Yellowstone season 4, episode 9 recap – “No Such Thing As Fair”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: January 2, 2022
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Yellowstone season 4, episode 9 recap - "No Such Thing As Fair"


“No Such Thing As Fair” gets its ducks in a row in preparation for a finale, but it remains a mixed bag.

This recap of Yellowstone season 4, episode 9, “No Such Thing As Fair”, contains spoilers.

I’m not sure that “No Such Thing As Fair” necessarily feels like a season finale, but then again I’m not sure we should be judging Yellowstone by the usual standards of such things. Any show with the viewership figures this one has can’t just exist in terms of single seasons. It has to have a large-scale, multiple-year expansionist plan; it has to treat the television landscape how the Dutton family once treated the state of Montana.

In other words, lots of things happened in this episode, but it’s hard to say which of them will be relevant to the finale and which might crop up a year or two from now. Some I still don’t care about, some are too silly to be taken seriously, but taken all together, they represent a rich tapestry of macho melodrama that certainly isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Yellowstone season 4, episode 9 recap

Nowhere is the show’s trademark variety of contemplative macho bluster more evident, by the way, than the scene in which John takes Carter out riding and gives him a brief lesson on the family history and its relationship with the buffalo population, which is a lot more meta-textually rich than it sounds. There are a lot of themes bundled up in this sequence, John’s obsession with family and the landscape among them, not to mention his fondness for waifs and strays. Little does he know, out there on the plains, that his most sturdy familial relationship is due to start breaking down.

It begins with Beth throwing a coffee mug at the wall, which isn’t exactly out of character for her. But this time she’s serious. She’s furious with John for intervening in the diner stick-up last week since she’s only just got over the trauma of him almost being killed by the militia. Plus, as she demonstrates, she’s liable to pay the price for his rivalries. John’s willing to take this all on board until he visits Summer in jail and learns that Beth is the primary reason behind her currently facing a – ludicrous, frankly – life sentence. When he returns, he gives Beth a dressing down so fierce that Rip and Carter literally flee the scene and head for the bunkhouse. And for once, Beth’s victory-at-all-costs attitude doesn’t get her out of the doghouse. There has to be a line, and Beth has crossed it. She has deeply disappointed her dad. And there might not be any coming back from that.

Beth is so unused to being told off by her father that the experience thoroughly rattles her. So rattled is she, in fact, that she looks for Rip in the bunkhouse and, finding him and Carter busy fleecing the cowboys at cards, instead recruits Walker to play her a “sad song” so she can sit next to him crying her eyes out. Nothing happens between them, but Rip does come outside and see the moment of vulnerability that Beth is sharing with him, so it’s unlikely it won’t go unremarked upon given how much Rip can’t stand Walker at the best of times. There’s also the small matter that Rip made a point earlier of asking Beth why she wasn’t concerned about his safety after the diner incident. But this isn’t a Shiv and Tom situation; Beth is simply convinced that nothing will ever happen to Rip, which means it very well might.

Anyway, Jamie. Or, more specifically, Garrett. His past as a murderer is starting to catch up with him somewhat since Jamie running for governor means a deep personal inquiry will likely reveal the fact that he’s currently playing happy families with the man who killed his biological mother and tried to have his entire adoptive family assassinated. Christina is furious about this and says none-too-subtly that Jamie will have to turf Garrett out of the whole arrangement if he’s to stand a chance of beating John in the race. But he can’t do that, really, since he has already covered up – or at least refused to acknowledge – Garrett’s part in hiring the militia, and in so doing he put all of his eggs in daddy’s basket, so to speak. Luckily, if John has anything to say about it – and he does! – someone else might take the Garrett problem off Jamie’s hands sooner rather than later.

Speaking of problems, Kayce has one – that wolf that he was seeing for a while in previous episodes that we totally forgot about. Well, it’s back, and there’s a chance it might be Kayce’s spiritual protector or something, so he has to grapple with whether or not he should kill it by undergoing a four-day-long vision quest. I’m really not sure what the point of any of this is, but hopefully Kayce comes to some profound revelations as a result of it. And hopefully, the wolf makes it out unscathed, since wolves are cool.

Other things with mysterious narrative purposes include absolutely everything Jimmy has been doing this season. After learning to jerk off horses and sleep on benches, he has seemingly made a man of himself – and a cowboy, to boot. He has bagged another implausibly gorgeous suitor, and he openly prefers this one to Mia. This is bad news since Jimmy is arbitrarily recalled back to the Yellowstone, his lesson having apparently been learned, forcing him to tearfully beg his new squeeze to wait for him. Will she? Probably. But do we care? Another question entirely.

You can stream Yellowstone season 4, episode 9, “No Such Thing As Fair”, exclusively on Paramount.

Paramount+, TV, Weekly TV
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