Are you a shark or a minnow?
Rip informs Jimmy if he doesn't know which he is, then he's likely the latter.
While that conversation on Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 5 circled around Jimmy's attempts to dig himself out of his financial hole, the same comparison fits others including Dan Jenkins, Sheriff Donnie, and certainly Jamie.
It was oddly convenient that Dan Jenkins hired a bodyguard and learned to shoot on the very day that Kayce and Ryan decided to hold him accountable for killing the cattle at Yellowstone.
It also made for a highly entertaining confrontation between Jenkins and the Yellowstone.
One minute Jenkins was talking about the god-like feeling he got from brandishing a gun, and the next minute he had to put his new skills to use.
I can't tell you how pleased I am that Ian Bohen is finally getting a little more screentime as Ryan. He's mostly been used on the ranch as a side character amongst the other wranglers.
But Ryan is a big deal within the Livestock Association, and one of its best deputies (or whatever they call themselves).
He was imperative in helping Kayce with Jenkins, the only suspect the Duttons had considered as the cattle-killing culprit.
It has to be Danny Huston's tremendous talent that finds me liking Jenkins more as time continues.
I've said it before, but he seems like he is in so far over his head. He genuinely seems to want to fit in and make money at the same time in Montana while not understanding the history and politics of the area.
Kayce: Nobody wants to fuckin' kill you. We just want to live our lives the way we have for the last hundred years, and you keep trying to take that away from us. And we just want you to fucking stop. I thought I made that clear. I guess I was wrong.
Dan: Oh, you made it clear. You hung me from a fucking rope. And now, now you sit on my fucking porch and you fucking threaten me. AGAIN! WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT? WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHAT WARRANTS YOU BEING IN MY FUCKING HOUSE?
Kayce: You killed our cattle.
Dan: I what? I don't know how to kill cattle you stupid fucking redneck. I'll tell you what I do know how to do. I know how to crush empires, and I will crush your father's. Thank you for showing me the rules you play by. I look forward to the challenge.
Of course Jenkins doesn't know how to kill cows.
If he wasn't aware of the possibility that Rainwater was going to upend his deal and annex the casino land to the reservation, he sure as hell didn't know how to kill cattle.
Jenkins is a businessman. It was in his best interests to learn everything about dealing with Native Americans in conjunction with Reservation activities, but he failed.
Why on earth would he have gone to such great lengths to kill cattle? Yes, he likely wants to get back at John Dutton for being, you know, hanged, but his killer instinct is iffy at best.
In the heat of the moment, Jenkins' bodyguard failed to properly secure his "prisoner," Ryan in the back of the car, so any attempts to prove to Jenkins he knew what he was doing failed miserably.
Considering he's also a law enforcement agent, that's gotta sting.
All of them at each other's throats was like a three-ring circus, but it's how it played out that made it all worthwhile.
Kayce: You're gonna tell me the truth right fuckin' now, you prick. NOW!
Dan: I don't know how to kill cows! I wish I did. I see the pain this caused you and your family. I wish it had been me.
If Jenkins didn't have the wherewithal to go after the Duttons with brute force before, Kayce sure didn't make a friend by the way he handled the situation.
It will be interesting to see how Jenkins plays things after his latest Dutton encounter.
Since he knows Rainwater is going to screw him over, he probably won't turn to him for any assistance.
But he does know about the Beck brothers. While they didn't get off to a good start, maybe Jenkins will turn tail and rediscover what they offer so he can finally get the better of the Duttons and the Yellowstone.
I wouldn't blame him. He is getting royally screwed on the casino deal, and he's without family in Montana because of the Duttons.
Joining forces with a common enemy would be good business, if not very friendly.
But that also begs the question of who is behind the cattle massacre.
The Beck brothers swooped in with a lot on the table, but they weren't seen at all during this episode.
John never even contemplated anybody else other than Jenkins for their troubles, and that's surprising considering what they did to him the last time he got in their way.
John doesn't think much of Jenkins as a businessman, and he must think he's right stupid if he's willing to go up against the Duttons again without good provocation.
Hell, what comes after hanging? A bullet in the back of the head execution-style? Jenkins didn't get where he is today by being an idiot.
I remind you of what Malcolm Beck said during Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 4.
I know how we can help John Dutton.Malcolm
They don't know anything about John Dutton, but it's not like John to send a bullet and a bottle of bourbon with a handwritten note telling Sheriff Donnie what to do, either.
John can be subtle, but he never hides behind his actions. That was a very passive-aggressive move against the Sheriff, even if it did ultimately work to the Duttons' favor.
At least John finally managed to draw out of Kayce what happened while he was in the service.
Soldiers don't tell war stories anymore dad, because wars these days, it's just about trying to live through 'em.Kayce
Killing an entire family, even one that the father and husband and terrorist was using as his human shield, will leave a mark.
That must influence a lot of Kayce's decisions about Monica and Tate, too.
It often seems like he gives them up too easily, but he's probably more afraid of using them as a way of deflecting any trouble that comes his way, and with what he's seen, he errs on the side of overcautious.
That discussion went a long way to explain Kayce in his current situation.
The Dutton child who still needs the most explanation is Jamie.
We knew the conversations with the reporter were going to come back to bite him in the ass, but it's hilarious that an attorney would think he could just rescind his comments.
