Major spoilers for Yellowstone Season 3, Episode 5 entitled “Cowboys and Dreamers,” are discussed below.
Well, it finally happened, Yellowstone fans. The hit Paramount Network series lifted the curtain on one of its most firmly secured secrets going into Season 3's fifth episode. Viewers now have a much clearer idea of why Beth hates Jamie so much, thanks to a massive clue reveal. Last year, saw Beth’s explosive disdain for her brother reach new levels, along with audience's curiosity, and the truth came out as "Cowboys and Dreamers" opened.
As previously teased, Yellowstone used a flashback to reveal the characters' dark backstory, with the episode opening on a 15-year-old Beth learning she was pregnant, and then going to Jamie for help to get an abortion. Jamie agreed to take Beth to Indian Health Services for discretion, so their father and his acquaintances would not find out. So far, so good.
After arriving, Jamie entered and was told that the only way the health center handled abortions was by also sterilizing the woman in the process. Jamie agreed and had Beth go in. Interestingly enough, Yellowstone next showed Beth going to see Rip, who asked about the results of her pregnancy test. Perhaps not-so-surprisingly, Beth lied and says the test came out negative.
Yellowstone then picked back up in the present day with Beth waking up from the nightmarish remembrance of that solemn memory. Rip comforted her, though she held onto her secret, despite telling him that she cannot have kids in the last episode. This is where Season 3 gives rise to more questions about Beth and Jamie's feud.
I am still unclear if Beth fully realized when she walked through those doors that she would be getting sterilized along with the abortion. Did Jamie keep that from her at the time, only for her to learn the truth later? Or did she knowingly go along with it at the time, only to later blame Jamie for how it played out? Did she perhaps expect her brother to be a more positive influence in such a life-changing situation?
Yellowstone’s much-anticipated reveal explained why Jamie appears ignorant of why Beth hates him. In Jamie's mind, he did nothing wrong, and he probably thinks he did his best to help her in. time of need. However, Beth clearly blames her brother for the abortion and her sterility (whether she knew about it beforehand or not). As I've theorized, Beth’s hatred of Jamie does stem from her blaming him for her not being able to have kids, though not quite in the way I thought it would happen.
The reveal also adds another layer of pathos to what happened when Beth got so emotional with Rip earlier in Season 3. Beth lied to Rip about being pregnant with his child when they were teens, and hasn't ever come clean about that lie. She is holding back from him, and may think her relationship with Rip will not continue if she ever does unburden herself of the truth.
If Beth were to believe that Jamie honestly thought what he was doing was in her best interest, no matter how misguided his actions were, I could see her forgiving him in time. That is, of course, assuming Jamie told her about the sterilization before she went in. If he did indeed hold out on that info, it would explain why Kelly Reilly told CinemaBlend she did not see a cordial relationship happening between Beth and Jamie in this world.
Yellowstone certainly opened a can of the unexpected with his reveal. Until Beth fully confronts Jamie in the present about what happened in their past, this is still only a partial reveal. There are still quite a few angles to flesh out where Jamie’s guilt is concerned, though, so audiences should expect for the two to continue having an incredibly complicated sibling relationship during the rest of Season 3.
Find out how Beth and Jamie move forward when new episodes of Yellowstone air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. You can now check out the first two seasons of the drama on NBCUniversal’s new streamer, Peacock, with this fall’s premieres also giving audiences something to look forward to when Season 3 has concluded.