Spoilers below for anyone who isn’t yet fully caught up with Yellowstone Season 4, so be warned!
It hasn’t been very hard to decipher, but Yellowstone’s fourth season is all about vengeance on just about every level, from the macro, namely John’s quest to take down those responsible for setting up the attacks, to the micro, namely Lloyd’s quest to erase Walker from existence. As we enter the back half of Season 4, it’s time for some of those fires to get handled, and the episode “I Want to Be Him” certainly doesn’t hold back when it comes to physically threatening confrontations.
Not that head-to-head battles made up the majority of Yellowstone’s latest batch of WTF moments. We’ve got more surprise returns from long-lost characters, unexpected emotional moments, and the possible loss of one of the show’s most quotable characters. So let’s go through this list of big moments one by one, and with as many of our teeth intact as possible.
Summer Kissing John In Front Of Beth
Considering the night-and-day performances Kelly Reilly gives as Beth Dutton, depending on whether she’s with loved ones like Rip or despised enemies like Jamie, fans just knew that Beth’s first interaction with Piper Perabo’s Summer Higgings was going to be explosive. And things could have easily taken a turn for the deadly, with Summer using a half-gallon of milk to defend a possible knife attack. Beth basically maintained the upper hand during that pre-breakfast “discussion,” as well as during breakfast itself, but Summer made it to the highlight reel by showing off her ballsy obliviousness in giving John a big smackaroo in front of his most feisty offspring. Summer certainly knows how to get to the meat of an argument, despite being a vegan.
Jamie And Garrett’s Post-Argument Hug
Dammit, Jamie. (No, not you, Jimmy, but your turn is coming.) I was so hoping that, beyond his renewed happiness upon Christina returning with their adorable son, Jamie had enough testicular fortitude to take Garrett to the train station without falling prey to the dude’s admittedly logical point of view. Still, of all the horrible things John, Beth and others did to him and vice versa, Jamie is where he is right now because of his family members, which includes the moves he’s made specifically to spite some of them. Meanwhile, Garrett is just telling him things that literally anyone else outside of the situation could say, so he doesn’t get any brownie points from me. Jamie should have shot him while keeping his words in mind, rather than hugging that overly confident fucker. (Will Patton rocks.)
I wasn’t expecting Yellowstone to introduce a potentially unrelated mystery about some missing horses in Season 4, and I definitely didn’t expect such a plotline to feature a character we haven’t seen since Season 2, but here we are. And there was Tanaya Beatty’s former wrangler Avery, who mysteriously left the ranch and the show a couple of years ago without much of an explanation. She was seemingly set to get romantic with Jimmy at the time, but now she’s serving as fodder for jealousy within Kayce and Monica’s relationship. Hard to tell where this narrative strand is headed at the moment, but I’m intrigued nonetheless.
Jimmy Roping Instead Of Resting His Chapped Ass
I love that Yellowstone is keeping Jimmy’s story going, as opposed to forcing audiences to wait for the upcoming 6666 spinoff. And I definitely understand that reasoning, since it would be a weird way to start a show by just having Jimmy be miserable for the first three or four episodes. But my god, watching Jefferson White shuffle around in massive pain is enough to make me want to soak my own thighs and ass cheeks in epsom salt and baby powder. (Probably not at the same time.) I obviously grasped his motivation in staying up for hours and practicing his roping skills after his superior made it clear he needed to up those skills, but I did not understand why he felt the need to do it RIGHT THEN, instead of after at least a few hours spent resting his weary AF muscles and bones. Maybe his meal was pumped full of amphetamines.
Lloyd Throwing A Knife Through Walker’s Butter-Soft Skin
Yellowstone fans were well aware that more brutality was on the way for Lloyd and Walker after their previous brawl left Lloyd in the metaphorical doghouse. But while I expected the outdoors showdown that came later, I did not expect it to be preceded by one of the most slapdash stabbings in pop culture history. It took more of an effort to pull that knife out than what it took for it to slide so smoothly into Walker’s shoulder. How disheartening that must have been for Walker to watch his guitar be destroyed mere seconds before learning that pudding’s skin is far more impenetrable than his own. But for real, godDAMN, Lloyd, that was a savage move.
Teeter Getting Thrown Out
Walker and Lloyd’s animosity for one another wasn’t ever going to do anyone any good, but now that John made the call that all women needed to be excised from the bunkhouse, viewers are suffering the most vicious of Yellowstone’s blows due to the mere notion that Teeter is going away. Considering Jen Landon’s exit hasn’t been announced before now — although she did join FBI: Most Wanted earlier in 2021 — I can only stay optimistic that Mia and Laramie’s exits will allow for Teeter to stick around and keep things country.
Lloyd Vs. Walker: Last Man Standing Match
Despite having very different personal stakes and inspirations involved, Walker and Lloyd’s not-quite-death-match was very reminiscent of Rip and Kayce’s barn-burner back in Season 2. So much of what happens on the ranch is either about teaching a lesson, or learning a lesson, and this was a particularly brutal educational display. Not that either one of the men would have been walking, talking or seeing properly had it been a real fight, especially with Walker still suffering from his stab wound, but still. And just when it seemed like it was over, Rip made even more of an example out of Lloyd and stomped his already punch-swollen hand. Won’t be doing any roping or pee-guiding with that hand for a while, that’s for sure, and there’s almost definitely going to be blood in that pee, too. Good times, good times.
Rip Getting Emotional
If you would have asked me to name 100 things I thought might happen in the immediate aftermath of the fight’s definitive ending, I would have named 100 different ideas that came nowhere near “Rip possibly crying outdoors.” Which isn’t passing judgment on him, as I feel like Rip is perfectly fit to sob himself into weight loss on a weekly basis just to counteract the always festering rage coursing through his veins. But I didn’t expect to see him actually break down at any point. Admittedly, part of that comes from not quite understanding why Rip was so sure the rest of the ranch crew would hate John for making an example out of Lloyd, especially since everyone was already fed up with Lloyd being pissy and stabby all the time. Regardless, Rip can only take so much of this loyalty-driven life before his own feelings start to get in the way. Should be interesting to see what comes next, as it goes with everything else on this show.
Yellowstone airs Sunday nights on Paramount Network, and we’re only two weeks away from the series premiere of the spinoff prequel 1883, starring Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, which just recently dropped its first full-length trailer. The new show will debut on December 19, first on Paramount+ and then later that evening after a new episode of the flagship western.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn’t sound like that’s the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.