Yellowstone’s 6 Biggest Game-Changing Moments From The Latest Episode

Beth talking to John on Yellowstone
(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the latest episode of Yellowstone, so be warned!

With the seventh episode of Season 4, Yellowstone played a couple of major hands for its narrative long-game, with John and Beth further proving themselves to be the most intimidating father-daughter duo since...well, probably since their ancestors James and Elsa Dutton. (A shameless 1883 plug, what can I say?) Surprising decisions were made by a variety of characters in “Keep the Wolves Close,” and they were happening all over the place, from Montana to Texas.

Let’s run down the six most surprising moments from the episode that will put the show and its characters on mostly different paths from what we’ve seen so far in Season 4. Let’s kick things off with one that might as well be called “John Sets Himself Up For Future Heart Attacks.” 

John announcing governor campaign

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

John Dutton Running For Governor Of Montana 

Even though John’s post-hospital recovery likely didn’t specify him taking at least half a year post-ambush injuries before running for the highest office in the state, I think it was probably implied. And yet such is John’s will and determination to thwart Jamie’s political ascent that he made the rather impulsive choice to put his name on the ballot, so to speak, with Governor Lynelle Perry’s endorsement. In the overall scheme of things, it wasn’t so surprising a move, since this is the Duttons’ world to rule over, so how could Taylor Sheridan NOT put John on the campaign trail? And how could anyone NOT vote for John after that impassioned announcement speech that capped off the episode? Who else can straddle party lines like John Dutton? John! John! John! [puts down megaphone]

Summer talking to Beth near protest on Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Beth Weaponizing Summer And Her Protesters 

As much as I adore Beth, my every instinct was still to chuckle at how blindsided she was by Market Equities’ massive development plans. Since it was her own rage and revenge scheme for Bob Schwartz that kept her so blinded, that meeting scene gave viewers (and a room full of relative strangers) a quick and rare peek at a Beth Dutton who wasn’t the smartest shit-kicker in the room. Thankfully, the universe threw her a softball in the form of Summer’s anti-fur protest, which allowed Beth to regain her sense of mental and situational superiority while also setting up a roadblock for construction on the airport and other infrastructure. Also, to Beth’s point, it does seem kind of ridiculous that the best use of Summer & Co’s time and effort is loudly posting up outside a Montana fur store. But I'm betting they can be 

Beth threatening jamie in his ear on yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

John And Beth Blatantly Crushing Jamie’s Campaign Dreams 

Had John sent Jamie a singing telegram from an adorably precocious child holding equally adorable puppies, and the message was “I don’t want you to run for governor,” that alone would have succeeded in mangling Jamie’s spirits and deflating his confidence. And we’re talking, like, puppies so cute they probably shouldn’t exist. So to have things go down the way they did — with John and Beth’s hawk-like ogling at Jamie smiling and fixing his tie while completely unguarded against the impending explosion of shame — was a brutal paper cut to the soul, and the paper says “Fuck you, Jamie” in his least favorite ink color. After throwing Garrett’s conversation with Christina into the mix, on top of Jamie’s obvious joy as a new father, I cannot foresee a future in which he could possibly remain faithful to a family so eager to publicly exploit his weaknesses and sensitivities. (Although I’m still interested to see how Kayce factors into the growing rift.)

Rip leaning against barn on yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Rip And Beth Moving Into The Main House 

I can’t truly tell whether Rip and Beth becoming John’s new roomies is more or less of a game-changer than John growing the capacity to acknowledge and address his swelling vulnerability, first to Beth and then to Rip, sort of. I bet if you asked John to either swallow a pill that would guarantee he would shit fire for the next 24 hours, or relive asking Rip to move in, the pill would be down his throat before the question was over. In any case, this move will have scheming buddies John and Beth closer together on a regular basis, it’ll put Rip in close proximity to said scheming, and it’ll give Carter a chance to more fully realize what John’s life is like from day to day. I’m not totally sure if I buy into Carter as a load-bearing member of the ranch’s future legacy, but moving into that house is the best way for him to reach such a rank.

Lloyd giving Walker a guitar on Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Lloyd Burying The Hatchet With Walker 

I know I’m not the only person who nervously believed Yellowstone might reveal Lloyd’s brain took too many lumps during his recent fights, and that he might be mentally rattled enough to buy a new gun with the specific intention of killing himself, Walker, Rip or anyone else who crossed him over the years. Thankfully, the end result was far less deadly and far more heart-warming, with Lloyd seemingly taking full inventory of the situation and coming to terms with how he needed to get out of his emotional rut. Which, ironically enough, involved further emotional sacrifices, as he gave up a personally priceless trophy buckle in order to replace Walker’s guitar. But it worked, at least as far as getting him back into the bunkhouse collective’s good graces. Not exactly a one-to-one for stabbing him, but it’ll do. 

Jimmy talking to Emily at the 6666 on Yellowstone

(Image credit: Paramount Network)

Jimmy Moving On In The Romance Department (Hopefully)

With Mia having made her ranch exit even before John tried to make it mandatory anyway, I have a growing suspicion that she may decide to take a long voyage south to find Jimmy in Texas. Which I’m sure he’d love and all, since his life is now a cycle of friendless routines and soreness, but she only gets two strikes, between influencing his accident and ditching him ahead of his spinoff-spawning trip to the 6666. Stepping up to bat now is the frank-speaking potential love interest Emily, with actress Kathryn Kelly enjoying one of the most unique character introductions imaginable: overseeing a bug-eyed Jimmy masturbating a group of stallions. Quite the definitive case of “you’ve seen me at my worst, now try me at my best.” #Jimmily 

In closing, I think everyone can agree the honorable mention here should go to Teeter proving her case to be allowed back into the bunkhouse, which not even John could properly argue against. Get 'em, Teeter!

As baffling as it is to believe, there are only a handful of Yellowstone Season 4 episodes left to go, and you can find them airing Sunday nights on Paramount Network at 8:00 p.m. ET. 

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.