Last week on Yellowstone Kayce confronted Jenkins about the family’s dead cattle but came away believing the developer had no part in the incident, Jimmy tried to earn some money, the Sheriff apologized for his deputies’ failure to back up John’s livestock agents during a dire situation, and Jamie’s involvement in the article smearing his father finally came to light.
The sixth episode of Yellowstone‘s second season, entitled “Blood the Boy,” starts with a flashback. A young John asks a teenaged Jamie what he wants to be when he gets older. Jamie says he wants to be John. John chuckles then clarifies — he means as a job. Jamie sticks to his guns. He always figured one day he’d do John’s job.
John hands him an envelope. It’s a letter admitting him to Harvard. Jamie’s confused. He didn’t apply to Harvard. John tells Jamie he applied for him. Jamie doesn’t even know where Harvard is. When John informs him it’s in Boston, Jamie gets nervous. Boston’s really far.
John tells Jamie if he wants to take over Yellowstone someday, he needs to become something that can help John protect it. Jamie asks John what he wants him to become. John says a lawyer. Jamie protests that John’s said he doesn’t respect lawyers. John tells Jamie to become one that he can respect. Jamie asks why he should be a lawyer. John says lawyers are the swords of this century. He needs Jamie to learn how to use words as weapons.
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Back in the present, Jamie is looking at himself in the mirror. He informs himself that he doesn’t deserve “this.” He walks down the hall and enters his father’s office. John says he understands why Jamie might want to hurt him, but ultimately he just hurt his brother and sister. Jamie’s risked all their futures.
Jamie wants to explain but he only claims that he didn’t tell the reporter everything. John counters that he gave her a thread that she can weave into whatever she wants. John expects Jamie to figure out exactly what the reporter is planning. If that’s ruining the ranch with a story about John then Jamie better be his lawyer and sue her and her publication.
Post-credits, we’re with the Beck brothers who are in Thomas Rainwater’s office at the reservation’s casino. Teal is impressed. It’s nicer than he expected. And Rainwater did it all with no money.
Rainwater comes in and Malcolm Beck starts waxing poetic about casinos making money. Rainwater is unimpressed. He wants them to get to the point. He knows they want to talk about the new casino he’s building with Dan Jenkins. Malcolm asks Rainwater what value he’s getting from Jenkins now that he’s got Jenkins’ land. He’d do a lot better with the Becks.
Rainwater says he isn’t looking for partners. They point out he has one but he’s worthless. On the other hand, the Becks can provide slot machines through their leasing company. Rainwater comments that they’re trying to extort a public official in his office with three witnesses. They observe that they’re free to offer their equipment to anyone. Besides, they’re just offering their expertise. Rainwater’s going to need someone to negotiate things, and they know how. But if he doesn’t partner with them, they’ll block him at every turn.
At Yellowstone, Lloyd is trying to teach Jimmy how to shoe horses. But Jimmy is preoccupied with his need to make money. Lloyd finally asks him what trouble he’s in but Jimmy won’t say.
Lloyd suggests he tries to stay on a bucking horse at the fairground. It’s the only thing he’s seen Jimmy do well. Jimmy doesn’t have the money for the entry fee, though, so Lloyd offers to spot him. Jimmy asks Lloyd why he’d do that. “Why do you think?” Lloyd responds.
As he’s driving down the road, John gets pulled over. It’s the Sheriff. John gets out of his truck and meets him halfway between their vehicles. John comments that the Sheriff did quite an about-face on the news by accepting responsibility for what happened when his deputies didn’t back up his livestock agents.
The Sheriff asks if John’s in business with the Beck brothers. John sarcastically tells him he’s got one of their slot machines in his barn. The Sheriff says it’s not a joke. Once they have their screws in you they never take them out. The two of them can have their differences but they can agree they don’t want the Becks near their valley.
John asks how the Becks got their screws into the Sheriff. The Sheriff says he got in deep at one of their casinos and couldn’t cover the debt so now they own him. He’s advising John to stay away from them.
Back at Yellowstone, Lloyd coaches Jimmy on staying on a bucking horse as Rip looks on. Jimmy makes it for eight seconds. He’s elated. Rip asks him what’s going on. Lloyd fills him in but Rip’s worried Lloyd’s going to get Jimmy killed.
Next Jimmy tries a horse no one’s been able to ride for 8 seconds yet. He’s nervous but Lloyd coaches him. They let the horse out of the chute and Jimmy manages to make it for the necessary time. Lloyd and Jimmy are thrilled. Jimmy’s ready for the rodeo.
John goes to see Dan Jenkins. Jenkins’ security tries to stop him but he beats the man, walks into Jenkins’ office, and tosses a bottle of wine and then a chair at him. He asks Jenkins if he understands what a mess he’s made. Jenkins thinks this is still about the cattle and professes his innocence as he did to Kayce in the previous episode. John knows Jenkins didn’t kill his cattle. The Beck brothers did it so John would turn on Jenkins.
Jenkins protests that the casino’s not even his anymore. He’s getting pushed out while the Beck brothers are pushing their way in. John suggests he, Jenkins, and Rainwater should meet and clear the air. Jenkins says he’ll arrange it.
Jamie meets with the reporter in the middle of nowhere. She tries to reassure him by telling him he’s not the first source who’s ever had second thoughts. He tells her he’s an attorney and he’s rescinding his permission to be quoted. She counters that she has the first amendment on her side. She doesn’t need her permission.
Jamie informs her that some of what he told her wasn’t true and some violates attorney-client privilege. He could be disbarred — or disowned. It could ruin his family. The reporter isn’t impressed. Yellowstone isn’t a kingdom and John isn’t a king. The Duttons deserve to lose it all and she’s happy she’s the one to take it. No one should have as much land as they do. It should be a park or a game preserve.
