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[S1E2] Kill The Messenger

John plops down next to Tate and the dinosaur skeleton in the pit, and they talk about what could have killed it. John describes the area as being underwater all those years ago and maybe a sea shark killed this particular creature. Kayce interrupts to chat with his dad, and John gets straight to the point. He demands the truth, warning him the authorities will twist his story.

[S1E2] Kill the Messenger

Stewart mentions two BLM agents noticing there was another rider when Lee arrived at Yellowstone Dutton Ranch and the governor adds that friends "forget things" for friends, but the reports will add up enough evidence that it would not matter. Perry mentions that it's already national news and the evidence points can to a "racially motivated killing by an officer of [Jamie's] father's agency" and the Attorney General have to start chopping heads, his own first.

Rip walks out of the stable and Beth is standing outside. Rip says he doesn't have the energy for her today. Beth says to take her anywhere but a music festival, to pick something more suited to her personality. Rip then suggests that they go get drunk and watch some wolves kill an elk in the park. Beth walks past him and says she'll drive.

Monica asks what she's done when they're in the car together. When Kayce responds it isn't her, she asks what he did. Kayce says he can't provide for a family selling horses. Monica rebuts he definitely can't if he's gifting them away. Kayce says he has two skills, and only one of them pays. He then mentions that he doesn't want his wife to have that responsibility and Monica cuts him off saying neither one of them had a problem with him being a broke horse trainer last week, but he has since his father walked been back into his life.

When Kayce says he's no good at this, Monica agrees that he's probably the worst liar, she's ever met. So she asks him to stop lying and say why he's leaving. As Kayce goes to confess to killing Robert, her brother, the house on the side of the road explodes, causing Kayce to swerve off the road.

Kayce tells Monica to call 911 as he goes to inspect the explosion's remains. Kayce takes over his jumper to cover his mouth as he walks through the smoke. He comes across a dog with missing hind legs before finding a man burned all over asking after his family. When Kayce tells him they're all gone, he asks Kayce to kill him.

Kayce runs back to the car, and Monica asks if there are people. Kayce says not anymore, as he grabs his gun. When Kayce tries to make her stay behind, Monica says she goes where he goes. Kayce concedes and they both go back to the man. The man is still asking to be killed when they return.

The tribal police eventually arrive, since the event occurred on reserve land. Ben Waters mentions that killing the man was the right thing to do as he talks to Thomas Rainwater. Thomas says he's not ready to play this hand and to make it go away.

Meanwhile in Helena, the governor asks Jamie Dutton to her office to show him a coroner's report that shows it's impossible for the late Lee Dutton to have killed Kayce's brother-in-law because the bullet that killed him would have paralyzed him first, meaning there must have been a third shooter. The governor and her cronies are telling Jamie as much in order to let Team Dutton get in front of the story somehow - our first taste of the institutional corruption that, in the world of "Yellowstone", inundates the state government. Thankfully for the Duttons, it tends (at least at this point) to go their way.

Beth and Dutton now up the preposterousness factor by going on a date to Yellowstone National Park, where they intend to "get drunk and watch the wolves kill an elk." Now, that would be a big thing to ask even from a weathered Yellowstone wildlife guide, but to simply park in a pickup truck, as they do, about forty feet from the kill? Utterly ridiculous.

But then, after a few precious tender moments, Beth exits the truck and runs screaming at the wolves. If she weren't a Dutton, this would be a great way to get herself killed. But for Beth, the wolves scatter like snow in the headlights. Of course they do!

Kayce says it must have been a meth lab, and he's right. He finds among the carnage a man covered in burns. He asks weakly about his family, and Kayce, with typically Spartan Dutton frankness, says "you ain't got one anymore." The injured man asks Kayce to kill him (it'll take the ambulance 45 minutes), so Kayce pulls out his 9mm and shoots him. That's the same 9mm he used to kill his brother-in-law, remember? Remember?

Which is why it is utterly preposterous when the tribal police chief arrives and suggests that Kayce and the man switch slides on their guns (they happen to use the same model). This means that Team Broken Rock have in their possession the slide that killed Robert Long - I don't know how that'll come into play, but it seems like it could be a great boon for them. Or else it's a plot contrivance of the highest degree of silliness. Can you imagine a police officer suggesting that you switch pistol parts with him? I think that wouldn't exactly work out for either party. But we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, we can think about how ridiculous it is that Kayce and Monica happened to be driving by at just the right time.

Which leaves only one major string to resolve in this episode - Rip's visit to the formaldehyde-loving coroner. Could be he could bring him around to his way of thinking, but no, Rip's got a more elegant solution: he'll just kill the poor SOB.

Back at the ranch, Rip apologizes to Beth over his ill-timed mood killer during their erotic rendezvous, and pledges to make it up to her. To that end, they decide to go on a "first date" (that is, the first date since their first "first date") in a field watching wolves eat the corpse of an elk, after he throws out the idea in jest. That evening, as they sit drinking Southern Comfort whiskey and watching the wolves, they discuss the issue of death and mortality, and how she hasn't aged a day. After a comment from Rip about "cheating death", Beth drunkenly runs out of the car they were parked in and chases the wolves away from the corpse, then tells Rip that she's trying to "cheat death", as he suggested. The exasperated Rip calls her the "craziest person" he's ever met.

Rip was only a teenager when John Dutton took him in. The patriarch of the Dutton Ranch gave Rip a place to live and a job on the ranch after ending up being an orphan with nowhere else to go. Rip killed his abusive father after he witnessed him brutally attacking and murdering both his mother and his brother. 041b061a72


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