There is so much to talk about after Yellowstone Season 3 Episode 2.
Jamie's first day at work is a disaster, we learned more about Roarke, John's escaped the horde of people trying to track him down, and Kayce and his family are at peace.
That doesn't even begin to address the beauty of Rip and Beth's relationship and how their intimacy is growing.
Monica was right about her son; after the trauma he suffered at the end of Yellowstone Season 2, Tate comes alive in the fresh air, sleeping under the stars.
The fresh air is good for John, too, who even finds a way to escape the nagging calls he gets 24 hours a day.
He's growing closer to his grandson, and he's relishing in the family environment of sticking by the cattle and living outdoors.
We're always learning another reason why John cherishes Kayce.
This hour we discovered the final conversation John had with his wife was about how she'd always cook Kayce's favorite food no matter the day (it was her birthday) because if she didn't cook it, she wouldn't get the pleasure of watching him voraciously eat it.
Long after his wife was dead, John treated Kayce poorly, driving his son away. But upon his return, John has looked upon the prodigal son differently and with admiration.
John admires Kayce's dedication to family especially because he never managed to get it right himself.
John: Makes you wonder the point of it all. Findin' someone you love so much just to lose 'em. Like to believe there's a plan to it all, but I don't see a plan.
Kayce: That's just cuz we're inside it, dad. You see the plan. We're standin' on it.
John: Yeah, I guess we are.
Kayce refuses a position like livestock commissioner because he's more interested in time with Monica and Tate. John, on the other hand, was branding cattle on his wife's birthday.
Kayce reminds John of other good memories, as well, as he indicated his father was as good at communicating with animals as Kayce.
And if everything about the wolf didn't touch your heart, you might need to take some of John's advice to lean into life, as well.
I'm going on the record to say that if Kayce's chill conversation to the lonely wolf didn't pay off, and he's forced to kill the creature later in the season, I will be gutted.
It's hard to imagine losing your pack and straining for food and company so deeply that you'd take the chance of walking into an enemy camp to satisfy your needs.
But I'm hoping the closeness that the wolf felt with Kayce is a good omen and won't mean that sometime down the road he and Kayce will have to atone for their interactions.
And how likely to do you think it will be that Kayce finds a way to keep his family living off of the land? They could always live with the herd, I suppose, but Montana winters don't seem conducive to that lifestyle.
Kayce will work to keep his promise to his wife, though. What would it mean for his role at the Yellowstone? Would he wind up breaking his father's heart by moving on?
People keep saying that summer camp is the way it used to be done, and there's a reason for that. Their way of life has been threatened for a long time.
Dan Jenkins was the last person who promised to invade their customs and turn them upside down, and now we have another group hoping to do the same.
Roarke Morris is a charming bastard. He's got looks and wit, but he seems to have a heart of stone.
If this were any other story, I'd imagine that spending a little time at his parents' place would turn him around on all of his financial plans to crush the culture that is, ironically, luring him there in the first place.
Beth: They're building an airport and a ski resort and then they're going to build a city around it.
Bob: Buy everything you can around it, Beth. Everything.
Beth: How the fuck did they know about this place? Huh?
After all, that's what happened to Dan. He wanted to change things so that others could benefit from what he "discovered" in the valley, but by the time he died, he recognized the beauty and understood why he was so attracted to it -- because it couldn't be tamed.
But Roarke is a different beast. His causal confidence worries me, and the fire he lights in Beth's belly is also concerning.
It's like Lucille Ball and Fabio had a kid and I have to go make a fucking deal with him. Goddammit!Beth
Because she understands Roarke. She sees herself in him. If she didn't have ties to the valley, she might very well be standing in his shoes. That's what makes him so dangerous.
Beth knows what would drive her to accomplish a deal. Nothing would stop her. Beth will have to find a way to cut him off at the pass. Maybe understanding his logic will enable her to do that.
You, on the other hand. Militias and casino owners killin' their competition. [laughs] It's fuckin' fascinating! The old west's still wild! Not anymore. Not when we get here. All that shit stops.Roarke
There is another threat to the Dutton way of life. Jamie was in the office one day before he managed to screw things up.
Sadly, the very thing that Beth thought would make Jamie so good at the job -- his ability to play to the favors of others and unending desire for approval -- is exactly what got him into his latest predicament.
As soon as the sheriff or whoever he was told Jamie that his proper response to the barrel racers getting roughed up could earn him a lot of friends, I saw a red flag on the field.
Randy: You can make a lot of friends if you handle this the right way.
Jamie: What's the right way?
Randy: The right way sends a message. You know what I mean?
Granted, it's not entirely his fault. Maybe someone should have told him that Hendon is kind of useless. It's too bad Jamie couldn't have called on Ryan for the job, instead. But he got Hendon, and Hendon is reckless and not all that bright.
