What Will John Lose to Keep a Promise on ‘Yellowstone’? (RECAP)

Kelly Reilly Kevin Costner Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 8 Recap
Spoiler Alert
Paramount Network


I Killed a Man Today

Season 3 • Episode 8

rating: 3.5 stars

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 8 of Yellowstone, “I Killed a Man Today.”]

The Dutton ranch is in serious trouble.

First, let’s start with the good news. John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is spending his retirement shopping for horses and welcoming his soon-to-be son-in-law Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) into the family following Beth’s (Kelly Reilly) proposal. “I love her, sir,” Rip assures him. “I’ll always take care of her.”

Rip also takes care of the horse that’s too wild for them to keep by taking it to run free on a range. (And at the same time, he asks ranch hand Lloyd to be his best man.) And Lloyd sees that former ranch hand Walker (Ryan Bingham), whom Rip was supposed to take care of after he witnessed some of their shadier dealings, is alive and well and singing in a bar.

That’s really it. The rest of the episode is just one piece of bad news after another.

“I Killed a Man Today”

Surprisingly, it’s Monica (Kelsey Asbille) who says the episode’s title to her husband, Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes), after claiming that she’s spending the day volunteering. What she actually does is part of her work with Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham): waiting on the side of the road, ostensibly with car trouble, until a man offers her a ride and takes her to the middle of nowhere to attack her. She fights back until Mo Brings Plenty shoots him.

Kelsey Asbille Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 8 Monica

(Paramount Network)

The reservation police then find remains in the field; she wasn’t the first. “People talk about making a difference, but they don’t because they don’t try,” Rainwater says. “You risked everything. Today, you made a difference.”

He also clues her in on Kayce shooting the man when he recovered the ranch’s stolen cattle, something her husband had kept from her. Once home, she calls Kayce out on his lies and confesses what happened to her.

A Really Painful Message

Colby (Denim Richards) and Teeter (Jennifer Landon) are out fixing the fence when she decides to go skinny dipping in the nearby river. When he follows her, however, John’s former friend Wade Morrow (Boots Southerland) and his son Clint (Brent Walker) show up to send the Dutton patriarch a message: a violent, chaotic attack on Colby and Teeter in the river. After the Morrows leave, neither ranch hand resurfaces. Uh-oh!

The Truth of the Consequences

Beth’s fight against hedge fund manager Roarke Morris (Josh Holloway) and Market Equities CEO Willa Hayes (Karen Pittman) continues as Jamie (Wes Bentley) informs his brother Kayce of the offer for their land. What it comes down to is the fact that even if they turn it down, they’ll likely still end up having to sell the land in a couple years because they won’t be able to afford it.

But Jamie can’t tell their father himself because, as he claims to Kayce, Beth poisoned him to John. (Kayce still doesn’t know Jamie didn’t tell Beth she would be sterilized if she had an abortion at a reservation clinic, and John found out.) It needs to come from Beth, so Jamie enlists their brother to talk to her. Kayce brings the offer—on paper, after a quick call from Jamie to Willa—to Beth.

Josh Holloway Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 8 Roarke Morris

(Paramount Network)

Then it falls on Beth to talk to John. She confirms the offer is legitimate before listing the consequences of not taking it. They’ll press the state to condemn the land and file a motion to recuse new attorney general Jamie because of his financial interest. John won’t get much for the land, and then the rest of the ranch will be taken from him as well, with property taxes eating through his savings in the next few years. Eventually, their legacy will essentially be destroyed.

John believes it, but he can’t sell it. He made a promise to protect the land, and he’d rather lose it than break it. But might he end up doing both?

Yellowstone, Sundays, 9/8c, Paramount Network