She walks away but Jamie runs after her. He slams her head on the side of her car and knocks her out. He panics. Then he chokes her to death as he apologizes. So now Jamie’s a murderer too. Yikes!
Jamie finds Rip on the ranch and takes him to the body in his car. Rip tells Jamie he’ll talk to John. Jamie panics again. If Rip tells John, John will be an accessory to murder. Rip tries to wash his hands of the situation. He says he’s just a wrangler now — Kayce has his old job. Rip walks away but Jamie calls after him. He reminds Rip that he’s always treated him like an equal, like a friend. Rip agrees and walks back to Jamie. Jamie’s a mess. Rip tells him to stay put.
He goes to the bunk house where he finds Walker. He asks Walker to drive a car for him.
Rip and Walker drive trucks down the road. Jamie sits in the passenger seat of Rip’s vehicle. Rip tells Jamie that at some point the only way to get rid of Jamie’s mess is to get rid of Jamie. He doesn’t want Jamie to put him in that position. Jamie nods.
They stop at the reporter’s car. Rip instructs Walker to get in and follow him. Rip has Jamie suit the reporter up like she’s going kayaking and push her into the river. The current takes her. Rip smashes her phone and throws it into the river.
Rip returns to where Walker parked the reporter’s car. Walker asks whose car it is. Rip responds that it’s no one’s. Walker gets in Rip’s truck and asks if Rip just made him an accessory to murder. Rip points out that their prints aren’t in that car. And Walker’s the one who loaded the kayak into the pickup truck. Walker curses him. Rip tells Walker that he needs to keep his mouth shut or he can leave. If Walker does decide to go, Rip wants to drive him to the train station and watch him leave the state.
Elsewhere, Monica is getting hot and heavy with Martin, the physical therapist. But she stops things before they go too far and asks him to leave. He’s confused. Monica says it’s not him, she just needed closure. Martin asks if Kayce’s a bad man. Monica says he’s not, he’s just done some bad things. Monica knows Kayce’s going to break her and her son’s hearts. Martin counters that he thinks Monica’s heart’s broken already and she’s the one who did the breaking.
At the rodeo, Jimmy watches as others ride bucking horses. Lloyd reassures Jimmy but Jimmy’s visibly nervous. He carefully gets on his horse and Lloyd coaches him on what to do. Then it’s Jimmy’s turn and he’s off. He magically stays on the bucking horse and wins the event. Afterwards, he cautiously waves to the crowd and is thrilled when he gets cheers in response. Then he’s given a check and a belt buckle for his efforts. Lloyd gets choked up watching.
They arrive back at the bunk house and present Jimmy’s buckle. He asks where Avery is. He wants to show her. One of the ranch hands informs him that she left and didn’t say where she was going. Jimmy looks bummed.
Walker comes in, grabs his stuff and leaves. Lloyd follows him out and asks Rip where Walker’s going. Walker puts his stuff in the back of Rip’s truck. Lloyd says he’ll get his coat.
Just then, Kayce pulls up behind Rip’s truck. He wants to know what’s going on. Rip says Walker’s leaving. Kayce asks where Rip’s going to take him. Walker chimes in that Rip said he’ll take Walker to the train station. Walker figures he’ll figure things out from there.
Of course, last season we learned that when Rip says he’s taking someone to the train station what it really means is he’s going to kill the person and drop him and his stuff over a cliff.
Kayce says he’ll take Walker instead. Rip protests that Kayce doesn’t know where the “train station” is. But Kayce counters he knows exactly where it is. Walker moves his stuff to Kayce’s truck and they take off.
As they drive, Kayce asks Walker what he did back at the ranch. Walker says it’s what he won’t do that’s the problem. Kayce asks what Rip wanted him to do but Walker says that’s between the two of them.
Kayce pulls over just past the state line and slowly unfolds a pocket knife. Walker understands what’s going on. He comments that people like to believe they’ve evolved beyond the animals but Walker knows from prison that we haven’t. Kayce agrees. Walker says he’s just trying to do things a little differently. Kayce claims he is too but Walker points out that what he’s doing isn’t different.
Kayce asks Walker what his word’s worth. Walker says it’s worth his life. Kayce asks for his word that everything he heard and saw at Yellowstone stays with him. In exchange, the next time Walker comes through Kayce’ll be running the ranch and things will be different. At that point, Walker will be welcomed back. Walker agrees he should stay away from Yellowstone for a while. Kayce starts the car and drives away. Walker tells him he won’t forget what Kayce’s done. Walker owes him one.
At the main house, a report comes on the news about the reporter’s death. John realizes who the reporter is. The report says she drowned.
John goes to find Jamie who’s still shell shocked. John asks how they move on. Jamie answers that he had no choice. John says there’s always a choice. Jamie could have jumped in the river, but hurting himself never entered Jamie’s mind.
At her apartment, Christina, Jamie’s former girlfriend watches the report about the journalist’s death too. She looks stricken.
At the bunk house, the men wake up early for work. Meanwhile, Kayce and John prepare to take Tate deer hunting. John cautions Tate that he needs to be sure before he pulls the trigger on his rifle because any life he takes he can’t give back.
In a field, Kayce helps Tate line up his rifle to shoot a deer. Tate does as he’s instructed and pulls the trigger. The trio goes to examine the carcass. It’s Tate’s first deer. John says they have to blood him. Kayce clarifies: Tate has to wear the deer’s blood to honor him. Kayce paints his face with deer blood but Tate looks sad. John informs Tate that killing’s the one thing everything on the planet does to survive. Tate asks if something will kill them too. John, comfortingly, informs Tate that something will kill all of them.