Yellowstone's best, wildest, and strangest moments from the first half of season 5

Yellowstone's best, wildest, and strangest moments from the first half of season 5

A double buffalo car crash. Dog-killing Secret Service agents. The intricacies of duck mating. These are just some of the most memorable moments so far

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Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

Yellowstone’s fifth season has been a testament to the power and inevitability of change, and the futility of resisting said change. In the first half of the season, most of the main characters took on new roles to solve old problems. With many of those characters suffering from a heavy dose of shortsightedness, their moves met with varying degrees of success. As he does in every season of Yellowstone, showrunner Taylor Sheridan infused plenty of drama into the Dutton’s never-ending conflicts over family and land. Here are the best and wildest moments from the first half of season five, moments which left us with only two words: “Wow. Really?”

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Best execution of quiet quitting: Governor John Dutton 

Best execution of quiet quitting: Governor John Dutton 

Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, and Wes Bentley
Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, and Wes Bentley
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

John’s sole purpose for becoming governor was to protect the Yellowstone Ranch, which he accomplished on his first day. Now he’s stuck with a job he hates, mainly because it keeps him away from the ranch. In true autocratic style, John makes a series of myopic and self-serving moves that only seem bold and unprecedented from the outside. These include, but are unfortunately not limited to, firing his advisory board, canceling all his meetings and public appearances, and closing ranks by making Beth his chief of staff. This is all guaranteed to free up his time and silence dissenting voices. There’s nothing here that could bite him in the butt later, right?

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The WTF moment of the season: Monica’s car accident

The WTF moment of the season: Monica’s car accident

Kelsey Asbille
Kelsey Asbille
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

In the first episode of the season, Monica goes into labor while Kayce is out of town. Monica and Tate then decide that, despite her actively hard contractions, they should jump in the car and speed down a very, very dark road in the middle of the night to meet an ambulance “halfway” to the hospital. What in the actual hell? Don’t the Duttons own a helicopter? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen, that her car and a pickup truck going in the opposite direction hit a buffalo at the same time? Yes. Exactly that.

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Most sus use of executive powers: Summer’s new gig

Most sus use of executive powers: Summer’s new gig

Piper Perabo
Piper Perabo
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

Lynelle Perry, Montana’s ex-governor and John’s ex-girlfriend, suggests hiring an environmental advisor to handle the backlash from canceling Market Equities’ airport project. John’s choice: ecological activist Summer Higgins, who’s still in prison. He commutes her sentence to a supervised release at his home and eventually (like in two minutes) she’s back in his bed.

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Wildest personality shifts: Summer and Beth

Wildest personality shifts: Summer and Beth

Kelly Reilly
Kelly Reilly
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

Summer, a life-long vegan, is dining with the Dutton clan for the first time and self-righteously condemns the menu, which consists entirely of dead animals. Beth, acting for all of us, takes Summer out to the front yard to knock some manners into her. Not not only does this work, but Beth is 100 percent nicer to Summer after she’s beaten the crap out of her.

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Funniest scene: Summer, Gator, and the duck(s)

Funniest scene: Summer, Gator, and the duck(s)

‘Watch ‘Em Ride Away’ Behind the Story | Yellowstone | Paramount Network

Here’s a conversation Summer has with Gator, the Duttons’ cook, while he’s serving dinner:

Summer: “You know ducks mate for life, right?”

Gator: “I killed them both if…”

Summer: “… if that makes it better? No, it does not!”

Monica bursting into laughter at this exchange was the icing on the cake—she never laughs. Summer is so ridiculous at this moment, and she could have saved herself a few bruises if she’d just asked for a side order of vegetables and shut up.

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Biggest tearjerker: John consoles Monica at her baby’s funeral

Biggest tearjerker: John consoles Monica at her baby’s funeral

A Perfect Life | Yellowstone | Paramount Network

“All he saw of this planet was you, and all he knew was you loved him. That boy lived a perfect life, Monica. We’re the only ones who know it was brief.”

As brutal and unbending as John Dutton is, it’s easy to forget how fair and compassionate he can be, too. The empathy he showed Monica at the gravesite was heartbreakingly lovely and sweet.

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Best channeling of a Marvel movie villain: Jamie Dutton

Best channeling of a Marvel movie villain: Jamie Dutton

Wes Bentley
Wes Bentley
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

Jamie is constantly plotting to take over his father’s kingdom while carrying on a hostile and competitive relationship with a dominating sibling. Yet, he continually seeks approval, acceptance, and love from them and everyone around him. Watching Jamie in bed with Sarah Atwood as they plan John Dutton’s downfall again, it finally hit us: Jamie is Loki. But while Thor never wanted Loki dead, it’s a safe bet that Beth will kill Jamie when she realizes what he’s doing. Good luck, Jamie!

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Biggest come to Jesus moment: John faces his finances

Biggest come to Jesus moment: John faces his finances

Kelly Reilly, Kevin Costner
Kelly Reilly, Kevin Costner
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

After John informs Beth that he’s taking half the herd to graze down south at the cost of $1.2 million, Beth tells him what they both know—there’s no way he can afford that. John says ranching has successfully worked like this for 100 years. “No, Dad, it hasn’t,” Beth replies, and she’s right. He’s trying to sustain an idyllic lifestyle with an abysmal business model, she says, and he has to realize that if he wants to keep the ranch running, he needs to create additional revenue some other way. John is hopefully ready to talk about that now.

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Wildest stretch of reality: POTUS, the dog killer

Wildest stretch of reality: POTUS, the dog killer

Gil Birmingham
Gil Birmingham
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

As a precaution before the president of the United States’ arrival on the reservation, the Secret Service shoots “stray dogs” on the street because the officers perceive them as a security threat. The dogs aren’t strays, though, they’re all pets. Imagine the PR nightmare if this was actual Secret Service protocol. We’re supposed to believe that they wouldn’t vet the area or warn the local government before the president shows up? We get it, Sheridan, the U.S. government hates Native Americans, has no respect for them, and never will. But come on, even in Yellowstone, if the choice is between showing the government’s callous disregard for the indigenous population or letting a dog live, the dog wins. You know we’re right.

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Biggest mystery going into the rest of the season: Beth, Rip, and Rowdy

Biggest mystery going into the rest of the season: Beth, Rip, and Rowdy

Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser
Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount

Yellowstone has been teasing their connection all season. Beth had apologized to Rip several times about how she treated him when they were young, but why? Flashbacks showed that Beth used Rowdy to make Rip jealous when they were teenagers, but why would she feel guilty about that now? Could it be about her pregnancy, the one thing we’ve never seen Beth and Rip discuss? Or did she hurt him in some other way? Hmm…

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