Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 5 Review: Watch ‘Em Ride Away (2024)


With only two episodes left before the mid-season break, Yellowstone keeps up slow and steady pace with a few fun surprises.

This Yellowstone review contains spoilers.

It has been a little harder to decipher exactly what Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan is going for this season. Usually, Sheridan wears his subtext as proudly as the cowboy hat he’s often seen wearing. Part of the massive popularity of his shows is that almost all of his characters tell the audience how they feel, (some even prognosticate their own death in the form of a voiceover), and that plainspoken sincerity and clarity is what fans have come to love.

When looking at the first handful of episodes this season, there has yet to be the same forthright approach to the storytelling, it’s been more of a cowboy-like saunter through events. Some of those events have pushed the plot forward, but only just enough, and so there’s a deliberate amble as characters remember the past, or talk about the future, without truly doing anything in the present.

Yet, like a beam of sunlight over the Montana mountains, it finally became much clearer that this might in fact, be the point of the season. Episode 5, “Watch ‘Em Ride Away” opens with yet another flashback to the Dutton ranch, as we see a younger Beth (Kylie Rogers) say goodbye to her father (Josh Lucas) and a young Rip (Kyle Red Silverstein) before they journey off to attend the land, but not before giving her previous cowboy “dance partner” the cold shoulder, toying with yet another man’s emotions, of course. Yet, this isn’t the first time this season Beth (Kelly Reilly) has reminisced about her youth, or what she might have put Rip (Cole Hauser) through when they were younger.


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We’ve also had more than a taste of what younger John was like in his prime. This has been a consistent treat this season as Lucas in each episode seems to get more and more comfortable with wearing the John Dutton suit. It has grown on him much like the impressive mustache John sported decades ago, and his particular emanation of what older John (Kevin Costner) and his whisky-soaked idiolect sounds like shows how carefully Lucas has studied Costner’s performance.

While it may not yet be clear as to why we keep getting scenes of younger John, there have been countless scenes this season where Sheridan has pointed out what life used to be like. In almost every episode, we’ve seen the Yellowstone crew lend a hand to a neighboring ranch, buy a fellow cowboy a drink, or in today’s episode, bring in every day-worker in the state to help out. No doubt, these are real ranchers or cowboys used in the show, (as Sheridan has often done), and it is undoubtedly that he is trying to say this show is done merely playing cowboy, and that it’s time to actually show cowboys.

John even says “Nobody knows what the hell we do any more, and it’s time we remind them” as a clear statement to everyone watching about this forgotten piece of Americana that Sheridan lives and breathes. This could be because, rumor has it, this may be the penultimate season of Yellowstone, and so, perhaps Sheridan is already feeling nostalgic. Or perhaps, he’s showing his fans exactly how this show is going to end. His constant story threads of how ranchers are a dying breed, or how fires wipe out entire swaths of nature, or how much of this world is moving too damn fast could very well be the point of an otherwise meandering season.

If that’s the case, then Sheridan’s writing is perhaps more effective than previously given credit for in our previous reviews, but it could still be argued that his writing has certainly been stronger. As the entire Dutton family and the crew prepare to wrangle the Yellowstone cattle, the biggest subject of contention around the ranch is how Summer (Piper Parabo) has returned to John’s house, his legal guardianship, and even his bed. It was an already fairly convenient story thread to get John to grant a pardon to Summer using his governorship, but Sheridan’s writing surrounding Summer in this episode was particularly obvious.

Beth has been her usual charming self this entire season, and because of that, there have been several rivalries either ignited or reunited surrounding the Dutton’s only daughter. In this episode, her hatred for Summer comes to a head in a much needed fight scene between the two characters. There is palpable tension between the two women, perhaps because of their ideologies, perhaps because of their different levels of fondness for John, but regardless, their scrap is the highlight of “Watch ‘Em Ride Away”. Yet Sheridan’s set-up to the fight is about as subtle as Beth’s right-hook. The very first time we see Summer this episode, she interacts with Yellowstone’s adopted stray, Carter (Finn Little) and outright mocks the kid when he brings up God. The bizarre political divide that Sheridan has reinforced this season grows even more unambiguous when he gets the show’s most liberal character to mock a child for simply believing in God. Regardless of political stance, this particular scoff seems so out of pocket, it is an obvious attempt to stoke the fires.

