The third episode of the new season of Yellowstone, “All I See Is You,” pushes our favorite Montana epic in various directions, offering some half-answers and scattering minor clues throughout while also engaging in fun stuff like a culture war. COVID-19 is even mentioned extremely quietly on the radio! (No masks, though!) After the first two episodes served as a direct bridge from the previous season, this episode reins in the manic pace and lets the characters catch a breather, at least after the bloody cold open is resolved. Absent entirely from this episode are flashbacks to Tim McGraw wearing Old West clothes or the continued, obviously evil machinations of Market Equities. Instead, we get cowboys ogling horses, a real bummer of a shopping trip, a midnight drive to Wyoming, and Laramie the amorous buckle bunny continuing to make old Lloyd sad as hell.
Everyone other than poor Jimmy seems fully healed from their various violent ordeals (which, fair, they merely were shot and bombed while Jimmy fell off a pretty big horse) and ready to continue their push to eradicate all enemies of the Dutton Mafia with extreme prejudice. Cousin Oliver, also known as Carter the runaway, learns a valuable lesson about setting your alarm half an hour early. Kayce, meanwhile, doesn’t doubt his father’s riding skills, but he probably didn’t expect Monica to straight up tell him that she hates him. That can’t be fun to hear! Let’s call this episode a bridge to the second act of the season and dive right into the numbers.
6: Militia Members Gunned Down Before the Opening Credits
The Duttons take quick vengeance on the heavily-armed grunts behind their attempted hits, wasting no time and plenty of militia types with the full support of local law enforcement. This portion of Montana is for all intents and purposes a Dutton fief. That’s not to exonerate this extremely violent militia (especially not the guy who wore a clown mask, that was just weird), but it makes you wonder why they’d do this. Have the Duttons at any point in this show seemed like “Game respect game” types? No, they’re old-world revenge sickos who took approximately two and half minutes to carry out a slaughter that usually takes at least 10 to 15 minutes in the closing moments of a Godfather film. You really have to wonder what this mysterious puppet master promised the militia to get them to take on such a doomed assignment. Maybe a cool new flag for their sovereign nation?
1: Mugshot of a Guy Nobody Recognizes
Thomas Rainwater still wants John Dutton to know he’s ultimately going to win their little cold war, but nonetheless he hands over documents that (sort of) reveal the identity of the shadowy puppet master behind the attacks. In a line that Yellowstone fans everywhere can relate to, John says irritably, “I don’t know who any of these fuckers are.” You only see this nefarious dude in a mugshot, but his name is apparently Riggins and he’s portrayed by Bruno Amato, a guy currently running for Congress on a platform that’s probably a bit progressive for most of the denizens of Yellowstone. Still, this is probably a red herring, as John quickly asks where Riggins was getting his orders. Yellowstone is clearly following the fighting-game format of conquering sub-bosses before the big boss can be revealed, whether it be M. Bison, Jamie’s real father, or Bernie Sanders.
2: Liberals Who Get Their Phone Screens Cracked by Duttons
Emmett Walsh (Buck Taylor), one of the old dudes who tried to persuade Kayce to run for governor last season, asks him to implore his neighbor from California to get rid of his cattle guards so Emmett can bring his cattle to summer pastures. Kayce handles this request with stoic maturity, smashing in the California man’s llama-decorated gate with his truck, violently tackling him without preamble, and finally locking the man inside the controversial cattle guard before abandoning him. Tough love! To be fair to the goofy California interloper who thinks raising animals to eat is barbaric, he remains defiant, or at least keeps complaining loudly. Sort of a win for the California spirit? Beth also smashes a phone. See below.
3: Items Carter Is Allowed to Purchase at the Store
In a much more upsetting sequence, Beth brings her adopted street-rat Carter shopping, telling him that he can get a pair of boots, jeans, and a hat. Carter suddenly gets into cowboy fashion (even though he seems more like a Slipknot T-shirt kid) and decides he wants a particular cowboy shirt. This drives Beth to the brink and she loses her cool, trying to rip the shirt off him. A woman pops up out of nowhere and starts filming Beth with her phone, stating with some accuracy, “That’s child abuse!” Beth doles out justice for Karens Caught on Camera everywhere, dropping this banger: “Lady, you crave trouble. You just don’t want resistance. And if you don’t want resistance around here, you just mind your own business.” The phone is then smashed, as Beth tells the woman she’s welcome to adopt Carter before storming off.
