“Yellowstone” Season 4 Episode 8 Recap

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December 19th was a huge day for Yellowstone fans. Not only did the show air the eighth episode of the fourth season, but the prequel series 1883 premiered its first two episodes.


So much happened in this episode of Yellowstone, so we will break everything down for you.

It starts with a flashback to the late 1800s, with Faith Hill, who portrays Margaret Dutton (Kevin Costner’s John Dutton’s great-grandmother), sitting down for dinner with her two sons and they prayer for the safe return or James (Tim McGraw). He was seeking justice after thieves stole his horses. If you watched the first two episodes of 1883 before this, which we hope you did, you will know that Margaret doesn’t love the idea of her husband seeking justice for anything.

The scene cuts to James and his crew chasing after several men, who we can assume are the horse thieves. They exchange fire on horseback until the group of men hide in the trees. James and a few of his men are shot and go down. One of the men James is chasing walks up to him and James, who was playing dead, turns over and shoots him. James then shoots another, strategically shooting him in places that won’t kill him, it will just hurt very badly.

They hang one of the dead men in a tree and write “This is what happens to horse thieves here,” in blood on another before hanging him beside the other man. They tie the man who is alive up to a tree and James tells him, “I don’t care if you live or die, but should you live, tell them about me.”

The man asks, “Tell who?” and James replies, “Everybody.”

James returns home, much to Margaret’s surprise, but then he just about collapses in pain, seeing as he was shot. She tells him to come in the house, but he doesn’t want to ruin her floor. She brings him inside and the camera shows their house, with the sounds of Margaret screaming. It is implied that James died.

Then, in present day, Beth and Rip are getting settled in the Dutton lodge, which seems to be a hard transition for Rip.

At the Dutton dinner table, Beth makes a scene and Rip comforts her by moving the dinner from the formal dining room to a smaller table in another room.

Over at Jamie’s, he is working out how he could possibly beat his dad in the gubernatorial race. His birth father, Garrett, and baby mama Christina encourage him to move forward with his campaign because he knows “where all the bodies are buried” and he knows exactly how to dethrone John. Christina also told Jamie that if he dropped out, his father would find a replacement very fast. Eventually, he calls John to set up a meeting to figure out “what is off limits.” He wants to meet at a neutral spot, but John insists meeting at the ranch.

Beth heads to work, where Market Equities is dealing with Summer Higgins’ (Piper Perabo) protests of the new airport build…which Beth told her all about. Beth suggests to her new boss that instead of making a scene with the press there, they just ask them to leave. Beth goes and does just this, but not before getting the number of the reporter in charge to let her know when to come back. That night, while protesters were camping, police in riot gear approached to handle the situation, which began to escalade. Summer even got smacked in the face with a billy club. The next morning, Market Equities executives were shocked to see that media was actually present for the raid, but figured they could control the narrative if it doesn’t go national. Cut to Beth calling The New York Times with a tip.

“What are you up to, sweetheart?” John asked her. “What you asked, Daddy.”

Monica and Kayce talk about giving Tate “the talk” because things are changing for the young boy. Monica then tells Kayce she is pregnant and they both are very excited about it.

In Texas, Jimmy and Emily go on a date and Jimmy tells her about his rough past, including that he wasn’t a cowboy before working at the Yellowstone, which surprises her. After taking her home, he kisses her and they go inside her house to…you know.

John and Rip go to meet Sheriff Haskell to talk about Riggins, the prisoner who ordered the hit on the Dutton family. Though, at this point, John doesn’t know who hired Riggins to order the hit. Remember, it was Jamie’s biological father, Garrett, who paid him. When they arrive at the diner, they see a man standing, but no one is eating or moving, so Rip knows something is up. They get back in the truck and drive around back. There were three gunmen inside holding the diner patrons hostage. Once “the cowboys” were gone, they demanded everyone’s wallets.

John sneaks in with his rifle through the kitchen, while Rip grabs a pistol and circles around the front. Sheriff Haskell starts reaching for the gun in his sock when John shoots one of the gunmen. Rip shoots through a window and snatches the gunman near the register and starts beating him with the branding stick. Haskell and another gunmen exchange fire, and Haskell gets shot. John then kills the man who shot Haskell. One gunman remains, hiding behind a waitress. Both John and Rip have their guns pointed at him. With very little communication, Rip says “I got him,” and John says “Go.” Rip shoots the man in the foot, who then pushes himself away from the waitress in pain and John shoots him dead.

John then realized Haskell is shot and helps him call his daughter, who asks to call him back because her kids are going crazy. Haskell says “No,” and then dies. John takes the phone and talks to Haskell’s daughter a few booths away.

Haskell and John go way back and Haskell has always been forgiving when it comes to John’s crimes. It will be interesting to see who takes his post. With only two episodes left, there isn’t much time to answer the questions we have!

Watch Yellowstone’s “Behind The Story” video about Episode 8, below.