Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 3 Review: No Good Horses (2024)

Critic's Rating: 4.9 / 5.0

4.9

It's hard to believe that tough-as-nails Beth Dutton was once a terrified child who couldn't stop crying.

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 3 gave us a compelling backstory for Beth while the shadow of Evelyn's death hung over the entire family on the anniversary of the fatal day.

[Note: This review is based on an unedited version previously available on Paramount Network or on streaming, so there may have been minor differences if you watched on CBS.]

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 3 Review: No Good Horses (1)

A death like Evelyn's is traumatic for everyone involved. She was vibrant and healthy, and the last thing she expected was to fall to her death from her horse.

Little Beth: What do we do?

Evelyn: Beth, go get your father.

Little Kayce: I ride faster. Let me do it.

Evelyn: No. She did this. Let her undo it.

🔗 permalink: No. She did this. Let her undo it.

Her last words to Beth more or less blamed her for the accident. No wonder Beth spends the anniversary of the death drinking and lashing out at everyone!

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 3 Review: No Good Horses (2)

Beth's take-no-prisoners attitude probably stems from the loss of her mother; she was a sobbing mess after the accident and likely resolved never to allow herself to get that emotional again.

She also became the opposite of what her mother believed her to be. She is now fearless, determined to prove that her womanhood doesn't make her any less capable or ruthless than a man.

And everything she does is for her father, almost as if she's making up for stealing his wife from him.

Beth may have mental health issues, but she is a force to be reckoned with! The trauma hardened her, but she chose to be forged by fire just as surely as if she'd been branded.

It's unfair to blame her for Evelyn's death. Evelyn refused to accept Beth's fear, and that was her undoing. Insisting Beth be the one to go for help to "punish" her for making her fall likely ensured her demise.

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 3 Review: No Good Horses (3)

Evelyn's death deeply affected everyone, but I wish we'd explored how it shaped Kayce.

He waited with his mother, watching her die, and by the time John found him, he was terrified. But the adult Kayce didn't appear to be thinking at all about his mother's death on the grim anniversary.

Kayce has enough on his mind, with his marriage unraveling, the burden of the secret he is keeping about his brother-in-law's death, and trying to keep Tate safe while rescuing an indigenous kidnapping victim and getting justice for her in the only way her family can.

It wouldn't make sense for him to take time to mourn his mother's passing in the middle of all that. But when he found Tate holding that giant rattlesnake, it could have triggered his memory of the wild animals near Evelyn's body.

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 3 Review: No Good Horses (4)

That would have made an interesting addition, though there will be plenty of time to explore Kayce's psyche, and we get bits and pieces of what made him who he is as the series progresses.

The fight between Tate and that snake was intensely frightening. Knowing how it would turn out didn't stop my heart from pounding as Tate threw a rock at the rattler and missed.

It was also brilliantly juxtaposed with Kayce's pursuit of the bad guys and rescue of the girl they had abducted, making it clear that father and son were fighting evil in different ways.

Kayce: Everything’s gonna be all right.

Tate: Well, if it’s all gonna be all right, why are you takin’ a gun?

🔗 permalink: Well, if it’s all gonna be all right, why are you takin’ a gun?

Tate is very much his mother's son, often refusing to step back for his safety when Kayce tells him to and questioning what his father does. But he also has a lot of Kayce in him, especially his determination and lack of fear.

The story of the abducted girl also provided an important contrast with Rainwater's arrest.

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 3 Review: No Good Horses (5)

These kinds of stories can easily descend into a bunch of tired old tropes, but the only thing stereotypical here was how the cops treated Rainwater. They didn't tell him on-screen why he was under arrest and lied about his behavior after they'd brought him to jail.

But John was also right that Rainwater was being somewhat hypocritical. Rainwater not only spent his early adulthood working for Fortune 500 companies but didn't even know he was Indian until adulthood!

He might have had his struggles being perceived as Mexican, but he doesn't fully know what the people he leads go through every day, which raises the question of whether he is the best person to lead them.

Kayce: I don’t know how we’re gonna keep this a secret.

Indian Man: They were white men, right? When we die, no one notices. When they die, everyone does. That’s one thing about the res. It’s where things go to disappear.

🔗 permalink: They were white men, right? When we die, no one notices. When they die, everyone does. That’s…

The kidnapping victim and her family presented a far better illustration of the difficulties people face on the reservation. As the girl's father pointed out, the local authorities would care more about the two white kidnappers being killed than what happened to the girl they abducted.

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When the girl said there was no point in going to the cops, she knew what she was talking about. The tribal police might care, but the local cops wouldn't and might even have found a reason to throw her in jail.

The only semblance of justice her family could hope for was vigilante justice. Kayce had already killed the perps, so all they could do was burn the bodies and have faith that their souls would be trapped.

It's a vicious cycle; too many white folks view them as subhuman savages and act accordingly, and when the indigenous population responds violently, it convinces those who are prejudiced against them even more that they are more akin to wild animals than human beings.

Instead of making any stand against these modern-day injustices, Rainwater has a pipe dream of buying back all the land stolen from his people two hundred years ago so that he can erase white people the way white settlers tried to erase his people.

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That doesn't seem like the best way to help his people, yet something is appealing about his idea of revenge, even if it seems unrealistic.

It saddened me that Rainwater blinked and returned the cattle, but what else could he do? He'd made his point and couldn't do much to advance his cause from behind bars.

He's returning to a community that deals with tragedy daily, and now yet another member is dead, this time from suicide.

What will Rainwater do about that? Is there anything he can do?

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Who else was thrilled that Jamie finally found the courage to do what he wanted instead of waiting for John's approval?

Jamie will do anything for John, but John only uses him for legal issues, with little thought as to how Jamie feels. There are reasons for John's distance that'll be explored later in the series, but at this early stage, it's painful to sit through Jamie begging for crumbs of attention and approval from John.

Your turn, Yellowstone fanatics. After you've watched Yellowstone online, hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts.

Yellowstone is halfway through its fifth season, but CBS is offering an encore presentation of Yellowstone Season 1 on Sundays at 8:30/7:30c.

Yellowstone Season 1 Episode 3 Review: No Good Horses (2024)
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