Sometimes, it seems like the Yellowstone gang forgets things for the sake of convenience. Then again, maybe Jamie really is that bad of an attorney.
The fact that he runs to Beth with all of his problems sure paints him as the village idiot.
The looks she gives him are worth their weight in gold.
As soon as Jamie opens his mouth, Beth flinches in disgust. Yet there he is, again and again, turning to her like she's suddenly going to stop treating him like the family pariah.
And if it wasn't bad enough that he gave the interview and thought he could just walk it back, he handled the situation with the maturity of a 9-year-old boy.
Beth: What the fuck did you do, Jamie?
Jamie: I gave an interview.
Beth: About what?
Jamie: Not what, who.
Beth: You selfish piece of shit.
It will be fascinating to see how he gets himself out of his predicament.
It seems highly unlikely that John is going to subject his wranglers to the mess because their family business is usually more ranch related. A tell-all expose from Jamie seems ranch-adjacent, even if it could do irreparable damage.
Kayce is very stoic and doesn't share anything.
Beth is full of anger and disregards anyone who has a negative thought toward her family or the ranch.
Jamie, though, wants to be loved, but doesn't have the spine to go about it with any purpose. If their mother died because of Beth's fear as a child, what can be said of Jamie's part in the tragedy?
Doing nothing gets him exactly that.
Learning more about the past works so well on Yellowstone, and without flashbacks, I don't think it would be possible to fully understand what's been going on between Beth and Rip.
There are clearly deep feelings there, so why aren't they together? In a world of sharks and minnows, everyone has their own pond to swim in, and they swim in much different waters.
John: Rip living in the bunkhouse is something you can overcome if that's what you choose to do, Beth.
Beth: Don't you dare make this about me. He looks at you like a father.
John: But I'm not his father, honey. I'm Kayce's father. And Rip's not being punished, alright? I'm making a shift. He's making the sacrifice. How it works out, how I reward that is how I see it settle. I hope that's enough for you.
Beth: It's always enough for me.
John: OK, honey. Now go ruin someone else's day.
Beth: That's the plan, daddy.
The talk Beth had with John was illuminating. She loves the man, but they still know very little about him and his motivations.
John respects Rip's wishes to operate as his own man, but Beth mistakes that for John pulling his love from the man who views him as a son, the man who deserves his love more than his middle son.
The death of her mother shaped Beth. Now we know that what formed Rip was similar.
Beth: Why are you crying?
Rip: It's just, I get mad sometimes, and this is how it comes out.
Beth: Yeah, I do that, too. Why are you mad?
Rip: I killed my family.
Rip: By not being bigger.
Beth: I killed my mother.
Beth: By being scared. I don't do scared anymore. You'll be plenty big someday, I'm sure. Kiss me.
Rip: What for?
Beth: It will make us feel better.
Rip: I don't know how.
Beth: Me neither.
They were both broken kids who found each other when they most needed understanding.
Rip blamed his lack of physical strength on his inability to save his family, while Beth blamed her lack of emotional strength.
Beth: I see things in people, and I feel like if I can touch it, even if the rest of the person is rotten, I can take that good thing and I can make it part of me. Do you understand?
Rip: There's plenty of good in you, Beth, and none in that son of a bitch. Trust me.
Beth: I'm sorry, Rip. I'm sorry I did that to you.
Rip: Nah, you didn't do it to me, but woman, you sure can -- anytime you want. And I'm sorry is two words you never have to say to me.
Rip: Now I'm going to ride off into the sunset.
Beth: That's the sunrise.
Rip: Shit, you know what I mean.
What did Beth see in Rip that she felt like she had to take to make herself a better person? It was during their initial encounters that he admitted he felt weak. Did she pull from him his seething internal struggle resulting in rage?
They are a match made in heaven. Even if they aren't together, it seems like they would walk to the ends of the earth to help each other if necessary.
It's a shame circumstances keep them apart because they are better people when they're together.
The flashbacks on Yellowstone add a lot to the present-day conversation in part because they're so well cast.
It's funny. The Cole Hauser I remember from his days in film is almost unrecognizable from the man playing Rip, but if you look at the young man cast as young Rip, you'd imagine that's exactly how Hauser once looked.
Kyle Red Silverstein is the name of the actor portraying Young Rip, and he's a near replica for the older man. He's also a terrific actor.
Crying out of anger is very like Rip, and at no time did it appear he was lying about the cause of his tears. You could read the rage and self-disgust on Young Rip's face.
Another character who didn't even get addressed in the bunkhouse but is without a doubt a younger version was whoever was playing Lloyd.
He was looking after Rip upon his arrival to the bunkhouse just as both of them are now caring for Jimmy and helping him on his new path.
The family the wrangers form is as important as those who live inside the Dutton house. They've been together for years.
John often turns a blind eye to what they do even while he encourages their sometimes illegal activities, but Kayce by way of his brand belongs to both families.
It's a unique dynamic for a family show, and the way Kayce represents both sides makes him pivotal.
What's next for the Duttons and the Yellowstone?
How will cowardly Jamie see through the mess he's made with the reporter?
Who killed the cattle, and why does it seems they're playing all sides?
Is there hope for Beth and Rip despite the canyon-sized gulf between them?
Hit the comments and share all your thoughts about Yellowstone and watch Yellowstone online if you've fallen behind.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.