloyd’s back story.
Whitney: I feel bad for Lloyd, but I understand why he’s been made an example. He messed up and has to pay the consequences now, but man, Rip really doesn’t let up, does he?
I think and hope that whatever he’s forming with Carter is genuine. Lloyd has a good heart, and he’s a great mentor. We saw that in full force with Jimmy. I would much rather watch him and Carter bond than see him sulk around watching Walker and Laramie.
What do you make of Monica and Kacey’s move?
Jack: Monica and Tate both seem happier. Tate seems more like himself.
Julie: I don’t like it. The whole “find us a house to rent” just seems off to me. Taylor’s up to something.
But will it last, or is this just a band-aid over a deep wound? Kayce is still working for John, and his job may put him at odds with the Native Americans again at some point, and if he and Monica haven’t found a way to navigate these kinds of conflicts, it will all fall apart again.
And no one has really dealt with the trauma Tate endured. It’s been acknowledged at this point that he defended Monica the way a man should have, but other than making him sleep outdoors for a few nights, has anyone done anything about the effect that had on him?
Jim: She tells Tom Rainwater that she wishes she had been the one that killed the man, but she has been acting like a whiny little brat. Terrible writing for her character.
This is a woman that trapped a killer. She had said killer’s head blown off while he was holding her down, went home took a shower, and was fine. And now Taylor wants to make here into a wussy? WTF!!!
Whitney: Is Kayce happy? Are any of them even remotely happy? Every time the family is on-screen together, there’s just this mountain of sadness surrounding them.
And it feels like they’re all content to just live in that sadness. There’s no way you can sustain that in the long run, and I think this is all building to a head where Kayce is going to have to choose between his two families.
What does Christina’s return with child in tow mean for Jamie, and more importantly, for what Jamie discovered about Garrett?
Jack: I’m sure this will complicate everything. Jamie was ready to confront Garrett about Garrett’s alleged involvement in the attack on the Duttons, but now that Christina is back with the news that her child is Jamie’s, he’s going to be thrown off. Jamie is going to have tough choices to make now, and I’m not sure what he’s going to do.
Julie: Jamie is in a good place, but I’m not sure he’s ready for Christina. They are so different. I do think Jamie will give family life a try. But in the end, Christina will not be happy that Jamie will continue to protect his Dutton family.
In terms of Garrett, Christina’s shocking return was a distraction to Jamie, but I think he’s still going to confront Garrett. What I’m really interested in seeing is Beth’s reaction to Jamie having a family. She previously threatened Jamie in the barn, saying she would kill what he loved with her bare hands. This should get good!
Jim: Does anyone else find it odd that according to the timeline, she should still be pregnant and not have a toddler? TV magic! For all the bad things said about Jamie, he is still a family man.
And if Randall tries to harm his child, Jamie will put him in the ground. How Christina will react is the question, will she become a mama bear or stay the crybaby liberal she portrays?
Whitney: I agree with Julie. I’m very interested to see how Beth reacts to the news! But I do think her return will complicate things because I don’t think Garret is above threatening or doing whatever he has to do to keep this current life he has.
Thank God for Beth. Beth and John’s scenes made “Under a Blanket of Red” worth watching. What are your thoughts on their various conversations?
Jack: I love Beth and John’s relationship, but I can’t help remembering how adversarial they used to be every time they share a scene now.
In the end, Beth turns out to be the child John can trust most, and at this point, he knows that. I think that’s changed his attitude toward her somewhat.
In the past, she was, in his view, a woman doing a man’s job, and he didn’t like it, but now he seems to appreciate her stubbornness and dedication to him and the ranch.
Julie: Theirs is a complicated relationship. Beth’s guilt about her mother’s death has her filling these voids in John’s life; intimate, but not sexual. She’s vulgar and candid in what John calls man-to-man talks and yet loving and sweet to his needs of the heart.
Add to that her vicious loyalty that puts a guard dog to shame. She is all things to him except his lover. I like their banter, though, especially when she embarrasses her dad.
