'Yellowstone' Season 4 Finale Shocks Fans With Romance and Vengeance -- See the Reactions!

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*Caution: Spoilers for the Yellowstone season 4 finale below!

Yellowstone delivered a tense season 4 finale on Sunday, with some powerful forces coming to a head and some new dangers emerging from the sidelines.

As the episode opens, Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) has decided to pack her things and leave the Dutton Ranch after her blow-out fight with her father, John Dutton (Kevin Costner), as she now feels unwanted. However, Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) convinces her to stay.

It's a moment that really shows the power of their love, and her devotion to her father -- which ultimately informs her driving motivations for the remainder of the turbulent finale.

Soon after apologizing to her father in the middle of the night, Beth gets Rip's suspicions raised when he overhears her asking Walker, a ranch hand who previously served time behind bars, about the best way to get a weapon into prison discreetly.

Walker, confused by the question but clearly (and rightfully) fearful of Beth, tells her the best option is to sneak in a sharp hair pin and suggests that if she wears something distracting enough "they wouldn't be too concerned about your hair."

True to form, Beth dons a revealing gold club dress and poses as a conjugal visitor for Riggins (Bruno Amato), the man responsible for organizing the attempted murder her family. However, when she discovers that her brother Jamie (Wes Bentley) had already spoken to him, she realized that Jamie had betrayed the family in a truly unforgivable way.

 

However, before she can truly set her plan in motion, Beth decides to take her relationship with Rip to the next level. She shows back up at Dutton ranch with a priest (whom, we later learn, she kidnapped at gunpoint), and tells Rip it's time to get married.

It's a surprisingly sweet moment, considering the circumstances, and fans had some strong feelings about the big moment:

However, the endearing marriage is the brief respite we get before diving back into Beth's long-term plan for vengeance. She visits Jamie at his office, gun in hand, and tells him "I have done everything I need to do to never see this world again, Jamie. I am prepared. I will ruin my life today and I swear to god I will f**king kill you."

Jamie admits that he learned that his estranged biological father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton), was responsible for hiring Riggins to put a hit out on his adopted family, and Beth insults him for not killing Garrett when he found out.

As punishment for keeping the secret, Beth tells him he's got two options: One, she can tell her powerful father, who will have Jamie arrested and sent to prison for life. Or, option two, she tells Rip what Garrett did, and he will kill Garrett and Jamie.

With neither option sounding particularly good, Jamie begs for mercy and Beth tells him there's a third option.

While it takes a while to find out exactly what the third option is, Jamie reveals his choice when he visits his father by a lake and, after a heartfelt conversation about loyalty, pulls out a gun and executes his dad in cold blood.

Later that night, while driving out into the middle to nowhere to get rid of the body, Beth shows up and snaps a photo of him holding his murdered father. 

"You should have picked options one or two," Beth says. "Three's gonna be worse, because you're f**king mine now."

While Beth's rampage is the driving force behind the episode, we also see the ramifications of John's girlfriend's arrest. After being arrested and charged for numerous crimes as a protest demonstrator, Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo), takes a plea deal for a suspended sentence.

However, the judge decides to ignore the plea deal and instead sentence her to the fullest extent for each charge, meaning she won't even be able to get parole for 14 years.

John, enraged by this show of force by the judge, visits him in his chambers and all but threatens him to reduce the sentencing. The pair have a meaningful (if somewhat off-the-mark) conversation about the future generations, and the judge agrees to reduce all the sentences when she files an appeal. It's a moment of John truly showing his level of power and leverage in an episode that mostly revolves around his daughter.

The Yellowstone finale also featured a more hopeful departure -- one that didn't end in bloodshed -- with the exit of charming young ranch hand Jimmy Hurdstram (Jefferson White), who took his leave of the Dutton Ranch in search of a brighter future in Texas.

Meanwhile, Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) spends nearly the entire episode half-naked laying next to a tree and hallucinating as part of the warrior initiation rites of his wife's indigenous tribe. He suffers war flashbacks and full-on visual hallucinations while freaking out and suffering in the harsh elements. And then he's done with all that.

Ultimately, the Season 4 finale was an examination of past sins, vengeance, shifting dynamics,  generational shifts, and the battle for not just the Dutton Ranch, but the heart and spirit of the American wilderness.

Click here to check out ET Presents: Yellowstone Aftershow on Paramount+.

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