(Caroline Warner acquiesced to her demand for controlling interest in Schwartz & Meyer off-screen, so Beth has taken the job at Market Equities.)

The most consequential plot movement in “Under a Blanket of Red” happens in Jamie’s story. Friendly Texan cowboy Ross (Barry Corbin) has a revealing conversation with Jimmy, explaining that ranching is “art without an audience until the day you die. The Last Round-Up

• Rip is really holding a grudge about the fight Lloyd started with Walker, but to be fair, Lloyd’s still being a baby about it. The warmth in John’s relationships with Kayce and Beth has been one of the nicest parts of the last couple of seasons. Yep, folks, it’s the long-delayed return of Christina, Jamie’s assistant/love interest who we last saw in season two, demanding he get his priorities straight if he wanted to be part of his son’s life. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. With Kayce and his family back on the reservation, John no longer has enough distractions to keep his loneliness at bay; if Beth’s filthy suggestion last week was any hint, this is the time for John to consider whether he always wants to sleep alone. I’m okay with tuning in each week just to watch some short stories play out, but “Under a Blanket of Red” feels like just reading the first few pages. Their drive, at least, allows for some nuance: John proves to Summer that he does see the way the world is, acknowledging that “There will come a time when Earth sheds us like dead skin, and it will be our own fault.”

That’s about it so far, though, so if Summer is being positioned as a love interest for John, it might take a while. What exactly is this plot setting up for the spinoff, and what could make a better (temporary) ending for Jimmy than last week? We see Tate smiling and eating again after a few days in the sweat lodge; Monica finds a nice house in Pryor so she and Kayce can live without a father on either side hanging around all the time, and Beth drives to Salt Lake City just to look Bob in the eye when she fires him. I’m curious if he’ll eventually come around to her thinking in any regard or if he’ll remain entrenched in his beliefs the way he has for most of the show. At this point, John has taught Summer more about his way of life than she’s taught him about hers. Later, when John mentions he’s struggling with his conscience, Beth drops a funny gem: “I’d offer advice, Dad, but I’ve never been in that situation.”

And even though the scenes at the Four Sixes Ranch feel like a different show (because eventually they will be), there are some lovely moments there. But we’re now halfway through the fourth season of Yellowstone, and it’s hard to feel much momentum. Email

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Terms of Service apply. She’s pleased with his new job and estrangement from John, but once again, we’ll have to wait longer to see what this means in the grand scheme of things and to get a clear read on Garrett. But as is so often the case in Yellowstone, everything happens slowly except when Sheridan is itchy for some movement. Enter Summer Higgins, a protester at the Montana Livestock Association who takes issue with the “state-sponsored police force that protects industrialized animal farming and the mass murder of millions of animals every year.” So far, Summer is a character straight from the Taylor Sheridan playbook: generically liberal, needlessly aggressive, and out of touch, with no consistent political agenda besides defeating the rich old white man and his way of life. As Kayce requested, he meets with Terrell Riggins, the man who set up the Dutton hits from prison. He suggests that snakes, mice, and worms killed in field-plowing aren’t any different from slaughtering cattle; Summer’s just sensitive to how cute the animals are. He has her arrested (completely by the book, as the sheriff clarifies), then later pays her bail and offers her a tour of the ranch, clearly coming from a place of loneliness. One son is dead, one he hasn’t talked to in months, and now the third is spending time away from the ranch. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! And then after you’re dead, you don’t have an audience, either.” And Jimmy later meets the real-life horse-training legend Buster Welch without realizing it. • Does anybody else keep thinking we’ve seen Jimmy for the last time on this show? Jamie offers him immunity in exchange for intel, and Riggins seems to confirm the obvious: Garrett Randall, Jamie’s biological father, was behind the whole thing. That technique can work well if the stories are satisfying and complete, as in “Winning or Learning.” But “Under a Blanket of Red” is an even more scattered episode of Yellowstone than usual, one that introduces a number of new character stories but can’t commit to following through on any of them. These isolated moments and low-key stories have their charms, even without a greater purpose. Tags: John relishes pointing out to her that no matter how ethical she thinks her diet is, animals were killed in making her food. It’s a paradox: almost nothing seems to happen in this episode, and yet it still feels like it’s doing too much. I totally thought the final scene of the last episode was his final scene on this show. Yellowstone
Under a Blanket of Red

Season 4

Episode 5

Editor’s Rating

2 stars

**

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Photo: Cam McLeod/Paramount

Last week, I wrote about Yellowstone’s tendency to cram half a dozen stories into one episode. I enjoy his frank discussion with Beth about the impossibility of finding solace and the necessity of seeing the world as it is. I do like the nice camaraderie he’s developing with Carter, though. The saving grace, as is so often the case in this show, is the details. I thought his final moment in the last episode was a breakthrough, but in this episode, he’s back to staring down Walker, even watching as he and Laramie have sex outside. (What are the chances Riggins winds up murdered in prison sometime soon and Jamie helps cover it up?)

But when Jamie gets back to Garrett’s house, he’s ambushed before he can confront him. Take John Dutton, our ostensible protagonist, whose reclusiveness following the attempt on his life has suggested an interesting internal conflict for him this season.