[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 of Yellowstone, “New Beginnings.”]
Things are going to be different at the Dutton Ranch moving forward in Yellowstone Season 2.
In Episode 2, John (Kevin Costner) forces Kayce (Luke Grimes) to step up in the family business, and the one who loses out as a result is Rip (Cole Hauser), who later admits to Beth (Kelly Reilly), “This is my family, whether y’all think of me that way or not.”
Meanwhile, Monica (Kelsey Asbille) starts teaching a new class at the university and learns it comes with benefits, like physical therapy covered by health insurance and housing.
Read on for the highlights from “New Beginnings.”
John has a new lease on life
He’s likely going to have a nasty scar, but John’s on his way back following emergency surgery due to a ruptured ulcer. And one of the important next steps for him is figuring out how to “start living again.”
“There’s being scared to die, son, and knowing it’s coming. When you know it’s coming, tomorrow stops factoring into your decisions because you know you’re never going to see it,” he tells Kayce. “Then you live. You realize you ain’t dead, you’re not gonna die and now you gotta face all the decisions you made.”
Furthermore, the doctor insists that as part of his rehab, John should swim down at the rec center, and he refuses to listen to his therapist, choosing instead to swim away — right into Monica and her therapist.
Monica has the power in the classroom
Things get off to a bad start when a student asks if Monica is a teacher’s aide. Then another student comments he’s reminded of a video he saw on a porn site. “Misogyny, how refreshing. You can work in a Pocahontas joke, you’ll hit the trifecta,” Monica says before taking Trent down a peg.
“Can you tell me the definition of power? It’s the ability to direct or influence another’s behavior or course of events,” she says. “That’s what I have. I can remove you from this class and fail you or I can send you before the dean for violating the student code of conduct. These are all things that can alter the course of your life. That’s power. You don’t have any.”
She even uses a passage from Christopher Columbus’s journal after his first encounter with Native Americans to put the student in his place, and after class, Trent apologizes for his behavior.
Beth gets things done
Beth may lay into her real estate agent for telling her about a property that’s not on the market, but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she needs to in order to protect the family ranch. She goes to the property’s owner and buys it from him in as little time as it takes to write him a check for his price.
And when she gets home, she doesn’t appreciate John telling her not to talk about work at the dinner table. “If we don’t talk about work, we have nothing to talk about. Are you suggesting that we eat in silence?” Beth asks. “Are you shushing me, daddy? I am a 35-year-old woman. When I sit at a table, I will talk about whatever the f— I want.”
Walker tries (and fails) to quit working at the ranch
After refusing to fight alongside the other cowboys in the premiere, Walker (Ryan Bingham) gets into it with Rip again. Walker makes the mistake of mentioning Beth during one of their disagreements, and Rip snaps a wire into his face. Walker pulls a knife on Rip as the two face off, but Lloyd intervenes with a gun to Walker’s back.
“I’m done with this place,” Walker says and rides off.
But he doesn’t get far, as John and Kayce spot him walking off the property. “The other night won’t happen again,” Kayce assures him, but Walker says he can’t figure out who’s in charge.
“I run it, and he runs it,” John says before sending him back to the bunkhouse. “You don’t listen to nobody else.”
John forces Kayce to step up on the ranch
When Kayce suggests it’s too soon for John to come home, his father throws his words back at him. “You don’t fight,” he explains. “Wranglers get worked over, then wranglers handle it.” When Kayce wonders how he can sleep in the same room with men he won’t defend, John tells him he’ll fix it.
And he does just that at Rip’s expense. “Kayce needs to learn how to run this place, needs to learn how to lead these men, and he can’t do that while he’s living with them,” John tells him. In other words, Rip’s moving into the bunkhouse.
After, John thanks Rip for helping “make him earn it,” but he needs the two men to get along. Rip just hopes they can depend on Kayce since he hasn’t seen anything that suggests they can.
Later, Kayce calls Rip a bully, but Beth argues he’s what John “turned him into” — and their father is doing the same thing to Kayce.
Yellowstone, Wednesdays, 10/9c, Paramount Network