In Hendon's defense, it didn't seem like the maneuvering of the truck and trailer should have done that kind of damage. Maybe some broken bones, but the two guys looked more like the trailer had been flung around and upside down like an amusement park ride.
It's hard to imagine how the aftermath of Jamie's latest disaster will play out. The main concern is that he'll try to hide the enormity of the situation from his father, especially since John isn't accepting calls.
The best we can hope for here is that Jamie runs sniveling in Beth's direction asking for help. He's done it before. At least, then, if it was necessary, she could send Rip with a message for John.
If nothing else, Beth would also want to help her brother not because she cares about his fate, but because she talked her father into nominating Jamie. She might want to save face for that recommendation.
And now we get to talk about what we've all been waiting to talk about -- Beth and Rip!
First, Rip's thank you to John was adorable, and he's never more vulnerable than when he's seeking affection from John. John is more of a father to Rip than his own ever was, and John counts on Rip in ways he can't his middle son.
Rip: You know, sir, I wanted to thank you. I just haven't had, um, wasn't the right time.
John: No need. You deserved that house, Rip.
Rip: No, sir. I'm, uh, I'm talkin' about the letter. Nobody's ever given me anything like that before.
Still, the scene was awkward as f**k. Imagine the courage Rip had to work up to even start the discussion. Then he was met with John talking about the house instead of the letter.
For a minute there, it seemed like John might tell him the letter was meant for someone else. But no, it's just two grown men who have a difficult time showing emotion.
I can still always hear the time John told Beth that Rip would never be blood. If all goes well, maybe he'll be family in the same way as Monica.
It always seemed like the first time Beth and Rip shared a bed, a whole night together, sleep and all, was right after the attack on Beth when they were both convalescing.
Beth still feels vulnerable going to such intimate places with Rip.
She cautiously descended the stairs in his house and was shocked to seem him being so domestic, cooking her breakfast. But Rip was so at ease. He's comfortable with the woman he's always loved.
Beth doesn't understand the power of that love just yet. Eating in front of Rip, especially with him watching over her, made her feel exposed.
As so many women do, when they feel defenseless, they have mannerisms that reveal that insecurity. In that moment, Beth couldn't eat without covering her mouth.
The gentle way he confirmed that she was safe to be herself brought tears to my eyes. That kind of love is very rare. Beth off-guard is rare, too.
Living on the ranch means never being alone, and Beth was reveling in the deserted atmosphere. Howling at the skies like an animal brought out her lusty side, and although she reckoned they were about to f**k in the dirt, Rip had far more romantic plans for them.
Rip: What in the fuck are you doin' now?
Beth: In 35 years, I have never been alone on this ranch. We're all alone, Rip. We can do whatever we want.
Rip: Baby, you've been doin' whatever you want your whole damn life.
Beth: But no one can see us. We can take off all our clothes. We can go run naked through the field. No one will know about it.
Rip: I'll tell you what. Why don't you run buck ass naked through that field, and I'll sit her in my jeans and watch you do it. What do you say?
Beth: Is there anything you've ever wanted to do, but you didn't do because everybody would watch you and question you and not doing it is in spite of them. But it's about something else, and the moment you imagined is not the moment that you were living? Does that make sense to you?
He's going to savor every moment he gets with Beth and teach her to do the same with him. But she's also not very interested in seeing the spark go out of their arrangement.
When you find the right person, that spark never dissipates, and you don't need to play games. But Beth will continue playing for a little while longer, at least, to ensure she doesn't lose Rip's attention.
Rip: See ya soon.
Rip: We're well past playin' hard to get, don't you think, Beth?
Beth: You and me? We're never past playin' hard to get, baby.
Rip's not going anywhere. And the first of what might be a few female wranglers is unlikely to turn his head.
But if you watched the video on YouTube featuring the women on Yellowstone Season 3, you know there are all kinds of women coming to town. You can never be too careful.
Teeter, though, is hilarious. Lloyd and Rip trying to decipher her language should be only the start of the entertainment she provides.
Rip: Hey! You! Where'd you learn to cowboy?
Girl: Man, I've been fuckin' ballin' and draggin' since I've been able to piss up a rope.
Rip: That ain't Spanish. She's Texan.
Lloyd: That ain't Texan, that's jibberish.
She's an entirely different bucket of fish than Avery was, but there's no doubt that she'll have a big impact on the bunkhouse.
There are a lot of balls in the air so far this season, and it looks like the first to hit the ground will come by way of Deputy Hendon's unfortunate mess.
How will that play into everything else that's going on this season?
We're just going to have to watch to find out.
And if you're still catching up, you can watch Yellowstone online so that you can join the conversation.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.