Malcolm Goes Too Far Sending a Message to the Duttons on ‘Yellowstone’ (RECAP)

Spoiler Alert
Paramount Network

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 7 of Yellowstone, “Resurrection Day.”]

What does it say about a guy if cutting off someone’s hand is considered tame in his eyes?

That’s the case with Malcolm Beck (Neal McDonough), and as much as we’d like to think that the Duttons’ retaliation will make him stop and think about his actions moving forward, things are probably just going to get much, much worse.

The Beck brothers make a few moves in Wednesday’s episode of Yellowstone, easily the darkest episode of the series so far. They start by (presumably) killing one of Thomas Rainwater’s (Gil Birmingham) casino workers and cutting off his hand. Then, Teal (Terry Serpico) gleefully revokes Dan’s (Danny Huston) liquor license.

But in happier news, Tate convinces John (Kevin Costner) to buy him a horse, in part because Kayce (Luke Grimes) agrees to train it for his son. That’s not the only good news for that part of the family. “You’re a part of me,” Monica (Kelsey Asbille) tells Kayce. “You’re a part of my soul.” And not only are the two back together, but the family moves in to John’s (old) room on the ranch. (John moves into the cabin.)

Plus, Jamie (Wes Bentley) struggles with what to do next, but John offers him a way to have a fresh start.

Rip saves Beth in more than one way

It’s the Duttons — and in particular, Beth (Kelly Reilly) — who truly suffer because of the Becks in this episode. Malcolm and Beth officially meet, and he makes it clear that she and her family don’t want to get on his bad side. He and a real estate attorney, Susan, “had a mutually beneficial relationship,” he explains, “until she figured out a way to bend the law to benefit her business more than my business.”

(Paramount Network)

“That’s the problem with playing dirty, Beth,” he continues. “Because when someone plays dirty back, there’s no one to cry to. There’s no charges to file. There’s nowhere to scream about the injustice you’ve endured, because if you do, all your filthy laundry just spills right out into the open for everyone to see.”

Once Susan realized that, “they moved her,” Malcolm says. “Somewhere in California where they could help her move past the trauma.” And here’s the chilling part: “It’s uncanny how much you look like her,” he comments.

She gives as good as she gets, but he warns her about her “tough talk.” “I got the cure for that,” he says. “We’ll see how tough you are after I give it to you.” If you’re worried about Beth after that, you’re right to be.

But while she stands up to Malcolm, she’s vulnerable with Rip (Cole Hauser). She wants him to take her on a date, she says, and that’s when she learns how he’s spent his money: on headstones for his mother and brother and for his father’s bones so he could throw them out the window on a drive.

And when he smiles at her, she knows what he wants to say but stops him. “Tell me when it saves me,” she requests. Little does she know how soon that will be.

Men like Malcolm “just want to be feared,” Beth says at one point, but she refuses to give him that, not even when he sends two men to his office. The men kill her assistant and even threaten to rape her, but she fights back and refuses to cry or scream, even with a gun to her head. She holds on until Rip comes to her rescue, killing the two men. (How satisfying is it to see Beth hit the man who was in her face?)

(Paramount Network)

And it’s then that Rip tells her he loves her.

Kayce takes care of the men — by stripping them and stringing them up outside Malcolm’s house, with a note stabbed into one of their chests: “Return to sender.”

And what are the Duttons going to do about the Beck brothers now? Simple: “We’re going to kill them,” John tells Kayce.

John won’t let his son quit

Jamie’s still a mess after killing Sarah, but Beth will have none of it. “You know what’s so dangerous about you, Jamie?” She asks. “You justify every act before you commit them. You’re consumed with the world’s perception of you. What kind of man I am, that’s not a question you ever ask yourself. What does the world think of me? That’s the only question you ask.”

“Morality, loyalty, not part of the equation for you,” she continues. “But you’ve finally done something that makes you see yourself the way the world does. The way I see you. The way he sees you. … I gotta tell you something, and it comes from a place of love. You should really consider killing yourself.”

(Paramount Network)

And it looks like Jamie takes her words to heart because John notices a rifle missing from his rack. He finds his son just in time.

“You know the thing about suicide, you don’t just kill yourself, you kill every memory of you,” John says. “This’ll be all anyone remembers, Jamie. Every second you spent on this Earth will be reduced to how you chose to leave it. No one will mourn your loss, son, because this isn’t losing your life. This is quitting it.”

And he won’t let him do that because “it’s the single most selfish thing a person can do.” Jamie doesn’t think he can be “fixed,” and maybe he can’t, but he can become something new. Jamie hands over the rifle.

But for Jamie to truly get a fresh start, he can’t have Beth in his ear like she has been, so John tells her to go easy on him. “Look me in the eye and tell me that you love him,” she requests. “Love. What you feel for Kayce. What you feel for me.” John doesn’t say a thing.

Maybe Jamie’s relationship with his family can’t be fixed. But maybe getting a fresh start as a cowboy is a step in the right direction, at least for himself.

Yellowstone, Wednesdays, 10/9c, Paramount Network