Later on, Kayce pulls the still-traumatized Tate from under his bed as he loudly weeps. It was a rough episode for the kids of the Yellowstone, man.
11: Words I Didn’t Care for in Colby’s Metaphor
I understand that wise-cracking and locker-room talk is part of the culture of the Bunkhouse Boys, especially when they are watching expensive horses do fancy stuff (more on that directly below), but please no more attempts at eloquence like “You look like a drunk cat trying to fuck a football.” What does that even mean?! Do better!
17: Badass Horse Moves to Impress the Hell out of You
The sort of scene Yellowstone most excels at is cowboys watching better cowboys do tricks with expensive horses. In this episode, Travis (played by showrunner and Paramount Network muse Taylor Sheridan) and his team show off the next generation of Dutton horseflesh, executing all sort of wacky horse stuff as the Bunkhouse Boys gaze in wonder like they’re watching Tracy McGrady score 13 points in 35 seconds against the Spurs in 2004. With apologies to people who know literally anything about horses, the breakdown of fancy horse stuff was nine horses running and stopping on a dime, six horses spinning around, one horse sort of tap-dancing side to side, and finally, the coolest horse, the moonwalking horse. I’ve proudly not looked up what any of these tricks are called, because I respect the mystery of the spectacle too much.
0: Awesome Jamie Scenes in Which He Proves He Isn’t the Villain
Actually, there were zero scenes of Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) doing anything. I was going to make a joke about Jamie being too busy admiring a plastic bag floating in the wind and realizing there’s so much beauty in the world he feels like he can’t take it, but then I remembered American Beauty came out in 1999 and that there’s probably not a ton of overlap between Yellowstone fans and Sam Mendes enthusiasts.
4: Ways to Get Rich in the Yellowstone Cinematic Universe
After Carter wanting a shirt convinces Beth that he’s a trash kid unworthy of redemption, she succinctly lists the ways one can acquire wealth in this world:
- I don’t feel comfortable typing this out, but fine: “Learn how to suck a dick like you lost your car keys in it.”
Come on, Beth. This kid has enough problems without all that dirty talk from a parental figure!
1: Roast Beef Sandwiches Mo Steals From His Son
Mo Brings Plenty, Thomas Rainwater’s driver–quiet tough guy, is about as morally upright as any character on this show. So why the hell does he refuse the peanut butter and jelly his wife is preparing for him and instead take his teenage son’s roast beef sandwich? When it’s revealed the captured and very bloody “Party Planner” who helped organize the hit on the Duttons is chained up in Mo’s barn, it begins to make sense. Clearly, this horrible man has a peanut allergy that was mentioned off-screen! Yes, Mo has illegally apprehended this man and will soon hand him over to frontier justice, but peanut allergies are very serious and not to be trifled with. Fun fact: Mo’s family is played by his real wife and son. OK, sure, that fact is merely fun-adjacent.
4: Sixes in the Name of the Ranch Jimmy Is Being Exiled To
“The Four Sixes” seems like a chill place far away from everybody he loves that will absolutely make Jimmy into a good cowboy, something he totally wants to be in the first place. Everyone’s being extremely mean to him and he’s not even there yet. The vibes are not good. At least his last conversation with John Dutton was amicable. Blunt and depressing, but amicable. That’s the best most people get with John, so we’ll consider that a victory for Jimmy.
44th: State to be Admitted to the Union
Whenever someone on Yellowstone crosses over into Wyoming, you know the vibe isn’t going to be cheery. In the mythology of the show, Wyoming is a glorified pit useful only as a place to throw the corpses of one’s enemies. So when John drives the unfortunately nicknamed Checkers over the state line, you know it’s not to show him one of Wyoming’s two escalators. But unlike previous ne’er-do-wells unceremoniously dispatched and rolled into the cadaver trough, John gives Checkers a chance (albeit a minuscule one) to shoot back at him. You can see Kevin Costner relishing this true Old West cowboy cosplay, deploying with tight-lipped glee the Safeway-Select Shakespearean line, “Care to send me to heaven before I park your sorry ass in hell?”
He then parks his sorry ass in hell.