Jim: “Jesus Beth, we got to have a talk about boundaries!” Beth should have been a boy for all of her frank conversations and talk. But I know women that can make a sailor blush.
Whitney: I love Beth and John together, but I wish he got to have more of those heart to hearts with others as well. But having said that, I loved their scene in the beginning and Beth wanting to ease her father back into being in a lonely house.
Their relationship is complicated, but they also get each other and respect each other, and it really shines in the quiet moments between them.
We’re halfway through the season. How do you feel about where things stand?
Jack: I’m enjoying this season, even though in some ways it’s more disjointed than past seasons. I feel like they are trying to cram an awful lot into each episode and that the stories are more rushed than they have been in the past.
For example, do we really need this new Summer story on top of everything else that’s already going on?
I’d have preferred the season focus on the aftermath of the attack on the Duttons and the investigation into who did it without quite as many side stories (the Carter story being an exception because I’m fascinated by it).
Julie: I feel like we’ve got a lot of irons in the fire. We are all over the place! I don’t know how Taylor will wrap all this up in just five more episodes.
Jim: Thank God we finally had an episode without Taylor Sheridan in it! I love that they had Barry Corbin on the show.
Whitney: Everything about this season feels off to me. We’re halfway through the season, and I feel like most of the episodes haven’t even really advanced many stories forward. It’s hard to even put into words, but the season feels like it’s stuck in place or something.
What was your favorite quote?
Jack: Pretty much anything Beth said to John, especially her comment that the house never seemed noisy when there were more people in it, and now she was aware of every creak. She also cracked me up with this exchange.
John: Not hungry?
Beth: Nuh-uh. I’m intermittent fasting.
John: What’s that mean?
Beth: Nothing but coffee and cigarettes till noon, and then I can eat what the fuck I want till I start drinkin’ at six.
John: Well, I’d love to meet the doctor who came up with that diet.
Beth: I’ve adapted it to suit my lifestyle.
I also loved Beth informing Bobby that she was in charge now, and he was fired. Firing the nosy assistant who tried to call security on her was a nice touch and typical Beth.
Julie: My favorite is from Beth in the opening scene. “If a meteor strikes earth tonight, it is me and the cockroaches running this mother fucker tomorrow.”
Jim: I have to agree with Julie. Not exactly what you would expect a daughter to say to her dad.
Whitney: I liked Beth’s “Off to ruin a life.” Never change, Beth!
Beth: Love you. [Kisses John’s head] Off to ruin a life.
John: OK, honey.
The floor is yours. Share anything else about the episode!
Jack: As I mentioned earlier, I’m curious about the relationship developing between Lloyd and Carter. I think this is part of Lloyd’s revenge plan against Rip, but I can’t be sure.
By the way, this was the second time in as many weeks that Rip informed John that Carter wouldn’t be staying long because Carter pissed Beth off. What was up with that?
On another note, poor Jimmy. I didn’t expect to see him again, but I also didn’t expect that he would be shipped off to another place where the other cowboys make fun of him and are rude to him. I hope Jimmy gets something worthwhile out of this experience.
Julie: Two things. First, I’m getting this eerie feeling John is going to die. Every episode this season gives some reference to him dying. I don’t like it!
Second, Buster Welch, in the scene at the 6666 telling stories about Salty Chief (a real 6666 stallion), was absolutely priceless. I can only imagine that the crew was told to roll no matter what happened. Just roll tape and improvise.
Barry Corbin was brilliant in how he handled the scene, just going with the story Buster was telling. Likely wasted on most of the 14 million fans, that scene was golden for all American Quarter Horse historians. I loved it!
Jim: I have not been a fan of how this whole season has been done. I think Taylor Sheridan had too many irons in the fire, and Yellowstone has suffered for it.
If Taylor and his partners had not bought the 4 6’s ranch, would we even be seeing it? Would he promote Bosque Ranch performance horses with his trucks if he wasn’t trying to make money off them?
Yellowstone is the moneymaker, don’t screw it up to feed your need to promote your other projects.
Whitney: I just really want something to happen during the back half of the season. I’m really stung by how lackluster things have felt all season.
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.