Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7 Review: The Dream Is Not Me

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The Yellowstone has been in trouble since we first laid eyes on it, but now, it's in dire straights.

Ranching is a brutal business, and Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7 shows how quickly things can go from troubling to untenable.

The light at the end of this tunnel comes from multiple directions, all of which would keep the show moving while exploring a different side of the cattle business and opening avenues for the Duttons to go from survival mode to thriving.

Dealing with the Herd - Yellowstone

The hour opened by further exploring Rip and how he became a loyal and valued member of the Yellowstone ranch.

Like Carter, he started as a young man needing a home and family. Through hard work and appreciation for the kindness shown to him by the Duttons and the cowboys, there was no place he would have rather been.

Young Rip at the House - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

Falling in love with Beth Dutton came with a host of new emotions and situations that he wasn't fully prepared to handle. When Beth toyed with Rodney, it left Rip confused, but he never wavered in how he felt about her.

Until now, I thought Rip's loyalty was merely a byproduct of being accepted by everyone at such a young age, but now we know it's intimately tied to his love for Beth.

During Yellowstone's tenure, there have been a few dustups between cowboys, but even if circumstances get out of hand, the result is often mutual respect. Some of them will never be friends, but when people stand up for themselves and others, it means something.

Rip was protecting Beth's honor when he attacked Rodney, but Rodney didn't hold it against him even while he lay dying.

The Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

So it was a murder that made Rip a mainstay at the Yellowstone, and another time in which John bribed a young man to the fiercest loyalty to save their life.

That's something that I wish was explored further. What are the lengths John goes to, and why does he word it like he does, as both a promise and a threat?

He's even done it with Summer, and she called him on it during their evening at the fair, which we'll touch on a little later. Many of John's good deeds come with a price tag.

It's helped maintain a loyal group of cowboys, but as Beth said in relation to another ranch issue, the 100-year-old business plan could use a little tweaking.

Kayce and Monica Enjoy Time Together - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

Change is on the horizon for the ranch because if John wants to hold onto the family's legacy as much as he proclaims, he has to work outside of what worked 100 years ago.

One hundred years will be noted many times over as it relates directly to the latest spinoff, 1923, which premiered this morning. You can read my review of the first episode, which finds Jacob and Cara Dutton struggling to feed their herd as food becomes scarce during a drought.

Spoiler Alert: If the herd's genetics are 100 years in the making, Jacob and Cara will find a way, and if Beth has anything to say about it, the herd will thrive well beyond 100 years with her help.

With brucellosis threatening the herd, all the hard work they've done moving it becomes moot because the land they intended their cattle to graze on is infected with the deadly disease.

Lloyd on Horseback - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

John knows what must be done -- he's got to move half the herd to a warmer climate where it's easier to care for them as they await the end of the brucellosis breakout.

Five of his best, Rip included, will be leaving the Yellowstone for the 6666, which will likely act as the launching pad for the next series in the Dutton adjacent franchise.

While I would have balked at being away from my friends and loved ones for such a long time, there wasn't a single one of them that saw it as anything other than an opportunity.

Cowboying is a way of life, but not everyone will understand it. Ryan offered his best analogy to Abby, comparing cowboying to her singing, but she walked away. She wasn't the one for him.

Hard-Working Cowboys - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

Beth and Rip have a love for the ages, and she's willing to move heaven and earth to be with the man she loves, come what may.

Beth: How long will you be gone?
Rip: I don't know.
Beth: Ballpark it.
Rip: Maybe a year.
Beth: A year? Honey, I can't live without you for a year.
Rip: Beth, I know it's gonna be tough.
Beth: No, I mean it. We won't survive that.
Rip: You want to live in a canvas town for a year? Take a fuckin' shower once a week in a motel 6? C'mon now.
Beth: Well, we swore to spend our lives together. Where you go, I go. I'm gonna do what the fuck I want to do anyway.
Rip: I'm well aware of that, sweetheart.
Beth: Alright, so it's settled.

What's missing from that quote is that she will live in a suite in the nearest Hyatt and visit for happy hour. It will suit her fine and give her time to understand how the Four Sixes has managed to sell 18 million pounds of beef on their own terms.

The cattle business, it turns out, is significantly different than the beef business, but you can successfully merge the two if you do it on your own. That's what the 6666 did by utilizing a website.

Beth has all the business savvy she needs for such a venture; as dire as things are, her father will be hard-pressed not to sign on.

Beth: You know, I really, uh, really thought the airport would be the end of us, Dad, but your business model, that's gonna be the end of us.
John: The business model worked for a hundred years.
Beth: No, dad! It hasn't worked. If it worked, this fuckin' valley wouldn't be filled with hobby farms and, and, and vacation houses. It would be filled with ranches! People don't sell businesses that make money, right? They sell the losers.

