Many spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched Yellowstone ‘s Season 5 premiere, “One Hundred Years Is Nothing,” and its follow-up, “The Sting of Wisdom,” so be warned!
Paramount Network kicked off
Yellowstone ‘s highly anticipated fifth season with a mega premiere that paired up the first two extended-length episodes, putting viewers right back into the hectic, swear-filled, and often deadly world of the Dutton family. They did indeed deliver quite a few stressful moments, more than enough F-bombs, and some unexpected deaths in each episode that will no doubt reverberate throughout the rest of this season and possibly into the franchise’s future.
Below, we’ve pulled out the six most important takeaways from the first two Season 5 installations, and will continue to do the same for the rest of the upcoming episodes, as Kevin Costner’s John Dutton continues his fight to hold onto his ranch on a larger scale than ever before.
(Image credit: Paramount Network)
Outside Of His Ranch, Governor John Dutton DGAF Even though John expressly mentioned to his new driver not to divulge details of his candid conversations with the kiddos, his early days as Montana’s new governor haven’t exactly kept his truest motives hidden, even if he’s fooling some into thinking he cares about the state or its citizens as much as he cares about Paradise Valley. Which, by all means, is probably what everyone watching at home expected him to do, all while presumably razzing Jamie and Lynelle for trying to convince John to make less tumultuous directions. But how long can that line of thinking last?
Considering each move he’s making is just widening the target on his back, and lengthening the list of people who are aiming at it, one would imagine he’ll have to quickly reach a point where he understands that breaking all the rules will make it harder to enforce the ones that are keeping his land safe. Jamie and Lynelle need to present things as such, rather than acting like anything else matters to him.
(Image credit: Paramount Network) Beth And Rip’s Shared And Separate Pasts Are Haunting Them
Now a happily married woman who is more than pleased to present herself as such, Beth remains conflicted over her past with Rip. The premiere offered a flashback to their barely-a-date that immediately went sideways, which scratched at her surviving regrets over not getting serious with him all those years ago. And all such memories undoubtedly pull at the dangling thread of her abortion and unconsenting sterilization, which remains a buried landmine in their relationship; one whose triggering could bring Jamie’s life to a brutal end, depending on how Rip would take such news.
Rip is clearly a moment-to-moment kind of person, living entirely within his present set of duties, especially while he’s top-dogging it in John’s Governor-related absence. So he likely doesn’t feel the same “what if?” pangs that Beth does, but the dying cattle plotline combined with heightened pressures to send Rip’s subconscious into the past as well, though for a more disturbing reason. It appears as if Rip and Kai Caster’s new character Rowdy were tasked by John with giving a contractor, Elijah Mahar’s Dick Weller, a taste of his own medicine (poison) to stop the chemicals from being used near his land. While the builder was only horribly injured and not dead by the episode’s end, I can’t help but think Rip and Rowdy’s reign of terror defending John’s land gets far worse.
(Image credit: Paramount Network) The Death Of John Dutton IV, Monica’s (And Kayce’s) Baby
Considering viewers last saw Kayce and Monica seemingly on the skids
when Season 4 ended, it was quite the baffling reveal to see her expecting to the point of bursting at the abdominal seams. But any attempts to feel joy about such miracles were clearly destined for doom as soon as Monica confidently declared she would drive herself to the hospital. To the episode’s credit, I suppose, Sheridan & Co. telegraphed these scenes to set off massive alarm bells within viewers and buffer the shock of the tragedy to come. Still, it was gut-wrenching to witness the car wreck that not only left Monica and Tate bruised and bloodied, but also led to the loss of their son, whose time on the planet maxed out at a single hour.
All the more bawl-worthy was learning what they’d named the boy, as it presumably makes him the fourth-generation John, cementing that part of the family legacy not-so-coincidentally around the point when Paramount Network aired the
first teaser for the upcoming prequel with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. 1923
One has to wonder why there wasn’t more of a press-capade over the new governor losing a grandson in an incident that also left his daughter-in-law and grandson hurt, not to mention the other driver. Perhaps more attention will be put on the tragedy when they bury him on the ranch, assuming John is as cool with it as Kayce assumes. Since the idea of Tate wanting them to have another baby was mentioned just as many times as Kayce seeing the end of their relationship during his vision quest, it makes me more than wary about any attempts they make to get pregnant anew.
