Spoiler ahead! Do not proceed if you have not watched Sunday’s season 5 midseason finale of Yellowstone.
It’s officially war on Yellowstone.
On Sunday’s season 5 midseason finale, titled “A Knife and No Coin,” Jamie (Wes Bentley) made a bold move going all in on his plan to remove John (Kevin Costner) as Montana governor, revealing in a stunning press conference that the attorney general’s office was officially moving forward with impeachment proceedings. His move was the catalyst for the chaos that unraveled in the hour, as Beth (Kelly Reilly) learned about the existence of the “train station,” a deep Dutton family secret, and both Duttons alluding to enacting plans to permanently take each other out for good.
With the series will be off for a few months before returning for the back half of the season this summer, there is a lot to stew over during the hiatus.
The dramatics began when Jamie tells everyone in an emergency assembly meeting to publicly denounce John Dutton’s “egregious act of dereliction” in canceling funding for the Paradise Valley International Airport and other associated properties. As Jamie says, the governor has “violated state law and his sworn of oath of office to act in the best interest of the state.” “He has exposed the state to litigation,” which Jamie says is “forthcoming.” “He has robbed the state of billions in tax revenue and billions of jobs, by doubling taxes on non-residents and initiating state taxes on non-residents, he threatens to extinguish single-biggest generator of revenue: tourism. These are callous, calculated actions that are only in the best interest of the governor himself and will have devastating consequences for our constituents: the people who elected us.”
Meanwhile, John gives a speech to unexpectedly express his disdain for the pipeline project that is set to run through the Indian reservation. “It could lead to disastrous effects to the land and the people this pipeline runs beneath and that is not progress at all. As Governor of Montana, I cannot support that endeavor and I will use the full weight of my office to prevent that from happening,” he says, surprising all involved.
The scene cuts to Jamie publicly announcing that the attorney general’s office will have a Senate tribunal seeking impeachment of the governor, with the votes 67 to 33 in favor.
The news goes public during John’s press conference on the reservation and he is not amused by the timing of it, sharing it’s moves like this that mean Jamie “is not fit for this office.” As reporters race to the front of the stage seeking comment, John tries to control the situation to a hairy situation. “This moment isn’t about me and I won’t let it be. The issues facing this reservation are real, far more than any theater being played out in Helena right now,” he says, attempting to downplay this massive blow to his governorship. “Keep it focused on the issue of the day because there will still be one tomorrow.”
In the car, his assistant, Clara (Lilli Kay), tells John Jamie’s entire impeachment claim is “conjecture.” But to John, the damage is already done. “Sometimes conjecture is all you need to get started,” he says. “The truth won’t win this one.” When she asks what will, he simply answers, “Menace.”
Of course, Beth finds out about the impeachment tribunal from an unlikely source — her archnemesis, Summer (Piper Perabo) — who shows her a TV news report about Jamie’s big move: “That motherf**ker,” she can only utter.
That evening, Beth pays a visit to Jamie to tell him the Senate tribunal he publicly announced earlier in the day is the biggest mistake of his life and career. “It’s career suicide and you just f**king did it,” Beth angrily tells Jamie, who was celebrating his win with his partner-in-crime/hookup, Sarah (Dawn Olivieri).
Soon after Beth breaks into his home to confront him, they get into a nasty physical fight and in a climactic moment, she knocks Jamie to the ground with a large rock. “Tomorrow, you will call a press conference and you will resign from office. Do you understand me, Jamie? You will resign or I will be printing photos for the sheriff,” Beth warns him, as he slowly comes to after getting knocked out.
“No you wouldn’t,” he says.
“Doubt me, Jamie. I am begging you,” Beth replies as she stares him down.
But Jamie isn’t done, telling her that if she turns him in, that means John is in danger of getting put behind bars for all the unsavory acts he’s been responsible for. “How many bodies has your father put in the same spot? You turn me in, you turn him in. Have you thought this through?” Jamie screams at Beth, who stays silent as she digests the information.
Her silence, though, says a thousand words as Jamie may have found a weak spot in Beth’s hard armor. “Did you think I just picked a turnout in the Wyoming border of f**king random?! There is a centuries worth of our family’s secrets at the bottom of that canyon! You want to see how fast they take the ranch from us then? You don’t straighten your f**king care, that’s how f**king fast!”
