Yellowstone answered one of its biggest cliffhangers for its freshman season in the first part of Wednesday night's episode.
In the previous chapter, entitled "The Long Black Train," Kayce Dutton was pulled over by reservation police in connection to two bodies found at a construction site.
The bodies are of the men Kayce killed after he discovered them holding a teenage girl hostage in the middle of the desert. Viewers will recall that Kayce and the girl's father agreed to keep the kidnapping and killings secret. They then went out to the desert with several other men from the reservation, burned and buried the bodies.
The bodies were discovered by a construction crew and police traced the bodies back to Kayce, who they have been looking to take down.
At the start of the episode, Kayce's wife Monica Dutton (Kelsey Asbille) and their son Tate (Brecken Merrill) arrived at the Yellowstone Ranch to tell Dutton patriarch John (Kevin Costner) about Kayce's arrest.
He then puts Kayce's lawyer brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) on the case. He discovers no federal or county warrants have been issued against Kayce, so something strange is afoot. John orders him to take the family helicopter to the reservation to spring Kayce.
"Don't leave there without him, son," John tells Jamie.
Over at the reservation, Kayce is being questioned by Gil Birmingham as Chief Thomas Rainwater, Ben Waters (Atticus Todd). They reveal they tracked the bullets in the bodies to the barrel Ben had given Kayce the messy meth lab explosion investigation earlier in the season.
Kayce then comes clean and explains himself to the duo, and Chief Rainwater seems ready to charge him.
"I don't have the right to make a decision that's gonna affect another man's child," Kayce says. "He asked me, so who was I to say no?"
Chief Rainwater replies, "What's legal and what's right isn't always the same thing."
However, Jamie swoops in the rescue and absolutely destroys the pair's case against Kayce after hearing about the barrel swap.
"Is that true Ben? Did you trade the barrel of your government issued service pistol to a private citizen?" Jamie asks. "Is there any record of this trade? Are there any witnesses? Are there any witnesses to the shooting in question? Is there any forensic evidence that ties my brother to the scene other than a ballistics match to your weapon?"
The reservation officials have no choice but to give in to the legal pressures.
"I'll check out Kayce's story and if it's true, which it seems likely, to prosecute him means to also prosecute the father of the abducted girl," Chief Rainwater says. "And the last thing that I want to do is punish a member of my family for fighting being a victim. So maybe there's a more elegant solution for this dilemma we find ourselves in."
However, before the Duttons leave, Jamie demands Kayce and Ben swap barrels back, preventing any future nefariousness.
"I think it's time for you two to trade barrels back. Doesn't that seem smart?" Jamie says. "I didn't expect you to like it, but solves problems for both of us. ... Contact me when there's a solution to discuss."
Chief Rainwater then realizes that Jamie is a force to be reckoned with in the future.
"I think we've been worrying about the wrong Dutton," he says.0comments
Yellowstone airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network.
Photo Credit: Paramount Network