(Image credit: Paramount Network) Market Equities Has Its Own Version Of Beth Dutton
Just to get it straight right from the start: there is only ONE Beth Dutton, and there will only ever be one Beth Dutton. But in the way that there will always be LEGO-esque building blocks standing alongside the monolith, it stands to reason there are other people in the world who share similar outlooks and playbooks with Kelly Reilly’s stinger-covered queen bee. And one such person would be Market Equities’ latest weapon, Dawn Olivieri’s Sarah Atwood.
Jacki Weaver’s Caroline Warner speaks of Sarah as if she herself is the code to the nuclear football, which makes a certain amount of sense if she wields similar “fuck the world” energy to that which Beth emanates at solar levels. Wisely, her introduction is more low-key, where she shows off her me-first confidence and wiles without being outwardly vile or villainous. She has to rise up from somewhere, after all, if she’s going to one day ram heads with the Duttons’ fiercest warrior. No one just walks up off the street and takes Beth on. You have to get insanely pissed off at her first.
(Image credit: Paramount Network) Jamie Appears Ready To Break, Regardless Of Consequences
Wes Bentley’s Jamie was allowed just a couple of all-too-brief moments to feel anything resembling positivity or victory, including being allowed to introduce John as the new governor, and when John rebuked Beth’s refusal to make her brother a glass of whiskey. Otherwise, the dude is abundantly aware of every inch within the doghouse he currently resides in, and it’s only a matter of time before she brings an actual dog collar and leash to use on him. She’s really digging into her diet-psychotic need for enemies there, and doing shit like making Jamie call her “ma’am” is either going to lead to uncomfortable sexual chemistry or it’s going to make him recoil to the point of getting vengeful.
Not that such conjecture is taking a shot in the dark, as everyone at Market Equities is on the same page in thinking, “Why did we go after the most hardcore Dutton when the forgotten son is right there with all those knives in his weak little back?” (I find it hard to believe Beth wouldn’t have just arbitrarily badmouthed the bejesus out of Jamie at high volume the entire time she worked there.) But will Sarah have what it takes to convincingly turn Jamie against the fam, given all the evidential fuel that Beth has on him? I doubt it, but I sorta hope it happens, and that we get a cage fight by the end of Season 5.
(Image credit: Paramount Network) Ryan And Colby Killed Some Very Important Wolves
No deaths during the second episode of the night could have stacked up emotionally to the devastating loss that Kayce and Monica went through, but it stood to reason that the calves and wolves that were killed could have more far-reaching ramificaitons on the whole. By unwittingly shooting and killing some collared and park-preserved wolves, Ryan and Colby have presumably welcomed a shitstorm that will only further complicate John’s attempts to make sure everything goes his way as governor. Once authorities with a Dutton-hating stick up their rear
begin looking into things happening at the Y, is there ever a point when they’d stop looking?
But even beyond the threat of jailtime and more for Ryan and Colby for doing the wolf-killing,
Yellowstone appears to be setting up more of a layered story here. For one, Ryan noted that wolves weren’t responsible for killing anything, only for rip to sweep those suspicions under some horse manure. And since that situation is what made Rip recall the whole poison-related revenge sitch, it’s likely whatever or whoever else is responsible for the calves’ deaths won’t be long for this world after Cole Hauser’s badass finds out about them.
New episodes of
Yellowstone are set to air each Sunday night on Paramount Networkthough keep in mind that there are only five more episodes before the first half of the super-sized Season 5 wraps up. Rewatch previous episodes with a Peacock subscriptionand head to our 2022 TV schedule (or our 2023 premiere rundown) to see what other new and returning shows are hitting the small screen soon.