Fans of the show must realize how intentionally antagonistic Summer is in this episode. So much so, it became forced and borderline unnatural. Never before was she this purposefully rude or ignorant, even mocking another fan-favorite, Gator (Gabriel Guilbeau). While her political or dietary views may differ, prior to this episode Summer has always tried to address both sides of the spectrum, which is what made her relationship with John so interesting. It seemed that since Sheridan had made up his mind that there had to be a fight, he hurriedly threw gasoline onto the flames to force combustion.


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There was another instance of absolutely awful and inconsistent transparent dialogue when Clara (Lilli Kay) sees John talking to Kayce (Luke Grimes) when Kayce and his family have come to stay at the ranch and eventually drive cattle. Clara tries to clarify that Kayce is John’s youngest son, to which John replies “That’s my only son” – a clear shot at Jamie (Wes Bentley). The absolute disdain and disrespect that John shows in that moment was not only such a terribly forced piece of dialogue to merely vilify Jamie and push him away further, but it was, as mentioned, very inconsistent. In the season 4 finale, John was in tears worried that Beth had killed Jamie. He admitted that Jamie might be a failure in his eyes, but that he still loves his adopted son. For John to suddenly renounce Jamie so callously, again, seemed absolutely forced.

While the episode certainly has great moments – Kayce dealing with his pain as a father after losing his newborn son, or the continuing affinity for Clara as she becomes a trusted member of the inner-circle, otherwise, this episode perfectly embodies the most obvious deficiency of the entire season thus far. It had memorable moments, but they were mere moments. It didn’t even necessarily push things forward, it was merely a series of bookmarks – set pieces that are a placeholder until things get much more interesting.

Set pieces such as the family having an awkward dinner, but everything returns to sitcom-like normalcy at the end and everyone’s made peace. Jamie’s torrid and undoubtedly stupid affair with Claire (Dawn Olivieri) seems to have reached “two-night stand” status, rather than merely one. Monica (Kelsey Asbille) heals a little bit more, and becomes closer with Kayce. And, as the sun rises, the ranchers go to work. Everything is simply baby steps. The entire episode feels like merely a normal work day where the audience got up, brushed our teeth, drank a hot caffeinated beverage and snuck out the door not trying to wake our spouse.

Sheridan, as such a capable, dynamic writer has proven far too often that this first half of the season is him merely tip-toeing out the front door, allowing us to stay comfortable and sleep through the alarm. He wants the audience to reminisce, to chuckle, and to simply move on to the next day at work, which is what we’ve been doing for five episodes now. Whether this means the season will one day jolt us out of the early morning slumber remains to be seen, but with only two episodes before the show goes on hiatus, Yellowstone has hit the snooze button a few too many times.


New episodes ofYellowstoneseason 5 premiere Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Paramount Network in the U.S. and the day after on Paramount+ in the U.K.


3 out of 5

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Tags: DramaKevin CostnerParamount NetworkTaylor SheridanYellowstone

Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 5 Review: Watch ‘Em Ride Away (1)

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Michael Winn Johnson|@ReelSchool

Teacher and entertainment journalist based out of Toronto. Michael can talk forever about film, television and animation, and how often Toronto sports teams have made him…

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Yellowstone Season 5 Episode 5 Review: Watch ‘Em Ride Away (2024)


Who was memorialized at the end of Yellowstone Season 5 episode 5? ›

Yellowstone season 5, episode 5 "Watch 'Em Ride Away" showed a title card with the words, "In memory of Timothy Reynolds," which was a tribute to one of the show's crew members. Timothy died on August 24, 2022.

What happened in episode 5 of Yellowstone Season 5? ›

In Season 5, Episode 5, the dinner table is used to exorcise some of the series' philosophical conflicts, mostly involving the clash between cultures we've seen these past couple seasons—the two ways of American life, represented by the Duttons and by Summer—between Montana and California, between red and blue America, ...

Does Beth go to jail in season 5? ›

A night in jail may be just the beginning of Beth's problems this season. After breaking a beer bottle over someone's skull last week, it's no surprise Beth (Kelly Reilly) begins Yellowstone's fourth episode in a prison cell.

Why is Yellowstone rated TV MA? ›

In its original form, 'Yellowstone' certainly would not pass the broadcast standards, as it is rated TV-MA for nudity, profanity, and violence.”