“That’s bulls**t,” Beth says, not wanting to believe a word Jamie’s saying. Jamie then tells her to ask Rip about how many times he’s been to the “train station,” a roadside cliff in Wyoming the Duttons have used to move the dead bodies of their enemies. But the attorney general isn’t done yet, as he rips into her, telling her she doesn’t truly know the “real price for protecting the ranch.”
“If the goal is protecting the ranch from future generations, of which you have none, then monetizing the ranch is the only option. The airport was the only option and you f**king know it!” Jamie tells her. “You know all of this and you can’t convince him. Well, I am guaranteeing the ranch is passed down to Tate, to my son, to their children… someday. That is the promise that I made and that is the promise that I am going to keep.”
Here’s the kicker: “The greatest threat to that ranch is our father. And you know that too!” Jamie tells Beth of why he’s proceeding with the impeachment tribunal. “So I will remove that threat.”
At that moment, a naked Sarah walks down the stairs and Beth can’t help but scoff at Jamie making deals with the enemy. “You’ll take approval anywhere you can find it, won’t you Jamie?” Beth snarls at Sarah, whom she calls “an expensive hooker” and asks if she’s enjoying “her marionette,” aka Jamie. Sarah replies, “Every inch of him,” as Jamie smirks at Beth.
As far as Beth is concerned, the lines have been drawn. “OK, so it’s war,” she declares. Jamie, though, thinks he’s already won: “The war is over.” As Beth leaves, she can’t help but have a menacing last word: “No, Jamie. The war is just beginning.”
Beth races over to her father’s house to confront him about the “train station,” and John — who just watched a “hit piece” about the collars from the wolves Rip’s men accidentally killed recently recovered on his ranch — comes clean about what the “train station” is and symbolizes.
“It’s the trash can for everyone who’s attacked us. It lays in a jurisdictional dead zone in a county with a population of exactly zero. Hence, no jury of your peers, and no court for a change in venue. Why are you so surprised?” John explains to a speechless Beth. “Where did you think the men who attacked you in your office and attacked our ranch went? You’re shocked we found a way to circumvent the consequences of defending ourselves? I’m shocked we need a way.”
“But we do. We always have. And unless we’re wiling to walk away from 120 years of our family bleeding into this ground, we always will,” he says, referencing the generations before him that have defended the land so the Dutton ranch can remain intact.
When Beth repeats that Jamie is aware of the “train station,” John is visibly resigned to that unsavory fact. But Beth being Beth, she uses this vital piece of information to introduce a possible Plan B to permanently remove Jamie from the equation.
“If there is a place our enemies go and nobody ever knows they went, Dad, and they will never come back… Then I think that’s the place for Jamie,” Beth says, introducing the idea of killing Jamie. When she asks him for his thoughts, he can only lean forward on the couch, digesting the idea. Though enticing, it’s a dangerous plan — perhaps the most dangerous one of all.
Back at Jamie’s house, Sarah tends to his wounds and asks what he thinks Beth will do now. Privy to Beth’s ways, Jamie admits she will try and have him killed, which will pose a big problem for Beth and John if they do go through with wiping Jamie off the board. Sarah laughs at the thought, advising him to hire a security team instead. But Jamie wants to go on the offensive, not defense. He and Beth are one in the same, as he floats the idea to Sarah that he needs to hire professionals to take Beth out of the game for good.
Well, things just got a little more interesting.
Ahead of season 5, Reilly spoke with ET about why it will be difficult for Beth to make peace with Jamie.
“I would love Beth to find forgiveness but that’s not the show. It’s not the character,” she said in November. “You know that we all want to be able to say what the ending should be or what these characters should do or say, but that’s also part of the fun of watching it.”
Reilly acknowledged at the time their relationship is “getting more complicated,” which makes up “a huge part of this season.”
“He’s back in the fold of the family. She says in this first episode, ‘You’re in my prison now. You will do what he asks you to do and that’s how you will stay within this family by doing as we ask.’ I mean, it’s awful, but in Beth’s mind, Jamie was part of the reason there was a hit on the whole family,” Reilly explained.
“He tried to kill her father, tried to kill her, tried to kill everyone and her brother, Kayce. So in her mind, he is the enemy. In Beth’s mind, I do think it is keep you enemies really close and that’s what she’s doing. She has her eye on him,” she warned. “I don’t think there is going to be any peaceful ending between them two — not yet anyways.”
With the events of Sunday’s midseason finale playing out the way they did, peace between Beth and Jamie could very well be a lost cause.
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Spoiler ahead! Do not proceed if you have not watched Sunday’s season 5 midseason finale of Yellowstone.