Yellowstone Dropped Several Bombshells On Its Characters And Viewers To Set Up Midseason Finale

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched Yellowstone’s latest episode, “The Dream Is Not Me,” so be warned!

In many ways, Yellowstone’s fifth season has been a milder one for the Dutton family, even if the overall stresses of ranch life remain ever-present and overpowering. I think we can chalk some of it up to serving as the calm before one or more storms, and it looks like John, Rip and others will need to break out the umbrellas, galoshes, and exit strategies for the upcoming Season 5 winter finale. 

Episode 507 set the path to the midseason capper and beyond with a quartet of important reveals and narrative shake-ups that could make and/or break certain characters and familiar dynamics. And not in the usual “violently stopping bad guys from doing all the bad things” kind of way. Let’s take a look at how the Paramount Network drama is gearing up for its winter hiatus. 

Rip chewing on toothpick in Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Rip & Co. Have To Go To Texas For An Indefinite Stretch

As if John’s whole branding expedition hadn’t already been complicated enough by him ditching so many of his governor-related duties, as well as the death of Emmett Walsh, now the ranch is facing another major multi-headed threat in the form of a potential brucellosis outbreak. There aren’t any truly upswinging outcomes, either. Positive diagnoses within the herd mean the entire shebang has to be put down. Plus, the entire pasture where the stillborn bison were found is now unusable for cattle, so a large chunk of the herd needs to be taken down south to Texas, so they can graze somewhere that ideally isn’t blisteringly cold and snowy. 

Which means unless something wildly different happens in the midseason finale, the bunkhouse will be losing some of its core inhabitants for upwards of a year. Which means some of the show’s main couplings could be facing some long-distance troubles in the near future, including: Rip & Beth, Teeter & Colby, and Ryan & Abby.

Though Beth talked about flying out to meet Rip and staying at a hotel, avoiding the “cowboy shit” that he and others will be handling, that wouldn’t really make a whole lot of sense over a long stretch of time, considering she works in John’s office and likely needs to actually do work. Which would also presumably be the case for Colby and Abby, as well as whoever Jake might be dating. 

I wonder if this ties into the overarching worries about Rip dying, and why he's been smiling so much lately. With the reason being "because Yellowstone is sending him away from everything he knows and loves for a long time." I know I’m not smiling very much right now. 

Young Rip worried and bloody in Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Rip First Sold His Soul To John After Accidentally Murdering Rowdy

Speaking of good ol’ Rip Wheeler, “The Dream Is Not Me” revealed another one of the most key moments from the character’s past, particularly when it comes to his connection with John. While out on wolf-watching duties, Rip and Rowdy got into a scuffle over the latter’s comments about Beth. Okay, it was more than just a scuffle, with Rowdy signing his own death sentence by pulling a knife during a fistfight. 

That said, Rip was definitely at fault here, as he beat Rowdy’s face in with a rock and probably destroyed his insides as well. The injured ranch hand’s fate was essentially sealed as soon as viewers heard his wet and labored breathing, and Rip probably should have heeded his advice by sticking to the lie that Rowdy was stomped on by a horse. Instead, he was honest with John, and thus cemented himself as the Duttons’ number one enforcer for the rest of measurable time. 

It’s no stretch to connect Rip’s violent reaction here to Beth smashing a bottle over that flirty woman’s head in the Bozeman bar. What if they were wrong about Rowdy being a drifter, and he’s actually connected to my theory about the Dutton’s being long-conned?

Sarah and Jamie face to face in Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Jamie Is Apparently Coming After John’s Governor Role

While he’d love to have remained pig-in-shit happy thanks to a more active sex life, Jamie now realizes that his daliances has shifted him out of John and Beth’s forward momentum, with Sarah and Ellis cluing him in on the ranch being put under a conservation easement. That makes his newly forming scheming with Market Equities all the more complicated, because it would require Montana (and John, more or less) to pay somewhere around $4 billion in compensatory damages to those who’d previously invested in land developments.

The details and legal stipulations behind all of this are way above my intelligence level, so I can’t pretend to fully understand how complicated this situation is from either angle. However, I am intelligent enough to recognize Sarah’s broad strokes during her latest round of Jamie-nipulations, as she convinced him to once again take aim at the Governor’s office, strengthened by the idea that John’s actions are potentially impeachable. If she gets her way, Jamie will get his shot to take it all by way of a special election. Which he probably won’t pull off, because it’s Jamie we’re talking about. 

Beth outside talking to Monica in Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Beth Told Monica About Her Abortion

One of the episode’s more unique scenes featured the bulk of Yellowstone’s female stars, including Kelly Reilly, Kelsey Asbille, Hassie Harrison, Piper Perabo, and Lainey Wilson. The snipe-y banter soon gave way to one of the rare conversations solely centered on Beth and Monica. It was also the rare conversation where Beth was cordial, complimentary, and forthcoming with personal details.

In this case, Beth perhaps rudely brought up the death of Monica and Kayce’s son by way of saying she knew how that felt, having lost a child of her own in the past. 100% not the same situation in the slightest, on any level, but whatever brings the Dutton family members closer, I guess. 

The big takeaway from this obviously isn’t just that Monica knows a little more about her sister-in-law’s private life now, but that someone else is now aware of Beth and Jamie’s darkest shared experience, and thinks that Beth is hurting herself by keeping it inside. And while Jamie and John clearly haven’t been eager to spread that story around, Monica may not understand the severity of that admission without ALL the facts. So if she happens to bring it up to Kayce or, god forbid, to Rip directly, that could be the can of worms that sends Jamie to the train station, whether he’s set to be the Governor or not. 

Yellowstone’s Season 5 winter finale will air on Paramount Network on Sunday, December 25, at 8:00 p.m. And if you haven’t yet watched, Taylor Sheridan’s new star-studded prequel 1923 will drop its second episode that same day for those with Paramount+ subscriptions, so don’t miss out!

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.