When you feel like the tension is just simmering too long, just turn up the temperature a little.
That's what Beth did with Jamie, and the Beck brothers did with, well, Montana.
The results lead to a possible resurrection for Jamie (really, though?), and big trouble for Montana.
Where do you even start with an episode as jam-packed as Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 7?
I guess we'll start with the lowest hanging fruit. Poor Jamie Dutton, sent from the ranch too early. He's unwanted and unloved, but he's still hanging on, nonetheless.
Beth spares no emotional expense getting down to brass tacks with her brother when she sees him trying to scrub the guilt from his face while stifling sobs.
She rails at him, assuring him that as he sees himself right now, everyone has been seeing him since he was born. The narcissistic snit never takes time to wonder what kind of man he is because he's too worried about public perception.
Whatever he thinks in that head of his, and I do disagree with Beth that he's as self-absorbed as she believes, he can't walk away from Beth's advice. That hardly seems like someone self-obsessed and a whole lot more like someone who couldn't find his own face in the mirror.
I gotta tell you something, and it comes from a place of love. You should really consider killing yourself.Beth
You knew as soon as she said it that Jamie would take her word as an action memorandum.
Sure enough, Rip found Jamie on the hillside with a rifle in his hand.
While John still hasn't been read in on the realities behind Jamie's recent bout with anxiety, if someone asks whether he knows what Jamie did, he'd be hard-pressed to say he's in the dark.
Jamie has been through a lot, but none of it wasn't weatherable until he dealt with Sarah.
What's funny is that when Rip and John first rode into the fields, I thought Rip was taking John to see something directly related to Sarah's death.
It never dawned on my that Jamie would pick such a remote spot to take his life, but his downward spiral started in those fields when his mother died, so why not?
Jamie: This cannot be fixed. I cannot be fixed. I'm married to it.
John: Your grandfather used to say you can't fix a broken wagon wheel, but you can use the parts to make a new one. I should have never sent you off to school. You needed more time here. I can; I can still give you that. But you need to give me that rifle, son. The old you's dead the moment you let it go.
It's hard to tell if John would have been genuinely upset had his son died or if he would have been more annoyed at having to explain to the public what happened to Jamie.
It's hard to feel for John knowing that how Jamie (and all of his kids) turned out is a direct reflection of his influence as a father. That suggestion was tucked throughout the episode.
Whether he was discussing how his life faltered after Evelyn's death, directly taking responsibility for Jamie's progression after sending him away too soon, or sharing a bit of fatherly advice with Tate, John's less-than-stellar record as a parent was on display.
His whole life's in your hands now, Tate. How you treat him is how his life goes.John
Beth is 100% certain that the ranch's main enemy is Jamie, and when she pushed her father to prove his love for Jamie merely by saying the words, he couldn't even look her in the eye.
Whether knowing how his actions have impacted his kids from Jamie's lack of, well, anything to Beth's reluctance to open herself to genuine love will change the man remains to be seen.
John does have a soft spot for Tate, but he's already showing him tough love instead of embracing the idea that how he built relationships with his children might not be the way to build one with his grandson.
But Jamie is getting a second (or third or fourth) chance by going back to basics. He missed out on becoming a Dutton born and bred when he skipped the bunkhouse and lessons on cowboying.
Rip initially treated Jamie with kid gloves when Jamie joined the wranglers, but Jamie proved that when given an authentic chance to be a good man, he can rise to the challenge.
Kayce isn't overtly warm and fuzzy with his wife and child, but when it comes to Monica, he's been generously allowing her to do exactly what she pleases with the hope she'd return to him.
Tate didn't need to be so god-awful excited about getting a pony to twist his mama's arm into moving to the ranch.
She'd already made that decision after her dalliances with the physical therapist, but it didn't hurt listening to Tate talk about his horse in the same way Bubba talked about shrimp (see: Forrest Gump).
John recognizes Kayce puts his family first, and Kayce's reward was truly becoming the master of the ranch. It's been in the cards that Kayce would take control, but by seizing the master suite, his family is now front and center.
That leaves John to reflect on what that means while surrounded by Evelyn's possessions. He already lost one child, and almost lost two more during the hour, so it's possible a new day is dawning for John Dutton.
