Yellowstone season 2, episode 2 recap: ‘New Beginnings’

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Kayce (L-Luke Grimes) and Rip (R-Cole Hauser) come to blows on Yellowstone season 2 episode “New Beginnings” airing on Wednesday, June 26 at 10 p.m., ET/PT on Paramount Network.

On last week’s premiere episode of Yellowstone, John and Beth shopped for a candidate who could beat Jamie in the election for Attorney General, the cowboys blew off steam at a local bar leading to violent consequences, and John had a medical emergency that wasn’t cancer.

This week’s episode, entitled “New Beginnings,” starts in the hospital following John’s brush with death at the end of the previous episode. He’s gotten dressed and is seeing himself out against his annoyed doctor’s wishes.

His doctor convinces him to at least let him look at his sutures. The doctor says his sutures should come out soon, but given the way the vet cut John open he’s going to have a gnarly scar. The doctor reprimands him for not going to see a doctor earlier as another MD had encouraged. If he had John could have taken a pill to fix his issues instead of needing major surgery. John is unamused.

On the ride home with Kayce, John is in pain. He asks Kayce to pull over. Kayce suggests it might have been too early for John to return home. John throws the comment back in his face but Kayce doesn’t know what he means. John’s referring to the retaliation he and Rip took against the bar patrons for their brawl with Yellowstone’s wranglers in the previous episode. Kayce claims he needs to defend the ranch hands if he’s going to sleep in the bunk house with them. John says that arrangement has to end too.

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John says he understands Kayce now. He tells Kayce he has to learn to start living again but Kayce protests that he doesn’t know how.  Neither does John, but he says they’ll figure it out.

After the credits, we pick up with Beth at her office. She’s buying up land sight unseen. The real estate agent tells her about a property she might be interested in. She gets angry at the agent for bringing her attention to a property that’s not for sale. She’s as caustic as ever.

At the university, Monica is starting her first class. She puts a misogynistic student in his place and then starts her lesson on Christopher Columbus’s first contact with Native Americans. She makes it clear this will be a different kind of history class. Afterwards, her new boss, who’s watching in the back, assures her that she did well. He also tells her about the many benefits that come with her new job, including physical therapy and housing. Monica’s astonished by the opportunities.

Beth is meeting with the owners of the property the real estate agent mentioned. She tells the owner she’d like to buy it. He claims it’s not for sale, but once he names his price he’s immediately given a check.

At the ranch, the cowboys are setting up a new fence. Walker makes a comment that angers Rip and Rip confronts Walker for his lack of participation in the ranch hands’ activities. Walker stops working and informs Rip that he’ll be leaving that night. Rip tells him that the only reason he’s at Yellowstone is no other ranch in Montana will have him. Walker comments that it’s because he has a fondness for the farmer’s daughter and observes he and Rip have that in common. Rip attacks him. Walker pulls a knife.

They fight until Rip’s ally, Lloyd, puts a gun to Walker’s back. Walker says he’s leaving, if they want to shoot him in the back they can go ahead. Rip says he’ll find Walker no matter where he goes as Walker rides away. He then tells the rest of the ranchers to keep working.

Walker goes back to the bunk house where Cowboy is taking his leisure. Walker collects his things and they say their good-byes.

Walker makes his way down the drive as John and Kayce come in. Kayce asks Walker where he’s going and Walker says he quit. He’s a cowboy and that’s it. Kayce claims that’s all they need from him. Walker disagrees and brings up the other night at the bar. Kayce says it won’t happen again but Walker’s skeptical. John informs Walker that he doesn’t need to listen to anyone else from now on but him and Kayce. He tells him to return to the bunk house.