Yellowstone season 5 episode 4 recap: Jamie sets himself up for trouble

Wes Bentley in Yellowstone
Wes Bentley in Yellowstone (Image credit: Paramount Network)

NOTE: this post contains spoilers for Yellowstone season 5 episode 4, "Horses in Heaven."

The sibling rivalry between Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie (Wes Bentley) has reached new heights, but it's starting to look like Jamie is not as prepared for this fight as Beth. The episodes starts with Beth in jail after being arrested at the end of episode 3. Jamie goes over her legal options, which he says are pretty much wait and hope the woman she hit doesn't file charges. Feeling like he is in the power position, Jamie comments about this being an embarrassment to "our dad," but Beth quickly corrects him, saying "my dad," reminding him she can ruin Jamie after he killed his father (Will Patton). With the power back with her, Beth tells him to wait and convince the woman not to file charges against her.

John (Kevin Costner), meanwhile, is figuring out this governor thing. He discovers a team of policy advisers pushing things he doesn't believe in, so he fires them all and says he'll advise himself. That's all fine and good, but then he has a meeting with Fish & Wildlife agents who inform him about the incident with the wolves that happened on the ranch. John is defiant to their warnings, including that an independent environmentalist group is going to look into this and come after him when they figure out what happened.

To get his bearings on these situations, John has lunch with Lanelle (Wendy Moniz). In regards to Beth, she tells him he has the option to pardon people whenever. She then warns him to avoid environmentalists at all costs. However, if the fight is unavoidable, he needs someone who understands how environmentalist advocates think. John quickly has someone in mind for this.

A pardon won't be necessary for Beth, as Jamie convinces the woman to not press charges. When Jamie is driving Beth back to the ranch, she notices a baby's car seat in the back, realizing Jamie has a son, which he hadn't told anyone in the family. "You cut out my womb and God gave you a son?," Beth lashes out at him. Jamie says taking her to the abortion clinic where she was sterelized as a teenager is the biggest regret of his life, but Beth is unsympathetic. She says she's going to take Jamie's son from him.

Elsewhere, the preparations are being made for Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Monica's (Kelsey Asbille) baby's funeral. Rip (Cole Hauser) finds Mo (Mo Brings Plenty) digging the graves, one for the baby and one for John's horse who died in the season 5 premiere. Rip offers to help and asks why they are digging a grave for the horse, but Mo says that he can't tell him.

John arrives at the ranch and sees the funeral is taking place. He and Beth stand at a distance as the Native American ceremony does not allow them to participate. Beth tell him that when she dies not to bury her in the family plot, but to cremate her and scatter her ashes to the wind.

After the ceremony, John briefly talks with Rainwater (Gil Birmingham), who wants him to visit the reservation to discuss the situation with the airport. John then tells Monica he had a brother, Peter, who only lived for 18 hours. He says his parents realized that Peter actually lived a perfect life, only knowing his mother's love, and that's what Monica's baby had too. When John talks to Kayce, he says that if he wants to quit being Livestock commissioner then he'll find someone else; Kayce reaffirms that's what he wants.

That night, John talks with Rip about the wolves, Rip assures him they are somewhere no one is going to find them. John then asks about why the horse was buried next to the baby. Rip says the closest thing he can think of is so the baby has a horse to ride in Heaven. John likes that thought.

Cole Hauser in Yellowstone

Cole Hauser in Yellowstone (Image credit: Paramount Network)

The episode takes a quick break to showcase the cowboys helping out another ranch and Rip and the other rancher lamenting their dying way of life and what they’re leaving their children.

Back to the plot, we see Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) released from prison and John there to pick her up. He tells her that he is supervising her release and he wants her to help him understand environmentalists so he can prepare for the upcoming fight he has.

Later, Jamie has his dinner with Sarah Atwood (Dawn Olivieri) that they previously scheduled. It is clear that Sarah is toying with Jamie by flirting with him — well, clear to everyone except Jamie. He seems to think it's genuine. They eventually go into the restroom to have sex, at which point it's shown that Beth is spying on Jamie. She is able to get a picture of Sarah's ID while they’re … distracted.

At the ranch, Beth looks up Sarah and can't find anything, leaving her to believe it's an alias. She then notices that Summer is in the house (grabbing a snack after sleeping with John) and their animosity immediately comes right back.

Beth certainly doesn't need anything else to get her on the warpath, as she is seeing red and Jamie is her main target. Poor Jamie just continues to show that while he's playing checkers, everyone around him seems to be playing chess.

New episodes of Yellowstone air Sundays on Paramount Network in the US and Mondays on Paramount Plus in the UK.

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Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.