Was Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 9 the action episode that will lead to the business showdown for the finale?
It sure seems that way, as there isn't much from an action perspective left to do.
Roarke, on the other hand, is going to rue the day he went up against the Duttons, using dirty tactics to do it.
Beth tried very hard squash Market Equities financially, but when she overplayed her hand, that brought an entirely new angle to the trouble facing the Yellowstone.
Remember that huge swath of land that Beth bought with the help of Bob Schwartz? With Schwartz & Meyer now under the control of Market Equities, the Yellowstone is completely surrounded.
Even if they do manage to keep Market Equities from razing 50k acres of the Yellowstone for an airport, every inch of land surrounding the ranch and the Reservation will be developed, thereby crushing John's dreams to keep the west alive.
As Forrie J Smith said when we chatted with him, it's a futile effort anyway. So much of the cowboy way of life has been decimated that saving it isn't even an option.
But this isn't real life; this is fiction, and keeping a carveout for cowboys is what Yellowstone is all about, isn't it?
With all of the other land at their disposal, taking the acreage away from the Yellowstone will be a vindictive move and nothing else.
There's no way that they could not find another option in that wealth of land. But it won't matter because once you're angry enough to go to these lengths, it's about seeing your original plans come to fruition whether there's another, less painful option or not.
Beth: When all this is over, I'm gonna hang your diploma above my toilet in my guest house. You have my word.
Willa: Like I said, you gotta let the sting fade. Then we'll talk.
Beth: The sting never fades with me. It is a painful lesson and one you're about to learn.
Beth is angry as hell right now and plans on eradicating her enemy, but if she wasn't in that frame of mind, maybe she could take up Willa on her offer to work at Market Equities, using it as a way to manipulate the situation to the Dutton's benefit.
But watching Beth eat sand to go at it from the inside wouldn't have the same effect. As similar as Yellowstone is to Succession, it's the cowboy way of life that we crave, and that's not going away.
With the business out of the way, let's get on with the action. Colby and Teeter are alive!
Teeter's injury indicates that a brutal scar on her face was a blessing. If the hoof had hit her closer to her temple, she'd be dead.
Teeter: That wasn't so bad, was it?
Colby: No, not so bad.
Teeter: You should have fucked me while I still had a face, but that's alright; we'll work on your timing.
Their situation set them up to become permanent members of the Yellowstone and to finally move into romantic territory. There's nothing like a brush with death entangle hearts and souls.
The timing of their attack coincided with Walker's return. That poor bastard. It's impossible not to care for him. All he wants is to set his life back on the right track, but he keeps falling into hard times with the Yellowstone.
Walker: This fuckin' place. It's a magnet for everything that's wrong in this fuckin' world.
Kayce: Well, it drew you back. What's wrong with you?
He wouldn't have every admitted what he knew about the Duttons or the ranch, but that doesn't matter to Rip. Kayce would have allowed him to walk again, but he couldn't do that on Rip's watch.
Rip: We need to know who he told and what, Kayce, and then I gotta put that problem in the ground. But before I do that, you're gonna tell me why the fuck that problem is still breathin'.
Kayce: You'll never meet a man who's killed more men than me, but I ain't never murdered one and never will. Just bring him in the barn.
What is it that makes Kayce and his father before him mete out instructions to kill but not pull the trigger themselves? That's what money can do, of course, but there is something else in their hearts that flinches from murder even as they look the other way while it's done on their behalf.
Whether intended or not, Walker is in deeper than ever now. With as much as he already knew, getting his hands a little dirtier to stay alive and prove his intentions to the ranch sure worked out well.
Needless to say, all of the wranglers were itching to take out Wade Morrow and his son. Morrow and son were so damn stupid for going on the attack again before they got the extra support Roarke promised them that they deserved to be rounded up and taken down.
They never even saw it coming. The son did himself in fleeing irresponsibly, but Wade didn't think death was in the cards for him, even after he was already strung up, the brand having been brutally carved from his chest.
Mister, I don't know you, but if you're wearin' that brand, you must be a bad man. These mother fuckers want it back, you must be even worse. Karma comes in all shapes and sizes. Looks like it's me today.Walker
I guess you never realize how far things have gone until they go that far. Walker not only carved the turkey, but he got rid of the leftovers, too.
You have to wonder if the wranglers who had yet to take the brand knew they were walking into a lifelong commitment getting revenge, but once they saw the brand carving, they must have known. But by then, it would be too late to change course even if they wanted to.
Y'all wanted revenge? Well, now you got it. There is a price to pay for revenge. Now you gotta pay it.Rip
I wonder if Teeter is the first woman to take the brand. She already has a scar on her face, so why not? As Jen Landon said, the Yellowstone has given her a home. They're family now. And when your family is willing to go to such great lengths to avenge a wrong done to you, you're probably in the right place.
There is some good news for those of you who dislike Mia and Laramie, too.
Mia: This place is losin' it's luster to me.
Laramie: I don't know. I think there might be a little luster left.
Mia's reaction proved she was just into Jimmy without any ulterior motive. When she got a taste of what being with Jimmy means since he's with the Yellowstone, she realized it's not as awesome as she thought.
Laramie, though, has set her sights on Walker. She picks the good guys who don't deserve to be twirled around her finger. It will be interesting to see if Mia sticks around, and Laramie goes all out to get her hooks into Walker.
It's unfortunate that Kayce and Monica decided to focus Tate on the Yellowstone education at the expense of his formal education just as everything is falling apart.
Will there even be a ranch left for him to run at the rate things are going? If they can barely keep it afloat for the next two years, it seems like a pipe dream to expect him to be working the ranch with any modicum of success 20 years from now.
At what age do they start educating him on the realities of the ranch? That it's not all horses and cows but a morality play, as well?
And why would you want to raise your son to be meaner than evil, anyway?
John has always known that, to keep the ranch, he had to trump evil. With 500 million dollars dangling before them, it just seems unwise to continue trying to slay the dragon no matter how fun it is to watch John bonding with his grandson over choco chips for breakfast.
It's hard to love your family well when you're attention is pulled toward evil so much of the time. That's proven with Jamie.
As it turns out, Garrett Randall isn't a monster. He was a kid in love with a woman and drugs. The latter helped him kill the former, but the first meeting with Jamie went well. And dang, what an inspired choice to cast Will Patton.
Garrett's inclination was to keep Jamie at arm's length for his Jamie's good. But Jamie couldn't leave well enough alone. Will this new relationship be explored in the open, or will Jamie keep it from his family?
If he keeps it from his family, then it opens it up to the possibility that Jamie will do something financially detrimental.
What other wrong direction could the story go into other than something financial? It doesn't seem like there would be a lot of love lost if Jamie left the family for good, even if he's helpful to have around legally.
What's to come for the finale? They're going to have to go for Roarke. How? I don't imagine a Beck Brothers incident with worldwide financiers.
Share your thoughts below, and watch Yellowstone online if you're behind.
And stick around for more fun and Yellowstone games because we'll be chatting with Jefferson White, who plays Jimmy, this week. That's fun leading into the finale, right?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic 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.