‘Yellowstone’ Season 5, Episode 7 Recap: Rip’s Past Murder Is Revealed, Jamie Furthers His Gubernatorial Plot

Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched the seventh episode of Yellowstone season 5.

Yellowstone is giving fans drama in both the past and the present. Sunday’s episode of the Paramount Network series opens with a flashback to Rip’s teenage years, in which he and Rowdy, the other boy who’s after Beth’s heart, are spending an uncomfortable night together outside.

“I could be holding that girl’s a** with both hands, but no, I’m sitting here in the sage brush with you,” Rowdy (Kai Caster) complains, before confirming that the girl he’s talking about is Beth, which leads to a violent fight between the teens.

“You never mention her name,” Rip (Kyle Red Silverstein) says. “You don’t touch her. You don’t f**king talk to her. You understand?” 

Rowdy, apparently, does not understand, as he pulls out a knife to continue his fight with Rip. In turn, Rip hits Rowdy repeatedly over the head with a rock, and tells his romantic rival, “You try to stab me you f**king coward? Try again, and I will shoot you where you stand.”

The boys soon lose their steam when the extent of Rowdy’s injuries becomes clear. Rip tries to help Rowdy by covering him with a blanket and giving him water, but knows that won’t be enough when Rowdy admits he needs to go to the hospital and is too hurt to ride a horse.

With that, Rip takes off to get John (Josh Lucas), and quickly fesses up to what went down, even though Rowdy had told him to blame his injuries on a horse so he wouldn’t get in trouble. Soon, the men take off to help Rowdy, but they find him dead.

“Why didn’t you just tell me he fell off his horse?” John asks.

“That’s what Rowdy said,” Rip replies. “You said never lie to you, so I didn’t.”

An emotional Rip then listens as John explains how the teen can avoid going to prison. “There’s a thing I could do, but if I do it you don’t ever leave this place,” he says. “You’ll be part of this ranch until the day you die and you will do for this ranch what I say do, no matter what that is. You understand me?” 

“This ranch is the only family I’ve got,” Rip answers. “I’m never leaving, no matter what you do.”

With that, the men move Rowdy’s body and move on with their lives.

Back in the present day, Abby (Lainey Wilson) jokes she feels “so used” after her tent hookup with Ryan (Ian Bohen), while Monica (Kelsey Asbille) wakes up teary-eyed after realizing that her and Kayce’s (Luke Grimes) son, Tate (Brecken Merrill), is becoming a man.

As is to be expected, Beth (Kelly Reilly) awakes ready to fight, and quickly does so with Summer (Piper Perabo) over the institution of marriage. When asked, Beth tells Monica that she’s so combative because it’s “fun,” though she doesn’t feel the need to act that way towards Monica in the wake of her son’s death.

“I know how you feel because I’ve felt it, and I feel it every day,” Beth says, alluding to the abortion she had as a teenager that left her sterile. “So when I say I am sorry, Monica, I really mean it.” 

Meanwhile, problems are piling up for Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) who’s facing both a political challenge and two new pipelines through the reservation. Senator Lynelle Perry (Wendy Moniz) offers Rainwater her support, but encourages him to also “make enough noise that the Department of Interior will look somewhere else” for their pipelines. Rainwater leaves the senator’s office with both her promise to help and her endorsement in his political fight.

Back on the ranch, the cowboys find many still-born buffalo calves, which John (Kevin Costner) believes is due to brucellosis. If the infection is passed on to their cows, the state will “destroy the whole herd.” Even if his cows are free of the disease, they have to find a new place for them to live, which will cost the Duttons more than $1 million a month and mean that Rip (Cole Hauser) has to leave Montana for at least a year.

Beth is flabbergasted by the development, and questions her father over his business plan that focuses on selling cows themselves rather than the beef. Beth does some research to prove her point, calling up a beef supplier to learn of their massive profits. John isn’t persuaded, though, so the whole group heads out to the fair for one last hoorah of sorts.

While there, Beth reveals that she intends to go with Rip and the herd. “I can’t live without you for a year… I won’t survive that… We swore to spend our lives together. Where you go, I go,” she says, before sharing that she won’t exactly be roughing it in Rip’s tent, as she plans to live at a nearby Hyatt.

Also at the fair, Abby is mad to learn about Ryan’s impending relocation.

“If the Grand Ole Opry is your Super Bowl, then moving 5,000 head to land that we don’t know and keeping that herd together and protecting them through winter and new predators and new diseases, that’s mine,” he explains. 

While Abby responds to his speech by kissing him, she ends up calling off their budding romance. “Chasing a dream, I understand and I hope you catch it,” she says. “I just wish that dream was me.” 

Meanwhile, John and Summer continue their flirtation, as the environmentalist tries to convince John to help people understand his lifestyle in order to help the ranch survive.

“I understand now. I understand why you brand and why you vaccinate and why you move them from one pasture to another,” she says. “12 million tourists a year come to Montana from cities. You might want to think about inviting a few of them over, so they understand who you really are and what you really do, because they have you pegged as a bunch of misogynist bigots who are ruining the environment and that is not who you are.”

John responds by calling Summer smart, she jokes about how he kidnapped her, and he reveals that he has “absolutely zero” intention of running for a second term as governor.

Elsewhere, Jamie (Wes Bentley) complains to Sarah (Dawn Olivieri) about how John “hates” him for “becoming the very thing he asked me to become.” Sarah believes John’s distaste for Jamie is due to jealousy and fear of change, the latter of which she thinks is vital to the Yellowstone’s survival. On that, Jamie agrees.

Later in the episode, Sarah comes to visit Jamie at work, where she and Ellis Steele (John Emmet Tracy) break the news that John put the land that was allocated for the airport into a conservation easement, which makes for a nasty legal headache. Sarah informs Jamie that Market Equities will soon be suing Montana for “a bad faith negotiation,” which will put the stake on the hook for around $4 billion, likely causing it to go bankrupt.

“Sounds like an impeachable offense to me,” Sarah says, after previously revealing her plan to oust John as governor and put Jamie in the office. “We’re fully committed to your election. Our PAC will fund it… This is your chance to become governor and get our f**king land back.”

Jamie is onboard with that plan of action, so much so that the episode ends with him practicing his speech in which he’ll ask for John’s impeachment, claiming that his adoptive dad’s actions “threaten the quality of life for all of Montanans.”

Sarah is impressed, telling Jamie, “I think it’s perfect.”

Yellowstone airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Paramount Network.

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