Well, that was much ado about nothing. Following a teaser trailer that promised some intense action — an EMT helicopter! — Yellowstone: Season 5, Episode 6 was another leisurely-paced, character-driven chapter. I mean that in a good way.
John (Kevin Costner) and Co. wrangled some cattle, Emmett Walsh (Buck Taylor) fell asleep and never woke up, Monica and Summer enjoyed each other’s company, Rip and Beth dropped some F bombs, and Jamie and Sarah had sex for several days straight.
Good times for all at Yellowstone.
What Worked in Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 6
- Most of Episode 6 finds our crew riding on horseback across the gorgeous Montana frontier. While John remains the focus, several characters get a few brief moments in the limelight. Kayce and Tate debate whether to charge a herd straight on; Beth and Rip spout their version of romance; John and Emmett share some downtime under the stars. It’s all very cowboy-y.
- This is the type of stuff I like. Sure, this episode doesn’t move the plot forward all that much, but we need these beats to remind us what the Duttons stand to lose should they succumb to outside forces. Their land is an abundance of natural resources and open fields free of smog and chaos. Beth notes that she could stay in the wilderness forever and never look at another soul. I’m with you, Beth.
- On a similar note, Monica, speaking with Summer, puts it succinctly. She explains that the land looks the same as it did a thousand years ago. It doesn’t represent anything; it just is. In contrast, these big wig businesses represent the same thing: greed. They don’t care about the land; they want to make money. “Every summer there’s fire, and every winter there are blizzards. One cleanses the forest, and one protects it and feeds its rivers in the spring, and feeds the valley. Those two things happen in the city and they’re devastating.” Nice.
- John’s assistant Clara ditches the satellite phone and appears to be having a good time on the trip. Not only does she look cute in a cowboy hat, but she also seems capable of handling whatever task John throws at her. Hopefully, he’s paying her well.
- So, Emmett dies in his sleep, necessitating an EMT helicopter to fly out and pick up the corpse. John and Clara stay behind until the deed is done and then double-time it to catch up with the rest of the crew. Why? John doesn’t want Emmett’s wife to learn about her husband’s death alone. He reaches Yellowstone and immediately breaks the news to the older woman, and the pair embrace.
- In one of the cheesier parts of the episode, a news anchor reports on the touching scene—more on that below.
What Didn’t Work in Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 6
- Mo (Mo Brings Plenty) learns that someone significant is en route and reaches Broken Rock in time to see some military types shooting stray dogs. As it turns out, the President of the United States plans to visit the reservation, and they need to keep him safe. While I understand the need to protect the President, it seems unlikely the Secret Service would openly kill dogs, especially in this day and age of overeager Twitter users. One clip would cause a seismic wave of social media hate, which no standing president wants to deal with.
- The President’s unexpected arrival to endorse Martin Kills Many also looks terrible for Chief Rainwater, who continues to linger on the sidelines accomplishing nothing, even as his sneering assistant, Angela, plots his demise. Will this man ever fight back? He does get one of the best lines of the show. When told that the President’s impact on the land could prove beneficial, he shrugs off the comment and notes that Obama once visited Standing Rock and then tried to run a pipeline through it. “Presidents don’t see us, even when they’re standing in front of us.”
- Summer continues to annoy me. The gal has no idea how to have fun. She spends some time moping with Monica, cuts some potatoes, learns a little more about the Duttons via their rather large cemetery, and then throws a fit when she sees John speaking with Lynelle. What’s the point of protecting the world if you don’t get a chance to enjoy it? I mean, she didn’t even ask if Monica needed help peeling those damned potatoes!
- Jamie and Sarah crack me up. He wants retribution, and she wants to give it to him. Sure, but their scenes are so hammy — they make love in a steamy shower and appear to climax while announcing their plans to take down John and Co. — I can’t take them seriously. The show strives for erotic thriller vibes with these bits, but this feels like a goofy porno. At least we have a better sense of what Sarah wants.
- John decides not to ride out and meet the President; an action Lynelle opposes because of the message it sends to the nation. Well, that’s precisely the message John wants to send — so there! That’s all fine and good, but this beat is hammered home in the cheesiest way imaginable. After seeing the scene of John consoling Emmett’s wife, a news anchor comments that she stands with John — “He’s exactly where he needs to be.” That part made me laugh.
MVP: Probably John, although no one stood out in this episode. Kevin Costner gets the most material to work with, but he’s not asked to do too much. I loved his reaction when Summer and Lynelle turned him down for a dance, though. The man wants to be a cowboy but must leap over every roadblock imaginable to enjoy a sunset.
Best Line: “You know, I’ve noticed there are never any ugly women in bad spots around you,” Lynelle says, noting how John helped Summer out of prison.
What Happens Next: The midseason finale airs next week, and then we have to wait until January for the second half of Season 5. So far, the plotline has yet to reveal itself. Though, it’s interesting that Summer continues to linger as if the show is setting her up for something significant. I’m sure something terrible will happen to Beth and Rip — they’re far too happy right now — and something exciting will happen to Monica and Kayce — they’re far too miserable.
This season also seems to be pushing Chief Rainwater to John. They don’t see eye to eye on many things, but mutual respect remains between them. Rainwater will likely need John’s help to combat Angela’s forces at some point soon.
Jamie will make a pivotal move and probably hit John where it hurts. Could this season end on an Empire Strikes Back type of deal, with Jamie standing victorious over John and Beth for the first time in his life? At this point, the best way to deal with Jamie is to take him to the train station.
Final Thoughts: Episode 6 doesn’t offer much for viewers to chew on, but I doubt diehard fans care. Most probably enjoy the scenery and cowboying as much as I do and revel in the corny relationships. The action and spectacle will surely arrive at some point. Until then, pass me some BBQ chicken, kick back and enjoy another day on the ranch.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.