Beth vacillated between hard as nails and soft and sweet after she got the first message Malcolm sent expressing his discontent with the impending casino at the gate of Yellowstone.
There were a lot of messages delivered by the Beck brothers. Teal ripped away Dan's liquor license (and his liquor, e-gad!). Rainwater suffered the loss of a casino employee with a pointed message right through the fellows severed hand.
Beth was, at first, requested to comply with the Becks on behalf of her father. Her sassy mouth, though, ensured she'd live to regret that meeting at least a little.
Malcolm: All that tough talk, Beth. I've got the cure for that. We'll see how tough you are after I give it to you.
Beth: Challenge accepted.
Beth will never show weakness, let alone fear, but she was direct with her father when she told him Malcolm would be good on his word, and she was feeling vulnerable enough to call Rip to the house.
The broken twosome are quite good together with Rip opening the only spot within Beth that she allows to soften.
Suggesting a date with Rip is probably as close to vulnerable as she'll ever get, and even then she made sure to swat away the notion that he thinks about it too deeply.
Beth: Don't say it. It doesn't mean anything on a roof under stars like a bunch of fucking hippies. Tell me, tell me when it saves me.
Rip: OK. I won't say it.
All of the not-so-subtle suggestions that something was going to give exploded when Malcolm sent a couple of thugs to Beth's office. They intended to scare her, but she fought that tooth and nail.
Nobody has ever doubted Beth is a badass, but her courage in the face of her attackers was brazen and might have proved fatal to her assistant, Jason.
I've been attacked (not at gunpoint, thank God), but even without the added threat, I came to the realization mid-attack that my instincts to verbally fight back could lead to a more dire situation than I already faced.
Beth was using some old adages to get her through her ordeal -- there is nothing to fear but fear itself was one of them. The other is that fear is what drives many people, and if she didn't give in, she wouldn't get raped.
That turned out to be right in the case of her sexual attack, but it had already been proven wrong with Jason. If Beth hadn't gotten off a text to Rip as the men entered the office or if he was just a little farther away when she did, Beth would probably be dead.
That would have sucked for Yellowstone, though, because watching Beth's cowboy spirit is just as crucial to the series as watching actual cowboys.
I'm sure Beth never imagined she'd hear the words I Love You from Rip so shortly after fanning them away as she did, but he saved her, literally, and probably figuratively, too. She's not as hard as she appears, and her love for Rip keeps her alive inside.
We've already seen the power behind the Yellowstone. It's always seemed that they all have a little soft spot for Badass Beth, so it will be interesting to see how the wranglers stand up to the gauntlet thrown at their way of life.
If John was running from his problems at the start of "The Resurrection," he was running toward them by the time it was over.
Kayce: What are we going to do about these Beck brothers?
John: We're gonna kill 'em, son.
But will it be as easy as gathering the troops to get rid of the Beck brothers? When I spoke with Neal McDonough before his first appearance on the show, he noted he was here for one season.
That suggests that the current is in favor of the Duttons (duh). With attacks on Dan and Rainwater, as well, now is the time for that meeting John suggested during Yellowstone Season 2 Episode 6.
After you watch Yellowstone online, be sure to share all of your thoughts about this crazy installment in the comments below.
Did you imagine how it would end when so much more seemed significant at the beginning of the episode?
How will Kayce taking over the role as man of the house affect things going forward?
Did you laugh, like John, when Kayce thought Monica believed his tall tale about wolves near the barn?
What's next for the battered duo of Rip and Beth?
Drop me a line. Let's get this conversation started!
But, before you go, I need to make a little public service announcement.
I'm getting ready to write my review for Succession Season 2, a stellar and darkly humorous show about an incredibly wealthy family of media magnates.
Watching the first season over again this weekend (HBO On Demand), I was hit with the similarities between Yellowstone and Succession. Both shows feature overbearing fathers who don't take no for an answer.
There is a Beth named Shiv (she even shares the hair color), a Jamie named Kendall who is a hot mess really making a run for the roses with Jamie, and a younger brother who is beloved named Roman.
Their oldest brother is still breathing, but instead of being the light of papa's eye as was Lee, the guy is as far from reality as you can get.
If you have HBO and you're looking for another family as mucked up as the Duttons, you have to watch Succession.
Alright ... now back to those Yellowstone comments!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.