Letting the Dust Settle - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

The appeal of a 6666 spinoff didn't grab me after what we experienced of it during Yellowstone Season 4, but if half of the characters from Yellowstone hightail it to Texas to launch the spinoff, then it becomes much more appealing indeed.

There's only so much time remaining that we can watch the Duttons suffer in their struggle to keep the ranch alive. Taking the business in a different direction would introduce us to an entirely different world, and since it could be the future of the cattle industry in the US, it's worth exploring.

We've not heard much about the 6666 spinoff lately, and I was beginning to think it had been shelved. But I wonder if Yellowstone Season 6 will be in large part based there while Beth gets this new venture off the ground.

It was said they needed two years to make it fly, but Beth has worked miracles elsewhere, so why not for the family's ranch?

Rip and Carter Chat - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

There's something about going to the fair that takes the weight off your shoulders and opens your heart to new adventures. It made me laugh at how gingerly Rip broached the topic with Beth.

Is fair some sort of metaphor for somethin' a father shouldn't be hearin'?


They still have so much to learn about each other, and moving away from the Yellowstone will only enhance their relationship.

So what would happen at the ranch in their absence? With only half a herd to monitor and three years remaining of John's governorship, there's plenty of time to make waves in the state that will help feed Americans with what they genuinely need to know about the American west.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not ordering a steak anytime soon, but I understand now. I understand why you brand and why you vaccinate and why you move them from one pasture to another. Twelve million tourists a year come to Montana from cities. You might want to think about inviting a few of them over so they understand who you really are and what you really do 'cause they have you pegged as a bunch of misogynist bigots who are ruining the environment, and that is not who you are.


Summer was about as violent a naysayer to this way of life as there could be, but after spending time in their midst, physically grappling with John's headstrong daughter, and even helping the cowboys to vaccinate the herd, she's found herself in a place of acceptance and understanding.

Tate at the Shooting Gallery - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

It wouldn't be a life she would choose for herself, but she sees the value in maintaining and retaining it. Her "kidnapping" sets her as John's environmental advisor, but she might have had something when she called herself his press secretary.

Summer won't be the governor's press secretary, but she'd be a damn fine ambassador between visitors and the ranching industry, doing what Beth has suggested numerous times -- bringing the public to the ranch to better understand what it's all about.

Plenty of working ranches also act as dude ranches, allowing visitors to partake in ranch life, even if only for a short time.

It can be a working vacation in much the same way people book time on sailboats, in effect becoming sailors themselves during their "vacation."

Carter at the Shooting Gallery - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

Kayce said on Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 6 that there is nothing to bottle and sell here because anyone who sees the beauty in it and understands the value is already doing it.

Kayce is wrong.

It's not a lack of desire but a lack of opportunity. We don't all make a living doing what we love. In most cases, people's livelihoods are set by need, not desire. That doesn't mean we don't appreciate and dream of experiencing otherwise foreign things.

Yellowstone itself paints the desired picture just by its existence. As Rip saves half the herd in Texas and his wife learns about the repackers in the beef business, it would be a total boon if Summer acted as the emissary for the ranch in bringing education to out-of-town guests.

The Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7

It would be even better if she would wrangle the new homesteaders and hobby farmers so they could discover what she has merely by being a part of it.

John has his fellow ranchers' support to stomp on innovation and change, but what if they worked with the people fighting against them instead of keeping them at arm's length?

That could be said for all the differences Americans face, and it doesn't surprise me one bit that Taylor Sheridan is suggesting it.

It also allows a future for John beyond his governorship, which his egotistical, self-loathing son is trying to squash.

Different Heartaches - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 6

It's taken no time at all for me to despise Sarah Atwood. Dawn Olivieri plays her to perfection, and she's become the villain I love to hate. The looks on her face are matched by the dry and nasally delivery of her words.

Jamie is smitten because he thinks she's on his side. She's on nobody's side but her own, and in the end, he'll have nothing to show for it, even if he manages to become governor.

There isn't a single moment of their time on screen that I don't want to claw out my eyes, which says a lot since there have been many formidable and heinous opponents to the Dutton family.

John doesn't care about a second term, but he should care about maintaining the status quo to ensure that the changes he made are permanent.

Couldn't Dream of a Better Death - Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 6

To do that, he's going to have to rally the troops and begin working with Rainwater, too. So far, John has played his cards as if only the Yellowstone matters, but he's soon to find out that what he does can impact the state and the ranch's future the more involved he becomes.

What do you think? Do you like the new direction? Are you eager for the future of the Yellowstone to unfold in the possible directions previewed here?

Hit the comments, and be sure to watch Yellowstone online if you have fallen behind.

The Dream Is Not Me Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (2 Votes)

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.

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Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 7 Quotes

The herd's insured, but I don't know, I don't know how we rebuild 100 years of genetics.


Summer: I thought we agreed to get along.
Beth: We did. I didn't agree to placate some of your hippie bullshit where every institution and every custom is designed to oppress.
Summer: They are.
Beth: They are what you make 'em, babe.