Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 6 Review: The Remembering

Sometimes, you need a breather before jumping back into the drama.

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 6 began with one of the slowest sequences yet: Kayce slowly walking across a darkened field to the barn and saddling up his horse. This scene was a masterclass in how to use television’s visual capabilities; there was only one line of dialogue, and it involved Kayce talking to the horse.

[Note: This review is based on the unedited version of the episode found on streaming services. If you watched on CBS, there may have been minor differences.]

That first scene was so quiet that it might have been boring in the hands of a less talented cast and crew. But it was the calm before the storm.

A LOT happened, and much of it centered around Kayce. He is soft-spoken and tough, much like the contrast between this opening scene and the rest of the hour.

John and Rip’s attitudes toward Kayce and Monica mirrored the larger conflict between the Duttons and the members of the tribal nation.

My job is to protect this family, and you are the worst thing for it. You made your choice, Kayce, now stand by it. Don’t come back now. You want to do something for your father, do that.


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Added: October 07, 2023

As far as Rip was concerned, Kayce had chosen the enemy and should no longer be welcome at the ranch. His snarky comments toward Kayce and demand that Kayce leave the ranch for good directly contradicted John’s wishes for Kayce and his family to abandon the reservation.

I wondered how John would feel if he knew what Rip was doing.

I was especially aggravated by Rip’s claim that Kayce doesn’t know what work is and lets Monica do it all. Kayce works hard; he’s often trying to protect the indigenous population on the reservation and uses many of the skills John taught him to help with the other side of the conflict.

John’s feelings are a bit more complicated. His desire seven years ago for Kayce to make Monica have an abortion made it clear that back then, he didn’t want his son involved with an indigenous woman.

But despite John’s negativity toward the situation, he loves Tate and is grateful to have a chance to spoil him like grandfathers should. It wasn’t an accident that he went straight from admitting he didn’t want Tate to be born to helping him find the biggest donut in the pile.

Tate has been acting like a spoiled brat ever since he met John. He wants to live on the ranch and says disrespectful and harmful things about the reservation, and he is just as rude to his other grandfather.

Your mother does not punish you because she is your mother. Your father’s whole childhood was punishment so he doesn’t trust himself to do it in a good way. That brings us to you. You need to be a good kid because you want to be a good kid, and because your parents do not have the heart to make you into a good kid.


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Tate is the polar opposite of Kayce: a boy from the reservation who would rather live on the ranch, rather than a Dutton child who is eager to escape despite the brand on his chest.

Felix’s conversation with him was one of the highlights of the hour. Felix tried, in his gentle way, to impress upon Tate that his behavior was inappropriate and that he had to be his best self despite his parents’ reluctance to punish him.

Unfortunately, it all went over Tate’s head. And now that Monica is out of commission, at least for a while, Tate’s behavior may get worse.

Life on the reservation seems to be nothing but trauma.

Tate’s uncle died violently, his aunt killed herself, and his cousins left without saying goodbye. His father left him in a pipe while tending to an abducted girl and ensuring her abusers couldn’t hurt her anymore. And that’s only a fraction of the trauma he’s probably experienced.

It’s unsurprising that he’s acting out or that he wants to live at the ranch. For him, John showing him how to throw stones in a trough full of water is a respite from the reservation’s oppression, poverty, and violence.

Tate is too young to verbalize it or fully understand the conditions on the reservation, but he undoubtedly feels the tension, especially when there are problems between his parents.

Monica’s injury is the beginning of a longer arc for her that’s well worth watching; even though I knew what would happen to her, I found myself dreading it when she fainted on the stairs outside her trailer.

It’s sadly ironic that she chose the reservation teaching job over the position at the university to help the children in her community, only to be thrown to the ground trying to break up a fight as soon as she arrived.

We didn’t learn anything about what happened to the kids who knocked her down or what they were fighting about, but it doesn’t matter. It was yet another example of how the poor conditions on the reservation impacted the people living there.

Chief Rainwater continued to fight back in his own way. He knew exactly how to use Jenkins’ hatred of John to get what he wanted.

Melody: Don’t agree to anything. I need to do some digging.
Dan: Dig away, but this is the deal of the century.
Melody: It’s too good to be true.
Dan: Well, he’s too desperate to lie. When you dig him up, you’ll understand. He’s the enemy of my enemy, and John Dutton has no enemy greater than that man right there.

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Melody knew this was a bad idea, but Jenkins won’t listen. It seems he’s taken Rainwater’s bait — but both these men know they’re using each other and that the only thing they have in common is their hatred of John Dutton.

Neither of them should underestimate John. Doing so could be a fatal error.

Beth also met her match in Governor Perry, not that she realizes it. The governor isn’t afraid of her and holds an important card: her relationship with John.

Beth’s Achilles heel is her need for John’s love and approval. She doesn’t take well to anyone sharing his bed other than her late mother (this comes up again on Yellowstone Season 4, and the resulting fight is not pretty.), and she’s willing to do anything to help him further his goals.

John’s warning to Beth to get with the program or go back to Utah hurt her more deeply than anything anyone else could ever do to her. And his warning never to mention her mother again was an even lower blow.

Evelyn Dutton’s death was as much her own fault as it was Beth’s, but everyone blames Beth for it, and most damning of all, she blames herself — and is keenly aware her mother saw no good in her when she was alive.

The governor’s attempt to get Beth to back off only made her twice as determined to destroy the woman, but John’s words cut her deeply, and it’s anyone’s guess how she’ll behave now.

The important part of Jamie’s meeting with the governor, besides learning that John had cancer, was meeting Christine for the first time.

This is the kind of thing that seems insignificant on the first go-around, only to be important later, and it was masterfully done.

Christine seemed unimportant with only a few lines, despite the governor’s insistence that Jamie form a relationship with her to avoid being pegged as a bachelor.

She faded into the background after Jamie learned about John’s cancer. Jamie and Beth put aside their rivalry for once to confront John about his illness. This was one of the few scenes throughout the series’ five-season run that I bought Beth and Jamie as brother and sister.

View Slideshow: 13 Characters We Love Even if We’d Never Hang Out With Them

Your turn, Yellowstone fanatics.

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Don’t forget you can watch Yellowstone online to catch up on anything you missed.

Yellowstone is halfway through its fifth season, but CBS is offering an encore broadcast of Season 1 on Sundays after 60 Minutes.

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