Spoilers below for the latest episode of Yellowstone, so beware the wrath of Beth if you haven’t yet watched.
Yellowstone came out of the gate big and mighty with its Season 5 premiere, and followed up on that with a third episode that, instead of being a soothing chaser, was another round of boozy shots ending in bloodshed. “Tall Drink of Water” showcased our main protagonists making some questionable decisions throughout, and all while delivering some of television’s most ear-catching dialogue, as it went the week before, and as it will continue to go for the next 11 episodes.
So let’s just right into the back of the metaphorical cop car with Beth — not an actual metaphor — and get things started. Or would it be to hop in the metaphorical shower with Walker? Hmmm...
1. Younger John: I guess they didn’t bother telling the wolf that. If they did, he ain’t listenin’.
In flashback mode, Josh Lucas' John is all too aware that animals of the wild aren't tethered to humanity's rules and regulations. Many fans out there might even consider both John and Rip themselves to be wolves who don't follow the advice others give them. Hope they don't get shot by Ryan and Colby, though.
2. Younger John: You don’t know me well enough to call me John. It’s Commissioner Dutton. But if Fish & Wildlife officers aren’t on my front porch by Friday with a checkbook, well, you’re gonna get to know me real well.
A bit of a long one, especially with Lucas' gravel-voiced performance, but it was a moment that didn't need any heightened energy within the scene itself to spark a hoot and a holler from audiences. Sucks that it foreshadowed Fish & Wildlife peeps showing up later on, but it was quite the powerful and loaded line for John to deliver to the then-governor.
3. Beth: Shrewd observers, the men in my family.
If this were a list of "Best Looks," this moment would have also been included, based on the double-take Beth gave John for echoing Rip's observation that she was up early. Nothing gets by these guys. There's probably something complex to discuss by way of Rip and John sharing a lot of the same personality quirks, but we'll just let it slide for now.
4. Teeter: Baby likes ‘em smooth.
Everybody went into this episode extremely curious about Colby's preferences regarding his lovers' underarm hair situations, right? Even that's a bit of an overstatement, it doesn't take away from Teeter's line perfectly complimenting the visual of her shaving her pits next to Ryan. I kinda wanna use "Baby likes 'em smooth," as a general explanation for anything I'm doing that someone else asks about.
5. Ryan: There’s no little people in the world. Just little penises.
Shrewd observers, the men of the bunkhouse. And are we really meant to believe that no one (beyond Laramie) has seen Walker's dong in all the time he's been on the ranch? Also, there are little people in the world, so Ryan is just terrible when it comes to forming sensible thoughts and opinions in the morning.
6. Rainwater: It’s not for grieving. It’s for sending that boy off in the right way. There’s plenty of time for grieving later.
By and large, Rainwater's entire talk with Kayce was an emotional one, but this was the line that stuck out to me, as it represents a large idea within this world. Sometimes we have to cope with tragedies and challegnes for reasons that aren't the obvious ones, and it's only after the fact that we're able to focus on our own feelings.
7. Jamie: Can you bring me some coffee? ... No, just one cup.
It's fairly rare for Yellowstone to set Jamie up on anything resembling a high-horse in any conversation, even ones that take place within his office. But oh buddy, did he take some pleasure out of being openly shitty with Ellis and Sarah, and I couldn't help but giggle at his beyond transparent hint for the pair to hastefully fuck right off.
8. Rip: I hope you two are pretty handy before you get to that mountain. It’s killed some damned good cowboys. And you ain’t good cowboys. Best o’ luck.
Even though I think Rip was rather needlessly being too aggressive with the Fish & Wildlife officers following up on the wolf collar discovery, I would be just as wary as they were of the warning he was giving. Also, this line now makes me think that we're going to see some main characters dying on the mountain in an upcoming prequel series.
9. Beth: I am on a clock. I may be one step ahead of them, but I am not two.
Just as it's rare for Jamie to have the upper hand, it's equally odd for Beth to speak to her own limitations on maintaining the upper hand, especially when talking to someone who isn't part of her inner circle. Here's hoping that dude doesn't go off and babble to Market Equities' higher-ups that Beth doesn't have much of a gameplan beyond that big move. (I'm not sure if she needs one at this point, honestly, but I'm sure Sheridan will introduce more hurdles for her to dropkick.)
10. Beth: Nothing fucks up a great deal like a good attorney.
This feels like a line that was reverse-engineered from a Beth-centric line of coffee cups or bumper stickers, so let's hope some forward-engineering can happen on that front.
11. Rip: That guy’s having a rough day, I promise you.
Similar to how an earlier scene reflected on John and Rip's similarities, the dinner moment between Rip and Carter kind of showcased just how alike they are at this point. But you don't really have to be like either one of them to understand that whoever Beth fucked over is having the epitome of a "rough day."
12. Rip: Might’ve been a poor choice of words.
I love that Rip and Beth didn't get into a shitty argument after he rather foolishly attempted to curb her behavior with a demanding "No." It's so much more enjoyable to see his sheepish reaction when she called him out on it after everyone else was gone. He knows that was crossing a line, but so much about the ranch life is keeping up appearances, so can't blame him for trying.
13. Beth: Do I look like I’m on spring break? Whiskey.
When a woman saunters up to a bar and asks for a dozen whiskey shots and a dozen beers, mentioning a tequila special is right up there with the dumbest moves that a bartender can make. Do what the lady says. Earn the money. Pour the whiskey. That guy would have been an accessory to murder had he fueled Beth up with tequlia ahead of her confrontation with Miss Flirty Two Shoes.
14. Beth: I save all my crazy for you, baby.
This was another signature Beth line as soon as it escaped her lips, but its magnificence could only truly shine through after viewers witnessed how quickly she proved those words to be insincere by smashing a bottle across someone's head for drunkenly flirting with Rip for five seconds.
15. Hailey: I hope you die in there, you bitch!
From the instant she arrived, Ashley Platz's Hailey Brewer made quite the splash: first by uselessly flirting with Rip and admitting her infidelity, then by assuming she could get on Beth's good side, then by going down like a wet brick after being conked with a bottle. It doesn't seem like a character who made nothing but bad choices would get the honor of calling Beth a bitch and wishing for her death so loudly and publicly. But then I guess she earned that right by potentially facing a concussion.
Never a dull moment for Yellowstone's regulars, nor those arriving for the very first time. Keep an ear out for all the stellar dialogue coming soon, as Yellowstone airs new episodes every Sunday night on Paramount Network at 8:00 p.m. ET, with the first four seasons available to stream with a Peacock subscription. Head to our 2023 TV premiere schedule to start preparing for all the big shows debuting in the new year.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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