Be warned: Spoilers for the latest episode of Yellowstone Season 2 (“Touching Your Enemy”) are discussed below.
Yellowstone just ended on a major cliffhanger, and John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is about to be a very furious individual. It is all thanks to a big reveal that saw Jamie’s betrayal on the verge of getting divulged. Jamie (Wes Bentley) had been trying to avoid the incoming storm all throughout the episode, but like any force of nature, it was impossible to avoid.
The interview that Jamie gave the journalist in Yellowstone Season 1 will be a sit-down he regrets for a long time. As previously speculated, it looks set to come back and bite the Dutton family. It may or may not get published, but John is now aware that his son did something to him.
Having already told Beth (Kelly Reilly), she brought him before their father. “Tell him!” she insisted in the much-teased scene. Jamie was inconsolable and unable to get the words out. Finally, John got Beth to leave them alone.
A roaring fireplace behind him, John asked Jamie point-blank what he did to him. Jamie looked horrified, scared, and panicked. Yellowstone’s next episode is primed to be explosive as John handles this latest bombshell.
What John May Do About It
John Dutton is a man who values loyalty above all things, unless you are Rip and have devoted your life to him. That requires other game plans. As for Jamie, the road is about to get quite shaky. John seemed ready to forgive and forget his lawyer son running off in a huff. However, betrayal is another story.
Jamie did the interview when he was angry, but John will probably not care. He has a code. Will it lead him to take the same action he did against Kayce? In Season 1, Yellowstone revealed that John had Kayce (Luke Grimes) branded with the ranch’s symbol.
That seems to be the running punishment or the price you have to pay to stay / be on the Yellowstone ranch. John has been trying to be a better father to his adult children, so he may take a different path with Jamie. However, Jamie may be looking at a brutal test of sorts to get there. Jamie has to be willing to face a gauntlet to get back in his father’s good graces.
Kayce May Intervene
Maybe Kayce will be able to talk John out of it? Kayce and Jamie do not seem like the closest siblings. However, they are on much better terms than Jamie and Beth. Or her and Kayce. Regardless of their emotional proximity, Kayce should not want his brother to endure what he did. Right?
Can he talk John out of it? Kayce seems to be able to do what no one else can when it comes to the Dutton patriarch. You would hope he would try to help Jamie and that he could get through to John.
I think this brutal test will have to come into play, because it feels like it has been brought up for a reason. Plus, Jamie’s fear indicates he may even suspect that his father will make it a condition of him staying in the family. John Dutton’s wrath is one thing. Having to “take the brand” is another.
Jamie may be willing to face getting the brand, which might satisfy John’s need to see Jamie be ready to withstand the punishment and lead John to spare him. I could even see Kayce making this suggestion as a "compromise" of sorts.
Other Developments – Re: Beth and Rip
Let’s pivot to a few other developments on tonight’s Yellowstone. It seems like Rip (Cole Hauser) and Beth may actually get together. Or at least, I strongly sense that they are endgame. And, maybe sooner than later. A flashback of them opened the episode and that was not Yellowstone's only hint at a coupling.
According to Cole Hauser, who plays Rip, his Yellowstone character has a plan regarding John’s decision. Beth may have another one in mind for Rip and I could see it entailing marriage. If Beth married Rip, they should be able to stay in the main house, thus, saving Rip from his current living arrangement in the bunkhouse.
Beth seemed to be contemplating her relationship with Rip quite intensely in this episode, and she is a person of action. Could all of her thoughts have led her to the (obvious) conclusion that Rip is her soul mate? Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I think Yellowstone may go there.
Suspected Cattle Killer – Cleared?
The events of last week’s episode were not far away from Yellowstone’s developments. If you will recall, hundreds of the Dutton’s cattle were poisoned and killed. A crime that left John in an incredibly precarious situation. John had urged Kayce to investigate, and he continued in the latest installment.
Kayce took his investigation of Dan Jenkins (Danny Houston), right to his doorstep. Dan seemed surprised and clueless about what Kayce was talking about. That was the first clue. The two’s intense face-off eventually culminated in Kayce physically threatening Dan, who directly denied being the cattle killer.
In case viewers had any doubts as to his innocence, Dan then said that he wished he had been the culprit. He was thrilled by the pain it was causing Kayce and his family. Clearly, not the guy. Who is? I’m sticking to my theory that Neal McDonough’s new character and his brother, aka the Beck brothers, are behind it. They had too much to gain.
What is next? John Dutton will have to face Jamie’s terrible betrayal; deciding the consequences and attempting to overcome the repercussions. Yellowstone has still not revealed what Jamie said exactly, so there is still a considerable mystery there. A lot depends on what he divulged in the interview, but his actions hint it could be grave.