Why is Beth branded on Yellowstone? ›

Basically, being branded with the "Y" on Yellowstone is an act of loyalty, ownership, and responsibility. It's important to note that not everyone who works for the Yellowstone ranch has the brand.

What episode does Beth take Jamie's son? ›

Season 5, Episode 4 "Horses in Heaven."

What happens to Jamie on Yellowstone in Season 5? ›

Yellowstone's midseason finale, which aired in January, ended with Jamie calling for John's (Kevin Costner) impeachment and an epic confrontation between Jamie and sister Beth (Kelly Reilly) that led Jamie to put a hit out on his sister; while Beth and John plot a similar fate against Jamie.

What happens to Beth in Yellowstone Season 5? ›

In the season 5 premiere, John Dutton is sworn in as Governor of Montana and, later, appoints Beth as his chief of staff. Throughout the season, John's only daughter gets into multiple brawls, tries to find an alternative to ranching, and learns a dark Dutton secret from her brother.

Does Beth get revenge on market equities? ›

She finally pulled one over on Market Equities by giving her controlling share of Schwartz and Meyer to a Market Equiities competitor and putting all the Schwartz and Meyer land into a conservation easem*nt, which basically makes all of ME's lawsuits pointless.

Does Rip find out Beth was pregnant? ›

Reilly explains (via Insider) that Beth is hiding the secret to protect Rip, perhaps fearing what he will do when he finds out. She goes on to say "So there's a weighted burden in her heart that she cannot share with him. He's trying to reassure her and love her, but he doesn't know the truth."

Who impregnated Beth? ›

The third season episode titled 'Cowboys and Dreamers' shows how Beth was about fifteen years old when she became pregnant. Beth was hooking up with Rip at that time and it is implied that the baby was his. She wasn't very sure of how her father would react so she reaches out to her brother, Jamie, for help.

Does John forgive Beth? ›

Beth has a soft core—it's why we stick by her, folks—so this is, thankfully, enough for Beth to go and apologize to John in the middle of the night. Before she walks out, John tells her that he loves her, unwaveringly.

Will Yellowstone be on regular TV? ›

Yellowstone premieres exclusively on Paramount Network, with additional airings on TV Land, CMT, and Pop. In July 2023, CBS also announced that Yellowstone would be making its broadcast TV debut this fall.

Is Yellowstone getting good ratings? ›

Since the Western drama debuted on CBS on Sept. 17, it has posted impressive ratings. Nearly 21.6 million viewers have tuned in to at least one episode on CBS, and over half (52%) are new to the series, having not seen a single episode in the past year on either linear or streaming, according to the network.

Why is Yellowstone on CBS instead of Paramount? ›

Right now, Sunday night on CBS is also the only place that you can experience Yellowstone content with the wider fanbase. Paramount made the shift to try and fill out their fall television slate during the continued SAG-AFTRA strike, but diehard fans know that the series would have been on hiatus anyway.

Who was the old man at the end of Yellowstone Season 5? ›

Ominously, the shadow of death comes in the night for the cattle crew. The reaper takes an old ranch hand, Emmett Walsh (Buck Taylor), who was hired for the job. Fans of Yellowstone may recall his previous appearance in the Season Three finale.

Who was the special guest in Yellowstone Season 5? ›

Yellowstone cast - Season 5
Special Guest StarJacki WeaverCaroline Warner
Guest StarJosh LucasYoung John Dutton
Guest StarPiper PeraboSummer Higgins
Guest StarringDawn OlivieriSarah Atwood
94 more rows

Who is the guy in the flashback Yellowstone? ›

Josh Lucas is an American actor who portrays John Dutton in the 1990s flashback on the Paramount series Yellowstone.

Who are the people in memory of Yellowstone? ›

Series Thanks (7)
  • Melanie Olmstead. In Memory of/MELANIE OLMSTEAD/1968-2019 (1 episode, 2019) Wilford Brimley. in memory of (1 episode, 2020)
  • Milt Bradford. In Loving Memory of (1 episode, 2021) Alan Robert Murray. In Loving Memory of (1 episode, 2021)
  • John Prine. In Loving Memory of (1 episode, 2021) Glenn Blodgett.


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