Yellowstone season 5, episode 6 recap – what are Sarah and Jamie planning?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 12, 2022 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
View all
Yellowstone season 5, episode 6 recap - what are Sarah and Jamie planning?


“Cigarettes, Whiskey, a Meadow and You” is packed full of wistful stares into Montana’s wilderness and mouthfuls of inherited folk wisdom, but it also shunts some of the subplots on a fair bit too.

This recap of Yellowstone season 5, episode 6, “Cigarettes, Whiskey, a Meadow and You”, contains spoilers.

I mentioned in my recap of Episode 5 that Yellowstone had managed, in its own unique and specific way, to move me with its sheer enthusiasm for the Montana wilderness and the cowboy lifestyle. “Cigarettes, Whiskey, a Meadow and You” takes that sentiment even further. It’s slow, sure, but entirely by choice. A better word would perhaps be “contemplative”, even if sometimes the contemplations are a bit overwritten, as with Beth staring out at a vast sunrise and declaring that she only finds things beautiful that she doesn’t have to share with anyone else. Then again, that’s Beth all over, isn’t it?

Yellowstone season 5, episode 6 recap

In fairness to this episode, it isn’t all staring wistfully into the distance and dragging cattle around. For instance, we get a little bit of development in the ongoing subplot about Chief Rainwater being ousted by Angela Blue Thunder. What happens is that the Secret Service turns up on the reservation and starts shooting dogs – not wild ones, like people’s actual pets – because they might pose a security risk to a short-notice presidential visit that has somehow been arranged and facilitated at extremely short notice to publicly sling mud at Rainwater and endorse his rival candidate, Martin Kills Many. The whole dog shooting thing seems totally ridiculous to me, but this show is staunchly anti-government, so it’s to be expected, I suppose.

There’s also Jamie and Sarah, the former of whom continues to be manipulated with such embarrassing ease that it’s difficult to take this plot halfway seriously. Sarah tells him straight-up that she wants to make him governor so he can restart all the planned developments, and by the end of the episode, as far as I can tell, they’re basically living together. And by the end of the episode, upon seeing John come up smelling like roses in another TV report despite shirking all the duties of his office to go off wrangling cattle, Jamie declares that he’ll be difficult to beat in a fair fight. “I don’t think we can let him show up to the fight, Jamie,” says Sarah, I think suggesting that they should have him killed. It wouldn’t be the first time someone had tried, would it?

Anyway, the bulk of “Cigarettes, Whiskey, a Meadow and You” is all about lounging in the wilderness, sleeping on the ground, and having a lot of very meaningful conversations filled with old inherited folk wisdom. Meanwhile, Monica and Summer bond a little by peeling potatoes to prepare for the giant, televised feast that is waiting to greet the cowboys and the cattle on their return, which is made a little complicated when John’s old friend Emmett just straight up dies in his sleep.

This, to me, feels like one of those classic Taylor Sheridan out-of-nowhere turns that exists to get John to say stuff like, “He just died on the trail, like every cowboy dreams it.” That’s a really silly line in many ways, but Costner sells it like he does every other line on this show, so it somehow ends up being fit for purpose.

It was also kind of moving to see John absolutely racing back to the ranch to tell Emmett’s wife, Ella, what happened to him before she saw that he wasn’t with the herd. It’s a sad moment – it always is seeing an obviously strong woman break down like that – that just so happens to be televised (this is what Jamie and Sarah are watching on the news). John’s standing with the people of Montana seems to be better than ever, but has his earnestness just handed his political rivals some leverage? I suppose we’ll just have to see.

You can stream Yellowstone season 5, episode 6, “Cigarettes, Whiskey, a Meadow and You”, exclusively on Paramount Network.

Additional reading:

Paramount, Premium Channels, TV, Weekly TV
View all