Yellowstone “Tall Drink Of Water” Episode Recap: John & Rip Flashback, Beth Lands A Deal & Kayce & Monica’s Family Drama

The Yellowstone season 5's "Tall Drink of Water" was packed with flashbacks and modern-day drama that culminated in an arrest for a pivotal character.

  •  “Tall Drink of Water” features a flashback to young John Dutton facing a wolf attack, igniting ranchers’ anger towards government wildlife policies.
  •  Beth closes a deal in Salt Lake City, setting up the downfall of her biggest rival, but attracts unsavory characters who seek revenge.
  •  Monica and Kayce cope with their grief in different ways, while Jamie faces legal complications and is invited to dinner by Sarah Atwood.

The Yellowstone season 5 episode “Tall Drink of Water” was packed with flashback action and present-day drama that all culminated in an arrest for an important character. Premiering in 2018, Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone stars Kevin Costner as John Dutton, the patriarch of the ranching family who deals with familial strife and the trials and tribulations of being a rancher in the 21st century. An immediate smash hit, the series earned a host of spinoffs that continue to explore the history of the Dutton clan with plenty of Wild West action to go around.

Yellowstone‘s fifth and final season premiered in late 2022, and it was intentionally split into two distinct halves, with the second part intended to be released in late 2023. However, Yellowstone season 5, part 2 has been affected by the SAG-AFTRA strike, and its originally intended release date is in jeopardy. Regardless, the first half of the show’s ultimate season went off without a hitch, and many of the episodes were jam-packed with enticing drama that helped to set up for a shocking final half-season. Yellowstone season 5, episode 3, “Tall Drink of Water” was one such example, and has crucial implications for the future of the Duttons.

A Young John & Rip Flashback Has Consequences In The Present Day

“Tall Drink of Water” opens with a trip to the past, as a young John Dutton (played by Josh Lucas) rides out looking for his scattered cattle only to discover his livestock has been attacked by wolves. To rectify the problem, a town meeting is called where many ranchers voice their frustration at the government’s attempts to integrate non-native wolf species near their land. The local Fish & Wildlife representative attempts to advocate for the wolves’ innocence, but a late-arriving John Dutton confirms that it was indeed wolves that were responsible for the cattle mutilation. This infuriates the ranchers who vow to take matters into their own hands.

In the present day, Rip (Cole Hauser) is visited by Fish & Wildlife agents who explain that wolves that they have been tracking were on the ranch for three days before they disappeared. Rip proclaims his ignorance but agrees to accompany the agents as they follow the wolves’ digital signal down a trail. The ride reaches a pass that is too dangerous to cross, and it is also quite near to where the wolves killed in the previous episode, “The Sting of Wisdom”, were buried. The political implications of Governor John Dutton ordering the killing of endangered wolves could spell his political undoing.

Beth Closes The Salt Lake City Deal

Beth’s (Kelly Reilly) dealings with Market Equities finally reach a turning point in the Yellowstone episode “Tall Drink of Water” as she travels to Salt Lake City to make an offer to their competitor Schwartz & Meyer. She offers to S&M’s Rob Baldus (Aaron Lazar) that he can purchase her $300 million controlling interest in the firm for a significant discount which makes him suspicious. She quells his suspicions by insisting that it is Market Equities she is trying to screw over and that all he has to do is sign the deal to start the downfall of his biggest rival. The way she plans to do it is through a land conservation easement which is highly unfavorable to ME.

The folks at Market Equities find their lawsuit against Beth has been severely weakened, but they recommit themselves to bringing her down. Caroline Warner (Jackie Weaver) still insists on dispatching Sarah Atwood, played in the Yellowstone 

season 5 cast by Dawn Olivieri, to see what she can do to bring down the entire Dutton family, especially Beth. With so much money at stake, Beth put herself squarely in the crosshairs of unsavory characters, and things could get very personal in the second half of Yellowstone season 5.

Kayce & Monica Are Still Grieving

With the trauma of the recent miscarriage in Yellowstone season 5, episode 2, “The Sting of Wisdom” still hanging over them, Monica (Kelsey Albille) and Kayce (Luke Grimes) find they are grieving in different ways. After consulting with Mo (Mo Brings Plenty) and Thomas (Gil Birmingham), Kayce begins to doubt his path and finds that his vision is seemingly telling him to abandon his job for a life with his family. Kayce wants to quit as Livestock Commissioner and hopes to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Thomas disagrees because of the Bureau’s problematic approach to indigenous people, and Monica is suddenly wracked with violent sobs of grief.

Jamie Gets Closer To Atwood

Proving herself to be a true legal snake, Sarah Atwood pulled a bit of clever trickery on Jamie (Wes Bently) in a scene pulled straight from a classic courtroom drama. Having been officially served papers by Market Equities, Jamie finds himself greeted by their two highest-powered lawyers, Atwood and Ellis Steele (John Emmet Tracy). Beth’s feud with Jamie is one of many stories still to be resolved in Yellowstone season 5, but it took an interesting turn as Ellis Steele angrily stormed out of the meeting.

Remaining behind after saying very little, Sarah explained her position in a calm and rational manner and politely explained to Jamie the precarious position he finds himself in. The new zoning laws put in place by Governor Dutton aren’t helping anyone, she explains, and she peppered her speech with plenty of compliments. In the end, she invited Jamie to dinner which he made sure not to accept or rebuff. After Sarah left Jamie’s office, she shared a private moment with Steele where they gloated over their cleverly executed subterfuge.

Lloyd’s Birthday Party Ends In A Barfight

Throughout the episode, the Bunkhouse Boys teased Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) about his impending 70th birthday, and they planned for a quiet night of partying at the bunkhouse to celebrate. However, Beth arrived and was flush with her recent victory, and insisted on taking the party a step further by going to a bar in Boseman. Against Rip’s best wishes, the gang goes to a local bar where Ryan (Ian Bohen) reconnects with country singer Abby (Lainey Wilson) whom he had met before. The party goes well until another woman arrives and attempts to flirt with Rip.

Rip points out that his wife is nearby, and the unfazed woman approaches Beth with obvious bad intentions. Unable to control her rage, Beth breaks a beer bottle over the woman’s head and a knock-down-drag-out barfight erupts throughout the joint. The police are called and new Sheriff Ramsey (Rob Kirkland) lets everyone go except Beth because she took another swipe at the other woman while the police were there. Rip tries to warn Sheriff Ramsey of the political implications of arresting Beth, but the cop is unfazed and charges her with aggravated assault. Yellowstone season 5, episode 3, “Tall Drink of Water” concludes with Beth being hauled off to jail.


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