A Preview of Episode 4, “Winning or Learning”
3: Times Walker Mentions How Prison Made Him Horny
Walker, the enigmatic singing cowboy who seems to be the only guy at the ranch who finds its general ambiance disturbing and creepy, looks like he’ll be getting more to do in this upcoming episode. And with that will surely come an increased mention of his favorite topic, how all he wants to do now that he’s out of jail is bang. He will do this with his world-weary wounded eyes, hazy drawl, and smoldering yet tragic energy. Even as he describes in increasingly vivid detail all the dirty and debauched things he wants to do on the outside, you won’t be able to help but think: man, this guy is complicated.
0.5: Carter and Tate Interactions
This is pure speculation, but if you have two child characters living on the same ranch you should have them run into each other at some point. This will probably be a slow burn of a process, as Tate is still suffering in a huge way from the time he very recently shot and killed a guy in a clown mask, and Carter is more or less an underaged indentured servant. But maybe Tate will look out the window one day after refusing to eat his breakfast and see Carter shoveling horse manure and feel a spiritual connection, culminating in an awkward wave? Taylor Sheridan, if you are reading this: hire me.
2: More Hints This Random Old Guy Is Suspicious
OK, remember earlier we talked about Emmett Walsh, the old-timer who wanted Kayce’s help with the llama-raising California dude? The guy who is always personable and seems to really love the Duttons? I can’t figure out why exactly, but something about this homeboy has been making me question his bona fides. When he visits Kayce in the previous episode a strange look appears on his face and he says, “How’s your father? That tough old bastard’s hard to kill, isn’t he?” Then he laughs, ruefully, before continuing, “You too I guess.” Almost seems like a guy admitting he knows firsthand how hard they are to kill. Also, Emmett Walsh was in Kayce’s office in last season’s finale (scoping it out for the hit?) just a few scenes before the attack. Circumstantial, yes; far-fetched, probably. But when very minor characters start appearing more frequently, you should be wary.
0: Household Items Kayce Throws at Jamie
We know from the preview that Jamie and Kayce will interact at least briefly, but unlike Beth, Kayce will not bring various items from Jamie’s childhood room to scornfully toss at him. If it goes badly, he may punch him a bit or throw him out a moderately high window, but hurling Transformers toys or participation trophies is not his style.
1: Angela Blue Thunder Appearances
This is wishful thinking, but Angela Blue Thunder’s (Q’orianka Kilcher) cold-as-hell soliloquy in last season’s finale hinted at a potential scorched-earth scenario. Even Thomas Rainwater and Mo Brings Plenty seemed taken aback by the chill ferocity and steel conviction, reminding them of who they are and why John Dutton can never truly be an ally. And yet, we’re three episodes in and she hasn’t been mentioned. I guess we had to make time for the cool horse tricks.
2: Things Garrett Randall Says That’ll Make Your Skin Crawl
Garrett Randall (Will Patton), Jamie’s biological father, has a penchant for saying absolutely cold-hearted shit in a hushed and dangerous way. This prediction is taking the under due to doubting that he will receive significant screen time in this episode, but whatever his ultimate minute count is, Will Patton will make the most of it and say something evil that Jamie will hear as homespun wisdom.
5: Times Beth’s Face Will Reveal Admiration for Caroline Warner
Coming up on this week’s episode is some sort of “feeling each other out” meeting between Beth and Caroline (Jacki Weaver), the soft-spoken matronly Market Equities top dog (or more accurately, the top leviathan). Beth has handled all her challengers thus far with cheat-code-level efficiency. Her list of victims is extensive: Dan Jenkins, Willa, Roarke, her former boss Bob Schwartz, the guy hitting on her at the bar in the pilot, the lady at the store who racially profiled Monica, and honestly pretty much everyone she has come across other than Rip. Caroline may indeed be destined for this list, but it’s obvious that she’ll be the first to seriously test Beth’s resolve, and maybe the first to earn Beth’s grudging admiration. Again, as Madeleine Albright (almost) said once, “There is a special place in hell for girlbosses in male dominated television programs who don’t help other girlbosses in male dominated television programs.”
Alex Siquig lives in Baltimore, drinks MD 20/20, and writes about things like Game of Thrones, the Willennium, and the life of Doug Funnie.