Yellowstone / YouTube
Sunday night (Dec 18), Paramount Network aired the seventh episode of Season Five, titled “The Dream Is Not Me.”
The episode began with us getting a little more understanding about Rip and John’s relationship.
The episode began with a flashback of teenage Rip protecting the herd from wolves in the middle of the night with another cowboy named Rowdy. Rowdy and Beth had previously been together when Rip and Beth’s date didn’t work out. Rowdy felt the need to mouth off about Beth, and Rip didn’t take that too well. He immediately started to beat Rowdy, who then pulled out a knife. Rip protected himself with a rock, bashing Rowdy’s head several times. When he realized Rowdy’s injuries were really bad and he needed help, Rip rode to the Dutton house to tell John what happened. Rowdy asked him to lie and say he got bucked off his horse, but Rip told the truth.
John, Lloyd, and Rip discover that Rowdy has died. John asks why didn’t Rip just say Rowdy got bucked ooff his horse and Rip gave a very Rip answer:
“You told me never to lie to you, sir.”
Well, now they have to take the body somewhere, but John tells the teen: if we do this, you can’t ever leave this ranch. Rip agrees. And that’s how he becomes branded and such a loyal servant of John Dutton.
Cut to present day, and the cowboys are getting up before the crack of dawn and a few are saying goodbye to the women who joined them in their tents the night before. Once the sun rises, country singer Abby emerges from Ryan’s tent, barrel racer Laramie emerges from Walker’s, and Monica exits her family tent she shared with Kayce and Tate. They all join Beth around the fire for some coffee, and Beth jokingly calls them “sluts.”
After exchanging some opinions about marriage with Summer, the three girls walk off to take a shower and all is left is the sisters-in-law. Monica calls Beth out for being mean, and Beth explains why she doesn’t zing Monica while disclosing that she knows what it feels like to lose a child. She had never told anyone that before. Monica theorizes that Beth is so mean because she keeps that secret bottled up.
Out in the pasture, the cowboys find several still-born bison, meaning the area is riddled with a horrible disease called Brucellosis. They quickly get the cattle back to headquarters so they can finish branding, vaccinate those who need it, and test the herd. If just one comes back positive for Brucellosis, the state makes them euthanize the entire herd.
On the chance that the herd doesn’t have Brucellosis, John has to find land to lease for them for the year, because his land is infected. Rip takes charge and picks Teeter, Jake, Ryan, and Walker to go with him to tend to the cattle. Everyone is honored to be chosen for this journey, but Ryan seems conflicted due to his budding romance with Abby. Rip gives Ryan a bunch of money and tells him to take all the guys to the fair to have a good sendoff.
John finds land from the 6666 ranch down in Texas (where Jimmy lives and works), and rents some land from them. Beth finds out just how much it will cost them (1.4 million a month!) and flips out because they don’t have that kind of income. She figures out that his business plan is not great and sets off the find a new one. While doing research, she calls the 6666 ranch and finds out they sell out of 8 million pounds of their own beef online. She believes this is the move to make.
Everyone from the Yellowstone ranch goes to the fair and enjoys some fun, food, and music. Abby finds out Ryan will be leaving for about a year (and never told her!) so she storms off. After he poetically explains to her that cowboying is his dream, and getting to do that while in another state, sleeping on the ground for a year and caring after a herd is his equivalent of performing at the Grand Ole Opry. She finally understands, but she still ends up breaking up with him and walking away.
Summer and John enjoy the same country show at the fair and some flirty exchanges are made. She tells him that she was so closed-minded to the cattle industry, but being included in the branding event really opened her eyes. She tells him that he should include the public in those events so everyone can understand as well. They end the scene by sharing a kiss while John shields them with his cowboy hat. In a blink and you’ll miss it moment, John’s assistant Clara is seen making out with another woman.
In addition to the fair fun, Thomas Rainwater meets with Senator Perry, who informs him that two new pipelines are being planned to be put through their reservation. They agree to do a press conference together, which means the senator will endorse Rainwater as commissioner of the reservation, while also putting up a fight against the pipeline.
Back at Jamie’s house, he and Market Equities lawyer Sarah Atwood are still shacking up. And they are still hatching up a plan to get John out of office. At one point, Sarah visits Jamie at his office, where Jamie’s receptionist warns him about her. There, Market Equities informs Jamie that John put his land in a conservation easement, meaning that if ME wants to eventually build the airport, they will have to battle it out with environmentalists. Sarah informs Jamie that the fight will cost the state billions of dollars and put the state in bankruptcy, which is an impeachable offense. She convinces him to bring up impeachment and he begins practicing a speech to do just that.
Only one episode remains until the mid-season finale. But don’t worry, there are still six more episodes after that!