Yellowstone recap: Tragedy on the trail, trouble ahead

Episode 6 starts off strong after last week's somewhat understated episode (well, except from that outright brawl between Beth and Summer). There is a tiny military detachment that comes to the Broken Rock Indian Reservation and they appear to have something against stray dogs.

 Unexpectedly arriving in helicopters, the armed men are shooting the helpless animals, much to Mo's (Mo Brings Plenty) dismay.

When Mo tells them they're killing people's pets that have only strayed from their homes, it turns out the itchy trigger-fingered brutes are actually a secret service team securing the area before the President arrives. Mo calls Rainwater and presents his tribal police badge (Gil Birmingham.) 

When the Native American leader shows up, he learns that Angela (Q'orianka Kilcher), who serves as the President's head of Native American relations, is actually behind the event, which she helped organize so that the POTUS may support Rainwater's political competitor.

In Jamie's (Wes Bentley) bedroom, where he is questioning Sarah's (Dawn Olivieri) motivations for continuing to sleep with him, tensions are also escalating.

 She asserts that her only intentions are to assist him in eventually stealing his father's governorship and in resuming the airport project. It appears that Jamie is completely on board with this plan based on the steamy shower scene that follows.

While the cowboys are still away working with the cattle to prepare for the upcoming branding, Summer is back at the Dutton ranch wandering around the property.

 Visit the Dutton family's secret graveyard, gaze at old family photos, including those of John's late wife, and get to know Monica, who enlightens her on the qualities of the Dutton family and their sacred land while helping her peel potatoes for the big branding party.

While the cattle are being rounded up, the majority of the Dutton family and the bunkhouse staff are relaxing. While Beth (Kelly Reilly) enjoys an off-brand Marlboro and a flask of whiskey at a magnificent location that Rip has scouted for her, Kayce (Luke Grimes) and Tate (Brecken Merrill) spend some quality father-son time together. 

The former appears to be as content as ever, setting aside her customary fiery demeanor in favor of some prairie-fueled tranquility.

But it's not all sunshine and picture-perfect scenery for the Duttons; sorrow has sometimes accompanied them on the trail. Emmett, the "old bastard" rancher friend of John, falls asleep beneath a tree but doesn't get up the next morning. John is devastated by the loss but pleased that his friend received the ideal cowboy send-off.

 Back at the ranch, where Gator is preparing mouthwatering BBQ for the day's celebration and Ryan's (Ian Bohen) country singer infatuation Abby (Lainey Wilson) is getting ready to play at the event, things are literally heating up. 

John rushes back to tell Emmett's wife the news as the festivities begin. While the widow sobs in his arms, he consoles her as the press secretly records the touching scene on camera.

Lynelle (Wendy Moniz), a former flame of John's and a senator from Montana, is also present. She also strongly advises him to schedule a meeting with the President when he is in the state, noting that she has begun dating the secretary of energy. 

John is pleased that she is laughing with him, even though he is a "hypocrite," but he objects to the notion that he should campaign for office rather than brand his cattle.

In another part of the party, Ryan and Abby dance, kiss, and decide to jump into a relationship that most likely has no future. Young Carter (Finn Little) is likewise asked to dance by a teenage girl. After being rejected by Summer, John and Lynelle also end up two-stepping on the muddy dance floor. Rip and Beth watch the festivities from a distance since they only want to be with each other.

It appears that Yellowstone will ride into the sunset with an unusual, somewhat cheerful conclusion for the second week in a row. But wait a minute. Before the credits start to roll, Jamie and Sarah, who appear to have spent the entire show having sex, are reintroduced. 

They are drinking and watching the evening news while curled up under a blanket, where John is praised for his touching interaction with Emmett's wife rather than criticized for ghosting the President.

"That man could allegedly tumble into a vat of cow feces and emerge smelling like a rose. He's tough to defeat in a fair fight, I'll admit that "Jamie admits. I don't think we can allow him show up to the fight, Jamie," Sarah replies menacingly.


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