“Resurrection Day” was a fine episode of television, delivering the highest highs and lowest lows of the season thus far.
This recap of Yellowstone Season 2, Episode 7, “Resurrection Day”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It’s difficult to even know where to start with “Resurrection Day”, which if Chernobyl didn’t exist might have been the best episode of television of the year so far. A lot of stuff happened; some which had been brewing for a while, some sudden and shocking. Almost everyone was involved or will be involved in the fallout, and it’s hard to imagine that the unpleasantness won’t continue — and continue to worsen.
We’ll start with a separate fallout, that which occurred following Jamie’s murder of the journalist in last week’s episode. After being callously told by Beth that he should consider killing himself, he takes her advice, pilfering a rifle from the gun cabinet and heading out to end his life. He’s prevented from doing so by John, though I don’t imagine he’d have gone through with it anyway; either way, he decides to make a fresh start on the ranch, moving into the bunkhouse and becoming a cowboy.
He’s not the only one moving in “Resurrection Day”. Kayce and Monica finally reconcile, and move into John’s room, who goes to stay in Lee’s cabin. All of this is quite touching, as it happens. A reunion has been on the cards for a while, but moving Monica and Tate — who now has his own horse — onto the Dutton ranch seems like a permanent move, and a symbolic one. All the characters we’re supposed to care about are now all under the same roof. The battle lines have been properly drawn.
And the battle has truly begun, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Much of the rest of the episode is about Beth, finally, though Rip plays a major part. First, they have a well-written “date” on the roof, which is somewhat undermined by how bizarrely fake it looks. But the words and sentiments they exchange come home to roost later when Beth — after having been intimidated by Malcolm Beck earlier in the episode, to no real effect — is attacked and held hostage at her office by a pair of hired goons.
This is where “Resurrection Day” takes a grim turn. These scenes pull no punches. Beth is brutally assaulted, her assistant is shot dead, she is threatened and told she’s going to be killed. And yet Beth, whose no-holds-barred ball-busting attitude has always seemed like a front, never backed down. She refused to show any fear or weakness. Even black and blue and dripping blood, she continued to belittle and demean her captors. Unlike Jamie, whose cowardice she detests, she was willing to fight right until the end.
Luckily, she didn’t need to. Rip was able to intervene, killing both assailants. And even in her hysteria, he was able to get through to Beth by telling her that he loves her. Taking a bullet is the least of the sacrifices Rip has made for the Duttons; even how he looks out for Tate on the ranch, despite his lingering issues with Kayce, speaks volumes about his loyalty. He might be the best and most complex character on the show — a far cry from the one-note henchman he spent most of the first season being.
Now there’s the matter of what’s to be done in retaliation. Squabbling over land is one thing, but attempting to rape and murder a family member is quite another. Kayce says he’ll handle it, and he does: He strings up the dead attackers at Malcolm Beck’s house, naked, with a note reading “Return to sender.” But that won’t be enough. “Resurrection Day” ends with Kayce and John staring off into the horizon, as Kayce asks what they’re going to do about the Beck brothers. The answer is pretty simple. “We’re going to kill them, son.”
Fair enough. I’m looking forward to it.